The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, October 11, 1994, Image 5

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    Don’t judge police too soon
The recent wholesale condemna
tion of the Lincoln Police Depart
ment is unreasonable and unfair.
Francisco Renteria, a 29-year-old
man from Mexico, died following an
arrest based on mistaken identity. *
His death may have been the
result of his treatment during the
arrest, or it may have been the
inadvertent result of a very bizarre
series of ci rcumstances.
Right now. the public doesn’t
know what really happened, and
charges of racism are premature and
unproven. The more inclined we arc
to jump to the conclusion of racism,
the more it sounds like we're crying
It’s tme that Renteria’s death is a
bewildering tragedy. His family has
every right to demand accountability
from the police department as well
as investigators.
The reaction of the Hispanic
community also is understandable.
Hispanics, like so many others,
know that civil rights are ultimately
issued by those who hire, fire, award
and protect.
Renteria suffered the ultimate
violation of his civil rights, and we
want to know why it happened.
Unfortunately, some people seem to
think they already know why it
happened: because a gang of police
officers beat a man to death for
being Mexican.
The people who have come to
this conclusion evidently have no
interest in how often the police arc
called into the Holdrcge Street area
where Renteria was arrested. They
probably have no idea about the
frequency and the nature of those
Several years ago, when l lived a
few blocks south of Holdrcge on
29th street, several blue and whites
lined the street nearly once a week.
The neighbors evidently made a
habit of getting drunk and threaten
ing to kill one another.
Police seldom handle domestic
disturbance calls without assistance.
Right now, the public doesn’t know
what really happened, and charges
of racism are premature and
unproven. The more inclined we are
to jump to the conclusion of racism,
the more it sounds like we re crying
They are among the most potentially
violent situations. Protection orders
are often issued in cases of domestic
UNL Police officer Charlotte
Veskrna apparently thought Renteria
resembled the the description of a
man who had violated a protection
order. Perhaps if Renteria had
cooperated with Veskrna, she could
have verified his mistaken identity.
Instead, Renteria didn’t cooperate
with Veskrna, who called for
The officers who answered
Veskrna's call had a combined total
of 42 years of experience on the
force. There is no information
available to the public that suggests
these officers handled this arrest
differently from any other.
People who are considered to be
resisting arrest, as was Renteria,
generally arc subdued. The question
in this case is one of force.
Did the police use necessary, or
excessive force?
The public has a responsibility to
condemn the use of excessive force,
but defining excessive force may
vary- with one’s proximity to
The university, the county
attorney 's office and the Nebraska
Slate Patrol arc trying to determine
if excessive force caused Renteria's
death. If so. those responsible will
be prosecuted.
If the grand jury finds excessive
force was employed because of
Renteria’s race, then, and only then,
is community outrage justified.
This community already has
demonstrated its disapproval of
racism. We are actively working
within our institutions to include and
recognize cultural diversity.
Nebraska is one of few stales that
will soon implement a multicultural
plan in elementary and secondary
school curriculums.
We never will eliminate racism in
our society, but we can make it
unacceptable. We have a long way
to go, but we are trying to embrace
the different cultures in our society.
It will not help us understand our
differences if we assume racism
motivates every incident between
police and nonwhite people.
Criticizing police for not speak
ing Spanish or for not being
informed about Hispanic “ma
chismo” doesn't advance cultural
awareness. After living in the United
States for eight years, Renteria
apparently had not bothered to learn
English and possibly failed to
recognize the position of women in
authority in American society.
Although it appears that Fran
cisco Renteria died in a senseless
and brutal way, we still don’t know
if the circumstances were coinciden
tal or intentional.
Until we do. the police deserve
some degree of presumption of
innocence. Regardless of what
comes from this incident, they
already have learned a bitter lesson
about cultural diversity.
McAdams is a junior news editorial ma
jor and a Daily Nebraskan columnist.
Gays spoil society’s sexuality
National Coming Out Day is
upon us, and as we celebrate the
most vulgar and decadent of
humanity’s perverse “pleasures,” we
should bear in mind that not only arc
the pink-triangle types on campus
celebrating a physically and
spiritually harmful practice, they're
also celebrating something that’s
abnormal — something that’s
downright weird.
Unfortunately, modern politically
correct group-think has convinced
us that we can’t make judgments
about the lifestyles of other people
(or at least conservatives can’t).
Such foolish rhetoric is fueled by
the notion that a person’s sexual
preference is somehow uncontrol
lable, that it is an innate part of our
character. However, there’s consid
erable evidence out there that seems
to suggest otherwise.
In the book “Sexual Preference,
its Development in Men and
Women,” researchers Alan Bell,
Martin Weinberg, and Sue
Hammersmith outline a number of
childhood relationships that appar
ently affect one’s adult sexual
orientation. Perhaps of greatest
importance was the childhood
relationship with the father.
It appears that 72 percent of adult
male homosexuals said they were
either very little or not at all like
their fathers; only 36 percent of
adult female homosexuals said they
liked their fathers.
To be categorized as homosexual
is not dependent upon one’s
relationship with one’s father. It
would seem, if homosexuality is an
equal disposition to heterosexuality,
that family relations would be
similar between the two. However,
they are not. In fact, in general,
heterosexuals have a better relation
ship with both parents, according to
the book.
Another interesting tidbit offered
by the book is the role of gender
nonconformity during the formative
To disregard our personal actions as
the effect of some inborn trait is
irresponsible to say the least. And if
the reader believes that sort of
gibberish, he should withhold
judgment on me, for, after all, Tm
genetically conservative.
years of a homosexual's life span.
Among adult male homosexuals,
only 11 percent enjoyed boys’
activities and only 18 percent called
themselves masculine when growing
up. Among adult female homosexu
als, 17 percent liked boys’ activities
and 62 percent called themselves
It appears the roles we allow our
children to play as they grow up
greatly affect their orientation when
they reach sexual maturity.
“Doesn’t Bobby look cute in that
dress,” we might say to our friends
at the cocktail party, only to find
that 10 years down the road Bobby
thinks tic looks cute in the dress,
Even if there is no sociological
data available, however, the wise
man can easily see the inherent
stupidity of an argument that
maintains our sexual choices and
actions are preordained. Even if
there is some level — let’s say a
huge level — of innate sexual
orientation, the argument of the
homosexual community maintains
that one cannot control one’s
personal actions.
I would think the homosexual
would be insulted by this argument:
the assertion that gays, like wild
beasts, have no control over their
sexual activity. Orientation becomes
equivalent to action.
Maybe they arc right — after all,
promiscuity seems to be much more
prevalent among homosexuals than
it is among their heterosexual
counterparts — but I think it’s just a
cop out. And a dangerous cop out at
To disregard our personal actions
as the effect of some inborn trait is
irresponsible to say the least. And if
the reader believes that sort of
gibberish, he should withhold
judgment on me, for, after all, I’m
genetically conservative.
The bottom line is that there arc
sexual deviants out there. How they
got to be that way we can only
guess, but we know we share a
world with gays, and pedophiles,
and necrophiles, and guys who like
sheep and gcrbils. and heterosexual
sadomasochists, and a plethora of
other weirdos. But just because they
exist doesn’t mean they’re normal; it
doesn’t mean we have to accept
them or change our societal values
to accommodate them.
It would be wise for us to realize
this quickly, before we’re forced to
raise our children in a world where
gender nonconformity is status quo,
and sodomy is the preferred way of
A nonviolent political and social
movement in reaction to the wiles of
the homosexual community is
necessary not only for the sake of
normal folk and our children, but
also for the sake of the morally
degenerate as well.
Anything less would be uncon
Tucker Is a senior biology major and a
Dally Nebraskan columnist.
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Halloween hours starting Oct. 17th
Mon-Fri: 10:00am-9:00pm
Saturday Oct. 22: 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday Oct. 23: 12:00pm-5:00pm
735 "O" St. (Under the Viaduct)
Health Policy
and Jewish Concepts
of Social Justice
The Honorable Richard D. Lamm
Schlesingcr Professor of Social Justice and Judaic Studies, UNL
Director, Center for Public Policy and Contemporary Issues
University of Denver
Governor of Colorado, 1975-1987
October 13,1994 Participating Discussants
7:30 p.m. Rabbi Myer Kripke
Sheldon Auditorium Dr WalteTphedlander
12th & R Streets Professor Emeritus. UNMC Omaha
„ .. r ,, Cantor Michael Weisser
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