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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 Feb. 7, 2007 / 18 Shevat 5767

Obama and the crossover's dilemma

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | On a scale of zero to 10, zero being a minor annoyance and 10 being a complete outrage, the kerfuffle over Sen. Joe Biden's use of "clean" and "articulate" to describe Senate colleague and fellow presidential hopeful Barack Obama ranks about a 2 - although with many black Americans, it's a very strong 2.


Having followed Biden for years, I'm certain that the Delaware Democrat meant absolutely no harm when he mused to the New York Observer on the day of his presidential campaign announcement about fellow Democrat Barack Obama of Illinois: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man."


That glib attempt at a compliment was typical Joe. As those who've seen him unedited on C-Span are aware, the dear man doesn't know when to shut up.


Blame Biden's spending too much time in the Senate. He's been there since 1972, when he was a young pup of 29. Senate rules allow members to talk on and on, even when they should be learning how to be better listeners.


This, by the way, should serve as a warning to the young Obama: Get out of the Senate as soon as humanly possible or you, too, could succumb to its lure of self-important, self-destructive motormouth narcissism.


Obama's two distinctly different responses to his colleague revealed how he, too, has yet to gain his footing in the slippery realm of racial politics.


His first impulse was to play Biden's statement down, rise above it and move on. "I didn't take it personally and I don't think he intended to offend," Obama said when reporters swooped in for a reaction. "But the way he constructed the statement was probably a little unfortunate."


But, later in the day, Obama realized a need widely held among black voters for him to defend those black candidates who ran before him. He then issued a much stronger statement: "I didn't take Sen. Biden's comments personally, but obviously they were historically inaccurate," he said. "African-American presidential candidates like Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, Carol Moseley Braun and Al Sharpton gave a voice to many important issues through their campaigns and no one would call them inarticulate."


Every presidential election teaches Americans something about themselves. The rise of America's first truly viable black presidential candidate already has begun to expose racial fault lines that many Americans did not know existed.


One of them is the word "articulate." President Bush certainly meant no offense when he, too, called Obama "articulate" in a Fox News Channel interview. Yet, even when intended as a compliment, the A-word can irritate black Americans like fingernails scratching on a blackboard.


What some black people, like me, hear is: "Oh, you're so articulate—for a black person." It's an irritant that usually has little public consequence, although it can ruin private relationships.


Should white people now be terrified of saying the wrong thing? "Now we can't even say you're articulate?" host Bill O'Reilly asked on his Fox News program. "We can't even give you guys compliments because they may be taken as condescending?"


Let us hope that's not the case. It would be a tragedy for this A-word kerfuffle to lead to fewer candid conversations across racial lines when we need to have more.


I hope Americans take this to be a learning experience, much as I learned from Jewish friends who told me they were annoyed when Gentiles like me felt obliged to fill spaces in conversation with, "Some of my best friends are Jewish."


Or third-generation Asian-American friends who express their annoyance at being asked, "You speak such good English. How long have you been in this country?"


Besides, much of our sensitivity as black Americans to white condescension is rooted in bad experiences with some of our fellow black folks. In my youth, long before the MTV and BET era, some of my peers would denigrate articulate English as an attempt to "put on airs" by "talking proper." Let us thank the patient persistence of many wise black parents for today's articulate black leaders.


In this way, presidential campaigns can be teachable moments in the long saga of American history. It is a time for Americans to learn more about their fellow Americans as we choose someone to lead us. We shouldn't be afraid to talk to each other. Just don't forget to listen.


Can you hear me, Joe Biden?

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