NPR: A ‘Forgotten History’ Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Damon says:

    I heard this a few days ago. Then I watched “Rat Film” debut in Baltimore. The overlays of “problem areas”, crime, income, education, race, was all quite interesting. Even more was it was our gov’t the was driving the process of discrimination, redlining, and “keeping the races separate”.Report

  2. Will H. says:

    As told from the view of the vanilla cupcakes on the tray.

    Maybe if history really did begin with WW II, this might make a little sense.
    At least, a little.

    Couldn’t be.

    It’s sort of like the claim that disco was the music of social liberation, while ignoring the Average White Band and all of Scotland’s struggles, the disappointment of James I to that people, etc.
    Not to mention Jimmy Castor, Isaac Hayes, etc.

    But a bit of wishful thinking where the world all makes sense seems like a pleasant distraction for a short while.
    Just as long as people don’t take that sort of thing too seriously.Report

  3. notme says:

    Placing the entire blame for segregation in America on the fed gov seems like a bit much. This seems to assume that America wasn’t segregated before that. It’s not like there was a separate Polish, German or Italian neighborhood in every city before this.Report

    • Damon in reply to notme says:

      Entire blame? No.

      But the subsidizing building loans with the mandatory “no selling to blacks” covenants, the HOA covenants on existing housing stock, that was all federal regulation/process. How much more / less segregation would have occurred without these restrictions, and allowing for people’s natural racism, may have changed things differently, we’ll never know.Report

      • notme in reply to Damon says:

        But that is in the title of the book right, something about the government segregating America. Maybe it’s just hyperbole to sell books.Report

        • Damon in reply to notme says:

          The title of the book doesn’t matter to me. What does is who’s responsible, and it’s pretty clear that our own gov’t had a hand in certain things.

          That’s important to remember when “we” demand that gov’t do things. There’s always a down side to demanding gov’t do something…Report

          • notme in reply to Damon says:

            Does anyone disagree that the gov’t had a “hand” in segregation? Not that I can see. But a “hand” is far cry from caused it all, right?Report

            • Damon in reply to notme says:

              Yes, but it’s a big hand. On a scale from little to big ass boat load, i’d place it at “a whole lot”

              Little Big Ass Boatload

  4. Dark Matter says:

    African-American families that were prohibited from buying homes in the suburbs in the 1940s and ’50s and even into the ’60s, by the Federal Housing Administration, gained none of the equity appreciation that whites gained…

    Translation: They largely missed the glory days of labor and the housing boom and so forth.

    The timing of that is unfortunate. Cosmic justice would be if they’d missed a 2006 style housing meltdown instead.Report

    • j r in reply to Dark Matter says:

      They largely missed the glory days of labor and the housing boom and so forth.

      Replaced “largely missed” with “were systematically excluded for the purpose of maintaining social and economic privileges for whites” and you’ll start to scratch the surface of the history.

      We’re not talking about historical accidents here. This was deliberate.Report

      • Dark Matter in reply to j r says:

        The exclusion was certainly deliberate (and malevolent). That it was a once-a-century golden period of time is what makes the timing unfortunate.

        Ideally it would have been something more like Poland, which avoided the banking crisis 10 years ago because it’s banks weren’t sophisticated enough to blow themselves up.

        In any case, yes, they weren’t let into the system until the 70’s or so.

        After that, I’m not sure what lessons we’re supposed to draw from this sort of article. That the things that we’ve made illegal (redlining, segregation, etc) should be illegal? That policy then was evil? If their point is that policies very long gone are the proximate cause of the current situation then then I disagree.

        Imho current dysfunctional policy has FAR more impact on the current situation than evil policy discarded 40+ years ago. The war on drugs fuels negative outcomes today. Some of our social programs enable or encourage dysfunctional behavior.Report

  5. Kimmi says:

    Aaaaand…. I’m guessing no mention of 2006? No mention of the egregious differential between blacks and whites in loan issuance? No mention of the class actions by the states on behalf of blacks?Report