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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 17, 1998)
WHITE from page 1
The best man
When Matt Alexander, a senior agriculture
economics major, arrived in Lincoln as a shy fresh
man from Kearney, he had a lot of misconceptions
about blacks, White said.
Alexander said he met White, originally from
Omaha, through Alexander’s roommate. Because
White was so willing to sit down with Alexander,
those misconceptions were cleared up.
Now, four years later, White is going to be the
best man in Alexander’s wedding on July 4.
Because of a few shared experiences,
Alexander said he has learned things hadn’t been
as easy for White as they had been for Alexander.
“Some people have to work harder to get the
things I have,” Alexander said.
One time the two friends were pulled over by a
police officer for speeding, Alexander said, and it
was obvious White was treated differently by the
officer than Alexander would have been.
He said there were more questions directed at
White, and the car behind diem was going faster
than they were, but White was stopped instead.
“That kind of opened my eyes that things
weren’t as equal as what I believed,” Alexander
It’s gone both ways, though, he said. The two
have learned from each other.
Alexander said he took White to a rodeo in
Kearney one summer and has invited White
numerous times to his family’s cabin.
White said sharing such experiences made the
relationship meaningful to him.
A race relations bubble’ advertising major.
White’s desire to help first-year|7^^^*’TT^^^H
students got him an assignment with! *1 Li ■ il I ^
the Freshman Learning Community inBBHjfl|H|B^^^I Representing a population
Schramm Hall. As the president of the Afrikan
Josh Johnson, aresident on White’stlljijLJB^^^B Peoples Union, White is often the
floor, said White has taught the stu-Is^m^UT^^^^B group’s yoke,
dents to keep an open mind. EAUttij|jJgHBBfl The job brings a lot of pressure,
“He stresses that college is noti|T|TT7jJl|Tj|Tj||B White said,
always just your GPA,” Johnson said.k|MM|>i|Ha|l “I know what I say has a lot of
“The connections that you make and^^^^H^^^H weight, because I am Afrikan Peoples
the people that you meet are also very^^^^^K^^H Union president,” White said. “But I
important.” think I strongly believe my organiza
White said one of the things h^^^HHH^Hbon stands behind the type of person I
focuses on is race relations. am
“You ask anybody on my floor andlHB^HBI “That’s why they put me in this
it’s like, ’You always talk about race^^^^l position.”
relations. Donny’s just this race rela- ^B3| It’s a position of trust, he said,
lions bubble,”’ he said. “They know innately that ‘DotmyS
But White said there is very open com
munication between him and residents.
“They also say, too, that they feel they can
come to me about anything, and I’m not going to
attack them,” White said.
Michael Piemicky, a Schramm student assis
tant who has known White for two years, said this
focus taught the residents a lot.
“Donny focusing on race relations especially
has promoted a lot of community on his floor and
a lot of learning and understanding between people
that may have not connected,” said Piemicky.
“Our floor is very diverse. There’s so much
openness on our floor. I think he stresses that more
than I’ve seen anybody,” said Johnson, a freshman
^F not gomg to misrepresent us , and mat
really means a lot. It realty does,” White said.
He has learned a lot about how to deal with
racially sensitive issues as they arise, he said.
Some of the events include the burning of a
cross during a Sigma Chi initiation ceremony last'
year, and English Professor David Hibler’s recent
But when issues like these arise, White said,
people should know a lot about the situation before
they speak about it White has been contacted by
news media during many of these ordeals.
“I’ve learned that people aren’t most receptive
to a lot of yelling and screaming, and I find myself
knowing how to calm down before I address an
issue,” he said.
The university has problems, and even though
it has made some progress in dealing with such
issues, much needs to be done, White said
“I think I’ve said time and time again that the
problem with this institution now is you’ve got city
America coming in contact with small town
America with ho trainihg,” V&ite said.
“They don’t taiowhow|o interact with each
other. And nine times dtitofiO they don’t have to.”
Looking to the future
White also is taking his idea of change and
applying it to his future.
White plans to be a psychiatrist for veterans of
wars such as the Vietnam War and the GulfWar. He
said he wants to help others like his father, who was
^n the GulfWar.
“After war, no one is ever the same,” White
Said. “It takes a lot of work to integrate them back
Just, as he hopes he can make a change in the
l^ture, White hopes he made a difference while he
was at the university.
And if he was to return in 10 years, White said,
he would hope to see a new university.
White said it will take time to solve the prob
lems at UNL.
“I also believe and know the type of change I
would like to see is not going to happen (soon) in
any shape or form,” White said. “I’m just trying to
plant seeds, if you will, to hope the change will
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: Diversity in History
' . >vi
Dk Edtpr’shote^Each day during Black History Month, the Daily Nebraskan
p\ will m the story of a minority who made an important contribution in
• :.*v . V* is.
Because the young Georgia-born woman attended
Langston induftjial College in Oklahoma before moving
3^ to Chicago to work at the White Box Barber Shop and
lecause she learned French and went to Europe in
itlon-which she could not do in thr “r1
under the chief pilot for Anthony
aircraft corporation and learn to fly a German
Fokker airplane; ;
Lr Because, by studying overseas, she became the
f i r efAf r i can-A meric an woman to earn a pilot’s license
% t922;*r * W' ■■
Btcauss she returned to the United States to
1 d perferm4ier barnstorming act before thousands of
S4Useveral air shows that year;
D B ecause she lectured on the opportunities in
aviation at schools and churches and dreamed of
Hk starting an Anjerioiio school to train other black
5-^ aviators; '
Because she agtceed to perform a 1926 Memorial
*p\ Day air show for tne Negro Welfare League in
*p>r Jacksonville, Fla.where her plane experienced
£-4” mechanical failure during practical maneuvers, and
she fell from her plane to her death,
“Brave Bessie” Coleman is known as an air-bound
-] v explorer who broke down barriers to black Americans
J and women in flight. J
Half of congress is made up of lawyers.
No wonder congress doesn't get along.
Speaking of lawyers, ours made us include this
disclaimer with our 12 menu items under $4.
Plus tax. (Thank congress for that.) Not valid
during Halley’s Comet. Must be hungry. Offer
expires when you do. No swimming for one
hour after dinner. Purchase required. No space
4603 Vine Street, 466-4045, Lincoln
K " ,J ^ '\.v jroffiHkV
AREN’T THAT TASTY ANYWAY.
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