Affirmative Action Was White By Ira Katznelson Essay

Affirmative Action Was White By Ira Katznelson Essay

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When Affirmative Action Was White
When Affirmative Action Was White by Ira Katznelson is a story that narrates racial inequality in America during the 20th century. While the book was published in 2005, it highlights the era from the Depression to post World War II in America. It mainly spotlights the presidencies of Roosevelt and Truman but also talks about Johnson’s as well. Katznelson speaks of many points but the main issues spoken of are the differences between: welfare for blacks and whites, labor laws for black and whites, divisions in the military and the G.I. Bill which gave benefits to veterans. Ira challenges all of these issues and how each race was affected. He shows the obvious differences that every program had. He admits that blacks did prosper due to certain programs but not even close to how whites were able to prosper. Katznelson provides endless statistics and examples of how many programs, specifically the New Deal and the Fair Deal, were not fair and were actually very racially unfair. Many authors have told stories about racial inequalities throughout American history but Ira Katznelson dives deeper than most and backs his tale with endless information.
Welfare and wages for blacks and whites were very different during the time described throughout the book. Minimum wage laws were raised and all races made money if looked at broadly. If looked at in detail, the laws were passed by southern Democrats. These southern Democrats in Congress held most of the power. This obviously made it easier for racially unjust laws to be passed or made it easier to veto laws that would alter the racial segregation. While the Civil Rights Act was being passed and the country and media all celebrated, laws were also being pas...


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...ertainly accomplishes that throughout his statistics provided as well as his narratives from blacks such as West Virginia senator Robert Byrd. He also provides convincing evidence of how southern Democrats took hold of racial policies and formed many of the programs during the Jim Crow era. Racism is still an issue in society today but not even remotely close to how harsh it had been in 20th century America. Katznelson’s work can help today’s youth understand what millions of blacks and all minorities were fighting for throughout history. If the object of learning about history is to not repeat the flaws of the past, then Katznelson created a timeless work of literature that will be remembered way beyond the years of his brilliant life. When Affirmative Action Was White will be forever recognized as one of the best books to ever detail racial inequalities in America.

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