Student op-ed calls white people 'an abomination'
- Texas State University’s student newspaper published an op-ed Tuesday telling “white people” that “your DNA is an abomination.”
- The op-ed generated intense criticism from readers who felt that it was simply designed to inflame racial tensions and should have raised red flags for the paper's editors.
Texas State University’s student newspaper published an op-ed Tuesday telling “white people” that “your DNA is an abomination.”
“When I think of all the white people I’ve ever encountered—whether they’ve been professors, peers, lovers, friends, police officers, et cetera—there is perhaps only a dozen I would consider ‘decent,’” student columnist Rudy Martinez begins the op-ed, which The University Star has not posted on its website.
The piece documents Martinez’s personal opinion of “whiteness” and “white people,” which he defines to include anyone who is “a descendant of those Europeans who chose to abandon their identity in search of something ‘new’—stolen land.”
Contending that racial categories “are used to subjugate non-white people,” Martinez complains that “in Texas, a bizarre state I have now inhabited for four years, I continuously meet individuals that either deny the existence of white privilege or fail to do something productive with it.”
Addressing white classmates, he asserts that “you were not born white,” but rather “became white” and “actively remain white” through “allegiance to a country that was never great.”
Martinez then warns white people that “the oppressive world you have built...is coming apart at the seams,” describing Donald Trump as the last gasp of white supremacy.
“Through the current political climate, in which a white supremacist inhabits the White House and those of his ilk would try to prove otherwise, I see white people as an aberration,” he declares. “Through a constant, ideological struggle in which we aim to deconstruct ‘whiteness’ and everything attached to it, we will win.”
Until then, however, Martinez offers one final message for white people.
“Remember this: I hate you because you shouldn’t exist,” he concludes. “You are both the dominant apparatus on the planet and the void in which all other cultures, upon meeting you, die.”
Student Body President Connor Clegg told Campus Reform that he believes the article is an “embarrassment” to his school.
“I'm the first person who will stand up for the First Amendment any day of the week,” he said, “but when students are required to pay into a school paper like this which espouses these racist views, then I certainly think some action needs to be taken against this so-called reporter/columnist.”
Clegg also pointed out that the editors of the Star share accountability for publishing the op-ed, suggesting they should have exercised more discretion before deciding to run it.
“Ultimately, editors are the gatekeepers who have final say over these things so we need to look at that as well,” he argued. “I mean the rhetoric sounded like something that would come out of Hitler's mouth—not to be extreme but it's undeniable. ‘I hate you because you shouldn't exist?’ I mean come on. Whoever let that type of material get published should certainly be looked at.”
The Star’s Editor-in-Chief, Denise Cervantes, addressed that line of reasoning in an editor’s note published on the paper’s website Tuesday night, though as of press time there was still no digital version of the original op-ed.
“The University Star’s opinion pages are a forum for students to express and debate ideas,” Cervantes noted. “While our publication does not endorse every opinion put forth by student columnists or guest contributors, as the editor I take responsibility for what is printed on our pages.”
While he acknowledged that the op-ed had generated “widespread criticism” from readers, including “many expressing that they find the author’s ideas to be racist,” Cervantes sought to portray the matter as a misunderstanding.
“The original intent of the column was to comment on the idea of race and racial identities. We acknowledge that the column could have been clearer in its message and that it has caused hurt within our campus community,” the editor’s note concluded. “We apologize and hope that we can move forward to a place of productive dialogue on ways to bring our community together.”
Not all students accept that argument, however, saying it should have been clear to the editors from the outset that the piece was intended primarily as a racial provocation.
Savannah Gabrielle, a Latina student and Turning Point USA member, told Campus Reform that she “couldn't believe that my university, [which] supposedly supports different cultures and races, actually published that in the newspaper,” saying, “I feel like the writer wrote it in order to gain recognition and hopefully create a resistance to the ‘white race,’ but what he ultimately created was the beginnings of another Hitler.”
Texas State student Andrew Homann, a former chief of staff for the Texas Federation of College Republicans who once served as Texas State Student Body President, offered a similar assessment, drawing a distinction between the author’s right to freely express his views and the newspaper’s right to exercise editorial discretion.
“I am saddened by the fact that The University Star, my school’s paper funded by tuition and tax dollars, would give a platform to racism, bigotry and hatred,” he told Campus Reform. “While this individual has every right to express his disgusting world-view, this rhetoric does not belong in any publication, anywhere.”
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan