The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, January 15, 1990, Page 4, Image 4

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IDclllv Amy Edwards, Editor, 472-1766
y ^ ^ Bob Nelson, Editorial Page Editor
IVJ 0 o l^r- ^ Ryan Stecvcs, Managing Editor
JL vJ 1. ' 1 d 1\ Cl 1 K. Eric Pfanner, Associate News Editor
Lisa Donovan, Associate News Editor
Editorial Board Brandon Loomis, Wire Editor
University ot Nebraska-Lincoln Jana Pedersen, Night News Editor
Racism marches on
Honor dream all year, not just today
On Feb. 4, 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a
sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church. In that sermon,
he talked about death — everyone’s common de
Two months later, that sermon was replayed at his
ioaay, as Americans ceieorate tne oist anniversary or
his birth, we should not forget the common denominators
King stressed during his life.
But more than common denominators, Americans must
recognize the inequities that plague our nation.
The Civil Rights Movement did much to unite the
nation, but King’s dreams are far from reality in America.
Yes, there are laws protecting the rights of all people,
laws that say everyone is equal and deserving of the same
But not everyone is equal in America. In political and
economic terms, America’s black lower class is not much
better off than it was during King’s time. Two years after
King’s death, 33.5 percent of blacks were below the
poverty level. By 1987, that figure had dropped only .4 of
a percent to 33.1 percent. Comparatively, only 10.5
percent of whites were below the poverty level. At the end
of the second quarter of 1989, 11.2 percent of all blacks
were unemployed compared to 4.5 percent of all whites.
Until we recognize those problems, the laws that exalt
equality will not end the inequalities in everyday life.
Laws do not create equality, people do. And while racism
seemed more subtle after King’s death, the cruelty and
ignorance bom of racism still thrived in our communities.
At the end of the 80s, that tension exploded into violence
across the country.
One day a year, we honor a man who lived and died for
a dream of equality among all people. One day a year, we
think of that dream and the hopes that it brought for our
country’s future.
bui equality is not simply a calendar event. King s
dream should be honored all year, not only in laws and
i policies. It should be taught along with the history of the
j Civil Rights Movement as an integral part of our educa
We cannot forget King’s efforts in the Civil Rights
Movement. Nor can we forget the accomplishments and
successes of civil rights since his death.
But remembering those strides is not enough. Unless
we move forward in civil rights, King’s efforts will be no
more than a chapter in a history book.
» Amy Edwardt and Bob Ntten
for the Daily Nebraskan
Racism must be recognized,
dealt with in new decade
Many ot us have already made and
broken our individual New Year’s
resolutions. However, there is still
time for redemption. We as individ
ual students and as a school need to
resolve to set aside this new decade as
a time for cultural enrichment, edu
cation and most of all, acceptance.
The 1980s saw a rebirth of some
ugly and often painful racial scenes.
Events such as the Tawana Brawley
case, Yusef Hawkins and the Central
Park rape forced us to realize that
acting as if racism doesn’t exist is no
way to deal with the problem.
In the ’90s, many of us will gradu
ate and begin families of our own. Do
we want our children growing up in
the same racist society in which we
now live? On this, Martin Luther King’s
birthday, let us re-examine our prin
ciples. The hopes and dreams of
tomorrow are there for all of us to
share equally. I do believe it is pos
sible for us to learn to accept and
eventually appreciate the differences
that exist here on campus as well as
the world that extends beyond. It can
be done but it must start with you.
In the immortal words of Jesse
Jackson, “Keep hope alive.”
Tamika Simmons
The Afrikan People’s Union
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes
brief letters to the editor from all
readers and interested others.
Letters will be selected for publi
cation on the basisof clarity, original
ity, timeliness and space available.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right
to edit all material submitted.
Readers also are welcome to 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
Submit material to the Daily Ne
braskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R
St., Lincoln, Neb. 68588 0448.
Out of the mouths of bikers
I wo Harley riders prove education is not key to political savvy
Ioeneve outers on oarsioois maxc
the best diplomats.
Some people go to college when
[hey want to learn the ins and outs of
foreign policy. Some read books or
articles by Henry Kissinger, Richard
Nixon, George Kennan and the like.
Others glance at the headlines of finely
crafted columns in the Daily Nebras
kan. I just go down to that bar where
ill the Harley riders hang out
It was on one such occasion I learned
he gist of what is really going on in
Eastern Europe, Panama and Greater
Earth. My mentors that night were
lake, a cabbie, and Rex, a trucker.
Both, of course, were part-time bi
kers. I have given them false names to
protect myself.
Said the cabbie to the trucker: “So
what do you think?”
This is a question that I have been
n^kerl manv lirru'c ihmnohnnl mu lifs»
mostly by my philosophy-crazed fa
ther; and my answer, even when I
have been sober, has usually been the
seemingly obvious, “About what?”
Rex, however, would give no such
mundane response and instead rubbed
his beard, grimaced and said; “I think
the decline of communism is pretty
cool and everything, but I’d just hate
to see Burger King and McDonald’s
over there. It just ain’t right for them,
you know?”
I, somewhat taken aback, put down
my beer and tried to decide whether
the commies could stomach Big Macs;
and, if they could, whether it indeed
would corrupt their society.
But Jake needed no time to think.
“I hear you, man. What they need
is help in getting some hard industry
built up before we start shoving con
sumerism down their throats. Other
wise they’ll end up borrowing money
from us forever just so they can buy
things without ever making enough
money to pay us back.”
i nis cemented my opinion aoout
Big Macs in Bucharest.
Rex said he thought that George
Bush was missing opportunities to
really swing things our way in Europe
and that his meager aid plan would be
sufficient only to tease the Poles,
Czechs, Magyars, etc., and build their
hopes up before an inevitable crash.
1 nooded.
Jake guz/lcd, belched and said
something that absolutely astounded
me but gained approval from Rex.
“I just hate to see ail of Joseph
Stalin’s work go for nothing. He may
have been a mean bastard, but he tried
so hard to make that system work.”
“Yeah,” Rex said, “just think of
all those poor folks who died in the
Bolshevik Revolution fighting hun
ger and oppression. I guess they died
for nothing.”
I tried really hard to feel some
sympathy but couldn’t quite find it.
1 was more concerned with figuring
how someone who maybe had a di
ploma from Lincoln Southeast and a
truckerfrom Billings or Pocatello had
managed to become the epitome of
tolerance. Anyone with a kind word
for Joe Stalin must truly believe in
An immediate transition into Pan
ama and American imperialism again
put me in a trance. This encounter
was a few days before the invasion,
but Rex and Jake were awfully wor
ried that George had done too little in
Eastern Europe and would do too
mucn in Latin America.
“Whai they need down there is
some money, some industry, control
over that canal and a nice pat on the
back. The minute our boys start screw
ing around down there we’ll have the
whole Third World after us. What
kind of position will that leave us in
for improving global relations? There’s
a reason they pinned that Great Satan
label on us, you know?”
I said that I did know, and there
was a short digression into jetliners
and all things Iranian, then back to
ii s realty weiiu nuw we it sun i
ing lo get along with all of our former
enemics, but we can’ t do anything but
piss off our neighbors,” Jake said.
I said something that I thought was
pretty funny about George finding
some other way to satisfy his Big
Slick, but both men winced and con
tinued the discussion.
“And it’s not just to our south,”
Rex said. “Think of Canada and the
acid rain that Ohio dumps on it. Our
own economic interests keep us from
doing the right thing cvcrytimc.”
At that, I ordered another beer and
decided to stay until closing. Truck
ers talking environment always give
me goosebumps. I decided that these
men, uneducated as they were, could
get some things accomplished if they
ruled the world, provided they had a
few good advisers. Rex might even
be a better Republican candidate in
1992 than Yale-educated George.
Most of my political science pro
fessors have always told me that a
college education is the doorway to
tolerance and understanding. I’m not
so sure about that. I think maybe a
college education just goes to one’s
head, as it were.
Loom is is a senior news-editorial major
and the Daily Nebraskan wire editor and
Cafeteria gruel unfit for students
un uec. b, 1989 you published a
letter from Jim McNally about the
slop being served in the dorm cafete
rias. I couldn’t agree with him more.
My daughter is a freshman and
lives in one of the residence halls.
Since the first day of school she has
complained about the food. Complaints
to those in charge by both her and
myself are met with tremendous sur
prise. According to those people re
sponsible, wc arc the only ones com
plaining, and everyone else thinks the
food is great.
The food is so bad I doubt prison
ers would be forced to eat that kind of
gruel. I seriously doubt that (here is
enough nutrition in the meals to keep
anyone alive very long. The students
would probably be better off eating
the grass on the lawn than the slop
served in the cafeteria.
Letters of complaint to Douglas
Rix, Assistant Director of Housing./
Food Service and Martin Massengale
go unanswered. It is a good thing
these people work for the state be
cause in the real world their jobs
would not be protected, and they both
would be looking for work.
Frank Gaines