Five stories that have North Texas talking: the Longhorns fired and replaced Charlie Strong; the San Antonio Four were exonerated; the Texas Law Hawk released a new Christmas ad; and more.
Alumni from St. Mark’s School of Texas have repudiated Class of 1997 graduate and white nationalist, Richard Spencer. Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think-tank, made headlines last week when a video surfaced of him embracing Nazi language at an event in Washington, D.C., the Texas Tribune reports.
In response, Ben Kusin, a member of Spencer’s high school class, posted on Facebook Friday denouncing Spencer and calling on alumni to donate to the International Rescue Committee. As of Monday morning, almost $45,000 has been raised in the online campaign.
David Dini, headmaster at the elite Dallas private school also issued a statement regarding Spencer. The Associated Press reports: “Without referring to Spencer by name, Dini said his activities have been 'deeply troubling and terribly upsetting to our whole school community. We reject racism and bigotry in all its forms and expressions.'"
Spencer is scheduled to speak on the Texas A&M University campus in December. The university said it had no role in inviting him, and that his views violate "our core values," the Tribune reports. [The Texas Tribune, The Associated Press]
- After 22 years, the San Antonio Four were officially exonerated the day before Thanksgiving. Elizabeth Ramirez, Anna Vasquez, Kristie Mayhugh, and Cassandra Rivera spent more than 15 years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit. Texas Monthly reports: Ramirez’s two nieces, then 7 and 9, accused all four women of a bizarre sexual assault that even spurred talk of Satanism.” Scientific evidence, inconsistencies in the nieces’ accounts, and “the fact that a well-known expert who conducts psychosexual examinations for the state determined that she would not be able to treat the women as they were not sex offenders,” all contributed to declaring the women innocent. [Texas Monthly]
- Fort Worth lawyer Bryan Wilson, also known as the Texas Law Hawk, has released a new Christmas-themed ad. Wilson has built a Super Bowl-sized reputation for the campy commercials he dreams up for his law practice. Each video is special in its own way, but Wilson has produced so many at this point, he’s established a recognizable aesthetic (i.e. screeching hawks and explosions galore). Read more about the self-proclaimed Texas Law Hawk and watch the new ad below. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
- After Friday’s upset against TCU, Longhorns coach Charlie Strong was fired. The Longhorns finished the 2016 season with a 5-7 record, and Strong had a record of 16-21 in his three seasons as head coach. The Texas Tribune reports: “Since the former head coach still has two years left on his $5 million-a-year contract and there’s no buyout in place, he’ll likely be owed the full $10 million even though he won’t coach the next two seasons, according to a copy of the contract.” Tom Herman will be his replacement. [The Texas Tribune]
- Lower Greenville’s last remaining live theater will be closing its doors after its current season. Housed in a former church built in the 1930s, the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas was founded 14 years ago by artistic director and actor Sue Loncar. Art&Seek reports that the surrounding neighborhood has undergone a real estate revival, and because of that, managing director Miki Bone says the church facility “has attracted a great deal of interest…as a valuable commercial property.” Three stand-up comedy and improv events remain on the schedule through Dec. 17. [Art&Seek]