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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 20, 1984)
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President Reagan's agricultural
relief plan, announced Tuesday by can
didate Reagan, helps farmers, but not
The four-point plan will use $630 mil
lion already appropriated by Congress in
federal loan guarantees to help farmers
in serious financial trouble. The plan will:
Defer up to one-fourth of a farmer's
loan payments to Farmer's Home Admin
istration for five years. The current def
erment limit is three years.
Use the $630 million to guarantee
loans banks rewrite to help farmers pay
off existing loans. Banks will have to write
off 10 percent of the debt before the
government will guarantee repayment of
the remaining 90 percent.
Hire 1gc&1 experts to help the FmHA
plan ways for farmers to work out of debt.
Encourage banks to process paper
work for the FmHA guaranteed loans,
cutting down on. government interfer
ence. To the plan's credit, it will help some
farmers get out of debt. It is also specific,
something J.J. Exon and his cronies cant
claim about a $650 million alleged plan in
front of Congress at th3 moment.
Neither Reagan's plan nor the phan
tom plan Exon supports address the
huge debts farmers in this country face.
Paul Gessarnan, a professor of agricul
tural economics at UNI, said U. farmers
have $215 billion in debts. Of that total,
Gessarnan figured that $20 to $40 billion
are debts held by farmers considered to
be in serious trouble.
From that it's easy to guess that neither
$630 nor $650 million is going to make
much of a dent.
Alan Dunlap, president of the Farmers
and Merchants Bank of Miiford, told the
Lincoln Star that Nebraska alone could
use half of the President's available
Private lenders the country's rural
banks for the most part also are going
to take a dive under Reagan's program.
They will have to swallow 10 percent of
every farmer's debt before they can regain
the rest of the payment from the FmHA.
The government comes out the better
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in this exchange while Reagan's baby, the
private sector, takes it in the shorts.
America's farmers have existed on bor
rowed money far too long. Congress cant
seem to agree on a way to help farmers
more permanently. Unless someone can
guarantee that farmers get fair prices for
what they produce, our farm debts wont
go away. '
Too little? Most definitely. Too late?
Well . . . ,
Reagan's move, obviously, is politically
motivated. He is scheduled to campaign
in rural Iowa for the next few days.
Ironically, many farmers will not con
sider the plan that important. Too many
already have been forced out of business.
Too many know that $830 million is just
Reagan's political move will work for
him in the non-agricultural sector. Peo
ple wanting to be sympathetic with our
country's food producers will interpret
the President's program as major help for
It will help, but the plan bnt major.
DfiiSy Nefcrxsksa CLtSt Editor
All right readers, we're going to have a
little quiz. You know the routine: take out
a clean sheet of paper and a No. 2 pencil.
Now, one of you, give me your hand
how 'bout you with the coffee? That's fine,
turn your palm up. Here's $20 out of the
goodness of my wallet. Go crazy. Wait a
fjj " ames A.
' . Fussell
minute, I changed my mind, give me my
$20 back. Question 1 What am I? Ahh,
that's right, I'm an Indian giver, aren't I?
Now, everyone sit on the floor. Put a
stern look on your face. Cross your legs,
fold your arras out in front of you and
remain perfectly still Question 2 What
are you doing? Right again, you're sitting
Indian style say, you've been practicing.
Question 3 Complete this song: One
little, two little blank blank blank. Three
little Indians, sure. But that was an easy
one wasn't it?
Question 4 Who discovered Amer
ica? A. Christopher Columbus; B. Magel
lan; C, Standard Oil of Indiana; D. Time
Life Books. Columbus, of course. YouVe
read your history, by gum. The quiz is
over. Add up your score and pass it to the
Congratulations, you just fi?jnked the
Indian sensitivity test. You and a million
others. It's an easy thing to do heck, I
woukfve flanked it myself a ccupk of
This is as good a time as any to do away
with your Indian stereotypes. Next Men
day, Sept 24, is Nebraska American Indian
Day a day in recognition of American
Indians and their contributions.
. To my thinking, the best way to honor
the American Indians is to honor them
with respect 1 recently asked Becky Beane,
a teacher at First Plymouth Preschool
and an Indian woman of Creek ancestry,
what could be done to show more respect
to native Americans. Her response? "Be
sensitive." Simple enough isn't it? Why
cant we be more sensitive?
The woman who leads the tours at the
Omaha Children's Museum should be
more sensitive. At one point in her tour,
she said, "Let's all be Indians."
No, no, no. You can play a fireman, a
football player or a policeman, but you
can't play an Indian. You're born an
Indian. The woman might as well have
asked the children to pretend to be black
Also ludicrous was an article in the
Lincoln Star last year around Halloween
advising parents how to send their child
ren out as made-up Indians. No thank
you. C'mon folks, this is in bad taste.
Would you dress your child in black robes
and a beanie and send him out with Old
Testament as an Orthodox Jew? Sensitiv
ity is more than a word.
But our insensitivity runs deep. Many
of us are insensitive to native Americans
without even realizing it. For example,
I'm not sure Minnegasco realises that
their cute little blue Indian trademark
with a flame for a feather is insulting to
many native Americans. Feathers are
often religious articles for native Ameri
cans. Certainly nothing to be cute with on
an advertisement logo.
-But let's not single out Minnegasco;.
hurtful Indian stereotypes are everywhere.
in to Indians runs deev
Thanksgiving greeting cards and store
displays sport insulting pictures of
scantily clad native Americans. Boy Scout
and YMCA programs present an unreal
istic and out-dated view of the American
Indian. If that's not enough, along come
the tasteless cartoons about Injun Joe,
innane westerns and unenlightened re
runs of Brady Bunch mentality to serve
up pseudo-Indians who mug for the
camera and say "Uggh." My sentiments
exactly. Uggh. . - " - :
The time has come to bring the Indian
out of the western and into the modern
world with the rest of us. But that's now
easy given our stereotypes. Many Lincoln
elementary schools have an evaluation
test question that asks children to give a
term for an Indian home. They want the
child to say tepee. How come I want him
to say split-level?
Unfortunately, the stereotyping doesnt
end there. Above many elementary school
blackboards run alphabetical picture
cards to help children learn their letters.
A, of course, is for apple, B is for bear and
so on. But I is for Indian. Why is the
Indian the only human on these cards?
Why isnt G for German., or J for Jew, or S
for Spaniard? Ill tell you why. Because
Indians traditionally are treated more as
non-human symbols, rather than
Beans has a picture of her husband's
grandfather in ml! headdress. The syra
' bolisra is strong he was an Indian. But
she will remind you that he was also a
farmer and a minister. His job .was no
being an Indian.
Once, when Beane went to speak at a
Lincoln- elemsntary school, a child was
crying when she heard an Indian was
coming. She wasn't so afraid, however,
when she saw that the Indian was Becky
You see, Beane doesnt look like an
Indian is supposed to look. She says she
has Indian friends with red hair and
green eyes. Anyway, she tells of the time
in a beauty shop where the hairdresser
learned that Beane's husband, Sid, is the
director of the Indian Center. Incredu
lously, she looked at Beane and said,
"You're married to an Indian? YouVe
really got to be careful, dont you?"
Continued en Page 6
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