City Leaders Suggest Diversity Celebration as the Way to Respond to White Nationalist

Friday, March 2, 2018, 7:18 am
Jessy Gregg

Above: Mayor Mark Meadows and Councilmember Aaron Stephens at City Council on February 27.

National Policy Institute President Richard Spencer will be speaking at MSU’s Pavilion on Monday and, among those who oppose him locally, there is disagreement about how to respond to Spencer and the 300 ticket-holders for his speech.

Brandon Lee, an MSU student and resident of Lansing, used the public comment time at the East Lansing City Council meeting on Tuesday to urge a confrontational response to Spencer’s white nationalist message. Lee said he hoped to see members of the community at the Pavilion to “take a stand” and that he hoped people would see “the harm done in not contesting white supremacy, no matter what form it takes in our community.”

Answering Lee, Mayor Mark Meadows explained that City officials are asking people not to protest at the pavilion so that the “presentation at the livestock pavilion will be just Richard Spencer and a busload of the people with the wrong idea.”

Meadows added “We would like to avoid any kind of a crowd assembling [at the pavilion] and instead celebrate the diversity of East Lansing in a different way at All Saints Church.”

As ELi has reported, the City of East Lansing along with many community and MSU-affiliated organizations will be hosting a Celebration of Diversity at All Saint’s Church on Abbot Road on Monday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

At this past Tuesday’s meeting, Councilmember Aaron Stephens suggested that people attend that event instead of protesting near the Livestock Pavilion. “It’s going to be a great event,” he said.