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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 July 4, 2010 / 22 Tammuz, 5770

Following up on ‘the first female president’

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the days since I suggested that President Obama's rhetorical style mimics feminine tropes, I've been informed of the following:

One, a black man cannot show anger in public lest he be considered an Angry Black Man.

Two, to suggest that a black man has any feminine characteristics, even when framed as an "evolutionary achievement," is to emasculate and reduce him to a figure from Jim Crow days.

These were the two most common complaints I heard in the column's wake. Some of those who wrote were polite, self-identifying African Americans who sort of agreed with my point but wanted to help me see things a different way. Others were not so civil.

Do I think people are too sensitive? Yes. Do I think I may have overstepped the line? No. It's a column, not a dissertation. And my thesis, bouncing off the notion that Bill Clinton was the first black president, is serious only insofar as you really think Clinton is black.

But I also recognize that my life experience is different from that of most African Americans. And that experience allows me both the luxury of seeing people without the lens of race, but also (sometimes) to fail to imagine how people of other backgrounds might interpret my words.

As my Post colleague Jonathan Capehart wrote on the PostPartisan blog -- and explained to me in a telephone conversation -- black men are held to a different standard than whites. They are practiced in keeping their emotions under wraps. They can't "go off," as some have urged Obama to do in response to the gulf oil spill.

I hadn't thought of it this way, but I take Jonathan and others at their word that it's a fact of life for African American men.

You'll have to take me at my word when I say that I don't view Obama exclusively as a black man -- no matter what he said on his census form. Not only is he half-white, but also he has managed to transcend skin color, at least from where I sit.

As a sidebar, there's another reason I don't see him as only black. He is my cousin. I had intended to save this nugget for a future column, but now seems as good a time as any to brag.

I learned of this surprising family link when a cousin conducting genealogical research contacted me recently: "And by the way, did you know you're kin to Barack?"

Apparently, we are descended of brothers whose parents -- Johann Pieter Straub and Anna Maria Barbara Hoffman -- emigrated from Germany to the colonies about 1733. According to the family grid, Obama and I seem to be eighth cousins once removed.

I am proud to be Obama's cousin. But that bond doesn't blind me to his -- and our -- flaws. In my earlier column, I sought only to offer one possible reason the president is paying such a high price for his response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. American culture is complicated, and gender expectations play an important part. Like it or not, that includes not only our more progressive contemporary thinking about such matters but also our less progressive history. Together, this mix of ideas forms a minefield that leaders must traverse.

Consider: In the days leading up to the president's Oval Office address about the gulf crisis, there was a lot of talk about the "style" of Obama's response. On MSNBC, Donny Deutsch argued that he "just doesn't emote."

Many people seemed to have a hankering for one particular emotion: Not the Bill Clinton "I feel your pain" kind but the "Take-BP-Behind-the-Woodshed-and-Make-Them-Pay" kind. They wanted an action figure in the hyper-masculine mode, not George W. Bush but the Terminator.

In fits and starts, Obama had given it to them. He wanted to know "whose ass to kick," he told us. He wanted them to "plug the damn hole." Press secretary Robert Gibbs assured us that in discussions with Obama he, indeed, had "seen rage from him."

Then the president gave his Oval Office speech. And the collective reaction was, "That's it?! Where's the outrage?!?!"

Obama elected to employ a certain type of rhetoric in the Oval Office that put him in line with feminine rhetorical traditions and at odds with historical precedent and the expectations for his gender. Such a choice ultimately may prove to be a crucial step forward toward a better world. But the backlash against his rhetoric suggests we're not there yet.

Speaking as a cousin, and a not-so-sensitive columnist-citizen, I'm pulling for him to do better.

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