The Economic Policy Institute writes that “In The Color of Law (published by Liveright in May 2017), Richard Rothstein argues with exacting precision and fascinating insight how segregation in America-the incessant kind that continues to dog our major cities and has contributed to so much recent social strife-is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels.”
Rothstein is a former columnist for the New York Times, a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, and a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Writes the Economic Policy Institute, “Rothstein has spent years documenting the evidence that government not merely ignored discriminatory practices in the residential sphere, but promoted them.”
Its review continues with “The impact has been devastating for generations of African-Americans who were denied the right to live where they wanted to live, and raise and school their children where they thought best.”
“Rothstein’s new book, The Color of Law, examines the local, state and federal housing policies that mandated segregation. He notes that the Federal Housing Administration, which was established in 1934, furthered the segregation efforts by refusing to insure mortgages in and near African-American neighborhoods – a policy known as ‘redlining.’ At the same time, the FHA was subsidizing builders who were mass-producing entire subdivisions for whites – with the requirement that none of the homes be sold to African-Americans.”
Speaking with Terry Gross “The segregation of our metropolitan areas today leads … to stagnant inequality, because families are much less able to be upwardly mobile when they’re living in segregated neighborhoods where opportunity is absent,” Rothstein says.
“If we want greater equality in this society, if we want a lowering of the hostility between police and young African-American men, we need to take steps to desegregate.”
Also in May 2017, Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic interviewed Rothstein.
The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
Richard Rothstein's The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America argues how segregation is the result government policies.