Written by: Matthew Fletcher
Primary Source : Turtle Talk, April 8, 2018
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson appointed a blue ribbon panel called the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to examine the causes of urban riots that happened during the summer of 1967. The Kerner Commission, as the group came to be known, produced a report on March 1, 1968, that identified some of the causes of the unrest. The Kerner Commission report found the riots to be rooted in crushing urban poverty and recommended solutions that would address those deep issues, such as job training, living wages, and funding for public schools. To commemorate the 50th Anniversary of this work and to refocus attention on these important issues, the last living member of the Kerner Commission, former U.S. Senator Fred Harris, compiled a book “Healing our Divided Society: Investing in America Fifty Years After the Kerner Report” that revisits some of these issues. Harris invited several scholars to contribute to the book, including Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Professor Washburn. Professor Washburn contributed the attached essay which highlights the changes that have occurred in federal Indian policy in the last 50 years and makes recommendations about continuing efforts to address poverty there.