Report finds race relations in US are almost unchanged after 50 years

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WGN Investigates

CHICAGO — Fifty years after Chicago’s race riots, a new report indicates that African-Americans aren’t any better now than back then.

In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson commissioned a panel led by Illinois Governor Otto Kerner to study what led to the race riots and make recommendations on racism in America.

Now a new report is highlighting some of the failures in dealing with racism. The new report titled “Healing a Divided Society” says there has been no progress for African Americans when it comes to employment and housing. The report also detailed three key things:

  • “Zero tolerance” policing against minorities has failed
  • White supremacists have become emboldened and more violent.
  • Housing and schools have been re-segregating, locking too many African Americans into slums and their children into inferior schools.

Fred Harris is the last remaining living member of the Commission.  He and author Alan Curtis released the report this week.  Harris will be speaking at the University of Illinois at Chicago Thursday at 9 a.m.  For information on that event visit

Also, the Chicago History Museum is running an exhibit right now about race in America. For more information, visit their website.


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