The Truth About How the 1968 Kerner Commission was made

Published on February 22, 2021 by
Responding to 100s of race riots in the 1960 (even after the Civil Rights and Voting Rights were signed), President Lyndon B Johnson pulled people from both the left, moderate, and right to create the Kerner Commission — which aimed at answering 3 questions:
What happened? Why did it happen? And how can we prevent it from happening again?
The report was released in March 1968 with the famous statement “America is moving towards 2 societies, separate and unequal”. The report also blamed “White Racism” and set forth major recommendations to solve the issue.
Lyndon Johnson rejected it.
Now, most of you already know this.
But what many don’t know is that the Kerner Commission was actually a *watered down* version to appease a conservative businessman named Charles Thorton, who was part of the commission.
The original draft largely blamed Police Brutality for the cause of the riots and recommended a basic guaranteed income.
Historian Steve Gillon speaks more on it.
(From the Miller Center. You can get Gillion’s book on the Kerner Commission here: )
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