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 Sept. 20, 2006 / 27 Elul 5766

Equality beats diversity

By Clarence Page

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A lot of people have their shorts all bunched up in a knot over a decision by the CBS reality-game show "Survivor" to divide its competing "tribes" by race and ethnicity. No surprise there. We have enough tribal wars to worry about these days without having one put forth as prime-time entertainment, even if it's all in good fun.

Hispanics Across America founder Fernando Mateo called the move an "offensive and cheap trick" to boost ratings, which is undoubtedly true, but hardly the first time networks have done that. Does anybody remember Fox TV's "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire"?

In fact, Carlos Mencia, that mogul of politically incorrect (but often dead-on target) humor on cable TV's Comedy Central, already parodied "Survivor"'s idea this season, playing on every racial stereotype he could dredge up (The brainy Asian guy, the fast black guy, the buoyant white guy, etc. In the end, the Hispanic guy won, leading to suspicions that Carlos had tilted the playing field.) But, interestingly, no big headlines followed Mencia's move. After all, he's only on cable and he's only kidding. "Survivor" is prime-time and it's serious, inasmuch as any goofy game show can be serious.

Adjectives like "insulting," "irresponsible," "reprehensible" and that category-five conversation-stopper, "racist," have been thrown at the idea of separate black, white, Asian and Latino teams scheming and competing against each other. Sponsors fell away like autumn leaves in a category-five media storm.

And, yet, when you think about it, the protests illustrate how double-minded Americans remain about race. Since the 1960s, it's become chic, particularly among liberals, to decry color-consciousness and, at the same time, embrace it.

Americans have "a love affair with race," writes Walter Benn Michaels, a literature professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In his new book, "The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality," he describes in eloquent detail how the liberal pursuit of social and economic equality was sidetracked by the pursuit of "diversity."

Ironically, the more we've pursued diversity by repudiating racism and the notion that our racial biology is our destiny, the more we've perpetuated those very concepts, he writes. While conservatives ask, "Why can't we all just be 'American'?," liberals "celebrate diversity." Liberals shy away from being "judgmental" about various groups. Liberals grant people from all manner of subcultures their "agency," which is their right to make their own choices about their moral behavior. Liberals quantify "equal rights" in terms of affirmative action "goals" and "timetables" that critics dub "racial quotas," which are supposed to be illegal but aren't because, so far, the Supreme Court says they aren't.

Others have similarly complained that we talk too much about race these days, but, unlike most of them, Michaels is a liberal and proud of it. He wants to reenergize the left by persuading it to build new coalitions to fight the growing problem of economic inequality.

Out of 37 million poor Americans in the 2004 head count, he points out, almost 17 million (45.6 percent) were white. Poor whites are not touched by the left-right disputes over whether discrimination is a thing of the past or stronger than ever. They are touched by statistics that show upwardly mobility, the American dream, to be increasingly elusive for those at the bottom of the nation's economic ladder.

Yet, while poor whites numerically outnumber poor blacks, poverty has taken on a black face in the public mind, from the ghetto riots of the 1960s to the coverage of Hurricane Katrina. "The truth is, there weren't too many rich black people left behind when everybody who could get out of New Orleans did so," says Michaels. True enough.

Unlike racism, poverty cannot be pinned as easily on a particular set of villains. The poor do share some responsibility to improve their own condition, as entertainer Bill Cosby has famously pointed out. But the most compelling part of Michael's book to me is his descriptions of the vanishing American dream. Increasingly one's chances in life are defined by the parents to whom one is born, regardless of race or religion, and whether one happens to be lucky enough to get into the right schools—from kindergarten on up. That wasn't Martin Luther King's dream for America but that's the direction in which we're moving. That's not just a reality show. It's reality.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in 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.


© 2006, TMS