The Legacy Of The New Deal

765 WordsDec 8, 20154 Pages
The case can be made that the administrations before Kennedy did not make Civil Rights a priority, but there were decisions made to set the foundation for legislation down the road. In short it was an issue that got kicked down the road for someone else to take care of, sort of like what has happened with immigration reform. Starting with FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt), his focus was not as much Civil Rights as it was trying to assist those financially struggling. This was evident with FDR’s New Deal and the subsequent programs derived from it. Everyone that needed help benefitted from the New Deal, this included the African American. The New Deal programs were directed at the low income groups of which Negro constituted a large part. However even though they were a large part of this group local relief programs often operated on a segregated basis (Rhodes). There were many places that the African American faced discrimination which led to the need for Civil Rights reform. Discrimination in housing, transportation, public accommodations and the armed services went virtually unchecked by the Roosevelt administration. Roosevelt was forced to issue an executive order banning discrimination in employment in the defense industries in 1941. He did this to avoid a march on Washington, D. C. led by A. Philip Randolph protesting discrimination in the defense industries. (Rhodes). The Truman administration attempted many times to pass legislation to improve the conditions of the
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