Exploring the intersection of public space and homelessness


Episode 13: Richard Rothstein


One of the most insightful and eye-opening books I’ve read this year has been Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America. Rothstein is a research associate of the Economic Policy Institute and a fellow at the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and in his authoritative account of this chapter of our history, he tracks laws, policies and regulations from the early 1900s through to contemporary America to show how specific government actions either created or fortified existing patterns of residential segregation throughout the country. In laying bare this history, Rothstein shows how these governmental actions have continuing ripple effects that we, as a country, are still confronting today and he invites us to confront this legacy for the betterment of our democracy. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Richard, and I invite you to read his book.

Toward the end of our conversation, Richard mentions a speech by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. The text of that speech can be found here.