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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Stuyvesant Town and "White Race" Privileges -- My letter to the Times, which followed their 150-word limit. They did not publish it.

November 22, 2010

To the Editor, New York Times:

Stuyvesant Town and "White Race" Privileges

As a lifetime resident in the New York/North Jersey area I read with interest Charles V. Bagli’s description (“A New Fight to Integrate Stuyvesant Town,” November 22, 2010, p. A21) of how “the president of Metropolitan Life, Frederick H. Ecker, told The New York Post that no blacks would be permitted to live there,” how a 1948 Tenant’s Committee study found two-thirds of Stuyvesant Town residents “were against MetLife’s exclusionary policy,” and how “the courts ruled in favor of MetLife.” It brought to mind the finding in Ira Katznelson’s "When Affirmative Action was White" (p. 140), that “In New York and northern New Jersey suburbs, fewer than 100 of the 61,000 mortgages insured by the GI Bill supported home purchases by non-whites.” What is instructive is how powerful financial interests, lawmakers, and courts took part in the creation of discriminatory practices and “white race” privileges that lead to “white” enclaves.

Dr. Jeffrey B. Perry
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