On December 6, 2016, to the delight of some Texas-based white supremacists, Richard Spencer brought his “America belongs to white men” rhetoric to the Texas A&M campus. Spencer was not on campus as a guest of the university, but rather spoke in a privately rented room rented by Preston Wiginton, a neo-Nazi and former racist skinhead.
Wiginton was not the only white supremacist to attend the event; several Texas-based white supremacists turned out to support the event as well.
Wiginton had his own guest list for the event which provided a safety buffer for Spencer as Spencer insulted his hecklers and basked in the attention generated by the event. The neo-Nazis and racist skinheads who attended the event were able to blend into Spencer’s suit-and-tie brand of white supremacy with a simple change of clothes.
Neo-Nazi Joffre Cross of Houston appeared to be providing security for Spencer both as Spencer spoke with media outside the venue and during the actual speaking event. At one point during Spencer’s speech, Cross, joined by other white supremacists, stood between hecklers and Spencer’s position on stage and engaged in a brief scuffle. During the Q & A session after Spencer’s speech, Cross “controlled” the microphone taking it away from any of Spencer’s dissenters who were reluctant to move on to the next question.
Cross associates with members of the Texas-based neo-Nazi Aryan Renaissance Society (ARS) and often attends their private gatherings.
One of those who joined Cross to stand between Spencer and his hecklers was neo-Nazi Horace Scott Lacy. A convicted felon, Lacy is currently a member ARS and one of the leaders of the Houston-area White Lives Matter (WLM) movement. Before he was involved with ARS, he was a member of the Aryan Circle, a large and violent Texas-based white supremacist prison gang.
Aimee, who uses the names Mina Wyatt and Ilona Szilagyi, also attended the event. Aimee, a fervent White Lives Matter activist, explained her activism during a video posted to Facebook saying, “I live and breathe this every day. It’s not a hobby for me. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. It’s the last thing I think about before I sleep.” Armed with a rifle and what appeared to be a pink knife in her boot, she attended WLM protests at the Houston offices of both the Anti-Defamation League and the NAACP earlier this year.
ARS associate and WLM activist Jesse Miles attended the event and joined in a brief scuffle with Spencer’s dissenters. Miles, who has several visible white supremacist tattoos, routinely attends private ARS events and participated in an August WLM protest in front of the NAACP offices in Houston.
Tyler TenBrink of Richmond, Texas, also joined a brief fray with dissenters during the event. He is an active member of the Houston-area White Lives Matter movement and associates with members of the ARS. He too participated in the WLM protests at the Houston offices of the Anti-Defamation League and NAACP.