The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 04, 1991, Page 5, Image 5

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Observance far from racist
Saturday marks the 50th anni
versary of the Japanese bomb
ing of Pearl Harbor, which
thrust the United States headfirst into
World War II.
The incident angered Americans,
shocked the world and eventually
changed life on this planet as we
know it.
It was an unprovoked attack that
claimed the lives of 2,403 innocent
American servicemen and civilians,
sank or severely damaged 21 ships of
the U.S. Pacific Fleet and destroyed
188 American aircraft.
But with the fast-approaching
anniversary of the “date which will
live in infamy,” as President Franklin
Roosevelt called it at the time, Japa
nese-Americans, particularly in
Hawaii, are concerned about the pos
sibility of what they perceive as “Japan
According to a story from The
Associated Press, Japanesc-Americans
make up almost 23 percent of Ha
waii’s population of 1.2 million. For
them, the story goes, December will
be the crudest month, in which strong
emotional currents will tug at them
from both directions.
From one side, they will feel the
new wave of national pride in their
ancestral country’s economic and
technological accomplishments of the
last half-century.
From the other, they cannot es
cape the memories of what happened
on that misty Sunday morning in 1941.
Japanese tourists and citizens al ike
visit the Arizona Memorial in the
middle of the harbor, where almost
half of the American dead are en
tombed in the wreckage. Japanese
Americans remember with pride their
contribution to the American war effort,
such as the all-Japanese-American
442nd Regimental Combat Team,
which became the most decorated
U.S. unit in the European campaign
— and suffered the highest casualty
rate — while their fathers and uncles
were interned in camps throughout
the United States, along with their
families and friends, for the extent of
the war.
According to the AP story, Japa
nese tourists and business travelers,
who numbered 1.4 million last year,
contributed $4 billion to Hawaii’s
economy. But there remains wide
spread resentment, in Hawaii and
elsewhere throughout the United States,
of Japan’s $35 billion investment in
the islands, which many locals blame
for skyrocketing land prices.
Resentment for the attack on Pearl
Harbor is emerging in other forms,
too. President Bush, yielding to pres
sure from veterans groups, decided
not to share the deck of the USS
Missouri — the battleship on which
the Japanese surrender of World War
II was signed in Tokyo Harbor —
with Japanese dignitaries during Sat
urday’s memorial observance, which
will be attended by thousands of sur
vivors of the air attack on Hawaii.
Sadly, Japanese homes, businesses
and properly in Hawaii might be the
targets of vandalism in the coming
days or weeks, and some Japanese
citizens or visitors will undoubtedly
be the recipients of harsh words and
stem looks from anyone who remem
bers what happened 50 years ago.
That’s uncalled for.
But according to AP, many Japa
nese-American groups are calling for
toned-down observances and are call
ing the emphasis on the attack, which
was carried out 50 years ago by a
dictatorship that has since gone the
way of the dodo bird, racist.
That’s where the concern for Ja
pan-bashing ends and over-sensitiv
ity steps in.
What happened at Pearl Harbor 50
years ago was an unprovoked strike
on U.S. military bases that crippled
the U.S. fleet and Army Air Corps,
killed sailors and airmen — many
while they slept — and affected mil
lions of lives while costing the U.S.
government billions of dollars.
The fact cannot be changed. And
the remembrance of the event, which
led to America’s involvement in World
War II and changed the makeup of the
world forever, should be carried out
any way veterans and government
officials see fit, not the way the Japa
nese want it.
They lost that right the moment
the first warplane took off from its
aircraft carrier.
To be sure, there is widespread
U.S. resentment of Japan and its eco
nomic stability. Butcalling the obser
vance of one of the biggest catastro
phes in American history “racist” is
American resentment of Japan is
not without substance or reason. Ja
pan has maintained unfair business
Kradices for decades, implementing
arsh trade laws that allow America
to buy Japanese goods while placing
tight restrictions on U.S. goods im
ported by Japan.
Moreover, since 1945, Japan has
spent less than 1 percent of its gross
national product on the self-defense
of its territory, keeping within the
rules set by its U.S.-written, post-war
constitution, which limits its weap
ons manufacturing.
Instead, Japan has taken a free
rider approach by letting the United
States defend Japanese soil and there
fore freeing Japanese yen for indus
trialization and production.
During last spring’s war in the
Persian Gulf, Japan promised S9 bil
lion for the allied war effort—a drop
in the bucket of what actual expenses
were, despite the fact that Japan is
one of the most oil-dependent nations
in the world.
What happened at Pearl Harbor is
ancient history to many. But to the
survivors of the attack and the rela
tives of those who died, it is a mem
ory that will never go away.
The observance of the 50th anni
versary of the Day of Infamy should
remain one American item the Japa
nese shouldn’t be allowed to buy.
Green is a senior news-editorial major,
the Daily Nebraskan’s assistant sports editor
and a columnist.
What happened at
Pearl Harbor is
ancient history to
many. But to the
survivors of the at
tack and the relatives
of those who died, it
is a memory that will
never eo away.
UNL must fight against sexual harassment
The collective at the Women’s
Resource Center commends the
women on the University of Ncbraska
Lincoln swim team who came for
ward in order to address and chal
lenge sexual harassment that they felt
was aimed at them (“Coach accused
of harassment,’’ DN, Nov. 7). Through
their actions they have raised an
awareness that sexual harassment can
happen anywhere, to anyone, at any
We find these women especially
courageous considering the hostile
environment that has been evident
both by the outrageous scrutiny of
Professor Anita Hill’s character dur
ing the Clarence Thomas confirma
tion hearings and by the insensitive
remarks made by Bob Dcvaney in the
Daily Nebraskan. Dcvaney acknowl
edges that the touching did happen.
He did not acknowledge that team
members, or anyone for that matter,
has a right to ask not to be touched.
The Daily Nebraskan article para
phrased Dcvaney as saying, “team
members upset about the coach arc
free to leave the team.” Thai’s wrong.
The coach has an obligation, not rec
ognized in Dcvaney’s comment, to
modify his behavior toward any team
member who makes him aware of her
discomfort. “He was a little more
friendly than he should be,” Dcvaney
said. This implies that women arc not
intelligent enough, nor aware of their
own bodies, to determine when they
are being sexually harassed. This is
an uneducated view coming from a
top-level administrator and director
of athletic programming.
The UNL administration, via the
regents, made a promise to women
faculty, staff and students in April
1991. This promise deals with the
creation of a more equitable environ
ment on this campus. This includes
recruitment and retention of women
and minority faculty and addressing
issues of sex issues of sex discrimina
tion, which includes sexual harass
This is their call to action. What
policies are in place to ensure confi
dentiality within the grievance proc
ess? How did the university handle
this particular case? How arc these
women, who have risked coming
forward, being protected by UNL? It
is lime for the university to come
forth and deal with this issue in a
strong and vocal manner. To do less
would pul them in the same camp as
Dcvancy. Chancellor Graham Spanicr
stated several of his goals concerning
the handling of sexual harassment
grievances in thctDaily Nebraskan
(“Spanicr says victims of harassment
need options,” DN, Nov. 19).- We
depend upon Spanicr to follow through
on these goals.
We affirm the decision that these
women made to come forward and
encourage others to do the same. That
means the atmosphere and the man
ner in which sex discrimination is
handled must drastically improve. The
stigma surrounding women who do
come forward must be abolished.
If you arc the victim of sexual
harassment, you do not have to toler
ate it. Take yourself seriously, tell the
harasser not to touch or speak to you
in that manner, document what hap
pens, when, where and by whom.
Inform your chairperson, supervisor
or other trusted individual. Network
with other women students, faculty or
staff members.
The university often takes a low
key, reactive approach to issues that
may harm its public image. We en
courage women to seek outside coun
sel if the results obtained by the griev
ance process arc not acceptable. This
often forces the university to respond
in a timely manner to issues of gender
We must continue, as students,
faculty and staff members, to take a
vocal stance against sexism, racism
and homophobia on our campus. This
is crucial in creating an environment
where learning is unimpeded by overt
bias based on personal characteris
Tamika Simmons
volunteer coordinator
Women’s Resource Center
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, origi
nality, timeliness and space avail
Anonymous submissions will not
be considered for publication. Let
ters should include the author’s
name, year in school, major and
S affiliation, if any. Requests to
old names will not be granted.
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.
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