Last Kerner Commission Member Haunted, Hopeful on Race in US

by: Russell Contreras Associated Press
/ (AP File Photos) /
0
110

CORRALES, N.M. (AP) — Nearly 50 years after the Kerner Commission studied the causes of deadly riots in America’s cities, its last surviving member says he remains haunted that its recommendations on U.S. race relations and poverty were never adopted.

FILE – In this July 24, 1967 file photo Detroit police check buildings along a section of 12th Street, about three miles from downtown Detroit following racial riots which broke out in the city. The last surviving member of the Kerner Commission says he remains haunted that the panel’s recommendations on U.S. race relation and poverty were never adopted, but he is hopeful they will be one day. Former U.S. Sen. Fred Harris says 50 years after working on a report to examine the causes of the late 1960s race riots he strongly feels that poverty and structural racism still enflames racial tensions even as the United States becomes more diverse. (AP Photo,File)

But former Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Fred Harris says he remains hopeful that one day, those proposals will be implemented.

Harris says poverty and structural racism still enflame racial tensions, even as the nation becomes more diverse.

FILE – In this July 24, 1967 file photo, a Michigan State police officer searches a youth on Detroit’s 12th Street where looting was still in progress after the previous day’s rioting. The last surviving member of the Kerner Commission says he remains haunted that the panel’s recommendations on US race relation and poverty were never adopted, but he is hopeful they will be one day. Former U.S. Sen. Fred Harris says 50 years after working on a report to examine the causes of the late 1960s race riots he strongly feels that poverty and structural racism still enflames racial tensions even as the United States becomes more diverse. (AP Photo/File)

President Lyndon Johnson created the 11-member Kerner Commission to study a spate of riots in the late 1960s. The panel recommended spending billions on revitalizing poor cities, improving police relations and ending housing and job discrimination.

FILE – In this July 15, 1967 file photo a National Guard officer passes the smashed window of a black-owned flower shop in riot-torn Newark, N.J. The last surviving member of the Kerner Commission says he remains haunted that the panel’s recommendations on US race relation and poverty were never adopted, but he is hopeful they will be one day. Former U.S. Sen. Fred Harris says 50 years after working on a report to examine the causes of the late 1960s race riots he strongly feels that poverty and structural racism still enflames racial tensions even as the United States becomes more diverse. (AP Photo,File)

The 86-year-old Harris lives in Corrales, New Mexico, and is working on a book on the 50th anniversary of the commission’s report.

NO COMMENTS