Texas State University's student body president said he will not buckle to calls for him to step down after he condemned the campus newspaper for printing a controversial article calling for "white death."
Connor Clegg said the demand for his resignation from groups such as the Pan African Action Committee (PAAC) is "ridiculous and their justifications even more so," standing by his criticism of the University Star‘s publication last week of a column titled, "Whiteness: Your DNA is an abomination."
The author of that piece, Rudy Martinez, was fired from the Star for his piece that argued individuals aren't "born white" but "became white."
"[R]emember this: I hate you because you shouldn't exist," Martinez wrote, addressing white people directly. "You are both the dominant apparatus on the planet and the void in which all other cultures, upon meeting you, die."
Clegg has led a faction of the campus population outraged by the printing of such a piece in a student-funded paper. He has called for Star editor-in-chief Denise Cervantes and opinions editor May Olvera to be removed from their posts. Should they remain, Clegg said in a statement on Nov. 29, he will push for full divestment of student fees from the newspaper.
"There is no reason for over 39,000 students to be forced to invest their students fees towards this brand of journalism," he concluded.
An online petition calling for the paper to be defunded has garnered 1,654 signatures as of Monday.
The Star has since deleted the Martinez piece from its website and apologized, writing, "We screwed up."
For his response, Clegg has been called "openly biased and racist" on social media.
"To directly threaten a major student 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, but also a gesture of censorship reminiscent of an authoritarian regime," wrote PAAC. Clegg was further accused of having a "record of disregard for Texas State's Black and Latinx populations."
Clegg told the Washington Free Beacon that under current leadership, the Star "has continuously put to print divisive, racially charged, and extremist articles such as ones proclaiming that black people can't be racist, wealthy people shouldn't be allowed to reproduce, the First Amendment is only for white people, and a celebration of communism on its 100th anniversary."
"[Olvera] is clearly a problem for this university and I will continue to work to see that students demands are met regarding her resignation," he said.
Despite the Star‘s culture, Clegg maintained that the university at large is not in crisis, though, he added, "I think columns like this certainly can help lead us toward that unfortunate situation."
"I'm not disappointed in the decision to not pursue disciplinary action," said Clegg. "I think Rudy has a right to say what he said, no matter how ignorant his opinions are."
PAAC has warned that if Clegg insists on remaining in his position, they will seek "full divestment of all student fees from the $11,556 currently allotted for his position," and he may remain president "at no cost to the students he refuses to serve."
Clegg confirmed his salary, adding, "The reason they know this is because our budget is clearly published on our website, unlike the budget of the University Star which is funded in the same way Student Government is."