No Longer Outsiders: Black and Latino Interest Group Advocacy on Capitol Hill, Michael D. Minta
Critics have long questioned the ability of civil rights organizations, such as the NAACP and UnidosUS, to effectively advocate for the needs of marginalized communities. The events of 2020, including the murder of George Floyd and a raging pandemic that disproportionately harmed Black and Brown communities across the country, along with the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, only emboldened those critiques. In No Longer Outsiders, Michael D. Minta takes these concerns seriously and asks whether mainstream civil rights organizations are successful in advancing minority interests in the U.S. Congress.
Minta convincingly argues that civil rights organizations are, on average, effective advocates for minority interests. In particular, he pushes back on the argument that civil rights organizations are ineffective advocates for minority communities because they ignore more disadvantaged and stigmatized group members. Relying on survey data from the mid-1970s to the late 2000s and lobbying disclosure reports, Minta confirms that civil rights organizations tend to prioritize issues that are broadly supported in Black and Latino communities. However, he also provides evidence that they have begun to lobby for issues that are still relatively controversial within minority communities, “such as support for LGBT rights and attention to eliminating HIV/
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