The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, November 30, 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
‘Plane’ dumb
In tight budget times, regent trip is flighty
It was bad enough that some members of the NU Board of
Regents got together to informally discuss President
Martin Masscngalc’s evaluation.
It is worse that at least two members of the board spent an
excessive amount traveling to the little shindig.
The two, Regent Don Blank of McCook and Regent Chairman
John Payne of Kearney, chartered a plane to fly to Lincoln on
Nov. 15.
The $819 flight, which was paid for with state funds, was more
expensive than taking a commercial (light, driving to Lincoln or
picking up the phone for a conference call.
To Blank and Payne, it was a matter of convenience. To the
university it should be seen as financial frivolity in a time of tight
If the university is footing the bill every time a regent meets
Massengale for coffee, administrators arc looking at the wrong
things to cut when they sit down at budget negotiations.
Blank justified the flight by saying the meeting was to discuss
university business.
That may be true, but it was a personal discussion between
Massengale and those regents who attended. If it were a business
meeting, as Blank would have people believe, it would have been
handled more professionally.
The meeting was questionable at best, but the flight was just
plain hypocritical of Blank and Payne. At the same time the state
is asking university students, faculty and administrators to prepare
for huge budget cuts, the regents are winging their way across
Nebraska on state funds.
If the regents want to have an informal discussion, they can
reach out and touch someone. They don’t have to reach into the
university’s thinning pockets.
U.S. aid
It’s time to decide how to help Somalia
No more waffling. The United States needs to make a
decision soon on how to aid Somalia.
For months the United States has wavered, meeting with
officials across the world about the issue. Still no resolution has
been made to send in U.S. troops to help.
At least the United Slates is considering making a move to help
the starving people. Lawrence Eaglcburgcr, acting secretary of
slate, said the Bush administration was willing to provide thou
sands of U.S. troops to try to ensure that shipments of food
reached the mouths of needy Somalis.
It’s a tough move. U.S. officials worry that such a relief effort
could backfire militarily. They worry the effort could spark
retaliation against relief workers.
But U.S. military officials already have determined such a
move would be simple.
The 1,8(X) marines already in the Indian Ocean could land
north or south of Mogadishu and secure the capital’s port and
airfield. Infantry could have its choice of that airfield or seven
others to establish regional supply centers.
Politically, such a move could hurt the outgoing Bush adminis
tration and the incoming Ginton administration. Many humanitar
ians worldwide would be angered at the use of force to feed those
who are starving.
Regardless of the consequences, Somalis need to eat. They
deserve a chance at life. The United States needs to help them.
Staff editorials represent the official policy of the Fall 1992 Daily Nebraskan. Policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. Iiditorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the
university, its employees, the students orthc NU Board of Regents. Editorial 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.
... - — - . . -j
The 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 maienal 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 he granted. Submit material to the Daily
Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska Union, 1400 R St., Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.
Recently there has been quite a bit
of controversy about the sculptures
around campus—especially the new
Scrra sculpture, “Grecnpoint.” I can
sec that it is already a successful work
of art because it has stirred a lot of
comments and opinions.
This is exactly what art is supposed
to do. It is supposed to challenge the
viewer to form ideas and opinions as
to how it makes them feel, whether it
be good or bad. There really is no
wrong answer contrived in the view
ers’ minds as to why the artist did
what he did. That’s the beauty of it.
In a world of cither black or white,
it’s nice to still have some gray areas
to let the mind wonder a bit. A person
is able to make his own answer as to
why or how, and know that there is no
wrong answer.
Many of the younger pcople’scbm
ments on the sculpture were some
what ironic. Many of them will find
that their ideas and comments will be
met with challenge from others as
they go on through life.
Maybe then they can find the me
nial release that comes from being
able to look at a piece of art and know
that the ideas they form about it in
their minds arc never wrong.
Only then will they be able to
appreciate the work ofothers. I would
like to thank Ncubcrt for all of the
hard work in gelling through all of the
administrative mire to bring us some
thing new to wonder about.
Tony Pclan
DBI employee
Editor’s note: DBI installed
Whal’s becoming more evident in
today’s world? We’ve heard about
the riots in Los Angeles. We’ve heard
about the Rodney King beating. We’ve
heard about the African American
students who were singled out in an
anthropology class at UNL.
It’s evident that racism is defi
nitely a key focus in the world, and
with everyone so aware, it’s hard for
a minority not to think that when
something negative happens to him or
her that it comes from a result of
As a minority, I would often catch
the “it’s because I’m black” syndrome.
But what would you think if you were
turned down by a black employer for
a job for which you felt you were well
qualified? What happens when you
walk into a clothing store and you’re
constantly being asked, “May I help
you?” by a black salesperson? Would
you still feel that it was because you
were an African American? I don’t
think you would. It might even result
to “it’s because I’m a male or a fe
We may sometimes use the color
of our skin as an excuse for a lot of the
things that happen to us. Not to say
that nothing we encounter is racially
stemmed because that would surely
be a lie.
Wecan’iconstantly have the men
tal block that our color works against
us because it’s surely an asset. As long
as you face any situation with confi
dence you will surely overcome.
Willie Hiblcr
Free speech
There’s a lot of talk these days
about freedom of speech, one of the
things guaranteed by the U.S. Consti
tution. Most of us, I think, proudly and
gladly affirm such a freedom. How
ever, I guess it’s really just a vague
ideal, the definition of which we can’t
all seem to agree on.
So be it. It may be a vague ideal,
but at least we arc a people with
ideals. Now please allow me to ex
press one aspect of my interpretation
of this freedom of speech. This free
dom ex tends to the choice of language
one desires to speak.
I realize that for some sense of
national unity, a country needs to
have one or several official languages.
I concede that I can’t send a letter
written in French to the Daily Nebras
kan, for example; thus 1 am writing
this in English, the official lannuaec
of our country. However, it really
irritates me when I hear native En
glish speakers making commcntssuch
as, “Why don’t those foreigners speak
English? This is America, dang it!”
Yes, even some of my friends,
fam i ly mem bers and co- workers th i nk
it’s rude for internationals to speak
their native languages in public. I
think this is a very unkind and incon
siderate attitude.
People from other countries bring
to us the richness of their cultures and
ways of thinking that arc immeasur
able, and their languages arc part of
this richness. For God’s sake — we
expect the whole world to buy our
cars, listen to our music, watch our
movies, house our soldiers and drink
Coca-Cola — can’t we at least let
them be themselves when they come
America is going to have to wake
up to the fact that we aren’t the center
of reality — China and Lesotho and
France arc just as important.
So, to all of you, my friends who
speak languages beyond English, I
would like to apologize for the unkind
altitude of some of my fellow Ameri
cans; I myself like to speak with friends
in French and in Spanish, and I’m
trying to learn some Chinese.
Daniel E. Talkinglon
sixth year
French and Spanish
Star Trek
Jennifer Ernisse’s commentary
(“Learning Star Trek Philosophy,”
DN, Nov. 18) on “Star Trek: The Next
Generation” opened the door for me
to add a few comments. While it is
“only a television show” and should
be treated as such, it is also true that
television delivers and reinforces a
visual image of and for our society.
There arc some deep problems with
the show: The far-off future still has
two white male characters in the power
positions (the Captain and Number
The two leading black male char
acters are presented behind masks of
sorts. The actor playing the intelligent
and capable Gcordi LaForgc is hid
den behind his visor. The actor play
ing the aggressive Commander Worf
is hidden behind a ton of makeup.
The leading female characters arc
cast in traditional care-giving roles;
we have a female doctor and a female
counselor. Whoopie Goldberg’s char
acter (Guinan) is portrayed as pos
sessing great personal power, yet her
power is largely self-made and exists
outside of Fcdcration/Acadcmy power
Trcatmcntof the affairs of the crew
is often portrayed in a skewed fash
ion. Female characters arc more likely
to be portrayed as pursu ing love. Coun
selor Troi became involved in a dan
gcrous anair inai jeopardized a mis
sion, her status and possibly her crew.
Yet when Commander Reiker simi
larly pursued a love affair in the an
drogynous planet episode and com
pletely violated the Prime Directive
of non-involvement, he seemed to
escape similar culpability.
We also have to watch the insuffer
able Wesley. The young white son of
Dr. Crusher, coming up the pipeline,
groomed by Picard, LaForge, Reiker
and Data to be an Academy graduate
and probably someday cam aCaptain’s
chair— perpetuation of the chain of
command. I see no female counter
part, no black male or female counter
part, not even an alien counterpart.
The show is a lot of fun. It has often
rendered thoughtful treatmentof situ
ations. There have been some strong
recurring female characters such as
Ensign Ro, an extremely capable
woman currently enjoying guest sta
tus. There has also been Lt. Com
mander TashaYar, who was killed off
some time back; Worf now fills her
position. However, the show docs give
in to the stereotypes and myths of
today. We television watchers need to
be aware of that so we don’t similarly
take such stereotypes with us into
A.E. Krejei
staff/rescarch technician