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Richard Rothstein: THE COLOR OF LAW: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Richard Rothstein is the author of THE COLOR OF LAW: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. A Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute, and a Senior Fellow (emeritus) at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In addition to his recent book, The Color of Law, he is the author of many other articles and books on race and education, which can be found at his web page at the Economic Policy Institute: http://www.epi.org/people/richard-rothstein/. Previous influential books include Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Improvement to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap, and Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right. He welcomes questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Racial segregation characterizes every metropolitan area in the U.S. and bears responsibility for our most serious social and economic problems – it corrupts our criminal justice system, exacerbates economic inequality, and produces large academic gaps between white and African American schoolchildren. We’ve taken no serious steps to desegregate neighborhoods, however, because we are hobbled by a national myth that residential segregation is de facto—the result of private discrimination or personal choices that do not violate constitutional rights. The Color of Law demonstrates, however, that residential segregation was created by racially explicit and unconstitutional government policy in the mid-twentieth century that openly subsidized whites-only suburbanization in which African Americans were prohibited from participating. Only after learning the history of this policy can we be prepared to undertake the national conversation necessary to remedy our unconstitutional racial landscape