David Hamilton Golland, Ph.D.

Dave in the News

3/11/24
 
By Regina Molaro

Journey’s Trek

The iconic rock band Journey, of “Don’t Stop Believin” fame, is celebrating 50 years of rocking out with its fans worldwide. The band recently kicked off its Freedom Tour 2024 and will play venues across the country and around the world.

Middletown resident David Hamilton Golland, Ph.D., dean of Monmouth University’s Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences and a professor of history, tapped his expertise and passion for Journey’s music and authored a book about the band’s evolution.

“Livin’ Just to Find Emotion: Journey and the Story of American Rock” was published by Rowman & Littlefield and released Feb. 6.

A fan of the band for 40 years, Golland started penning a journalistic-style blog called Journey Zone in 2000. In December 2020, after reading a book about the band, the two-time author believed there was an opportunity to tell a more complete story, covering the band’s conflicts and power struggles.

Through his work on Journey Zone, Golland landed an exclusive interview with Robert Fleischman, the former lead singer of Journey. “Fleischman really hadn’t given a full-length interview since he was fired by the band in 1977, so it was an important milestone in telling the full history of the band,” said Golland.

The book uses Journey’s history to tell a story about the development of American rock music from the late 1960s on. In preparation for it, Golland consulted many published interviews and spoke with several band members.

His favorite was a discussion with George Tickner, one of Journey’s founding guitarists who also played with Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia. “What a wonderful time we had going back to the early years of the formation of the band,” said Golland. When Tickner passed away in 2023, Golland decided to dedicate the book to his memory.

“The many musicians who have been in and out of the band over the years have had a roller coaster ride of experiences. But remarkably, the story had yet to be told in full, to the degree that I wanted to tell it,” he said.

Golland believes journalists generally document facts and quotes but fail to make any arguments; memoirists tell stories for their own personal reasons. Golland’s academic experience and appreciation for history helped shape the book’s direction and his training as a historian has enabled him to present the facts while also making objective arguments.

“I’m not objective about the music because I cannot be objective about that as a fan. As a professional historian, I am objective as to what the people involved did and why they did it,” he said.

The hardcover book is $33 and is available at rowman.com and through online retailers. The audiobook, which is narrated by Michael Butler Murray, was released Feb. 20. For more information, visit journeyhistoybook.com.

      

2/14/24
 


Thunder Road Books in Spring Lake, N.J., hosted the launch event for Livin' Just to Find Emotion: Journey and The Story of American Rock by David Hamilton Golland (Rowman & Littlefield), pictured with bookseller Kate Czyzewski.

      

2/4/24
 
by Darryl Sterdan, Tinnitist

Celebrate 60 years of of Beatlemania, take a trip with Journey, get down with The Bee Gees, get the word from Ralph J. Gleason, enjoy a slice of U2’s giant lemon, head for the country with Sawyer Brown — and more musical musings for the latest edition of your reading list:

Livin’ Just to Find Emotion: Journey and the Story of American Rock
By David Hamilton Golland

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Since exploding on the scene in the late 1970s, Journey have inspired generations of fans with hit after hit. But hidden under this rock ’n’ roll glory is a complex story of ambition, larger-than-life personalities, and clashes. David Hamilton Golland unearths the band’s true and complete biography, based on over a decade of interviews and thousands of sources. When Steve Perry joined jazz-blues progressive rock band Journey in 1977, they saw a rise to the top, and their 1981 album Escape hit No. 1. But Perry’s quest for control led to Journey’s demise. They lost their record contract and much of their audience. After the unlikely comeback of Don’t Stop Believin’ in movies, television, and sports stadiums, a new generation discovered Journey. A professional historian, Golland dispels rehashed myths and also shows how race in popular music contributed to their breakout success. As the economy collapsed and as people abandoned the spirit of Woodstock in the late ’70s, Journey used the rhythm of soul and Motown to inspire hope in primarily white teenagers’ lives. Decades later, the band and their signature song remain classics, and now, with singer Arnel Pineda, they are again a fixture in major stadiums worldwide.”

      

2/2/24
 
New Jersey Stage

(SPRING LAKE, NJ) -- Thunder Road Books will hold a launch party for Livin' Just to Find Emotion by David Hamilton Golland on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 at 6:00pm. Light refreshments will be served. The book lets fans relive Journey's greatest songs and moments with this fiftieth anniversary tribute.

Since exploding on the scene in the late 1970s, Journey has inspired generations of fans with hit after hit. But hidden under this rock ‘n’ roll glory is a complex story of ambition, larger-than-life personalities, and clashes. David Hamilton Golland unearths the band’s true and complete biography, based on over a decade of interviews and thousands of sources.

When Steve Perry joined jazz-blues progressive rock band Journey in 1977, they saw a rise to the top, and their 1981 album Escape hit #1. But Perry’s quest for control led to Journey’s demise. They lost their record contract and much of their audience. After the unlikely comeback of “Don’t Stop Believin’” in movies, television, and sports stadiums, a new generation discovered Journey.

Thunder Road Books is located at 1108 3rd Avenue in Spring Lake, New Jersey. Space is limited, click here to RSVP.

David Hamilton Golland is a historian, professor, and writer with a wide background in twentieth-century social and cultural history. In Livin' Just to Find Emotion Golland dispels rehashed myths and also shows how race in popular music contributed to their breakout success. As the economy collapsed and as people abandoned the spirit of Woodstock in the late 70s, Journey used the rhythm of soul and Motown to inspire hope in primarily white teenagers’ lives. Decades later, the band and their signature song remain classics, and now, with singer Arnel Pineda, they are again a fixture in major stadiums worldwide.

“Golland meticulously colors in the band’s artistic conflicts and power struggles, paying particular attention to Perry’s decision to leave, but he’s at his most convincing when he interrogates the racial dynamics at play in the band’s success…Golland’s passion and precision make this a pleasure.” -- Publishers Weekly

“Refreshingly, this is not the standard band biography. Golland...brings an academic approach to the subject, placing Journey within its proper historical musical context. Though it is clear that Golland loves Journey’s music, he also provides an overdue critical take on the group’s overall sound. He also discusses issues of musical influence versus appropriation. It is rare, and valuable, to find such insight in books like this. VERDICT Readers don’t have to be Journey fans to appreciate this cerebral approach to a biography about the band. For casual readers and scholars alike.” – Library Journal

David Hamilton Golland is dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University and founder of The Journey Zone, the leading source for all things Journey over two decades.

      

1/31/24
 
Monmouth Now

David Hamilton Golland, Ph.D., dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of history, will publish his third book, “Livin’ Just to Find Emotion: Journey and the Story of American Rock” (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2024) on Feb. 6.

In “Livin’ Just to Find Emotion,” Golland writes the band’s complete biography, based on over a decade of interviews and thousands of sources. The book takes readers through Journey’s greatest songs and moments in this 50th anniversary tribute that is a complex story of ambition, larger-than-life personalities, and clashes.

As a lifelong Journey fan, Golland felt compelled to tell their story, but his roots as a historian encouraged him to dig beyond the surface, and he was surprised by what he uncovered. “[My] thesis [was] that the story of Journey—once voted America’s most popular band, according to a Gallup Poll—was the story of the re-segregation of popular music,” he explained. While chronicling the band’s history, “Livin’ Just to Find Emotion” also seeks to understand the context of how race in popular music contributed to Journey’s breakout success.

Golland explores the band’s rise to the top with their hit album “Escape” in 1981; front man Steve Perry’s quest for control and subsequent downfall; and ultimately the unlikely comeback of iconic song “Don’t Stop Believin’” and its relevance to a new generation of music fans.

“Golland leaves no stone unturned in this fine-grained chronicle of the rock group Journey,” according to a review in Publisher’s Weekly. “Golland’s passion and precision make this a pleasure.”

      

1/23/24
 
The Outlook

David Hamilton Golland, Ph.D., Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of History, will have his third book “Livin’ Just to Find Emotion: Journey and the Story of American Rock” released on Tuesday, Feb. 6 by the Thunder Road Books in Spring Lake, NJ. The book talks about Journey’s songs, what the band members were doing before Journey, the conflict between bandmates, and how, when Golland was researching for this book, he noticed elements of race dynamics between white individuals and African Americans.

Golland began, “I went back and listened to every single song and wrote a paragon for each song, and did research about Journey’s members and anything they did before Journey. The more I did the work and research, the more I couldn’t keep coming back to race; it became a race story, and it has a race thesis. You don’t need to pay attention to the thesis if you are a Journey fan. You don’t need to be a scholar to understand the book, but if you are, you will see what I am trying to argue. Rock and roll in the 1950s and 60s, white people listened to rock music, African Americans listened to soul music, and rock and roll united people to be one.”

Golland pursued this project for multiple reasons: he read a book about Journey that a journalist wrote and felt that it was a missed opportunity, the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak, and he had much more free time on his hands.

“[The Journey book I read was] written by a journalist rather than a historian. Not that any one is worse, but [rather] a different way of looking at things. At the time, everyone was in quarantine due to the pandemic, and I asked my wife if I should try writing this book. She told me I should,” said Golland. While Golland was writing his book, he explained that he suffered from imposter syndrome and writer’s block. Nevertheless, he stuck to a process to help him through these difficulties.

“I’m not a journalist, I wasn’t a roadie for the band, so why would anyone want to read anything I have to say? I always have to contend with writer’s block, and it can be a combination of factors that is psychological, though. Go back to your sources and think deeper about them,” he continued. “I modeled myself on Victor Hugo, who wrote ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame.’ He would wake up early, write for hours, and be done by lunchtime. As a full-time professor, I would wake up early when I felt I was most creative, did it for hours until I felt satisfied with my work, and went to Monmouth feeling accomplished.” Golland advised serious writers to write every day and to keep their momentum going, even if they are not working on the main project.

“Sit down and write for half an hour,” he instructed. “If you are a serious writer, you must write every day, even if it’s not about the project; keep that machine moving.”

Golland additionally explained that this book is different from his other two, which were more academically focused and took about a decade to write; he views this book as a freeing experience. While this book took less time than his other works, only about three to four years, there were some bumps along the road with the original publisher that Golland worked with.

“When I got an agent, they tried to pitch to trade presses, and they failed, which cost us about a year,” he said. “I believe the agent made a critical error in not recommending the correct chapter; it’s similar to the ‘Sopranos’ ending. The chapter they recommended was when Steve Perry, the lead singer for Journey, left the band; what is the future of Journey?”

Golland continued, “I just think it was a bad call. They aren’t a bad agent, but they should have chosen a chapter from early in the book with the lead singer of Journey.”

After Golland’s original agent didn’t work out, he was approached by an independent publishing company named Lexington Books to help him publish his book. After reviewing his work, the company didn’t think they would be the best fit for him, but they did put him in touch with an imprint of Roman and Little Field to help get his book published.

Tanya Farrell, Partner at Wunderkind PR, said, “As an independent publicist, I am working closely with Rowman & Littlefield to launch the book. Like many publishing companies, Rowman & Littlefield takes care of distribution, marketing, and sales while I focus on booking media and events and acting as a consultant on the whole campaign.”

“Dr. Golland is an absolute pleasure to work with,” she added. “He is collaborative, kind, and intelligent; the perfect author.”

Farrell explained that she believes the book will do well and that it has already received great reviews by top trades. “‘Publishers Weekly’ called it a ‘fine-grained chronicle of the rock group Journey…Golland’s passion and precision make this a pleasure,’ and ‘Library Journal’ said, ‘Readers don’t have to be Journey fans to appreciate this cerebral approach.’ We also have two events confirmed and national media, radio interviews, and podcasts in the works. It will be a wonderful launch,” said Farrell.

Golland summed up the writing process and offered some helpful words to aspiring authors: “It’s always there; it’s always lurking. Finding something within the project to keep you focused and writing on the project helps you work through it. I advise a schedule. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t follow it because you’re only human.”

      

12/7/23
 
107.7 The Bone

A new book about Journey and their, well, journey to the top will be out early next year.

Livin’ Just To Find Emotion: Journey And The Story Of American Rock will follow the band from its earliest days all the way to its 50th anniversary.

Publisher Rowman & Littlefield describes it as “a complex story of ambition, larger-than-life personalities, and clashes.” It’s written by David Hamilton Golland with a foreword by Joel Selvin.

Livin’ Just To Find Emotion will be out Feb. 6th, and is available for pre–order here.

      

12/7/23
 
AntiMusic

The new book, "Livin' Just To Find Emotion: Journey And The Story Of American Rock", by David Hamilton Golland, and featuring a foreword by Joel Selvin, is set to be published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers on February 6, 2024.

Here is the synopsis: Relive Journey's greatest songs and moments with this fiftieth anniversary tribute. Since exploding on the scene in the late 1970s, Journey has inspired generations of fans with hit after hit. But hidden under this rock 'n' roll glory is a complex story of ambition, larger-than-life personalities, and clashes. David Hamilton Golland unearths the band's true and complete biography, based on over a decade of interviews and thousands of sources.

When Steve Perry joined jazz-blues progressive rock band Journey in 1977, they saw a rise to the top, and their 1981 album Escape hit #1. But Perry's quest for control led to Journey's demise. They lost their record contract and much of their audience. After the unlikely comeback of "Don't Stop Believin'" in movies, television, and sports stadiums, a new generation discovered Journey.

A professional historian, Golland dispels rehashed myths and also shows how race in popular music contributed to their breakout success. As the economy collapsed and as people abandoned the spirit of Woodstock in the late 70s, Journey used the rhythm of soul and Motown to inspire hope in primarily white teenagers' lives. Decades later, the band and their signature song remain classics, and now, with singer Arnel Pineda, they are again a fixture in major stadiums worldwide.

The book can be pre-ordered here (ad).

      

12/6/23
 
Bravewords

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers has announced the February 6, 2024 release of the new book, Livin' Just To Find Emotion: Journey And The Story Of American Rock, by David Hamilton Golland, and featuring a foreword by Joel Selvin

      

11/7/23
 
Publishers Weekly

Monmouth University history professor Golland (A Terrible Thing to Waste) leaves no stone unturned in this fine-grained chronicle of the rock group Journey. Formed in 1973 as a “progressive rock” band, Journey’s lackluster sales had Columbia Records close to ending their contract in 1977, when “crooning tenor” Steve Perry joined as frontman, bringing with him a sound inflected by the smooth, “beguiling” vocals of Black soul singer Sam Cooke. The band’s 1981 album Escape featured such hits as “Who’s Crying Now” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which catapulted the group to superstardom. Following a burned-out Perry’s 1987 departure, “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” cemented the band’s legacy as a nostalgic cornerstone of white American culture whose songs are piped through ballparks and used by TV shows and movies. Golland meticulously colors in the band’s artistic conflicts and power struggles, paying particular attention to Perry’s decision to leave, but he’s at his most convincing when he interrogates the racial dynamics at play in the band’s success. Under Perry, Golland contends, the group’s music could border on a “modern form of minstrelsy,” capitalizing on “the racial backlash of the ’70s by producing music rooted in soul and rhythm & blues for a largely white, working-class audience... that didn’t want to listen to Motown because it was ‘too Black’ but was perfectly happy listening to five white dudes play... hot Motown wax.” Golland’s passion and precision make this a pleasure. (Feb.)

      

7/14/23
 
The Philadelphia Citizen
by Larry Platt

Let’s see. The Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action in college admissions at the same time that cultural warriors on the right (looking at you, Vivek Ramaswamy!) are catastrophizing over workplace “wokeness” — the valuing of DEI and stakeholder capitalism in business.

Coincidence? I think not. What do you think is on the horizon? That’s right, while talk of reparations heats up, and while C-suite execs get more comfortable at least mouthing the idea of businesses serving people, planet and profit, get ready for a wave of legal challenges to how corporations make hiring and promotion decisions.

While few employers use the kind of race-based affirmative action universities engage in, we’re already seeing an upsurge in workplace reverse discrimination claims, like the $25.6 million award to the White regional manager of Starbucks who, a jury found, was fired and essentially scapegoated because of her race in the aftermath of Philly’s Starbucks-ing While Black incident in 2018, when the cops were called on two Black men who had the audacity to sit in the store at 18th and Spruce without ordering anything.

The point is that the Republican party under Donald Trump literally gave up even the pretense of having a policy platform in 2020; it became an all-culture war-all-the-time vessel. And workplace affirmative action is likely the next cultural battleground.

The problem is that all of those decrying so-called “Woke Capital” ignore some fundamental inconvenient truths. Like: Economically, affirmative action has been good for everyone. Don’t take my word for it. Affirmative action effectively got its start right here in Philly through something called The Philadelphia Plan in 1967; its architects were Republicans who argued that it would be good not only for Blacks, but for all businesses, that more robust opportunity and fuller employment would turbocharge the American economy.

The (Republican) father of Affirmative Action

Who made this argument? None other than Richard Nixon, who shrewdly saw political benefit in it. Arthur Fletcher, a Black Republican, became known as “the father of affirmative action” — he was its chief architect, and it remains a shame that his contribution to civil rights history has gotten lost through the decades.

Fletcher earned a Purple Heart in World War II, serving under General George Patton; played pro football for the Los Angeles Rams and the Baltimore Colts; became a lawyer and earned a Ph.D in education, and served as assistant secretary of wage and labor standards in the Department of Labor under President Nixon. Later, he’d go on to head the United Negro College Fund, where he coined the phrase “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” and he served on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

But it was while in the Labor Department that Fletcher came to the rescue of The Philadelphia Plan, a groundbreaking federal affirmative action program that sought to integrate Philadelphia’s building trades. (The more things change …) The building trades were rife with discrimination. What few jobs Blacks had access to were of the low-skill, low-pay variety. In the waning days of the Johnson administration, The Philadelphia Plan mandated that, before the awarding of any contracts, contractors had to project in advance the number of non-White workers they’d have on any given jobsite. Federal contracting officers would then take such projections into account — along with all other factors typically considered — before awarding a contract.

Alas, in 1968, the U.S. Comptroller ruled that The Plan was effectively a quota system and therefore in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Enter the ever wily Nixon, who saw the issue as a way to divide two core Democratic constituencies: Blacks and organized labor.

In the Nixon administration, Fletcher oversaw the Office of Federal Contract Compliance, giving him the power to revoke federal contracts and bar contractors who practiced discrimination from bidding on future work. On June 27, 1969, Fletcher implemented the Revised Philadelphia Plan, which still required federal contractors to meet minority hiring goals that they’d lay out — that was a key point — for skilled, high-paying jobs in a vastly segregated sector of the economy.

Nixon fought for Fletcher’s Plan, and Congress approved it. According to A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican by David Hamilton Golland, The Philadelphia Plan worked where it was implemented; by 1973, most skilled trades were showing 20 percent minority membership.

Alas, it was ultimately a pyrrhic victory. By 1973, opposition to Nixon’s escalating Vietnam War had gotten heated. Aligning with Nixon were White construction workers who were seen on the evening news beating up anti-war hippies. Nixon had found his Archie Bunker-like “love it or leave it” constituency — and, for fear of alienating it, he promptly abandoned enforcing The Philadelphia Plan.

Nixon’s foray into affirmative action may have been the product of a brilliantly devious political mind. But Fletcher? He was a true believer. According to Golland’s book, Fletcher used to say that the enemy of merit is discrimination. The goal was to establish a level playing field — and then for the government to get out of the way.

“President Nixon and his closest advisors jettisoned Fletcher and his ideas in favor of a Northern version of the Southern Strategy,” Golland writes. “Nixon’s decision to transfer Fletcher from the Labor Department to an innocuous job at the United Nations was a microcosm for the eventual collective decision by Republican leaders to abandon civil rights initiatives altogether.”

Not only would Fletcher not recognize his party today, he wouldn’t understand its knee-jerk opposition to affirmative action. Fletcher’s Republican party was the party of business, and he maintained until his death in 2005 that affirmative action was good for business, though his outlook often made him an ideological nomad in politics. “My conservative friends know the cost of everything but the value of nothing,” Golland quotes him as saying. “My liberal friends know the privilege of freedom, but they think its cost is free, that it’s yours for the taking. Not so.”

Good for business?

So, nearly two decades after his death at 80 years old, was Fletcher a prophet? Has affirmative action been good for business?

Let’s look at the facts. A 2018 McKinsey study found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 21 percent more likely to post above-average profits than companies in the fourth quartile. The same year, an employee recruiting firm survey of workers found that enhanced culture and greater innovation were correlated to diversity and inclusion. Similarly, Boston Consulting Group polled employees at more than 1,700 companies across the globe and found that those with above-average diversity at the management level posted revenue that was 19 percentage points higher than those led by lesser-diverse teams.

“Diverse and inclusive workplaces are shown to have higher employee retention rates, a more positive company culture, and higher earnings,” concludes Ahmed Younies, of HR Unlimited, Inc., an affirmative action consulting firm. “Instead of looking at federal affirmative action regulations as a burden, companies should see them as an opportunity.”

He might not have had the data back then, but these are the points Arthur Fletcher, and many other Republicans, were making 50-some-odd years ago. Diversity and inclusion, Fletcher intuited back then, was not charity or simply acts of high moralism. No, it was enlightened self-interest. The fact that 82 major corporations — including Google, Verizon, Apple, Mastercard, GE, GM and Meta — filed amicus briefs in support of race-conscious collegiate admissions in the recent Supreme Court case ought to prove three things: One, those Masters of the Universe, valuing their fiduciary responsibilities above all else, know just how much affirmative action means to their respective bottom lines. This is more about smart business than social engineering. Two: the powers-that-be of such industry leaders know that the Supreme Court’s decision in Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) v. Harvard and SFFA v. University of North Carolina was not just about college admissions; next in line, they know, is the workplace itself. And, finally, three: How ahead of his time was Arthur Fletcher?

6/12/23
 
New York Magazine
by Zak Cheney-Rice

The conservative backlash to the civil-rights era began immediately — and now it’s nearly complete.

--

Arthur Fletcher had already been a Baltimore Colts lineman and an administrator for the state highway department when he started applying for jobs as a football coach in Kansas. It was 1957, three years after the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed de jure racial segregation in schools with Brown v. Board of Education. Fletcher lived in Topeka with his wife and five children, and he had $15,000 in debt from an ill-fated side career as a concert promoter. He was building tires for Goodyear to make ends meet, but his odds at landing a coaching job looked promising. He was, after all, the first Black player on the Colts.

But if Brown meant progress for millions of students, it meant little for Fletcher’s job prospects. “I presented myself to school board after school board after school board in the state of Kansas, and the answer was, ‘You are ready, but we’re not,’” he said, according to A Terrible Thing to Waste, historian David Hamilton Golland’s biography of him.

Fletcher never asked for special treatment. His stepfather was a buffalo soldier. Self-reliance was the gospel in his childhood home. But everywhere Fletcher looked, bigotry and discrimination were freezing Black Americans out of an equal shot at American prosperity.

Fletcher left Kansas and took his chances in the West Coast–based defense industries, while immersing himself in the world of Republican political organizing. In 1968, he ran for lieutenant governor of Washington and lost. He was nursing his wounds that autumn when the president-elect offered him a job. Richard Nixon had barely won his own race that year. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy had recently been killed, and America’s streets were smoldering. Neutralizing riots was top of mind for the “law and order” candidate. The solution he chose was “Black capitalism.”

“Instead of government jobs, and government housing, and government welfare,” Nixon said at the 1968 Republican National Convention, “let government use its tax and credit policies to enlist in this battle the greatest engine of progress ever developed in the history of man — American private enterprise.” His reasoning was that government aid in Black neighborhoods created waste and dependency. To promote equality and quell unrest, Black ghetto-dwellers needed pride of ownership through entrepreneurialism — more Black businesses and Black banks in Black neighborhoods.

The pitch was a natural draw for Fletcher. If Nixon had any doubts about whether he would support his civil-rights agenda, they were swiftly put to rest. “I don’t believe in jumping to welfare when there’s so much work out there,” Fletcher said when Nixon mentioned one of his welfare initiatives.

After he took office in 1969, Nixon appointed Fletcher to be his assistant secretary of Labor, making him one of the country’s highest-ranking Black government officials. At six-foot-four with dark skin and close-cropped hair, Fletcher was a fly in Nixon’s proverbial buttermilk — an administration of slick-haired white guys known by critics as “Uncle Strom’s Cabin,” according to Mehrsa Baradaran, a UC Irvine law professor whose book The Color of Money sheds light on this era.

The policy for which Fletcher is remembered, and that earned him the nickname “the father of affirmative action,” was introduced that June. It started as a modest tweak to the federal contracting process. The construction firms and tradesmen who were winning federal contracts at the time were almost all white, a reflection of how segregated local trade unions were. “We even found Italians with green cards who couldn’t speak English, let alone read or write a word, sentence, or paragraph — yet who were working on federal contracts,” Fletcher wrote. Meanwhile, the same contractors were claiming they couldn’t find qualified Black workers, an assertion that Fletcher decided to test by forcing them to integrate. He added a provision to federal contracts that required contractors to set “goals and timetables” for hiring more Black and non-white workers, expressed as percentages that were to be increased over four years.

The Revised Philadelphia Plan, as his initiative was called, is now considered the first example of “hard” affirmative action implemented by the federal government, a term that acknowledged that merely outlawing legal discrimination was insufficient redress for the wreckage wrought by two centuries of discrimination. Proactive, or “affirmative,” measures had to be taken, too.

“I consider that my little footnote in history,” Fletcher wrote of this fateful decision. “I went into that administration with the conviction that if we could change the role of Blacks in the economy, we’d do nothing short of changing the nation’s culture.”

Not long after, Harvard Law School debuted a parallel initiative known as the Harvard Plan, the core of which was a formula for evaluating applicants that considered their racial background. That plan was later adapted for the school’s undergraduate admissions, leading to explosive growth in the share of minority admits and establishing a pattern that has since been replicated across higher education.

Fifty-four years later, that period of growth is probably ending. In October, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, two cases that, when decided in June, are expected to outlaw the consideration of race in school admissions for good and, by extension, kill affirmative action across all sectors of American life.

If all goes as anticipated, this ruling would be the latest anti-civil-rights salvo from a right-wing Supreme Court majority that has already overturned Roe v. Wade. Several turns have led us to this crossroads. The Court has played a crucial role, narrowing the scope of affirmative action to the point that its original aim — redressing the material deprivation facing Black people and other minorities — has been supplanted by anodyne gestures toward diversity. But there’s also a deeper and more familiar betrayal at work. Affirmative action emerged at a time in American history when Black civil-rights advocates were calling for a comprehensive rewrite of the social contract. The pillars of their agenda included full voting rights, equal access to education, robust anti-discrimination laws with strong enforcement, universal health care, and a full-employment economy.

In the decades since, we’ve seen those pillars falter and crumble. The Supreme Court has invited the de facto resegregation of American primary schools and gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Black communities are beset by police violence and mass incarceration. Black families are afflicted by deadly health ailments and unemployment rates that are singular on the national landscape.

Now we’re heading toward the death of America’s last surviving race-based redistributive program. The controversies surrounding affirmative action have revolved around education — in other words, the legacy of the Harvard Plan — a narrow debate that has foreclosed the possibilities of what affirmative action could have been.

Arthur Fletcher’s Philadelphia Plan is a reminder that even the less ambitious civil-rights advocates once had more expansive dreams than improving diversity in ivory towers and the C-suite. It was ultimately doomed by several overlapping factors: the GOP’s wholesale turn against Black communities, the white working class’s betrayal of their Black peers, and the government’s terror of sparking a backlash from white voters. Alongside the Harvard Plan, it represented the other half of the affirmative-action equation: the idea that the government could help build a Black middle class the same way the labor movement made a white middle class, by creating good-paying jobs for low-skilled workers without a lot of education. And it never had a chance.

--

The first-ever federal agency for investigating claims of racial discrimination in hiring, known as the Fair Employment Practices Committee, was created in 1941. Black workers were being denied jobs en masse despite a boom in the defense industry, and Black labor leader A. Philip Randolph threatened President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a 100,000-strong March on Washington if he did not take executive action. The FEPC managed to head off Randolph’s protest, but otherwise turned out to be functionally useless at stopping discrimination. It was defunct by 1946.

The more forceful equal-opportunity policies of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations were a response to the pressure of the civil-rights movement. Kennedy gave an executive order barring employers from discriminating on the basis of race and required federal contractors to provide equal employment opportunities — meaning not intentionally keeping non-white workers out of a job. Johnson introduced permanent contract bans for scofflaw firms, while the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which he signed into law, made discrimination across a host of categories — race, sex, religion, national origin — illegal in areas including jobs.

But by the time Nixon was sworn in, every major effort by the federal government to make sure employers weren’t freezing Black people out of the job market had fallen short, giving rise to the ominous possibility of Black revolt. Nixon’s first term coincided with the age of Black power, an evolution of the civil-rights movement that was more militant. Its insurrectionary edge was expressed through uprisings in the nation’s Black ghettos, and its intellectual and political sympathies were wrapped up in the revolutionary movements spanning the Global South, especially Africa. These movements were anti-imperialist, and many were Marxist. The specter of a homegrown anti-capitalist insurrection, however small, during the height of the Cold War spooked Nixon, and he responded with a deadly counterintelligence program — COINTELPRO — dedicated to neutralizing groups like the Black Panthers. Publicly, however, Nixon adopted a less combative approach to the problem of Black dissatisfaction, which was focused as much on economic inequality as political inequality.

This was where Black capitalism came in. Fletcher sympathized with the anger in the ghetto, but thought that revolution was preposterous. “He was an unabashed capitalist, he was an anti-communist, and he saw fitting into the system as the best way forward for equality between the races,” said Golland, Fletcher’s biographer.

So when contractors started agreeing to the Philadelphia Plan’s terms and setting goals for how they would integrate, Fletcher felt vindicated. He set off on a victory tour with stops in Atlanta, New York, Phoenix, Chicago, and Baltimore, and made syndicated television appearances trumpeting the Nixon administration’s affirmative-action program, which was more aggressive than his Democratic predecessors’. The plan began to spread to other cities.

But with hindsight, it is easy to see his efforts were doomed. His work on Nixon’s behalf did not win him more influence. He’d almost single-handedly made the administration’s civil-rights agenda look sincere, but the president was still courting Jim Crow nostalgists. “A cabinet-level position for a Black man at that time would have undermined the Southern Strategy,” Golland writes, referring to the GOP’s growing dependence on white votes from former Confederate states. Plus, Fletcher’s success was making lots of people mad. “This thing is about as popular as a crab in a whorehouse,” said Everett Dirksen, the Republican Senate minority leader. The Philadelphia Plan was even more poisonous to white labor leaders and rank-and-file tradesmen, whose resistance to integration made them ripe targets for the coalition the GOP was trying to build even as it tried to placate the civil-rights community.

In the spring of 1970, hundreds of pro-war construction workers converged on lower Manhattan and attacked student demonstrators who were protesting the recent killings of four university students at Kent State. These workers were joined a few days later by local longshoremen, white-collar workers, and union leaders in a series of protests against the NYPD’s nonresponse to the student protests. Tens of thousands surrounded City Hall on May 20. Peter J. Brennan, a Nixon supporter who headed the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, followed up with a visit to the White House, where he presented the president with a ceremonial hard hat. Nixon’s embrace of the so-called “Hard Hat Rioters” enraged civil-rights leaders, but the president was starting to see the future of the GOP in these workers.

Brennan was an innovator in ducking Fletcher’s affirmative-action initiatives. He devised an alternative policy in New York that allowed local construction firms to exempt themselves from the Philadelphia Plan by coming up with their own more flexible integration goals. These so-called “Hometown Plans” were a sham, but they were good news for Nixon — if labor leaders complained to him about Fletcher being overzealous, he could point to this workaround as an alternative.

Still, firms that had failed to uphold their own integration plans were having their contracts terminated. To them, even the most modest requirements — one union was asked to increase its Black membership from six out of 800 — were an intolerable threat to the bottom line. Eventually, white labor leaders turned against Fletcher in force and made Nixon choose between them. “This fellow Fletcher, this appointee of yours, I’m sure you’re not responsible for what he’s doing right now,” said Brennan at a 1971 meeting with Nixon. “People are trying to do the right thing and being harassed.” For his part, Nixon saw Black people as ingrates for not rewarding him with more votes. “We’ve done more than anybody else,” he complained, “and they don’t … appreciate it.”

Fletcher was transferred out of the Labor Department in 1971 and stripped of his enforcement authority. “Fletcher had served his purpose,” writes Golland of how Nixon abandoned him. Meanwhile, the president’s relationship with Brennan was only getting stronger. Nixon agreed to withdraw his support for the Philadelphia Plan if the Labor leader agreed not to endorse his Democratic opponent in the 1972 election. At the time, this was practically unheard of. Democrats were the party of trade unions and could reliably count on the vocal support of Brennan and other white union leaders. But the Democratic Party’s association with civil rights under Kennedy and Johnson had caused a rift with the unions, which were now becoming more reactionary thanks, in part, to the Philadelphia Plan. Nixon made a devil’s bargain: Sacrifice Black equality to bring the white working class into the GOP’s tent. As agreed, Brennan declined to endorse George McGovern. He was rewarded by being named Nixon’s new secretary of Labor.

Brennan’s rise effectively killed proactive federal enforcement of affirmative action in the early 1970s. Fletcher stuck around after Nixon’s impeachment to help Gerald Ford, and eventually stumped for the former vice-president during his successful 1976 Republican primary campaign against Ronald Reagan. But Fletcher spent most of his next chapter in the private sector, capitalizing on his GOP connections and association with the Philadelphia Plan to become a prized diversity consultant for Fortune 500 companies seeking to hire more minorities.

Historians see the migration of white working-class voters to the GOP that Nixon brokered as crucial to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election. Its consequences include the most committedly right-wing Supreme Court majority in a generation — a cohort that makes no apologies for operating less as dispassionate jurists than as agents of the conservative movement. That Nixon’s Southern Strategy was hastened by an affirmative-action policy that he himself championed shows the deft and cynical way he played on both sides of the racial divide.

The idea that affirmative action would have a major economic component, that a nudge from the government would make Black capitalism an instrument of equality, had failed. And it was not just a Republican failure — as the parties underwent a realignment and Democrats became more fully the party of civil rights, they, too, abandoned the idea of labor-based affirmative action. From then on, affirmative action would increasingly be associated with education, on the assumption that a rite of passage through college would foment a robust Black middle class.

--

The deprivation that Black Americans faced in the post-Nixon years was relentless. In 1980, the Washington Post sent reporters to check on how Fletcher’s Philadelphia Plan was faring 11 years after its debut. They found a local welder named Ephraim Oakley, who had invested $15,000 in equipment under the impression that the federal government would ensure he could get work. But when he tried obtaining a union card with the local steamfitters, he was turned away. “Because those damned people won’t let me into their union, I’m losing thousands of dollars in work,” he said. “I’m being penalized for being a nigger.” The plan had made some of the trade unions more racially mixed — it was implemented in more than 30 cities — but federal enforcement had fallen by the wayside. “It absolutely failed,” said Golland.

Here was the main problem with “Black capitalism”: There wasn’t enough capital in Black communities to sustain it, ensuring that any asset-holders who set up shop were immediately underwater. Nixon never wanted to fund his initiative, either, making it little more than a politically expedient cover. “Black capitalism was a decoy,” said Mehrsa Baradaran, the Irvine law professor.

Ronald Reagan’s election was accelerating the white working-class migration to the GOP, a theme of which was the perceived overreach of the civil-rights movement. Cries of reverse discrimination against white Americans echoed across the country, fueled by the metamorphosis in large segments of the economy from blue-collar to white. The middle class was shrinking, the pathways into it narrowing. “In the context of diminishing rewards for the white majority facing a more and more tenuous grasp on the middle class, what is predictable is animosity,” said Touré Reed, who is co-director of the African American Studies Program at Illinois State University.

Meanwhile, other forms of affirmative action were also coming under assault. The first major challenge to affirmative action in higher education came in 1977, when the case of Allan Bakke reached the Supreme Court. Bakke was a white medical-school applicant in California who claimed he had been rejected from UC Davis because of a racial quota. Arguing that “reverse discrimination is as wrong as the primary variety it seeks to correct,” Bakke sought to eliminate the consideration of race in school admissions entirely. In an attempt to appeal to the Court’s conservatives, the lawyer for the school, Archibald Cox, reframed the legal basis for affirmative action by saying it served the interests of schools to allow them to curate a diverse environment. In the summer of 1978, Lewis Powell, the swing vote appointed by Nixon, split the difference: Davis’s quota system had to go, he ruled, but schools could still consider race in admissions as long as promoting diversity was their only objective.

The decision is credited with saving affirmative action in higher education. But it also narrowed its scope, such that its original rationales — redress for past discrimination and the end of material deprivation — were legally invalid and de-emphasized in the public consciousness. And it gave legal heft to trends that were already smothering the redistributive ambitions of the 1960s: a growing consensus that America did not owe anything to Black people.

In 1989, the Supreme Court delivered a decisive blow against affirmative action in the building trades when it ruled against the capital of Virginia’s policy of setting aside a percentage of contracts for minority-run firms. The GOP had effectively rebranded such policies as a quota system for unqualified Black people — or “affirmative Black-tion,” as Reed put it, quoting the derisive nickname used by Edward Norton’s neo-Nazi character in American History X.

In Texas in 1992, a Republican congressional candidate named Edward Blum lost an election. He responded to his defeat by blaming an unfairly drawn district, which made it too easy, in his opinion, for a minority candidate to triumph, and brought his case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1996. The Court ruled in his favor, citing an illegal racial gerrymander — the first of many legal victories for the conservative activist, who made it his life’s mission to eradicate the consideration of race in any aspect of the law or education.

The national mood was in his favor: California voters passed Proposition 209 the same year as Blum’s first Supreme Court victory, outlawing affirmative action in any state or government institution. According to a 2020 study by researchers at UC Berkeley, Prop 209 led to a “cascade” of Black and Hispanic UC applicants into “lower-quality” public and private schools, resulting in steep long-term declines in their degree-completion rates and wage earnings.

This was all happening amid an influx of Asian immigrants in the 1990s, who were generally wealthier, more highly educated, and more attractive to white-collar employers than their predecessors in the post-1965 wave. White people seeking to justify America’s racial inequities had long pointed to this cohort — people with East or South Asian ancestry, often glossing over the more downtrodden Southeasterners and Pacific Islanders — as evidence that racism’s grip had loosened, or to argue that Black people were pathological and so deserved whatever grim fate befell them. But as Asian Americans established themselves in greater numbers, and in some cases started outpacing whites in income and educational achievement, many began to wonder why their successes had not earned them a proportional spot among the country’s elite.

The concerns of these Asian American activists dovetailed with decades of white conservative demagoguery, resulting in an almost absurd amount of quibbling over which of the highest-achieving students in the country deserved access to its most exclusive schools. “That’s one of the things I’ve always found personally disturbing about this,” said Reed. “I don’t think that most of the differences between these applicants are actually meaningful.”

Blum helped bring the case of a rejected University of Texas applicant named Abigail Fisher that ended up before the Supreme Court in 2016. Fisher’s lawyers argued that she was rejected in favor of less qualified minorities, and her defeat, amid revelations that her grades were less than sterling, was met with glee — hashtags like #StayMadAbby and pejorative nicknames like “Becky With the Bad Grades” took over social media. But Blum was already preparing his encore. He has since partnered with the ideological descendants of those 1990s Asian American activists, organizing them under the name Students for Fair Admissions, to argue that Harvard has a quota for keeping Asian applicants out. (In its less famous sister case, SFFA has claimed that the University of North Carolina’s recruitment of first-generation and low-income students discriminates against other applicants.)

If Blum’s challenges are successful, the effects would be devastating. Everywhere that such programs have been eliminated, their modest benefits have revealed them as far preferable to their absence: more minorities in jobs and in schools, and with greater access to the trappings of a middle-class life. It would also be a fitting, if grim, end to a policy that has been assailed and chipped away at from its very inception.

--

By the mid-1990s, Arthur Fletcher, fresh off a position as George H.W. Bush’s chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, found himself a lonely defender of the policy he helped create. “I would have been content to remain a footnote in history had the Republican Party, to which I have been loyal for more than fifty years, decided not to use affirmative action as a wedge issue in 1996,” he wrote. “Even my old friend Bob Dole, the Senate majority leader, who strongly supported affirmative action over the years, has turned against it in his drive to win the GOP nomination for president.”

Fletcher decided to throw his own hat in the ring as the only pro-affirmative-action Republican presidential candidate. But there was no appetite for what he was offering, 25 years after a GOP administration had made his affirmative-action program a centerpiece of its Black agenda. He technically ran in the 1996 election, but his campaign was doing so poorly that he had to bow out in 1995.

Fletcher died in 2005. His biographer told me his effects included newspaper clippings from almost every single story about Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 Supreme Court case that extended Powell’s decision to preserve affirmative action in higher education. “He wasn’t involved in the case at all, but it mattered to him,” Golland said. He’d also never changed his party affiliation, despite the reality that being a pro-affirmative-action Republican had become an oxymoron. Change from the inside was still possible, Fletcher believed. “From 1976 to 1995, that’s slightly less than 20 years,” Golland said. “Fletcher thought that if the party can change that quickly in such a short period of time, it can also change back.”

It has not changed back. Almost 20 years have passed since Fletcher’s death, and his beloved GOP has migrated even further away from his ideal. For all his misplaced faith in his party, the Kansan knew that Black people faced too many obstacles to become full participants in the economy without help. Today, you can barely find a Republican who’ll acknowledge the problem, let alone be affirmative about solving it.

A big reason why Fletcher’s affirmative-action idea was palatable to Nixon, and why Cox’s diversity rationale appealed to Justice Powell, was because both were a rebuke to the idea that a racially egalitarian America could be achieved through a mix of generous welfare programs and aggressive enforcement of anti-discrimination laws. Black capitalism’s central promise was that simply giving Black people access to the free market could allow them to rise up economically, but even that proved too much for white America. Black capitalism has now been replaced with an even hollower promise of diversity. “The main purpose of ‘diversity’ is to give white people a more diverse experience rather than to give non-white people an equal opportunity,” said Golland, Fletcher’s biographer.

Today, affirmative action gets treated even by Democrats like a child they’re mildly ashamed of. President Joe Biden supports it, and in 2021 his administration urged the Supreme Court not to hear the Harvard case. But while few in the party disparage it, they don’t embrace it, either, likely because of the mixed messages provided by polling. And they certainly haven’t adopted anything resembling an affirmative-action policy for the labor force. Even the most obvious solution to the Supreme Court striking down affirmative action, a renewed push for universal programs like in President Johnson’s Great Society, is complicated by the prospect of a familiar backlash against programs that are often coded as helping Black people.

When the Bakke arguments were heard in 1977, there was still much to be optimistic about: the major legislative victories of the civil-rights movement were just a decade old, and the new social order it birthed was still taking shape. People camped outside the courthouse to see how America’s most powerful institutions would respond to one of its first major challenges, and Powell’s ruling was greeted with relief. We live in a different world now. The anti-civil-rights backlash that followed has since calcified into a dominant theme of our politics. Betrayal of the movement is becoming more complete by the day — losses that we swallow more frequently now than before, but no less bitterly. “I’m assuming a bloodbath is coming,” said Reed. “But we’ll see. I hope not.”


 


1/16/23
 
The Philadelphia Tribune
by Dwight Ott

Lately, the label, ‘the most important civil rights leader you’ve never heard of,’ has been given to many lesser-known heroes and sheroes of the mid-20th century movement.

Arthur Allen Fletcher, the father of affirmative action, is chief among them. Fletcher, a, is the father of affirmative action.

This civil rights activist, education advocate and politician who served in four Republican presidential administrations put “flesh and bones” on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream by designing and pushing through an apparatus that requires entities such as businesses, education systems, governments and the like to open doors normally closed to white women, people of color and those of varying sexual orientation or gender identities.

Affirmative action, sharpened by Fletcher in Richard M. Nixon’s presidential administration, can be credited with getting those disadvantaged communities into higher education, skilled labor jobs and elite careers en masse, something that had not been seen in fledgling America’s short the history.

“There has been no greater stalwart in the struggle for freedom and opportunity” than Arthur Fletcher, former Howard University President Patrick Swygert said in a published report. “He believed in an America that lives up to its promises and he worked to make sure America fulfilled those promises.”

Fletcher’s biographer, David Golland, agreed. Golland said Fletcher believed that affirmative action was the true pathway to make America a “meritocracy.”

According to Golland: “Fletcher believed a true meritocracy was possible if the government could establish a level playing field and then simply get out of the way.”

The enemy of merit is discrimination. This evil has largely kept men and women of African, Latin, Native American and Asian ancestry, the LGBTQ community and many white women out of education, jobs and careers that lead to real and sustained wealth.

Born Dec. 22, 1924, in a Black neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona, Fletcher was intimately acquainted with America’s lifelong romance with racism.

Golland’s biography describes how Fletcher’s mother, Edna Miller Fletcher, was a registered nurse and certified teacher. Yet, she could only find work as a live-in maid. That meant that, while his mother worked, Fletcher lived in various homes including those of Native and Mexican Americans, according to Encyclopedia.com. Despite his own college degree, Fletcher himself had to work menial jobs as a janitor, a doorman, an iceman and sundry other menial positions.

Fletcher’s father, Andrew A. Fletcher, was career military serving in an all-Black regiment of the U.S. Army. The family moved around quite a bit. According to the web site, young Fletcher attended seventeen different schools by the time he was in the eighth grade. After hearing educator Mary McCleod Bethune speak, he developed an interest in civil rights.

He organized his first protest in 1943 at the Junction City Junior/Senior High School in Kansas, “boycotting the yearbook because it placed photographs of black students at the back of the book,” Encyclopedia.com chronicled.

“He also distinguished himself on the school’s football team as a halfback and defensive end. To build up their fire before playing against white teams during that racially-charged time, Fletcher and his black teammates read accounts of black lynchings,” it said.

Fletcher graduated high school at Junction City and finished Washburn University, with bachelor’s degrees in political science and sociology. Fletcher later earned a Juris Doctorate, a law degree, and a Ph.D. in education.

In 1950, he spent a short time playing professional football for the L.A. Rams and was the first Black man to play for the Baltimore Colts.

Fletcher went to college using the G.I. Bill, after having served in World War II under General George Patton and earned a Purple Heart.

The Philadelphia Plan

Fletcher became involved in politics, ran for office and supported others in their bids. Meanwhile, presidents dating back to Harry S. Truman were pressured by civil rights groups to integrate federal construction projects brought on by the post WWII building boom, Golland, Fletcher’s biographer, said.

The NAACP, Urban League and other civil rights groups were pushing against discriminatory practices that relegated Blacks in the building trades to lower paying jobs particularly working on inner-city homes, whereas lucrative positions controlled by unions, went to whites and were passed between fathers, sons, uncles and nephews, blackpast.org said.

Enter the Philadelphia Plan.

This federal affirmative action program was established in 1967 “to racially integrate the building construction trade unions through mandatory goals for nonwhite hiring on federal construction contracts,” blackpast.org defined. However, it ended in 1968 as courts decided it violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

By 1969, Fletcher, now assistant secretary for Wage and Labor Standards in the Department of Labor in Nixon’s administration, implemented the Revised Philadelphia Plan. It set goals and dates for federal construction contractors to hire minority workers.

The revised plan went on to require all federal contractors to diversify all employment categories, with or without backing from unions that oversaw hiring. Failure to do so could mean contract disqualification.

“Where it was implemented, the plan worked, with most skilled trades showing more than 20% minority membership by 1973,” Golland said.

Fletcher’s methods became templates for affirmative action initiatives in businesses, governments and education entities nationwide and have held up despite constant legal challenges including the Bakke v. University of California Board of Regents decision of 1978. In it, the U.S. Supreme Court held that using racial quotas in college admissions was unconstitutional, but using race as one of several factors in such decisions was legal, according to online sources.

Universities such as Harvard and the University of North Carolina have clung to this method of affirmative action for years. Ironically, both programs are now under fire, endangered by the skeptical scrutiny of a new conservative majority on the court that is expected to end affirmative action when their decision is released in June.

People of color on the court have opposing views. Republican Justice Clarence Thomas and Yale graduate grew up poor and admits benefiting from Fletcher’s affirmative action. However, Thomas, who is Black, said he resented the program because it “stigmatized” him.

Conversely, Hispanic Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer, who also was an affirmative action beneficiary, said she felt “worthy” of affirmative action not diminished by it.

“The question, is not, how did I get in? It’s what did I do when I got there?” she told students at Michigan State University in 2018. “And, with pride, I can say I graduated at the top of my class.”


 


11/15/22
 
The Outlook
by Dae'sani Clarke

David Golland, Ph.D., was recently appointed as the new Dean of the Wayne D. Murray School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Before joining Monmouth’s campus, Golland was previously a professor of history at Governors State University in Chicago, Illinois. He served in a variety of capacities over his 12 years at the institution.

Upon ascending to his new position, Golland expressed some of his first impressions about the University. “I love Monmouth! I’ve met so many people here who share my commitment to excellence in higher education.”

Golland mentioned his ambitions for the University, as it currently houses 13 academic disciplines and four centers. He started, “I want to better integrate all of these disparate pursuits so that we can work together in serving our students and supporting their scholarship.”

The new Dean intends to direct his attention specifically to the Departments of Communication, Art and Design, and Music and Theatre. According to Golland, these departments’ pursuits are most closely aligned with one another.

“These departments will work together on a new Film Studies program in anticipation for an influx of future students seeking eventual employment at a planned Netflix headquarters at Fort Monmouth,” continued Golland.

Richard Veit, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Professor of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, served two years as the Interim Dean for the School. Veit hopes to support Golland in their effort to build partnerships across other schools that create positive outcomes for Monmouth students.

Veit said, “I look forward to supporting him as he implements his vision for a robust and dynamic School of Humanities and Social Sciences.”

Aaron Furgason, Ph.D., Chair and Associate Professor for the Department of Communication, added, “I am excited for the opportunity to see what new academic initiatives Dean Golland has for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.”

Golland responded, “During my time here, I hope to be remembered for my patience and thoughtfulness in helping faculty serve students…I have noticed that the faculty already goes above and beyond their normal duties to accommodate the School and its students.”

“For example, I have been impressed by Professor Patten’s introductory political science class for their creative thinking about electoral issues,” expanded Golland.

Patrick Robbins, a sophomore music industry student, believes Golland will positively contribute to the success of the Department of Music and Theatre Arts. He said, “I look forward to a bright future for not only the department but the School as a whole.”

Robbins was interested in knowing Gollands aspirations not only for the School, but the University as well. Golland answered, “I would like to see increased diversity in the student body and among faculty here at Monmouth.”

According to the US Department of Education, Monmouth’s student body is 61 perecent female and 39 percent male. Regarding race, 69 percent of students are white, 3 percent are Asian, 5 percent are African American, and 15 percent are Hispanic. One percent are international students.

Golland reiterated the dedication of the faculty and staff to facilitate the most optimal student outcomes. He highlighted a couple of faculty in particular, “Professor Jodry’s teaching style in Professional Counseling; Professor Maginn’s teaching activities in her intermediate Spanish class; and Professors Dooley and Mitchell hit the mark in their Model UN program.”


 


7/22
 
Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences
by Pamela E. Scott-Johnson, Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Monmouth University

Greetings, Members of the Monmouth University Community:

Please join me in welcoming the new Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr. David Golland.

Dr. Golland joins us from Governors State University (University Park, Illinois) where he served over 22 years in higher education, eight years as Department Chair, and more than twelve years as full-time faculty as a Professor of History. He also served as President of the University Faculty Senate. Additionally, Dr. Golland has received national acclaim for his media commentary and published works on civil rights, politics, and labor; with his major projects, books, and chapters making notable contributions to scholarship, national leadership, and public policy. He has contributed to the historical profession and community with over 20 appointments, including appointments and elections to key leadership roles such as the Board of Directors (National Association for Ethnic Studies, Park Forest Historical Society) and multiple Boards of Trustees. Moreover, Dr. Golland’s commitment to diversity and inclusion highlights over two decades of serving racially- and ethnically-diverse student populations. His experiences within a diverse and racially and ethnically inclusive environment will facilitate our commitment to strengthening diversity, equity, and inclusion. His leadership will move forward our strategic goals of excellence. As the longtime Humanities and Social Sciences Department Chair, he served an interdisciplinary team of tenure-line, term, visiting, and adjunct faculty teaching American Studies Anthropology, Geography, Global Studies, History, Japanese, Latin American/Caribbean/Latinx Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Spanish. He developed the schedule of courses, chaired tenure-track searches, evaluated applications for retention, tenure, and promotion, supported junior faculty, recruited and supervised adjuncts, and oversaw curricular development. He also served as the Faculty Senate President during a state budget crisis and pandemic. As the Faculty Senate President, he oversaw and facilitated the university standing committees, helped steer the General Education Council and Graduate Studies Council; participated on the Foundation Board of Directors, promoted faculty service, shared governance, and academic freedom across the university.

Dr. Golland’s role as Dean will officially commence on July 11, 2022. We look forward to his contributions not only to the McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, but to our university as a whole.

With special thanks and appreciation, please also join us in recognizing our Interim Dean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr. Richard Veit, who served for the past two years. Consistent with his awards of distinction and outstanding service to Monmouth, Dr. Veit served as Interim Dean with merit and honor to the administration, faculty, and our students. During his leadership he guided the School through the COVID pandemic, managed the school’s budget during a period of significant budget constraints, facilitated the transfer of several hundred courses from a primarily in-person modality to an emergency remote learning modality, and most importantly, provided positive and progressive leadership to a large and complicated academic unit.

Dr. Veit will return to his role as the Associate Dean to the School, and once again we thank him for his service and look forward to his continuing contributions. We are grateful for his leadership and collaboration.


 


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.

     


    ©2020-2024 David Hamilton Golland LLC