"Let me offer you, metaphorically, two magic wands that have sweeping powers to change society. With one wand you could wipe out all racism and discrimination from the hearts and minds of white America. The other wand you could wave across the ghettos and barrios of America and infuse the inhabitants with Japanese or Jewish values, respect for learning and ambition. ... I suggest that the best wand for society and for those who live in the ghettos and barrios would be the second wand."
by:
Richard Lamm
[Richard Douglas "Dick" Lamm] (1935- ) American politician, lawyer, governor of Colorado (D) (1975-1987), 1996 US presidential candidate for the Reform Party
Source:
in his book, Two Wands, One Nation (2006)
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Reader comments about this quote:
The ends here does not justify the means, though true in some instances, a lot - way to stereo typical.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Amen to that second wand.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    pretty much says it all here. values of education and respect will bring anybody up. just look at my tennis hero, Arthur Ashe.
     -- hubert townsend, casper,wy     
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    A man has a book out currently in which he says that the Japanese success with child violinists or success in math and science is not magic. Like the Jewish success in musical prodigys the key ingredient is practice, practice, practice. The man says that excellence in academics or the arts is 10,000 hours of practice. There obviously is something in certain cultures whether it be financial security etc that allows children to thrive and strive. People of lower economic means whether they be of a minority race or rednecks who overly struggle for their daily bread may not have or think that they don't have the 10,000 hours to give to change their status in life. Wealthier folk historically have become the lawyers and doctors because of the initial time and capital required in the effort. I agree with hubert and it has been proven in Barack that education, education and education is the answer. I don't know that the value of practice is a Japanese or Jewish value, but many Americans both rich and poor are more into the pleasure factor of life rather than the sacrifice that practice requires. I guess Mike is right to about the stereotypical fallacy of this quote.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    PS: Mike hoever does not worry about stereotyping government all the time and every time.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
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    Here in NYC immigrants from India, China, Korea, and a plethora of 3rd world nations are among the hardest workers one can find. Then there are generational welfare communities which keep playing the 'race card' for more special dispensations. The remark from Lamm may be politically incorrect, but is not far off the mark.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Wasn't Richard Lamm the Colorado Governor who said "old people have the duty to die and get out of the way? HE WAS!
     -- Anonymous     
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     -- RBESRQ      
     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester      
    Let us first decode the code words; ghettos = African Americans; barrios = Mexicans. Next let us loudly declare the abject falseness of Dick's premise here as he forwards the fallacy that economically impoverished African American and Mexican people generally lack "respect for learning and ambition." After that, let us fairly condemn his suggestion that these false tendencies are rooted in African American and Mexican cultural dynamics; otherwise, why would it be necessary to look to a Japanese or Jewish model to correct this imaginary collective flaw. Perhaps along the way, we should also consider the pre-colonial histories of these peoples, the expansive societies they built, and the contributions that their cultures made to the forward flow of human history before their cultural characters were fundamentally altered and largely destroyed by morally bankrupt Europeans who raped, robbed, murdered, and pillaged in a pattern that continues in these communities, and in new cultures and communities around the globe today. (At some point in the not too distant future, I anticipate hearing Dick say the same things about the people living in Iraq and Afghanistan.) Now finally, let us properly plant a foot of clarity on the head and/or backside of this long recognized racist for suggesting that the oppressive culture that he represents and defends has no responsibility for the deprived conditions that people in ghettos and barrios deal with on a daily basis. This quote clearly reveals that Dick Lamm and his contemporaries live in a self-deluding, morally and spiritually repressed alternate reality where they have the right and responsibility to exploit and oppress the world, while criticizing their victims for the fallout.
     -- Mshujaa, The Real World     
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    It is quite obvious that the second wand would alleviate for the most part the need for the first.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Mshujaa, The Real World. The poor are victims of their own philosophy and the leaders they choose. Racism is not the primary problem here. Racism is no where near as prevalent as it is trumped up to be. It is more often just used as an excuse.
     -- warren, olathe     
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