New York Times and The American Riddle

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-12-18 15:44Z by Steven

New York Times and The American Riddle

Only-NeverInSweden
2013-09-03

Larry Lundgren
Linköping, Sweden

The [New York] Times accepted two comments on OpEd article by Charles Blow: “The Most Dangerous Negro.”

Here are the two books that I presently cite in comments on this and related articles

Prewitt, Kenneth, 2013, What is Your Race-The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans: Princeton University Press, Princeton

Roberts, Dorothy, 2011, Fatal Invention-How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century: The New Press, London

These are the two most important books on this subject that I have read. They should be read by every American professor who daily employs the nomenclature of the US Census Bureau classification of Americans…

Read the entire article here.

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Race Medicine: Treating Health Inequities from Slavery to the Genomic Age with Prof. Dorothy Roberts

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-12-10 17:35Z by Steven

Race Medicine: Treating Health Inequities from Slavery to the Genomic Age with Prof. Dorothy Roberts

Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice
Brown University
Steven Robert ’62  Campus Center, Petteruti Lounge
75 Waterman Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02912
Tuesday, 2013-12-10, 17:30 EST (Local Time)

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

Dorothy Roberts is the fourteenth Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, George A. Weiss University Professor, and the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights at University of Pennsylvania, where she holds appointments in the Law School and Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology. An internationally recognized scholar, public intellectual, and social justice advocate, she has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues and has been a leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive health, child welfare, and bioethics. Professor Roberts is the author of the award-winning books Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Random House/Pantheon, 1997) and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books/Civitas, 2002), as well as co-editor of six books on constitutional law and gender. She has also published more than eighty articles and essays in books and scholarly journals, including Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and Stanford Law Review. Her latest book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century, was published by the New Press in July 2011.

Professor Roberts has been a professor at Rutgers and Northwestern University, a visiting professor at Stanford and Fordham, and a fellow at Harvard University’s Program in Ethics and the Professions, Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, and the Fulbright Program. She serves as chair of the board of directors of the Black Women’s Health Imperative, on the board of directors of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, and on the advisory boards of the Center for Genetics and Society and the Family Defense Center. She also serves on the Standards Working Group of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (stem cell research). She recently received awards from the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the 2010 Dorothy Ann and Clarence L. Ver Steeg Distinguished Research Fellowship.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice with support from the Associate Provost for Diversity, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, the Office of Medical Education, and the Science and Technology Studies Program.

For more information, click here.

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Loving v. Virginia as a Civil Rights Decision

Posted in Law, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2013-12-09 02:21Z by Steven

Loving v. Virginia as a Civil Rights Decision

Cosponsored by the Center for African American Studies and the Program in Law and Public Affairs
102 Jones Hall
Princeton University
Princeton, New Jersey
Monday, 2013-12-09, 12:00-13:20 EST (Local Time)

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

The Workshop in American Studies brings together students and faculty from the wide range of departments that contribute to the Program in American Studies. By encouraging a diversity of topics from researchers from a variety of departments, we hope the Workshop highlights the advantages of the “in-between” disciplinary space that American Studies inhabits at Princeton. Our goal is to provide a forum where presenters can receive feedback from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives and participants can be exposed to new methodologies and new topics for research. Moreover, we hope to foster a community of advanced undergraduates, graduate students and faculty who share in the common project of researching the American experience.

The format of the workshop is that the speaker introduces the paper for ten minutes and then we open up the floor to questions. Copies of the papers are made available outside the American Studies office, 42 McCosh Hall…

For more information and reservations, click here.

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Interracial Marriage and the Civil Rights Revolution: A Personal Journey

Posted in Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-12-03 06:13Z by Steven

Interracial Marriage and the Civil Rights Revolution: A Personal Journey

The University of Pennsylvania Provost presents The Inaugural Provost’s Lecture on Diversity
University of Pennsylvania
Annenberg School Room 110
2013-11-13, 17:00-19:00 EST (Local Time)

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

As far back as I can remember, my father was conducting research for a book on interracial marriage in Chicago.  He died without publishing the work to which he devoted his entire academic career.  Robert E.T. Roberts, an anthropologist at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago, interviewed more than 600 black-white couples over a period of five decades.  He began in 1937 as a 22-year-old master’s student at University of Chicago, recording the life histories of interracial couples married as early as 1890.  He continued interviewing couples for his Ph.D. dissertation, completed in 1956, the year I was born.  Two years earlier, my father, who was white, married my mother, a black Jamaican immigrant who came to Roosevelt on a scholarship and accompanied him on interviews as his research assistant.  For the remainder of his career, he interviewed hundreds more couples—and then hundreds of their children—until he retired in 1986. 

When my father died in 2002, I inherited 25 boxes of his files on interracial marriage in Chicago—a treasure trove of rare interviews, newspaper clippings, letters, photographs, and handwritten notes.  I found in my possession an untapped archive of extraordinary potential to reveal insights into racial identity and relations in the United States, and I believe I am uniquely qualified to undertake this investigation.  I want to write the book my father never completed from my perspective—as his daughter, whose childhood was dominated by his passion for recording the stories of interracial couples; as the child of interracial parents, who grew up in Hyde Park during the social upheavals of the 1960s; and as a legal scholar and sociologist who has devoted her own career to the study of race and the elimination of racism…

For more information, click here.

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The Future of Race in America

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2013-11-08 16:20Z by Steven

The Future of Race in America

The Root
2013-11-05

Jenée Desmond-Harris, Senior Staff Writer

Editor’s note: This is part 2 of a three-part series. To read part 1, click here.

Will we ever abandon stereotypes? Will “people of color” act as a group? Here are four possible theories about where we are headed as a country.

(The Root)—When it comes to race in America, there’s no question that things are changing.

Here’s what we know for sure: The country is becoming more diverse. Half of kids under age 5 are members of racial and ethnic minority groups. Non-Hispanic white Americans will almost certainly be outnumbered by everyone else over the next three decades. Americans who consider themselves multiracial are growing in numbers faster than any other group.

Then there’s the part that the census can’t measure—the stories that reveal that racial identity is getting more complicated and convoluted all the time: a teen who once called herself Latina “coming out” as black; a woman everyone thinks is Greek announcing that she’s biracial; the news that 12 percent of Jewish households consider themselves “multiracial or nonwhite”; a leading African-American history scholar’s discovery that he has 49 percent European ancestry…

…Is this a sign that we’re swiftly approaching an America in which we all look about the same, and we will dispense with the messy and imprecise exercise of putting one another into racial categories?

Almost certainly not. Experts agree on that.

So what are their predictions about the future of race in America? How might the ways in which we think about it and talk about it actually change in our lifetimes? If we’re not postracial—or even close—what are we? And where are we going?

The only real consensus about the answer to this complicated question is, it depends.

Here are four very different theories about the evolution of race in America and what exactly the meaningful changes that are within reach will require from all of us.

1. We could all finally reject the idea that biology divides human beings into five racial groups. But science isn’t enough. It will take a political movement.

Dorothy Roberts, author of Fatal Invention: How Politics, Science, and Big Business Re-Create Race in the Twenty-First Century, says it’s no longer a secret or even a little-known fact that what we think of as “race” is simply a set of political categories that were created to govern people.

According to the University of Pennsylvania School of Law professor, the information has been out since the scientists who mapped the human genome declared that racial differences didn’t exist at the genetic level.

Sure, says Roberts, race “uses various biological demarcations that help distinguish who belongs to one or another [group]. But those—skin color, hair color, the shape of the nose or the lips—are only part of what we use to determine what race someone is.” Thus, the same person’s racial identification could change with time, place and perspective—or even over a lifetime—and is impossible to pin down objectively in the way that good science would require…

…2. We might develop more accurate ways to describe our identities. But only if the census does it first.

Kenneth Prewitt, author of What Is Your Race? The Census and Our Flawed Efforts to Classify Americans, sees an American population rapidly outgrowing what he calls “the 18th-century, antique races” that currently appear on the census and other government forms.

But, he says, it’s difficult for people to identify themselves in nuanced ways—and even harder to make accurate social policy—when newspapers, statistics and accountings of disparities all use those federally mandated categories that fail to reflect the details of our actual experiences…

Read the entire article here.

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What’s Wrong with Race-Based Medicine?: Genes, Drugs, and Health Disparities

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-09-30 21:31Z by Steven

What’s Wrong with Race-Based Medicine?: Genes, Drugs, and Health Disparities

Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology
Volume 12, Issue 1 (Winter 2011)
pages 1-21

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

In June 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a historic decision: it approved the first pharmaceutical indicated for a specific race. BiDil, a combination drug that relaxes the blood vessels, was authorized to treat heart failure in self-identified black patients. BiDil had been tested in the African-American Heart Failure Trial (A-HeFT) launched in 2001. A-HeFT enrolled 1,050 subjects suffering from advanced heart failure, all self-identified African Americans. A-HeFT showed that BiDil worked; in fact, it worked so spectacularly that the trial was stopped ahead of schedule. BiDil in-creased survival by an astonishing 43 percent. Hospitalizations were reduced by 39 percent. It was a momentous accomplishment for Jay Cohn, the University of Minnesota cardiologist who invented BiDil and had pioneered vasodilators as an important treatment for heart failure.

Given evidence of BiDil’s efficacy, but little evidence that race mattered to its efficacy, the FDA should have made one of two decisions: reject the request for race-specific approval or approve BiDil for all heart failure patients, regardless of race. Instead, the FDA put race at the center of its decision, sparking controversy and paving the way for a new generation of racial medicines.

No one is complaining that BiDil is available to people who will benefit from it. The problem is that BiDil was made available on the basis of race. Its racial label elicited three types of criticism: scientific, commercial, and political. I will discuss the first two controversies en route to what I consider the main problem with race-based medicine, its political implications. By claiming that race, a political grouping, is important to the marketing of drugs and that race-based drugs can reduce health disparities, which are caused primarily by social inequality, those who promote racialized medicine have made it a political issue. Yet, having made these political claims, these very advocates answer criticism by saying that we must put aside social justice concerns in order to improve minority health. This article explains why marketing pharmaceuticals on the basis of race is more likely to worsen racial inequities than cure them…

Read the entire article here.

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Law, Race, and Biotechnology: Toward a Biopolitical and Transdisciplinary Paradigm

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2013-09-27 03:49Z by Steven

Law, Race, and Biotechnology: Toward a Biopolitical and Transdisciplinary Paradigm

Annual Review of Law and Social Science
Volume 9, Issue 1 (November 2013)
DOI: 10.1146/annurev-lawsocsci-102612-134009

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology and the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

Law influences and is shaped by the emergence of race-based biotechnologies in the genomic age. This review examines how law and social science scholars have approached the role of legal regulation, theories, and norms in governing the definition and utility of race in gene-based technological innovation. I structure my discussion around four main themes: the institutional regulation of biotechnology research, commercial incentives for race-specific products, the paradoxes of inclusion and difference, and racial equality jurisprudence. My attention then turns to future directions for research in this field needed to attend to the serious political implications of increasing race consciousness in genomic research and technology at a time when color blindness and postracialism are gaining popularity. I argue for a biopolitical and transdisciplinary paradigm that is committed to our common humanity and to the need for social change.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Addressing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities Best Practices for Clinical Care and Medical Education in the 21st Century

Posted in Health/Medicine/Genetics, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2013-09-14 18:21Z by Steven

Addressing Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities Best Practices for Clinical Care and Medical Education in the 21st Century

University of Texas, Austin
2013-09-23 through 2013-09-24

One of the primary goals of the US Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, and many public health programs is the reduction of health disparities in the United States. However, significant racial/ethnic disparities persist in the prevalence of disease, access to medical care, quality of care, and health outcomes for the most common causes of death (including cardiovascular and lung disease, infectious disease, cancer, diabetes, and accidents). At this conference, nationally-recognized speakers will discuss the causes of such disparities and describe new approaches in clinical care and medical education that improve care, achieve better health outcomes, and reduce racial/ethnic health disparities. We will also discuss how these best practices can be incorporated into medical training at the new Dell Medical School at The University of Texas and at other medical schools around the country. One key goal of this conference is to help design a cutting-edge curriculum that will better prepare medical students to meet the challenges and opportunities of 21st century medicine.

Conference registration is open to anyone interested in attending this event. See the Continuing Medical Education (CME) tab for information regarding continuing education for the September 23rd portion of the conference.

The second day of the conference (September 24) is open to invited participants only. Discussions and working groups on the second day will focus on developing new pedagogical approaches and innovative learning modules for the pre-clinical curriculum at the Dell Medical School, with the goal of more effectively integrating training on human genomic variation, race/ethnicity, health disparities, and social/environmental determinants of health into the medical curriculum.

Speakers

For more information, click here.

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Professor Dorothy Roberts — Challenging Concepts of Race

Posted in Audio, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2013-06-25 20:11Z by Steven

Professor Dorothy Roberts — Challenging Concepts of Race

Mixed Race Radio
Blog Talk Radio
2013-06-26, 16:00Z (12:00 EDT)

Tiffany Rae Reid, Host

Dorothy E. Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology; Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights
University of Pennsylvania

Dorothy Roberts is the fourteenth Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor, George A. Weiss University Professor, and the inaugural Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights at University of Pennsylvania, where she holds appointments in the Law School and Departments of Africana Studies and Sociology. An internationally recognized scholar, public intellectual, and social justice advocate, she has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues and has been a leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive health, child welfare, and bioethics.

Professor Roberts is the author of the award-winning books Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Random House/Pantheon, 1997) and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books/Civitas, 2002), as well as co-editor of six books on constitutional law and gender. She has also published more than eighty articles and essays in books and scholarly journals, including Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, and Stanford Law Review.  Her latest book, Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century, was published by the New Press in July 2011.

For more information, click here.

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Author takes on modern myths about race

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-04-18 01:27Z by Steven

Author takes on modern myths about race

Skokie Review
Chicago, Illinois
2013-04-05

Mike Isaacs

he 8-year-old girl who had difficulty breathing had been misdiagnosed for a long time, but then a technician looked at her X-ray and asked incredulously why she had not been treated for cystic fibrosis.

The reason was because she was black, and cystic fibrosis was thought to be a white people’s disease. The technician had never met the girl when he asked his question.

“It’s bad medicine to look at someone’s race and say you should get this test or that test, because you may be completely wrong,” said distinguished author and educator Dorothy Roberts.

To Roberts, who penned “Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics and Big Business Re-Create Race in the 21st Century,” this is just one example of a distorted view of science and race playing out today.

“There’s no such thing as a white disease or a black disease or an Asian disease,” Roberts said during a provocative talk Sunday at Skokie’s Ethical Humanist Society of Chicago. “That doesn’t make sense, because there’s no gene that belongs to a particular race that doesn’t belong to other races.”

She argues that the tie between biology and race is a myth that has been resurrected again, this time with the help of a false reliance on modern-day science…

…Some of the same theories from the era of eugenics, she said, are being resuscitated in 21st century science.

Roberts isn’t saying, though that we’re all identical – one reason she isn’t keen on President Clinton’s famous declaration about the Human Genome Project that all human beings, regardless of race, are more than 99 percent the same.

“It makes it sound like we’re all alike, and you can see that everyone isn’t alike,” she said. “There’s lots of genetic variation in the human species, but it’s not grouped into races.”

Read the entire article here.

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