The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 26, 1992, Page 4, Image 4

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Editorial Board
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Chris Hopfensperger.Editor, 472-1766
Dionne Searcey...Opinion Page Editor
Kris Karnopp.Managing Editor
Alan Phelps. Wire Editor
Wendy Navratil..Writing Coach
Stacey McKenzie.Senior Reporter
Jeremy Fitzpatrick .. ..,.Columnist
Get a bike
UNL will never solve parking problem
The Don Quixote of parking is at it again.
Parking vigilante Mark Goldfeder, ASUN representa
tive to the Parking Advisory Committee, has declared
the future of on-campus parking as grim.
“The mood ornhis campus, obviously, is that there’s not
enough parking to go around,” Goldfeder said.
Oh, really.
Goldfeder has spent a chunk of his fall semester surveying
50 students living in residence halls, sororities and fraternities
on City and East campuses.
His conclusion: Students aren’t satisfied with UNL’s
parking situation.
rso way.
And now those rascally university officials plan to steal even
more precious parking spaces from students.
Construction on the 10th Street viaduct and widening of
Holdrege Street will erase 400 to 450 student spaces by next
UNL officials arc just leasing students by offering them 350
spaces in a lot next to the Beadle Center. The spaces will be
sucked away by faculty members as soon as the center opens.
And even if officials wanted te create more spaces, the
University of Ncbraska-Lincoln can’t afford to build more
parking lots.
But if it could, Goldfcdcr has a magical dream plan in the
works that would take away UNL’s parking pains forever.
The brainchild of Goldfcdcr is a $10 million on-campus
parking garage.
— Goldfcdcr deserves, a pal on the back for trying, but he must
realize that taking on parking problems is like fighting wind
There’s not enough parking to go around. There never will
Goldfcdcr: Get a job. Students: Get a bike.
Legalizing hate
Voters should not decide morality issues
Oregon voters arc faced with much more than helping to
decide the next president on Nov. 3. They have the
opportunity to legalize discrimination based on sexual
orientation in their stale.
Measure 9, which would be the most powerful anti-homo
sexdal law ever enacted in a state, would have state offices and
departments actively discourage homosexuality as “abnormal,
wrong, unnatural and perverse.” It would require the removal
of homosexual teachers from the classroom, ban several books
and force schools to teach that homosexuality is a moral sin.
Backed by the Christian Right, Measure 9 would force the
views of its supporters on the entire state.
“We view homosexuality as a wrong behavior. It isn’t good.
It isn’t right. It’s wrong. If teachers say to students that homo
sexuality is moral, is natural, they have promoted that behavior
to our kids,” said Lon Mabon, the leader of the Oregon Citi
zens’ Alliance.
Oreeon voters arc not alone. An initiative in Colorado would
deny minority status based on sexual orientation. And voters in
Portland, Maine, arc faced with a similar measure on the
municipal ballot.
Polls show voters in Oregon oppose the measure by a nearly
two-to-onc margin, but tensions remain high. Acts of violence
and vandalism arc reported on both sides. Last month, a lesbian
and her roommate, a gay man, died in their home when it was
Proponents of the measure arc trying to dictate their version
of family values on a statewide level; they want to spread the
values of hate and intolerance.
Sulf editorials represent the official policy of the Fall 1992 Daily Nebraskan. Policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Fdiiorial Board. Hdilorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the
university, its employees, the students orlhe NU Board of Regents. Hditorial columns represent
the opinion of the author. The regents publish the Daily Nebraskan. They establish the UNL
Publications Board to supervise the daily production of the paper. According to policy set by
the regents, responsibility for the editorial content of the newspaper lies solely in the hands of
its students.
Ihe Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the editor from all readers and interested others.
Letters will be selected for publication on the basis of clarity, originality, timeliness and space
available. The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject all material submitted. Readers
also are welcome to submit material as guest opinions. The editor decides whether material
should run as a guest opinion. Letters and guest opinions sent to the newspaper become the
property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be returned. Anonymous submissions will not be
published, letters should included the author's name, year in school, major and group
affiliation, if any. Requests to withhold names will not be granted. Submit material to the Daily
Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.
_ - IZ'
Retreat reveals reality of racism
Wc, two while females, will
never understand what mi
norities have to endure.
Wc shop freely with the help of
courteous salespeople who assist us
instead of suspect us. Wc walk into
any hair salon and get the cut we want.
Wc enter any pharmacy and choose
from a huge selection of cosmetics
and styling aides. Wc pick up maga
zines or turn on the television and
identify with the articles, characters
and advertisements. Wc encounter
police without apprehension.
And those are just the little things.
How about looking for a place to live,
a car to drive or a job to pay the bills?
Racist attitudes flourish in these
and all other atmospheres. No one is
innocent of fostering racist attitudes
and behaviors. Including us.
These things were never more clear
to us than This weekend when we
heard personal accounts of painful
and humiliating experiences. Experi
ences that happen daily.
Denial wasn’t a shelter for us this
weekend as participants at the Uni
versity of Ncbraska-Lincoln’s Cul
tural Diversity Retreat. Nearly 75 UNL
students, staff and faculty members
came together for 36 hours with little
expectation that the retreat would
make a difference.
It made a difference to us.
We walked into the first workshop
wondering what this weekend would
accomplish. Throughout 10 hours of
discussions, videos and group activi
ties, we encountered various view
points and confronted reality.
Reality is racism.
People of color are dealing with
reality when they say they arc tired of
fighlingdiscrimination.Tircdof wait
ing for change. Tired of hearing that
change takes time.
The retreat focused on the here and
now — not on what our ancestors
have done, but instead on w hat we can
do. So many students think minorities
are asking us to pay for the injustices
they have been subject to in the past.
They don’t want us to pay for these
things. They only want us to take
responsibility for our own attitudes
and actions.
Using the past is only a way to
express that nothing but the form of
discrimination haschangcd. Discrimi
nation is allowed to slip through the
ranks of society without anyone ques
tioning that it occurs.
We learned that denial doesn’t
change anything. Denial is protec
tion. It protects us from the situation
and puls the responsibility somewhere
Accepting the responsibility is the
first way to recognize our own feel
ings of racism, however unaware of
them we have been. It’s not a negative
step to accept our own limitations, but
it is a negative step if we don’tact on
our feelings and try to move past
Moving past ignorance sometimes
removes people from their comfort
zones, introducing an elcmcntof risk.
As one retreat leader put it, risk is
the bridge to awareness and empathy
for others. We need to take risks in
regard to combatting denial that rac
ism exists in us and our communities.
When we talk about risk, we are
talking about taking a stand. Within
our circles, our comfort zones, it’s
easy to let things we sec and hear slide
because they don’t affect us. But by
not saying anything about things that
are clearly wrong, we are validating
those viewpoints through acceptance.
During the retreat we learned how to
confront our denial inanon-threaten
ing atmosphere. Our blinders came
For us it was a painful process, to
sec how powerful even subtle racism
can be. We learned to focus on our
selves as individuals, as vehicles for
change, and we realized that little
steps do count.
Little steps involve taking action
and shaking up the comfort zone —
little steps such as correcting incor
rect speech and not condoning racial
slurs and ethnic jokes. Little steps will
lead to bigger steps. When we set an
example for the people within our
circles, we arc showing people that
racism is not just a problem for people
of color.
Before we went to the retreat, we
didn’t think that racism directly af
fected us. Wc had held ourselves apart
from the problem by putting the search
for solutions in the laps of the op
pressed instead of the oppressors.
At the retreat we saw videotapes
and heard stories that left us feeling
helpless. Wc squirmed as wc watched
and listened, not knowing how to
reach out and make a change.
Wc felt like wc made a connection
within ourselves and found that rac
ism docs affect us. The old cliche that
if “you arc not part of the solution —
you are part of the problem” is true.
By not taking action, we are allowing
the societal structure to dictate what
position each race plays in society.
When the retreat ended, we were
mentally drained, physically tired and
incapable of expressing what we
thought wc had gained. But through
the experience our perceptions were
stretched further than wc could imag
Wc don’t want to lose that. It’s
easy to lose the energy gained in the
workshop environment after the fact.
The challenge for us now is to keep
the conviction of combating racial
Wc want to live what wc learned at
the retreat: Racism is a problem that
will not go away with the passage of
But there arc no quick-fix solu
tions. Constant communication, in
teraction, responsible behavior and
risk-taking are the only options we
In the words of George Moore,
“After all there is but one race —
Shelley Biggs is a senior news-editoriai
major and a Daily Nebraskan senior reporter.
Anne Steyer is a senior Knglish major and a
Daily Nebraskan arts and entertainment re