A certain Kerner Commission described America as a country where African Americans face systematic discrimination, suffer from inadequate education and housing conditions, and inadequate access to economic opportunities. (We have witnessed the last few days, but also much earlier, that African Americans do have the same inadequate treatment in court.) The riots were caused by "racial attitudes and behaviour of whites towards black Americans." Racial prejudices have resolutely shaped our history; now they threaten to affect our future. "
The immediate cause of the commission was the 1967 riots in cities across the United States from New York, New Jersey to Detroit and Minneapolis in the Midwest - two years after violence broke out in Watts, a suburb of Los Angeles.
In response, President Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission led by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner to investigate the causes and propose measures to solve the problem. Fifty years ago, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Riots (the aforementioned Kerner Commission) issued its report providing a clear overview of the situation in America that led to the disorder.
The conclusions of the commission from fifty years ago are absolutely applicable today, and it seems that the commission predicted the future. Unfortunately, the most famous feature of the Kerner Commission's report, which is proof of the prophetic prediction of today - "our nation is moving towards two societies, one black, the other white - separate and unequal" - still sounds true. And it can be said that it has never been different, but divided, only the means and techniques change with the "progress of civilization".
Some of the problem areas identified in Kerner's report have become better (the participation of black Americans in politics and government - symbolized by the election of the first black president and the Black Vice President). This can be interpreted differently, but the essence of the deep problem remains the same, the vast majority of Blacks in America face suffering, problems and struggles. Some areas have remained the same or worse (differences in education and employment), and some are much worse, such as education (wealth and unequal income). Other chapters address one of the worst aspects of American racial inequality: inequality in access to justice, reinforced by a system of mass incarceration aimed primarily at African Americans. We are witnessing African American mother who is fighting for a fair trial for her son, about which Tocsin also published a blog.
There is no doubt that the movements for the rights of citizens made a change half a century ago. Various overt forms of discrimination have been outlawed. Social norms have changed. At least people have become more aware of the problems and presence in society. However, eradicating deep and institutional racism has proved difficult. What’s worse, President Donald Trump has exploited this racism and fuelled the flames of intolerance.
In addition, discrimination is huge and often hidden. I would also add that it is very well organized, because the "established way of life" needs to be preserved. That is why the techniques and ways of promoting racism and discrimination change in accordance with fashion and time, but always, as I said, cleverly hidden. Those "skills" are perfected every day, starting with the judges who stutter or are suddenly "clumsy", somewhere something is lost from the data, etc. God help, because it's hard to get out of Pandora's box of racists and discriminators, but there are always good people and there are means to fight against that as well. We hope and support that African American mother will manage to achieve justice for her son, the same justice that some white boy will get much easier, unfortunately.