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Professor’s e-mails pose racism concern
By Lindsay Young
I Assignment Reporter
Some have condemned it.
I Some don’t mind it.
And others aren’t quite sure what to
think about it.
But either way, an English profes
; sor’s e-mail that could be considered
« racist has raised many eyebrows at the
j University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
David Hibler, an English professor
'• at the UNL, sent pieces of prose that
4 contained the term “nigga” to several
UNL faculty members through a uni
versity e-mail server.
, Chancellor James Moeser said in a
« statement Tuesday that he condemned
x the e-mail because he thought parts of it
By Joy Ludwig
Love Library, Avery Hall and
Hamilton Hall are just some of the
buildings that need a facelift.
And $54 million in state money
might be just what the doctor ordered
to fix those ailing buildings and oth
ers at the University of Nebraska
As part of LB 1100, the
University of Nebraska would
receive $5.5 million a year for the
next 10 years beginning in 2000 to
could be considered racist.
He said he regrets “that the universi
ty’s e-mail system has been used in this
Contacted on his cellular phone
Tuesday night, Hibler said he could not
talk to die Daily Nebraskan.
One piece of prose, obtained by the
Daily Nebraskan, is entitled, “Scene 02:
Two old Niggas Talkin”:
“You can’t say that. Say what? What
you say. What you say what? What you
say. Nigga? Yeah, Nigga. You can’t say
Nigga. Who say you can’t say Nigga?
Da Man say you can’t say Nigga....”
In other parts of Hibler’s e-mail,
which read like news briefs, Hibler is
quoted as saying he has been the legal
parent of “a Black but beautiful Young
Nigga whom I am proud to call my old
est son. If this doesn’t make me a Nigga
outright, then it certainly makes me a
certified Nigga lover.”
The ‘news brief’ also reported that
there was an “amicable resolution of
any concern about the use of the word
‘nigger’ between Hibler and Afrikan
However, Afrikan Peoples Union
Adviser Venetria Patton, also an English
professor, said she had not heard about
“I would imagine that as their advis
er, I would know about it,” she said.
APU President Donny White did
not return phone calls to the Daily
Nebraskan Tuesday. Other APU
members said they had not read the
prose and directed questions to
GOV. BEN NELSON speaks on behalf of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before the Nebraska Legislature Appropriations Committee Tuesday.
Nelson was asking for a $79.5 billion bond issue that would provide funds to help renovate or replace 14 buildings in the NU system.
' \iture of NlPs buildings rests with bill
pay for deferred maintenance, which
now totals $108 million. State col
leges would receive $400,000.
NU would match the state’s $5.5
million each year, for up to 10 years.
The money would pay for repair
ing heating and cooling systems;
updating buildings to meet fire
codes, safety codes and Americans
with Disabilities Act requirements;
and renovating or replacing other
buildings such as Lyman and
in u rresiaem uenms smitn saia
the maintenance has been put off too
long on 14 of the selected buildings
and cannot wait any longer.
“Every year we defer the mainte
nance, the cost (of construction and
renovation) is up 4 to 5 percent,” he
Smith said the money from the
state would allow NU to pay off
about $79.5 million of its revenue
bonds to complete the work.
In addition, he said the time was
right because the interest rates for
10-year bonds are 4.6 percent, which
would cover the inflation rates of
construction ana renovation costs -
about 4 to 5 percent.
“This would make the net cost of
borrowing nearly zero,” he said.
Since 1982, NU has done pro
jects in a “cyclic way,” Smith said,
meaning some years, many projects
were completed and others years,
very little was done.
“This is the approach we’ve been
taking for the last 15 years or so,” he
said. “If we continue on this path we
will never solve the problem.”
The bill would force NU to com
Please see FUTURE on 7
Read the Daily Nebraskan on the World Wide Web at http:/ lwww.unl.edu/DailyNeb
Patton said she deleted the e-mail
without reading it.
“I figured it was a waste of my
time,” she said.
Justin Kallhoff, a junior premedi
cine major, is in one of Hibler’s classes.
He said he was not aware that Hibler
mailed the prose to faculty members,
but said the prose also was sent to mem
bers of the class.
Kallhoff said he did not believe
Hibler was being racist.
“I knew that he would get attention
and I knew that people would take it
wrong,” Kallhoff said.
Kallhoff said when some people
hear the word “nigger,” they respond
strongly despite its context.
Gerry Brookes, vice chairman of
the English department, said Hibler’s
freedom of speech was at issue.
Matt LeMieux, executive director
for the American Civil Liberties Union
Nebraska, said Hibler’s message was a
legal expression of free speech.
In his statement, Moeser said “while
recognizing every individual’s funda
mental right to free speech, I absolutely
condemn such racist commentary.”
Patton said she appreciated
Moeser’s immediate rebuke of Hibler’s
Hibler’s actions also may be a result
of other problems with university offi
cials, Patton said, “concerning him and
whether or not he will be staying on at
Please see E-MAIL on 8
By Todd Anderson
While the governor’s “brain
gain” legislation has garnered wide
spread support, there may be better
ways to solve the state’s growing
worker shortage, a state senator said
Twelve speakers, including Gov.
Ben Nelson and NU President
Dennis Smith, testified in favor of
LB 1176, which would create the
Quality Work Force Academic Loan
Program - known as the Nebraska
“Brain Gain” program.
But Sen. Bob Wickersham of
Harrrison questioned the effective
ness of the bill in keeping more
skilled workers to fill empty posi
tions in Nebraska.
Using the simple economic idea
of supply and demand, Wickersham
said increased demand would raise
the salaries of desired positions and
create incentive for workers to stay
If supply isn’t meeting demand,
he said, there must be several rea
sons why graduates of Nebraska’s
universities and colleges choose to
leave the state to go elsewhere.
David Powers, chairman of the
Coordinating Commission for Post
secondary Education, said demand
for workers has increased while the
supply has decreased.
He said the two would eventual
ly merge in the long run, but some
thing needs to increase worker sup
Sen. Kermit Brashear of Omaha,
Please see BRAIN on 7
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