Racism in Nebraska: Real and Rampant

Nebraska: the good life, nice, not for everyone. Nebraska is the good life for white people. Nebraska is nice, for white people. When we say Nebraska is not for everyone, it is especially not for people of color. In Nebraska we like to hide behind the blissfully ignorant thought that racism is not rampant here, that no one cares who you are or what you look like, but that is not the reality.

In Lincoln, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln frat is stealing Black Lives Matter signs.

In Lincoln, there is a truck driving around that says “f*** the n*****s.”

In Lincoln, peaceful protestors who are fighting for black lives are met with hate every single time they go out.

In Lincoln, the media only shows up when they think there is going to be a riot, because they do not care about the lives that are being lost but the ratings they get. It is time that we sit back and listen, and when I say we I mean me and the white community in Lincoln.

Kendra Mullins, an NWU senior in social work, organized the university’s first Black Lives Matter rally. Mullins, who has lived in Nebraska for six years, talked about what racism looks like in Nebraska, “they hide behind the Nebraska nice, but once you piss them off, their true colors come out.” In Nebraska, “you are a good person of color, until you go to the rallies and put a sign in your yard;” they do not care until you are not silent anymore.

Mullins also explains that, “privilege does not mean your life is not hard it means you have an upper hand over other people.” To think that white people have it just as hard as people of color is ignorant. It is a privilege to merely learn about racism and not have to experience it.

Fifteen-year-old Alex (who, for privacy, has asked not to share his last name) attends Lincoln Southwest High School and has started Fight for Black Lives in Lincoln. Alex is out peacefully protesting downtown constantly, has talked to Lincoln Police Department many times, and is continuously fighting to bring awareness to racism in Lincoln. Alex has been experiencing racism all his life, but now he is speaking out.

“Getting flipped off on the way to school? Normal. Getting cat called the ‘n’ word walking back from school? Normal,” he says.

Listening to Alex can really put white privilege into perspective. “My skin color unfortunately doubles as a jersey in this world, and it’s a jersey of a team that a lot of people don’t like.”

Think about “being bullied by the whole system you are supposed to live by.” It is time to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, time to put an end to the blissful ignorance that has embedded itself in our state. It is time to listen, to learn, and to change.