With the rise of Black Lives Matter and immigrant rights protests, critics have questioned whether mainstream black and Latino civil rights organizations such as the NAACP and UnidosUS are in touch with the needs of minorities—especially from younger generations. Though these mainstream groups have relied on insider political tactics, such as lobbying and congressional testimony, to advocate for minority interests, Michael D. Minta argues that these strategies are still effective tools for advocating for progressive changes.
In No Longer Outsiders, Minta provides a comprehensive account of the effectiveness of minority civil rights organizations and their legislative allies. He finds that the organizations’ legislative priorities are consistent with black and Latino preferences for stronger enforcement of civil rights policy and immigration reform. Although these groups focus mainly on civil rights for blacks and immigration issues for Latinos, their policy agendas extend into other significant areas. Minta concludes with an examination of how diversity in Congress helps groups gain greater influence and policy success despite many limits placed upon them.
About the Author
Michael D. Minta is associate professor in political science at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
“Beautifully written and eloquently argued, No Longer Outsiders demonstrates that, contrary to accepted wisdom about minority representation in Congress, the relationship between advocacy organizations and congressional members is the key to each other’s success. The book is a must-read for any student of Congress, minority representation, or race and politics.”
— Lisa García Bedolla, University of California, Berkeley
“This timely book demonstrates that major black and Latino civil rights organizations are successful in advocating for their interests in Congress. Based on an analysis of survey data, group capacity, committee action on civil rights issues, and testimony before congressional committees, Minta shows that these groups are effective because of the greater diversity of Congress. This book is an important contribution to our understanding of racial representation in Congress.”
— David Canon, University of Wisconsin, Madison
“This is the book about the influence of civil rights organizations on the legislative process that I have been waiting for! This is required reading for anyone who wants to better understand the opportunities and challenges that civil rights organizations face in influencing minority policy interests. It is a trenchant history, an innovative analysis, and a guidebook for activists. There is truly something for everyone in this compelling book and I have no doubt it will soon become a classic.”
— Megan Francis, University of Washington