Texas A&M University Calls Off "White Lives Matter" Rally Scheduled For Sept. 11
The school canceled the event after the rally's organizer called it “Today Charlottesville Tomorrow Texas A&M" in a press release.
Texas A&M University has canceled an upcoming rally geared toward white power, citing safety concerns in the wake of the Charlottesville, Virginia, riots.
The Washington Post reports a "White Lives Matter" rally, organized by former student Preston Wiginton, was scheduled to happen on campus on Sept. 11 at Rudder Plaza. A letter released Monday (Aug. 14) explaining Wiginton's latest press release on the event was what prompted the cancellation. The Texas native labeled the rally "Today Charlottesville Tomorrow Texas A&M.”
“Linking the tragedy of Charlottesville with the Texas A&M event creates a major security risk on our campus,” the statement said. “Additionally, the daylong event would provide disruption to our class schedules and to student, faculty and staff movement (both bus system and pedestrian).” It also pointed out that Wiginton wasn't invited by the university to organize the rally.
"Texas A&M changed its policy after December’s protests so that no outside individual or group could reserve campus facilities without the sponsorship of a university-sanctioned group," the statement read. "None of the 1,200-plus campus organizations invited Preston Wiginton nor did they agree to sponsor his events in December 2016 or on September 11 of this year. With no university facilities afforded him, he chose instead to plan his event outdoors for September 11 at Rudder Plaza, in the middle of campus, during a school day, with a notification to the media under the headline “Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M."
Wiginton attempted to clarify the meaning behind his rally to The Post but failed miserably. “Obviously, there are many white people in America who are angry, and Charlottesville was a large gathering to express that anger and hopefully to address those issues,” Wiginton said. “So ‘tomorrow A&M’ meant another platform for us to be able to express ourselves.”
The "Unite the Right" rally drew violence over the weekend in Charlottesville, leading to the death of Heather Heyer and two state patrolmen. Wiginton, who goes by the name "Preston Wigginton" on Facebook, has been clear on his disdain for diversity and immigration. His bio also includes a proud stance on co-founding the Facebook group "White Lives Matter Too."
When asked about the choice to hold the rally on 9/11, Wiginton said he didn't make a correlation. “Not at all. I consulted with many millennials,” he said. “And the millennials don’t really relate to 9/11.”