Roosevelt's New Deal: Anti-Black Legislation

Discussion in 'Race Relations/Racism' started by PoliticalChic, Aug 12, 2012.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    1. During the “old” Supreme Court, often referred to as the Lochner era, the court struck down laws that favored monopolies as violations of the “privileges and immunities” clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments. This meant that blacks (or any other less preferred group) had a powerful weapon in dealing with racial discrimination in the market place: the right to work for lower wages.


    2. Up until the New Deal. The National Recovery Act (NRA…1933) established codes that required the payment of set wages for certain industries. And who established the codes? The same union-business folks who saw to the exclusion of blacks in the first place.

    a. Set wages reduced an employer’s incentive to hire blacks.
    Sitkofff, “A New Deal for Blacks,” p. 330-335.
    Since there was no economic advantage in it, why engender the hostility of white workers?

    b. Many employers either dismissed black workers and hired whites in their place, or eliminated the lower level jobs held by blacks because the mandated wages were above the value of the job.
    Wolters, “Negroes and the Great Depression,” p. 122-123.



    3. Section 7a of the NRA certified unions as exclusive bargaining agents. It became a vehicle to push Negroes out of an industry, and/or to make the union totally white. The black press referred to the act as “Negroes Ruined Again,” and “No Roosevelt Again.”
    Williams, "Race & Economics," chapter five.



    4. In 1935, the Supreme Court ruled the NRA unconstitutional. New Dealers mourned…but blacks cheered. Not for long- section 7a of the NRA became section 9 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), called the Wagner Act (1935). Sure enough, unions became the sole collective bargaining unit. The Act banned company unions, and allowed barring non-members from employment. Wagner had dropped the anti-discrimination clause in order to gain union support. Most New Dealers thought that discrimination against blacks was an acceptable cost of economic recovery.
    Sitkoff, Op.Cit., p.52.

    a. Interesting to note the difference between the Roosevelt Court, and the ‘Lochner’ Court, in which Peckham wrote for the majority: “In the Court’s view, the hour limits therefore violated the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, which says no state may “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Lochner Isn

    b. In two NLRB cases, in 1945, first the board ruled that a bargaining agent must represent all employees fairly (Lazarus & Brother)….then turned around and decided that segregation and exclusion of blacks from union membership was not an unfair labor practice (Atlanta Oak Flooring).




    5. New Deal legislation was devastating for blacks. In 1930, the unemployment rate was 6.13% nationally…but only 5.17% for blacks. 1930 was the last year more whites than blacks would be unemployed. Vedder and Galloway, “Out of Work: Unemployment and Government in Twentieth-Century America,” table 1.3, p.8.
     
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  2. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    you're wasting your time;)

    he refused to integrate the armed forces as well. He signed an exec order in 41 I think it was, creating a fair employment commission, but like most commissions, it didn't have much of an impact. And that was only after the union for railroad porters under Philip Randolph threatened to strike. Don't even get started on Wilson...
     
  3. regent
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    regent Gold Member

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    Blacks began voting Democratic with FDR's election and probably for the same reason whites voted FDR. Blacks, however, did not consider themselves Democrats until later. How FDR felt about Black problems is debatable, but Eleanor was a constant thorn to FDR about Black Americans and their problems. Arthurdale West Va. was one of those Eleanor thorns.
     
  4. Unkotare
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    Unkotare Diamond Member

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    FDR was, of course, a horrible racist.
     
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  5. Jackson
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    Jackson Gold Member Supporting Member

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    What an ointeresting piece of history! Thank you!
     
  6. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    Yes, indeed....

    ...the Railway Labor Act was amended in 1934. It forced employers to negotiate wieth certified union representatives, but, of course, nearly all railroad unions banned black membership.

    And here is the best part: when blacks tried to form their own unions, the National Railroad Adjustment Board ruled that they couldn't represent the blacks, and only the white unions had a monopoly.


    Even the Supreme Court piled on in 'Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks vs UTSEA,' ruling that no judicial review was possible.
     
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  7. Pheonixops
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    Pheonixops Proud Liberal

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    So what's your main point regarding FDR?
     
  8. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    And Lincoln was gay, his lover was Joshua Speed.

    :D
     
  9. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    What were Republicans doing for blacks in the 1930s?
     
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  10. Pheonixops
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    Pheonixops Proud Liberal

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    That was gong to be my next question! :lol:
     

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