A Texas college student newspaper says it has fired the author of an anti-white “Your DNA is an abomination” column that has sparked an all-out backlash on campus, including a threat of defunding from the student body’s president and calls for editors to resign.
The column, which ran in Tuesday’s edition of “The University Star” at Texas State University, called white people “an aberration” and accused them of being oppressors who “shouldn’t exist.”
“As editors, we allowed a hateful column to be published and hurt our community that deserves better,” the newspaper’s editorial board said in a statement Thursday, adding that “we screwed up.
“Texas State is a place where every student should feel safe learning and growing,” it said.
The president of the university, based in San Marcos, had said she was “deeply troubled by the racist opinion column."
“The column’s central theme was abhorrent and is contrary to the core values of inclusion and unity that our Bobcat students, faculty, and staff hold dear,” she said in a message to the campus community. “As president of a university that celebrates its inclusive culture, I detest racism in any manifestation.”
In addition to stating “white death will mean liberation for all,” the controversial article’s author, Rudy Martinez, also wrote in the column that whiteness is “a construct used to perpetuate a system of racist power.”
“Whiteness will be over because we want it to be,” Martinez wrote. “And when it dies, there will be millions of cultural zombies aimlessly wandering across a vastly changed landscape.”
Martinez, a philosophy major, said in a past article he was one of the more than 200 people who was arrested on Jan. 20 protesting “the inauguration of proto-fascist Donald Trump.”
But his latest column will be his last for the newspaper, its editors said.
“We fully acknowledge the repercussions of our actions in allowing for such an incendiary and divisive column to make it into print,” the editorial board said. “We were unequivocally wrong in printing it. It was neither constructive nor appropriate.”
The editors say they have received hate mail and death threats over publishing the article and are working on creating “more rigorous guidelines that all content must meet in order to be published” and “methods of oversight to make sure that all content is more critically edited.”
They also appear to be fighting off calls for resignation from the university’s student body president, who demanded in a letter that the paper's editor-in-chief and opinions editor step down.
“These individuals knowingly allowed divisive, racist material to stain the reputation of this great University,” Connor Clegg wrote.
“Should these individuals choose not to resign, I will be calling for an emergency meeting of the Student Service Fee Committee to reevaluate the paper’s funding and call for a full divestment of student fees from the Star,” he added.
“There is no reason for over 39,000 students to be forced to invest their student fees towards this brand of journalism.”
Clegg in turn was blasted, and called on to resign himself by the university’s Pan African Action Committee, a student organization which describes itself on Twitter as being for the “foundation of a Black Diaspora studies department and the growth of the #TXST intellectual community.”
“To directly threaten a major publication because of the content of an opinions piece that Clegg happens to disagree with is not only a threat to constitutional free speech as we know it, but also a gesture of censorship reminiscent of an authoritarian regime,” it said in a statement posted on Twitter.
It added Clegg was “unfit to serve” and that if he does “not resign out of respect for the Texas State community, we will take our grievances to the Dean of Students and ask for full divestment of all student fees from the $11,556 currently allotted for his position.”
More students and community members will make their voices heard in the paper’s next issue, in which its editors said it will publish letters sent to them in regards to the column.