Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law, reviewed.Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation—the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments—that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day. As Jane Jacobs established in her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities , it was the deeply flawed urban planning of the s that created many of the impoverished neighborhoods we know. Now, Rothstein expands our understanding of this history, showing how government policies led to the creation of officially segregated public housing and the demolition of previously integrated neighborhoods. While urban areas rapidly deteriorated, the great American suburbanization of the post-World War II years was spurred on by federal subsidies for builders on the condition that no homes be sold to African Americans. Finally, Rothstein shows how police and prosecutors brutally upheld these standards by supporting violent resistance to Black families in white neighborhoods. The Fair Housing Act of prohibited future discrimination but did nothing to reverse residential patterns that had become deeply embedded.
The Color of Law
In United States law , the term color of law denotes the "mere semblance of legal right ", the "pretense or appearance of" right; hence, an action done under color of law adjusts colors the law to the circumstance, yet said apparently legal action contravenes the law. Color of law refers to an appearance of legal power to act that may operate in violation of law. For example, if a police officer acts with the "color of law" authority to arrest someone, the arrest, if it is made without probable cause , may actually be in violation of law. In other words, just because something is done with the "color of law" does not mean that the action was lawful. When police act outside their lawful authority and violate the civil rights of a citizen, the FBI is tasked with investigating.
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Liveright Publishing. One rule, however, was conveniently absent from the piece. This is their attitude, not ours. As a company, our position is simply this: We can solve a housing problem, or we can try to solve a racial problem, but we cannot combine the two. At first glance, Levittown stands as a prime example of de facto segregation, which results from private activity, as opposed to de jure segregation, which derives from government policy or law. Levitt, after all, appeared to be an independent businessman responding to the prejudices of the home buyers he hoped to attract.
Order the book. To scholars and social critics, the racial segregation of our neighborhoods has long been viewed as a manifestation of unscrupulous real estate agents, unethical mortgage lenders, and exclusionary covenants working outside the law. The impact has been devastating for generations of African-Americans who were denied the right to live where they wanted to live, and raise and school their children where they could flourish most successfully. So the structural conditions established by 20th century federal policy endure to this day. At every step of the way, Rothstein demonstrates, the government and our courts upheld racist policies to maintain the separation of whites and blacks—leading to the powder keg that has defined Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, and Chicago. The Color of Law is not a tale of Red versus Blue states.