Jewish World Review July 31, 2002 / 22 Menachem-Av, 5762
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | The old fashioned civil-rights era ended the other day -- and you probably didn't even notice.
Two events sealed the deal. First, the NAACP held a convention in Houston, where speakers delivered shrill rants about President Bush and adopted resolutions that had less to do with racial harmony than with remaining slaves to dead ideologies and negligent financiers. The confab provided sad proof that some warriors aren't happy unless they have hostilities.
Meanwhile, a video of a white cop punching a black suspect in Inglewood, CA attracted racial hucksters, who were promptly ignored by virtually everybody.
This proves we're on the verge of being grown up on race. Sure it took about four centuries and a lot of hardship, but the old uneasiness is melting away. Race relations aren't hard: Obey the golden rule.
We no longer have to take to the streets to spread that message; most of us have taken it to heart, which is why the age of civil rights rapidly is giving way to an age of simple civility.
I can't stop thinking about the case of Samatha Runnion.
The five-year-old did everything her mom told her to do: She stayed close to home, played with a companion, and fought ferociously when a man tried to abduct her. But he succeeded -- and then spent hours beating her, molesting her, killing her, and posing her body along a public roadside.
I can't remember the last time anything made me this sick ... or angry. The murder was pure evil, and no torture is bad enough for the killer.
We've got to teach kids to protect themselves -- and we have to keep watch ourselves for sickos. But there's another point: Our political and entertainment elites treat sex as a sacred thing, and love as just a nice option. We're breeding a culture that regards people, especially females, as objects -- and thus encourages horrifying violence.
This is also part of the problem. We're honest these days about predators. Shouldn't we wise up about their glamorous role models, too?
Tiger Woods had a horrible day -- for him -- during the third round of the British Open. He shot an 81 and fell from contention. But in so doing, he may have done almost incalculable good for his career.
Throughout his public life, Tiger Woods has walked among the gods of sport -- having won more championships at an earlier age than anyone else, usually in dominating fashion. He never before had to cope with true adversity.
This time, though, he stumbled and bumbled -- again, in relative terms; I tell ya if I shot an 81 at Muirfield, I'd have the scorecard bronzed -- and closed by doffing his hat and smiling.
Adversity makes us mature: It puts hardships and triumphs in proper perspective; it sands away the edges of false elation and delusional despair. It helps us cherish what we have, and gives us the strength not to dwell on what slips from our grasp.
Tiger joined the ranks
of the mortals, if just for one day, and that made him an even brighter
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