After reading A Promised Land and feeling upbeat, I started The Color of Law because we don’t deserve happiness in 2021. The Color of Law, subtitled A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, sets out to prove, and I think very effectively, that segregation was and is the result of government policy. More simply, the policies are de jure not de facto. It was not the actions of people or institutions acting with prejudice but instead the laws passed, from the national to the local levels, which encouraged discrimination.
The author cites many examples but primarily uses San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area to prove his thesis. He argues that if the Bay Area, with its long history of progressive movements and causes, demonstrates such prejudice that by extension, other areas are also likely practice similar discrimination (or worse). Given that the author cannot describe every single region and every law nation-wide, I think that this assumption works.
Given that assumption though, wow, the results are absolutely damning. At every single turn, the Bay Area failed to do the fair or right thing. Over and over again discrimination took place and was the direct result of the laws that were passed and enforced. One of the things said most often about this book is that the research is very thorough and top-notch and I agree. It is why I like the Bay Area assumption. This is a frustrating read but I think it is an important and necessary read as well.