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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 12, 1997)
Sex is more than just a matter of trust
KAY PRAUNER is a senior news-editori
al major, a copy desk co-chief and a
Daily Nebraskan columnist.
Somewhere in the world, there may exist a person .
who once claimed he loved you. Who made you feel like
a god or goddess. Who placed you on a pedestal.
Or rather, an altar.
A person who made a sacrifice for you - of the most
precious gift life has to offer.
Or more strictly speaking, of life itself.
Your life, that is. -
In a prison in western New York, a young mart* much
like the person I describe, sits on suicide watch for lov
ing too much.
Himself, that is.
He hasn’t much of a background, aside from the
alleged tales about how his father vanished, his grand
mother smoked crack, and his mother used to peddle her
sexual prowess, along with the prepubescent frame of
his kid sister, all for the sake of a more robust drag
It’s the usual glorified ghetto sob story.
For the most part this young man spent his days wan
dering the streets, rapping for strangers and selling
drugs to survive. That was all he knew. And he fared
ne epitomized me modern-day inner-city romantic
struggle: the man who stole everyone’s heart - a wooer
of the women and a charmer of die charitable. He was
the downtrodden dreamer; the man who proclaimed to
nearly everyone he met, that someday, he would be
He was right.
But this fame will force him to reckon with the past.
This past fatally affects at least 10 other people
according to the current head count. And presumably,
this number could spawn into sums that stretch beyond
what could ever be counted on a full set of fingers and
toes. The final score could surpass dozens and hit marks
in the hundreds.
That’s a lot of human sacrifice.
And if there’s something Nushawn “JoJo” Williams
knows, it’s sacrifice - although not necessarily on his
n Currently Williams is being held in jail on Riker’s
Island for the allegation that he knowingly spread HIV
through unsafe sex - an accusation that, according to
Newsweek magazine, could win him honors like “reck
less endangerment” or “attempted murder.”
One of Williams’ former lovers, whose HIV status is
still pending, said he was simply in denial. Williams
couldn’t believe the doctor’s word; and so he carried on
- business as usual.
But at what point did Williams have to know he was
Was he relying on his gut, a la that’s exactly how it
should feel? Or did he feel worthy of justifying his
action under the more biblical eye for an eye, tooth for a
Or, was it simply his “poor me” past that brought
him to such vengeful and reckless actions?
In response to such questions, Williams’ aunt, Diane
Fields, emits an answer even more elusive than
Williams’ actions themselves:,
“The parents of them girls should’ve taught them to
keep their legs closed, or use condoms.”
So where did Williams earn his degree in sexual
smarts? When, exactly, were both his feet on the floor?
This isn’t about appendage pointing; (AIDS is; but
the blame is not.) f
This is about people who trust so much that eventu
ally they lose themselves and their lr
This is about all of us who trust -
purity or naivete.
This is about those of us who ma;
to look into the eyes of the loves of o
tell them we have AIDS because we <
our faith in someone else’s hands. So
else who couldn’t have cared less ab<
And that ourultimate loves, too, will
at the hands of another, seemingly ui
yet quite pertinent, person.
Why is Williams’ story so
Because he may be a willingly m
Why are the media making a
majestic mountain out of a malevo
lent con artist?
Because his tragic background
allows him leeway under the insani
ty plea? Aw. My heart bleeds for
Tell it to the parents of the 13- <
year-old girl he infected last year. To the
infected young persons who will never be able
to trust - or live normally - again. To all the \
persons in similarly desperate and devastating sit-'
To all those who haven’t been educated
enough to know the AIDS basics.
I know what it’s like to be oblivious to the
outcome of unprotected sex. It’s scary as hell. And
But it’s stories like Williams’ and his victims’ that
make me rethink my past actions.
In fact, it was William^ who
roused the sleepy town of
Jamestown, N.Y., whose previ
ously out-of-touch resi
dents rubbed their eyes,
pinched themselves, saw
what was real, and promptly
sprinted to the nearest AIDS
Now they know, I guess.
I think it’s time the rest of us
Before we have to find out firsthand.
And especially before we have to lose trust in our
Patience comes from wisdom, love
GREGG MADSEN is a
major and a Daily
Sometimes you learn a lesson in
the most unexpected place.
This weekend, on a windblown
hillside in West-Central Nebraska, I
learned something I'll never forget.
My dad and I were hunting deer in
the late afternoon, with a short hour
and a half before sunset, and the sub
sequent end of legal shooting time. I
was covering the hilly ground rather
quickly, pressing to get to a big ridge
that marks our property line where I
thought there would be deer.
Dad was walking a little slower.
Not because of his age or lack of sta
angry. I didn’t have time for this.
My dad sat down on the side of a
steep hill, his blaze-orange sweatshirt
and cap standing out against the
brown-and-gray native grasses. He
raised his binoculars to his eyes and
started to scan the large canyon below,
searching for any signs that a deer
might be nearby. A north wind started
to blow through the canyon, howling
as it went. But Dad was silent He just
sat there looking through the binocu
I couldn’t believe it.
In my mind, there was no chance
he was going to see a deer in this
canyon. I was sure of it I was so sure,
in fact, that I started to walk away. He
could stay there, I reasoned, because I
had more important things - namely,
shooting a deer- to do with my time.
As soon as my right foot started to
move away from my dad, I knew it
was the wrong thing to do: My mind
said get going, but my heart told me to
grow up! I somehow knew I would
regret it if I didn’t go back.
Reluctantly, I walked over to
where he was sitting. I sat down
beside him and started to look through
My lesson wasn’t a hunting les
son, though. It was a lesson in
patience. And most importantly, it was
a reminder of how much I love my
dad and why I do.
No matter how much I wanted to
end the hunt early, I had a hard time
being patient enough to do so. Dad
wanted me to get a deer, probably
more than I did; yet he knew the
secret was going to be patience. As
hard as it is for me to admit it, his
aged wisdom trumped my youthful
Patience is tough, let’s face it.
Patience means you have to forget
about what might be and live in the
present. It involves discipline and per
severance - not very popular virtues.
In our culture, we are urged to get
all we can as soon as we can. I’m
ashamed to admit that I’ve bought
into that logic thousands of times,
only to realize later that I acted too
quickly. It’s too easy to place our goals
on a higher plane than our means of
achieving them. I was so preoccupied
with finding a deer that I forgot the
most effective way of finding one.
In the same way, I’ve disregarded
relaxed way, he continually shows
Patience is tough, lets face it. Patience
means you have to forget about what might
be and live in the present. It .involves
discipline and perseverance...
how wise he is while simultaneously
proving how silly I can be.
Patience is really delaying your
gratification. Ironically, I didn’t delay
anything Saturday by slowing down
and sitting with my dad on that hill
side. I wouldn’t, have got a deer on my
own, but through patience I ended up
getting it more quickly than I could
On Saturday, I learned how valu
able patience is. I learned that my dad
still has some tricks left up the tattered
sleeve of his blaze-orange sweatshirt.
He taught me a lesson without saying
a word, as he has many times before.
But this lesson was different.
For one of the first times I can
remember, I didn’t resent Dad’s wis
dom. Instead, I realized that his,,
patience was sijnply an outpouring of
his love forme. For once, I was com
fortable with the fact that I loved him
I will never foiget that day.
After our hunt, Dad and I rushed
back home to catch the end of the
Nebraska football game. With five
minutes left, I was convinced it was
over. In my mind, there was no possi
ble way for my beloved Comhuskers
to win die game. While screaming at
the television set, I caught a glimpse
of Dad sitting on the front edge of the
recliner, watching silently.
He was right again.
When the Huskers scored on Matt
Davison’s miracle reception and tied
the game, dad and I jumped up and
gave each other high-fives.
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