In the aftermath of the 1967 race riots, President Johnson tasked a special commission with investigating the root causes of racial strife in the U.S. The commission’s subsequent findings, the strikingly prophetic Kerner Report, were ultimately ignored. Many of the problems that the report argues were afflicting the black American population in the late 1960s continue to plague urban poor blacks today; some of those problems have worsened. Just as the report forsaw, the U.S. government’s continued failure to meaningfully and effectively address these issues has helped permanently stifle the social mobility of many black Americans. For these reasons, coupled with the recent explosion in racial unrest over several racially tinged instances of police brutality, a serious reexamination of the report at this time seems warranted. With any luck, President Obama may soon order the drafting of an updated version of the Kerner Report. In such a case, one would hope that he’d be more committed to pursuing racial justice than Johnson proved to be.
You can see the full Kerner Report here: http://www.eisenhowerfoundation.org/docs/kerner.pdf