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Letter to the Editor: Response to “Your DNA is an abomination”

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Don’t Close Your Eyes

Last week the Bobcat community was visibly disturbed by an opinion column in our student newspaper, The University Star. We witnessed firsthand that non-white people cannot criticize ‘whiteness’ too loudly.

In our studies, our English professors teach us to read critically, read for facts, and read for understanding. Still, several hundred students did their English professors a disservice last week.

One particularly misrepresented point is Mr. Martinez’s definition of ‘whiteness.’ Many readers took ‘whiteness’ to mean a person with white skin, despite the definition provided. At first, it is easy to assume that the subject of discussion is people with white skin. That is the lazy option. That is the ‘failure to read for comprehension’ option. Reading the column through the proper lens of ‘whiteness’ as a social construct will liberate you from the fear that Mr. Martinez is calling for “white genocide.” The bending of his words by large entertainment outlets like Fox News served to distract from the legitimate points he made.

Mr. Martinez, a student of philosophy, does write in a mildly pretentious way. That said, we are all capable of understanding his work and taking it for what it is – an opinion. Students, alumni, and donors alike shared in the fun of twisting Martinez’s words and condemned his supposed call for ‘death to white people.’ Are these college-educated adults incapable of reading at a college level?

Rather than choosing empathy and asking, “Is there truth in his words?”, ‘whiteness’ chose to use its power to silence those who oppose them.

With uncharacteristic speed, our university President Dr. Trauth used her power to publicly call Martinez’s opinion “racist.” Similarly, the student body president used his position to threaten the defunding of our school’s newspaper. Writers at the Washington Examiner, Breitbart, Turning Point USA, and Fox News all publicly shamed Martinez. ‘Whiteness’ works by silencing critics who speak too loudly.

When he chose to address a social issue and try to make this country a better place, Martinez spoke too loudly. He lost his job at the University Star as well as his job at a local small business. The exercise of someone’s first amendment right should not be met with punishment in a free country like ours. Our forefathers roll over in their graves.

‘Whiteness’ works by delegitimizing legitimate grievances and silencing critics who are given too loud of a voice. Our school personally witnessed both elements of that. If we want to grow from this, I implore you:

When ‘whiteness’ bears its true, ugly colors right in your face, don’t close your eyes.

-David Coby is a Management senior


6 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Response to “Your DNA is an abomination””

  1. Ha on December 6th, 2017 1:23 pm

    I cannot agree with this. While yes, the article was open to interpretation (as all are), no matter how many big words you try to describe it with, the issue still comes down to putting the shoe on the other foot. If (and that’s a big IF) you want to blanket cover an entire anything but cannot turn right around and use the same cover for another grouping, it is wrong.

    If you want conversation about a problem, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. This was clearly the wrong way but an inexperienced, ignorant child who has yet to experience the world or true hardship. If you want to discuss a problem then come forward with an open mind, a clear argument, and the willingness to admit at then end of the day that you may just not be right. We are so obsessed with being right that we no longer care to look at or admit facts that prove us wrong.

  2. Justin Archibald on December 6th, 2017 2:37 pm

    Apparently this author makes up new definitions of DNA and whiteness to mean something, anything other than it is because he empathises with genocidal comments on the death of white people. How very inclusive of you.

  3. Matt on December 6th, 2017 5:02 pm

    The problem with your interpretation is that Mr.Martinez defined “white” in his article when he wrote, “This column functions, however, within a different definition of whiteness: to be white in the United States is to be a descendant of those Europeans who chose to abandon their identity in search of something ‘new’ – stolen land.” This is not a social construct; this is a group of people from a specific part of the world whose ancestors made specific decisions.

    Further illustrating Mr.Martinez’s definition was the title of the article, “Your DNA is an abomination”. If, in fact, he was trying to discuss a social construct, he should have defined the term and titled his article in a manner that aligned with his discussion. This is not failure of the readers to read critically; it’s failure by Mr.Martinez to write a clear article. Or hell, he may have been very clear and been legitimately arguing that DNA from “descendants of Europeans” is an abomination, but your own bias is hindering you from seeing that.

    More than worrying about your reading comprehension and analysis, I worry about your understanding of the definition of “right”. You wrote, “The exercise of someone’s first amendment right should not be met with punishment in a free country like ours. Our forefathers roll over in their graves.” This is wholly inaccurate. A right is an entitlement to something, but it is not protection from consequences. As Americans, the first amendment protects our right to free speech, but an employer may still terminate an employee who uses that right in a way that reflects poorly on the organization. Imagine you’re a small business owner; your family’s livelihood depends on your business. An employee stands on the street corner and yells racist insults at passerbys. Do you truly want to live in a nation where you cannot separate your business from the racist employee by terminating him/her? Is a nation where punishment or consequences from action are not allowed truly free?

    I’d suggest you start by re-reading Mr.Martinez’s article, but without your biased lens. Then, I’d suggest you learn more about our constitution and the rights afforded to us. You can start by learning about free speech here- Finally, as you’re still a student, I’d recommend you learn more about employment law or the real world is going to be a rather tough reckoning.

  4. Uncle Adolph on December 7th, 2017 9:30 am

    Tomorrow Belongs To ME

  5. E. R. Bills on December 8th, 2017 9:53 pm

    I was quite impressed with Rudy Martinez’ recent column. Sure, maybe a lot went over much of the readership’s head, but–in an institution supposedly devoted to higher education–that should be what we use to refer to as “their problem.” If you really read the editorial, it’s quite insightful. Is the term inarguable too much? “Whiteness” has a lot to answer for. “Whiteness” has lot to atone for. It’s time for white fragility to go the way of the Dodo. And it’s time for white folks who comport themselves like dodos to get on the right side of history. I am not ashamed of being white, but I am uncomfortable with “whiteness.” I applaud Mr. Martinez’ column. It’s what journalism should be about. What he gets wrong is the arrival of the zombies. They’re already here. They elected Trump.

  6. Ha on December 10th, 2017 12:57 pm

    You sound like the kind of person who kisses their own ass so much that they wouldnt know common sense if it bit them right beside their own mouth…

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Letter to the Editor: Response to “Your DNA is an abomination”