Editorial in Texas State student newspaper condemned as ‘racist’

The University Star published the article, "Your DNA is an abomination," written by Rudy Martinez on Nov. 28, 2017. (KXAN Photo)
The University Star published the article, "Your DNA is an abomination," written by Rudy Martinez on Nov. 28, 2017. (KXAN Photo)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) – An article published in the Texas State University student-run newspaper is creating quite a buzz on campus and online. Many are calling the opinion piece, titled “Your DNA is an abomination,” blatant racism.

The author, Rudy Martinez, starts the article by saying he has only met a dozen white people he would consider “decent.” He continues by touching on white privilege and how white people don’t have to worry when pulled over by police officers.

“I see white people as an aberration,” Martinez wrote in the paper. The sentence is easily taken to mean that he doesn’t welcome white people; however, he says he’s talking about an ideology.

“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.

Rudy Martinez (KXAN Photo)
Rudy Martinez (KXAN Photo)

Martinez says he grew up in Miami and for the first two decades of his life he never had any interaction with white people. “It wasn’t until I moved to Texas four years ago that I had my initial interaction with white people. I guess you could say that I’m still suffering from cultural shock,” he said.

Martinez ended his article in the paper by writing, “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.”

In a Facebook post, the university’s president, Denise M. Trauth, condemned Martinez’s “racist opinion column,” calling the central theme of the piece “abhorrent” and contrary to the university’s values.

“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, adding that the newspaper’s editors are examining their editorial process.

Martinez stands behind his article. “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.

Although the papers are still being distributed around campus, The University Star has removed the online version and issued this apology:

“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. We apologize and hope that we can move forward to a place of productive dialogue on ways to bring our community together.”

The University Star published the article, "Your DNA is an abomination," written by Rudy Martinez on Nov. 28, 2017. (KXAN Photo)
The University Star published the article, “Your DNA is an abomination,” written by Rudy Martinez on Nov. 28, 2017. (KXAN Photo)

Tuesday night, Texas State students took to social media, many claiming the article divides students. One of the most outspoken students on the article is the student body president.

“He said he hates all white people, if that’s not blatant racism I don’t know what is. It’s something that serves to divide the campus community and I find it incredibly offensive that this was allowed to be published,” said Student Body President Connor Clegg. “There’s a way to tell people to be open with their mindset without explicitly writing that you hate them. They can’t hide behind the first amendment when we are all supporting them financially.”

Martinez says he’s talked with the leadership at the University Star, who will determine if he can remain on the staff in the coming days.

“To save face as a publication, we need to throw someone under the bus and I guess the most appropriate person to throw under the bus is not the editor who allowed this to run but more so the person who wrote this piece, so that would basically end my six month stint at the University Star,” said Martinez.

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