'I want to be violent' UNL student and self-avowed white nationalist raises concern
Statements from a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student have put national spotlight on the Cornhusker State. A video, making rounds on social media shows a UNL student discussing violence and white supremacy.
Students and people from around the country are calling for UNL to expel the self-described white nationalist. However, on Thursday, University leaders said while they reject racism and bigotry, the student is within his constitutional rights.
"I am the most active white nationalist in the Nebraska area," Dan Kleve said in a Jan. 23 video. "Just because I dress like a (normal person) or whatever, I'm a presentable person, it doesn't mean that I don't love violence. You don't have to look like a violent person to be violent."
"It's pretty aggressive and a little shocking," said University of Nebraska Board of Regents member Paul Kenny, who added that leaders are reviewing the video.
"Obviously believe in freedom of speech and that also means that you have to listen to things that you don't believe in, you have to have that right for people. When you get to the stage of threatening people that crosses the line of free speech and the policy of the University of Nebraska," Kenney said.
Safety concerns on campus have risen since the video surfaced. That video also included photos of Kleve at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville in 2017, confronting a counter protester.
The Governor's office said Governor Ricketts is aware of the video, and has listened to it. Governor Ricketts’ office released the following statement:
"Racism and racist ideologies have no place in our state or our country. The comments made in the video are disturbing and anti-American. We understand that this matter has been brought to the University's attention, and the Governor supports the University's work to "provide a safe and welcoming environment."
Days after footage of the self-described white nationalist came to light, Kleve released a response, saying the video falsely portrayed him as a “domestic terrorist".
"The video was taken from clips of a conversation I was having with some skinheads where I was essentially highlighting the fact that violence does no good, that we should refrain from violence and be more self-disciplined," Kleve said in the response video.
A stark contrast from sentiments he shared on Jan. 23.
“Trust me, I want to be violent, really violent, but now is not the time. It’s just not the right time. We need to build ourselves up, we need to be disciplined, we need to train ourselves and make ourselves hard, and reach out to people and be an example. Then, when the time comes we can do what needs to be done, " Kleve said in the initial video.
In recent days, people have called for Kleve’s expulsion. On Wednesday afternoon, hundreds gathered on the campus to protest the student's remarks.
On Thursday, UNL Chancellor Ronnie Green said in a written message that he rejects racism and bigotry. He also said, the "student's viewpoint however hateful and intolerant it is, is also protected by the First Amendment."
The contention comes just weeks after the NU system adopted a new policy reiterating its commitment to freedom of expression. That followed an incident last summer in which a UNL graduate student-lecturer yelled at and made an obscene gesture to a sophomore student who was recruiting membership in a conservative group.