Texas State forms review committee to examine student newspaper after ‘hateful’ column

The director of Texas State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication has formed a review committee to examine the operations of the school’s student newspaper after a “hateful” opinion column sparked nationwide outcry.

The piece ran under the headline “Your DNA is an abomination” — which also happens to be a Kendrick Lamar lyric — and railed against “whiteness,” condemning white privilege and criticizing those who deny they have any sort of leg up because of their race.

It also appeared with a graphic with the words “WHITE IS OVER! IF YOU WANT IT,” and an intro from the writer that said of all the white people he’s met “whether they’ve been professors, peers, lovers, friends, police officers, et cetera — there is perhaps only a dozen I would consider ‘decent.’”

Leaders of the newspaper apologized for the article as it began steamrolling across social media and made its way onto news programs, saying “We screwed up,” and announcing that the writer, Texas State Junior Rudy Martinez, has been canned.

University President Denise M. Trauth also issued a statement saying she was “deeply troubled by the article, which came at the tail end of a semester during which white supremacist flyers have been posted on campus on numerous occasions.

“This review committee will examine the newspaper's operations and will include University Star alumni, student editorial and professional staff, industry professionals and faculty,” said SJMC Director Judy Oskam. “We expect to receive recommendations from the review committee in spring 2018, and I plan to report on the review committee’s progress throughout its process.”

Oskam said her initial review showed that the student editorial process at the paper had not been followed, and that it was appropriate to look at the process to see how it could be better.

“At the same time, it’s essential to recognize that independent student-run publications such as The University Star operate under the same constitutional protections afforded to other newspapers,” she said.

Click here to read the full statement from Oskam.

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