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 July 14, 2005 / 7 Taamuz, 5765

Judging the content of a caricature

By Clarence Page

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Mexico and the United States have many more important things to worry about than the cuteness or offensiveness of Memin Pinguin.

The big-lipped, big-eared, bug-eyed, black-skinned pickaninny cartoon character recently sparked international outrage when it popped up on Mexican postage stamps.

It was the biggest uproar between the two nations since, well, the last one. That, you may recall, came when Mexico's President Vicente Fox said that Mexicans take jobs that "not even blacks want to do."

Both episodes brought condemnations for insensitivity from White House spokesman Scott McClellan and black activists such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also called the stamps derogatory. In one Los Angeles incident, police cited three men for blocking a sidewalk during a protest at the Mexican Consulate in the city.

All of which brought proclamations of bemusement from Fox, who wondered aloud what all the fuss was about. "They don't have information, frankly," he told The Associated Press. "All Mexico loves the character," he said, including himself.

Indeed, many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have pointed out that Pinguin, born in the 1940s as a comic book that still sells as briskly as "Star Wars" tickets, is as cherished in the Mexican national identity as Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny on this side of the border. It certainly is no more offensive, many argue, than those all-American characters Speedy Gonzales or the Frito Bandito.

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Judge Pinguin not by the color of his ink, they say, but by the true content of his caricature.

Yet, like other racial-ethnic eruptions of our times, the Pinguin flap offers insightful lessons about how differently people from various cultures and nationalities define the largely artificial construct we call "race" and how differently we define what we think is racist.

Some American editorialists have howled that Mexico has a lot to learn about racial sensitivity. Maybe so, but Norteamericanos have much to learn from Mexico's experience, too.

On the positive side, today's Mexico did not emerge out of the burdensome racial baggage of the Yankees. It had difference racial baggage.

Unlike America's system, enslaved Africans in Mexico could buy their freedom and give birth to children who were in turn free to marry anyone of any racial origin. Mexico abolished slavery decades before the United States and never enacted Jim Crow-style laws. The great black American poet Langston Hughes, among others, occasionally lived in Mexico to take a breather from the segregated society in his native land.

Mexican historian Enrique Krauze, author of "Mexico: Biography of Power," described Mexico's tradition of racial egalitarianism in a recent Washington Post op-ed essay. Famous Mexican leaders of African descent, he noted, included Jose Maria Morelos, who became the second commander of the Mexican rebels in their War for Independence (1810-1821), and his immediate subordinate, Gen. Vicente Guerrero, who became president eight years after Mexico won its independence from Spain.

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Since race had ceased to have much meaning in Mexico's heavily "mestizo," mixed ancestry, society, the country abandoned counting people by race in its national census decades ago.

But the downside of that willful color-blindness is that it contributes to the very real sense of invisibility felt by many black Mexicans. As Juan Angel Serrano, 41, a cattle farmer who heads Black Mexico, told Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent Hugh Dellios in Costa Chica, a region heavy with black Mexicans, "(other Mexicans) just don't see us. People ask us where we're from. They say we can't be from Mexico."

The "Memin Pinguin" postage stamp has sold out and, happily for offended black folks, no further printing beyond the original 750,000-stamp issue was scheduled, in line with original plans. The Rev. Mr. Jackson suggested that Mexicans commemorate some real-life black heroes on their stamps. Good idea. They do have more than a few.

As for us African-descended North Americans, we might want to look at some of the images of black life that we encourage with our consumer dollars back here at home. Then we might ask ourselves: Is Memin Pinguin any worse than some of the gangsters and hoochy mamas that we promote in our hip-hop videos?

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