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The Public Pulse: Creighton, sever this slavery connection; modern judgment; train safety

The Public Pulse: Creighton, sever this slavery connection; modern judgment; train safety

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Creighton players shared a message on racism and the impacts of Greg McDermott's comments.


The OWH Sunday coverage of the racist “plantation” comments made by the basketball coach was a real eye-opener. I had no idea of just how much pain and long-term damage that the careless reference to slavery created. In Tom Shatel’s column he asks, “How does Creighton move to a place beyond lip service and intention?” I have an item that should go to the top of the list.

The Creighton players that spoke out prior to Saturday’s game were all wearing Nike shoes. This is the company that Creighton has a lucrative contract with. This is the same Nike that for years has been accused of using Uyghur slave labor in some of its Chinese factories. Nike had previously simply denied the allegations. Finally, in July of this year, following a story that appeared in the Washington Post citing facts that refuted the denials, Nike issued a statement saying that they had been assured that hundreds of Uyghur “workers” had been moved from the heavily guarded factory.

Creighton currently benefits financially from a contract they have with Nike. In exchange for Nike cash, athletes are forced to to advertise for a company that has benefited from slavery in the 21st century. Terminating this contract immediately will demonstrate Creighton’s commitment to healing and should be enthusiastically received by all Creighton students.

Richard Leech, Omaha

Learning experience

The reactions to the Coach McDermott comments have provided a great opportunity to consider the points of view of others. I have seen and heard discussions in which people are trying to consider other points of view and considerations that did not initially occur to them. I have learned things this past week by hearing others and am glad I did not fire off a post or letter with my initial reaction. This is a great opportunity to listen to others and expand our personal point of view.

Mary Donovan Martello, Omaha

Needed conversation

I believe the use of a hurtful word by Coach McDermott is a an example of how deeply captive we all are to our racist history. May the future actions of Coach McDermott and Creighton University lead to understanding and healing of the wounds both of the past and the present and which continue to fester. A good start would be heeding the words of CU player Damien Jefferson, who said, “Let’s not be OK with racism. Let’s start the conversation.”

Indeed, let us not be afraid to confront with honesty and remorse the racist past which binds us all.

Marylyn Felion, Omaha

Modern judgment

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has stated, “I didn’t intend to make anyone feel uncomfortable” as a reason for him refusing to resign.

Sorry, Governor. Liberal Democrats, like yourself, have decided that the actual intention behind words or actions no longer matters. It is only in how those behaviors or interpreted, or chosen to be interpreted, that is relevant to the severity of the punishment and outcry.

Look no further than the Greg McDermott situation as further evidence of this phenomenon.

Evan Trofholz, Columbus, Neb.

Neglected workers

During this pandemic, grocery store workers and postal workers were and are considered essential workers. We still received our mail, and the grocery workers were still there stocking, filling orders, cashiering etc. However, even though teachers were doing remote teaching until recently, they are given the vaccine before these essential personnel.

How is that fair? We have the grocery workers to thank for keeping food on our tables, and the postal workers for getting our mail to us. The grocery workers are exposed to many people, and the postal workers are not just riding around in a truck. It is important for the teachers to get vaccinated, but no way should they have been moved ahead of these other essential workers.

The governor likes to go take pictures with Hy-Vee employees and blow smoke about how he wants to take care of them, but then doesn’t prioritize them for the vaccine. They have been here for us for months, and the governor let them down. Shame on him! Their jobs were not and could not be done remotely for months.

Janice Mohs, Omaha

Tax relief needed

Hats off to State Sen. Brett Lindstrom for supporting the Tax Reform Bill 64, which seeks tax exemptions on Social Security benefits from state income tax for retirees. This bill would a godsend to all retirees who struggle every month to make ends meet with their Social Security pittance paid by the federal government.

I urge all readers to call or write their state senator to get behind this Bill 64 and get it passed through the Unicameral this year. The time is right, as per the OWH in its Saturday’s edition stating that the state revenue forecast shows that, per predictions, the state will have favorable tax revenue for the coming year. It can help pay for this badly needed tax reform.

This is something that can actually benefit the people rather than the big cities, the school districts or any other municipalities under most bills passed in the Unicameral.

Again, thank you, Sen. Lindstrom, for thinking of the little man by promoting Bill 64.

Daniel Beeson, Omaha

The best time change

Regarding “Break the Habit” for daylight savings time (March 7 editorial), I agree, but I do not want to spring forward. We need daylight early in the morning for people driving to work, kids waiting for school buses, and our young adults driving to high school. I don’t need daylight until 9 to 9:30 pm. That only encourages neighbors to start mowing their lawns at 9 p.m.

Let’s vote on it. Put it on the ballot, and I will accept the election results and will not yell fraud.

Barbara Krzemien, La Vista

Train safety

In regard to the Feb. 21 Omaha World-Herald article “Ruling may make it harder to cut train crew size to one,” I am 100% against one man crews on trains! There needs to be two sets of eyes, ears and alertness in the cab of the locomotives.

I was a conductor for the BNSF railroad before I retired in 2011. I realize they have what the railroads and federal government refer to as “positive train control,” but that does not stop the engineer from being distracted by something in or outside the cab. Positive train control is a good safety feature, but I don’t feel it is 100%. When a train is involved in a wreck or derailment, it costs a lot of money.

If the federal government would go along with one person in the cockpit of passenger planes, then maybe I would go along with one man crews on trains. We know that won’t happen.

Pete Lowder, Gretna

Quit being silent

In response to Stuart Williams’ hateful March 2 letter about the death of Rush Limbaugh, I think it’s time for the people on the right to call out the hypocrisy of the left. Mr. Williams bemoans why the country is divided and blames Rush and all the Republicans while calling a dead man all these derogatory names.

So let me get this right, Mr. Williams. We can all get along as long as we agree with the left. Do I have that right? If you don’t, you will be cancelled like you’re trying to do to Fox News, My Pillow, Dr. Seuss, Mr. Potato Head, the Muppets — oh, let’s not forget American history. We must rewrite that, to fit the left’s narrative.

I, for one, think that people are getting sick of being called racist for just being white, and being called Nazis for being Republican, seeing people and businesses being attacked because you have a different political view. I was not a great fan of President Trump, but I do not think most of the American people think President Biden’s basically having open boarders, letting boys compete with girls, and appointing cabinet members by the color of their skin or their sexual orientation, rather than their qualifications, is good leadership, and that’s in less than 100 days.

Big tech and little minds are trying to stop conservative free speech, but that’s OK? I hope the right and moderates wake up and start boycotting businesses that go along with this cancel culture. It’s time to quit being silent.

Larry Spangler, Greenwood, Neb.

Vaccination success

Count us among those who are hailing the ease of getting the COVID-19 vaccination. We arrived 15 minutes early for our 5:15 p.m. appointment on Monday, March 1, at the Papillion Hy-Vee pharmacy, and we exited the building at 5:14! The staff was extremely pleasant and helpful, and the shot felt exactly like the flu vaccine.

We endured the usual post-shot effects — minor arm soreness for a couple of days. For those of you concerned about getting the shot: Don’t fret. It’s easy and quite painless. Remember, the sooner we all get vaccinated (or at least the percentage health experts are seeking), the sooner we get closer to “normal.”

And thanks to the outstanding staff at the Papillion Hy-Vee. We can’t wait to visit for the second shot.

John and Shirley Fey, Plattsmouth

Great clinic

My husband and I are in our 80s and express our appreciation to Kohll’s Pharmacy on Q Street for making the COVID vaccine available. We received our second shot recently. Everyone was very kind and helpful both times. The process was well organized, and it ran smoothly each time. Thank you so much!

Milford and Patricia Hickam, Omaha

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