Roosevelt Let Southern Racists Spurn Blacks
Roosevelt’s need to accommodate Southern racists often complicated the implementation of his programs, according to Digital History. Distribution of relief in the South, for example, slowed to a trickle because Southern relief administrators didn’t want to distribute money to Blacks. One Georgia relief agent told Roosevelt’s emissary Lorena Hickok that “any N*gger who gets over $8 a week is a spoiled N*gger, that’s all … The Negroes regard the President as the Messiah, and they think that … they’ll all be getting $12 a week for the rest of their lives.”
Roosevelt’s Programs Widened the Gap Between Blacks and Whites
Ira Katznelson, a political science and history professor at Columbia University, in his book, ”When Affirmative Action Was White,” contends that Roosevelt’s programs not only discriminated against Blacks, but actually contributed to widening the gap between white and Black Americans — judged in terms of educational achievement, quality of jobs and housing, and attainment of higher income. Arguing for the necessity of affirmative action today, Katznelson contends that policymakers and the judiciary previously failed to consider just how unfairly Blacks had been treated by the federal government in the 30 years before the civil rights revolution of the 1960s.