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 Oct. 4, 2010 / 26 Tishrei, 5771

It's Not Always Race, LeBron; It Might Be Ego

By Mitch Albom

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Why ask the question?

When LeBron James spoke to CNN this past week, and the criticism of how he handled his free-agency arose, CNN's Soledad O'Brien found it necessary to pose this query: "Do you think there's a role that race plays in this?"

Really? In the thousands of things O'Brien could have asked perhaps the world's greatest (and certainly its most exposed) basketball player, she had to ask if race was why he was criticized?

Did she ask the same question when James was drafted No.1 out of high school? When he was voted MVP? When he was given more endorsement money than 100 other NBA players combined? Did she -- or anyone else -- ask, when all the positives were showering on LeBron's head, "Do you think there's a role that race plays in this? Do people love you because you're African American?"

No. So why ask it now? There was no suggestion of it earlier. Not even a mention. But no one should be surprised that LeBron's answer was: "I think so at times. It's always, you know, a race factor."

Because sadly, when a high-profile African American athlete hits an oil skid of controversy, it is all too easy to make race the culprit.

Especially if someone asks.


Why not look at the facts without color? Here. Let's change LeBron's name to Leo for this little exercise. Leo was a wildly popular player before this summer. Leo seemed loyal to his team and his home state, trying to bring it a winner. It's a trait that has made many an athlete popular.

But then Leo went on the free-agent market, got together with two big-name players and hatched a plan to leave Cleveland and mold a superstar-roster for the Miami Heat.

He then kept everyone in the dark until he could ensure a worldwide audience for a television special, called "The Decision." He got advertisers to shell out big dollars that he directed to a charity to make the event seem less of what it was, a one-hour celebration of his legend. Of course, Leo could have given money to the charity himself. But that wouldn't have gotten him an hour on prime-time TV.

When asked that night what team he had chosen, Leo did not answer, "I've chosen Cleveland" or even "I'll be proud to play for the Miami Heat." He answered, "I'm gonna take my talents to South Beach" -- suggesting that it was 1) more about his talent than anything and 2) get set for a party, because South Beach is not where the Heat plays, but it is open all night.

So after an hour's indulgence for this "revelation" (remember, Michael Jordan came out of retirement with a two-word press release: "I'm back") fans -- black, white and brown -- looked at one another and said, "Can you believe Leo's ego?"

Because ego knows no color.

Whether it's Leo or LeBron.


James' popularity dropped steadily after that event. And recently it was announced that he was the sixth-most disliked athlete according to the latest Q Score. Now, I don't put much stock in polls. But James didn't become internationally famous with only black fans liking him, and he didn't reach this sudden infamy with only white fans bailing out.

In fact, to suggest that white people have some group think approach is racist in and of itself. And you see where this goes. The moment you suggest someone is motivated by a prejudice, you can never prove it wrong, and you can always attack the accuser.

So the Rev. Jesse Jackson can claim Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland owner, views LeBron as a "runaway slave" and James' business manager, Maverick Carter, who orchestrated the public relations fiasco, can claim race "definitely played a role" -- and because we are so conditioned to take racist charges seriously, it all distracts from the painfully obvious truth, which is this:

LeBron now has a boundless ego, he has surrounded himself with people who tell him his feet don't touch the ground, and he can't possibly be at fault for anything.

By the way, there was similar vitriol toward Brett Favre after he left Green Bay. Ego. Money. Why didn't CNN ask Favre if it was about race?

There is never a clear way out of this mess. But there is one way to avoid jumping in it. Stop asking the question. If people shamefully want to grab race as a parachute to safety, they'll do it. You don't have to pull the cord.

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 Mitch's column by clicking here.

Mitch's Archives