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U. of Kentucky President Critical of Neo-Nazi’s Speech

Alex Constantine - September 21, 2014

 By Joseph Gerth and James R. Carroll

Add University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto to the list of people speaking out against U.S. Senate write-in candidate Robert Ransdell, a neo-Nazi who used the school's Constitution Week to spew anti-Semitic hatred on campus.

"The remarks were offensive and appalling. And though cloaked in the garment of free speech, the words reflect a remarkable level of anger and ignorance," Capilouto said in a statement emailed to UK students and faculty on Friday.

"Everyone is free to believe what they believe; and say what they want to say. But the language of hate aimed at the diminishment of anyone has no place in our community and is contrary to the values of our University," he wrote.

On Wednesday, Ransdell, who earlier in the week placed yard signs in Northern Kentucky saying "With Jews We Lose," was invited to attend the event at UK to speak about the Constitution.

What angered people most about Ransdell's speech was that there were students from Hardin County High School, Louisville's duPont Manual High School, Corbin High School and Bethlehem High School in attendance.

The university said in a statement that Ransdell was invited to speak because he had qualified and registered as a write-in candidate for the November election. Furthermore, the school said it didn't know what he was going to talk about.

"The University Of Kentucky was not aware of the content of his remarks prior to him speaking and does not condone or endorse any political platform or agenda," spokeswoman Kathy Johnson said in a statement.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League have been tracking Ransdell, who has been involved in white supremacist groups for years.

Related: Neo-Nazi candidate must be heard, foes say

Related: Anti-Semitic candidate aims for U.S. Senate seat


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