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RACISM AND EQUALITY

You must attempt all questions. 200-300 words or more per part. Use references.

PART 1
The Dolezal controversy has raised questions about the way we talk about race in society and in the process taken a concept that scholars have been interrogating for a long time into public discussion. Before attempting this week’s discussion board please review the article “Racial Formation in the United States” by Michael Omi and Howard Winant (1986)

In your initial discussion post, answer the following questions:
1.    What does it mean to understand race as a social construction?
2.    To what extent does the Dolezal controversy help illustrate race as a social construct rather than a biological fact?

PART 2
In 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first race-based drug. Called BiDil (pronounced bye-dill), it was intended to treat congestive heart failure in African-Americans only. The approval was widely declared to be a significant step toward a new era of personalized medicine, an era in which pharmaceuticals would be specifically designed to work with an individuals particular genetic makeup. Known as pharmacogenomics, this approach to drug development promises to reduce the cost and increase the safety and efficacy of new therapies. BiDil was hailed by some as a means to improve the health of African-Americans, a community woefully underserved by the U.S. medical establishment. However, not everyone is so sure.

Take a look at this clip of Ann Morning, Associate Professor of Sociology at NYU discussing pharmacogenomics and this new era of racialized medicine.
1.    What role has science played in the social construction of race?
2.    What are the potential implications of race-based medications like BiDil?

PART 3
1.    Why is it important to understand slavery from the perspective of those enslaved as well as the perspective of the dominant group?
2.    How has all this information changed how you understand the past?

PART 4
The panelists and hosts in this FOX News talk show discuss the idea of requiring passing citizenship tests to graduate high school and to vote.
1.    Express the extent to which you agree or disagree with the sentiments voiced by the panelists?
2.    What would be the implications of state governments requiring civic tests or voter IDs to vote?

PART 5
There were much debate and controversy regarding the 2016 Academy Awards. For the second consecutive year, there was a lack of diversity among Oscar nominees with only white actors getting the nod. The #OscarsSoWhitehashtag circulated throughout social media accusing Hollywoods most famous awards show for its lack of diversity, as well as the industry as a whole. Actors such as Jada Smith Pinkett and Spike Lee boycotted the event.
Here is an ABC news report on the controversy:

1.    What is your perspective on the controversy?

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