Scholars: Civil Rights Act Hasn’t Leveled Societal Playing Field for Minorities - Higher Education: SAN FRANCISCO — The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supposed to end racial discrimination, but people of color might have just as much difficulty today accessing the same health care, educational and employment opportunities as Whites as they did prior to the passage of the historic legislation.
That was the somber consensus of a panel of scholars who examined racial hierarchy in the past 50 years.
For example, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries have developed race-specific products, such as a drug for African-Americans who endure heart failure, said Dr. Dorothy Roberts, the George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, pharmaceutical officials claimed that patients’ medical reactions to the drug differed along racial lines, suggesting that innate differences exist among racial groups.
Making matters worse is when scholars treat race as merely a study of biological differences and ancestry rather than as social construct. “This is what leads to the persistence of racial inequality and a racial caste system,” Roberts said.