Archive: 05/2010

"The Good Life"... for Everyone?

NFP Statement on Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Nebraska

At a recent state soccer championship match, a group of students from the overwhelmingly white and affluent Lincoln East High School made dozens of homemade “green cards” which were then thrown in the air on the field after their team defeated the majority-Hispanic Omaha South team to win the title.  The incident was reminiscent of the days when watermelons and black cats were thrown on the field to belittle and denigrate African American athletes.  It underscores the highly charged atmosphere surrounding undocumented Hispanic immigration to this country, the anxiety among many regarding the growing presence of Latinos in the U.S., and the easy potential for these attitudes to turn mean-spirited and racist. 

Nebraskans for Peace commends those students, parents, administrators and teachers from both Lincoln East and Omaha South who have sought to turn an ugly incident into a transformative teaching moment.  The recent meeting in Omaha between students from both schools, as well as the creation of the Student Coalition Against Racism at Lincoln East, are important first steps.  However, given the broader national context of rising anti-immigrant sentiment, we must all oppose the nativist impulse and those who seek to divide us along lines of difference.

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Don't Let Congress Fund More War

Tim Rinne
State Coordinator

Like the Bush/Cheney Administration before it, the Obama White House is playing budget games to pay for its ‘War on Terrorism.’  

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'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Hurts Nation's Security

Rev. Del Roper
Published on The Grand Island Independent

From the time we start to school we Americans are taught to stand and "pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America." That pledge ends with the affirmation "with liberty and justice for all" — a noble ideal, a key value for which we strive. That said, it occurs to me that we as a noble people face some critical work to assure liberty and justice for all.

This work has to do with a segment of American citizens who are denied this liberty and justice.

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Rape as a Tool of War

Marsha Fangmeyer
Vice President, Nebraskans for Peace

I read Susan Brownmiller’s book, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, when it was first published in 1975. My eyes were opened. I certainly did not read this kind of history in high school, or in college for that matter. 

Although the use of rape as a tool of war dates back to time immemorial, Brownmiller’s study focused on the 20th century, on the period from World War I through the Vietnam War. In the 35 years since Vietnam, however, there’s been enough new horrendous material accumulated for Brownmiller to pen a sequel. The new book would include a chapter on gang rapes by Halliburton/KBR co-workers in Iraq and sexual assaults among active duty U.S. troops. She might even update a chapter she wrote on rape in the Congo—only this time focusing on the fact that Congolese women (once again caught in conflict) are being raped at the rate of 400 per day. One out of three women in that country has been victimized by rape (a statistic, incidentally, that parallels the worldwide average of one of every three women being physically or sexually abused during her lifetime).

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Legislature Actually Debates Whiteclay Issue

NFP

LB 1002, which appropriated $25,000 for “economic development, health care, and law enforcement needs” in the Whiteclay area, passed the Legislature with 47 of 49 possible votes the last week of the session. (Mark Christensen of Imperial voted against it; Tony Fulton of Lincoln, running for State Treasurer this year, was present but did not vote.) The bill also funded a grant administrator for the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs to leverage the state’s $25,000 with private dollars. The original bill called for $250,000, but this was reduced by the Judiciary Committee to $100,000 before advancing it, and was further reduced during floor debate.



The impact of LB 1002 itself is modest. Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services estimates a minimum annual expenditure of $600,000 to operate an alcohol treatment center. Nevertheless, the bill marks a significant milestone in the battle for Whiteclay. It generated over three hours of floor debate, with many senators expressing support while acknowledging that LB 1002 can only be viewed as a beginning. 



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