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WHITE SUPREMACY AND SEGREGATION UNDER FDR’S NEW DEAL

By: 
Shamus Cooke and Bradley Wiedmaier

Above photo: FDR signing the Wagner Act.

The backwardness of the South was forced upon the rest of the country in the New Deal era, promoting a Jim Crow that exacerbated existing racial tensions in Northern cities instead of mitigating them... FDR also used the Federal Housing Administration as a racist weapon whose fallout still affects us today: An economic ladder was given for a generation of European-Americans that was denied to the majority of Black Americans. Whites were given mortgages in suburbs and Blacks were denied loans where they lived, a process now called “redlining.” ... Blacks were instead pushed into public housing— itself initially restricted to “whites only” (either explicitly in the South or through income requirements in the North). After public housing was expanded and integrated, many whites bought homes while maintenance funds were slashed for public housing, creating the modern “projects” we know today. The intentional failure of public housing is well told in the documentary Pruitt–Igoe Myth.