QUOTE OF THE DAY


“I don’t really care what he thinks. That’s what I think.”

—Rick Perry to the Huffington Post. Perry brushed off criticism from U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who had recently warned his fellow Republicans not to focus on hacked emails released by WikiLeaks. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a guy who did a line dance in a bedazzled cowboy suit on national television doesn’t care what other people think.


BIG NEWS


     Ronald Martinez/Getty

       

Ronald Martinez/Getty

Title IX Trouble
Baylor is officially under investigation by the federal government for its alleged mishandling of sexual assault cases. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights opened the investigation after receiving a complaint from Baylor’s former Title IX coordinator Patty Crawford, who recently quit and then accused university officials of resisting her efforts to properly handle sexual assault allegations. According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, Baylor interim President David Garland sent a letter to the Office of Civil Rights assuring investigators that the university will cooperate, and said in a statement that “Should the OCR identify additional areas of improvement, we will work on those immediately. We are whole-heartedly committed to cultivating a safe and supportive environment for all members of the Baylor community.” The university had previously hired a law firm to investigate the sexual assault scandal, which resulted in recommendations that Baylor officials have said they have been working to implement, as well as a personnel shake-up in the athletics department and among top university officials. But there’s a different set of issues Baylor could face under federal investigation. According to the Texas Tribune, the Department of Education can stop federal funding to universities, “a potentially crippling blow to schools that collect millions of tuition dollars from students who receive federal grants and loans,” though it has never handed out such a stiff penalty. It could be a long time before we know the results of this investigation. As the Texas Tribune notes, these probes can take years to complete, and the department has open investigations dating back as far as 2013.


MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS


Wall Talk
The Washington Post has a visually stunning feature focused on the expansive area along the U.S-Mexico border that examines the potential effects Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed wall could have, and questioning whether it’s even possible to build such a structure in the first place. As the Post notes, most of Texas’s border follows the Rio Grande and is currently unfenced. “Barrier construction in this area would be difficult because of the region’s isolation and rough terrain,” the Post writes. “The federal government owns very little land in Texas, so a bigger fence would require the use of private land, adding to the legal and logistical challenges.” Plus, the Rio Grande is a “natural feature,” not a “man-made boundary,” so any potential wall would need to adapt to things like erosion, floods, and dried-up riverbeds. The Post also interviewed border residents who said a wall would fence off farmland, slice apart wildlife sanctuaries, and negatively impact businesses along the border that rely on customers from Mexico.

Texas Tragedy
Police in Chambers County have arrested a fourteen-year-old boy and charged him with the murder of his 72-year-old grandparents. According to the Houston Chronicle, a sheriff’s deputy found the elderly couple in bed, each with one gunshot wound in the back of the head. The boy had apparently been at home alone with their bodies since Sunday. It’s a puzzling crime, because there’s no clear motive yet, and the Chambers County Sheriff said the boy “showed no emotion” and did not confess during an interview. According to the Chronicle, an uncle of the teenager said that he is autistic (his name hasn’t been released because he’s a minor). Chambers County is mostly rural, with a population of 35,000. It averages about one murder per year, and the sheriff said this one has “rocked” the county. The fourteen-year-old faces two counts of capital murder, and prosecutors will decide whether to try him as an adult.

Crazy Corn
A Dallas elote stand has been accused of racism and cultural appropriation. The Dallas Observer has the details of this bizarre story: community organizer Luz Hernandez called for a boycott of the elote stand, Corn Connection, which she called a “Columbusing ass company,” claiming it sells a “white-washed, hipsterized version” of the corn product. Hernandez also discovered some racially insensitive social media posts on accounts associated with Corn Connection. One Instagram post read: “Elotes with swag. Buy them from the G’s who let the candy drip, Or I guess you could buy them from some roachin’ ass cart in front of Home Depot.” The owner of Corn Connection, a white man named Miles (he wanted to keep his last name out of the story, according to the Observer), denied the allegations of racism and admitted he’s completely ignorant to the concept of cultural appropriation. “I don’t even know what that is, to be honest with you,” Miles told the Observer, before describing how he grew up enjoying food from carts and decided to buy one and try it himself. Meanwhile, a former Corn Connection employee wrote a nasty note on Instagram to Hernandez, saying, “I hope you choke on an elote and die.” Elote insanity!


WHAT WE’RE READING


If college football athletes were paid what they’re worth, the University of Texas at Austin’s players would make $671,173 on average Business Insider

Trippy, horrific archival footage of a young Bill O’Reilly interviewing a fourteen-year-old Jeff Dunham (and his ventriloquist dummy) for a Dallas TV station Dallas Observer

Mark Cuban went off on Rudy Giuliani before Wednesday night’s presidential debate CNN

A fourteen-year-old girl in Killeen starts for her school’s eighth grade football team KWTX

Texas A&M’s debate team went to prison to face-off against an inmate debate squad KBTX