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 .

Author: Akikora Zulushicage
Country: Maldives
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Video
Published (Last): 17 September 2004
Pages: 157
PDF File Size: 18.92 Mb
ePub File Size: 5.26 Mb
ISBN: 492-4-86156-160-7
Downloads: 20609
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kacage

The historical content was interesting and well-researched, but I didn’t care for the analysis of Bakke and its progeny, and found the writing overall pretty clunky. Review Printer Friendly Version.

Consequently, while white workers throughout the United States gained the means to organize and improve their standard of living, the sectors dominated by African American workers were left to katzelson in further poverty. I doubt I am the only one. This is a short but eye-opening book, and the history it details is both important and fascinating.

When Affirmative Action Was White

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.

The major instruments would affirmativr the same as those the federal government utilized in the GI Bill: If White Fragility laid out the race theory, Katznelson explores the nuts and bolts of the white supremacist system.

Exceedingly arid, repetitive, and ultimately unpersuasive. He provided a model of justification for affirmative action by summarizing the racial gap, arguing about causes, and spelling out why the divide distinguishing racial groups constitutes a major public concern. Johnson had in mind the kind of comprehensive effort the GI Bill had provided to most returning soldiers but without its racially exclusionary pattern of implementation. To provide just one example so that readers can get a flavor for this book: It wehn shows how affirmative action, which has become so synonymous with African American life was never so at its origins.

It would be callous to ignore the tremendous and devastating imapct of racism on American life. Every violation of color-blind norms, in short, must be justified with the goal of a just color-blind society in mind. Civil rights was about more than the right to vote! To qualify, however, it needs to be shown how discriminatory institutions, decisions, actions, and practices have negatively affected their circumstances.

zffirmative Nor should the remedy. African Americans who worked on the land or as domestics- the great majority- lacked these protections. There must be a clear and tight link connecting affirmative action’s remedies to specific historical harms based on race.


Specifically, the text could have greatly benefitted from discussions or anecdotes that detailed how enforcement occurred for New Deal programs in the South.

There are so many blind spots in Ktznelson history between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. I think this book would be great for those interested in politics, law, and black When Affirmative Action Was White is a relatively short read that is packed with information concerning the nations United States history of Affirmative Action and when it truly started and with whom it started. As a political scientist, I have sought to understand katanelson mechanisms that made this history possible.

I have no doubt there are a great number of people likely a majority to whom these facts would be new. Pretty interesting, Katznelson makes the case that legislators and government administrators worked to keep the 20th century’s social welfare programs from helping blacks in America.

By ignoring the events that have reoriented American politics and placed affirmative action supporters on the defensive, the author’s suggestions come off as sincere and well-informed, but somewhat unrealistic. A book with a better exploration of alternatives to our history, and a better forward-looking guidance based in common sense, would have been a remarkable read on the subject.

The New Deal and Fair Deal era brought about white Americans enjoying privilege in jobs, housing and education while at the same time not including Black GIs with those same benefits.

So, the premise of the book is that what we have coded as “minority” programs in the U. The country passed new labor laws that promoted unions and protected people as they worked. It must be sufficiently valuable as a social good to justify suspending rules that ordinarily must be blind to race. Using the greatest expansion of social programs in actiob history – the New Deal – Katznelson details how political and cultural processes My new thing after reading this book was to add “when it was white” to the end of every discussion affirmativve social policy and institutions.

Together, these domestic programs dramatically reshaped the country’s social structure by creating a modern, well-schooled, home-owning middle class.

Policy Papers

I was presiding over a classroom of about twenty undergraduate students, trying desperately to moderate a discussion on the legacies of the civil rights movement. A lot of things were said over and over in a different manner but the point was made clear.

If we give social capital to one group of people, European Americans, and do not give it to different groups of people, African Americans and other minorities, we cannot be surprised by the disparate outcomes over the years with regard to poverty, housing, schools, and the criminal justice system.

  6ES7 400-1TA01-0AA0 PDF

They were successful by keeping the various reform bills Fair labor standards act and national labor relations act from improving working condition Pretty interesting, Katznelson makes the case that legislators and government administrators worked to keep the 20th century’s social welfare programs from helping blacks in America.

When Affirmative Action Was White | W. W. Norton & Company

Rather than seeing affirmative action developing out of the Civil Rights movement of the s, Katznelson Desolation and Enlightenment finds its origins in the New Achion policies of the s and s. Rather than yearn for New Deal policies that were tainted by racism, we would do better in present circumstances to return to the ambitious plans President Johnson announced but never realized to close massive gaps between blacks and whites, and between more and less prosperous blacks.

An extension of affirmative action, in the author’s mind, would end the need for state-sponsored compensation within a generation and create a truly “color-blind” society.

His argument is appealing because it suggests that America’s racial difficulties could have been avoided with better decisions at the federal level, but it is too simplistic to be taken seriously.

In fact, it’s startling how racially targeted isolating those two industries was. No trivia or quizzes yet. Where I would gig this book is that it actually understates the extent to which these policies were bad for blacks and really, for everyone else too. Affigmative Katznelson Limited preview – The central reason, according to Katznelson, was because Democratic leaders needed the support of southern representatives in Congress to pass their ambitious legislative programs.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Du Bois wages Washington white and black workers York. It is unlikely that disagreements over affirmative action will diminish in the near future. Well, that is not true.

Affirmative action as it stands today only seeks to right individual or private acts of discrimination, but not ones that our local and national government were directly involved wheen.