You know how sometimes you read a book and wish that everyone else would read it too?
That’s the way I felt when I finished reading Richard Rothstein’s compelling new book, “The Color of Law.”
I wished that every member of the Supreme Court would read it. Even Neil Gorsuch. I wished that every federal judge would read it.
I hope you will read it.
It is a major contribution to our understanding of the persistence of racial segregation in our society, in housing and in schools.
Rothstein explains that, contrary to common belief, there is no distinction between de jure segregation, which is illegal, and de facto segregation, which appears to be the result of private decisions and happenstance.
Rothstein documents the fact that segregated neighborhoods and racial ghettos were created by federal, state, and local laws, policies, and zoning.
African Americans did not choose to live in densely segregated neighborhoods. They were prohibited from buying into or renting in white neighborhoods. Federal mortgage insurance required segregation. So did state and local laws and zoning. So did public housing.
Schools are segregated because neighborhoods are segregated.
Our society remains racially segregated because of the legacy of a century of legal requirements for residential segregation.
Trump and DeVos will spend their time in office eroding and eliminating civil rights protections.
If this bothers you as it bothers me, please read Rothstein’s book. You will understand how our government segregated America and has left us with festering social problems that have severely deprived our black fellow Americans of their rights and of equality under the law.
We must know our history and work to change what was done. It can be undone. Certainly not by this administration, but there will be others, hopefully others who care about binding our wounds and seeking a better world.
from sarah http://ift.tt/2tBJ8Hl