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 July 30, 2008 / 27 Tamuz 5768

Obama, McCain bridge a race gap

By Clarence Page

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Sen. John McCain's flip-flop on affirmative action made headlines this weekend. But a closer look at this mother of all hot-button racial issues reveals that he and Sen. Barack Obama aren't all that far apart.

During an interview on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," McCain sounded like he had flipped when he said he supported an anti-affirmative action ballot initiative in his home state Arizona. Backed by Ward Connerly, a California-based anti-affirmative action activist, the measure is almost identical to one that McCain opposed a decade ago.

The proposed amendment to the Arizona Constitution would ban "preferential treatment" on the basis of "race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin." Although McCain admitted he has "not seen the details," he said on "This Week" that he supported it because "I have always opposed quotas."

Yet, his opposition to race-based hiring quotas did not stop him from opposing a similar plan proposed by the Arizona legislature 10 years ago. "Rather than engage in divisive ballot initiatives," he told a Hispanic group at the time, "we must have a dialogue and cooperation and mutual efforts together to provide for every child in America to fulfill their expectations."

Now that similar Connerly-backed initiatives have won handily in California, Washington and Michigan, McCain appears to have changed his tune in a way that should please his party's conservative wing. Yet, contrary to the assertions of many opponents, affirmative action is more than "quotas."

And if McCain is still seeking "dialogue and cooperation," so is Obama.

The Illinois Democrat explained later that morning at the Unity: Journalists of Color conference in Chicago that he, too, opposes quotas. Yet he also opposed the Arizona measure because "these kinds of Ward Connerly referenda or initiatives" are too often designed not so much "to solve a big problem" as "to drive a wedge between people."

Obama expressed a sensible discomfort, especially with the way affirmative action too often overlooks the truly underprivileged. "Frankly, if you've got 50 percent of African American or Latino kids dropping out of high school," he said, "it doesn't really matter what you do in terms of affirmative action. Those kids are not getting into college."

Instead of viewing affirmative action as "a shortcut to solving some of these broader, long-term structural problems," Obama called for it to be re-thought and re-crafted in such a way that "some of our children who are advantaged aren't getting more favorable treatment than a poor white kid who has struggled more."

Significantly both McCain and Obama turned to the military for examples of merit-based equal opportunity. During his overseas travels, Obama said, Iraqis and Afghans were "impressed" not only with our military effectiveness but also with our ethnic and gender diversity, including the fact that the second in command in Iraq is now an African American, Army Lt. Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III.

Our diversity, Obama said, "should be a source of pride. And when properly structured, affirmative action, I think, can be a part of that."

But how? I think McCain offered an excellent clue back in April. "If you're talking about assuring equal and fair opportunity for all Americans and making sure that the practices of the U.S. military are emulated, the greatest equal opportunity employer in America, then I am all for it," he said of affirmative action to a CBS News blogger.

McCain knows. Our military has developed a version of affirmative action since the 1960s that has built the most diverse, yet also best educated military in American history. Yet Connerly should take note of this: As the recently deceased military consultant and Northwestern University sociologist Charles Moskos chronicled, our military made its progress by recognizing the dynamics of race, not by trying to pretend that race doesn't exist.

Military-style affirmative action sets goals, but not quotas or rigid timetables. Efforts are made to expand the eligible pool of women and nonwhites so more can be considered for promotion. If promotion boards fail to meet their goals, they have to show that, at least, they made an appropriate effort. This was the system that offered Colin Powell, who later became the first black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, consideration and eventual promotion to general after he was passed over for the smaller eligibility pool.

"If you are talking about quotas, I am not for it," McCain said in April. "(But) all of us are for affirmative action to try to give assistance to those who need it, whether it be African-American or other groups of Americans that need it."

I hope both presidential candidates get to chew over this issue in the debates. Our political and media cultures tend to focus on conflicts. On this issue the candidates might help us stumble onto some solutions.

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