Preston Wiginton, a 48-year-old neo-Nazi and former racist skinhead, is sponsoring a speech by white supremacist Jared Taylor at Texas A&M University on October 23, 2012. In an announcement about the speech, Taylor claims that there are “ongoing efforts to displace white Texans at the university” and refers readers to a Texas A&M report that discusses racial diversity.
This will be the second time this month that Taylor has been invited to speak at a college campus. In early October, he spoke at Towson University in Maryland about the “legitimacy of white racial consciousness” at the behest of the White Student Union.
Wiginton is a familiar figure at Texas A&M, where he is a former student. In January 2012, he held a demonstration at the campus against Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement.
In the past, Wiginton has brought other controversial figures to the campus. In fall 2007, he sponsored an appearance at Texas A&M by Nick Griffin, who was then the head of the ultra-right British National Party (BNP), a party that attracted many neo-Nazis. Griffin spoke on the spread of Islam in Europe in a speech titled, “Islam, Terror and Western Civilization.”
Earlier that year, Wiginton also had the idea to bring Taylor to campus to speak about diversity issues at the school. Wiginton claimed he had attended a diversity symposium set up to address racial tension at Texas A&M and he then challenged the Associate Provost of Diversity at Texas A&M to debate Taylor. The campus paper The Battalion reported that Wiginton held a 2-by-4 foot sign to promote the debate, which did not take place.
Wiginton is also virulently anti-immigrant. In November 2005, he organized and funded a lecture tour for anti-immigration activist Frosty Wooldridge. The tour covered five Texas universities, including Texas A&M. The purpose of Wooldridge’s tour was to gather signatures on a petition against Texas House Bill 1403, which gave children of undocumented immigrants in-state college tuition rates if they had graduated from a Texas high school and lived in the state for three years.
In addition to living in Texas, Wiginton has spent a lot of time in Russia. In 2007, he addressed thousands of Russian nationalists at the Russian March, which promoted Russian nationalism and attacked non-white immigration. The participants gave Nazi salutes at the march and shouted, “White power.” Shortly after this event Wiginton forged ties with Alexander Belov, an anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant nationalist in Russia. In addition, that year Wiginton spoke at an annual memorial rally in Sweden in honor of a 17-year-old neo-Nazi who was killed by non-Swedes in 2000.
Wiginton was also active in racist skinhead circles. In 2005, he attended a racist skinhead Hammerfest in Draketown, Georgia, and won the “World’s Strongest Skinhead Competition.”