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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (July 24, 1984)
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The media sure have a way of screwing
things up. Here's this woman from New York
(gad, it's 1984, and everybody's still from Cali
fornia or New York), who is suddenly running
fcr vice president. Like anything new and dif
ferent, people are a bit skeptical. They dont
want to look dumb, and yet they dont want to
offend anyone. And they don't want to do the
wrong thing. So with Gerry Ferraro, reporters
started from the bottom up, with simple,
While playing network roulette last Wed
nesday, Gerry learned how to repeat herself on
national television. Can you memorize "What's
good for the goose is good for the gander?" And
say it three times, fast." (That's a strange
answer to aquestion about abortion, too.) Fun,
fun. Just like the fun Dan, Tom and Peter had
trying to figure out how to deal with Gerry the
Woman. Bring the kid gloves out. of hiding,
boys. You can't be too nice.
If Gerry were a man, would we be able to
read her life story, told by her 78-year-old
mother, Antonetta, as a national gossip maga
zine's cover story this week?
Would people really care how much the Fer
raros spend on groceries, would photographers
and reporters follow them down the aisles, if
she were a man?
Would we care where she shops, what she
wears or who does her hair if she wqre a man?
Columnists like the Denver Post'3 Woody
Paige definitely wouldn't make tongue-in-cheek
references to Ferraro's "greet" l?p. If she were
a he, guys like Paige wouldn't ask, "Docs the
country go to hell during that time of the
A female vice-presidential candidate doesn't
have to be a big deaL
Ferraro claims to be a housewife, and prcud
of it. A housewife with a law degree and a
member of Congress for nearly five years, but
mom with kids and the whole bit, nonetheless.
But if Ferraro were truly qualified to be
elected as vice president and ultimately run
this country, if Walter Mondale Were incapaci
tated Rather and Brokaw and Jenning3 and
all the rest would debate the validity of her
qualifications. But instead, we read and hear
about the trivial aspects of her life. Reporters
ask her generic questions (about abortion,
religion and debating George Bush). The Demo
crats haven't solidified their stand in njany
areas; they'd hate to run into conflicting state
ments from Gerry and others. She simply
hasn't been fully briefed yet. Why is the press
being so nice? It looks like this candidate has
been around politics long enough.
Replace all the "she's" herein with "he's" and
this whole thing would sound pretty silly.
ales usurp potential of woman VP
The selection of Rep. Geraldine Ferraro of New
York as Democratic vice-presidential candidate has
been a highlit in the news as of late. Columnists,
political experts and many others say the selection
is "the right one" thst the. Democrats are "m?kb.g
history." They say that in all of this, somehow, the
selection of this talented female is going to make
things better for "all minorities."
But "history is best qualified to reward all re
search." When people study the origin of things, they
find out how things came to be as they are today. In
doing this, people move beyond the emotion of the
moment and can then reasonably ascertain exactly
The selection of Geraldine Ferraro will change
absolutely nothing for black people. I need only cite
the .following examples in- order to demonstrate
that my assessment is rooted in the actual, not the
First of all, Ferraro's gender is supposed to
represent some kind of sui generis solution to all of
the problems that minorities in this country face.
Somehow, in selecting her, the warped logic con
cludes that this is striking a blow for freedom, gay
rights and black, Hispanic and Native American
People must look at reality. Reality is that yes, the
position of vice president has been a "white males
only" arena. But in selecting a woman for the spot,
does this really change the impact that the govern
ment will have vis-a-vis this nation's oppressed?
No. On the contrary, when females step into those
positions that have been traditionally male, they
must, indeed act more male than their predecessors
in order to justify their role in those positions.
Hence, the white female police officer is sometimes
more brutal than her male counterpart. Thi3 is
because both have the welfare and future of their
system in mind.
Look at history for a moment: are people foolish
enough to believe that the white male, the perennial
scapegoat for our cries of racism and discrimination,
created this du&listic system all on his own? Sre, he
might, have created the institutional arrangements
and the technologically oriented conditions, but he
did not work alone. On the contrary, his "ether half
was right there beside him. Her silence endorsed his
act and in many cases, she wasn't all that silent.
Note, also, how the white woman became a
"minority" almost overnight And note whom the
white male selects when he needs an affirmative
action officer or a minority specialist. He entrusts
the white woman with the reins of domination in
those spheres where racial minorities must be
addressed. Then we foolishly believe that she is
somehow going to be a champion of our cause when,
really, she has always been as much a part of our
subjugation as he is.
Sexist though it may be, the fact of the matter still
remains that she nurtures the children. She was and
is in the perfect position to "de-racicize her young.
But as we know, racism continues, and it would be
both foolish and futile to blame institutions when, as
we know, "charity begins at home."
Black people have a proclivity to embrace those
who have also felt the sting of the lash. There is no
doubt that women in this society have been dogged,
degraded and denied. But people must look at
where the initial commitment of other oppressed
persons lie, and then judge from there. The white
female, in my viewpoint, has the potential to be a
liberating force. But that potential is being usurped
by her mate in an attempt to solidify the white
supremacist structure. In fight of this, she becomes
no more than a set cf reactions to him.
If Mondale wins the November election, people
will see that Geraldine Ferraro is no exception. She
will have to show her constituents and her cronies
that she is "just as qualified as any man is." And in
doing so, we need only recall what the men in
government have done for people of color. I think
the rest of the equation is self-explanatory.
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v.ry iir.port.'xrt i:ziz lit Ct j2Ln:r". tj, rrJ
especiaJIy black jo.imts x-ho rt;c';.T trf,
than 8 percent cf c3 rtpitrs b Uil 1 ;:;:rra
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes britf 'letters to the'
editor from alt readers and interested ethers.
Letters will be selected far puhlieation on the
basis cf clarity, originality, timeliness and space
available. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit all material submitted.
Readers also are welcome to submit material as
guest opinions. Whether material should run cs a
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Letters and guest opinions sent to the newspaper
become property of the Daily Nebraskan and can
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Submit material to the Daily Nebraska.'
rasha Union, 1400 R St, Lincoln, Neb. 68583-&H8.
Tim crucial question ir D rrincrity jjuja
a!:sts have an irtha trit ccsyxutasftt to tfcsir
, people and their pcrs;--Eefe first, cr c ternjrii
mcr.t to bcira "elective" firt?
TLo Eral.y-T;,: si:.-jic;i -?,cns
cf the predion ?rtDth'tt!ic!; j '-uit . il:,
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quectiens to th? ctory --r.i ! .-:.rt
warccs &o tl"4ey da::t rcm to to f c:!: cr.:y cr
these sources. To prove tl.rv lto C.zir: a "jsod
job t!ackjcumc.:t3 trccf ether t!:cl3 rrre
hsrshly and unjastry thaa they do noa-blaeks.
. Leadership is divided on the answer to this
dilemma. Minister Louis Fsrrahan seems to
believe that black reporters are "black first and
reporters second." lie says since bsir.3 blnck is
t,:' u;;i:--.tc realty, tL.cn tl.i is v;!.sre
On the ct!.- r hand, E; - t V- ;i3 r.r.'u I ::;:.g:i
Cc.:nr,n s:.y they tci::v I. - r'.na
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Tuesday. July 24 1954
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