The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, December 09, 1997, Page 4, Image 4

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Paula Lavigne
Matthew Waite
Erin Gibson
Joshua Gillin
Jeff Randall
Julie Sobczyk
Ryan Soderlin
Only cooperation
can defeat racism
This Sunday, more than 100 communi
ty leaders gathered at the First United
Methodist Church to discuss perhaps the
most uncomfortable topic of 1997.
It wasn’t murder. It wasn’t assault. And
it wasn’t the death penalty.
But it is equally harmful to millions in
the United States.
The community leaders of every race,
culture, religion and age gathered at the
church for a conference held to discuss
racism in Lincoln.
They found, through three hours of dis
cussion, that racism continues to thrive on
our campus and in our community.
And many people at the conference
found they had been its perpetrators.
White people in Nebraska have been
subject to certain sweeping advantages, par
ticipants realized - unfair advantages, like
institutional racism, that judge those of the
“wrong” color before a word leaves their
mouths. Before their ideas are heard. Before
they are hired. Before they are promoted.
But the conference wasn’t designed by
people of color to curse or blame white
Leaders of all colors helped organize
the conference, including ASUN
President Curt Ruwe, Chancellor James
Moeser and Associate Dean of Graduate
Studies Ricardo Garcia.
Those leaders designed the conference
iths about racism imo
^op^jj&disi £ ^ * :T s
* i&nd, W of therday, participants
presented concrete plans to combat racism
- plans that, if followed by everyone,
would eliminate racism before the next
cross could be burned or the next racial
slur could leave a person’s lips.
Plans such as:
■ Support affirmative action, which
allows all races to share an equal opportu
nity for success.
■ Speak when a friend or an acquain
tance throws a racial epithet into a conver
sation or tells a racist joke.
■ Invite other cultures to participate in
the activities of your family, group or
■ Bring churches of predominantly
different races together for community
service projects or events.
The plans are simple. Most take no
time or extra effort, only a desire to
respect fellow humans.
The willingness of conference leaders
to represent the whole community, not just
the community of those threatened by
racism, was heartening.
White leaders finally realized and
admitted racism wasn’t a black problem. It
wasn’t a red problem or a brown problem.
Racism is everyone’s problem. And it
will take the sweat of all races to end it.
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the Fall 1997 Daily Nebraskan. They do
not necessarily reflect the views of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, its
employees, its student body or the
University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
A column is solely the opinion of its author.
The Board of Regents serves as publisher
of the 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
the regents, responsibility for the editorial
content of the newspaper lies solely in
the hands of its student employees.
QjjuJSjKtf^Sf^Sfnuvv aiUOC O:
♦.The JjaityNebraskan welcomes brief
letters to the editor and guest columns,
but does not guarantee their publication.
The Daily Nebraskan retains the right to
edit or reject any material submitted.
Submitted material becomes property of
toe Daily Nebraskan and cannot be
returned. Anonymous submissions will
not be published. Those who submit
letters must identify themselves ty name,
year in school, major and/or group
affiliation, if any.
Submit material to: Daly Nebraskan, 34
Nebraska Union, 1400 R St. Lincoln,
NE. 68588-0448. E-mail:
: ■ I
Hissy fit
Cats in apartment no worse than kids
CLIFF HICKS is a junior
news-editorial and
English major and a Daily
Nebraskan columnist.
“There’s no difference between a
baby and a cat!” the long-haired
young man says to his landlady.
“There is too.”
“OK, the cat doesn’t color on the
“You’re not going to get us to
“It says right here on the lease,”
he says to her. “You may not have a
pet in the apartment unless you get
the management’s permission.”
“Which we’re not going to grant
to you.”
“And you still can’t tell me why.”
“I most certainly can,” says the
woman who manages his apartment.
“Cats leave bad odors.”
“Have you ever smelled
“Well, cats piss on the
_A. W
“Can you say that D
babies don’t do that?”
“Rarely.” / IjX
5. Cats are qui- / ft ^
eter tnan children are.” II ft
“Not cats in heat.” j
Tne-cat be spayed of r r rS
neutered. Children I hf
scream and howl at II
all hours of the _
“But they’re sup- —
posed to do that.”
“And that justifies anything?
They also run up and down the stairs
early in the morning. I tell you that
the neighbor kids wake me up
incredibly early can’t _,
“Oh, a lot of good that’ll do. The
parents will yell at us then.”
“So ask diem politely.”
“I did. They won’t listen.”
“Well the point is that cats make a
bigger mess than children do.”
“I can tell that you haven’t been
around kids.”
“Look, you can have a pet in the
apartment only if you have it in a
“Does the same apply to chil
“That’s inhumane,” she says to
“It’s easier to scold a cat than it
would be to scold a kid.”
“How so?”
“Do you honestly think I could
get away with swatting a kid on the
nose with a rolled up newspaper?”
“Cats claw up fUmiture.”
“So? It’s my furniture!”
“But pieces of it get
into our carpet.”
“Look, you have
a deposit from me
that includes
car- y/ /
pet cleaning.” c i
“Sir, I’m sorry but it really isn’t i
an option.”
“Why can’t you just charge a bit'
more for our deposit so we can have
“There’s no guarantee,if y^did
that it could cover the-damages your
cat could inflict.”
“Again, the same goes for kids.”
“Ah, but there is no real way we
could justify evicting someone on the
basis of them having a child, codld
“So instead you have to aVfril
yourself to attacking my cat.”
“It says we have the right to do so
in the contract.”
“Remind me to see hoW many
apartments smell of kids”,
“Not as many as sihell of cats:”
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