David Hamilton Golland, Ph.D.


Now in Paperback from the University Press of Kansas:
A Terrible Thing to Waste: Arthur Fletcher and the Conundrum of the Black Republican

  • 2020-21 Washburn University iRead (freshman common read) selection

    Arthur Fletcher (1924-2005) was the most important civil rights leader you've (probably) never heard of. The first Black player for the Baltimore Colts, the father of affirmative action and adviser to four presidents, he coined the United Negro College Fund's motto: "A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste." Modern readers might be surprised to learn that Fletcher was also a Republican. Fletcher's story, told in full for the first time in this book, embodies the conundrum of the post-World War II Black Republican—the civil rights leader who remained loyal to the party even as it abandoned the principles he espoused.


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    Upcoming Appearance:
    May 21, 2021, 12:45pm CDT
    Labor and Working Class History Association 2021 Conference
    University of Illinois, Chicago, Ill.

    Roundtable: Collective Bargaining from All Sides: Unionism, the Faculty Senate, Contingent Faculty, and Academic Administration

     


    Latest Post
    5/14/21: "What Value Life?" Revisited
    Twelve years ago, in my second post on this blog ("What Value Life?," 01/14/09), I decried the renewed war in Gaza and the continuing occupation which privileges some lives over others. Tragically, here we are again. As of yesterday, rockets launched from Gaza had killed seven Israeli civilians and one soldier; the disproportionate Israeli response had killed 119 people, including 31 children (Declan Walsh, "Israel Ground Forces Shell Gaza as Fighting Intensifies," The New York Times, May 13, 2021).

    Rather than rehash it all, I simply recommend readers consider this guest essay published in yesterday's Times:

    Peter Beinart, "Palestinian Refugees Deserve to Return Home. Jews Should Understand," The New York Times, May 12, 2021

    "Why has the impending eviction of six Palestinian families in East Jerusalem drawn Israelis and Palestinians into a conflict that appears to be spiraling toward yet another war? Because of a word that in the American Jewish community remains largely taboo: the Nakba.

    "The Nakba, or 'catastrophe' in Arabic, need not refer only to the more than 700,000 Palestinians who were expelled or fled in terror during Israel’s founding. It can also evoke the many expulsions that have occurred since: the about 300,000 Palestinians whom Israel displaced when it conquered the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967; the roughly 250,000 Palestinians who could not return to the West Bank and Gaza after Israel revoked their residency rights between 1967 and 1994; the hundreds of Palestinians whose homes Israel demolished in 2020 alone. The East Jerusalem evictions are so combustible because they continue a pattern of expulsion that is as old as Israel itself.

    "Among Palestinians, Nakba is a household word. But for Jews — even many liberal Jews in Israel, America and around the world — the Nakba is hard to discuss because it is inextricably bound up with Israel’s creation. Without the mass expulsion of Palestinians in 1948, Zionist leaders would have had neither the land nor the large Jewish majority necessary to create a viable Jewish state. As I discuss at greater length in an essay for Jewish Currents from which this guest essay is adapted, acknowledging and beginning to remedy that expulsion — by allowing Palestinian refugees to return — requires imagining a different kind of country, where Palestinians are considered equal citizens, not a demographic threat.

    "To avoid this reckoning, the Israeli government and its American Jewish allies insist that Palestinian refugees abandon hope of returning to their homeland. This demand is drenched in irony, because no people in human history have clung as stubbornly to the dream of return as have Jews. Establishment Jewish leaders denounce the fact that Palestinians pass down their identity as refugees to their children and grandchildren. But Jews have passed down our identity as refugees for 2,000 years. In our holidays and liturgy we continually mourn our expulsion and express our yearning for return. 'After being forcibly exiled from their land,' proclaims Israel’s Declaration of Independence, 'the people kept faith with it throughout their Dispersion.' If keeping faith that exile can be overcome is sacred to Jews, how can we condemn Palestinians for doing the same thing?

    "In addition to telling Palestinians they cannot go home because they have been away too long, Jewish leaders argue that return is impractical. But this too is deeply ironic because, as a refugee rights advocate, Lubnah Shomali, has pointed out, 'If any state is an expert in receiving masses and masses of people and settling them in a very small territory, it’s Israel.' At the height of the Soviet exodus in the early 1990s, Israel took in about 500,000 immigrants. If millions of diaspora Jews began moving to Israel tomorrow, Jewish leaders would not say taking them in was logistically impossible. They would help Israel to do what it has done before: build large amounts of housing fast.

    "When most Jews imagine Palestinian refugees’ return, they probably don’t envision it looking like Israel’s absorption of Soviet Jews. More likely, they predict Palestinians expelling Jews from their homes. But the tragic reality is that not many Jews live in former Palestinian homes, since it is believed that only a few thousand remain intact. Ms. Shomali estimates that more than 70 percent of Palestinian villages that were destroyed in 1948 remain vacant. And the Palestinian activists and scholars who envision return generally argue that large-scale eviction is neither necessary, nor desirable. Asked in 2000 about Jews living in formerly Palestinian homes, the famed Palestinian literary critic Edward Said declared that he was 'averse to the notion of people leaving their homes' and that 'some humane and moderate solution should be found where the claims of the present and the claims of the past are addressed.'

    "None of this means refugee return would be simple or uncontested. Efforts at historical justice rarely are. But there is a reason the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates ends his famous essay on reparations for segregation and slavery with the subprime mortgage crisis that forced many Black Americans into foreclosure in the first decade of the 21st century. The crimes of the past, when left unaddressed, do not remain in the past. That’s also the lesson of the evictions that have set Israel-Palestine aflame. More than seven decades ago, Palestinians were expelled to create a Jewish state. Now they are being expelled to make Jerusalem a Jewish city. By refusing to face the Nakba of 1948, the Israeli government and its American Jewish allies ensure that the Nakba continues.

    "Perhaps American Jewish leaders fear that facing the crimes committed at Israel’s birth will leave Jews vulnerable. Once the Nakba taboo is lifted, Palestinians will feel emboldened to seek revenge. But more often than not, honestly confronting the past has the opposite effect.

    "After George Bisharat, a Palestinian-American law professor, wrote about the house in Jerusalem that his grandfather had built and been robbed of, a former Israeli soldier who had lived in it contacted him unexpectedly. 'I am sorry, I was blind. What we did was wrong, but I participated in it and I cannot deny it,' the former soldier said when they met, and then added, “I owe your family three months’ rent.” Mr. Bisharat later wrote that he was inspired to match the Israeli’s humanity.

    "'Just that response, writ large, is what awaits Israel if it could bring itself to apologize to the Palestinians,' he wrote. In that moment he saw 'an untapped reservoir of Palestinian magnanimity and good will that could transform the relations between the two peoples.'

    "There is a Hebrew word for the behavior of that former soldier: 'teshuvah.' It is generally translated as 'repentance.' Ironically enough, however, its literal definition is 'return.' In Jewish tradition, return need not be physical; it can also be ethical and spiritual. That means the return of Palestinian refugees — far from necessitating Jewish exile — could be a kind of return for us as well, a return to traditions of memory and justice that the Nakba has evicted from organized Jewish life.

    "'The occupier and myself — both of us suffer from exile,' the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish once declared. 'He is an exile in me and I am the victim of his exile.' The longer Jews deny the Nakba, the deeper our moral exile becomes. By facing it squarely and beginning a process of repair, both Jews and Palestinians, in different ways, can start to come home."

     


    Upcoming Appearance:
    June 15, 2021, 10:00am EDT
    Faculty Psychotherapy Conference
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, New York, New York

    A Civil Rights Historian Reflects on the Presidential Transition

     



    Upcoming Class:
    HIST4100: Beyond the Dream: Current Black Social Issues
    Governors State University
    Fall Semester, 2021
    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00-4:15


    Examines issues in education, politics, business, economics, social life, and the arts as they relate to developments in the black community since the Civil Rights Era. The African American Community comprises a major community in the United States today and throughout history and is of particular interest to the residents of Chicago's Southland. The Civil Rights Era set the stage for major cultural accomplishments. This course examines and explores those accomplishments in the context of a society that continues to struggle with its racial diversity. Intended for history majors, secondary education majors (particularly those in the social sciences concentration), elementary education majors, early childhood education majors, and other interested undergraduates.

     



    Upcoming Class:
    HIST1110: History of the U.S. to 1865
    Governors State University
    Fall Semester, 2021
    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00-11:15
    Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:30-12:45


    Provides a historical examination of the United States from the founding of the colonies through Reconstruction with special emphasis on connections between historical transformations and issues of race, class, gender, religion, nation-building, economic development and modernization, and the sectional conflict. Familiarity with the historical developments in the United States is critical to a nuanced and complex understanding of the United States and it's place in the world today. This is a required course for history majors and fills a requirement for students majoring in elementary, early childhood, and secondary education. This course also meets the Humanities General Education requirement.

     



    Published 2011 by the University Press of Kentucky:
    Constructing Affirmative Action: The Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity

  • Book panel, 2012 National Association for Ethnic Studies conference, New Orleans

    Between 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson defined affirmative action as a legitimate federal goal, and 1972, when President Richard M. Nixon named one of affirmative action's chief antagonists the head of the Department of Labor, government officials at all levels addressed racial economic inequality in earnest. Providing members of historically disadvantaged groups an equal chance at obtaining limited and competitive positions, affirmative action had the potential to alienate large numbers of white Americans, even those who had viewed school desegregation and voting rights in a positive light. Thus, affirmative action was―and continues to be―controversial.

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    dgolland@govst.edu
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    Last updated 15 May, 2021 (DHG)