Washington, D.C., April 21, 2009 … Nationally syndicated Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page was honored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) for his perceptive observations of race in America and for his commentary on the major social, political and cultural issues of the day.
Mr. Page received the ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize, which recognizes those who have made significant and lasting contributions to the protection and advancement of the First Amendment. The award was presented during the League's National Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.
"Clarence Page epitomizes the values and ideals of our constitution and our country," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, in presenting the award. "He tackles the issues of the day, be they social, political, or race-related, in a forthright and thoughtful manner. He pulls no punches in his commentaries, and when Clarence Page speaks – in print, on the airwaves, or online – people listen and learn."
In accepting the award, Mr. Page recounted his experience growing up in the segregated south and talked about the great strides our country has made in improving race relations.
"But we must realize that the fight against hate is still with us," Mr. Page said. "The question is, how far can the fight against racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and other hate go before it tramples on our right to free speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of the press? What's the difference between hate speech that forfeits First Amendment protection and legitimate political speech? In a democracy, that issue never goes away."
A longtime observer of race in America, Mr. Page's vivid and insightful analysis and commentary are an important contribution to our national conversation on race, especially so throughout the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, when the question was asked, "Does race matter?"
The ADL Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize is endowed by Dwayne O. Andreas, President of the Andreas Foundation, as a tribute to his close friend, the late Hubert H. Humphrey, who in a long life of public service was a Mayor of Minneapolis, a distinguished Senator from Minnesota and Vice President of the United States. The award is presented to institutions or individuals who, like Hubert Humphrey, have made significant and lasting contributions to the preservation and advancement of the ideals embodied in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Past recipients of the prize include Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, Fareed Zakaria, Walter Cronkite, Barbara Walters, The Wall Street Journal, William Safire, George Will, A.M. Rosenthal, Meet The Press, C-SPAN and slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl (posthumously).