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 August 30, 2013 / 24 Elul, 5773

The Content of Our Character

By Linda Chavez

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | They wouldn't seem to have much in common, the 50th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington and Miley Cyrus' disgraceful performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, but both show how culture trumps law in influencing our lives.

For those of us old enough to remember life before the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the dream was that if we could outlaw discrimination on the basis of race and sex, the lives of blacks and women would be improved dramatically. And they were — up to a point. As President Obama noted in his speech at the Lincoln Memorial, "To dismiss the magnitude of this progress — to suggest, as some sometimes do, that little has changed — that dishonors the courage and the sacrifice of those who paid the price to march in those years."

The change the president referred to is real and significant. At the time that Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous speech in 1963, 22 percent of blacks in the Deep South were registered to vote and only five blacks held congressional office. Today, blacks vote in higher numbers than whites nationally (66 percent versus 64 percent of whites in the 2012 election), and there are more than 10,500 black elected officials nationwide, including more than 300 in legislatures south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Similar progress has occurred in education, employment and housing. Legal barriers to achieving the American dream have been lifted thanks to the passage of laws making it illegal to judge individuals by the color of their skin.

And the same is true for women. Young people today may not realize it, but in 1963 (prior to the implementation of the Equal Pay Act and the Civil Rights Act), employers could bar women from certain jobs and pay them less for doing identical work. Universities could — and did — exclude or limit the number of women in certain fields. If a female teacher became pregnant, many school districts forced her to leave her job before what we now endearingly call the baby bump appeared.

But equal legal rights did not mean life became better and safer, much less elevated, for many blacks and women. And here is where culture stepped in to tarnish the dream.

For all the depredations of the pre-civil rights era, most black children were born into and grew up in homes with both a father and a mother. The leading cause of death for black teenage boys in the 1950s was not homicide at the hands of other black teenagers, as it is today. And although unemployment was higher among black males than whites, labor force participation rates (which measure whether one is looking for work or working) were not appreciably different, and black women were significantly more likely to be in the labor force than their white counterparts.

Culture — not laws — made the difference. The breakdown of the black family that occurred after the civil rights era is a product of American cultural shifts of the 1960s. The fact that the large majority of black children are born to single mothers today skews every outcome by which we measure progress in the black community: poverty, educational achievement, health, labor force participation, crime and wealth. The sexual revolution played a pernicious role, devaluing commitment and turning sex into a marketable commodity.

And that brings me to Miley Cyrus. Cyrus is a reflection of the commoditization of raw sex. Her lewd performance last week will pay off handsomely — for MTV. The music video giant has suffered a ratings slump in recent years, which it has tried to solve by increasing the volume of sewage it dumps into the culture.

The 2012 VMA ratings were 50 percent lower than those of 2011, but Cyrus' performance made this year's show headline news for days. MTV will get richer off of the controversy, but our culture — and the lives of young women and men — will be the poorer. And it is culture as much as law that forms character.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream has been largely fulfilled. We now can be judged not by the color of our skin but by the content of our character. And that's the problem.

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

JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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