New York Times bestselling author Richard Rothstein, who argues in his book, The Color of Law, that the intended effect of decades of government policies that fueled segregation is today's urban housing crises that grips cities across the country, made a stop at UNT Dallas College of Law last week.
Rothstein told a gathering of UNT Dallas law students and the public that discriminatory housing policies has left groups of minorities economically disadvantaged, and that inequities in wealth are attributable to federal housing policies. He also said that fixing these inequity problems isn't difficult, but that it takes enacting policies that will help poor people find affordable housing in safer, cleaner parts of cities. But, he said, what's missing is the political courage to do so.
"What was created by government policy can be undone by government policy," Rothstein told the group of a couple dozen law school students, via an in-depth report on Rothstein's talk and the realities of the modern housing crises in D Magazine.
"When we finally deal with the issue of housing segregation patterns, that's when things begin to change," Rothstein said.
Rothstein, a former columnist for the New York Times and a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, as well as a Fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, has spent years gathering evidence that the federal government not didn't just turn a blind eye to discriminatory housing practices in poor, urban areas, but that it actually promoted them.
Rothstein's appearance at UNT Dallas law school's downtown campus was part of a yearlong series, "Building on 50: And Still I Rise," where the law school will examine historical events that occurred 50 years ago, and the impact today.