Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

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 2, 2008 / 29 Sivan 5768

My hero

By Paul Greenberg


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Keiara Bell is a 13-year-old eighth grader at Courtis Elementary/Middle School in Detroit, Mich. The school is located in a decaying neighborhood full of the usual urban detritus; there's no shortage of weedy lots and abandoned houses. But the school stands out among its dilapidated surroundings. For one thing, it's got a strict dress code: collared shirts must be tucked into dark pants; jeans aren't allowed. In short, this school's got the outward signs of an inner discipline.

Being disciplined doesn't mean being dull. Or devoid of humor. To open the day, the entire student body recites The Affirmation, which begins: "I am a positive force in this world. I am courteous, kind, respectful and smart. Oh well, I may even be brilliant."

Keiara Bell is one of those courteous, kind, respectful and maybe even brilliant students. She ranks at the top of her class, and she's made a lot of news of late. A panel discussion she participated in — it was sponsored by the Detroit News — now has been called up more than 100,000 times on YouTube.

Folks as far away as Ohio, Georgia and New York have sent her school congratulations on her performance. A state senator presented her with a certificate recognizing her "eloquent oratorical skills." The moderator of the panel, a former chief of staff to the president pro tem of Detroit's city council, says he's told young Miss Bell, "When you get ready to run for office, I'll be managing your first campaign, pro bono."

What did Keiara Bell do to merit all this attention, and admiration? It seems that in her social studies classes, she'd been digging into the latest Detroit-style scandal involving the city's mayor, who by now has been indicted on charges of perjury, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. Keiara Bell has been keeping up with the details of the scandal, and with local government in general. (Not long ago she stayed up till 10 p.m. compiling a report that cited 88 facts about the local political scene.)

In the course of her studies, young Miss Bell caught the video of a hearing that featured a less than polite exchange between the president of Detroit's city council, Kenneth Cockrel Jr., and Monica Conyers, the council's president pro tem. Mrs. Conyers — she's the wife of the congressman — kept interrupting him while he tried to question a witness. Mr. Cockrel finally resorted to banging his gavel in an attempt to quiet her. At which she shouted at him:

"You're not my daddy, you do that at home, not here. OK? Exactly. So treat me with respect because I'm tired of that. Be respectful. You may not do that at home but you gonna do it up here. Grow up. Control your house and you know how to treat other women better ... Shrek."

Sure enough, Mr. President Cockrel is bald, just like the green ogre of movie fame known as Shrek. That did it. "Shrek?" he asked. "I will call this to adjourn!" End of the matter.

At least until Mrs. Conyers agreed to appear on a panel at Keiara Bell's school, a panel that would be duly taped and widely circulated. Explaining her behavior at the hearing, President Conyers explained that she'd found Mr. Cockrel's attitude lacking in respect.

"But you didn't have to call him a name," Miss Bell pointed out.

"But now you're telling me what I should have and should not have done," Mrs. Conyer replied.

"You're an adult," said Miss Keiara. "You have that choice."

"I'm what?" asked Mrs. Conyers, as if the term adult were new to her.

"You're an adult," repeated the eighth grader. "You had that choice. ... Sometimes people need to think before they act."

Out of the mouths of babes.

By now people far and wide have heard that educational exchange — and cheered Miss Bell's little lesson in manners, judgment and self-respect. Civility in politics, it turns out, actually turns people on. Maybe it's the rarity of it.

And what does Keiara's mom think of her child's star turn? A mother of four who sells candy from the trunk of an old gray Cadillac in different Detroit neighborhoods, she says: "That's my baby."

Keiara Bell says "an experience like this can turn a girl into a lady." I'm not so sure. What I suspect is that a 13-year-old with Keiara Bell's poise and gumption, not to mention good sense, was already a lady.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

Paul Greenberg Archives

© 2006 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles