In the October issue, Tim Scott ’90 called on the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs to create “either a policy task force or research seminar focused on practices of institutional racism in American institutions and governmental organizations.” I would like the alumni to know that since 2005 I have annually taught the course “Race and Public Policy.” It begins by laying out the historical emergence of race as a concept in Western thought and then covers the sociology and psychology of race as a social construction. Drawing on this knowledge, the course then explains how race was manufactured through public policies enacted in the United States from Colonial times to the present, explaining how race was formed before the Constitution, under the Constitution, during Reconstruction, under de jure segregation in the South, by de facto segregation in the North, during the New Deal, in the civil rights era, during the post-civil rights era, and ending up with the current white nationalist moment. I am presently teaching the course virtually to 60 enrolled students. A copy of the syllabus is available at for anyone who is interested.

Douglas S. Massey *78, Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs
Princeton, N.J.