Aloofness or dirty hands? Administrative culpability in the making of the second ghetto

This article takes a critical look at the actions of American public administrators affecting African Americans in inner cities in the mid-twentieth century. It compares these actions to those of British imperialist functionaries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We argue that domestic American administrators and imperialist functionaries shared an ethos of serving expansion and capital, sometimes as a means to achieve what they deemed to be the public interest. They also shared the use of race as a weapon in their drive to suppress the masses of what they viewed as superfluous expendable subject races—imperialized natives by British administrators or African Americans by U.S. administrators. Using Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism, this article traces the role of administrators in the alliance between mob and capital that resulted in the resegregation and dispossession of African-American communities in much of urban America. This article argues that the combination of racism and public administration was used to subjugate and control subject races in British imperialized territories and in urban America.

This article takes a critical look at the actions of American public administrators affecting African Americans in inner cities in the mid-twentieth century. It compares these actions to those of British imperialist functionaries in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We argue that domestic American administrators and imperialist functionaries shared an ethos of serving expansion and capital, sometimes as a means to achieve what they deemed to be the public interest. They also shared the use of race as a weapon in their drive to suppress the masses of what they viewed as superfluous expendable subject races—imperialized natives by British administrators or African Americans by U.S. administrators. Using Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism, this article traces the role of administrators in the alliance between mob and capital that resulted in the resegregation and dispossession of African-American communities in much of urban America. This article argues that the combination of racism and public administration was used to subjugate and control subject races in British imperialized territories and in urban America.

File Type: 2753/atp1084-1806320403
Categories: Current Issues, Ethics, Public Policy, Social Equity