Wiginton, a former Texas A&M student, was not invited by a campus organization, nor had any agreed to sponsor him, the school said. His notification to the press about the event was headlined: “Today Charlottesville Tomorrow Texas A&M,” which A&M noted in its statement.
“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).”
In a phone interview with The Post, Wiginton denied that his phrasing was a reference to the violence that had occurred in Charlottesville.
“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 told The Post when asked about the phrasing. “So ‘tomorrow A&M’ meant another platform for us to be able to express ourselves.”
Here’s the Texas Tribune, with details of reaction to the planned rally, which white nationalist leader Richard Spencer had reportedly been invited to:
Word of the planned rally generated immediate outrage on social media. Within hours, a counterprotest had been planned. That event will be called “BTHO Hate,” the name of which borrows from an A&M football chant expressing the desire to “beat the hell outta” the opposing team.
Throngs of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan members clashed with counterprotesters this past weekend in Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia. One person was killed and 19 others wounded when a car barreled through a crowd, and two state police officers died in a helicopter crash.
Wiginton said he wanted to hold the event on a day when many students would be on campus, and one that would be easier for non-students to attend. He said the date was not selected because of a connection to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
“Not at all. I consulted with many Millennials,” he said. “And the Millennials don’t really relate to 9/11.”