Grading Rubric for the Essay
Three conclusion 15 pts.
Evidence that Blow believes Robertson’s statements lead to human suffering or social disorganization 10 pts.
How the denial of racism and discrimination lead to human suffering and social disorganization today 10 pts.
Theoretical perspective 10 pts.
Personal Trouble vs. Social Issue 10 pts.
Blow’s evidence to challenge Robertson’s position 10 pts.
Analysis of survey data presented in the chart 10 pts.
Another survey question 5 pts.
Recommendations for research, new laws, policies or programs 10 pts.
Submitted On-Time 10 pts.
The article ‘Duck Dynasty’ and Quackery by Charles M. Blow, was published in the New York Times on December 20, 2013. Read it and answer the following nine questions. Submit your answers as a Microsoft Word .doc or .docx file.
1. What are three conclusions you take away from the article? Enumerate them (e.g. First, Second and Third). Do not summarize the article – these are your “take aways.”
2. Cite evidence from the article where Blow expresses that Robertson’s position as expressed by his comments below contribute to human suffering and/or social disorganization.
“I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field. …They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’ — not a word! …Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”
3. Consider how this phenomenon, the denial of racism and the role of systematic racial discrimination in our social institutions (e.g., the justice system, public education, and the economy), contributes to human suffering and/or social disorganization today.
4. Consider Blow’s discussion of Robertson’s comments and race relations historically. Which one social perspective best fits his approach?
Functional Structural which addresses how the phenomenon contributes to social integration or stability,
Social Conflict which addresses how the phenomenon generates social conflict as one group endeavors to maintain power over the other,
or Symbolic Interaction which addresses how the phenomenon creates individuals’ reality through social interaction.
5. Does Blow 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? Cite the two places in the article where he clearly states his position on this question.
6. Give at least two examples that Blow includes in the article, which contradict Robertson’s comments and/or make his position difficult to believe?
7. Consider the data presented in The Southern Divide chart at the end of the article.
Why do you think Blow included the chart and what jumps out at you?
Now pick a specific question; then, consider and discuss the difference between black and white respondents.
8. What is another question you could add to this survey?
9. Based on your consideration of this article, make two recommendations for future research, new laws, public policies or programs to educate people on this social phenomenon. To get credit, your recommendations must be concrete and specific. For example, “we need to have laws against racism” is far too vague.
Express your points clearly so that I do not have to search through paragraphs for you answers. Again, you must submit your answers as a Microsoft Word.doc or .docx file.