Tallahassee's history with free speech

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By: Mike Vasilinda | Capitol News Service
October 19, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) -- The First Amendment promises a wide range of protections, including honoring state campuses’ invitations for someone such as Richard Spencer to speak.

However, Florida State University and even the State Capitol have grappled in the past with what kind of speech to allow.

In 1999, then FSU President Sandy D'Alemberte had his own freedom of speech problems.

FSU Professor Glayde Whitney had written a glowing tribute to former KKK representative David Duke in the forward to Duke’s book.

Students were livid, yet D'Alemberte defended Whitney's first amendment rights.

Richard Spencer has his supporters. A YouTube video has been generating more than a thousand views an hour since it was posted Wednesday. D'Alemberte thinks the University of Florida played into Richard Spencer's hands by first blocking his speech.

In 2013, officials from the Capitol approved a nativity scene in 2013. They found themselves having to also allow a satanic display.

D'Alemberte says we can all learn by listening to different viewpoints, even if we don't agree with them.

While the FSU professor did keep his job, he was not allowed to teach classes required for graduation.

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