The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 16, 2000, Page 6, Image 6

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Ex-Husker Shevin Wiggins
pleads guilty to lesser charge
Former Nebraska football player years in jail and a $ 10,000 fme.
Shevin Wiggins pleaded guilty In a statement, defense attorney
Monday to a misdemeanor of con- Terry Dougherty said the misde
tributing to the delinquency of a meanor charge does not specify sexu
minor. al contact but that Wiggins admits to
Wiggins was formally charged being in a place he shouldn’t have
with a felony of sexual assault on a 14- been.
year-old girl. “It was this error in judgment that
With his plea, Wiggins faces up to he acknowledged (Monday) by plead
a year in jail and a $ 1,000 fine, said ing guilty to contributing to the delin
Gary Lacey, Lancaster County attor- quency of a minor,” Dougherty said,
ney. If he had been convicted of the Sentencing for Wiggins was
felony, he would have faced up to five scheduled for April 13.
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Southeast community college
Gay, American-Indian
student embraces identity
By Veronica Daehn
Staff writer
Daniel Justice is gay and an
American Indian.
But you can’t tell either by look
ing at him.
Justice, a doctoral student in
Native American literature, spoke to
a room of about 30 people Tuesday
night about his ethnicity and his sex
ual orientation.
“I’m proud to be a Cherokee,
and I’m proud to be gay,” Justice
said. “But the pride came too late.”
Justice, a member of the
Cherokee nation of Oklahoma, said
he grew up not wanting to be
American Indian.
When he was 3 years old, he
found out his .father was an
American Indian over breakfast at a
restaurant with his parents.
He was disheartened, he said,
because the only image he had of an
American Indian was the one por
trayed in Bugs Bunny cartoons and
western movies.
When Justice turned 21, he said
he realized the importance of his
tribal heritage and has since
embraced it.
It hasn’t been long that he’s been
^ When you are marked, you are
always looking for safe zones and for
Daniel Justice
graduate student in Native American literature
openly gay either.
Justice said he had known he
was gay since he was 18 but didn’t
acknowledge it until last year when
he was 23.
“To be gay in America today is
not a happy experience sometimes,”
he said. “In high school, I was the
school faggot, and I didn’t even
come out until last year.”
UNL’s campus environment isn’t
welcoming either, Justice said.
He never feels safe, not even in a
gay bar where the purpose of going
there is to feel secure.
“When you are marked, you are
always looking for safe zones and
for allies,” he said.
Justice said the problem is ideo
logical. The university has made a
commitment to diversity, but it has a
long way to go.
He said he doesn’t expect people
to feel guilty about what happened
to the American Indians or about
how gays are treated.
“Guilt is like shoveling smoke,”
he said. “It doesn’t do a damn bit of
good. But it is an issue of responsi
Gays and American Indians have
similar ties, he said.
They are the only minority
groups that people still openly,
unashamedly bash, he said.
People need to be responsible
and stop practicing discrimination,
he said.
Both groups are still striving for
“We just want to live, exist and
walk with our heads held high,” he
“If the only way I can be safe is
to walk around in shame, then I’m
not going to be safe. I can’t do that.”
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