The Dream Revisited
Discussion 23: Race, Segregation, and Politics

Discussion 23: Race, Segregation, and Politics

March 2017

The twenty-third discussion explores the impact of persistent racial segregation on political discourse and electoral outcomes in the United States.


  • Politics in a Racially Segregated Nation

    by J. Phillip Thompson

    Racial segregation in housing provides little opportunity for whites and blacks, Latinos, Muslims, and others to know each other. In the absence of personal familiarity with the "Other," stereotypes often take hold. Workers are less likely to recognize commonalities in their values--concern for family, respect for hard work, willingness to help others--with those of other racial groups and religions. This social distance is easily transferred into scapegoating and divisive politics.


  • The Enduring Legacy of Our Separate and Unequal Geography

    by Patrick Bayer

    That racism creates separation is obvious from even the most cursory glance at American neighborhoods and schools. Black and white families who are identical in every other way routinely inhabit completely different spaces within our cities and society. And, it is exactly this separation that allows racism to persist over generations. When we are disconnected, it takes intentional effort to see each other as individuals, and it becomes all too easy to see those of another race as fundamentally different, other, inferior.

  • Linking Multiracial Coalitions and Class-Based Appeals

    by Lawrence Bobo

    If I dissent from the analysis Phil Thompson has given us, and it is a rather modest dissent, it concerns his insistence on the central importance of the white working class. This be-speaks a mistaken analysis of what happened in the 2016 election and of what ought now be the strategy for the years ahead. Hillary Clinton did not lose because the white working class turned on her with special force [...] It is, in my assessment, the failure of a democratic nominee to effectively claim and excite the full multiracial coalition—black, white Latino, Asian and more—that elected Barack Obama in 2008 and comfortably re-elected him in 2012. Guarding against a repeat of that failure is what should concern us most.

  • A Nation Divided Still: How a Vote for Trump Says More about the Voter than the Candidate Himself

    by Christina Greer

    There is a tendency to focus primarily on white working class voters when attempting to understand the politics of a racially segregated nation. To focus only on white working class voters is to lose sight of the role that middle class and upper class whites have played and continue to play in the racial agenda of the new Republican Party. Racial and economic segregation continue to permeate almost all levels of the democratic experiment, which continues to calcify the deep polarization in this country.

Discussion 22: The Stubborn Persistence of Racial Segregation

December 2016

The twenty-second discussion explores the role of residential choices in sustaining segregation within American cities.

Discussion 21: Suburban Poverty & Segregation

September 2016

The twenty-first discussion explores the increasing diversity of suburbs and increasing levels of suburban poverty and debates the challenges of supporting poor households’ economic self-sufficiency beyond the central city.

Discussion 20: Making Vouchers More Mobile

July 2016

The twentieth discussion examines the benefits of defining fair market rent by zip code, to make it easier for families to move to higher-opportunity neighborhoods, and weighs potential unintended costs.

Discussion 19: Public Housing and Deconcentrating Poverty

May 2016

The nineteenth discussion debates what we should do about high-poverty, distressed public housing developments in light of recent research from the Moving to Opportunity Program about the costs of concentrated poverty.

Discussion 18: Segregation & the Financial Crisis

February 2016

The eighteenth discussion debates the extent to which segregation exacerbated the unequal effects of the mortgage-driven financial collapse of 2007 and ways to address racial disparities in mortgage lending.

Discussion 17: Community Preferences and Fair Housing

November 2015

The seventeenth discussion debates the extent to which preferences in neighborhood residents in accessing new affordable housing promote or betray the goal of truly inclusionary communities. 

Discussion 16: A New Approach to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing

November 2015

The sixteenth discussion reacts to HUD’s renewed commitment to the new requirement of the Fair Housing Act to “affirmatively further fair housing.”

Discussion 15: Moving Up or Moving Out

July 2015

The fifteenth discussion explores the most effective ways to address concentrated poverty, focusing on policies that target both people and place.

Discussion 14: Housing Subsidies & Inclusive Communities

June 2015

The fourteenth discussion examines the policy issues underlying Texas vs. The Inclusive Communities Project: how government officials should balance the use of Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) allocations to create affordable homes in low-poverty neighborhoods with the use of LIHTC allocations to catalyze economic development in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Discussion 13: The Future of the Fair Housing Act

April 2015

The thirteenth discussion debates the significant of disparate impact liability under the Fair Housing Act, in light of the Supreme Court's deliberation in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project.

Discussion 12: The Poor Door Debate

March 2015

The twelfth discussion weighs the controversy about "poor doors" in the context of a debate over the costs and benefits of mixed-income housing in high-cost markets.

Discussion 11: Explaining Ferguson Through Place and Race

January 2015

The eleventh discussion in The Dream Revisited explores how metropolitan development patterns shaped by race and class set the stage for the events in Ferguson, MO.

Discussion 10: Balancing Investments in People & Place

November 2014

The tenth discussion in the Dream Revisited debates the appropriate balance between investments to help low-income households move to neighborhoods that offer greater access to opportunity and investments to improve the quality of life in low-income neighborhoods.

Discussion 9: Residential Income Segregation

November 2014

The ninth discussion in The Dream Revisited analyzes segregation by income and debates the significance of the increasing isolation of the affluent.

Discussion 8: Neighborhoods, Opportunities, and the Housing Choice Voucher Program

October 2014

The eighth discussion in The Dream Revisited explores how the federal Housing Choice Voucher program can most effectively improve social, educational, and economic opportunities for voucher recipients. 

Discussion 7: Comparative Perspectives on Segregation

September 2014

The seventh discussion in The Dream Revisited explores what can be learned by looking at racial and economic segregation through a comparative lens. 

Discussion 6: Implicit Bias and Segregation

August 2014

The sixth discussion explores how implicit bias contributes to residential segregation and whether or not awareness of implicit biases can heighten a sense of moral urgency.

Discussion 5: Place-Based Affirmative Action

July 2014

The fifth discussion explores proposals to re-imagine affirmative action by focusing on neighborhood disadvantage instead of race.

Discussion 4: Neighborhood Gentrification

May 2014

The fourth discussion explores the relationship between gentrification, neighborhood integration, and public participation.

Discussion 2: Economic Segregation in Schools

March 2014

The second discussion on The Dream Revisited explores economic segregation in our schools and argues for its continued relevance today. 

Discussion 1: Why Integration?

January 2014

The frst discussion in The Dream Revisited asks what we mean by "integration" and why it may be a necessary strategy to acheive racial and economic equality.