Chapter

Fighting for Civil Rights from the Inside

in Robert Clifton Weaver and the American City

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780226684482
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226684505 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226684505.003.0013
Fighting for Civil Rights from the Inside

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Weaver's first years at the Housing and Home Finance Agency were devoted to bringing together its disparate parts, reaching out to his opponents in the real estate sector, and trying to reform federal urban policies that discriminated against minorities. In each of these areas, Weaver made progress, but the federal bureaucracy was a slow-moving ship at a time when urban deterioration and racial conflict were rapidly increasing. But by 1963 many housing activists had grown weary of the Kennedy administration's limited attention to urban problems. While they did not blame Weaver for this neglect, they began to complain loudly about the lack of new initiatives to deal with housing deterioration and neighborhood decline. Kennedy was never very interested in domestic matters and focused his attention on the Soviet Union and other international issues. Other than their efforts to spur economic growth in the country, his administration produced few domestic initiatives, leaving many liberals frustrated and critical, and putting Weaver in the uncomfortable position of defending the administration against his former colleagues.

Keywords: Robert C. Weaver; Kennedy administration; urban deterioration; urban policies; neighborhood decline

Chapter.  5673 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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