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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 May 15, 2008 / 10 Iyar 5768

‘Black and Bluestein’

By Larry Elder


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I recently traveled to New York. On the plane, I met an actress named Lenora. During the long flight, I learned that a) she's Jewish, b) she works as an actress, and c) was doing a play in the hyper-liberal city of Santa Monica, Calif. Not exactly, I thought, a Reagan Republican.


She asked about my business in New York, and I told her I intended to do a series of TV shows to promote my new book.


"What is the title?" she asked.


Because so many recoil at the title — finding it offensive — I decided to talk about the book first. It argues that the civil rights war is over, and the good guys won; that white racism no longer remains a serious problem in America; and that so-called civil rights leaders and their sympathizers — the media and the Democratic Party — either believe or want Americans (especially blacks) to believe that race and racism remain a major problem.


"Why," Lenora asked, "if it is no longer a big issue, does the Democratic Party say or believe otherwise?"


"In the case of the Democratic Party," I said, "they cannot win at the presidential level without the 90 to 95 percent monolithic black vote. That is why someone like Democratic Congressman Barney Frank referred to Hurricane Katrina as 'ethnic cleansing by inaction.' He argued — I kid you not — that Bush intentionally responded slowly to Katrina so that it would displace blacks from the state, turning Louisiana into more of a red, or pro-Republican, state. This is why," I continued, "Al Gore's former campaign manager, Donna Brazile, referred to the Republican Party as possessing a 'white-boy attitude.'"


When I finished the summary of the book, I said, now here's its title: "Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose". She paused, and said, "Fantastic title."


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Lenora then told me about her play, "Black and Bluestein." It, too, concerns race relations. It's the playwright's (Jerry Mayer, "Bluestein" in the play) autobiographical account of what happened in St. Louis in 1963. Mayer and his father built a housing development. Mayer intended to sell his own house, and move into a new development that he and his father were building only a couple of blocks away. But uh-oh, a black man, Dr. Daniel Black, wanted to buy Mayer's house for him and his family.


What to do?


The other residents in the development (Lenora May, the actress I met on the plane, played a bigoted neighbor) held a vote, and 70 percent wanted Bluestein to refuse to sell to the black family. Furthermore, selling to a black family would threaten the success of Bluestein's new development as the word spread that a black family moved in only a couple of blocks away. How will this change the neighborhood? And what about the threat to property values?


Dr. Black, the would-be buyer, worked as a chemical engineer. Handsome, poised and gracious, he told Bluestein that he did not intend to sue, even after he learned about the development's residents' resistance to him moving in. He calmly said that he expected Bluestein to do the right thing.


I told Lenora the play sounded fascinating, and that I would come to see it. I did.


Funny, sad, tragic but ultimately uplifting and life-affirming, "Black and Bluestein" somewhat paralleled the experience of my family in 1959, when — while my dad worked as a janitor — we became the second black family to move into a previously all-white neighborhood in South Central Los Angeles.


After the play, I met the playwright, and told him of my family's story. I spoke with the excellent cast members, including Loren Lester, who played Bluestein with sharp wit and integrity. I had an especially long conversation with John Eric Bentley, the charismatic actor who played Dr. Black. He told me how much he enjoyed my radio show, and he agreed that too many people behave in a "victicrat" manner — believing that even today, in 2008, racism and bigotry remain major problems.


I told John that, early in the performance, I found it bothersome that he so graciously accepted this racism, until the audience uncovers why he maintained his dignity in the face of such bigotry. John said, as does his character, that he considered calm and steadiness an even bolder statement of strength than lashing out in anger.


I left the play and walked outside into a busy, trendy, upscale Santa Monica street. I passed a black city street cleaner, efficiently and briskly sweeping the street. He looked up. Our eyes met. He smiled and said, "Larry Elder! I can't believe it! I'm gonna tell my wife I met you." I walked over and hugged him.


As we hugged, he whispered in my ear, "And I'm not a victicrat."

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.

JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose." (Proceeds from sales help fund JWR)

Let him know what you think of his column by clicking here.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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