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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

I was condemning Southern stereotypes, not reinforcing them

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | Listener 1: “She said all Southerners are stupid.”

Listener 2: “No, she didn’t. She was saying that whenever political operatives or the media need to show someone who is confused or clueless, they always find somebody with a Southern accent. Parker’s been writing about this for years. Besides, she is a Southerner.”

Let’s hear it for Listener No. 2!

This exchange might have taken place after I appeared Sunday on “Meet the Press,” where I made a comment about Southerners and an ad attacking the Affordable Care Act. Apparently at least one person with a laptop was offended, and social media took it from there. Think Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

To recap, NBC host David Gregory showed a clip I hadn’t seen before, in which a fellow expresses how confusing he found Obamacare. He said he felt like he was in a “haze.” The clip followed my comment that the greatest challenge to Democrats in the midterm elections is the broad understanding that those who passed Obamacare had no idea what they were doing.

Rather than continuing this thread, I reacted to something that has irked me for years — the media stereotype of the Southerner as a befuddled hayseed — and that has been a theme throughout my body of work.

In the moment, my gut got the better of my brain. I said surely they could have found someone without a Southern accent to express confusion about Obamacare. My follow-up was that there are plenty of other people (who might be considered smarter and more sophisticated by certain folks) who were also perplexed by the law.

Alas, people unfamiliar with my work had no context for the remark and took offense. Herewith, the rest of the story.

I would never intentionally insult Southerners or the South. Although I was born in Florida, owing in part to my mother’s poor health (she needed a mild climate but died young anyway), South Carolina has been home to my maternal family since 1670.



In fact, my mother was the only family member to have left the state up to that point, except for the men who left, some for eternity, to fight in various wars. Her other reason for leaving was because she had committed the unpardonable sin of marrying a Yankee pilot during World War II. My father said he couldn’t have found work in South Carolina back then.

My Southern résumé otherwise includes the fact that my permanent address is still South Carolina, that my first job was at the Charleston Evening Post and that I’m married to a native son whose bona fides are not in question.

To those angry e-mailers who pointed out that I’m no smarter than people with Southern accents, I would add only, “Amen, sister.” I have one of those accents myself but adapt as circumstances require. Catch me on NBC and I probably sound like the Midwesterner my father was. Catch me on S.C. Highway 97, and you won’t know me from any other local.

My grandfather was one of those authentic Southerners whom reporters always hope to find — a farmer who plucked food from the ground a couple of hours before we sat down to say grace, told ghost stories from a rocking chair on the front porch and took us to Turkey Creek to fish and scavenge for arrowheads. There was nothing dumb about Mr. John B, as everyone called him. If there were a way to capture the smell of him — a combination of leather, tobacco, soil and Old Spice — I’d give it away as tonic to help city children fall asleep at night.

My own yearning for the smells and sounds of the motherland brought me back to South Carolina after years of roaming and writing for several newspapers here and there. The reporter in me began to notice the way the media portrayed Southerners as ignorant yokels. The Scots-Irish Southerner in me burned with ancient rage.

It was with this mind-set that I watched the ad and commented. I sure meant no offense and do wish I had chosen my words more carefully. Even so, knowing Southerners as I do, I also know they’re as quick to forgive as to convict if treated respectfully, which was my intent all along.

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