The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 15, 1989, Page 4, Image 4

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I Nebraskan
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Curt Wagner, Editor. 472-1766
Amy Edwards, Editorial Page Editor
Jane Hirt, Managing Editor
Lee Rood, Associate News Editor
Diana Johnson, Wire Page Editor
Chuck Green, Copy Desk Chief
Lisa Donovan, Columnist
Stopping brain drain
Plan would help students get to college
r«he Nebraska Legislature advanced a bill Thursday
8 that would allow Nebraskans to deposit up to $2,000 j
# year in a federally insured financial institution
without having to pay taxes on that money.
the Nebraska College Savings Plan Act, would
mike the tax-free savings available to Nebraskans when
they enter private, state or technical colleges as full-time
That’s good news.
State Sen. Jerry Chizek of Omaha, a sponsor of the bill,
said middle-class Nebraskans often cannot afford to pay
education costs in lump sums. Seventy-five percent of
Nebraskans have federal adjusted gross incomes of less
than $30,000.
Tax-free sounds good to anyone, so the bill would
encourage Nebraskans to save for their childrens’ futures.
If the bill can help more Nebraskans go to college, maybe
the income figure will improve. Poverty perpetuates
ignorance, and ignorance often, if not always, perpetuates
Chizek said the rising costs of education justify the bill,
life’s right. Nebraska residents pay $48.50 per credit hour
at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, up from $22.50 in
State Sen. Don Wesely of Lincoln, w hile supporting the
bill, showed concent that state funds lost through the tax
breaks would detract from the $4 million in need-based
aid given to state colleges and universities.
But the biU has the potential of decreasing the number
of students who need state aid If students can show up in
Lincoln or Kearney with enough cash for four years of
classes, taxpayers throughout the state will feel the relief,
fn addition, state colleges and universities could see
increased enrollment, which would help make up for the
idt revenues.
The only problem with the College Savings Plan is that
it doesn't go far enough. The bill has a provision that
would charge students a 10-percent penalty if they want to
attend college out of state.
What the provision attempts is obvious: To stop the
“brain drain" of talented students our of Nebraska. But
students should be given every opportunity to go to
college wherever they w at, including other states.
After all, broadened physical horizons can be just as
important to an education as mental ones. Students should
have incentives for coming back to Nebraska, not penal
ties for leaving.
Besides, while LNL may offer exceptional programs in
certain fields, it’s certainly not the best in the nation at
everything. A Nebraska high school student might enroll
in ah out-of-state school that offers the best program, or
one that UNL doesn’t even offer, with every intention of
returning after graduation.
Granted, that student's tuition payments are gone
forever. But if the student returns wiser or more skillful,
| then Nebraska has won.
•• Brawloa Loomk
for the Daily Nebraskan
• V. '
a:-::: - .,..J. ,,y.
Saving unborn is urgent need
barly in his campaign, George
Bush proclaimed his intention to
make America a kinder, gentler na
tion. He was applauded from the left,
as well as the right, for his genuine
concern for the poor, the unprotected
and the unrepresented members of
our society.
In this light, Bush’s strong support
for the protection of the unborn is not
surprising. There is no category of
Americans who have sunered as
severely as the unborn. Hopefully we
have finally elected a person to the
White House who will forcefully
assert the constitutional claims of all
his fellow Americans. Protection of
the unborn is the logical first step
toward a kinder, gentler nation.
James Feycrherm
Editorials do not necessarily re
flect the views of the university, its
employees, the students or the NU
Board of Regents.
The Daily Nebraskan’s publishers
are the regents, who established the
UNL Publications Board to supervise
the daily production of the paper.
According to policy set by the
regents, responsibility for the edito
rial content of the newspaper lies
solely in the hands of its student edi
tors. . .
Dan.^ l^braskArv
U.S. - Soviet Reunions_
— ■ i i “* —
s*. cold war
Racial injustice is alive and well
Columnist encounters prejudice and inequality across America
Now is the time to open the door of
opportunity to all of God s children.
Now is the time to lift our nation from
the quicksands of racial injustice to
the solid rock of brotherhood.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1963
1 remember it as if it were only
yesterday ...
It was late December,
1981, and my cousin and I were on
our way to Miami for the Orange
Bowl. Nebraska would lose that par
ticular game 22-15 to Clcmson, but
the game was not the most memo
rable experience of the trip for me.
We were just outside of Mobile,
Ala., at about 7:30 p.m. four days
before the game. For some reason, it
still seemed light outside, but the
night was about to get a lot darker.
We stopped at an interstate con
venience shop to fill the car with gas
and grab a few snacks. While we were
there, I struck up a conversation with
the clerk behind the counter.
He was a typical, Southern good
ol’ boy, warm and friendly and full of
wit. He, my cousin and I talked about
football, winter in Nebraska and vari
ous other unimportant things. He was
one of the nicest people I met on the
whole trip - at least at that point.
Alter a tew minutes, a black Ala
bama State Patrolman entered the
store. As he walked up to the counter,
he looked at me and nodded a hello. I
said “Hi” and pulled out my wallet
to pay foracan of Pepsi. By this time,
I noticed that a strange hush had come
over the store clerk.
The patrolman walked up to the
counter with a snack and pulled out
his money to pay for it. He exchanged
some small talk with my cousin and I,
but the store clerk remained silent.
Finally, the patrolman lapped at
his watch and shook his head. It ap
parently had stopped running.
“Do you have the time?” he
asked, to nobody in particular.
As I started to look at my watch, I
heard something that would change
my life.
“It’s time to get outta my store,
nigger!” the clerk shot back. “Leave
now, or you’ll be sorry. Damn
Everything went silent. I got a
numb, knotted feeling in my slom
ach. I couldn’t believe what I had just
I was waiting for the patrolman to
pull out his nightstick and beat the
clerk into next week, or slap the cuffs
on the little redneck and take him to
wherever people like him are taken.
But none of that happened.
What did happen had more of an
impact on me than the initial, racist
comments that spilled out of the
clerk’s mouth.
What happened was nothing.
The patrolman looked at the clerk
for a few seconds, straightened his
hat, snatched up his snack and left the
store. As he left, he looked back at my
cousin and I with a melancholy smirk
of his face -- an expression that told
me he was used to this kind of inhu
man treatment.
I- - -1
It was unbelievable. Here was an
Alabama State Patrolman, who had
four inches and 40 pounds on the
clerk, carried a gun, a badge and the
U.S. Constitution, and he wouldn’t
respond. His only response seemed to
be acceptance of the situation, as if he
were raised on it.
Unfortunately, he probably was.
As the patrolman drove off, the
clerk shot us the old “I guess I told
him" look. We both demanded our
money back for the snacks, paid for
the gas and left. Neither of us spoke a
word for the next 30 miles.
I was a high school sophomore at
the time. Being a white, Catholic
male, my exposure to racism was, at
best, lacking. But that incident
opened my eyes pretty wide.
After that, I started noticing ra
cism every w here, and with eac h inci
dent, I loathed it more and more.
The other day, as I was walking to
the Daily Nebraskan office in the
Nebraska Union, I overheard three
students telling rac ial jokes and talk
ing about how half the world’s prob
lems are caused by ... well, minori
ties. Believe me, “minorities”
wasn’t among the phraseology they
I started thinking about Nebraska,
and how people here pride them
selves on being different from the rest
of the country in that they’re “friend
lier” and accept people more readily.
It’s true in most cases, I guess, but the
conversation between those three
students brought out an important
Racism is alive and well every
where — something everybody
knows. Even here in Nebraska, where
race riots and civil rights marches of
1(X),0()() people have never occurred,
the seeds of racism hang over the
plains like a black cloud, growing
unnoticcably into a huge, uncontrol
lable storm.
Remember the stories from Rulo?
White supremacists, neo-Nazis, and
on and on and on. It can happen here.
Don’t be naive enough to think it
Back in the early 1960s, Dr. Mar
lin Luther King, Jr. - a man I admire
and respect more than any other
human being ever - tried to enlighten
the “world’s greatest melting pot”
on the basics of equality and justice.
His efforts brought about many
changes, but not nearly enough.
King died for his beliefs--the
ultimate sacrifice. His dream didn’t
die with him, but it stalled like a
skateboard in quicksand. In many
ways, the pursuit of equality, among
all minorities in the United States,
continues to stall.
It people ol the same nationality
can’t cooperate, just because of skin
color, how can the world community
ever survive? The answer is out there
- it won't survive. Read the newspa
The easiest thing in the world to
identify is injustice. Often, it’s just as
easy to understand injustice. But
possibly the hardest thing in the
world is to change it.
At least one Alabama State Patrol
man knows it — better than most
Oreen b a news-editorial and criminal
justice major, a Daily Nebraskan sports
writer, sports and editorial columnist and
copy desk chief.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes
brief letters to the editor from all
readers and interested others.
Letters will be selected for publi
cation on the basis of clarity, original
to edit all material submitted
Readers also are welcome lo sub
mit material as guest opinions.
Whether material should run as a let
ter or guest opinion, or not to run, is
left to the editor’s discretion.
Letters and guest opinions sent to
the newspaper become the property of
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
Anonymous submissions will nol
be considered for publication. Letters
should include the author’s name,
year in school, major and group affili
ation, if any. Requests to withhold
names will not be granted.
Submit material to die Daily Ne
braskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R
St.. Lincoln. Neb. 68588-0448.