'The winners write the history books'

Print Article

Many of us recognize this basic truism. Frequently people cite their interest in and knowledge of history as the basis for their understanding and views.

Is it possible most of us don't know our own full and inconveniently recent history, particularly as it pertains to racial tensions and some of its causes? How did we get here we ask?

I have no corner on the truth of these matters. I simply, humbly hope to share a recommendation on an excellent and deeply researched book that presents the facts on aspects of this recent history. The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein. It's also available through Audible. Recently published, I found it incredibly informative, moving, disturbing and worth reading.

The book details the largely forgotten and recent history of federally mandated and enforced housing segregation and policy, federally sanctioned labor and wage segregation enforced by the unions, federally sanctioned segregation of our schools, tax policy, banking and insurance policy and the role played by tax subsidized non-profits including colleges, universities, neighborhood associations and churches. Those entities who actively and easily verifiably advocated for or looked the other way, allowing for the economic and spatial segregation of the American black family. The predominantly black and economically depressed urban centers and surrounding white suburbs didn't just happen by chance or choice. They were created by law as well as policy.

Some excellent histories are being published. Consider also The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

Might it be that we know so little of this history because of who writes the history books, and teaches it? I applaud the Beloit School District for offering the course, African American Literature. I hope more students participate. Not because it is black history but because it is our history.

Rick McGrath

Beloit

Print Article

Read More Letters to the Editor

'Lies being told to Americans'

July 02, 2018 at 10:03 am | President Trump talked about enacting tariffs against other countries because they help the companies in their countries. What about this country? Foxconn just got $3 billion to build a plant in Wi...

Comments

Read More

'Choose Williams for superintendent'

July 02, 2018 at 10:03 am | I attended the School District of Beloit School Board meeting June 26 and listened to concerned citizens speak about the board's mishandling of the superintendent search. I wish I would have spoken ...

Comments

Read More

'Sports celebrity can be example'

July 02, 2018 at 10:03 am | On Saturday June 9th, CASA of Rock County hosted a fundraising event with Corey Linsley (starting center for the Green Bay Packers) and his wife, Anna. In addition to being affiliated with the Packe...

Comments

Read More

'A timely lesson on homophones'

June 25, 2018 at 9:21 am | It might be wise to consider a workshop on the topic of homophones for your staff. I refer to your article which appeared in the Beloit Daily News June 15-17 issue, the article being "Rape kit leads...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(608) 365-8811
149 State Street
Beloit, WI 53511

©2018 Beloit Daily News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X