Richard Spencer Is A Texan Of The Year Finalist & The Internet Is NOT Having It
On Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News announced Richard Spencer as a "Texan of The Year" finalist, causing outrage and disagreement among residents of the state. Although certain social media users said that the designation appeared like an endorsement of the highly controversial white supremacist figure, the Dallas Morning News said it was a "recognition" of Spencer's "noxious" political impact.
The newspaper detailed several reasons for choosing Spencer as the finalist for the publication's title. It pointed to Spencer's "pernicious influence" on American politics and highlighted Spencer getting invited to university campuses to talk to students in 2017. Plus, it noted the fatal white supremacist march from August in Charlottesville, Virginia, in which Spencer participated. The Neo-Nazi march resulted in the death of one anti-racist protester, according to officials.
In addition to those reasons, the newspaper spoke of Spencer's thoughts on public image and said that the white supremacist was aware of how powerful winning the public's respect is and mainstreaming white supremacy.
For some Texans, however, the newspaper's reasoning didn't justify the designation. Some pointed to other political figures who, they believe, deserved to be "Texan of The Year." The title, the overwhelming opinion seems to be, dangerously resembles an award.
One local from Houston wrote on Twitter:
A "F*ck Dallas" hashtag was also added.
Pick Someone Else
Dallas-based Twitter user Alexis Kanter said that the publication should have picked someone else to be a finalist — sports commentator Dale Hansen, for instance.
One probable reason why Kanter picked Hansen seems to be his strong support for African American NFL players protesting police brutality. In September, Hansen said, "If you don't think white privilege is a fact, you don't understand America."
"Shame" On Dallas Morning News
Other Twitter users, like Dallas user @sachsedad, simply went straight to their point and said, "Shame on [Dallas Morning News]."
Rejecting The Title
Facebook user Alia Salem from Dallas reacted to the news with a strong reaction. The finalist title, Salem argued, was misleading and "elevate[d] evil."
Why Not To Choose Spencer
From Twitter user Jordan from Austin, Texas:
Another Texan on social media said Spencer shouldn't have been given the title because he wasn't there to support the state during the tumultuous Hurricane Harvey.
Another Dallas local tweeted an edited image of the publication's finalist announcement, replacing "Texan" with "racist" and Richard Spencer with "white supremacist."
"Fixed it for y'all," Kristian Steffany tweeted.
As one Texan wrote:
Others were just speechless.
From the looks of it, people don't care for Dallas Morning News' reasoning, no matter how neutral it might be. Men like Spencer who openly express white supremacist ideals, the internet says, shouldn't be given any spotlight, much less the title of the year.