How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality

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How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality, edited by Josh Grimm and Jaime Loke, brings together scholars of political science, sociology, and mass communication to provide an in-depth analysis of race in the United States through the lens of public policy. This vital collection outlines how issues such as profiling, wealth inequality, and housing segregation relate to race and policy decisions at both the local and national levels. Each chapter explores the inherent conflict between policy enactment, perception, and enforcement. Contributors examine topics ranging from the American justice system’s role in magnifying racial and ethnic disparities to the controversial immigration policies enacted by the Trump administration, along with pointed discussions of how the racial bias of public policy decisions historically impacts emerging concerns such as media access, health equity, and asset poverty.

By presenting nuanced case studies of key topics, How Public Policy Impacts Racial Inequality offers a timely and wide-ranging collection on major social and political issues unfolding in twenty-first-century America.

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About the author

Josh Grimm is associate dean of research and strategic initiatives at the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University.

Jaime Loke is assistant professor of journalism at the Bob Schieffer College of Communication at Texas Christian University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
LSU Press
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Published on
May 8, 2019
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Pages
216
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ISBN
9780807171691
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Public Policy / General
Social Science / Discrimination & Race Relations
Social Science / Media Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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For a nation that often optimistically claims to be post-racial, we are still mired in the practices of racial inequality that plays out in law, policy, and in our local communities. One of two explanations is often given for this persistent phenomenon: On the one hand, we might be hypocritical—saying one thing, and doing or believing another; on the other, it might have little to do with us individually but rather be inherent to the structure of American society.

More Beautiful and More Terrible compels us to think beyond this insufficient dichotomy in order to see how racial inequality is perpetuated. Imani Perry asserts that the U.S. is in a new and distinct phase of racism that is “post-intentional”: neither based on the intentional discrimination of the past, nor drawing upon biological concepts of race. Drawing upon the insights and tools of critical race theory, social policy, law, sociology and cultural studies, she demonstrates how post-intentional racism works and maintains that it cannot be addressed solely through the kinds of structural solutions of the Left or the values arguments of the Right. Rather, the author identifies a place in the middle—a space of “righteous hope”—and articulates a notion of ethics and human agency that will allow us to expand and amplify that hope.

To paraphrase James Baldwin, when talking about race, it is both more terrible than most think, but also more beautiful than most can imagine, with limitless and open-ended possibility. Perry leads readers down the path of imagining the possible and points to the way forward.

In this wide-ranging survey of contemporary race relations in the United States, Smith and O'Connell provide a thorough re-examination of our situation. They begin by assessing the part played by status struggles and anxieties in intergroup relations. For the black middle classes, they assert, the benefits of social-economic advancement and rising expectations combine with status frustration and anxiety to create a sense of estrangement from whites and what are typically referred to as "white institutions." They then look at the role social scientists have played in both analyzing and contributing to race problems. In their examination of racial stereotypes, Smith and O'Connell show how whites typically construct stereotypes in such a way that they can respond to blacks as concrete individuals, rather than as members of an abstract, all-embracing racial category. In their examination of the "Quota Revolution" they demonstrate that affirmative action predictably fails to raise average black income; nor does it promote racial respect and cooperation. Finally, they assert that if status anxiety plays an increasingly important role in intergroup struggles as group power relations are increasingly characterized by social and political parity, then there are rather strict limits to what social reform can accomplish. Racism, Smith and O'Connell contend, has less to do with current social conditions in black America than is usually supposed. More indirect forces such as technological innovation, global interdependence, immigration, misguided welfare policies, and certain kinds of cultural values post far more serious threats to the incomes and employment opportunities of less affluent black Americans than do the remaining traces of white racism. This thought-provoking book is must-reading for scholars and researchers in the fields of public policy and contemporary race relations.
The grainy black-and-white television ad shows a young girl in a flower-filled meadow, holding a daisy and plucking its petals, which she counts one by one. As the camera slowly zooms in on her eye, a man's solemn countdown replaces hers. At zero the little girl's eye is engulfed by an atomic mushroom cloud. As the inferno roils in the background, President Lyndon B. Johnson's voice intones, "These are the stakes -- to make a world in which all of God's children can live, or to go into the dark. We must either love each other, or we must die."
In this thought-provoking and highly readable book, Robert Mann provides a concise, engaging study of the "Daisy Girl" ad, widely acknowledged as the most important and memorable political ad in American history. Commissioned by Johnson's campaign and aired only once during Johnson's 1964 presidential contest against Barry Goldwater, it remains an iconic piece of electoral propaganda, intertwining cold war fears of nuclear annihilation with the increasingly savvy world of media and advertising. Mann presents a nuanced view of how Johnson's campaign successfully cast Barry Goldwater as a radical too dangerous to control the nation's nuclear arsenal, a depiction that sparked immediate controversy across the United States.
Repeatedly analyzed in countless books and articles, the spot purportedly destroyed Goldwater's presidential campaign. Although that degree of impact on the Goldwater campaign is debatable, what is certain is that the ad ushered in a new era of political advertising using emotional appeals as a routine aspect of campaign strategy.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time, as seen in the HBO documentary True Justice

“[Bryan Stevenson’s] dedication to fighting for justice and equality has inspired me and many others and made a lasting impact on our country.”—John Legend

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING MICHAEL B. JORDAN AND JAMIE FOXX • Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times • Esquire • Time

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction • Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction • Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award • Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize • Finalist for the Kirkus Reviews Prize • An American Library Association Notable Book

“Every bit as moving as To Kill a Mockingbird, and in some ways more so . . . a searing indictment of American criminal justice and a stirring testament to the salvation that fighting for the vulnerable sometimes yields.”—David Cole, The New York Review of Books

“Searing, moving . . . Bryan Stevenson may, indeed, be America’s Mandela.”—Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times

“You don’t have to read too long to start cheering for this man. . . . The message of this book . . . is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. Just Mercy will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.”—Ted Conover, The New York Times Book Review

“Inspiring . . . a work of style, substance and clarity . . . Stevenson is not only a great lawyer, he’s also a gifted writer and storyteller.”—The Washington Post

“As deeply moving, poignant and powerful a book as has been, and maybe ever can be, written about the death penalty.”—The Financial Times

“Brilliant.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
In 1964, as the polarizing Civil Rights Act made its way through the House and Senate, and Congress navigated one of the most tumultuous eras in American history, a Harris Poll put the institution's approval rating at 60 percent. Why then, fifty years later, has the public's approval of Congress eroded to an all-time low of 10 percent? Working Congress: A Guide for Senators, Representatives, and Citizens seeks to isolate the reasons for Congress's staggering decline in public opinion, and to propose remedies to reverse the grave dysfunction in America's most important political institution.

Aided by the input of retired members of Congress from both major parties, editor Robert Mann and his fellow contributors identify paralyzing partisan rancor as perhaps the most significant reason for the American public's declining support of its main representative body. The lack of mutual trust within Congress reflects (and creates) the suspicion and animosity of the great majority of Americans. Working Congress argues that members of Congress must find a path to cooperation if they are to function as the representative institution the Founders intended.

Trenchant chapters by Mickey Edwards, Ross K. Baker, Frances E. Lee, Brian L. Fife, Susan Herbst, and Mark Kennedy analyze the problems and challenges facing Congress and suggest solutions to counteract partisan gridlock. Though these scholars and former members share a conviction that men and women of good will can and should work together, they do not assume that their solutions will herald a bipartisan utopia. Instead, they recognize that Congress is, and will always be, a work in progress.

WINNER OF THE 2017 PULITZER PRIZE GENERAL NON-FICTION 

From Harvard sociologist and MacArthur "Genius" Matthew Desmond, a landmark work of scholarship and reportage that will forever change the way we look at poverty in America
 
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind.

The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.” She moves to evict Arleen and her boys a few days before Christmas.

Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced  into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality—and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship.

Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE PEN/JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH AWARD FOR NONFICTION | WINNER OF THE ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION | FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR by The New York Times Book Review • The Boston Globe •  The Washington Post • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • The New Yorker • Bloomberg •  Esquire • Buzzfeed • Fortune • San Francisco Chronicle • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel • St. Louis Post-Dispatch •  Politico •  The Week • Bookpage • Kirkus Reviews •  Amazon •  Barnes and Noble Review •  Apple •  Library Journal • Chicago Public Library • Publishers Weekly • Booklist • Shelf Awareness
When Freedom Would Triumph recalls the most significant and inspiring legislative battle of the twentieth century -- the two decades of struggle in the halls of Congress that resulted in civil rights for the descendants of American slaves. Robert Mann's comprehensive analysis shows how political leaders in Washington -- Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, John F. Kennedy, and others -- transformed the ardent passion for freedom -- the protests, marches, and creative nonviolence of the civil rights movement -- into concrete progress for justice. A story of heroism and cowardice, statesmanship and political calculation, vision and blindness, When Freedom Would Triumph, an abridged and updated version of Mann's The Walls of Jericho: Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Russell, and the Struggle for Civil Rights, is a captivating, thought-provoking reminder of the need for more effective government.
Mann argues that the passage of civil rights laws is one of the finest examples of what good is possible when political leaders transcend partisan political differences and focus not only on the immediate judgment of the voters, but also on the ultimate judgment of history. As Mann explains, despite the opposition of a powerful, determined band of southern politicians led by Georgia senator Richard Russell, the political environment of the 1950s and 1960s enabled a remarkable amount of compromise and progress in Congress. When Freedom Would Triumph recalls a time when statesmanship was possible and progress was achieved in ways that united the country and appealed to our highest principles, not our basest instincts. Although the era was far from perfect, and its leaders were deeply flawed in many ways, Mann shows that the mid-twentieth century was an age of bipartisan cooperation and willingness to set aside party differences in the pursuit of significant social reform. Such a political stance, Mann argues, is worthy of study and emulation today.
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