The Civilian Conservation Corps, FDR’s original Green New Deal, cared for the environment and gave jobs to the unemployed. And though its record on racial equality was imperfect, it helped undermine key parts of Jim Crow.
Richard A. Walker is a professor emeritus of geography at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Living New Deal, which is documenting and mapping the legacy of the New Deal, especially its public works.
Housing segregation, like racism in general, has deep roots in American society. It wasn’t imposed by the federal government — and certainly not by the New Deal.
The original New Deal was a bold, visionary effort that transformed the economic and political life of the country. The Green New Deal could do even more.