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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 5, 1997)
should honor rights
Give us a break.
The University Of Nebraska
Lincoln’s Academic Senate voted
Tuesday to deny students’ requests for a
fall break and for a day off honoring
Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday in
The senate, by its actions, has missed
an opportunity to recognize a world
renowned civil rights leader and give
more than lip service to cries of diversity
and creating a welcome campus for
While the university tries to tout its
move to generate more support for
minorities and encourage more minority
students to remain here, it has failed to
really back up its support with action.
Several students already wanted a
break, both in the fall and spring, which
would give them a few precious days to
While the fall break would have been
a nice gesture to both students and facul
ty, the spring break would have broken
crucial ground in extending a salute to
King with the hope of boosting the con
fidence of all minority students at UNL.
A day off to celebrate King’s birth
day would give students an opportunity
to attend some of the numerous events
that go on during this day. Students
would then have the opportunity to learn
about him and his peaceful revolution. If
students would be able to become
informed by having a day off, then they
students wanting to
attend these events need not worry about
missing a day of class.
King’s birthday deserves to be recog
nized by a day off because of what he
represented. King represented qualities
that make mere men into leaders. King’s
dedication to peaceful revolution was at
the same time brilliant and effective.
Through peaceful means he was able to
change the way Americans think of
human rights. Because of King’s efforts;
the idea that all men are created equal
and that all men have certain basic rights
has taken one step closer to becoming
People such as King are special..
They elevate the human race to a higher
level because of their humanitarian
efforts. These kinds of efforts are few
and far between and need to be recog
nized. There is no better way to recog
nize King’s birthday than by giving stu
dents a day in which they can have the
time to recognize him.
Since the Academic Senate can only
offer advisement to the NU Board of
Regents on this matter, there is still an
opportunity for the board to vote to give
students a day off on King’s birthday.
If the board were to vote to give stu
dents the day off to recognize King’s
birthday, it would be a gesture to stu
dents to go out and learn of King’s mon
Unsigned editorials are the opinions of
the rail 1997 Daily Nebraskan. They do
not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincotn, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is solely toe opinion of its author.
The Board of Regents serves as pubfisher
of toe Daily Nebraskan; policy is set by
the Daily Nebraskan Editorial Board. The
UNL Publications Board, established by
the regents, supervises the production
of the paper. According to policy set by
toe regents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
the hands of its student employees.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Neoraskan retains the right to
edit or reject any material submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of
the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
returned. Anonymous submissions will
not be published. Those who submit
letters must identify themselves by name,
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affiliation, if any.
Submit material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34
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g. — -- - f - ^
Shame, shame, shame
New approach won't eradicate society's wrongdoings
KAY PRAUNER is a senior
news-editorial major, copy
desk co-chief and a Daily
Everybody’s doin’ it, doin’ it,
So it must be kosher.
Thus heralds the impending mil
lennium’s top law scholars, who say,
hit the road, handcuffs; be gone, billy
clubs; ciao, corporal punishment;
The whole idea is that we can
eradicate wrongdoing and uphold
norms with the power of something
much stronger than perfunctory pun
ishment - something that calls to
mind yet another childhood hoot.
Shame, shame, know your name.
And if the shame fits, it’s yours -
made ready-to-wear, haute couture.
Anyone who has been dealt a
DWI, possession of a controlled sub
stance, curfew or probation violation,
or failure to appear in court knows the
current routine for keeping all in
check: Read it in the papers; then
You’re hardened criminals on
In black and white, no less. For all
your current employers, family mem
bers, worship leaders, ex-lovers’
mothers, high-school clique rulers
and what-have-you to peruse - and
use - be it for keeping score or refrig
So it is with the up-and-coming
device for social control: If an action
out-steps the bounds of mainstream
Even so, this approach is a bit too
tangerine trees and marmalade skies for me
to digest.” _
behavior, allot shame accordingly.
This way we can use one another to
assuage our public pains and return
our societal ills to the shelf of grace
from which they once fell.
A few courts across the nation are
incorporating the shame tactic into
inflicting punishments: In California,
a shoplifter succumbed to wearing a
T-shirt that screamed, “I Am a Thief”;
a New York woman slipped into a
sandwich board that listed her spe
cialty as, “I Am a Convicted Child
Molester”; a slumlord apartment
manager was forced to fend for her
self among the roaches and rats that
roosted in her residences.
Harsh stuff, here.
Hang those heads! Gimme 50
mea culpas\ Look CONTRITE, sol
Are courts planning to hire Sister
Tarsissia to administer the wrist-slap
pings and ruler-whappings?
Sign the board for shoplifting!
Slap two checks behind your name
for that pipe in your backpack!
Tobacco, my butt! Recess? NEVER!!
And finish your milk, or I’m calling
My mind reels with all the dictio
nary entries I may have to memorize
in the case that I should wander astray
from the flock.
How can shame possibly be used
as a deterrent? I know the “crimes”
for which authorities plan to use this
force are nearly as petty as the pro
posed punishment. Even so, this
approach is a bit too tangerine trees
and marmalade Skies for me to digest.
But the thrust is to traipse along
with the norm, they say.
So when I organize a campuswide
German Alcoholics Pride Day,
nobody will have anything to Old
Crow about, right?
Whatever, to the second power.
That is, whatever trounces in with
the tide goes - even Coca-Cola
caught on to this idea.
With this view we can have
groups like Be Kind to Your Spouse
Beating Brethren, Optimize Time
With Your Neighborhood Sex
Offender, Licentious Lawyers
Doing the regular drug-dealer
thing would be nothing more than
keeping up with the Joneses.
So far, so good. And so much for
shame as the ultimate vice of vice.
None of these people care.
I guess I can’t blame those
who postulate shame as the social
cure-all; no other social or politi
cal enforcement has worked thus
far, at least as far as parting the
waters between social patron and
I think it’s more or less an eeney
meeney approach to broadening the
schism between good and bad. I
mean, who decides for certain? The
“normal” social set? The “normal”
lawmakers? And how do these people
choose what’s right or wrong? And
who chooses the caliber of these
I guess the answer’s in everybody
pickin’ her shame and eschewin’ it.
Whatever. Whatever goes, that is.
Not only does that mean some
thing, I guess that means anything,
shame or no. Take your pick.
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