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Entries in Race (3)

Thursday
Aug232012

Race for the Cure Struggles to Sign Up Racers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The world's largest charity for breast cancer, Susan G. Komen, is still reeling from the fierce backlash over its national office's decision earlier this year to cut -- and then restore -- funding to Planned Parenthood.

Now, local Komen affiliates may be paying the price.

Although the Northern New Jersey chapter met fundraising objectives this year for its annual Race for the Cure 5K run -- held this past spring -- executive director Jennifer Griola admitted it was forced to adjust its goals downward.

"We raised over $1 million this year, which did meet our projections," she said.  "But last year, we raised about $1.5 million."

Elsewhere, enrollment for the race scheduled by the North East Ohio branch this fall is down 13 percent compared to last year.

In San Francisco, with three weeks to go before their annual race, enrollment is nearly half of what it was a year ago.

Participation in Indianapolis' race plummeted to 26,000 from more than 37,000 participants the year before, and Race for the Cure in Southwest Florida reported 2,000 fewer participants than the previous year.

Komen's official reason for cutting Planned Parenthood funding was that it was under federal investigation.  However, many saw it as a politically motivated move by some of its devoutly pro-life executives, who objected to Planned Parenthood's abortion services.

Funding was restored quickly -- but not before raising the ire of past and potential participants on both sides of the aisle.

"I ran the Race for the Cure for over 10 years in memory of my mother who died of breast cancer at age 57," said Chicago-based author Iris Waichle.  "I've stopped running the race and contributing money to Komen.  As an advocate for people fighting infertility, I believe a woman has the right to choose her reproductive options."

On the other hand, Beverly Solomon, of Austin, Texas, who has never run a race but has often made contributions to Komen, vowed to stop supporting the charity because it reversed its original decision.

"How can anyone not see how offensive [it is] finding out that money intended to cure cancer was contributed to the biggest killer of women of any cause?" she asked.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr252011

Are You Unconsciously Racist?

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Deciding who we will trust, especially with our money, may be shaped more by unconscious racial biases than many of us would like to admit, according to new research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Psychologists have shown that there is a distinction between the attitudes, beliefs, and self-perceptions we consciously, or explicitly, hold, and those that we may hold without thinking about them. Sometimes these conscious and unconscious attitudes match each other -- other times not.

In Monday's study, researchers focused on the extent to which unconscious racial biases may affect explicit preferences when we make decisions about whom to trust. Researchers measured implicit and explicit racial bias among 50 racially diverse participants using an Implicit Association Test (IAT) and questionnaires assessing self-reported racism.

Using these results as points of comparison, researchers then asked participants to rate the "trustworthiness" of nearly 300 faces (they were shown people of many races, though only scores for blacks and whites were used in the analysis). Then they had participants play a trust-based economic reward game. Participants were shown a photo of their supposed "partner" in the game, who was either black or white.

Overall, if people showed an unconscious bias toward whites, they were more likely to rate whites as trustworthy when asked, and more likely to risk more money with white partners. The same bias was true in the minority of participants who showed a pro-black bias.

At first it might seem obvious: people who are unconsciously biased to prefer whites are going to be more likely to trust whites, and vice versa with those who prefer blacks. But the effect runs more deeply than we usually realize, said Leslie Hausmann, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

"Despite study after study showing that implicit bias exists, it's still something that a lot of people don't internalize within their own lives and behavior. There's a reluctance to admit that in our day-to-day lives, we have this and it matters," she said.

The study authors have also measured this type of implicit prejudice in doctors serving minority populations, and the doctors are always shocked to realize that their unconscious bias affects what medications they prescribe to patients of different races, said Mahzarin Banaji, a co-author who is a psychologist at Harvard University.

"This is not overwhelming evidence for racism," says Joachim Krueger, a social psychologist at Brown University, because at a group level, there was no discrimination. In the small "society" of the study participants, blacks and whites were given practically equal ratings of trustworthiness.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar302011

Arizona Outlaws Abortions Based on Race or Sex of Fetus

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) -- Arizona has made it a crime to perform an abortion because of the sex or race of the fetus.

The bill, signed by Gov. Jan Brewer Tuesday, targets doctors or other abortion providers. It allows the father of the aborted baby -- or the maternal grandparents if the mother is a minor -- to take legal action against an abortion provider, who could face up to seven years in jail and the loss of their medical license if convicted.

Proponents of the new measure said it protected against capricious abortions performed because parents preferred a baby of a different race or gender.

The sponsor of the bill, Republican state legislator Steve Montenegro, an evangelical pastor, could not immediately be reached for comment. But Matthew Benson, a spokesman for Brewer, said via email: "Governor Brewer believes society has a responsibility to protect its most vulnerable -- the unborn -- and this legislation is consistent with her strong pro-life track record."

Critics of the measure said it was aiming to create another obstacle to abortion for women. "It's to stigmatize women choosing abortion and to create more fear and uncertainty for the medical professionals providing the care," said Bryan Howard, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Arizona.

David Michael Cantor, a Phoenix-based criminal lawyer, said the notion that Arizona residents were practicing sex- or race-based abortion was a "fantasy."

"We're not Pakistan, we're not China," Cantor said, referring to countries where there is a strong cultural preference for boys. He added that he did not believe mothers who knew they had conceived a mixed-race baby were having abortions for that reason, pointing out that the state has a large number of mixed-race children. "Arizona is just a melting pot," Cantor said.

There is some evidence of sex selection among U.S. immigrant parents, according to research by economists Douglas Almond and Lena Edlund of Cornell University. They found that U.S.-born children of Chinese, Korean, and Asian Indian parents were statistically more likely to have a boy if their first child was a girl than were white parents. If the first two children were girls, the third child was 50 percent more likely to be a boy in those communities, according to the economists' analysis of 2000 U.S. Census data.

But Howard of Planned Parenthood said the motives for an abortion were a matter for the individual to consider. "We don't have evidence of these kinds of motives in the state," he said in reference to sex and race selection. "That being said, it's not my business -- or the legislature's."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio