. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Newsfront – Discussion of The Kerner Commission Report on Racial disturbances in U.S. Cities – March 1, 1968 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
As a reminder of just how long the issues of race and the violent nature of racism have been with us – as a result of the aftermath of what had been described as one of the longest, hottest and most violent Summers in Urban America in the better part of a century, the White House appointed Illinois Governor Otto Kerner to assemble as an 11 member Commission to investigate the riots, which took place in the summer of 1967, but had been escalating since Watts in 1965. President Johnson asked the commission to answer three questions: What Happened? Why did it happen? and What can be done to prevent it from happening in the future? The report, released in early 1968, came to the conclusion that the U.S. was moving towards two distinct societies – one black and one white; separate and unequal. The prognosis was bleak.
This panel discussion, conducted as part of the Newsfront television series. included Roy Innes of CORE, New York State Senator Basil Peterson, former New York Post reporter Ted Poston and Jerome Aumente, fellow from Urban Affairs Studies at Harvard. It was broadcast on March 1, 1968.
The issues, the questions and the answers are, with few exceptions, the same as those 47 years later.
Only the names and the dates have changed.
Here is that discussion.
And I don’t need to remind you that you get to hear historic programs like this only at Past Daily – as you know, all the video from the Newsfront TV series has been destroyed – only the audio survives. And it’s sites like Past Daily and archives like the Gordon Skene Sound Collection who are actively preserving and restoring these invaluable documents so you can listen and learn from them. And that’s why we need your help, your contributions, during our Spring Fundraiser to help us keep performing this daily task; preserving and sharing the thousands of hours of news, history, interviews and Culture you might have missed or forgot about. Won’t you please click on the link below and make you decision to support us by chipping in your Tax Deductible Contribution today – we have 7 days left and we need all the help we can get. Do what you can. It’s that important.