The article ‘Duck Dynasty’ and Quackery by Charles M. Blow, was published in the New York Times on December 20, 2013.
1. What are two conclusions you take away from the article? Enumerate them (e.g. First and Second). Do not summarize the article – these are your “take-aways.”
2. Does the author believe that Robertson’s position (that he had not personally witnessed mistreatment of black workers and that they were happy) contributes to human suffering? Give one or two specific citations from the article to support your answer.
3. Consider how the denial of racism and the role of institutional racism (e.g., in the justice system, public education, and the economy) contributes to human suffering today.
4. The author addresses both Robertson’s denial of racism and discrimination and race relations historically. Explain which one social perspective best fits his approach to these issues?
5. Does the author believe Robertson’s insensitive comments can be described as a “personal trouble” (i.e., a perspective unique to Robertson and his personal life story) or a “social issue” (i.e., a widely shared perspective, the result of historical and/or social forces? Give one or two specific citations from the article to support your answer.
6. Give one or two specific citations from the article where the author clearly indicates that he finds Robertson’s position (that he had not personally witnessed mistreatment of black workers and that they were happy) difficult to believe.
7. Consider the data presented in The Southern Divide chart at the end of the article. Respond to the two questions below.
8. The Southern Divide survey was conducted in 2010 to gather information about life experiences because of race. It is almost 10 years later and a lot has happened since. What would be another question you could ask Southern Whites and Blacks to include in a survey today?
9. Based on your consideration of this article, make one very concrete recommendation for a future law or program to help reduce racism and discrimination. The recommendation should be practical and does not conflict with the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. For example: making a law about what people can or cannot say on TV or in public is not feasible because our Constitution protects our freedom of speech.
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