Originally published for The Chronicle of Higher Education.
An opinion column on race written for Texas State University’s student newspaper has drawn heavy criticism, including from Denise Trauth, the university’s president, who called it racist, reports a local TV news station.
The opinion column, titled “Your DNA Is an Abomination,” was written by Rudy Martinez for the University Star, and was meant to encourage conversation about white privilege, the author said. “Through a constant, ideological struggle in which we aim to deconstruct ‘whiteness’ and everything attached to it, we will win,” Mr. Martinez wrote. White people can start to define themselves “as something other than the oppressor.”
It was Mr. Martinez’s extreme statements, rather than his social analysis, that seemed to provoke the condemnations. “I hate you [white people] because you shouldn’t exist,” he wrote. Mr. Martinez also said he had met only about a dozen white people whom he considered “decent.” He also wrote: “Ontologically speaking, white death will mean liberation for all.”
Ms. Trauth said the “column’s central theme was abhorrent.” Connor Clegg, the university’s student-body president, said on Facebook, “This poor excuse for journalism is no accurate representation of this university.”
Although Mr. Martinez has received heavy criticism, he said in an interview with The College Fix that the article had “accomplished its goal: starting a conversation and outing racists.”
The debate over Mr. Martinez’s column has taken place against a backdrop of other racial tension at Texas State in recent months. On October 19, racist fliers appeared around the campus with sayings like “A state absent its duty is illegitimate,” depicting Jews, Muslims, and Communists as vultures on the U.S. Capitol building. Many posters had “blood and soil” written on them, a common phrase in Nazi propaganda. A week later a banner was put up at the university’s library saying “America is a white nation.”