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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 Nov. 7, 2005 / 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Ace talk is not always ‘racist’

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the touchy arena of sports and race, there's a special etiquette that forbids a lot of people from saying what they think.

Recent instructive examples include Fisher DeBerry, the U.S. Air Force Academy football coach, who expounded a little too freely for most people's comfort on the terrific speed of black football players.

And there were the black professional basketball stars who complained of a not-too-subtle racism in the National Basketball Association's new hip-hop-unfriendly dress code. As a black father of a male teen-aged NBA fan, I vigorously disagreed that the dress code was racist. It takes a pretty narrow mind to think that, to be authentically black, we must bling-bling ourselves up like, say, Eminem or Paul Wall, both of whom happen to be white rappers who do an excellent job of capturing that one narrow aspect of African-American culture.

Yet, it is my unhappiness to report that only one of the offending sportsmen was taken to the woodshed by his superiors and forced to apologize, and it was not one of the black players. No, it was DeBerry, who was officially reprimanded and who issued a public apology for his comments.

His controversial remarks came after his team took a 48-10 beating from Texas Christian University in late October. DeBerry later told reporters: "It's very obvious to me the other day that the other team had a lot more Afro-American players than we did, and they ran a lot faster than we did. It just seems to be that way, that Afro-American kids can run very, very well. That doesn't mean that Caucasian kids and other descents can't run, but it's very obvious to me they run extremely well. Their defense had 11 Afro-American kids on their team, and they were a very, very good defensive football team. That's exactly what I was talking about."

As a number of sports commentators have pointed out, DeBerry's mistake was his failure to use the shrewd euphemisms that others in positions like his usually employ when talking about matters related to race. It is not news to football fans that black players dominate the field positions that call for fast runners.

But, by calling attention to that statistic, DeBerry inadvertently calls attention to its embarrassing flip-side: the relative scarcity of blacks in decision-making positions like quarterbacks, coaches, managers and owners.

Black Americans have made a lot of progress in breaking through those glass ceilings over the years, but not enough for everybody to be comfortable with talking about it very much.

Football great Paul Hornung stumbled into a similar error of racial etiquette in March 2004 when he told a Detroit radio station that his alma mater, Notre Dame, "can't stay as strict as we are as far as the academic structure is concerned because we've got to get the black athlete. We must get the black athlete if we're going to compete."

Just as DeBerry should have left race out of his search for speed, Hornung would have saved himself a lot of grief had he left race out of Notre Dame's search for talented high schoolers.

But I am not surprised that quite a few white people have been confused about how much they should call attention to certain racial stats in sports, since they have become widespread material for jokes among black folks. Hang around black athletes much and you'll hear about poor runners and jumpers having "white man's disease," or how the three-point shot in basketball was invented to give a boost to white players, who tend to be more adept at the long ball than flashy dunk shots. Who can forget how "White Men Can't Jump" became the ironic title of a popular 1992 basketball movie starring Woody Harrelson and Wesley Snipes without much protest.

I cannot explain why black athletes do so well in certain sports, although I think the answer is more complicated than the genetically-based explanation advanced in Jon Entine's controversial 2001 book, "Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk About It."

While his title has truth in it, race alone does not explain the tendency of black American runners to dominate Olympic sprints, for example, while black Kenyans dominate marathons, or Dominicans produce a disproportionate number of black stars for North American baseball.

Whatever the reasons, we Americans need to find some reasonable ways to talk about them reasonably without pointing accusatory fingers at each other. Otherwise, we will have a tough time grappling with the truly serious issues of race in America.

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