Tag Archives: Segregation

New Article: “The White Interest in School Integration”

New Article: Robert A. Garda, Jr., The White Interest in School Integration, 63 Fla. L. Rev. 599 (2011).  Abstract below:

Discussions concerning desegregation, affirmative action, and voluntary integration focus primarily, if not exclusively, on whether such policies harm or benefit minorities. Scant attention is paid to the benefits whites receive in multiracial schools, despite white interests underpinning more than thirty years of Supreme Court integration jurisprudence. In this Article, I explore the academic and social benefits whites receive in multiracial schools, and I do so from a white parent’s perspective. The Article begins by describing the interest-convergence theory and how white interests explain the course and content of the Supreme Court’s desegregation and affirmative action jurisprudence. Multiracial schools will not be created or sustained unless white parents believe it to be in their children’s best interest. The Article next describes the extreme racial segregation in schools today and how white children are the most racially isolated students. This isolation exacerbates the unconscious and automatic racial bias that infects everyone and will impair white children’s ability to successfully navigate the multicultural marketplace. Integrated schools, however, help de-bias white children and teach them cross-cultural competence, a skill they need to effectively participate in a market with increasingly multicultural customers, co-workers, and global business partners. The Article ends by describing steps white parents can take to effectively integrate schools and guarantee their children gain critical cross-cultural competency skills.

Urban Segregation Report

This has gotten a good amount of attention so I am only going to link to a few reports… First the report that caused some controversy with its conclusion that segregation is in decline can be found here: Edward Glaeser & Jacob Vigdor, The End of the Segregated Century: Racial Separation in America’s Neighborhoods, 1890–2010, Manhattan Institute Civic Report No. 66, Jan. 2012.  Their conclusions are below:

  • The most standard segregation measure shows that american cities are now more integrated than they’ve been since 1910. Segregation rose dramatically with black migration to cities in the mid-twentieth century. On average, this rise has been entirely erased by integration since the 1960s.
  • All-white neighborhoods are effectively extinct. A half-century ago, one-fifth of America’s urban neighborhoods had exactly zero black residents. Today, African-American residents can be found in 199 out of every 200 neighborhoods nationwide. The remaining neighborhoods are mostly in remote rural areas or in cities with very little black population.
  • Gentrification and immigration have made a dent in segregation. While these phenomena are clearly important in some areas, the rise of black suburbanization explains much more of the decline in segregation.
  • Ghetto neighborhoods persist, but most are in decline. For every diversifying ghetto neighborhood, many more house a dwindling population of black residents.

Some responses include: Rolf Pendall, Racial Segregation: It’s Not History, MetroTrends Blog, Feb. 1, 2012; Margery Turner, How Wide Are the Racial Opportunity Gaps in Your Metro?MetroTrends Blog, Feb. 2, 2012.

New Report and Article on Post-Katrina Public Housing in New Orleans

New Report: HUD, Housing Recovery on the Gulf Coast: Summary Report, Oct. 2011.  Abstract below:

Congress frequently provides supplemental appropriations through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to help communities recover from natural and manmade disasters. These Disaster Recovery Grants have been used to help New York City recover from the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001; to help towns in the upper Midwest recover from severe flooding in 1993, 1997, and 2008; and to help the Gulf Coast in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Recent research by Abt Associates Inc., under contract with HUD, examines how $19.7 billion in Disaster Recovery Grants were used in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas to help with recovery from those devastating hurricanes of 2005.

New Article: Stacy E. Seicshnaydre, How Government Housing Perpetuates Racial Segregation: Lessons from Post-Katrina New Orleans, 60 Catholic Univ. L. Rev. 661 (2011).  Abstract below:

This Article contends that post-Katrina New Orleans exemplifies the exclusionary dynamic in which government-assisted housing operates throughout America and the fundamental failure of American housing policy at the federal, state, and local levels to prevent the racial segregation that inevitably results. Federal law has prohibited racial segregation in government-housing programs for decades, yet it has proven difficult to reverse entrenched patterns of segregation in these programs. Patterns of racial segregation have been particularly intractable in New Orleans, which, prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, boasted the second-highest level of poverty concentration in the nation and relatively high levels of poverty concentration in all of the major government-housing programs. Furthermore, low-income white residents in pre-Katrina New Orleans had greater access to middle-income neighborhoods throughout the metropolitan area of New Orleans than low-income black residents, who were overwhelmingly concentrated into high-poverty neighborhoods.

Hurricane Katrina, with its massive levee failures and neighborhood flooding, offered an opportunity for New Orleans to emerge as a more inclusive region; new government-assisted housing could have helped facilitate inclusion, while also responding to the regional-housing needs of the area. However, rental housing bans proliferated throughout the region, primarily in communities that had previously served as affordable suburban alternatives for lower- and middle-income whites in prior decades. These communities sought not only to prevent the development of new rental housing, but also to limit the repair of rental housing that preexisted the storm. At the same time, other communities in metropolitan New Orleans that were the least affordable, most homogeneous, and nationally recognized as desirable places to live were not targeted for government-assisted housing, and thus did not pass similar sweeping rental bans. Therefore, rather than using recovery efforts to reverse racially segregated housing patterns, the region took steps to exacerbate them.

This Article describes a perennial dynamic of two impulses pulling in opposite directions – the anywhere-ist and nowhere-ist impulses, which conspire to perpetuate segregation. The anywhere-ists are primarily focused on securing as much federally assisted housing as possible; the nowhere-ists are primarily focused on keeping it out of their communities. This dynamic has created a “path of least resistance,” whereby government-assisted housing continues to be provided in places where it already exists or in places that are already open and affordable.

Ultimately, federal intervention in the housing market must encompass more than providing a subsidy. It must open neighborhoods not already open, make affordable what is not already affordable, enable housing subsidies to act as gateways to educational and employment opportunity, and inform families historically excluded from housing markets about their choices. Any federal housing interventions that are not so designed will almost certainly exacerbate existing racial segregation and poverty concentration, as they have done for decades, and – as post-Katrina New Orleans illustrates – as they will continue to do, again and again and again.

-Thanks to the Property Law Prof Blog for highlighting both of these.

New Article: ” Confronting the Seduction of Choice: Law, Education, and American Pluralism”

New Article: Martha Minow, Confronting the Seduction of Choice: Law, Education, and American Pluralism, 120 Yale L.J. 814 (2011).  Abstract below:

School choice policies, which allow parents to select among a range of options to satisfy compulsory schooling for their children, have arisen from five periods of political and legal struggle. This Feature considers the shape of school choice that emerged in the 1920s education fight over Americanization of immigrants; the freedom-of-choice plans used to avoid court-ordered school desegregation in the 1950s and 1960s; magnet schools used to promote school desegregation in the 1970s until they were halted by the Supreme Court; constitutional campaigns for vouchers to pay for religious schooling; and current experiments with charter schools and other alternatives, including special-identity schools. The idea of school choice appeals to individual freedom, market competition, religious freedom, multiculturalism, and ideological neutrality. School choice programs draw new talent into schooling and offer new avenues for social integration but only if that goal becomes an explicit public commitment, shaping available choices. Otherwise, school choice can enable new forms of social separation and obscure the absence of equal opportunities for all students.