A Forty-Year Update of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders: Preliminary Findings

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The Eisenhower Foundation

From 1968 to 2006, the child poverty rate rose from 15 percent to 17 percent, four times the rate for Western Europe, reports the Kerner Commission in its 40th anniversary preliminary report. While two-thirds of white children from middle-income families eventually earn more than their parents, only one-third of middle-income African-American children do so – a rate that indicates downward mobility for minorities and conditions that remain “separate and unequal,” according to the report.

The commission writes that much of the problem stems from the media’s inadequate coverage of race relations. The commission gathered comments from its in-house experts and from interviews with citizens, journalists, religious leaders, businessmen and public sector leaders. It recommends enacting universal health care, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit, increasing subsidies for housing and child care, and replacing No Child Left Behind with an “Education Equity Act” to address racial achievement gaps. The final report will be published this fall. Free, 12 pages. (202) 234-8104, www.eisenhowerfoundation.org/docs/Kerner%2040%20Year%20Update,%20Executive%20Summary.pdf.