May 24, 2013
May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
Nov. 13, 2007
/ 3 Kislev 5768
A man and his moment of truth half a century later
There were giants in the earth in those days, as the Book tells us, and thank goodness they keep reappearing when they are most needed. Like during the bad old days half a century ago here in Arkansas and throughout the South. It was a time when people were confronted with the clearest of political and moral choices, perhaps the clearest since the Civil War itself.
By 1957, the question had become unavoidable: What was it to be, the rule of law or defiance? State Sovereignty or the Union now and forever?
It was a time when every politician, every leader, every minister, every citizen was called on to choose sides, or hunker down and try to stay neutral between right and wrong.
It was a time made for an ambitious demagogue even in a state then considered moderate in its racial views. That would change soon enough, for the crisis presented an opportunistic governor his chance to become a nigh-eternal incumbent. All he had to do was fan the flames. All he had to do was stir up the gathering hatred and exploit it. He could even shut down the schools if he wanted, and the mob would rage, the crowd cheer, and the voters go his way. Again and again. Which was the choice Orval Faubus made.
Most of the state's politicians either went along or went passive, ducking for cover during what would become the Great Faubusfear.
Some just skedaddled. The state's junior senator, always a great internationalist, at least in his own eyes, decided this would be just the right time to take an international tour. His actions in 1957, and the years before and after, would prove a portrait in something other than courage. Having already helped set the tinder by placing his indelible signature on the defiant Southern Manifesto the year before, J. William Fulbright didn't hang around to watch the Crisis when it burst upon the state.
Instead, he chose to view it from a safe distance merry old England, where he always did seem more at home. It became a pattern with him. Whenever freedom was being threatened by racial demagogues at home or communist aggression abroad, Sen. Fulbright could be counted on to suggest appeasement.
Such were the unhappy times. But there were giants in the earth even then. They stood out, perhaps because there were so few of them. A whole slew of repressive laws was rammed through the Arkansas legislature in February of 1957 in anticipation of the Crisis to come.
For example, there was the bill to create a State Sovereignty Commission, a star chamber that would crack down on anyone brave enough to defy the segs. This modern inquisition was given power to subpoena witnesses and records, and summon anyone to appear in closed session. The bill setting up the commission passed the House 88 to 1.
Another bill, clearly aimed at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other uppity outfits, required that such organizations turn over their membership rolls and financial records at the demand of this new Sovereignty Commission. The proposal passed the House 89 to 1.
In both those cases, the lone dissenting vote was cast by a young representative from Hot Springs named Ray S. Smith Jr. The next year, when Orval Faubus was given the power to close the public schools, that outrageous bill passed the House 94 to 1.
Again, the single vote in opposition was cast by Ray Smith. The names of those who voted for it have been largely forgotten, consigned to a kind of merciful oblivion. It was the lone dissenter, Ray Smith, who on his death last week at 83, who would be remembered as a hero.
Ray Smith did Arkansas proud even if he had to do it alone.
His solitary stand against all the febrile forces that pushed Arkansas over the edge in the Furious Fifties could be ranked with the prophetic Isaac Murphy's lone vote against secession in 1861. On that fateful day, a lady in the gallery threw a bouquet at his feet when that giant in his time took his stand for the Union; the flowers for Ray Smith would come only later, when it became clearer how foresighted he had been.
Ray Smith's simple courage as a young man in the 1950s would mature over the years into perspective, temperance and wisdom. But always, it would be his singular votes in that time of testing that would be remembered, and honored.
There were indeed giants in the earth in those days. And when the next moment of truth arrives for this state, or this country, their names will be invoked. For the Ray Smiths leave us not only with the memory of their courage at a decisive moment in the past, but a shining example for the future.
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.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K