Category: Civil Rights & Economic Justice

Thoughts on Charlottesville

by A’Jamal Rashad Byndon

Since the skin-head and white supremacy incident in Charlottesville, Virginia, there has been a heightened awareness—particularly on social media—of the pain and suffering people of color have experienced from racism. And yet these Facebook and thoughtful blog comments demonstrate that many Americans lack the skills to have healthy conversations and dialogues about racial issues. In talking with colleagues, I’m continually amazed at how many are unable to articulate coherent ideas and concepts about the level of racism, prejudice, bias and white supremacy still present in this country. Some suffer from a level of white fragility where they really don’t know where to start. Others want to make those concepts of racism, prejudice and bias synonymous when in fact each term can carry different meanings based on the situation. For still others, watching this hideous behavior being so blatantly and shamelessly played out in the national media makes them want to fold their hands and disengage from reality. None of these reactions are surprising to people of color—we’ve witnessed this behavior all of our lives. But those who have buried their heads in the color-blind sand must either begin facing the reality of racism now—or expect to continue being confronted with it over and over again in the future… because, after Charlottesville, there’s no schmoozing over what’s going on.

These thoughts are being juxtaposed with the images of Klansmen, Nazis and white supremacists marching in the streets of the Charlottesville. It is ironic to see these white supremacists with “Tiki”-brand mosquito repellant torches—bamboo torches that are identified with the peaceful Hawaiian culture. But for anyone laboring under the illusion that the overt display of racism had been relegated to the distant past, we now know that the kind of hate we saw exhibited in Charlottesville can be found in any town, village or city in the United States. Even in the White House.

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NOT IN MY BACKYARD

by Sally Herrin

Not in my backyard. This expression signifies opposition by stakeholders to local habitation for something valuable, even necessary, but deemed unpleasant, threatening, even dangerous. Many residential neighborhoods, for example, resist certain new neighbors as undesirable: group homes for people living with mental disabilities, halfway houses for addicts, teens and ex-convicts fresh from prison and, back in the day, hospices for gay men suffering from AIDS. Build it, yes, these citizens say, just not in my backyard. This reaction is so widespread and so reliable among human beings, it even has an acronym: NIMBY.

At one extreme, NIMBY creates stratified societies like the caste system in India and deeply segregated cities in much of the U.S. Yes, the blacks and the Mexicans and the poor have to live somewhere, but… I greatly suspect this reflex is very old. At its root is ‘stranger’ fear and, superstitious or not, the fear of contagion. Easier to empathize with folks who resist not just personal economic loss (If you build that recycling center here, my property value will decline), but serious threats to health and quality of life from new neighbors like large hog confinements and chicken processing plants.

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FIRE STEVE BANNON

Nebraskans for Peace calls on the White House to remove Steve Bannon, Sébastian Gorka, and any other White House staff members associated with Alt-right and neo-Nazi groups. Mr. Trump's failure to call out these groups for their promotion of hatred and violence against Jews and people of color, in Charlottesville and elsewhere, is reprehensible. These groups’ public media have taken great comfort in Trump's positions. As an organization opposed to the use of violence to solve problems, we condemn these groups’ methods and also the present administration's encouragement of violent solutions, both internally and in international situations. We cannot fight Nazism in wars on the one hand and welcome it to the White House on the other. We call on the Nebraska Congressional delegation to sponsor a resolution calling for this removal.

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Whiteclay Liquor Stores Accused of Illegally Selling Beer to Bootleggers, Among Other Offenses

Omaha World Herald
By Paul Hammel
Mar 15, 2017

LINCOLN — The four beer-only liquor stores in the border village of Whiteclay are facing a new set of allegations, including that they illegally sell beer to bootleggers and sell alcohol after hours.

The 22 citations, recently filed by the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office, represent a new offensive against the continued sale of beer in the unincorporated village.

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Lincoln on Education: Choosing Nebraska Values

by Sally Herrin

I'm not from here. People used to say, when I expressed certain strongly held opinions, She's not from here. I come from the South where we say, Bless her heart. Both comments mean the same thing: They know not what they do.

I am Nebraskan by choice. I came to attend UNL in 1976 and fell in love with this place. I have made Nebraska my home these forty years. I raised a child here, and I own one home in South Lincoln for now and another in Wyuka Cemetery for later. You could say I'm all in.

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