In the aftermath of Orlando’s tragic massacre at the Pulse nightclub last year Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was central in a community effort to socially unite in opposition to hatred and extremism, and on Thursday she urged the people of Gainesville to not give a visiting white supremacist’s platform a boost by going anywhere near him.

Jacobs and Gov. Rick Scott spoke out against the hatred and white supremacy Richard Spencer represents while the mayor and governor were surrounded by young children at the Roth Family Jewish Community Center in Maitland Thursday morning.

In discussing Spencer, Scott briefly outlined the preparations he and Alachua County and Gainesville officials were taking to prepare to prevent violence, and both Scott and Jacobs condemned in advance any violence that might spark from Spencer’s speech.

Jacobs began by declaring that Orange County does not tolerate white supremacy or white supremacists, and said she is confident most people in Gainesville feel the same way.

“I would just urge everyone to protest and who wants to be heard to do it by just staying at home and walking away from that opportunity to respond,” Jacobs said. “Sometimes the best response is no response.

“Don’t give this man the dignity of your time and your attention this evening. Keep our community safe and remember really what we’re all about as a community and don’t let one person distract us from that,” Jacobs added.


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