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A very busy week on the opinion pages.
We've got an elaboration from associate editor Noah M. Horwitz on his blog post on the arrest of the football players for sexual assault.
The editorial board has also weighed in on Gov. Rick Perry's decision to send National Guard troops to the border.
In our last installment of the Postcards from Abroad series, columnist Jan Ross Piedad explores the idea of interconnectedness.
And from guest columnist Jauzey Imam, a look at a recent Palestine solidarity protest here in Austin.
Brands is editor-in-chief.
Last evening, state Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, shared a photo on her Facebook account of her holding an oversized fountain drink from Whataburger. "There's no place like home... the home of Whataburger, that is," she said, standing in Corpus Christi, where Whataburger opened its first location in 1950.
Despite the obvious problems with using corporate branding in a campaign (Whataburger proudly serves both Democrats and Republicans, and thus opted out of endorsing in the gubernatorial election), Davis caught a great deal of flak for sharing the image, namely from her own party. Many expressed concern that debate on the real topics facing Texas is being defenestrated in favor of meaningless fodder.
First things first: I think one picture of the state senator holding a cup from a restaurant that holds a very special place in my heart is a somewhat venial offense. But even if it was some type of bold shift in tone from the campaign, heading away from substance and toward personal connections, would that necessarily be a bad thing?
As a confessed political nerd, few things would make me happier in the leadup to an election than turning on my television and listening to the respective candidates' platforms being meticulously delineated and defended on air. But the world just doesn't work that way. Most people have much better things to do with their lives than care about the game of thrones, so to speak, in such excruciating detail. They want to know how a candidate is human, what he or she does for fun, and about the candidate's family. Davis' inclination toward Whataburger — whether staged or sincere — is an invaluable way of establishing a connection with the average Texan.
It struck a chord with me, and I know it did with many of my usually atypical friends. Ideally, it did for countless others as well.
Horwitz is an associate editor.
On June 21, two UT football players — Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander — allegedly sexually assaulted a young woman who Meander had met earlier in the evening at a Sixth Street bar. In documents quoted by Burnt Orange Nation and Bleacher Report, horrendous details are revealed about the players' alleged assault.
Sexual assault, sadly, is a huge problem at universities throughout the country, including the University of Texas at Austin. Studies suggest that as many as 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of a sexual assault during their time at college. The vast majority of these crimes go unreported, and even more are not prosecuted. The perpetrators, almost always serial offenders, are left unpunished to continue inflicting terror and unspeakable violence against the unwilling. Typically, the higher status of the offender, the less justice is given to the victim.
Fortunately, for the aforementioned incident, this does not look to be the case. The victim bravely reported the violence committed against her to the proper authorities. Today, prosecutors announced that both football players would be charged with sexual assault, a second degree felony in Texas which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. An additional charge of improper photography was also leveled.
Furthermore, UT football coach Charlie Strong announced that both players would be suspended indefinitely, with more severe punishments sure to come down the line if the players are found guilty of the accusations made against them.
Horwitz is an associate editor.