The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein (a synopsis)
In The Color of Law, Richard Rothstein argues with precision and insight how segregation in America is the byproduct of explicit government policies at the local, state, and federal levels.
Racial segregation of our neighborhoods has long been viewed as a manifestation of unscrupulous real estate agents, unethical mortgage lenders, and exclusionary covenants. This is commonly known as "de facto” segregation, practices resulting from private activity, not law or public policy. However, Rothstein shows in case after case, that private activity could not have sustained segregation without government policies designed to ensure the separation of African Americans from whites. The term for this is “de jure” segregation. Because these policies resulted in the unfair treatment of citizens, Rothstein argues “de jure” segregation violates the Constitution and our Bill of Rights.