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Spencer: ‘A better and more beautiful world if people like me were in power’

By Claire McNeill
A crowd gathers ahead of Richard Spencer's appearance at the University of Florida on Oct. 19, 2017. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]

In the a small theater crammed with cameras, Richard Spencer and a small group of his coordinators clashed with reporters as his controversial speech in the Phillips Center drew near Thursday.

Spencer stormed into the room in a three-piece suit and berated a journalist he said had incorrectly reported information related to ticketing.

He called the reporter ignorant, maybe a liar. He eventually moved on to questions from other reporters, who asked for elaboration on Spencerís well-documented white nationalist views.

Spencer smirked and laughed. He explained, again, his ideal of a white homeland for people of European descent, and smirked again when reporters asked where, exactly, people of other races would go.

"We want to engage in a kind of identity politics," he said. "Our way of thinking starts from that question: Who are we?"

LIVE BLOG: Complete coverage of Richard Spencerís appearance at UF

He said heís not a racist in the "cartoonish" sense of hating people, but that he believes "race matters."

He again walked through his familiar talking points: that anti-fascist protesters were the root of violence in Charlottesville, that his ideas may prove challenging for a college landscape steeped in "PC culture."

When asked to elaborate, he sometimes reacted with scorn, asking, "Am I talking to preschoolers?"

He said, "It would be a better and more beautiful world if people like me were in power. Sometimes ideas are scary."

He said he thought his college tour would be easy, but that roadblocks have appeared at every turn.

"We keep moving forward," Spencer said. "The fact that someone might be uncomfortable with someone who is talking aout idea, that seems to be justification for me coming here. Ö We need, desperately, to talk about controversial, and you could say, dangerous ideas. This is exactly the place to do it."