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Brief asides


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POSTED: Friday, July 31, 2009

BEERPLOMACY

There are more moments left to be 'teachable'

The funny thing about the “;teachable moment”; Barack Obama saw in the Harvard racial dispute is that the correct instructor wasn't even invited for a beer. It's not the president, who stoked division in Cambridge, Mass., as health care reform foundered in Washington. It's not black scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who although obviously wronged could have defused the situation. It's absolutely not the arresting officer, who couldn't bear to have Gates question his authority and so cited him even after it was clear no robbery had occurred. No, the best teacher is the woman who wasn't invited to the White House. The woman, who in placing the initial 911 call, not once brought up the race of the men she was reporting, and repeatedly said she wasn't even sure that a crime was being committed, that maybe the front door was simply stuck (which, of course, it was). But Lucia Whalen was left out of the beer brotherhood. Maybe one lesson of this “;teachable moment”; is that sexism, as well as racism, is alive and well.

 

TAKE CARE

Keep the flu at bay

Many parents kept their fingers crossed last spring, figuring that if their kids could just keep the flu at bay the last few days of school, the virus would die out over summer break. But clearly that is not the case, as Hawaii flu cases continue to rise, and a sixth death has been attributed to the novel H1N1 variety. Now, with some schools already back in session, and more poised to resume classes next week, parents, students and educators must be as vigilant about flu prevention as they were when the outbreak began in May.