Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

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. 16, 2013/ 12 Mar-Cheshvan, 5774

Hail to the Redskins

By Christine M. Flowers

Christine M. Flowers


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) While the rest of the country is, to take a phrase from Pope Francis, "obsessed" with the fiscal farce in DC, President Obama has decided to weigh in on a major human rights violation. Three guesses as to what it is.

The massacre of Christians in the Muslim world? Yawn.

The death of hundreds of refugees off the coast of Sicily? Nope.

The devastation in Syria? (Been there, done that. Sort of.)

No, the president's righteous indignation was reserved this week for the evil owners of a Washington football team that has apparently violated the Nuremberg rules and refused to change its name to "The Washington Non-Offensives." Putting aside the fact that given their record this season, "no offense ... or defense" is actually quite fitting, Obama is as off-base as everyone else who's been clamoring to eradicate the name "Redskins" for the past few years.

This is not a new controversy, as anyone who pays attention to this sort of thing already knows. But it's taken on a new urgency, and now that the president has joined the "change the name" team it will no doubt occupy several news cycles and become the focus of an MSNBC prime time special blaming this, too, on the Republicans.

During an interview, Obama made sure to avoid criticizing the wonderful Redskin fans and their attachment to tradition, but stated that "I don't know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things." That's a fair enough statement. But it's helpful to examine just what type of a concern is "legitimate" enough to justify changing a name that approximately 70 percent of presumably non-racist football fans want to keep.

To my mind, just because a certain segment of the population is subjectively insulted by a particular phrase does not automatically mean that we throw away years of history (Sonny Jurgenson, George Allen, RFK Stadium) to make them feel better about themselves. Many have argued that the term "Redskin" is derogatory because it has a clear racial component. In this age where skin color is a touchy subject, you can understand that position. But according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the name was always meant to convey a positive message. Responding to a letter from Congress urging him to force the owners to change it, Goodell stated that "For the team's millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America's most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect."


In the first place, it is amazing to me that with all of the other problems facing us, these 10 astute politicians had the time to write a "Dear Roger" letter about a football team. They, like our president, are such multi-taskers.

Beyond that, I think Goodell makes a good point, one that is understood by the vast majority of us who don't want to slander a group of people (particularly one that was historically mistreated by our government) but who are frustrated at the hyper-sensitivity of our "no labels" society.

It is the 21st century, and we do need to evolve from that type of world where it was okay to use derogatory terms toward minorities. We all recall the historical, rhetorical abuse hurled at Italians and Asians and Poles and Irish and African-Americans over the years. It's not pretty and when it's used to wound, the words and their users must be shunned.

We are not, and should not be, proud of that heritage. And yet, there is something very wrong in having a knee-jerk reaction to the first cries of "you made me feel bad, stop it now!!!" It is the bullying of the bullied, the passive-aggressive modus operandi of a person or group that uses its sense of grievance to demand an apology for something that was never meant to be an insult in the first place. When no offense was intended, we should be very careful about legitimizing the pain of the so-called victim. I had the same reaction when the sandwich shop "Chink's" was compelled to change a decades-old name because it offended the Asian population.

If we start down this road of eliminating from our culture all the discrete and disturbing things that could possibly upset this person or that one, we'll get caught up in a web of details that — instead of liberating us from bigotry — will tie us up in a confused knot. We'll be sentenced to a state of eternal correction. Every time someone says "I'm offended," we'll have to look at the world through her teary eyes and figure out how to neutralize her subjective pain, at our collective expense.

Maybe saving the name of a football team isn't that important, particularly one with such a crummy record. On the other hand, maybe our culture warriors should be pickier in choosing their battles.

No pun, or offense, intended.

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News. Comments by clicking here.

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.

Previously:



10/14/13: It's the most wonderful time of the year
10/07/13: Congress teetering on the edge
09/18/13: It is Miss 'America,' after all, not Miss 'Special Interest Group'
09/16/13: America & its Miss'ed opportunities
09/10/13: We still must be civilization's gatekeepers
09/03/13: Around the world, the cross is in the crosshairs
08/19/13: Blood is on stop-and-frisk judge's hands
08/13/13: Hey, social progressives: Women can actually think with an organ other than a uterus
08/06/13: Media make our enemies seem friendly
07/29/13: Mrs. Anthony Weiner = Hillary 2.1
07/08/13: A voice of reason, from the dustbin
07/04/13: Heroes are all around us
05/27/13: Vietnam vet's words soothe modern tragedies
05/22/13: Circling the presidential-protection wagons
05/15/13: Divorce can't be just the pursuit of happiness
05/07/13: We knew Jackie Robinson, and Jason Collins is no Jackie Robinson
05/01/13: Blame pro-choice lobby for Philly monster
04/23/13: Of damnation, and staring back
04/15/13: Margaret Thatcher changed the world, and didnít have to be a feminist to do it
04/08/13: Taking great pleasure in the death penalty
04/01/13: An easy prediction --- bet on the unpredictable
03/26/13: 'The personal is political' is no reason to change
03/19/13: A word to the whines --- it was just some high jinks
03/11/13: The Great Race Debate, revisited
03/04/13: Marriage goes beyond love
02/19/13: 2 women, and what they're fighting for
02/04/13: Sadly, Scouting seems poised to give up the fight
01/15/13: Reflections from Gettysburg
01/02/13: The mentally ill vs. those who love them
12/27/12: Rapper learns he's just another guy on probation
12/20/12: Cold, hard truth about the killer
12/10/12: When a warm heart meets a cold manipulator
11/22/12: Some women don't know how good they have it


© 2013, Philadelphia Daily News. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles

Quantcast