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. 30, 2006 / 8 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

Way down South in Delaware?

By Paul Greenberg

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Dear Ex-Delawarean,

It was wholly a pleasure to receive your lesson in the Southernness of the great (if small) State of Delaware. And I confess to having had a little fun — okay, a lot of fun — at Joe Biden's expense when he described his state as Southern.

Senator Biden's geography may have been be a bit off, but I've got to admit his timing was impeccable. The first Southern presidential primaries will soon be upon us.

I am indebted to you, as a former resident of Delaware, for letting me in on Delaware's Southern character. I know you're not just whistling Dixie, but the whole idea doesn't sound quite right: Way down South in Delaware?

Of course, geography can be misleading. Florida, for example, may be just about the southernmost of the states, but that scarcely makes it the most Southern.

Senator Biden points out that Delaware was a slave state in antebellum times, but being a slave state doesn't equate with being a Southern state. Else, other border states — like Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, and even West Virginia — would have been unequivocally rather than only peripherally Southern during The War.

"Today's Delawareans," you claim, "are still quite bigoted and racist and quite supportive of the Ku Klux Klan." As if this made them Southern rather than just hateful. But I can see why, holding such an impression of the state, you chose to leave.

Even if your unflattering description of Delaware were accurate, a compendium of all-too-Southern sins scarcely makes a state Southern, any more than having a caste system makes India an extension of Dixie.

We live in a time when being Southern has become the fashion. Every family now seems to boast a Southerner in the woodpile — much like half of Arkansas claiming to be Cherokee. It's quite the thing. And now Delaware turns out to be a Southern state. To quote a line from "Southland in the Springtime" by the Indigo Girls, "When God made me born a Yankee he was teasin'."

I have no doubt that many Delawareans think of themselves as Southern, and probably make a lot bigger deal of it than folks in the heart of Dixie. That kind of self-consciousness is a common phenomenon on the periphery of any ethnic culture. Or in its diaspora. Is anyone more aware of being Southern than the Southerner transplanted to, say, New York?

See the late Willie Morris' "North Toward Home," which I've always thought his best book, maybe because I first read it in my little editorial writer's cubicle when I was at the Chicago Daily News. I disturbed everybody else in the office by laughing out loud at his stories of a displaced Southern boy in Manhattan. And I certainly shared his homesickness.

To quote Lord Acton (and why not — everybody else does, and it gives a mere newspaper column a certain faux-scholarliness), exile is the nursery of nationalism. I have no doubt that there are Delawareans who are much more Southern than the general run of Southerners, just as some of the most fervent Zionists I've ever met are American Jews who prefer to practice their ideology at a safe remove. See George Orwell's "Notes on Nationalism" for other such examples. (Or his essay on almost any subject for that matter. He's a master of clear prose—and clear thinking. But I repeat myself. Writing is thinking.)

John Shelton Reed, the Tocqueville of Dixie, has written quite a bit about the marginal Southerner. (He uses words like "marginality" when he's being sociologist-serious rather than just plain insightful and funny as all get-out, which I'd like to think is also a Southern trait.) Anyway, according to Dr. Reed, marginality tends to intensify ethnic/regional identity. Or in plain Suthuhn, there's nothing like being a ways from home to make a man appreciate it.

The thesis of one of John Reed's more statistic-laden studies, "The Social Psychology of Sectionalism," is that Southern regional consciousness "is heightened (1) by urban upbringing and residence, (2) by education, (3) by exposure to the national mass media, and (4) by travel and residence outside the South."

In short, the farther we are from our roots, the more conscious of them we become.

Dr. Reed could have been describing all the authors of "I'll Take My Stand," the classic manifesto of the Southern Agrarians in the 1930s, which was essentially the work of urban academics and intellectuals.

Or he could have cited Richard Weaver, the Southern prophet and elegist. (For what is a prophet but one who urges his listeners to return to the truer ways of the past?) Richard Weaver spent his academic career teaching rhetoric at that great Southern institution, the University of Chicago. Go figure. It is not a simple thing, Southernness. But you know it when it's not there, as in Joe Biden.

A Southerner manque like Sen. Biden can be as amusing as the real thing, but only unintentionally. By all means, let's cut the senator from the great little (and I'm sure quite decent) state of Delaware some slack. He may not be a Southerner, but his attempt to pass himself off as one shows commendable ambition.

Hurry back,
Inky Wretch .

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.