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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 16, 1997)
On the green
Woods' accomplishments an inspiration to all
This weekend I experienced
something that I knew would have
historical significance. I saw a
phenomenon on ESPN, on the news,
in the paper and just about every
This phenomenon was not some
peace treaty between warring
nations or an asteroid heading
toward Earth. It was a 21-year-old
man who changed a sport in a way
like no other has or probably ever
will. Tiger Woods, a young golfer in
his first pro year, won the most
prestigious event in the sport; all in
On the surface, this whole talk
about Woods seems hugely annoying
because golf appears to be such a
dull game. For those who don’t like
golf, I reply with the words of
President Clinton: “I feel your pain.”
I personally have never liked the
sport, but everyone in the entire
world should be able to appreciate
what Woods has done.
Forget that he's black and forget
that he’s been playing since he could
pick up a club — Tiger Woods has
shown he will be the greatest golfer
of all time by far. This revolution is
more startling than Michael
Jordan's feats in basketball and
more amazing than Joe Montana’s
accomplishments in football.
Those athletes may legitimately
be called the best in their sports, but
Tiger has risen far above them. He
has already done more for his game
than they have combined.
A popular commercial by his
major sponsor, Nike, shows children
of all sizes and colors saying “I am
Tiger Woods,” with determination
and dreams in their eyes.
Not only is he making golf a
sport that can be played by people
other than overweight, middle-aged
men, but he is inspiring children
across the nation to grab a hold of
whatever they want and change it so
drastically that their names would be
synonymous with their sports,
professions or feats in general.
Tiger’s explosion onto the golf
scene is not sane fluke or freak
show like “Happy Gilmore,”
although they do both drive the ball
about the same distance.
The other players have already
recognized that they are witnessing
something that has implications not
only for golf, but for the world.
There’s a saying “You can do
anything if you set your mind to it”
:hat is thrown around all too often
without any true meaning behind it.
Tiger Woods lives that expression
and should inspire us all.
Harder is a sophomore broad
casting major and a Daily Nebras
Difficult to avoid race, gender perception in America
Yes, I admit it, (crime of all
crimes) I am a white male. And with
this status, I have been given
privileges that those who do not
share my gender and race are not
granted. Many white males, myself
included, will adamantly claim that
it is not their fault.
No matter who was originally at
fault, the reality is this: In America
it is a lot easier to be white and male
than it is to be anything else. Let me
show you what my race and gender
have given me.
inose more astute readers may
notice similarities between parts of
my column and the high-quality
(and far more extensive) essay
entitled “White Privilege” by Peggy
White Privilege (also known as
I can go shopping alone, or with
other white males, and compare
products for a considerable amount
of time without being followed or
I can turn on the television and
see people of my race widely (and
for the most part positively) repre
I can hang out in a public place
with other white males and be
assured few people, or more likely
no one, will think we are a gang.
Whether I use a check, a credit
card or cash, my skin color will not
count against me when people
consider my financial reliability.
If I do poorly on a test, the test
results will probably be attributed to
my lack of preparation, as an
individual, not a result of my being a
If I do extremely well at some
thing, I will not be looked upon as
the exception to my race’s norm.
I am never asked “So, what do
white males think on this issue.” We
made up the issue and the main
stream view. Everyone knows how
we feel about it.
i can criticize inequality in our
government, our college or any other
social institution (even in an opinion
column) without anyone assuming I
do so because I am a white male.
I can use slang and wear baggy
clothing without people attributing
my behavior to negative qualities
existing within my race. (Though
people may say that I am trying to
be accepted by a different race.)
If I am forced to interact with the
police, as a white man, my race will
not immediately work against me.
If I am forced to interact with the
police and I am obviously wealthy,
the police will not automatically
assume I earned my money illegally.
I can catch any bus or shuttle on
this campus at any time of the day or
night without fearing for my safety.
TWenty-five percent of my gender
will not be sexually assaulted before
I’m fairly certain that we can all agree,
at least for the present, it is impossible to
take race and gender completely out of
_ our minds.”
It is safe to assume no matter who
I date or marry I will not be the
victim of— or taper my actions
because of—physical violence or
the threat of physical violence.
If I were to have 2,5 or 10 sexual
partners this semester, I would not
be called vulgar names because of
my sexual conduct.
If I were to be called vulgar
names because of my sexual con
duct, they would probably be meant
as compliments (from other males at
It would be practically impossible
to force sex on me, whether on a
date or in a parking lot.
If I were to receive a promotion
that was being competed for by
members of both genders, my co
workers would not attribute my
promotion, in any way, to my
I have never even had. to think
about where the blue emergency
lights are located.
So, I am pal of the majority in
our male-dominated society, and I
am far from perfect Sometimes
when I’m in class and a particularly
attractive woman is making a point
in a discussion, I may think some
thing like, “WOW, She is gor
geous!” I will also listen to her
ideas, but I’m not sure which is first.
I’m fairly certain that we can all
agree, at least for the present, it is
impossible to take race and gender
completely out of our minds. We
were raised in a very race and
gender conscious society.
The most important thing white
males can do is try harder to respect
positions held by those who are
different from us. We need to realize
that we are the dominant force in
American society. And more
importantly, that this dominance
affects less powerful groups.
iiua i3 in* iu say uuu n is easy
for us. White males still have to
work very hard to succeed. And this
success, even after a lifetime of hard
work, is far from guaranteed.
All people have to deal with the
daily problems of life, and this can
make it difficult to see the reality of
the minority experience in the
The worse possible solution is to
deny that there is a problem.
Tensions will keep building, and one
day the race and gender problems of
this country may get out of hand.
Donley is a sophomore philoso
phy and sociology major and a
Daily Nebraskan columnist.
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