In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 21, 2008 / 14 Shevat 5768

Race hides campagn's bigger issue

By Clarence Page

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Usually I would like to see hecklers, no matter what their cause, go take a long walk off of a short pier.

But when some off-camera guy interrupted MSNBC's Democratic presidential debate in Nevada, shouting for an end to the "race-based (or baiting) questions," I sympathized.

I'm all in favor of questioning the candidates for their views on race and gender issues. But, after 20 minutes of the two-hour debate, I began to wonder if they were going to get to anything else.

For several days, the Democrats had slogged through a national argument that Sen. Hillary Clinton inadvertently started in regard to Martin Luther King Jr.'s role in winning passage of civil rights laws. Emotions were further fueled by questions about the role women played in helping Sen. Barack Obama's close loss to Clinton in the New Hampshire primary.

After days of seeing their party's political base divided against itself by the same identity politics that helped to build it, all three frontrunners did their best to be nice to each other at the Las Vegas debate and move on.

But in its opening segment, every time the three Democratic front-runners tried to shy away from race and gender, the questioners pulled them back in.

In one wince-inducing question to Sen. John Edwards, a San Diego woman asked, "Why should I, as a progressive woman, not resent being forced to choose between the first viable female candidate and the first viable African American candidate?"

It wasn't clear who was "forcing" the woman to choose between Edwards' opponents, but Edwards responded with a passionate recitation of his agenda and bio. He said voters should vote based on whether they believed "America needs change" and "the system in Washington is broken" and "middle-class Americans" are "struggling and suffering" and "can't pay for their health care" and "losing their jobs" and "can't pay for their kids to go to college."

As a guy who "grew up in a family of millworkers" and "the first person in my family to actually be able to go to college," winning similar opportunities for others who grew up like him was "central to everything I do, a personal, personal fight for me."

To which Natalie Morales from NBC's "Today Show" brought laughs with this rather blunt question: "What is a white male to do running against these historic candidacies?"

Oh, I dunno, Natalie, maybe curl up and die?

But, no, Edwards didn't say that. He's nicer than I am. He talked instead about how proud he was to belong to a party that has "a woman and an African American who are very, very serious candidates for the presidency. They've both asked not to be considered on their gender or their race. I respect that."

Nice answer. It is particularly ironic for Clinton and Obama to be caught in an identity trap, since both have a long record of rising above identity politics and benefited from it by broadening their base.

In his second best-seller, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama relates a lesson he learned while sitting in the Illinois senate with a white Democratic legislator as they watched a black colleague, whom Obama called "John Doe," deliver a floor speech on why eliminating a certain program was racist.

"You know what the problem is with John," the white senator asked him. "Whenever I hear him, he makes me feel more white."

As an African American reading that passage, I nevertheless understood how that white senator must have felt. After all, sometimes I hear white people who make me feel more "black." I won't mention names, but some demagogic talk radio hosts come quickly to mind.

Obama observed that it's not easy for a black politician to strike the right tone between anger and not-angry-enough. But, rightly or wrongly, "white guilt has largely exhausted itself in America."

Every time news people talk about "the black vote," for example, I suspect it makes somebody feel "more white." But race is so deeply ingrained in American customs, traditions and memory that it's hard to cover politics without talking about it.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.


© 2007, TMS