The University Star retracts racist column amid nation-wide controversy

UPDATE (12.04.17): The Austin-Statesman is reporting that Texas State has formed a committee to review the procedures of The University Star.

The editorial board has not only apologized for running an opinion piece that has been called racist, they have declared the author will not be featured in the Texas State University newspaper again.

The original column is no longer available at The University Star webpage, but apparently can be found in the print edition.

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The move comes after the student body president Connor Clegg told KXAN he would seek to defund the newspaper if personnel changes are not made. In that piece he said “If the Star wishes to maintain its operations without student funding, they can do so like any other paper – by earning subscribers and selling more advertisements. There is no reason for over 39,000 students to be forced to invest their student fees towards this brand of journalism.”

It is unclear what steps Clegg would need to take to strip the paper of its university funding. According to reports he will meet with the editorial board tomorrow and announce some kind of action on Monday.

The author of the piece entitled “Your DNA is an abomination”, Rudy Martinez, told KXAN that he stands by his piece. “Let’s leave the racist attacks out of this. I don’t think my piece is racist at all. I don’t think colored people can be racist, I think racist attitudes come from a position of power,” he said.

In addition to the concerns of the student body president, the university president, Denise M. Trauth, has also spoken against the piece in a Facebook post. “While I appreciate that the Star is a forum for students to freely express their opinions, I expect student editors to exercise good judgment in determining the content that they print,” Trauth said. “The Star’s editors have apologized for the column and are examining their editorial process.”

According to reports, Martinez’s piece included the following quotes:

“The idea of whiteness and the way we currently understand it in which you have white privilege, you have our system of mass incarceration, you have a history of slavery in this country followed by Jim Crow. Mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. These are all ideas born out of whiteness; they were born out of the minds of white people. So that, I do see as an aberration,” Martinez told KXAN.

“When I think of all the white people I have ever encountered – whether they’ve been professors, peers, lovers, friend, police officers, et cetera – there is perhaps only a dozen I would consider ‘decent.’”

The piece concludes: “Whiteness will be over because we want it to be. And when it dies, there will be millions of cultural zombies aimlessly wandering across a vastly changed landscape. Ontologically speaking, white death will mean liberation for all… Until then, remember this: I hate you because you shouldn’t exist. You are both the dominant apparatus on the planet and the void in which all other cultures, upon meeting you, die.”

Not unexpectedly the column has been discussed on InfoWars, Breitbart and the Washington Examiner.

Interestingly enough, the tagline for The University Star is “Defending the First Amendment since 1911.”

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