Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 August 16, 2006 / 22 Menachem-Av, 5766

AMAZING! A DOSE OF GOOD SENSE ON NPR

By Paul Greenberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I usually tune in to NPR for a few minutes on the way to work every day — just to catch up on the party line before switching to the classical music station for the sake of my mental health. And there are few better listening posts in the latte belt than "The Diane Rehm Show."


Her guest this morning was Juan Williams. You may have heard — and seen — the gentleman before. He's on NPR and Fox News, too. He's the nice, usually soft-spoken person of color (specifically, café con leche) with the little moustache. On Fox, his role is to provide a little balance for right-wing blowhards. A very little.


It turns out that Juan Williams has just written a book (hasn't everybody who's a guest on "The Diane Rehm Show"?) about race in America. So I expected the usual nice, soft-spoken platitudes about how we need more government programs, less personal responsibility and a whole lot more white guilt. You know the drill.


Well, I was amazed. And so impressed I finished listening to the whole thing right there in the parking lot. The comprehensive title of Mr. Williams' book, it turns out, is "Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America — and What We Can Do About It."


Goodness. What happened? Did Mr. Williams suddenly wake up, or has he felt like this all along but kept quiet about it? He sounded like Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams or most of the preachers I listen to when I can't get to sleep in the middle of the night (and learn a lot from). 'Cause he was preachin' that old-time religion in his own soft-spoken way.


Why, the man sounds just like . . . Bill Cosby!


BUY THE BOOK

Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).


Mr. Williams talked about the ruination that has been visited on Black America by a culture of dependency. He talked about the ongoing destruction of the black family, the 25 percent of black Americans living in poverty, and the 70 percent of all black children born out of wedlock in this country. (The figures for white and Hispanic children aren't encouraging, either.)


He took aim at the barbaric yawp you can hear in so much of hip-hop — and the vulgarity of popular entertainment in general. He wondered why the worst kind of rappers were celebrated in the black community while its corporate leaders and successful entrepreneurs don't have the following they should. He went on and refreshingly on. It made you want to stop the car, raise your hands, and sing and shout. 'Cause he was telling it like it tragically is.


To sum up Mr. Williams' message: "The house is on fire, the train is going off the tracks, and we have to do something now . . . ." If not sooner. Like a couple of decades ago. Juan Williams says he hopes his book "starts a major discussion in terms of race, education, our children, and where we're going in the 21st century."


So do a lot of us.


Juan Williams pointed out the devastation that the lack of a father's guidance has wreaked among so many young black males. Want to see the proof? Just visit any prison. Jail time has become almost a ritual of passage for neglected black males in this country.


Mr. Williams mentioned visiting colleges and noticing all the bright young black women on campus who were just going great guns. He wanted to know where all the bright young black men were. Good father and good citizen that he is, Juan Williams wondered where these young women were going to find husbands they could settle down with and raise a family. In short, he was concerned about the future — about posterity.


It is a mark of the far-seeing, or maybe just those of a certain age, to be concerned about posterity. But even the word has acquired an out-of-date sound. In that respect, it would be progress to return to the 18th century, when posterity was much on the mind of the Founders. ("We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union . . . and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.")


I hope it won't do too much damage to Mr. Williams' standing at NPR if I dare to suggest that he sounded like . . . a conservative.


He certainly didn't have anything good to say about Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the whole legion of race hustlers and poverty pushers who have made a career and industry of grievance-collecting.


At one point he even dismissed the notion of reparations for slavery — it's hard to believe that pie-in-the-sky proposal is still taken seriously — as the distraction it too long has been among the country's black intelligentsia. Black America's best and brightest minds would be better engaged in thinking on how to build self-respect and self-reliance in the black community — instead of demanding another government grant.


Juan Williams even had a good word for Booker T. Washington, a hero who long ago was declared persona non grata by our more with-it academics. They don't so much rebut his arguments as just hoot them down. Dr. Washington's central belief — the necessity of economic independence for black folks — is as relevant as ever, maybe more so, but he has become the forgotten man of black American history. Unlike pernicious influences like Marcus Garvey, Stokely Carmichael, Louis Farrakhan . . . and the whole, never-ending train of pied pipers who just keep popping up, full of sound and fury signifying very little. In the end, the only form of emancipation that ever really takes is auto-emancipation.


As for Martin Luther King Jr., the basically spiritual appeal he made — to white as well as black Americans — has been consistently underrated, if not ignored, by secularist historians. It took someone like the University of Arkansas' David L. Chappell ("A Stone of Hope," University of North Carolina Press, 2004) to point out that Dr. King's religious rhetoric wasn't just window-dressing for a political cause but the essence of his thought and leadership. Even in his time, Dr. King was being derided as De Lawd by his young detractors in The Movement, who were so busy pushing Black Power they never understood the awesome might of soul power. They still don't.


I couldn't help wondering, listening to Juan Williams, how long it would be before he, too, would be getting the Booker T. Washington treatment. I bet he wasn't even off "The Diane Rehm Show" before those e-mails started arriving calling him an Uncle Tom, or maybe Capitalist Tool, or some other variation on that old catcall, Traitor to Your Race.


Bill Cosby caught a lot of that, too, when he dared talk about the need for personal responsibility. Mr. Cosby even speaks favorably about such fuddy-duddy virtues as good manners, decent language, respect for women and all those other Victorian arts in this anything-but-Victorian society. Voices like his — and now Juan Williams' — may be saying old things, but they fill some of us with new hope.

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.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

Paul Greenberg Archives

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles