Racially inflammatory article prompts review at Texas State
The Director of Journalism and Mass Communication said a special review committee has been formed to look at the editorial process at the University Star newspaper.
The review comes after a racially inflammatory article was published Tuesday. The paper is run independently from the university, although there is a faculty advisor. A list of recommendations from the committee is expected sometime during the spring semester.
Students at Texas State, like at most universities, pay a fee that helps fund the campus newspaper.
Student Body President, Connor Clegg, suggested that could end because of a controversial article published in the University Star. "Well I don't think anybody really wants to defund the Star but if we can't get, transparency and accountability, that student dollars are forced to go to, then we should look at funding options,” Clegg.
The article Clegg and many others on campus are upset about was published Tuesday. University Star Opinions Columnist Rudy Martinez wrote about his views on White Privilege in an article titled; “Your DNA is an abomination.”
"It seem like rhetoric that was more fitting in the 1930's, 1940's Germany and not Central Texas in 2017, it was very disturbing,” said Clegg.
Martinez, throughout his article expressed his hate for the white race and longed for its end. "White death will mean liberation for all," Martinez wrote adding that whites should "accept this death as the first step toward defining yourself as something other than the oppressor."
He ended his article stating, “Remember this: I hate you because you should'nt exist.
Students who spoke to FOX 7 were shocked and dismayed about the article.
"I encourage people to talk about it but I feel the language used in the article, is especially concerning,” said Texas State Junior Kelsey Fornea.
Some students, like Destiny Whitaker struggled with the message and the personal right to speak out. "It’s a problem, its hate speech but it freedom of speech, that’s his right. ...that's how I feel that's his right,” said Whitaker.
Sophomore Jacob Matteck challenged the editorial staff at the paper to look at the hypocrisy of the decision to publish a Hate Speech article. "I mean should we allow a white student to say the same thing about a black student, the African American Student body, and have that published in the newspaper without repercussions like this?"
Rudy Martinez was fired from the paper- but he is not facing any disciplinary action by the university according to a spokesperson. The president of Texas State, Denise Trauth, did condemn the article and the editors at the University Star issued an apology that stated;
"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,” wrote Editor-in-chief Denise Cervantes.
While administrators at Texas State like to promote the university as an open minded community, over the past few years there have been several racially charged incidents.
There have been protests against President Trump and sanctuary city bans.
Students held up banners and chanted; “Make Texas Mexico again.” On the other extreme, white supremacists, on more than one occasion, have distributed fliers on campus, prompting police investigations.
All the noise, according to Connor Cleg, needs to dial down. "This type of destructive and divisive dialog is not the best Texas State has to offer, and I think people need to realize, when you move too far to either side, you can't have any constructive conversation,” said Clegg.