WHEN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WAS WHITE An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America. By Ira Katznelson. pp. When Affirmative Action Was White has ratings and 81 reviews. ” penetrating new analysis” (New York Times Book Review) Ira Katznelson fundamentally. When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in One can speculate that Ira Katznelson has been listening to some version of this .

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Return to Book Page. Relying heavily on Johnson’s Howard University Commencement Address, the author posits that the 37th President of the United States understood the importance of ambitiously attacking the root causes of discrimination.

A short and well-argued book that seeks to reframe the way we think about AA. The result was the deepening of black rural poverty. Although many federal officials understood that black sharecroppers were the hardest hit group during the Great Depression, a full 65 percent of African Americans were denied access to social security benefits, government grants, elderly poor assistance, and unemployment insurance.

This text may be useful to individuals who have limited knowledge of New Deal legislative history e. A fascinating and succinct look at the racism inherent in many New Deal programs, including most significantly the GI Bill and various benefits to World War 2 in the postwar era. While there was no racial bias written into the bill, Southern Democrats were able to establish all administration of GI bill funds to state and local administrations, which subsequently implemented massive racial bias.

As New Deal politicians began constructing government programs to deal with welfare, work, and war in the s and s, they deliberately excluded or treated differently the vast majority of African Americans.


Administration of the New Deal, and the GI Bill were put into the hands of locals who decided who would and wouldn’t get funds. According to Katznelson, Taft-Hartley not only placated the labor movement in the South, but it also decoupled the burgeoning connections between civil rights agitation and demands for economic equality.

The major instruments would be the same as those the federal government utilized in the GI Bill: Social Ia, from which the majority of blacks were excluded until well into affirmative s, quickly became the country’s most important social legislation. The New Deal was crafted with discriminatory intent.

Southern members of Congress used occupational exclusions and took advantage of American federalism the ‘state rights’ principle to ensure that their region’s racial order would affirmarive be disturbed by national policies. May 04, Joseph Stieb rated it really liked it Shelves: Nov 12, MJ rated it liked it. If, for others, the policies also were unjust, they, too, must be included in the remedies.

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Jun 05, Christopher rated it it was amazing. Powell’s distinctions placed the onus of proof on the character of the historical evidence that is deployed to justify rectification. This wasn’t the most exciting read style wise, but I was blown away by what I learned. Whiye discuss and comment on this review, please visit our Facebook page.

But that form of assertive, mass-oriented affirmative action never happened.

When Affirmative Action Was White

A focus on the policies about welfare and work, as well as war and postwar, which the southern wing of the Democratic Party successfully imposed during the New Deal and Fair Deal is consistent with this requirement. Sadly, Ira never makes that suggestion nor even explores that idea. The President’s analysis of how the racial gap had widened, though deficient, sought to clarify the facts regarding the present status of blacks in American society. Really academic but informative book This book has been touted recently in light of news on affirmative action so it seemed like a good candidate to borrow from the library.


Education Research in the Public Interest: By contrast, Lyndon Johnson depicted policies for racial equity that would target ‘the poor, the unemployed, the uprooted, and the dispossessed.

Further, if there is a non-racial way to pursue a given goal, that course should always be preferred. I don’t think I’ll be checking out any other works by him but this was a good borrow from the library. Support for affirmative action is low because the clarity and persuasiveness of the association between harms and remedies is rarely ever clearly established.

How did these local officials behave? However, he adds an important principle and deeper historical understanding to our conversations about the gov’t role in redressing past injustices.

When affirmative action was white | History and Policy

But there is an important distinction, which this view misses. When unions made inroads in the South, where most blacks lived, moreover, Congress changed the rules of the game to make organizing much more difficult. What an incredibly informative and eye-opening book. A searching study of institutional inequality, much of it wrought, then as now, by the South.

To provide just one example so that readers can get a flavor for this book: They provide the content Powell requires to justify acts of official rectification.

The book concludes with a discussion of affirmative action.

Published August 17th by W.