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Palo Alto Reads: "The Color of Law"

Video
August 31, 2020

The Lane Center hosted Richard Rothstein on August 27 in a collaboration with the City and Library of Palo Alto. Ralph Richard Banks of the Stanford Law School moderated a discussion with the author.

Synopsis of the book:

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.

About the Author:

Richard Rothstein
Distinguished Fellow, The Economic Policy Institute

Richard Rothstein is a Distinguished Fellow of the Economic Policy Institute and a fellow of the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and of the Haas Institute at the University of California (Berkeley). He is the author of New York Times bestseller, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America.The book expands upon and provides a national perspective on his recent work that has documented the history of state-sponsored residential segregation, as in his report, The Making of Ferguson. He is the author of Grading Education: Getting Accountability Right (2008) and Class and Schools: Using Social, Economic and Educational Reform to Close the Black-White Achievement Gap(2004). He is also the author of The Way We Were? Myths and Realities of America’s Student Achievement(1998). Other recent books include The Charter School Dust-Up: Examining the Evidence on Enrollment and Achievement(co-authored in 2005); and All Else Equal: Are Public and Private Schools Different?(co-authored in 2003). He welcomes comments at riroth@epi.org.

 

 

Moderator:

Ralph Richard Banks
Jackson Eli Reynolds Professor Law, Stanford Law School

Banks has been a member of the Stanford faculty since 1998. Prior to joining the law school, he practiced law at O’Melveny & Myers, was the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School and clerked for a federal judge, the Honorable Barrington D. Parker, Jr. (then of the Southern District of New York). Professor Banks teaches and writes about family law, employment discrimination law and race and the law. He is the author of Is Marriage for White People? How the African American Marriage Decline Affects Everyone. At Stanford, he is affiliated with the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and the Ethnicity, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality.