The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 17, 1997, Page 5, Image 5

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Simmering pot
Race relations should he taught first in the home
The most important issue on our
campus and in this country right now
is race relations. The cross-burning
^incident started the debate here. On
top of that gem, in the last few weeks
we have also had a black celebrity
found liable by a mostly white jury,
and another cross—this one found
in the gas tank of a car belonging to a
minority staff member at the Univer
sity of Nebraska at Omaha’s campus.
We all have midterms quickly
approaching, so it’s kind of difficult
to take time out of our busy sched
ules to sit through a race relations
seminar. But thanks to your friendly
campus columnist this is no longer a
End seminar.
I don’t care what you use to
justify your racism; the Bible, the
way you were raised, your friends. If
you are a racist you are wrong, plain
and simple.
Part two of the argument—if
you’re a racist get out of MY
country. The United States of
America and our very own Genera
tion X need people who are going to
solve some of the problems we have
inherited. Racism is the first hurdle
we have to get over.
So what is the problem? Igno
rance mostly. Not so long ago I was
undo* the misguided assumption that
everyone in America had sat down
and thought about the problem of
This illusion was shattered for me
when a newscaster asked a juror in
the O.J. civil trial if the perspective
she brought to the case may have
been colored by her background —
I don’t care what
you use to justify
your racism; the
Bible, the way you
were raised, your
friends. If you are a
racist you are
wrong, plain and
she is white and grew up in a wealthy
area of California. I expected a
politically correct answer like: It is
true that people view things differ
ently depending on their life experi
ence and views taught to them by
their parents, but 1 think we gave O.J.
a fair trial.
Instead she said, “Some people
are against interracial marriages, but
I don’t think it came up in our
deliberations.” She hadn’t even
understood the question.
The newscaster tried a few more
times to explain the question to her
but it was pointless. I think a lot of us
in the majority have the same
problem. We assume that the
stereotypes we learned growing up
are reliable and we don’t need to
raise this ugly little question any
We all need to challenge our
beliefs on this issue. America is
quickly moving toward a truly
interracial society. Before the middle
of next century whites will no longer
be a majority and we need to find a
way to put this behind us.
Luckily our society is also moving
toward making education a major
priority. Many people believe this
will be the medicine to cure the .
disease of racism. I don’t think that
will be enough.
Let me tell you what will work.
Every mother and father in this
country—no matter what race they
belong to—need to teach their
children that people are people.
Black, white, Asian—it doesn’t
If we are going to “live up to the
true meaning of our creed” we have
to take Mr. King’s advice and judge
people on the strength of their
character not the color of their skin.
Donley is a sophomore philoso
phy major and a Daily Nebraskan
Looking for something
to do this week?
UPC has plans for you ...
Check It eiitf
Campus Rec “ *
Chess Tournament
, Thursday, February 20
9-11 p.m.
The Crib, Nebraska Union
For more information, call the
University Program Council at
Jessica ^
Parents should prioritize children over careers
For many women and men, having
children means difficult choices.
Choices that go way beyond choos
ing names and nursery decorations.
In a world where people want it
all, one of the toughest issues is the
decision whether to stay home or put
a child in day care.
I feel strongly that if you’re going
to have children, you must commit
yourself to their development.
Translation: Someone needs to be
home with the little ones.
Obviously, single parents don’t
have this luxury. But when circum
stances permit, children of single
parents should be left with a family
member or in a one-on-one situation
with a qualified caregiver.
Argue costs, argue career or argue
convenience, I don’t care. Because in
die end, I’ll argue the children’s lives
are at stake.
Recently, Time published an
article about infant development that
really hit home. I’ve always thought
that it was important to have a parent
stay home with newborns and
toddlers, but after reading that
article, I’m adamant.
The first few years of life (and
those nine months in the womb) are
absolutely critical in human develop
Nature has a lot to do with our
potential, but more and more studies
are showing that nurture has greater '
influence of what kind of person a
child will grow up to be.
It’s nothing new that children who
are touched more usually grow up to
be well-adjusted adults.
But studies are also showing that
children who are read to, played with
and talked to, in conjunction with t;
physical contact, are happier,
healthier and generally better people.
Children are a huge commitment.
They require—and deserve—your
best, without question.
That commitment requires a
choice and unfortunately that choice
usually comes down to career versus
children—which makes sense. It’s
difficult to be your absolute best
when there are multiple demands for
your complete attention.
To help your children to develop
positively, they need full parental
attention. I don’t care if it’s mom or
dad, but someone needs to stay home
with the kids. _V
I'm-not a sociologist or a psy
chologist, but I wonder, would we
have as many problems with juve
niles if more parents had stayed at
home during those important first
few years?
This doesn’t mean giving up your
life or your career. It does mean that
you need to make your life fit the
demands of a baby.
Staying at home doesn’t mean you
have to be a “housewife/
househusband” or that you have to
give up your career. It just means you
find creative ways to stay active or
If you want to give up your career
for full-time parenthood, that’s great,
if you don’t, find a career that’s
flexible and work around the family.
Women in my family have
become free-lance writers and editors
who work out of home offices. And
my mom has always taught night
classes so she could be home with us
during the day and my dad was with
us when she was teaching.
When 1 decide to have children, I
plan on making my career fit their
needs. With technological advances,
it’s only going to be easier to work
out of the home.
I don’t want to miss first words, ....
first steps and all the little wondrous
discoveries all babies make every
day of their lives.
It’s reassuring to see that Con
gress is responding to the changing
needs of families by passing family
friendly legislation. I only hope that
it continues the trend. I’d like to see
it made easier for stay-at-home
parents to get insurance and benefits.
If you’re already a working
parent, make the most of the time
you do spend with your children.
There’s some horrifying statistic that
on average, parents and children talk
less than 10 minutes a day (or less)!
That’s wrong.
In a world where the future is
growing more uncertain every day,
your children deserve the best, start
they can get. That doesn’t mean
buying them whatever they want. It
means that you need to give them
your time and attention, without
smothering them.
Staying at home with your
children in their first few years of life
is but a small sacrifice for the years
of reward that are to come.
Kennedy tt a senior advertising
and broadcasting major and a
Daily Nebraskan columnist
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