David Hamilton Golland, Ph.D.
In the News

9/21
 
American Historical Review
by Danielle Wiggins, California Institute of Technology

In his biography of Arthur Fletcher—one-time professional football player, former head of the United Negro College Fund, and most notably the primary architect of federal affirmative action policy—David Hamilton Golland seeks to unravel the “conundrum” of the modern Black Republican—that is, why would someone who many heralded as a civil rights hero and whose core principles were largely abandoned by the GOP remain a Republican to his dying day? Chronicling Fletcher’s Republican activism from his time as vice chairman of the Kansas Young Republicans in the 1940s to his appointment as assistant secretary of labor during the Nixon administration, Golland joins scholars such as Leah Wright-Rigueur, Timothy Thurber, and Joshua Farrington in investigating moderate Black Republicans’ efforts to fight for civil rights from within the party of Lincoln and their often-failed attempts to stem the rising tide of conservatism in the party between the 1930s and 1970s. In continuing to follow Fletcher’s career after the conservative takeover of the party in the less historicized 1980s, Golland’s A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican extends this narrative forward. Fletcher’s story ultimately reveals how Republican politics and Black interests became increasingly incompatible and how one man tried, often in vain, to reconcile the two.

Golland uses personal interviews with Fletcher, the Fletcher family, and political figures who knew “Art” as well as archival materials from presidential libraries and the US Commission on Civil Rights to answer the biography’s central question: Why did Fletcher become and remain a loyal Republican? He roots Fletcher’s Republicanism in several experiences of his childhood. His mother refused to accept welfare, though she struggled to make ends meet as a domestic during Fletcher’s childhood. Later, his stepfather, a career serviceman, further instilled a sense of self-competitiveness and the ethic of self-help, principles that Fletcher believed were best upheld by the GOP. First in Kansas and then in California and Washington state, Fletcher became active in Republican politics, where he gained insight into the intensifying battles between moderates and conservatives that would soon emerge at the national level.

Fletcher’s civil rights activism began in his childhood, when Mary McLeod Bethune visited his class. She implored the children to “always carry a brief for black folks” (quoted on 19). He learned from her that the government could serve as a “vehicle for achieving civil rights,” but as a believer in self-help he stopped short of supporting direct aid. When Fletcher struggled to find adequate employment as a college graduate and a World War II veteran, he became an equal opportunity advocate. He blended his Republican principles with his concern for civil rights to create a self-help civil rights philosophy that undergirded the mentorship program he organized in Berkeley, California, and the cooperative he developed in East Pasco, Washington. His self-help civil rights garnered the attention of the Republican establishment—first, the moderate Republicans in Washington who convinced Fletcher to run for lieutenant governor and eventually the Republican National Committee. In 1968, Fletcher addressed the platform committee, where his ideas about self-help, economic opportunity, and business enterprise informed Nixon’s ideas about Black capitalism. Fletcher forayed his expertise into a position on Nixon’s transition team and then, most notably, into a position in Nixon’s “Black Cabinet” as assistant secretary of labor.

In the book’s most compelling chapter, Golland details how Fletcher engineered affirmative action policies for federal contracts by revising the Philadelphia Plan. The revised plan instated hiring goals and ranges and required that contractors put forth a “good faith effort” in diversifying their workforces. The plan required the desegregation of the building trades. Unsurprisingly, Fletcher encountered opposition from union leaders. Nixon initially supported Fletcher and the Philadelphia Plan in an attempt to demonstrate that he supported civil rights. But as rank-and-file union members, whose support Nixon hoped to cultivate, began to resist affirmative action, Nixon abandoned the ambitious plan and backed the much weaker “New York Plan.” To appease rightward-moving union leaders, he removed Fletcher from his cabinet position in 1971. In the following years, the Republican Party’s opposition to affirmative action and other civil rights legislation would only grow.

Yet Fletcher stayed on. After his removal from the Department of Labor, Fletcher continued to fight for civil rights from within the Republican Party, not because he was naïve, Golland argues, but because he “held fast to his principles and believed that he could still pull the GOP in a more productive direction” (209). When George H. W. Bush tapped him to head the US Commission on Civil Rights, Fletcher believed he could push the party to once again embrace civil rights. Yet, after Bush vetoed the Civil Rights Act of 1990 and continued the party’s assault on affirmative action, Fletcher’s steadfast support was accompanied by a “public rage.” He remained a loyal but often disappointed Republican until his death in 2005.

Golland concludes by returning to the driving question of the biography: Why did Fletcher remain a Republican even as the party systematically undermined the very policy he created? Golland emphasizes Fletcher’s belief in self-help, individualism, and other Republican principles. But these claims would have been more convincing if Golland had provided insight into Fletcher’s political views outside of affirmative action. If he was in alignment with conservative Republicans on issues such as welfare reform, criminal justice policy, full employment, or women’s and LGBTQ rights, his loyalty would be less puzzling. Nevertheless, Golland makes the compelling claim that Fletcher’s steadfastness was rooted in his belief that “the Republican Party could flip back to moderation as quickly as it had been lost to the conservative wing” (287). In chronicling the story of a man whose party loyalty often seemed to defy reason, Golland’s biography underscores the contingency of the conservative ascendency and suggests that the rise of a nationalist conservatism within the GOP was never inevitable or totalizing. And perhaps more significantly for our contemporary moment, Fletcher’s steadfast belief in the GOP suggests to readers that the Republican Party may still have the potential to change once again.


 


2/1/21
 
WZZM TV 13 Grand Rapids
by April Stevens
Museums and Art Installations
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum is holding two virtual programs related to race:
  • Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. : "Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood: The Complicated past and the Paradoxical Relationship Between Slavery and Freedom in the Nation’s Capital" presented by Lina Mann and Matthew Costello....
  • Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. : "A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican" presented by Dr. David Hamilton Golland. Register for the event here.


  •  


    12/20
     
    hypnagogicfun blog
    by David Potash, Wilbur Wright College
    Arthur Fletcher and Republicanism

    Simple history puts people and ideas in boxes, creating tidy narratives. Thoughtful history, based on close research, reveals complexities and contradictions. That kind of history is not necessarily flashy. Nor does it always receive due attention, either. It is more like a close reading of a text, revealing itself through concentration, study and time.

    I was thinking about this while reading David Hamilton Golland’s biography of Arthur Fletcher, A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican. It is a sturdily crafted traditional biography of a somewhat minor political figure. It is also an interesting study of the intersection of personal and national history, sketched out amid broader complex trends, that defies conventional expectations. Fletcher, a Black leader who led an extraordinary full life, is aptly described by Golland as “the most important civil rights leader you’ve (probably) never heard of.” Tracking the contours of Fletcher’s life makes for a valuable read, for it highlights the opportunities and constraints that smart, ambitious and talented Black men faced and still face as they navigate the evils of racism. Golland has done good work here, for it is a biography and more.

    Born in 1924 to a hard-working single mother, Fletcher spent much of his early childhood in Los Angeles. In 1938 he changed his last name, reflecting new family stability. His mother married Andrew Fletcher, a master farrier in the Army. The family settled in Kansas for Fletcher’s high school, where he stood out as a stellar athlete and as a leader for Black students. He married his high school sweetheart, became a father, and was drafted into the Army by 1943. Fletcher tried to get into an officer program – choices were limited for Blacks – and by 1944 was in Europe. In March of 1945, Fletcher was shot and after five surgeries, was discharged. With a second child and more on the way, Fletcher balanced straight forward jobs – delivering ice and working as a doorman – with pursuing his academics and football aspirations.

    Fletcher stood out as star for Washburn University’s football team, was scouted and recruited, and became the first Black player for the Baltimore Colts. His football career never fully materialized, though, and by 1953 he was teaching in Kansas and starting a lifelong connection with the GOP. The Republicans in Kansas at the time were the party most committed to providing jobs, protection and rights to Black Americans. Politics greatly appealed to Fletcher, a charismatic speaker, and so started a lengthy career.

    Overcoming personal tragedy – his first wife committed suicide and employment opportunities were often elusive – Fletcher maintained optimism and an admirable entrepreneurial spirit. Moving to Washington, he started a community program and was elected to the Pasco City Council. Fletcher tried his hand at running for Lieutenant Governor of Washington, the first Black to head a state-wide campaign in the West. His visibility appealed to President Nixon, who tapped him as Assistant Secretary of Labor. Under President Nixon, Fletcher advanced affirmative action in hiring and contracts. His advancement, a testament to his skills and ambition, is truly impressive. With the White House role and accomplishment under his belt, the remainder of Fletcher’s professional life was in and about Republican political leadership. He ran for mayor Washington, DC, losing to Marion Berry. He headed chaired the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Close to George Bush, Fletcher was a frequent public speaker, a lobbyist, and a national Black spokesperson on issues of race and labor.

    Fletcher’s patience with improving race relations in the US, always in conflict with the strictures of his party, were sorely tested with Lee Atwater’s campaign leadership and the Rodney King beatings and trial. He did not, though, abandon his fellow Republicans. Golland notes that Fletcher, never a conservative in the vein of so many of his colleagues, was trapped by his success. Fletcher died in 2005.

    In the last chapter of the book, Golland tackles the conundrum of Arthur Fletcher and his career. Like some other Black Republicans, Fletcher found the party’s commitment to individualism, to labor and work, in alignment with his personal philosophy. Yet the broad message of the party shifted, becoming less concerned with the opportunities of Blacks and other minorities, leaving Fletcher and others without traction. Nor was moving to the Democratic party a viable option, at least in Fletcher’s mind. As the party abandoned his values, he was stranded – and distressed, too, for the more white-focused strategies of the Republican party garnered success at the ballot box.

    Golland’s biography is a well-written, well-researched account of an American political leader well worth our time and consideration.

    David Potash


     


    9/20
     
    Journal of American History
    by Keith Miller, Arizona State University

    This book traces the life of Arthur Fletcher, a genial dynamo who, after running unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor of Washington State, rose high in the national Republican party.

    While championing African American entrepreneurship and opposing racial segregation, Fletcher clung steadfastly to the Gop throughout his career, despite its propensity for what Richard M. Nixon's presidential adviser John Ehrlichman called “liberal zags and conservative zigs” in Republican presidential policies related to civil rights. Leveraging his position as undersecretary of labor in the Nixon administration, Fletcher promoted the Philadelphia Plan and the Revised Philadelphia Plan—early efforts at affirmative action that aimed to integrate the construction trades, which often discriminated against African Americans. White workers in hard hats ardently resisted these plans, creating flash points in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Seattle that Fletcher sought to address.

    After serving under President Gerald R. Ford as deputy assistant for urban affairs, Fletcher failed to garner an important post under President Ronald Reagan, whose administration, David Hamilton Golland explains, proved “abysmal for civil rights.” Both before and after becoming president, however, George H. W. Bush cultivated a friendship with Fletcher. Despite the infamous Willie Horton Tv ad that helped elect Bush by appealing to white racist fears, Fletcher clung to his friend, who tapped him to chair the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. As Golland notes, both former president Richard M. Nixon and Jesse Jackson congratulated Fletcher on the appointment. Bush then zigged conservative by vetoing an affirmative action bill, zigged conservative again by nominating Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, then zagged liberal by signing an affirmation action law that strongly resembled the vetoed bill.

    The book's title refers to Fletcher's inability to halt the growing conservatism of his party under Reagan or to change Bush's ambivalence about affirmative action. Nor did he succeed in prodding large numbers of African Americans to join the Gop. As Republican presidents zigged increasingly conservative during the 1970s and 1980s, they kept writing him warm thank-you notes, even as they increasingly spurned his advice.

    Focusing tightly on Fletcher, Golland chooses not to examine other notable, moderately liberal black Republicans (such as Archibald Carey Jr. and former baseball legend Jackie Robinson) who preceded him and only briefly notes the experiences of other black Gop loyalists who grappled with their party contemporaneously with him. Not content simply to write biography, however, Golland treats Fletcher's frequent inability to affect Republican policies as a powerful symbol of the inability of African Americans as a whole to alter the direction of the Gop.

    By bringing the largely forgotten Fletcher into view, Golland presents a fresh and valuable perspective on the dismal fortunes of African Americans within a fairly recent version of the party whose members once placed Abraham Lincoln in the White House and cheered when he signed the Emancipation Proclamation.


     


    8/5/20
     
    Topeka Capital-Journal
    by Tim Hrenchir
    Former Topekan Arthur Fletcher, who was Black, served in the administrations of four Republican presidents and became known as the “father of Affirmative Action,” a program put in place to combat racial discrimination.

    This month, all entering first-year students at Washburn — as part of the university’s iRead program — are being assigned to read David Hamilton Golland’s book about Fletcher, “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican.”

    This week’s History Guy video at CJOnline.com focuses on Fletcher, who was born in 1924 in Arizona to a single mother who subsequently married a career military man.

    Fletcher graduated from high school at Junction City. He served in World War II, was wounded by gunfire in Germany, then attended Washburn University on the GI Bill.

    The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Fletcher was a football star at Washburn, where he gained 979 yards rushing in 1948. He became the first Black player on the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in 1950, and caught two passes for 18 yards while playing only that one season.

    Fletcher then returned to Topeka. He took part in meetings and donated what he could to help finance the historic Brown v. Board of Education lawsuit, which resulted in the Supreme Court banning racial segregation in schools in 1954.

    Fletcher also became vice chairman of the Kansas Republican Party.

    He, his wife, Mary Fletcher, and their five children moved in the late 1950s to California. Mary Fletcher died of suicide in 1961 in a jump from San Francisco’s Bay Bridge.

    Arthur Fletcher married Bernyce Hassan-Fletcher in 1964. They moved the following year with his two youngest children to the state of Washington, where he narrowly lost a bid for lieutenant governor in 1968.

    His driver and bodyguard during that campaign was young Ted Bundy, who would die in the Florida electric chair in 1989 after confessing to the killings of 30 women and girls in seven states between 1974 and 1978.

    In 1969, Fletcher became assistant secretary of labor for Republican President Richard Nixon. He put in place the first federal affirmative action program, which required federal construction contractors to meet specific goals in terms of the number of racial minorities they hired.

    Fletcher became executive director in 1972 of the United Negro College Fund, for which the Washington Post credited him with coining its slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

    Fletcher later held offices in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Under Bush, he was chairman of the Civil Rights Commission.

    Fletcher died at age 80 in 2005 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.


     


    7/28/20
     
    By GSU News

    Governors State University's Faculty Senate President David Golland's second book has been selected for a campus-wide freshman reading program at Washburn University, where Arthur Fletcher earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 1950.

    Fletcher is the central figure in Golland's “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican.''

    A civil rights leader who was widely considered the father of affirmative action, Fletcher was the first Black player on the Baltimore Colts NFL team. After his football career, he began a life in public service and served as an adviser to Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan. President George H.W. Bush named Fletcher Chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

    Golland's book exploring Fletcher's life was published in 2019 and celebrated on campus.

    “It’s such an honor,” Golland told cjonline.com about his book being selected for iRead. “To be one of the authors chosen by an institution as prestigious as Washburn, with well over a century of higher education in Topeka, and for them to see my book as being important enough for every member of the freshman class to read is such an incredible honor.”

    Read the entire cjonline story here.


     


    7/24/20
     
    Topeka Capital-Journal
    by Linda Ditch

    While some aspects of college life have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Washburn University is continuing with the annual iRead program. This year, all first-year students will read “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican” by David Hamilton Golland.

    “It’s such an honor,” said Golland about his book being selected by faculty and staff of WU’s Mabee Library. He is a history professor at Governors State University, with a specialization in African American history and civil rights. “To be one of the authors chosen by an institution as prestigious as Washburn, with well over a century of higher education in Topeka, and for them to see my book as being important enough for every member of the freshman class to read is such an incredible honor.”

    Arthur Fletcher, an alumnus of Washburn, was a civil rights leader and widely considered the father of affirmative action. He was the first Black player on the Baltimore Colts NFL team. After his football career, he began a life in public service and served as an adviser to several presidents.

    As assistant secretary of labor from 1969 to 1971, Fletcher issued the Revised Philadelphia Plan, the foundation for affirmative action programs. While serving as executive director of the United Negro College Fund, he is credited with helping coin the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Fletcher served as deputy adviser for Urban Affairs to President Gerald Ford and as chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1990 to 1993.

    “The iRead program encourages the entire campus community to think deeply about a shared topic,” said Alan Bearman, dean of university libraries and the Center for Student Success. “This year’s book is timely and provides opportunities to engage our students across numerous disciplines and classes, as well as learn more about one of our historically significant alumni. We look forward to the discussions and connections made through this experience.”

    The public is invited to join in reading Golland’s book, and during the fall 2020 semester, professors are encouraged to incorporate the book into their curriculum. Also, the Mabee Library will host a series of virtual events around the book, culminating in a discussion with Golland.

    “I often find myself thinking what would Arthur Fletcher do,” Golland said of the current times. “So much of what I concentrated on in the book was Fletcher’s politics, but he really was a civil rights leader as well as a politician. He wouldn’t necessarily call for defunding the police. I don’t think he would be going quite so far as that, but I think he would be looking for more serious police reforms than we currently have. He certainly recognized these issues during his lifetime.”

    Golland is the author of two books and numerous essays, including “Constructing Affirmative Action: The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity” and “The Arthur Fletcher Papers,” an annotated collection of Fletcher’s personal papers organized in conjunction with Mabee Library. “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican” is available for purchase at the Ichabod Shop in the Memorial Union on the Washburn University campus.


     


    7/17/20
     
    WIBW-TV 13 Topeka
    by Sarah Motter

    TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Washburn University is highlighting the works of a civil rights leader and Washburn alumnus in its 2020-2021 iRead selection.

    Washburn University says its iRead program, coordinated by Mabee Library, encourages a community-wide reading experience, especially among its first-year students. It says the iRead selection for the 2020-2021 school year is “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican” by David Golland.

    WU says during the fall 2020 semester, professors are encouraged to incorporate the book into their curriculum and Mabee Library will host a series of virtual events around the book, culminating in a discussion with Golland.

    The school says Arthur Fletcher, an alumnus of Washburn University, is a civil rights leader and widely considered the father of affirmative action. It says Fletcher was the first Black player on the Baltimore Colts NFL team and after his football career, began a life in public service and served as an advisor to several presidents.

    WU says as assistant secretary of labor from 1969 - 1971, Fletcher issued the Revised Philidelphia Plan, the foundation for affirmative action programs. It says while serving as executive director of the United Negro College Fund, Fletcher is credited with helping coin the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

    According to the school, Fletcher served as deputy advisor for Urban Affairs to President Gerald Ford and as chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights from 1990 - 1993.

    WU says Golland is a professor of history at Governors State University, with a specialization in African American history and civil rights. Golland says he is the author [of] two books and numerous essays, including “A Terrible Thing to Waste,” “Constructing Affirmative Action: The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity” and “The Arthur Fletcher Papers,” an annotated collection of Fletcher’s personal papers organized in conjunction with Mabee Library.

    “The iRead program encourages the entire campus community to think deeply about a shared topic,” said Dr. Alan Bearman, dean of university libraries and the Center for Student Success. “This year’s book is timely and provides opportunities to engage our students across numerous disciplines and classes, as well as learn more about one of our historically significant alumni. We look forward to the discussions and connections made through this experience.”

    WU says “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican” is available for purchase at its Ichabod Shop in the Memorial Union on the Washburn University campus.

    Copyright 2020 WIBW. All rights reserved.


     


    5/20
     
    Journal of Southern History
    by Angela D. Dillard, University of Michigan

    David Hamilton Golland’s biography of Arthur Allen Fletcher (1924–2005), the influential black Republican who was the architect of the Revised Philadelphia Plan and the “‘father of affirmative action enforcement,’” reads like an American political tragedy (p. 1). Established in 1967 and revised in 1969, the Philadelphia Plan was designed to integrate segregated building construction trade unions through mandated hiring goals in federal contracts. As the government official most responsible for the revised plan, Fletcher also laid the foundations for the expansion of affirmative action initiatives during the early years of President Richard M. Nixon’s administration.

    Golland provides a thorough and at times plodding account of Fletcher’s life and what it tells us about the history of the Republican Party’s relationship to its African American loyalists, especially those, like Fletcher, who were major advocates for civil rights. Other scholars have mined this fraught history, particularly from the 1930s to the 1970s, but A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican makes the party’s betrayal of its commitment to racial egalitarianism deeply personal and surprisingly vivid. This is the power of biography. The climax arrives near the middle of the book in chapter 4. “After nearly three years with the Nixon administration” as the assistant secretary of labor from 1969 to 1971, Fletcher “had redefined and enforced affirmative action and become a national figure.” “Politically, however”—and this is a dangling-on-the-edge-of-a-cliff use of the word however—“his utility to Nixon and the Republican Party was to support a very important lie the party was telling the nation: that it still stood for racial equality. By allowing Fletcher to enforce the Philadelphia Plan—within limits—the Nixon administration could say that it was continuing and expanding the civil rights initiatives of the previous administration even as it was actually curtailing civil rights policies in other areas” (p. 161).

    Golland interlaces the biography with scenes from the fierce battle for the soul of the party waged between its conservative and liberal wings. And while the history of conservative ascendancy is by now well-trod territory, with a number of excellent studies on what that transformation meant for African Americans, Golland adds to the literature by bringing that narrative well into the 1980s and 1990s.

    Described by Golland as “‘loyal to a fault,’” Fletcher’s Job-like belief in the party of Abraham Lincoln is stunning (p. 163). The second half of this well-researched book follows Fletcher’s struggles to return the party to the principles of racial egalitarianism, to stop the steep decline in the percentage of the black vote garnered by Republicans, and, especially as the chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights under President George H. W. Bush, to encourage a healthy pattern of collaboration between African American leaders and the GOP on issues of mutual interest. None of these efforts were terribly successful. By the 1990s the GOP could barely claim more than 10 percent of the national black electorate. Healthy collaborations between liberals and conservatives have become vanishingly rare, and American politics overall has suffered with African Americans relegated to one-party voters.

    In a dramatic shift, new black conservatives who did take prominent roles in Republican administrations in the 1980s and 1990s were required to denounce affirmative action as a veritable job qualification. Thus, Fletcher became the last Republican, black or white, to defend the initiatives he helped create and was relegated to the status of the most important Republican civil rights activist of whom many people have never heard. He realized too late that the party had left him behind; too much of American history has left him out.


     


    2/14/20
     
    By Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown

    Governors State University’s embattled president accepted responsibility Friday for a payroll scandal under which the school paid more than $1.5 million to people who were doing little or no work, but resisted calls for her to step down.

    Faculty at the school’s board of trustees meeting said the state watchdog’s findings regarding Elaine Maimon had put the University Park school in a bad light and hurt morale among teachers. They have urged that Maimon, who is due to retire at the end of June, either quit early or be removed by the board.

    In shouldering the blame for the irregularities, laid out in a report made public in December, Maimon said “I regret the cost to the university,” but that “I never personally benefited.”

    She said that during her career “I have worked 24/7 to demonstrate integrity as an ethical values-based leader.”

    The governor’s office of executive inspector general concluded 33 people had been terminated from the south suburban university but continued to collect their full salaries and benefits. Some of those people were technically employed by Governors State but were doing no work, while others found other employment, according to the findings.

    The employees were even told to submit falsified timesheets to make it look like they were still working full-time at the university, the report said. It was part of a poorly monitored and inconsistent system for firing certain workers, according to the report, which laid the blame squarely on Maimon.

    She, according to the watchdog, authorized the falsified timesheets and "mismanaged” the terminations of multiple employees.

    In a vote last month that was delivered to the board, the faculty senate said it had no confidence in Maimon’s leadership and demanded she either step down or be removed. The union that represents university faculty echoed that sentiment.

    In an apparent response to those demands, Maimon, the university’s president since 2007, said that continuity is needed as GSU searches for her replacement.

    In her interview with the inspector general’s office, Maimon told investigators that she was familiar with the termination policy but said she was not directly involved in those decisions. She said she did not know of any workers getting paid after they stopped working at the university or of their submitting timecards to that effect, according to the report.

    During the public comment period of the meeting and before Maimon’s remarks, faculty and students criticized board members for not taking action.

    “If mismanagement of money is not enough to lose your job at GSU, what is?” professor Kim Boland-Prom said.

    Sandi Estep, president of the University Professionals of Illinois chapter at the school, said “morale is at an all-time low."

    She and Lyle Evans, a graduate student, requested that a forensic audit of university finances be conducted.

    “Students are the reason this institution exists,” Evans said. “Students deserve to know where our dollars go.”

    Another professor, Carlos Ferran, also called for board action.

    “It’s your turn,” he said. “You must step up to the plate and search your conscience and do what’s best.”

    Faculty Senate President David Golland said the university “would be better off immediately ending” Maimon’s employment.

    The fallout from the report has, at least for the time being, saved money for those planning to attend GSU next year.

    A motion to raise 2021 tuition by 2% failed on a 3-3 tie, with two board members absent. Before the vote, Trustee James Kvedaras said it wasn’t right to talk about hiking tuition in the wake of the report, though the board will likely revisit the issue.

    In a memo Tuesday to faculty, administration and staff, Lisa Harrell, board chairman, said she and Trustee Angela Sebastian-Hickey will meet with legislators during the spring session in Springfield to discuss GSU’s funding priorities and “update them on our reform agenda in response” to the inspector general’s findings.

    The inspector general interviewed 14 former Governors State workers between January and May 2018 in order to find out what payments they received for what work after they were informed they’d been terminated.

    The names and job titles of the employees involved were redacted from the report, as was information about when they worked for the university.


     


    1/25/20
     
    By JMKraft

    On January 16, 2020, Governors State Faculty Senate voted 25 – 1 for a No Confidence vote against Dr. Elaine P. Maimon, President of Governors State University.

    The Office of the Executive Inspector General issued its report finding that President Maimon engaged in mismanagement, misfeasance, and/or malfeasance which cost the university nearly $1.6 Million.

    This activity consisted of requiring an employee to submit false timesheets, paying employees after they ceased working for GSU, with these payments totaling $1,598,108 to 33 at-will employees after they had been terminated without cause.

    In its September 20, 2019 response to the OEIG, the GSU stated that it has formed an executive search committee to begin the process of selecting the University’s next president by June 20, 2020 (when Maimon’s contract expires).

    From the letter sent by David Hamilton Golland, University Faculty Senate, to Dr. Elaine P. Maimon, President of Governors State University:

    It is my duty to inform you that today, by a vote of 25-1, the University Faculty Senate adopted a resolution of no confidence in your leadership of Governors State University.

    We did not take this action lightly, nor was it based on personal animus. Many senators, myself included, have enjoyed a warm and courteous relationship with you and your husband over the years. Neither did it result from policy disagreements, as academics can and do disagree on such matters on an almost daily basis, and we consider such discourse healthy for an academic institution. Finally, this vote was not the result of union machination; we did not coordinate this with the UPI, nor was it “negotiation by other means.”

    Rather, our consideration of confidence in your leadership followed a careful, dispassionate analysis of the report of the Office of the Executive Inspector General in Case #17-01703, in which you were found to have engaged in mismanagement, misfeasance, and/or malfeasance which cost the university nearly $1.6 Million. In addition to this clear ethical lapse, we were particularly concerned that this took place during a state budget impasse, when the university raised tuition and fees and cut academic programs, demonstrating an astonishing failure of your administration to prioritize teaching and learning. It is therefore with great sadness that the Senate, acting on behalf of the faculty in our capacity as the permanent stewards of the institution, recommends and urges your immediate resignation as president of Governors State University.


     


    1/24/20
     
    By Mike Nolan and Dawn Rhodes, Daily Southtown

    Faculty at Governors State University are urging that President Elaine Maimon, due to retire at the end of June, resign or be removed from office after a government report revealed that under her watch the school paid more than $1.5 million in salary to people who were doing no or little work for the university.

    The faculty senate took the no-confidence vote Jan. 16, sending the resolution seeking Maimon’s ouster to the board of trustees, according to David Golland, faculty senate president.

    The university’s board has scheduled a special meeting for Monday afternoon, and many faculty members are expected to attend, he said.

    The union representing faculty at GSU was encouraging its members to attend, according to Sandi Estep, president of the University Professionals of Illinois chapter at the school. Following the faculty senate’s vote, the union had issued a release saying it strongly supported the senate’s action.

    In the release, Estep said the union wanted to see Maimon held accountable and removed “from office immediately.”

    In response to the faculty vote, the GSU board said it respects the senate’s vote and that trustees are “focused on overseeing the policy and procedure reforms” initiated during the state investigator’s report.

    The report last month from the Illinois governor’s office of executive inspector general concluded 33 people terminated from GSU continued to collect their full salaries and benefits. Some of those people were technically employed by GSU but were doing no work, while others found other employment.

    Employees were even told to submit falsified timesheets to make it look like they were still working full-time at the university, describing it as part of a poorly monitored and inconsistent system for firing certain workers, according to the report.

    The report alleged Maimon had authorized the bogus timesheets and "mismanaged” the terminations of multiple employees.

    "GSU has had a long-standing practice of automatically paying at-will employees after they were terminated without cause and stopped working,” the report states. "Many former employees said it was common knowledge that GSU paid terminated employees without requiring them to work.”

    Last September, the university said that Maimon, who has served as president since July 2007, would retire at the end of June. The university is searching for a replacement and said it expects to have a new president in place by sometime in June.

    Golland said that 25 of the faculty senate’s members, in a secret ballot, voted in favor of the no-confidence resolution, with one disagreeing and one member absent. The results of the vote were sent the same day to the board of trustees.

    He called it a “very difficult and painful step” because “many of us are admirers of Dr. Maimon.”

    Golland said the findings of the report represent “a tragic coda to an otherwise positive presidency.”

    The faculty senate advises GSU on matters such as curriculum and educational policy and taking the no-confidence vote was “not acting out of a sense of personal animosity toward Dr. Maimon,” Golland said Friday.

    Maimon, the university’s fifth president, has seen the school transition to a four-year university with the addition of a student residence hall.

    In her interview with the inspector general’s office, Maimon told investigators that she was familiar with the termination policy but said she was not directly involved in those decisions.

    She said she did not know of any workers getting paid after they stopped working at the university or of their submitting timecards to that effect.

    "Ms. Maimon stated she was not generally consulted about these issues because she is ‘just not in the weeds’ on these matters,” the report said.

    The inspector general interviewed 14 former GSU workers between January and May 2018 in order to find out what payments they received for what work after they were informed they’d been terminated.

    The watchdog found the employees were given wildly different instructions about what they were expected to do between their termination notice and their last day of work. Several weren’t given any guidance and did no work. Some were told not to come to work but to be on standby, but ultimately never were asked to complete any tasks.


     


    10/19
      Review of A Terrible Thing to Waste
    H-Net Reviews
    By Kenneth Pike, Florida Institute of Technology
    The subtitular conundrum of David Hamilton Golland’s A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican is that African Americans who favor affirmative action but otherwise reject the politics of the Democratic Party may likewise find the Republican Party a poor personal fit. This was not always so. Arthur Fletcher, the first African American to run for state office in Washington and a man Jesse Jackson once called the “father of affirmative action as we know it,” was a lifelong Republican. He was also the son of an unwed itinerant laborer; a civil rights activist; a World War II veteran; a professional football player; a long-shot candidate for elected office; a chronically un- and underemployed widower; a man who never allowed failure to steer him off the road to success. In biographing Fletcher, Golland makes an original and thoroughly researched contribution to the crowded field of American civil rights retrospectives. Less original is Golland’s tendency toward partisan gloss, which often intrudes on the narrative but might make Fletcher’s story more relatable to readers who are not themselves Republicans.

    The text is divided into an introduction, conclusion, and seven chapters, with the first three devoted to Fletcher’s early years and path to political relevance. Little is known, and less for certain, of his childhood. Public recollections offered by Fletcher himself were sometimes confused or contradictory, dubious, even mythmaking. His significant athletic success, first in high school and later as a professional football player, is better documented, along with his military service, post-football employment woes, and eventual political pursuits. Golland invites readers to additionally accept stories of less straightforward provenance as important to Fletcher’s sense of self regardless of whether they are strictly veridical. So much the better for Golland’s own mythmaking, perhaps; in one aside, Golland speculates that Mary McLeod Bethune, identified by Fletcher as the inspiration of his first political feelings, “likely envisioned a day when the president might not necessarily be a man” (p. 19). This might well be true, particularly given Bethune’s relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt, but what speculation on an inspiring stranger’s unuttered vision is supposed to add to Fletcher’s story is never made clear.

    Similar digressions continue through the final three chapters of the book, which otherwise recount Fletcher’s decades of laborious, often thankless efforts translating the rhetoric of civil rights into functioning public policy and private progress. To the same extent that primary sources on Fletcher’s early life proved scant, Golland here wrangles with an embarrassment of riches. Archives including Fletcher’s personal papers and interviews with his descendants inform the narrative, giving readers a peek into the personality politics behind his projects, helpfully contextualizing victories as well as defeats. In these chapters Golland employs the metaphor of a roller coaster to characterize Fletcher’s life, and the point is well taken. He was tapped to direct the United Negro College Fund, only to be fired a year later--and not for any clear reason beyond, perhaps, being a Republican. He built a successful small business servicing government contracts, only to have it languish through the Carter years--again, Fletcher suspected, because of his politics. Civil rights legislation he supported as the chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights was vetoed by the president, but a similar bill was signed into law the following year, thanks in part to Fletcher’s refusal to stay beaten. Even the achievement for which he is best remembered was one he saw substantially dismantled in later years.

    That achievement, the Revised Philadelphia Plan, is the focus of the narratively and numerically central chapter of A Terrible Thing to Waste. Implementing the Nixon-era executive order on affirmative action is generally regarded as Fletcher’s most consequential contribution to American civil rights policy, framing the portents of his past and setting the stage for his future personal and political projects. Throughout Golland’s earlier and later chapters, the historic African American struggle for civil rights sometimes reads more as carrying Fletcher along than as being meaningfully advanced by his contributions. But in connection with the Revised Philadelphia Plan, there is no shortage of evidence, no need to embellish, and only minimal political apologia. In this instance Fletcher, to borrow from his seemingly inexhaustible bank of sports metaphors, had control of the ball, rushed the requisite yardage, and reached the end zone. It was a major personal victory, setting him apart as someone who not only benefited from the civil rights movement, but personally enlarged and advanced it. So it is unsurprising that affirmative action remained of central concern to Fletcher throughout his political career, culminating in his boycott of the 1996 Republican National Convention “over the RNC’s decision to include an anti-affirmative action plank in the Dole-Kemp campaign platform” (p. 274).

    This was the most serious protest Fletcher ever lodged against his party, and Golland’s concluding remarks offer an extended reflection on the attendant “conundrum.” He suggests that Fletcher was a lifelong Republican mostly as a matter of political strategy and personal loyalty to certain powerful patrons--not ideological alignment. Clearly Fletcher was not opposed to robust federal governance, at least in connection with civil rights, and it is clear that this sometimes put him at odds with small-government federalists in the party. But Fletcher presumably held political views on issues other than race. What were they? Golland describes Fletcher as a moderate Republican in the Nelson Rockefeller mold, but unlike Rockefeller, Fletcher lived into the twenty-first century. What did he think of the scandal-plagued tenure of Marion Barry, who defeated Fletcher in Washington, DC’s 1978 mayoral election? What were Fletcher’s views on abortion, environmentalism, same-sex marriage, the war on terror, and other historically partisan questions? Golland eventually observes that “Fletcher’s political ideology was better suited to the Republican Party than the Democratic,” but he does not elaborate on this claim or incorporate it into his analysis (p. 281).

    At the heart of A Terrible Thing to Waste are three interwoven narratives. One emerges from Golland’s thorough research, chronicling Fletcher as a complicated but tenacious figure who rose to prominence and strove to advance the cause of civil rights. Another is Golland’s broader retelling of the historic struggle for civil rights, from the perspective of an underappreciated but fervent political ally. In these two strands, students of history will find A Terrible Thing to Waste a helpful reference to heterodoxy in both the Republican Party and the civil rights movement of the twentieth century. The third narrative, however, consists of Golland excoriating Republicans and sanitizing certain of Fletcher’s choices in ways that undermine the conundrum on which the story is scaffolded. Readers will come away with an increased understanding of why Fletcher and other African Americans might find the Republican Party a poor personal fit even today, but little reason to suspect this presents anyone with a genuine puzzle. This makes A Terrible Thing to Waste something of a wasted opportunity. Although the book succeeds as a scholarly treatment of Fletcher’s life, the attendant political commentary is of limited value to those who find Fletcher’s conundrum relatable, or anyone seeking evenhanded engagement on the complex relationship between racial identity and partisan politics. So it seems fitting that Golland’s criticism of Fletcher’s own book, The Silent Sell-Out: Government Betrayal of Blacks to the Craft Unions (1974), is that Fletcher’s arguments “broke down in their naked partisanship” (p. 177).

     


    10/7/19
      True Crime | “Second City Sinners”; The mind is a terrible thing…
    On tonight’s edition of WGN Nightside, it’s True Crime with Bill Kresse and Dr. David Golland! They tackle stories of crime and fraud; take a look at the origin of the famous saying: “The mind is a terrible thing to waste” and the role it played in Dr. Golland’s book, A Terrible Thing To Waste. Federal Court Reporter for the Chicago Sun Times and Author Jon Seidel joins them as well to talk about his latest book, Second City Sinners and some of the rare Chicago cases that the book examines.

     


    10/19
      Review of A Terrible Thing to Waste
    Choice Reviews
    By J. Borchert, Cleveland State University
    [Golland's] political biography of Arthur Allen Fletcher (1924–2005) traces his import as a civil rights leader and the growing irrelevance of moderate Republican African Americans. As Deputy Secretary of Labor, Fletcher implemented the 1969 Revised Philadelphia Plan, which provided a comprehensive affirmative action program for highly segregated construction trade unions and federal contractors. While an advocate for government-supported civil rights, his Southwest childhood infused him with a sense of rugged individualism, self-help, and fiscal conservatism. As a Republican he had limited electoral success, losing races for Washington State lieutenant governor and D.C. mayor. He held important presidential appointments including to the United Nations and as Civil Rights Commission Chair (1990–93). As with other black Republican moderates Fletcher faced increasing marginalization as President Nixon implemented his Southern Strategy to attract white racist southerners; with President Reagan’s 1980 election and the rise of white and black conservatives, the process was completed. In 1989 a Republican-controlled Supreme Court largely gutted affirmative action, Fletcher’s most important civil rights contribution. [Golland], who previously authored a book on affirmative action, has produced an important, well-written, and researched study.
    Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.

     


    8/21/19
      GSU Sets Aside a Common Hour to Build Community
    By GSU News
    This year, Governors State University continues a long held tradition of welcoming new and returning students to campus for a new academic year. Convocation highlights will include celebratory speeches, ceremonial marches and awards.

    In a break from tradition, the university will launch a new ritual this year – common hour. Beginning in the fall, a new "common hour” will be set aside every Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. to allow students to connect and engage beyond the classroom. Additionally, the new class schedule will create a natural break for lunch every day from 12:50 to 1:30 p.m.

    Aurelio Valente, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management...applauded Associate Professor and Faculty Senate President David Golland for advancing the idea of a common period. Golland said a task force of faculty, students, staff, academic administration, and non-academic administration worked on the concept, known as “club hours,” for two years. It was approved by Provost Beth Cada just in time for fall classes.

    Golland said he was grateful for Dr. Cada's decision to overhaul the master class schedule. "In doing so, she restored shared governance to this important aspect of university life. Over the next year or two we expect most university committees and councils, as well as most student organizations, to move their meetings into the club hours."

     


    5/13/19
      David Golland's New Book Explores the Life of a Black Republican Civil Rights Leader
    By GSU News
    Historian and Professor David Golland chuckles as he reads a line from his new book: “Arthur Fletcher was the most important civil rights leader you've (probably) never heard of.’’

    Golland recited a passage to an intimate group gathered outside Governors State University’s E-Lounge. They’ve come to celebrate the publication of Golland’s second book, “A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican.”

    In it, Golland recovers the story of a central character often overlooked in historical accounts of the civil rights era.

    Fletcher, a Black Republican who served under four Republican administrations, fathered Affirmative Action as President Richard Nixon’s Assistant Secretary of Labor. He was advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, and President George H.W. Bush named him Chairman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

    As Executive Director of the United Negro College Fund, Fletcher was key in coining their trademark phase, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”

    An unsuccessful run for lieutenant governor in Washington—as the first Black nominee for a statewide office there—drew national attention for the second time in as many decades. In 1950, he had been the first African American to play for the Baltimore Colts football team.

    Ironically, during the book-signing reception, GSU Visiting Professor Chris Greiner discovered he’d worked on Fletcher’s 1968 campaign as a child in Washington. Greiner saw Fletcher’s black-and-white campaign poster and was flooded with memories he later shared with Paul Fletcher, Arthur’s son, who flew in from Florida for the event.

    Golland discovered Fletcher while he was researching his doctoral dissertation. “Constructing Affirmative Action: The Struggle for Equal Opportunity,” was published in 2011. Though Fletcher’s name commonly came up in documents, there was little recognition.

    “Every time I turned around when I was researching, there was Art Fletcher—and yet nobody knew him,’’ Golland said.

    For the second book, Golland took a deeper dive into Fletcher’s life and upbringing in segregated Kansas, which inspired his lifelong pursuit of equity and inclusion until his death in 2005.

    When asked how his father reconciled being part of a political party that seemed to shun policies and programs that supported African Americans, Paul Fletcher said his father taught him a critical lesson he carries to this day.

    “He would say, ‘There is no permanent party, there’s just permanent interests, and ours has to be civil rights.’ So we have to be in both parties.”

    Paul Fletcher said he was elated to learn Golland was writing his father’s story, and he encouraged GSU faculty, staff, and students at the reception to keep fighting.

    “Governors State University is a political institution, whether you know it or not. Education was the first place we made strides in the civil rights movement,’’ Paul Fletcher said. “We have to keep going. We’re in a battle for the minds of the masses.”

    A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican is available in the GSU Library.

     


    7/2/18
      Experts see potential for weaker unions as result of high court ruling
    By Mike Nolan, Daily Southtown
    With a U.S. Supreme Court decision seemingly poised to weaken public-sector unions that represent people such as teachers, police officers and firefighters, Vince Griffin is determined to not let that happen on his watch.

    ...

    David Golland, an associate professor of history at Governors State University in University Park, describes himself as a political and labor historian. He carries a brass retirement card given to his grandfather by the union he worked for "organizing retail shoe employees and getting beat up by security guys in Brookyn in the 1940s."

    While organized labor in the private sector has seen a "decline in influence," Golland said "the only area of organized labor that continues to have influence is organized labor in the public sector," with the Supreme Court ruling being "a blow to that."

    "It's going to add to the decline of labor organizing strength," he said. "It gets us closer to that borderline in each shop where it is possible union membership could drop below 50 percent" and potentially be decertified.

    "When you weaken unions and take away the voice of the organized worker, are there serious dangers we're not thinking of? Golland said.

    That was the viewpoint of Justice Elena Kagan.... Read more at ChicagoTribune.Com.

     


    6/2/18
      Civil rights milestone or political theater? Equal Rights Amendment Still Divides Some in the Southland
    By Susan DeMar Lafferty, Daily Southtown
    Decades of statewide debate may have ended this week as the Illinois House voted to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, but what it means for the state and the country is still up in the air.

    ...

    After decades of effort in Illinois, ratification occurred when equality between genders and race is at the forefront of the national conversation, said David Golland, a Governors State University professor of history and a civil rights historian.

    "Passing the ERA after all this would be a wonderful thing for this country to do," he said, but he does not believe it will happen "any time soon." Read more at ChicagoTribune.Com.

     


    2/21/18
      Southland Residents Join Big Crowds to View "Black Panther"
    By Howard Ludwig, Daily Southtown
    Suspecting "Black Panther would be popular, Calida Barnes bought her movie tickets three weeks ago. The Flossmoor woman was right.

    ...

    David Hamilton Golland, of Governors State University, saw the movie on Saturday at the Marcus Theater in Chicago Heights. His showing of "Black Panther" ended with a round of applause from the nearly all-black audience, Golland said.

    "I think when movie theater audiences applaud, they do it for each other," said Golland, who serves as an associate professor and coordinator of history and social sciences for the school in University Park.

    Golland said African-American director Ryan Coogler offered a glimpse of what Afirca might look like if it had been spared from colonialism.

    Indeed, the movie paints a portrait of Wakanda as a kingdom hidden from the rest of the world. It is also rich in a rare metal known as vibranium. This fictional resource is used to power the country's unmatched technology.

    Golland enjoyed the movie though he was critical of its "reductive" view of African-American experience as it is portrayed in the backstory of the movie's villain, Erik Killmonger--played by MIchael B. Jordan. He said "Black Panther also was "too prone to make light of violence."

    That said, he also pointed to the proiminent roles of black women in the film, adding that women of African descent have historically been hyper-sexualized in movies going back to the blaxploitation pictures of the 1970s. Golland also was impressed by the film's embodiment of "empowered black people." Read more at ChicagoTribune.Com.

     


    2/6/18
      David Hamilton Golland answers: "Why Vote?"
    Opinion Piece for GSU News
    In October 2017, fresh from a string of victories in Congressional elections, Donald Trump endorsed the winner of the Alabama Republican Senate primary election, former state Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore. Despite Moore's recent history as an ideologue and the revelations of several women that he had engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct when they were minors, he seemed on track to win the general election. After all, no Democrat had won a statewide race in Alabama in decades.

    But then a remarkable thing happened: people voted. In particular, large numbers of African-American women, many of whom had not voted in many years, turned out at the polls. Roy Moore was defeated by Democrat Doug Jones.

    The right to vote is one of the most cherished and important of our rights as American citizens. The founders fought for it in the Revolutionary War, an act of bravery centered around the notion that, as Thomas Paine put it, there should be “no taxation without representation.” As part of a vast global British Empire, American colonists were not represented in the Parliament and had no sway over the decisions of the king.

    The Republic they established was by no means perfect, nor is it today. However, by establishing the right to vote, first for landowners, eventually for all white men, later for all men, then for women, and most recently for citizens over the age of 18, We the People have set ourselves on a course to become a greater, more free, society. The decisions made by our government are subject to review by the People, and we regularly remove from office those leaders who have not lived up to the high standards we expect of them.

    Our democracy remains fragile. History shows that it is far more difficult to keep a republic then it is to lose it.

    What if we lose the right to vote? Even tyrannical governments rely on consent of the governed, but in undemocratic societies, a withdrawal of consent takes the form of violent protest and major upheavals, giving a disproportionate voice to the loudest and the strongest. I prefer to live in a more stable society where protest and advocacy are part of popular expression, but official consent comes through the ballot box.

    Sometimes, in fact quite often, my favorite candidate loses. But voting is a social contract, and I am obligated to respect the results of a free election, just as I expect those who vote against my favorite candidate must respect the results when she wins. That doesn’t mean I have to respect the winning candidate as a person, nor his actions once in office. In fact, if he commits impeachable offenses (like using the job for financial gain or colluding with a foreign adversary) I very much support congressional candidates who would investigate his activities and, if necessary, remove him.

    It's true that one vote usually doesn’t sway an election. But that's not always the case. In 2017, with the Virginia state legislature evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, a single vote actually determined who would become the tie-breaking legislator. That said, it’s increasingly frustrating, especially as you become more educated, to realize that major electoral decisions are most often made by the uninformed mass of the public. I’ve found it's best not to focus on what I can’t control but to focus instead on what I can. What I can control, in this republic, is whether or not I actually vote. And so every year, primary or general election, rain or shine, I do my duty and I vote. While much of the time this has been routine, it has resulted in the occasional wonderful moment. When I was growing up, I never thought that I would have the opportunity to vote for an African-American presidential nominee in a general election. Jesse Jackson’s presidential runs were exciting, but were the exceptions that proved the rule, and in 1988 an African-American major-party presidential nominee seemed as far away as ever. But in November 2008, as I stood in line, I turned around and saw a young man waiting to vote in his very first presidential election. “What a great year to cast your first presidential vote!” I exclaimed. From time to time, I think about that young man, how different the world has been for him, experiencing early adulthood during the Obama Administration, than it was for me. If anyone knows the power of the ballot, it’s him.

    How can you decide for whom who to vote? For one thing, don’t vote for a candidate simply because you think that candidate can win. Vote for candidates who share your values and your beliefs. Of course, it’s difficult in today’s media to know what candidates actually stand for. So here’s what you should do: first, read a print newspaper, even if you read its online edition. Second, focus on articles that describe what the candidates stand for, rather than articles that report on the polls. Third, think very carefully about what the candidates are saying. Fourth, try to be an unselfish citizen and think about what is best for the country, even if it isn’t best for you personally. And finally, actually go and vote.

    The author is Associate Professor of History and President of the Faculty Senate at Governors State University.

    Illinois primary elections will be held on March 20, 2018, and on May 8 in Indiana. To register to vote in the state of Illinois, visit ova.elections.il.gov. In Indiana, visit indianavoters.com.


     


    11/6/17
      University Examines Rise of Hate Speech
    By GSU News
    Members of the Governors State community gathered on Thursday, November 2 in Engbretson Hall to create an open dialogue on "freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, the impact of Confederate symbols, and the resurgence of hate" in America. Sponsored by the Campus Inclusion Team (CIT)—a committee of students, faculty, and staff from across the university devoted to upholding GSU's commitment to diversity—the Master of Public Administration at GSU, and Pi Alpha Alpha Global Honor Society, the event featured a panel of experts from higher ed with a keynote address from Gia Orr, a state and local advocate for human rights with a background and expertise in education.

    Faculty members were joined by community members and peers from sister institutions in a panel discussion that ranged from understanding post-Civil War southern sentiment to practical actions people can take in their daily lives to combat the increasing presence and visibility of hate groups, such as Unite the Right—the far-right political group that incited the violence in Charlottesville, VA in August that led to the death of Heather Heyer, a counter-protestor who was killed when a vehicle plowed through the crowd. A moment of silence was held at Thursday's event for Heyer.

    When asked if he thought the southern states had ever "gotten over" the loss of the Civil War, Dr. David Golland, professor of U.S. history in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), gave a simple no. The cut and dry response elicited a small ripple of laughter—needed levity in a room that came together to address the alarming rise of the acceptance and normalization of racism in contemporary America.... Read more at GSU News.

     


    9/8/17
      How Hope Works in the Black Community, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Obama
    By BigThink.Com
    Hope has played a significant role in the lives of African Americans throughout history, from early abolitionists to Martin Luther King and President Obama. Hope is an important tool in life. It motivates us to look past everyday challenges toward specific goals, however difficult they may be to achieve. In the African-American community, hope has always had a more particular connotation. As Andre C. Willis, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University, has said, hope among African-Americans is born of “centuries of despair and dehumanization” as well as the "tragic sense of life" given us by the Protestant tradition.

    ...

    According to David Golland, an associate professor at Governor's State University, there has been little statistical improvement in African-American life in areas of child mortality, educational attainment, or teenage crime and drug use.

    On the other hand, Golland thinks that a value of the Obama Presidency may lie in its symbolic nature:

    "Getting away from the word metrics, there's just something about a generation of children growing up and seeing someone who looks like them in the White House that cannot be underestimated,” said Golland....Read more at BigThink.Com.

     


    5/19/17
      Doctoral Hooding Celebrates Future Leaders
    By GSU News
    As Dr. David Golland, professor of History in the College of Arts and Sciences, led the processional at the 2017 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony on Thursday, May 18 at Governors State University, 59 GSU students filled the stage of the university’s Center for Performing Arts. This year’s candidates, arranged by college and degree, took their seats and kept contemplative countenances—the solemnity of the ceremony reflected in their faces—but the joy of the night was palpable in the room. The “ritual” of hooding, as GSU President Elaine P. Maimon termed it in her address, although part and parcel.... Read more at GSU News.

     


    1/19/17
      David Hamilton Golland
    Interview by GSU News
    David Hamilton Golland fell in love with history when he was 11 years old and read Les Miserables, Victor Hugo’s sprawling account of political unrest in 19th century France. The son of a professor, he spent his childhood with his nose in books, but his desire to teach didn’t arise until much later.

    “I wanted to be a rock ’n’ roll star,” he said. “I sing, and I went to the High School of Performing Arts in New York City.” Yes, that one—the setting for the 1980 film Fame. “After that, I tried my hand at Broadway. I was an actor and singer, but I didn’t make a living at it. I made my money busing tables. I did get a callback for Les Miserables, the original musical, around 1995, and then I went to college.” Golland continued his relationship with the book Les Miserables. “In my early 20s,” he recalled, “rereading it was an annual ritual, usually for a week in April.”

    It was during his time as an undergraduate that Golland found his passion for teaching.

    “I was told by all of my professors—and I try to tell this to my students as well—you should major in your favorite subject. You should never major in something that sounds like a job. The job will come. And so history had been my favorite academic subject, and so I majored in history.”

    Golland joined the faculty at Governors State University in 2011. He was brought on board to help build the university’s history program. He is Associate Professor and Coordinator of History and Social Sciences and vice president of the Faculty Senate. His book, Constructing Affirmative Action: The Struggle for Equal Opportunity, was published in 2011 by the University Press of Kentucky, and he has another volume in the works.

    GSU Newsroom: How did you end up a civil rights historian?

    Golland: Well, I like to say I was raised in the shadow of the Holocaust. I grew up in the reform Jewish tradition in New York City where we would partner with churches in Harlem. Our youth group would do social events with them and other community building activities.

    It was also a Labor household. My grandfather used to get beat up—I want to say by Pinkertons but I’m sure he never actually encountered Pinkertons—but he used to get beat up by thugs that the bosses would send after people like him. At some point he was a leader in the retail shoe employees union, and I still keep his brass retirement card in my wallet. He really believed in the union project at a time when it was illegal in some states, before the Wagner Act requiring that workers be allowed to organize. I grew up middle class, but there was this sense of, “you have to look at things from the perspective of the people who are not in charge, who do not have the advantages.”

    Communism was also in the household. Both of my godparents were very active in the Communist Party before and after the war. We would visit them on weekends. We would drive up the river to see them. My godfather wanted to be a school teacher, and when President Truman made everyone who wanted to be employed by the government sign a loyalty oath that said that they were not now and had never been a member of the Communist Party, my godfather wouldn’t sign it. He actually became incredibly wealthy then, because he went into business for himself. So it’s one of these weird things about history where this staunch Communist continues to be very important in the New York Communist world, because he’s giving so much money to the Communist Party, but he’s actually making his money as a capitalist.

    I was taught both as an undergraduate and in grad school that a good historian does her or his best by getting away from one’s own experiences. And so I did not become a historian of the Jewish experience. I became a historian of the African American experience.

    Newsroom: What are you currently working on?

    Golland: I’m working on a political biography of “the father of affirmative action.” His name was Arthur Fletcher. By all accounts he was quite a character in life, and he was a figure in my first book. He was born out of wedlock on the wrong side of the tracks with all of the advantages missing in his childhood, and he rose to advise four presidents of the United States. Along the way, he was the first African American player for the Baltimore Colts football team, and he served as director of the United Negro College Fund.

    He was in charge of the United Negro College Fund when it adopted the motto, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” and he made a critical change to that phrase—so if he hadn’t been there, it would have been very different. Others in the organization wanted to phrase it, “a mind is a hell of a thing to waste.” Many of the members of the UNCF were associated with churches, and Fletcher knew the idea of having the word hell was a non-starter. He still got in trouble for terrible, but no one could have predicted how successful that was going to be. He was a Republican, which I find interesting; he was to the left of the entire party when it came to civil rights. And so the story has morphed from a civil rights biography to a political biography of a man who got left behind by his team, so to speak.

    Newsroom: So much of history is political, and we’re at a point right now when politics isn’t necessarily anyone’s favorite topic. How do you broach that in your classroom?

    Golland: I try to help my students understand the role of government and the individual in the modern world. There are a lot of negative things said about politicians. And there are a lot of negative things said about bureaucrats. But the root of politician is polis, and these are people who can run a polity; the root of bureaucrat is bureau—these are people who know what their office is responsible for. Yes, it’s frustrating to have politicians who seem to be out for their own benefit all the time, bureaucrats who stare at you from behind a glass window and force you to follow rules that seem arcane and inane. Of course those things are frustrating. A lot of the modern world is frustrating, but if we didn’t have those things we’d be living like they live in the zombie apocalypse of The Walking Dead where everybody is trying to survive the next five minutes. We need our government run by people who know how to run a government. Of course they’re ambitious, but everyone’s ambitious. It’s a matter of degree, and being ambitious for things that you can actually achieve.

    My father once told me—this was right after Reagan was elected—that anyone who actually wants to be the president probably shouldn’t be the president, because it’s a rather crazy proposition. Look at how quickly their hair turns gray, for one thing—why would you want to do that to your body? They have the weight of the world on their shoulders.

     


    1/13/17
      Obama as symbol of hope, possibility for blacks, key to racial legacy, scholars say
    By Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown
    As President Barack Obama marks his final Martin Luther King Jr. Day in office on Monday, eight years after being elected the nation's first black president, local scholars argue that his presidency represented extraordinary progress for African Americans, even if it wasn't always quantifiable.

    "If we look at the hard metrics — educational attainment, child mortality, incidence of teenage crime, incidence of drug use… I don't know that there have been any great advances in the last eight years," said David Golland, an associate professor at Governor's State University, whose research interests include civil rights and public policy. "Getting away from the word metrics, there's just something about a generation of children growing up and seeing someone who looks like them in the White House that cannot be underestimated."

    ...

    "In trying to straddle that fence, so to speak, I believe there were some issues that he hesitated on or did not come out as forcefully on for fear of undue criticism," added [Prof. Vincent] Jones, citing criminal justice reform and economic inequality.

    Golland agreed, saying he wished Obama had been more vocal on the merits of affirmative action and education reform, and acknowledged that a number of prominent black scholars have been disappointed that he was not more aggressive on race issues, but said he doesn't blame Obama for his reticence around race.

    "He had… an incredible amount of weight on him, an incredible amount of responsibility as the first black president," Golland said. "One of the most important things he did, he ensured that he would not be the last [black president]. He was incredibly good at the job."

    Obama's avoidance of any significant scandal over the course of his presidency and his ability to comport himself with dignity and decency in the face of harsh opposition and stinging personal attacks should pave the way for future black presidents in the years to come, local scholars believe.

    "I think whoever the next black president is, he or she will indeed have more freedom to discuss race candidly during the presidency, and to act in a way that is more conducive to supporting civil rights and true racial equality in this country because of the way President Obama conducted himself," Golland said.

    Jones took it a step further, envisioning a future where citizens don't expect a black president to be anything but pro-American.

    "I hope the next black president can just be the president of all people and that everyone doesn't see them as the "black president," but as the president of the United States who is working to make life better for everyone," he said. "I think that is part of the legacy for Barack Obama."

    While both Jones and Golland wish Obama had tackled issues of race a bit more aggressively during his time in office, they consider him to have been an extraordinarily effective president....

     


    12/23/16
      75 years later, residents share memories of Christmas 1941
    By Susan Demar Lafferty, Daily Southtown
    Walking home from a Shirley Temple movie to her family's farm in Streator on Dec. 7, 1941, Millie Fricke and her two older sisters heard a man shouting that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor.

    As news spread, and the nation readied for war, locals sitting around the dinner table wondered when farm boys would head off to battle and about women's roles in the effort, Fricke, now of Elgin, said.

    The news shaped that Christmas season, Fricke, whose maiden name was Millie Hultman, recalled. As the bombing led to war with the Japanese, Fricke said she and her friends wondered how it would impact Christmas.

    ...

    Americans would have embraced the holiday, because it was something that was "traditional and stable in a topsy turvy world," said David Golland associate professor and coordinator of history and social sciences at Governors State University.

    "People looked to things like Christmas or Hanukkah and marriage as things that they could hold onto," he said, noting that there was "an astronomical uptick in the marriage rate" in the weeks following the attack.

    Youngsters concerned about their future and men not knowing if they would be drafted, were looking for stability, Golland said....

     


    5/6/16
      James Haughton, Who Fought Racial Barriers in Building Trades, Dies at 86
    By Sam Roberts, The New York Times
    James Haughton, a civil rights advocate who aggressively challenged racial barriers to hiring at construction sites in the 1960s and ’70s and promoted programs to train black and Hispanic apprentices in the building trades, died on April 17 in Manhattan. He was 86.

    The cause was a chronic urinary tract infection, his partner, Ronnie Asbell, said.

    Mr. Haughton, a construction worker’s son, was best known for breaking with more moderate proponents of equal opportunity in hiring and housing to form what became known in 1969 as Fight Back, a group based in Harlem.

    Fight Back documented discrimination; staged boycotts, protests and sit-down strikes; and filed lawsuits (sometimes with Columbia University’s Center on Social Welfare Policy and Law) against contractors and unions that were closed to newcomers, a consequence, the group said, of nepotism and racism.

    Fight Back also provided counseling and placement services when jobs became available.

    In 1972, racial minorities made up more than a third of New York City’s population but accounted for only about 2 percent of union members in skilled construction jobs. Today, minorities make up about two-thirds of the city’s population and about half the membership of unions affiliated with the Building and Construction Trades Council, the organization says.

    “The construction trades have changed a lot since then,” said Michael Merrill, dean of the Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies at Empire State College of the State University of New York. “Haughton was part of the tide, and he brought visibility and prominence to the issue.”

    Mr. Haughton also lobbied for greater investment by the federal government in housing, both to improve living conditions and to provide employment. Timothy J. Cooney, an assistant city housing administrator, was so impressed with Mr. Haughton, who had been picketing his office in 1967 seeking more minority jobs, that he quit his municipal post and joined Fight Back.

    “He was the first black man I’d ever met who had a real feeling for the potential power of a housing public-works program to put black and Puerto Rican people to work,” Mr. Cooney told The New Yorker in 1970.

    James Haughton Jr. was born in Brooklyn on Oct. 8, 1929, the son of West Indian immigrants, James Haughton Sr. and the former Mary Miller. He grew up near the Fort Greene section and graduated from Boys High School and, in 1951, the City College of New York. He served as an Army lieutenant during the Korean War and received a master of public administration degree from New York University in 1960.

    His wife, Eleanor Burke Leacock, an anthropologist, died in 1987. Besides Ms. Asbell, he is survived by four stepchildren, Elspeth, Claudia, David and Robert Leacock; and six step-grandchildren.

    After serving in Korea, Mr. Haughton worked as a youth counselor with street gangs in New York and Los Angeles and as an assistant to A. Philip Randolph, the president of what in 1960 was called the Negro American Labor Council. Mr. Haughton left in 1964 and founded the Harlem Unemployment Center, which also dealt with hiring in other industries.

    In “Constructing Affirmative Action: The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity” (2011), David Hamilton Golland gave credit to Fight Back for increasing the number of skilled blacks employed in the construction of SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, the Harlem State Office Building and the World Trade Center.

    Mr. Haughton’s assertive tactics, in which hundreds of demonstrators were arrested, won concessions from public agencies and private developers on hiring goals and job training, although a number of contractors complained of excessive pressure by some local groups to hire neighborhood residents, as community coordinators or security guards.

    Mr. Haughton argued that “community pressure on contractors is the only way these workers can obtain jobs.”

    “The criminality is with the government, for not giving jobs to black and Hispanic workers,” he said.

     


    2/12/14
      If history teachers could time travel...
    By Donna Vickroy, Southtown Star
    Is there a baby boomer alive who hasn't fantasized about stepping into Mr. Peabody's WABAC machine and traveling through history?

    Those of you of a certain age know that the cartoon "Peabody's Improbable History" was a recurring feature on "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show," an animated series during the 1960s.

    In each episode, Mr. Peabody, a bespectacled beagle considered to be an authority on just about everything, prompted his pet boy Sherman, an orphan adopted by Mr. Peabody, to set the machine to a specific place and date. Then the pair would step inside and witness and, ahem, save history.

    ...

    No WABAC machine is needed for David Golland, assistant professor and coordinator of history and social sciences at Governors State University in University Park. He travels back in time every day simply by reading, he said.

    "One of the historical moments I have most enjoyed visiting is the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where I meet labor and civil rights leaders like Bayard Rustin, A. Philip Randolph, Whitney Young and Walter Reuther," he said. "My scholarship and that of other historians has demonstrated that this was a heady time at the confluence between two critical movements of the American 20th century--the movements for workers rights and the movement for civil rights." ...

     


    3/31/13
      GSU Panel Takes On Gun Debate
    Munster, Indiana Times
    University Park | Governors State University is hosting a panel discussion that will attempt to find areas of agreement on one of the most controversial topics of our time, guns in America.

    Communicating Possibilities: Reframing the Gun Debate and Finding Common Ground, takes place at 5 p.m. Thursday in Engbretson Hall on GSU's main campus, 1 University Parkway, University Park.

    The discussion, sponsored by the GSU forensics team, is free and open to the public.

    Arness Krause, fornensics team coach and adjunct professor in the the Division of Communication, Visual and Performing Arts, said the discussion will attempt to reframe the debate over guns in our society. Panel members will address issues surrounding the current debate over guns from their areas of expertise - politics, history, language, and mass media.

    Panel members include David Rhea, assistant professor of communications studies; Donald Culverson, associate professor of political justice studies; David Golland, assistant professor of history; Arness Krause; and Etta Oben, forensics team graduate assistant coach.

    The discussion is part of "Enough is Enough," a college campaign against violence in our society.

     


    11/8/12
      GSU Hosts Panel Discussion on African American Experience in Chicago
    Munster, Indiana Times
    University Park | Governors State University will present "Aspects of the African American Experience: Chicago Since the Civil Rights Era," a panel discussion, at 5 p.m. Nov. 13 in Engbretson Hall on GSU's main campus in University Park. The discussion is free and open to the public.

    GSU professor David Hamilton Golland will moderate the discussion, being presented in conjunction with the upcoming performance of "Speaking in Tongues: The Chronicles of Babel," in the GSU Center for Performing Arts on Nov. 17.

    "Speaking in Tongues" playwright Skepsu Aakhu and actor Michael Sanders will participate in the Nov. 13 discussion. The panel also includes three GSU students. Dorothy Adebayo will speak on "Challenges, Struggles, and Triumphs: My Life from the Delta to the South Side." Kristina Kloc will address "Delta Blues in the Big City: Music and the African American Community since the Civil Rights Era." Michelle Nettles will speak on "Respect: Black-on-Black Violence in South Side Chicago."

    The panel discussion is sponsored by the GSU Center for Performing Arts and Office of Student Life. "Speaking in Tongues," a presentation of Chicago's MPAACT Productions, is part of GSU Center's "One More Night" series, which brings the best in Chicago-area theater to local audiences. "One More Night" is funded by a generous grant from The Chicago Community Trust.

    Tickets for "Speaking in Tongues: The Chronicles of Babel" are $30. To purchase tickets, or for further information, contact the GSU Center box office at www.centertickets.net or (708) 235-2222.

     


    10/2/12
      GSU Hosts Election Forums This Month
    Events are Monday and October 29 in Sherman Hall
    Munster, Indiana Times
    University Park | The Political and Justice Studies Program and the Consortium for Civic Engagement are co-sponsoring two community forums on the 2012 elections.

    The first, "The Changing Political Terrain of American Elections" will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday in Sherman Hall. Panelists include Larry Levison, professor of political science; Donald Culverson, associate professor of political and justice studies; Chelsea Haring, assistant professor of political science; Daniel Cortese, assistant professor of political and justice studies; and Debbie James, assistant professor of media and communications.

    The second open community forum, "Issues of the 2012 Election," will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on October 29 also in Sherman Hall. Panelists are Levinson, Culverson, Haring, and David Golland, assistant professor of history.

    The forums are free and open to the public. Everyone is encourages to attend and participate. Governors State University is located at 1 University Parkway.

     


    5/29/12
      Review of Constructing Affirmative Action
    Labor History
    by Jennifer Delton, Skidmore College
    This book should be required reading for anyone seeking to form an opinion on affirmative action. Its detailed analysis of how and why affirmative action came to be a solution to discrimination reveals just how shallow the current debates about affirmative action actually are. The book's main contribution lies in the rich bureaucratic details it provides of how the Philadelphia Plan was developed and instituted from roughly 1961 to 1975. Designed to integrate the building trade unions, the Philadelphia Plan became the model for all workplace affirmative action programs. Using records from the AFL-CIO, the Johnson and Nixon administrations, and a variety of local union and civil rights organizations, David Golland pieces together a story that has for too long been vague and skimmed over. He explains the complicated relationship between the building trades (where unions controlled hiring), subcontracting, and federally funded projects. He examines how mid-level bureaucrats in the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCC) worked with local organizations in St. Louis, San Francisco, and Cleveland to develop forerunners to the Philadelphia Plan. He provides new details on the Nixon administration's fight against the Comptroller General's attempt to prohibit the ‘goals and timetables’ requirement of the Philadelphia Plan. He reminds us of the differences between Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits federal funding of projects involving racial discrimination and was enforced by the OFCC, and Title VII, which prohibits employment discrimination and was enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). While Title VII prohibited quotas, says Golland, Title VI did not, and the various plans designed to integrate the building trades were developed under the OFCC.

    In addition, Golland puts forth three arguments: (1) that despite his initial support for the Philadelphia Plan, Richard Nixon was not a civil rights president; (2) that federal bureaucrats were the most effective agents of equal employment opportunity from 1965 to 1972; and (3) that the goal of affirmative action was and is equal employment opportunity. Let us start with the third, and easiest, argument. This is an easy argument because there is so much evidence to support it. One only has to read the various sources to see that the goal of what became known as affirmative action was always equal opportunity for those who had been denied it for so long. It is an argument worth restating, since, as Golland notes, current thinking on affirmative action has become sidetracked by reverse discrimination charges and diversity concerns, but it is hardly a new argument for those who have studied this topic.

    Golland's second argument is more useful. After showing how bureaucratic inertia prevented the President's Committee on Government Contracts (PCGC) from effectively fighting discrimination in the 1950s, Golland turns to the 1960s and the bureaucrats in the OFCC, who, unlike their predecessors, actively developed and implemented different local plans for integration. Without these bureaucrats, it is doubtful that any of the Johnson-era civil rights reforms would have been implemented on the ground in ways that mattered. Golland gives names and credit to these mid-level bureaucrats who were, despite their position in the Establishment, part of the solution. One hopes that this attention to the men and women in the middle, the government bureaucrats – and, I would add, personnel managers – is a sign that historians are moving away from the top-down vs. bottom-up framework, which does little to explain how reforms were actually translated into racial progress.

    What appears to be Golland's main argument is his weakest. Golland thinks historians have given Nixon too much credit for the Philadelphia Plan, a plan that wasn’t even his. In Golland's eyes, Nixon was an opportunist with little real interest in civil rights, who pushed the Philadelphia Plan for political purposes and abandoned it five months later in order to appease southern allies and hard-hat voters. Despite this attempt to belittle Nixon's efforts, however, what Golland actually shows is that the Nixon administration fought harder and more effectively for affirmative action than the Johnson administration had. This was because Johnson's political obligations to labor prevented him from fully supporting earlier versions of the Philadelphia Plan. Nixon was under no such constraints. Plus, the plan exacerbated the conflict between labor and blacks, thus crippling the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Both Johnson and Nixon acted politically because both were politicians. But when Nixon acted politically it actually helped black people.

    Golland seems to think that because Nixon acted out of political purposes (rather than egalitarian ones), this somehow negates his efforts, as if Kennedy and Johnson's efforts for civil rights had not been every bit as political, as if intent mattered more than outcome. Civil rights activists had always based their strategies on convincing white politicians that equal opportunity would be politically beneficial to those who embraced it. Why should we condemn politicians who responded to those strategies? The conflict between the Democratic Party's two key constituents was low-hanging fruit; Nixon would have been a fool not to exploit it. That he did so by validating a progressive, effective, necessary program for integration is worthy of some kind of recognition. Golland admits, moreover, that despite Nixon's subsequent apathy about the plan, it nonetheless survived, and under the leadership of Nixon appointees Arthur Fletcher, John Wilks and James Hodgson, ‘succeeded in integrating unions and job sites alike’ (169).

     


    4/12
      Review of Constructing Affirmative Action
    American Historical Review
    by Philip F. Rubio, North Carolina A&T State University
    The last two decades have seen a rise in book-length historical studies of affirmative action. David Hamilton Golland’s work is a welcome addition to the literature and debates on this contentious issue. Focusing on Philadelphia, the title puns the particular focus he has taken on this key aspect of affirmative action, namely the struggle for equal employment opportunity for African Americans who for years were excluded from the construction industry and its trade unions.

    Golland reminds us that “affirmative action” has been not just a public policy filled with ironies, interest convergences, and unintended consequences but also a struggle that at its heart challenges the privileges of white supremacy. The book’s dust jacket features a 1963 photograph of black men and women picketing a construction site in Philadelphia, led by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other civil rights groups. One picket sign reads: “Phila.’s Labor Bigots Must Go Also.” Indeed, the NAACP and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) locked horns over segregated trade unions both North and South in the 1960s. George Shultz, Secretary of Labor and Commerce under President Richard Nixon, once wryly commented that before the Philadelphia Plan the quota for blacks in the construction industry was zero.

    Golland has successfully mined primary sources from government, labor, and civil rights organizations to debunk notions of Nixon as an affirmative action pioneer or civil rights president. He seeks instead to help restore to the historical narrative the important role played by popular forces campaigning for civil rights as sparks to this public policy, which he further notes was kept alive by certain government bureaucrats through the Johnson and Nixon administrations. Chapters one and two chart the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations’ reluctant response to civil rights movement pressure. Chapter three highlights federal officials’ testing employment integration plans between the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1967 introduction of the Philadelphia and Cleveland Plans. Chapters four and five use Philadelphia as a point of departure to view local and national battles over affirmative action in construction from 1967 to 1973. “This book,” writes Golland, “treats the two iterations of the Philadelphia Plan as the collective watershed moment in the origin of affirmative action” (p. 3). Tracing the history of that plan, Golland effectively contrasts it with progress or obstruction in other cities. Despite opponents’ claims that this was a quota system, Golland points out that it was not, noting that civil rights leaders themselves were “leery of quotas” (p. 128). The plan did, however, require the construction industry and unions to set goals and timetables for training and hiring African Americans. Golland highlights the work of affirmative action advocates like NAACP Labor Secretary Herbert Hill and Assistant Secretary of Labor Arthur Fletcher, contrasted with Nixon’s cynical usage of affirmative action to try to split the Democratic Party’s labor and civil rights constituencies. That overt attempt was perhaps best exemplified with his appointment of trade union leader and affirmative action opponent Peter Brennan as secretary of labor.

    Golland makes no apology for his affirmative action advocacy. This is not problematic in itself. But he encounters analytical gridlock by narrowly framing affirmative action as simply “positive steps” (p. 173) for “equal opportunity,” with “preferences and quotas” being departures from what was “originally intended” (p. 5). Who intended this? What if “positive steps” alone turned out to be an insufficient remedy to combat discrimination? How do we undo historical white preferences in construction or anywhere else without introducing correctives that include some kind of black “hiring preferences,” as Nancy MacLean put it in her discussion of the Philadelphia Plan (p. 173)? Golland also misreads “diversity” as a diversion from affirmative action public policy (p. 172), whereas Kimberle Crenshaw and others have noted that “diversity” became an affirmative action strategy after the 1978 Regents of the University of California v. Bakke decision banned minority admissions preferences and quotas in higher education.

    The book is clearly argued and accessibly written—no easy task when trying to describe details of the construction trades, popular movements, labor organizations, and civil rights law. It is less successful in its broader view of the affirmative action struggle. In addition, some antiquated conceptualizations periodically pop up (e.g., “white backlash,” pp. 119, 150). There is also the occasional odd generalization such as: “At the start of 1961, civil rights leaders could look back at two decades of progress in voting rights and public accommodation” (p. 33), suggesting a need for better editing.

    Nonetheless, this is both a good scholarly and general read, not to mention teaching tool. Few historians have focused so much research on the construction industry and trade unions as one of the key sites of the modern affirmative action battle. With the U.S. Supreme Court possibly poised to overturn affirmative action, we need to see what we may lose with its dismantling.

     


    3/12
      Review of Constructing Affirmative Action
    Journal of American History
    by Terry H. Anderson, Texas A&M University
    In a lucid introduction to Constructing Affirmative Action, David Hamilton Golland explains the reason for his book. It addresses a significant issue: How can and did the federal government change employment practices, especially concerning unionized construction trades, from the late 1950s to the early 1970s? To answer the question that the author examines the history of inequality in those trades, eventually pointing out that most unions were segregated and that in 1961 there were fewer than three hundred licensed black journeymen electricians and plumbers in the entire nation. Traditionally, those jobs went to sons, relatives, and friends of white members — even though the unions had made pledges for years to hire without regard to race, color, or creed. Golland cites bureaucratic inertia as the reason for unions ’ failure to integrate before the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which jump-started activity and pressure for equal employment opportunity. The book then examines how officials in the Johnson administration worked in several cities in the second half of the 1960s to develop what became known as the Philadelphia Plan during the Nixon administration.

    Golland makes three arguments in his book. Challenging historians such as Joan Hoff and Kevin Yuill he contends that Richard M. Nixon “was not the ‘father of affirmative action’ or even a ‘civil rights president’ by the standard set by his predecessor in the White House” (p. 4). He also argues that the “federal bureaucracy, which initially worked against the implementation of equal employment opportunity programs . . . came to be the most effective player for their implementation during the 1960s and 1970s” ( ibid .). Finally, the author defines “affirmative action as equal opportunity” (p. 5). In other words, “Affirmative action means carefully identifying areas of inequality, taking a series of positive steps to alleviate that inequality, and following through in the long term” to get results (pp. 5 – 6).

    Along the way Golland reveals through interesting episodes how federal officials used tax-supported contracts for public works to get unions to open their membership. Readers are introduced to obscure historical actors such as Woody Zenfell and the project to build the St. Louis Arch, Charles Doneghy and public works during the Cleveland race riot of 1966, and Robert C. Magnusson and his attempts to employ integrated unions to build the Bay Area Rapid Transit System in San Francisco. All met incredible resistance and basically failed to bring about results, but all of their plans were the origins of the Philadelphia Plan.

    The author spends approximately two chapters on the origins, development, and results of the Philadelphia Plan, and this is a major contribution to the scholarship of affirmative action. He also presents a new interpretation. Historians have used the Nixon administration’s implementation of the plan to demonstrate “a positive civil rights agenda,” but Golland demonstrates that the plan was “developed and implemented by Johnson-era officials” and “that the changes between the original plan and the Nixon-era plan were minimal” (p. 104).

    In sum, Constructing Affirmative Action offers a thoughtful new interpretation, clearly presented and based on judicious research in primary sources. It will become the standard book on the struggle for equal employment opportunity in the construction trades.

     


    11/11
      Review of Constructing Affirmative Action
    Choice Reviews
    by A.A. Sisneros, University of Illinois at Springfield
    Constructing Affirmative Action chronicles the origins of affirmative action and the integration of the building construction trades from 1956 to 1973. Golland (history, CUNY) provides an in-depth historical accounting of "bureaucratic inertia," "urban crisis," development of the Philadelphia Plan, and the roles of mainstream civil rights organizations, labor, contractors, and industry. The book also serves as a classic case study in government program implementation and mid-level representative democracy. The author documents presidential politics beginning with Franklin Delano Roosevelt and refutes Richard Nixon's sincerity. The volume includes a selected list of references and authoritative notes. See also K. Yull's Richard Nixon and the Rise of Affirmative Action (CH, Feb'07, 44-3555), J. Kellough's Understanding Affirmative Action (CH, Dec'06, 44-2387), and T. Anderson's The Pursuit of Fairness (CH, Feb'05, 42-3594).
    Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals.

     


    6/16/04
      Torture, Then and Now
    by David Hamilton Golland
    Letter to the Editor in response to Donald P. Gregg, "After Abu Ghraib; Fight Fire With Compassion"
    The New York Times
    In Army basic training in 1990, I was told to be prepared for an enemy as well trained as I was. I asked how, if that were the case, we could expect to win. I was told to do 20 pushups. Donald P. Gregg resolved to effect positive change from within the C.I.A. Every soldier assigned guard duty in Iraq should heed his call and do what is right, even if it means disobeying orders that are clearly immoral and un-American.

     


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