Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

The progress from Western colonial global expansion, and the construction of American wealth and industry on the backs of enslaved Blacks and Native peoples, followed by the abrupt "emancipation" of the slaves and their exodus from the South to the Northern cities, has led us to our current divided society. Divided by economic inequities and unequal access to social resources, the nation lives in a media dream of social harmony, or did until YouTube set its bed on fire. Now, it is common knowledge that our current system of brutal racist policing and punitive over-incarceration serves the dual purpose of maintaining racial prejudice and the inequities it justifies. Brief yourself on this late-breaking development in American history here.

Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

Postby admin » Tue May 03, 2016 7:53 am

 Chapter 14: Damages: Repair and Compensation

The President, in his charge to the Commission, requested advice on the "proper public role in helping cities repair the damage" suffered in the recent disorders.

Damage took many forms. In Detroit alone, 43 persons were killed, many of whom were heads of families. Over 600 persons were injured. Fire destroyed or badly damaged at least 100 single and two-family dwellings. Stores of all kinds were looted and burned. Hundreds of businesses lost revenue by complying with a curfew, and thousands of citizens lost wages because businesses were closed. As the riot came to an end, streets and sidewalks were strewn with rubble, and citizens were imperiled by the shells of burned-out buildings verging on collapse.

In 1965, Watts had suffered a similar pattern of damage and injury. Injury was also widespread in Newark last summer though damage by fire was far less. In most other disorders, the extent of damage was far less than has been generally believed, but in almost all, some persons suffered severe physical or financial injury.

Some of the losses, such as pain and suffering, cannot be repaired or compensated. Others are normally handled through private insurance. The Commission believes that legislation should be enacted which will give fuller assistance to communities and will help expand the private insurance mechanism to compensate individuals for their losses.


The Federal Government has traditionally played a central role in responding to community needs that follow such disasters as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes. Until 1950, this federal response was accomplished through special legislation after each disaster. In 1950, Congress enacted the Federal Disaster Act to enable the President, in cases of "major disaster," to invoke a broad range of emergency relief and repair measures without awaiting special legislation. This Act, with subsequent amendments, has, however, been interpreted administratively to apply only to natural disasters, not to manmade catastrophes like civil disorders.

The Commission recommends that Congress amend the Federal Disaster Act to permit assistance during and following major civil disorders. The hardships to a community following man-made disasters can be as serious as those following natural catastrophes, and local government resources to meet these hardships are likely to be inadequate regardless of their cause.

Applying the Disaster Act to disorders would permit the federal government to provide -- during the critical period while the disorder is still going on or just ending -- food, medical and hospital supplies, emergency equipment such as beds and tents, and temporary shelters and housing. It would also permit the loan of equipment and manpower for clearing debris and repairing or temporarily replacing damaged public facilities.

In 1967, these necessities were largely provided through the prompt and laudable actions of local and state government agencies and of private organizations, including churches and neighborhood groups. [1] Provision for additional help is desirable. Though some food and medical assistance can now be provided by the federal government outside the Disaster Act, adequate and comprehensive federal assistance to supplement private and local response can be assured only by amending the statute.

Perhaps even more important than the provisions for immediate response are those that would aid long-term repair. In cases of natural disaster, the Disaster Act in its present form permits adjustments on many federal loans where financial hardship has resulted to the borrower; gives priority status to grant or loan applications for public facilities, public housing, and public works; provides grants and matching grants for the repair or reconstruction of key public facilities; permits low interest loans by the Small Business Administration to businesses that have suffered serious economic damage; and extends to individuals and businesses additional tax deductions beyond those normally available for catastrophe losses. [2] The Act should be amended to make all these kinds of relief available following major civil disorders.

In the aftermath of the summer's riots in 1967, insurance protection was an important source of security and reimbursement for innocent victims who suffered property damage.

We believe that a well-functioning private insurance mechanism is the proper method for paying individuals for losses suffered in disorders. Property insurance should be available at reasonable cost to residents and businessmen for property in reasonable condition regardless of location. If insurance is so available, it will function more equitably and efficiently to pay riot losses than a program of direct government payments to individuals. [3]

The private insurance industry can market policies widely and collect premiums commensurate with the risks. It can develop and recommend loss-prevention techniques and assess and pay large numbers of claims on an individual basis. Standard property insurance contracts presently include damage from civil disorders in their coverage, just as they provide compensation for losses due to natural disasters such as fire and windstorm. They should continue to do so. Given an effective and fairly operated insurance industry, we do not believe it necessary or desirable for the government to duplicate these functions.

Our recommendation that individual riot damage be covered by the insurance mechanism is conditioned by the availability of adequate insurance at reasonable cost for those who want it. Early in our deliberations, we received many reports that property insurance was unavailable, or was available only at prohibitive cost, in center city areas. This did not appear to be simply a riot problem but a long-term, pervasive problem of center city areas. Since a separate and expert group could best examine the problem of the high cost and availability of property insurance in center city areas, the President, on the Commission's behalf, appointed a National Advisory Panel on Insurance in Riot-Affected Areas on August 10, 1967. The Panel's work is now complete. [4]

The Panel found:

There is a serious lack of property insurance in the core areas of our nation's cities. For a number of years, many urban residents and businessmen have been unable to purchase the insurance protection they need. Now, riots and the threat of riots are aggravating the problem to an intolerable degree. Immediate steps must be taken to make insurance available to responsible persons in all areas of our cities.

The Panel also found that:

The insurance problems created by riots cannot be allowed to jeopardize the availability of property insurance in center-city areas. But the problem of providing adequate and reasonable insurance in the urban core cannot be solved merely by supplying financial assistance to protect insurance companies against catastrophic riot losses. It is clear that adequate insurance was unavailable in the urban core even before the riots. We are dealing with an inner-city insurance problem that is broad in scope and complicated in origin, and riots are only one aspect of it.

In order to assure the availability of property insurance in all areas, the Panel recommended:

A five-part program of mutually supporting actions to be undertaken immediately by all who have a responsibility for solving the problem:

• We call upon the insurance industry to take the lead in establishing voluntary plans in all states to assure all property owners fair access to property insurance.

• We look to the states to cooperate with the industry in establishing these plans; and to supplement the plans, to whatever extent may be necessary, by organizing insurance pools and taking other steps to facilitate the insuring of urban core properties.

• We urge that the federal government enact legislation creating a National Insurance Development Corporation (NIDC) to assist the insurance industry and the states in achieving the important goal of providing adequate insurance for inner cities. Through the NIDC. the state and federal governments can provide backup for the remote contingency of very large riot losses.

• We recommend that the federal government enact tax deferral measures to increase the capacity of the insurance industry to absorb the financial costs of the program.

• We suggest a series of other necessary steps to meet the special needs of the inner city insurance market-for example, programs to train agents and brokers from the core areas; to assure the absence of discrimination in insurance company employment on racial or other grounds; and to seek out better methods of preventing losses and of marketing insurance in low-income areas.

The fundamental thrust of our program is cooperative action. Thus, only those companies that participate in plans and pools at the local level, and only those states that take action to implement the program, will be eligible to receive the benefits provided by the National Insurance Development Corporation and by the federal tax deferral measures. We firmly believe that all concerned must work together to meet the urban insurance crisis. Everyone must contribute; no one should escape responsibility.

The Commission endorses the proposals of the Panel and recommends they be put into effect by appropriate state and federal measures.

1. The kinds of planning recommended at a state and local level to meet human needs during the course of a disorder and the coordination of such planning with the planning of control forces are considered in the Supplement on Control of Disorders, pp. 510 to 513.

2. A few kinds of long-term assistance are already available under acts other than the Federal Disaster Act. The Small Business Administration can provide long-term loans up to the actual tangible loss suffered by business concerns: Loans of this kind were made by SBA in Detroit. The Department of Housing and Urban Development is authorized to insure mortgages of families in certain low and moderate income housing if it determines that the dwelling is situated in an area in which "rioting or other civil disorders" have occurred or are threatened and that certain other conditions are satisfied.

3. Over a dozen states have statutes which impose varying degrees of liability on municipalities (or private tosses suffered during disorders. In addition to problems posed in determining and litigating claims, it is questionable, given competing needs for the limited municipal financial resources, whether these statutes will be allowed to continue in force.

4. The report of the Panel is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402  
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Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

Postby admin » Tue May 03, 2016 8:30 am

Part 1 of 2

Chapter 15: The News Media and the Disorders


The President's charge to the Commission asked specifically: "What effect do the mass media have on the riots?"

The question is far reaching and a sure answer is beyond the range of presently available scientific techniques. Our conclusions and recommendations are based upon subjective as well as objective factors; interviews as well as statistics; isolated examples as well as general trends.

Freedom of the press is not the issue. A free press is indispensable to the preservation of the other freedoms this nation cherishes. The recommendations in this chapter have thus been developed under the strong conviction that only a press unhindered by government can contribute to freedom.

To answer the President's question, the Commission:

• Directed its field survey teams to question government officials, law enforcement agents, media personnel, and ordinary citizens about their attitudes and reactions to reporting of the riots;

• Arranged for interviews of media representatives about their coverage of the riots;

• Conducted special interviews with ghetto residents about their response to coverage;

• Arranged for a quantitative analysis of the content of television programs and newspaper reporting in 15 riot cities during the period of the disorder and the days immediately before and after;

• From November 10-12, 1967, sponsored and participated in a conference of representatives from all levels of the newspaper, news magazine, and broadcasting industries at Poughkeepsie, New York.

Finally, of course, the Commissioners read newspapers, listened to the radio, watched television, and thus formed their own impressions of media coverage. All of these data, impressions, and attitudes provide the foundation for our conclusions.

The Commission also determined, very early, that the answer to the President's question did not lie solely in the performance of the press and broadcasters in reporting the riots proper. Our analysis had to consider also the overall treatment by the media of the Negro ghettos, community relations, racial attitudes, urban and rural poverty -- day by day and month by month, year in and year out.

On this basis, we have reached three conclusions:

First, that despite incidents of sensationalism, inaccuracies, and distortions, newspapers, radio and television, on the whole, made a real effort to give a balanced, factual account of the 1967 disorders.

Second, despite this effort, the portrayal of the violence that occurred last summer failed to reflect accurately its scale and character. The overall effect was, we believe, an exaggeration of both mood and event.

Third, and ultimately most important, we believe that the media have thus far failed to report adequately on the causes and consequences of civil disorders and the underlying problems of race relations.

With these comments as a perspective, we discuss first the coverage of last summer's disturbances. We will then summarize our concerns with overall coverage of race relations.

Coverage of the 1967 Disturbances

We have found a significant imbalance between what actually happened in our cities and what the newspaper, radio, and television coverage of the riots told us happened. The Commission, in studying last summer's disturbances, visited many of the cities and interviewed participants and observers. We found that the disorders, as serious as they were, were less destructive, less widespread, and less a black-white confrontation than most people believed.

Lacking other sources of information, we formed our original impressions and beliefs from what we saw on television, heard on the radio, and read in newspapers and magazines. We are deeply concerned that millions of other Americans, who must rely on the mass media, likewise formed incorrect impressions and judgments about what went on in many American cities last summer.

As we started to probe the reasons for this imbalance between reality and impression, we first believed that the media had sensationalized the disturbances, consistently overplaying violence and giving disproportionate amounts of time to emotional events and "militant" leaders. To test this theory, we commissioned a systematic, quantitative analysis, covering the content of newspaper and television reporting in 15 cities where disorders occurred. The results of this analysis do not support our early belief. Of 955 television sequences of riot and racial news examined, 837 could be classified for predominant atmosphere as either "emotional," "calm," or "normal." Of these, 494 were classified as calm, 262 as emotional, and 81 as normal. Only a small proportion of all scenes analyzed showed actual mob action, people looting, sniping, setting fires, or being injured, or killed. Moderate Negro leaders were shown more frequently than militant leaders on television news broadcasts.

Of 3,779 newspaper articles analyzed, more focused on legislation which should be sought and planning which should be done to control ongoing riots and prevent future riots than on any other topic. The findings of this content analysis are explained in greater detail in Section I. They make it clear that the imbalance between actual events and the portrayal of those events in the press and on the air cannot be attributed solely to sensationalism in reporting and presentation.

We have, however, identified several factors which, it seems to us, did work to create incorrect and exaggerated impressions about the scope and intensity of the disorders.

First, despite the overall statistical picture, there were instances of gross flaws in presenting news of the 1967 riots. Some newspapers printed "scare" headlines unsupported by the mild stories that followed. All media reported rumors that had no basis in fact. Some newsmen staged "riot' events for the cameras. Examples are included in the next section.

Second, the press obtained much factual information about the scale of the disorders -- property damage, personal injury, and deaths -- from local officials, who often were inexperienced in dealing with civil disorders and not always able to sort out fact from rumor in the confusion. At the height of the Detroit riot, some news reports of property damage put the figure in excess of $500 million. [1] Subsequent investigation shows it to be $40 to $45 million. [2]

The initial estimates were not the independent judgment of reporters or editors. They came from beleaguered government officials. But the news media gave currency to these errors. Reporters uncritically accepted, and editors uncritically published, the inflated figures, leaving an indelible impression of damage up to more than ten times greater than actually occurred.

Third, the coverage of the disorders -- particularly on television -- tended to define the events as black-white confrontations. In fact almost all of the deaths, injuries and property damage occurred in all-Negro neighborhoods, and thus the disorders were not "race riots" as that term is generally understood.

Closely linked to these problems is the phenomenon of cumulative effect. As the summer of 1967 progressed, we think Americans often began to associate more or less neutral sights and sound, like a squad car with flashing red lights, a burning building, a suspect in police custody) with racial disorders, so that the appearance of any particular item; itself hardly inflammatory, set off a whole sequence of association with riot events. Moreover, the summer's news was not seen and heard in isolation. Events of these past few years -- the Watts riot, other disorders, and the growing momentum of the civil rights movement -- conditioned the responses of readers and viewers and heightened their reactions. What the public saw and read last summer thus produced emotional reactions and left vivid impressions not wholly attributable to the material itself.

Fear and apprehension of racial unrest and violence are deeply rooted in American society. They color and intensify reactions to news of racial trouble and threats of racial conflict. Those who report and disseminate news must be conscious of the background of anxieties and apprehension against which their stories are projected. This does not mean that the media should manage the news or tell less than the truth. Indeed, we believe that it would be imprudent and even dangerous to downplay coverage in the hope that censored reporting of inflammatory incidents somehow will diminish violence. Once a disturbance occurs, the word will spread independently of newspapers and television. To attempt to ignore these events or portray them as something other than what they are, can only diminish confidence in the media and increase the effectiveness of those who monger rumors and the fears of those who listen.

But to be complete, the coverage must be representative. We suggest that the main failure of the media last summer was that the totality of its coverage was not as representative as it should have been to be accurate. We believe that to live up to their own professed standards, the media simply must exercise a higher degree of care and a greater level of sophistication than they have yet shown in this, area -- higher, perhaps, than the level ordinarily acceptable with other stories.

This is not "just another story." It should not be treated like one. Admittedly, some of what disturbs us about riot coverage last summer stems from circumstances beyond media control. But many of the inaccuracies of fact, tone and mood were due to the failure of reporters and editors to ask tough enough questions about official reports, and to apply the most rigorous standards possible in evaluating and presenting the news. Reporters and editors must be sure that descriptions and pictures of violence, and emotional or inflammatory sequences or articles, even though "true" in isolation, are really representative and do not convey an impression at odds with the overall reality of events. The media too often did not achieve this level of sophisticated, skeptical, careful news judgment during last summer's riots.

The Media and Race Relations

Our second and fundamental criticism is that the news media have failed to analyze and report adequately on racial problems in the United States and, as a related matter, to meet the Negro's legitimate expectations in journalism. By and large, news organizations have failed to communicate to both their black and white audiences a sense of the problems America faces and the sources of potential solutions. The media report and write from the standpoint of a white man's world. The ills of the ghetto, the difficulties of life there, the Negro's burning sense of grievance, are seldom conveyed. Slights and indignities are part of the Negro's daily life, and many of them come from what he now calls "the white press" -- a press that repeatedly, if unconsciously, reflects the biases, the paternalism, the indifference of white America. This may be understandable, but it is not excusable in an institution that has the mission to inform and educate the whole of our society.


Our criticisms, important as they are, do not lead us to conclude that the media are a cause of riots, any more than they are the cause of other phenomena which they report. It is true that newspaper and television reporting helped shape people's attitudes toward riots. In some cities people who watched television reports and read newspaper accounts of riots in other cities later rioted themselves. But the causal chain weakens when we recall that in other cities, people in very much the same circumstances watched the same programs and read the same newspaper stories but did not riot themselves.

The news media are not the sole source of information and certainly not the only influence on public attitudes. People obtained their information and formed their opinions about the 1967 disorders from the multiplicity of sources that condition the public's thinking on all events. Personal experience, conversations with others, the local and long-distance telephone are all important as sources of information and ideas and contribute to the totality of attitudes about riots.

No doubt, in some cases, the knowledge or the sight on a television screen of what had gone on elsewhere lowered inhibitions or kindled outrage or awakened desires for excitement or loot--or simply passed the word. Many ghetto residents we interviewed thought so themselves. By the same token, the news reports of riots must have conditioned the response of officials and police to disturbances in their own cities. The reaction of the authorities in Detroit was almost certainly affected in some part by what they saw or read of Newark a week earlier. The Commission believes that none of these private or official reactions was decisive in determining the course of the disorders. Even if they had been more significant than we think, however, we cannot envision a system of governmental restraints that could successfully eliminate these effects. And an effort to formulate and impose such restraints would be inconsistent with fundamental traditions in our society.

The failings of the media must be corrected and the improvement must come from within the media. A society that values and relies on a free press as intensely as ours, is entitled to demand in return responsibility from the press and conscientious attention by the press to its own deficiencies. The Commission has seen evidence that many of those who supervise, edit, and report for the news media are becoming increasingly aware of and concerned about their performance in this field. With that concern, and with more experience, will come more sophisticated and responsible coverage. But much more must be done, and it must be done soon.

The Commission has a number of recommendations designed to stimulate and accelerate efforts toward self-improvement. And we propose a privately organized, privately funded Institute of Urban Communications as a means for drawing these recommendations together and promoting their implementation.


The Method of Analysis

As noted, the Commission has been surveying both the re- Porting of disorders last summer and the broader field of race relations coverage. With respect to the reporting of disorders, we were trying to get a sense of content, accuracy, tone, and bias. We sought to find out how people reacted to it and how reporters conducted themselves while carrying out their assignments. The Commission used a number of techniques to probe these matters and to provide cross checks on data and impressions.

To obtain an objective source of data, the Commission arranged for a systematic, quantitative analysis of the content of newspapers, local television, and network coverage in 15 cities for a period from three days before to three days after the disorder in each city. [3]

The cities were chosen to provide a cross-section in terms of the location and scale of the disorders and the dates of their occurrence.

Within each city, for the period specified, the study was comprehensive. Every daily newspaper and all network and local television news films were analyzed, and scripts and logs were examined. In all, 955 network and local television sequences and 3,179 newspaper articles dealing with riot and race relations news were analyzed. Each separate analysis was coded and the cards were cross-tabulated by computer to provide results and comparisons for use by the Commission. The material was measured to determine the amount of space devoted to news of riot activity; the nature of the display given compared with other news coverage; and the types of stories, articles, and television programming presented. We sought specific statistical information on such matters as the amount of space or time devoted to different kinds of riot stories, the types and identities of persons most often depicted or interviewed, the frequency with which race relations problems were mentioned in riot stories or identified as the cause of riot activity.

The survey was designed to be objective and statistical. Within its terms of reference, the Commission was looking for broad characterizations of media tone and content.

The Commission is aware of the inherent limitations of content analysis techniques. They cannot measure the emotional impact of a particular story or television sequence. By themselves, they provide no basis for conclusions as to the accuracy of what was reported. Particular examples of good or bad journalistic conduct, which may be important in themselves, are submerged in a statistical average. The Commission therefore sought through staff interviews and personal contact with members of the press and the public to obtain direct evidence of the effects of riot coverage and the performance of the media during last summer's disturbances.

Conclusions About Content [4]


1. Content analysis of television film footage shows that the tone of the coverage studied was more calm and "factual" than "emotional" and rumor-laden. Researchers viewed every one of the 955 television sequences and found that twice as many "calm" sequences as "emotional" ones were shown. The amount and location of coverage were relatively limited, considering the magnitude of the events. The analysis reveals a dominant, positive emphasis on control of the riot and on activities in the aftermath of the riot (53.8 percent of all scenes broadcast) rather than on scenes of actual mob action, or people looting, sniping, setting fires, or being injured or killed (4.8 percent of scenes shown). However, according to participants in our Poughkeepsie conference, coverage frequently was of the postriot or interview variety because newsmen arrived at the scene after the actual violence had subsided. Overall, both network and local television coverage was cautious and restrained.

2. Television newscasts during the periods of actual disorder in 1967 tended to emphasize law enforcement activities, thereby overshadowing underlying grievances and tensions. This conclusion is based on the relatively high frequency with which television showed and described law enforcement agents, police, national guardsmen, and army troops performing control functions.

Television coverage tended to give the impression that the riots were confrontations between Negroes and whites rather than responses by Negroes to underlying slum problems. The control agents were predominantly white. The ratio of white male adults [5] to Negro male adults shown on television is high (l :2) considering that the riots took place in predominantly Negro neighborhoods. And some interviews with whites involved landlords or proprietors who had lost property or suffered business losses because of the disturbances and thus held strongly antagonistic attitudes.

The content analysis shows that by far the most frequent "actor" appearances on television were Negro male adults, white male adults, law enforcement agents, and public officials. We cannot tell from a content analysis whether there was any preconceived editorial policy of portraying the riots as racial confrontations requiring the intervention of enforcement agents. But the content analysis does present a visual three-way alignment of Negroes, white bystanders, and public officials or enforcement agents. This alignment tended to create an impression that the riots were predominantly racial confrontations between black and white citizens.

3. About one-third of all riot-related sequences for network and local television appeared on the first day following the outbreak of rioting, regardless of the course of development of the riot itself. After the first day there was, except in Detroit, a very sharp decline in the amount of television time devoted to the disturbance. In Detroit, where the riot started slowly and did not flare out of control until the evening of July 24, 48 hours after it started, the number of riot-related sequences shown increased until July 26, and then showed the same sharp drop-off as noted after the first day of rioting in the other cities. [6] These findings tend to controvert the impression that the riot intensifies television coverage, thus in turn intensifying the riot. The content analysis indicates that whether or not the riot was getting worse, television coverage of the riot decreased sharply after the first day.

4. The Commission made a special effort to analyze television coverage of Negro leaders. To do this, Negro leaders were divided into three categories: (a) celebrities or public figures, who did not claim any organizational following (e.g., social scientist Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, comedian Dick Gregory); (b) "moderate" Negro leaders, who claim a political or organizational following; and (c) "militant" Negro leaders who claim a political or organizational following. During the riot periods surveyed, Negro leaders appeared infrequently on network news broadcasts and were about equally divided among celebrity or public figures, moderate leaders, and militant leaders. On local television, Negro leaders appeared more often. Of the three categories, "moderate" Negro leaders were shown on local stations more than twice as often as Negro leaders identified primarily as celebrities or public figures, and three times more frequently than militant leaders.


1. Like television coverage, newspaper coverage of civil disturbances in the summer of 1967 was more calm, factual and restrained than outwardly emotional or inflammatory. During the period of the riot there were many stories dealing exclusively with nonriot racial news. Considering the magnitude of the events, the amount of coverage was limited. Most stories were played down or put on inside pages. Researchers found that almost all the articles analyzed (3,045 of 3,770) tended to focus on one of 16 identifiable subjects. Of this group, 502 articles (16.5 percent) focused primarily on legislation which should be sought and planning which could be done to control ongoing riots and prevent future riots. The second largest category consisted of 471 articles (15.5 percent) focusing on containment or control of riot action. Newspaper coverage of the disorders reflects efforts at caution and restraint.

2. Newspapers tended to characterize and portray last summer's riots in national terms rather than as local phenomena and problems, especially when rioting was taking place in the newspaper's own city. During the actual disorders, the newspapers in each city studied tended to print many stories dealing with disorders or racial troubles in other cities. About 40 percent of the riot or racial stories in each local newspaper during the period of rioting in that city came from the wire services. Most newspaper editors appear to have given more headline attention to riots occurring elsewhere than to those at home during the time of trouble in their own cities.

Accuracy of the Coverage

We have tested the accuracy of coverage by means of interviews with local media representatives, city and police officials, and residents of the ghettos. To provide a broad base, we used three separate sources for interview data: the Commission's field survey teams, special field teams, and the findings of a special research study.

As is to be expected, almost everyone had his own version of "the truth," but it is noteworthy that some editors and reporters themselves, in retrospect, have expressed concern about the accuracy of their own coverage. For example, one newspaper editor said at the Commission's Poughkeepsie conference:

We used things in our leads and headlines during the riot I wish we could have back now, because they were wrong and they were bad mistakes ... We used the words "sniper kings" and "nests of snipers." We found out when we were able to get our people into those areas and get them out from under the cars that these sniper kings and these nests of snipers were the constituted authorities shooting at each other, most of them. There was just one confirmed sniper in the entire eight-day riot and he was ... drunk and he had a pistol, and he was firing from a window.

Television industry representatives at the conference stressed their concern about "live" coverage of disorders and said they try, whenever possible, to view and edit taped or filmed sequences before broadcasting them. Conference participants admitted that live television coverage via helicopter of the 1965 Watts riot had been inflammatory, and network news executives expressed doubts that television would ever again present live coverage of a civil disorder.

Most errors involved mistakes of fact, exaggeration of events, overplaying of particular stories, or prominently displayed speculation about unfounded rumors of potential trouble. This is not only a local problem; because of the wire services and networks, it is a national one. An experienced riot reporter told the Commission that initial wire service reports of a disturbance tend to be inflated. The reason, he said, is that they are written by local bureau men who in most cases have not seen a civil disorder before. When out-of-town reporters with knowledge in the field, or the wire services' own riot specialists arrive on the scene, the situation is put into a more accurate context

Some examples of exaggeration and mistakes about facts are catalogued here. These examples are by no means exhaustive. They represent only a few of the incidents discovered by the Commission and, no doubt, are but a small part of the total number of such inaccuracies. But the Commission believes that they are representative of the kinds of errors likely to occur when, in addition to the confusion inherent in civil disorder situations, reporters are rushed and harried or editors are superficial and careless. We present these as examples of mistakes that we hope will be avoided in the future.

In particular, we believe newsmen should be wary of how they play rumors of impending trouble. Whether a rumor is reliable and significant enough to deserve coverage is an editorial decision. But the failure of many headlined rumors to be borne out last summer suggests that these editorial decisions often are not as carefully made as the sensitivity of the subject requires.

• In Tampa, Florida, a deputy sheriff died in the early stages of the disturbance, and both national wire services immediately bulletined the news that the man had been killed by rioters. About 30 minutes later, reporters discovered that the man had suffered a fatal heart attack.

• In Detroit, a radio station broadcast a rumor, based on a telephone tip, that Negroes planned to invade suburbia one night later; if plans existed, they never materialized.

• In Cincinnati, several outlets ran a story about white youths arrested for possessing a bazooka; only a few reports mentioned that the weapon was inoperable.

• In Tampa a newspaper repeatedly indulged in speculation about impending trouble. When the state attorney ruled the fatal shooting of a Negro youth justifiable homicide, the paper's news columns reported: "There were fears today that the ruling would stir new race problems for Tampa tonight." The day before, the paper quoted one "top lawman" as telling reporters "he now fears that Negro residents in the Central Avenue Project and in the West Tampa trouble spots feel they are in competition, and are trying to see which can cause the most unrest-which area can become the center of attraction."

• A West Coast newspaper put out an edition headlined: "Rioting Erupts in Washington, D.C. / Negroes Hurl Bottles, Rocks at Police Near White House." The story did not support the headline. It reported what was actually the fact: that a number of teenage Negroes broke store windows and threw bottles and stones at police and firemen near downtown Washington, a mile or more from the White House. On the other hand, the same paper did not report unfounded local rumors of sniping when other news media did.

Television presents a different problem with respect to accuracy. In contrast to what some of its critics have charged, television sometimes may have leaned over too far backward in seeking balance and restraint. By stressing interviews, many with whites in predominantly Negro neighborhoods, and by emphasizing control scenes rather than riotous action, television news broadcasts may have given a distorted picture of what the disorders were all about.

The media -- especially television -- also have failed to present and analyze to a sufficient extent the basic reasons for the disorders. There have, after the disorders, been some brilliant exceptions. [7] As the content analysis findings suggest, however, coverage during the riot period itself gives far more emphasis to control of rioters and black-white confrontation than to the underlying causes of the disturbances.

Ghetto Reactions to the Media Coverage

The Commission was particularly interested in public reaction to media coverage; specifically, what people in the ghetto look at and read and how it affects them. The Commission has drawn upon reports from special teams of researchers who visited various cities where outbreaks occurred last summer. Members of these teams interviewed ghetto dwellers and middle- class Negroes on their responses to news media. In addition, we have used information from a statistical study of the mass media in the Negro ghetto in Pittsburgh. [8]

These interviews and surveys, though by no means a complete study of the subject, lead to four broad conclusions about ghetto, and to a lesser degree middle-class Negro, reactions to the media.

Most Negroes distrust what they refer. to as the "white press." As one interviewer reported:

The average black person couldn't give less of a damn about what the media say. The intelligent black person is resentful at what he considers to be a totally false portrayal of what goes on in the ghetto. Most black people see the newspapers as mouthpieces of the "power structure."

These comments are echoed in most interview reports the Commission has read. Distrust and dislike of the media among ghetto Negroes encompass all the media, though in general, the newspapers are mistrusted more than the television. This is not because television is thought to be more sensitive or responsive to Negro needs and aspirations, but because ghetto residents believe that television at least lets them see the actual events for themselves. Even so, many Negroes, particularly teenagers, told researchers that they noted a pronounced discrepancy between what they saw in the riots and what television broadcast.

Persons interviewed offered three chief reasons for their attitude. First, they believed, as suggested in the quotation above, that the media are instruments of the white power structure. They thought that these white interests guide the entire white community, from the journalists' friends and neighbors to city officials, police officers, and department store owners. Publishers and editors, if not white reporters, supported and defended these interests with enthusiasm and dedication.

Second, many people in the ghettos apparently believe that newsmen rely on the police for most of their information about what is happening during a disorder and tend to report much more of what the officials are doing and saying than what Negro citizens or leaders in the city are doing and saying. Editors and reporters at the Poughkeepsie conference acknowledged that the police and city officials are their main -- and sometimes their only -- source of information. It was also noted that most reporters who cover civil disturbances tend to arrive with the police and stay close to them -- often for safety, and often because they learn where the action is at the same time as the authorities -- and thus buttress the ghetto impression that police and press work together and toward the same ends (an impression that may come as a surprise to many within the ranks of police and press).

Third, Negro residents in several cities surveyed cited as specific examples of media unfairness what they considered the failure of the media:

• To report the many examples of Negroes helping law enforcement officers and assisting in the treatment of the wounded during disorders;

• To report adequately about false arrests;

• To report instances of excessive force by the National Guard;

• To explore and interpret the background conditions leading to disturbances;

• To expose, except in Detroit, what they regarded as instances of police brutality;

• To report on white vigilante groups which allegedly came into some disorder areas and molested innocent Negro residents.

Some of these problems are insoluble. But more first-hand reporting in the diffuse and fragmented riot area should temper easy reliance on police information and announcements. There is a special need for news media to cover "positive" news stories in the ghetto before and after riots with concern and enthusiasm.

A multitude of news and information sources other than the established news media are relied upon in the ghetto. One of our studies found that 79 percent of a total of 567 ghetto residents interviewed in seven cities [9] first heard about the outbreak in their own city by word of mouth. Telephone and word of mouth exchanges on the streets, in churches, stores, pool halls, and bars, provide more information -- and rumors -- about events of direct concern to ghetto residents than the more conventional news media.

Among the established media, television and radio are far more popular in the ghetto than newspapers. Radios there, apparently, are ordinarily listened to less for news than for music and other programs. One survey showed that an overwhelmingly large number of Negro children and teenagers (like their white counterparts) listen to the radio for music alone, interspersed by disc jockey chatter. In other age groups, the response of most people about what they listen to on the radio was "anything," leading to the conclusion that radio in the ghetto is basically a background accompaniment.

But the fact that radio is such a constant background accompaniment can make it an important influence on people's attitudes, and perhaps' on their actions once trouble develops. This is true for several reasons. News presented on local "rock" stations seldom constitutes much more than terse headline items which may startle or frighten but seldom inform. Radio disc jockeys and those who preside over the popular "talk shows" keep a steady patter of information going over the air. When a city is beset by civil strife, this patter can both inform transistor radio-carrying young people where the actions is, and terrify their elders and much of the white community. "Burn, baby, burn," the slogan of the Watts riot, was inadvertently originated by a radio disc jockey.

Thus, radio can be an instrument of trouble and tension in a community threatened or inundated with civil disorder. It can also do much to minimize fear by putting fast-paced events into proper perspective. We have found commendable instances, for example, in Detroit, Milwaukee, and New Brunswick, of radio stations and personalities using their air time and influence to try to calm potential rioters. In Section II, we recommend procedures for meetings and consultations for advance planning among those who will cover civil disorders. It is important that radio personnel, and especially disc jockeys and talk show hosts, be included in such preplanning.

Television is the formal news source most relied upon in the ghetto. According to one report, more than 75 percent of the sample turned to television for national and international news, and a larger percentage of the sample (86 percent) regularly watched television from 5 to 7 p.m., the dinner hours when the evening news programs are broadcast.

The significance of broadcasting in news dissemination is seen in Census Bureau estimates that in June 1967, 87.7 percent of nonwhite households and 94.8 percent of white households had television sets.

When ghetto residents do turn to newspapers, most read tabloids, if available, far more frequently than standard size newspapers and rely on the tabloids primarily for light features, racing charts, comic strips, fashion news and display advertising.
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Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

Postby admin » Tue May 03, 2016 8:30 am

Part 2 of 2

Conduct of Press Representatives

Most newsmen appear to be aware and concerned that their very physical presence can exacerbate a small disturbance, but some have conducted themselves with a startling lack of common sense. News organizations, particularly television networks, have taken substantial steps to minimize the effect of the physical presence of their employees at a news event. Networks have issued internal instructions calling for use of unmarked cars and small cameras and tape recorders, and most stations instruct their cameramen to film without artificial light whenever possible. Still, some newsmen have done things "for the sake of the story" that could have contributed to tension.

Reports have come to the Commission's attention of individual newsmen staging events, coaxing youths to throw rocks and interrupt traffic, and otherwise acting irresponsibly at the incipient stages of a disturbance. Such acts are the responsibility of the news organization as well as of its individual reporter.

Two examples occurred in Newark. Television cameramen, according to officials, crowded into and in front of police headquarters, interfering with law enforcement operations and "making a general nuisance of themselves." In a separate incident, a New York newspaper photographer covering the Newark riot repeatedly urged and finally convinced a Negro boy to throw a rock for the camera. Pushing and crowding may be unavoidable, but deliberate staging of events is not.

We believe every effort should be made to eliminate this sort of conduct. This requires the implementation of thoughtful, stringent staff guidelines for reporters and editors. Such guidelines, carefully formulated, widely disseminated, and strictly enforced, underlie the self-policing activities of some news organizations already, but they must be universally adopted if they are to be effective in curbing journalistic irresponsibility.

The Commission has studied the internal guidelines in use last summer at the Associated Press, United Press International, the Washington Post, and the Columbia Broadcasting System. Many other news organizations, large and small, have similar guidelines. In general, the guidelines urge extreme care to ensure that reporting is thorough and balanced and that words and statistics used are appropriate and accurate. The AP guidelines call for broad investigation into the immediate and underlying causes of an incident. The CBS guidelines demand as much caution as possible to avoid the danger of camera equipment and lights exacerbating the disturbance.

Internal guidelines can, and all those studied do, go beyond problems of physical presence at a disturbance to the substantive aspects of searching out, reporting, and writing the story. But the content of the guidelines is probably less important than the fact that the subject has been thoughtfully considered and hammered out within the organization, and an approach developed that is designed to meet the organization's particular needs and solve its particular problems.

We recommend that every news organization that does not now have some form of guidelines -- or suspects that those it has are not working effectively -- designate top editors to (a) meet with its reporters who have covered or might be assigned to riots, (b) discuss in detail the problems and procedures which exist or are expected and (c) formulate and disseminate directives based on the discussions. Regardless of the specific provisions, the vital step is for every newsgathering organization to adopt and implement at least some minimal form of internal control.


A Need for Better Communication

A recurrent problem in the coverage of last summer's disorders was friction and lack of cooperation between police officers and working reporters. Many experienced and capable journalists complained that policemen and their commanding officers were at best apathetic and at worst overtly hostile toward reporters attempting to cover a disturbance. Policemen, on the other hand, charged that many reporters seemed to forget that the task of the police is to restore order.

After considering available evidence on the subject, the Commission is convinced that these conditions reflect an absence of advance communication and planning among the people involved. We do not suggest that familiarity with the other's problems will beget total amity and cooperation. The interests of the media and the police are sometimes necessarily at variance. But we do believe that communication is a vital step toward removing the obstacles produced by ignorance, confusion, and misunderstanding of what each group is actually trying to do.

Mutual Orientation

What is needed first is a series of discussions, perhaps a combination of informal gatherings and seminar-type workshops. They should encompass all ranks of the police, all levels of media employees, and a cross-section of city officials. At first these would be get-acquainted sessions -- to air complaints and discuss common problems. Working reporters should get to know the police who would be likely to draw duty in a disorder. Police and city officials should use the sessions for frank and candid briefings on the problems the city might face and official plans for dealing with disturbances.

Later sessions might consider procedures to facilitate the physical movement of personnel and speed the flow of accurate and complete news. Such arrangements might involve nothing more than a procedure for designating specific locations at which police officers would be available to escort a reporter into a dangerous area. In addition, policemen and reporters working together might devise better methods of identification, communication, and training.

Such procedures are infinitely variable and depend on the initiative, needs, and desires of those involved. If there is no existing institution or procedure for convening such meetings, we urge the mayor or city manager to do so in every city where experience suggests the possibility of future trouble. To allay any apprehension that discussions with officials might lead to restraints on the freedom to seek out and report the news, participants in these meetings should stipulate beforehand that freedom of access to all areas for reporters will be preserved.

Designation of Information Officers

It is desirable to designate and prepare a number of police officers to act as media information officers. There should be enough of these so that, in the event of a disturbance, a reporter will not have to seek far to find a policeman ready and able to give him information and answer questions. Officers should be knowledgeable, of high enough rank within the police department to have ready access to information, and be at ease with reporters.

Creation of Central Information Center

A nerve center for reliable police and official government information should be planned and ready for activation when a disturbance reaches a predetermined point of intensity. Such a center might be located at police headquarters or city hall. It should be directed by an experienced, high-ranking information specialist with close ties to police officials. It is imperative, of course, that all officials keep a steady flow of accurate information coming into the center. Ideally, rooms would be set aside for taping and filming interviews with public officials. Local television stations might cut costs and relieve congestion by pooling some equipment at this central facility. An information center should not be thought of as replacing other news sources inside and outside the disturbance area. If anything, our studies suggest that reporters are already too closely tied to police and officials as news sources in a disorder. An information center should not be permitted to intensify this dependence. Properly conceived, however, a center can supplement on-the-spot reporting and supply news about official action.

Relations with Out-of-Town Reporters

Much of the difficulty last summer apparently revolved around relations between local law enforcement officials and out-of-town reporters. These reporters are likely to be less sensitive about preserving the "image" of the local community.

Still, local officials serve their city badly when they ignore or impede national media representatives instead of welcoming them, informing them about the city, and cooperating with their attempts to cover the story. City and police officials should designate liaison officers and distribute names and telephone numbers of police and other relevant officials, the place they can be found if trouble develops, and other information likely to be useful.

National and other news organizations, in turn, could help matters by selecting a responsible home office official to act as liaison in these cases and to be accessible by phone to local officials who encounter difficulty with on-the-spot representatives of an organization.

General Guidelines and Codes

In some cases, if all parties involved were willing, planning sessions might lead to the consideration of more formal undertakings. These might include: (a) agreements on specific procedures to expedite the physical movement of men and equipment around disorder areas and back and forth through police lines; (b) general guidelines on the behavior of both media and police personnel, and (c) arrangements for a brief moratorium on reporting news of an incipient disturbance. The Commission stresses once again its belief that though each of these possibilities merits consideration, none should be formulated or imposed by unilateral government action. Any procedure finally adopted should be negotiated between police and media representatives and should assure both sides the flexibility needed to do their respective jobs. Acceptance of such arrangements should be frankly based on grounds of self-interest, for negotiated methods of procedure can often yield substantial benefits to each side -- and to the public which both serve.

At the request of the Commission, the Community Relations Service of the Department of Justice surveyed recent experiences with formal codes. Most of the codes studied: (a) set forth in general terms common sense standards of good journalistic conduct, and (b) establish procedures for a brief moratorium (seldom more than 30 minutes to an hour) on reporting an incipient disturbance.

In its survey, the Community Relations Service described and analyzed experiences with codes in eleven major cities where they are currently in force. Members of the CRS staff conducted interviews with key citizens (newsmen, city officials, and community leaders) in each of the eleven cities, seeking comments on the effectiveness and practicality of the codes and guidelines used. CRS's major findings and conclusions are:

• All codes and guidelines now in operation are basically voluntary arrangements usually put forward by local authorities and accepted by the news media after consultation. Nowhere has an arrangement or agreement been effected that binds the news media without their assent.

• No one interviewed in this survey considered the code or guidelines in effect in his city as useless or harmful. CRS thought that, where they were in effect, the codes had a constructive impact on the local news media. Observers in some cities, however, thought the increased sense of responsibility manifested by press and television was due more to experience with riot coverage than to the existence of the codes.

• The more controversial and often least understood aspect of guidelines has been provision for a brief voluntary moratorium on the reporting of news. Some kind of moratorium is specified in the codes of six cities surveyed (Chicago, Omaha, Buffalo, Indianapolis, Kansas City, and Toledo), and the moratorium was invoked last summer in Chicago and Indianapolis. In each case, an effort to prevent quite minor racial incidents from escalating into more serious trouble was successful, and many thought the moratorium contributed.

• The confusion about a moratorium, and the resulting aversion to it is unfortunate. The specific period of delay is seldom more than 30 minutes. In practice, under today's conditions of reporting and broadcasting, this often will mean little if any delay before the full story gets into the paper or on the air. The time can be used to prepare and edit the story and to verify and assess the reports of trouble. The only loss is the banner headline or the broadcast news bulletin that gets out prematurely to avoid being beaten by "the competition." It is just such reflexive responses that can lead to sensationalism and inaccuracy. In cities where a moratorium is part of the code, CRS interviewers detected no discontent over its presence.

• The most frequent complaint about shortcomings in existing codes is that many of them do not reach the underpinnings of crisis situations. Ghetto spokesmen, in particular, said that the emphasis in the codes on conduct during the crisis itself tended to lead the media to neglect reporting the underlying causes of racial tension.

At the Poughkeepsie Conference with media representatives, there was considerable criticism of the Chicago code on grounds that the moratorium is open ended. Once put into effect it is supposed to be maintained until "the situation is under control." There were doubts about how effective this code had been in practice. The voluntary news blackout in Detroit for part of the first day of the riot -- apparently at the request of officials and civil rights groups -- was cited as evidence that suppression of news of violence does not necessarily de-fuse a riot situation.

On the basis of the CRS survey and other evidence, the Commission concludes that codes are seldom harmful, often useful, but no panacea. To be of any use, they must address themselves to the substance of the problems that plague relations between the press and officialdom during a disorder. but they are only one of several methods of improving those relations. Ultimately, no matter how sensitive and comprehensive a code or set of guidelines may be, efficient, accurate reporting must depend on the intelligence, judgment, and training of newsmen, police, and city officials together.


A Failure to Communicate

The Commission's major concern with the news media is not in riot reporting as such, but in the failure to report adequately on race relations and ghetto problems and to bring more Negroes into journalism. Concern about this was expressed by a number of participants in our Poughkeepsie conference. Disorders are only one aspect of the dilemmas and difficulties of race• relations in America. In defining, explaining, and reporting this broader, more complex and ultimately far more fundamental subject, the communications media, ironically, have failed to communicate.

They have not communicated to the majority of their audience -- which is white -- a sense of the degradation, misery, and hopelessness of living in the ghetto. They have not communicated to whites a feeling for the difficulties and frustrations of being a Negro in the United States. They have not shown understanding or appreciation of -- and thus have not communicated -- a sense of Negro culture, thought, or history.

Equally important, most newspaper articles and most television programming ignore the fact that an appreciable part of their audience is black. The world that television and newspapers offer to their black audience is almost totally white, in both appearance and attitude. As we have said, our evidence shows that the so-called "white press" is at best mistrusted and at worst held in contempt by many black Americans. Far too often, the press acts and talks about Negroes as if Negroes do not read the newspapers or watch television, give birth, marry, die, and go to PTA meetings. Some newspapers and stations are beginning to make efforts to fill this void, but they have still a long way to go.

The absence of Negro faces and activities from the media has an effect on white audiences as well as black. If what the white American reads in the newspapers or sees on television conditions his expectation of what is ordinary and normal in the larger society, he will neither understand nor accept the black American. By failing to portray the Negro as a matter of routine and in the context of the total society, the news media have, we believe, contributed to the black-white schism in this country.

When the white press does refer to Negroes and Negro problems it frequently does so as if Negroes were not a part of the audience. This is perhaps understandable in a system where whites edit and, to a large extent, write news. But such attitudes, in an area as sensitive and inflammatory as this, feed Negro alienation and intensify white prejudices.

We suggest that a top editor or news director monitor his news production for a period of several weeks, taking note of how certain stories and language will affect black readers or viewers. A Negro staff member could do this easily. Then the staff should be informed about the problems involved.

The problems of race relations coverage go beyond incidents of white bias. Many editors and news directors, plagued by shortages of staff and lack of reliable contacts and sources of information in the city, have failed to recognize the significance of the urban story and to develop resources to cover it adequately.

We believe that most news organizations do not have direct access to diversified news sources in the ghetto. Seldom do they have a total sense of what is going on there. Some of the blame rests on Negro leaders who do not trust the media and will not deal candidly with representatives of the white press. But the real failure rests with the news organization themselves. They -- like other elements of the white community -- have ignored the ghettos for decades. Now they seek instant acceptance and cooperation.

The development of good contacts, reliable information, and understanding requires more effort and time than an occasional visit by a team of reporters to do a feature on a newly-discovered ghetto problem. It requires reporters permanently assigned to this beat. They must be adequately trained and supported to dig out and tell the story of a major social upheaval -- among the most complicated, portentous and explosive our society has known. We believe, also, that the Negro Press -- manned largely by people who live and work in the ghetto -- could be a particularly useful source of information and guidance about activities in the black community. Reporters and editors from Negro newspapers and radio stations should be included in any conference between media and police-city representatives, and we suggest that large news organizations would do well to establish better lines of communication to their counterparts in the Negro press. [10]

In short, the news media must find ways of exploring the problems of the Negro and the ghetto more deeply and more meaningfully. To editors who say "we have run thousands of inches on the ghetto which nobody reads" and to television executives who bemoan scores of underwatched documentaries, we say: find more ways of telling this story, for it is a story you, as journalists, must tell -- honestly, realistically, and imaginatively. It is the responsibility of the news media to tell the story of race relations in America, and with notable exceptions, the media have not yet turned to the task with the wisdom, sensitivity, and expertise it demands.

Negroes in Journalism

The journalistic profession has been shockingly backward in seeking out, hiring, training, and promoting Negroes. Fewer than 5• percent of the people employed by the news business in editorial jobs in the United States today are Negroes. Fewer than 1 percent of editors and supervisors are Negroes, and most of them work for Negro-owned organizations. The lines of various news organizations to the militant blacks are, by admission of the newsmen themselves, almost nonexistent. The plaint is, "We can't find qualified Negroes." But this rings hollow from an industry where, only yesterday, jobs were scarce and promotion unthinkable for a man whose skin was black. Even today, there are virtually no Negroes in positions of editorial or executive responsibility and there is only one Negro newsman with a nationally syndicated column.

News organizations must employ enough Negroes in positions of significant responsibility to establish an effective link to Negro actions and ideas and to meet legitimate employment expectations. Tokenism -- the hiring of one Negro reporter, or even two or three -- is no longer enough. Negro reporters are essential, but so are Negro editors, writers and commentators. Newspaper and television policies are, generally speaking, not set by reporters. Editorial decisions about which stories to cover and which to use are made by editors. Yet, very few Negroes in this country are involved in making these decisions, because very few, if any, supervisory editorial jobs are held by Negroes. We urge the news media to do everything possible to train and promote their Negro reporters to positions where those who are qualified can contribute to and have an effect on policy decisions.

It is not enough, though, as many editors have pointed out to the Commission, to search for Negro journalists. Journalism is not very popular as a career for aspiring young Negroes. The starting pay is comparatively low and it is a business which has, until recently, discouraged and rejected them. The recruitment of Negro reporters must extend beyond established journalists, or those who have already formed ambitions along these lines. It must become a commitment to seek out young Negro men and women, inspire them to become -- and then train them as -- journalists. Training programs should be started at high schools and intensified at colleges. Summer vacation and part-time editorial jobs, coupled with offers of permanent employment, can awaken career plans.

We believe that the news media themselves, their audiences and the country will profit from these undertakings. For if the media are to comprehend and then to project the Negro community, they must have the help of Negroes. If the media are to report with understanding, wisdom and sympathy on the problems of the cities and the problems of the black man -- for the two are increasingly intertwined -- they must employ, promote and listen to Negro journalists.

The Negro in the Media

Finally, the news media must publish newspapers and produce programs that recognize the existence and activities of the Negro, both as a Negro and as part of the community. It would be a contribution of inestimable importance to race relations in the United States simply to treat ordinary news about Negroes as news of other groups is now treated.

Specifically, newspapers should integrate Negroes and Negro activities into all parts of the paper, from the news, society and club pages to the comic strips. Television should develop programming which integrates Negroes into all aspects of televised presentations. Television is such a visible medium that some constructive steps are easy and obvious. While some of these steps are being taken, they are still largely neglected. For example, Negro reporters and performers should appear more frequently -- and at prime time -- in news broadcasts, on weather shows, in documentaries, and in advertisements. Some effort already has been made to use Negroes in television commercials. Any initial surprise at seeing a Negro selling a sponsor's product will eventually fade into routine acceptance, an attitude that white society must ultimately develop toward all Negroes.

In addition to news-related programming, we think that Negroes should appear more frequently in dramatic and comedy series. Moreover, networks and local stations should present plays and other programs whose subjects are rooted in the ghetto and its problems.


The Commission is aware that in this area, as in all other aspects of race relations, the problems are great and it is much easier to state them than to solve them. Various pressures -- competitive, financial, advertising -- may impede progress toward more balanced, in-depth coverage and toward the hiring and training of more Negro personnel. Most newspapers and local television and radio stations do not have the resources or the time to keep abreast of all the technical advances, academic theories, and government programs affecting the cities and the lives of their black inhabitants.

During the course of this study, the Commission members and the staff have had many conversations with publishers, editors, broadcasters, and reporters throughout the country. The consensus appears to be that most of them would like to do much more but simply do not have the resources for independent efforts at either training or coverage.

The Commission believes that some of these problems could be resolved if there were a central organization to develop, gather and distribute talent, resources, and information and to keep the work of the press in this field under review. For this reason, the Commission proposes the establishment of an Institute of Urban Communications on a private, non-profit basis. The Institute would have neither governmental ties nor governmental authority. Its board would consist in substantial part of professional journalists and, for the rest, of distinguished public figures. The staff would be made up of journalists and students of the profession. Funding would be sought initially from private foundations. Ultimately, it may be hoped, financial support would be forthcoming from within the profession.

The Institute would be charged, in the first instance, with general responsibility for carrying out the media recommendations of the Commission, though as it developed a momentum and life of its own it would also gain its own view of the problems and possibilities. Initial tasks would include:

1. Training and education for journalists in the field of urban affairs. The Institute should organize and sponsor, on its own and in cooperation with universities and other institutions, a comprehensive range of courses, seminars and workshops designed to give reporters, editors and publishers the background they need to cover the urban scene. Offerings would vary in duration and intensity from weekend conferences to grants for year-long individual study on the order of the Nieman Fellowships.

All levels and all kinds of news outlets should be served. A most important activity might be to assist disc jockeys and commentators on stations that address themselves especially to the Negro community. Particularly important would be sessions of a month or more for seasoned reporters and editors, comparable to middle management seminars or mid-career training in other callings. The press must have all of the intellectual resources and background to give adequate coverage to the city and the ghetto. It should be the first duty of the Institute to see that this is provided.

2. Recruitment, training and placement of Negro journalists. The scarcity of Negroes in responsible news jobs intensifies the difficulties of communicating the reality of the contemporary American city to white newspaper and television audiences. The special viewpoint of the Negro who has lived through these problems and bears their marks upon him is, as we have seen, notably absent from what is, on the whole, a white press. But full integration of Negroes into the journalistic profession is imperative in its own right. It is unacceptable that the press, itself the special beneficiary of fundamental constitutional protections, should lag so far behind other fields in giving effect to the fundamental human right to equality of opportunity.

To help correct this situation, the Institute will have to undertake far-ranging activities. Providing educational opportunities for would-be Negro journalists is not enough. There will have to be changes in career outlooks for Negro students and their counselors back to the secondary school level. And changes in these attitudes will come slowly unless there is a change in the reality of employment and advancement opportunities for Negroes in journalism. This requires an aggressive placement program, seeking out newspapers, television and radio stations that discriminate, whether consciously or unconsciously, and mobilizing the pressures, public, private and legal, necessary to break the pattern. The Institute might also provide assistance to Negro newspapers, which now recruit and train many young journalists.

3. Police-press relations. The Commission has stressed the failures in this area, and has laid out a set of remedial measures for action at the local level. But if reliance is placed exclusively on local initiative we can predict that in many places -- often those that need it most -- our recommended steps will not be taken. Pressure from the federal government for action along the lines proposed would be suspect, probably, by both press and local officials. But the Institute could undertake the task of stimulating community action in line with the Commission's recommendations without arousing local hostility and suspicion. Moreover, the Institute could serve as a clearing house for exchange of experience in this field.

4. Review of Media Performance on Riots and Racial Issues. The Institute should review press and television coverage of riot and racial news and publicly award praise and blame. The Commission recognizes that government restraints or guidelines in this field are both unworkable and incompatible with our Constitution and traditions. Internal guidelines or voluntary advance arrangements may be useful, but they tend to be rather general and the standards they prescribe are neither self-applying nor self-enforcing. We believe it would be healthy for reporters and editors who work in this sensitive field to know that others will be viewing their work and will hold them publicly accountable for lapses from accepted standards of good journalism. The Institute should publicize its findings by means of regular and special reports. It might also set a series of awards for especially meritorious work of individuals or news organizations in race relations reporting.

5. An urban affairs service. Whatever may be done to improve the quality of reporting on urban affairs, there always will be a great many outlets that are too small to support the specialized investigation, reporting and interpreting needed in this field. To fill this gap, the Institute could organize a comprehensive urban news service, available at a modest fee to any news organization that wanted it. The Institute would have its own specially trained reporters, and it would also cull the national press for news and feature stories of broader interest that could be reprinted or broadcast by subscribers.

Continuing Research

Our own investigations have shown us that academic work on the impact of the media on race relations, its role in shaping attitudes, and the effects of the choices it makes on people's behavior, is in a rudimentary stage. The Commission's content analysis is the first study of its type of contemporary riot coverage, and it is extremely limited in scope. A whole range of questions needs intensive scholarly exploration, and indeed the development of new modes of research and analysis. The Institute should undertake many of these important projects under its own auspices and could stimulate others in the academic community to further research.


Along with the country as a whole, the press has too long basked in a white world, looking out of it, if at all, with white men's eyes and a white perspective. That is no longer good enough. The painful process of readjustment that is required of the American news media must begin now. They must make a reality of integration -- in both their product and personnel. They must insist on the highest standards of accuracy -- not only reporting single events with care and skepticism, but placing each event into meaningful perspective. They must report the travail of our cities with compassion and in depth.

In all this, the Commission asks for fair and courageous journalism: commitment and coverage that are worthy of one of the crucial domestic stories in America's history.



1. As recently as February 9, 1968, an Associated Press dispatch from Philadelphia said "damage exceeded $1 billion" in Detroit.

2. Michigan State Insurance Commission Estimate, December, 1967. See also Meeting the Insurance Crisis of Our Cities, a Report by the President's National Advisory Panel on Insurance in Riot-Affected Areas, January, 1968.

3. Detroit, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cincinnati, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Tampa, Florida; Newark, New Jersey; Plainfield, New Jersey; Elizabeth, New Jersey; Jersey City, New Jersey; East Orange, New Jersey; Paterson, New Jersey; New Brunswick, New Jersey; Englewood, New Jersey; New Haven, Connecticut; Rochester, New York.

4. What follows is a summary of the major conclusions drawn from the content analysis conducted for the Commission.

5. The white male adult category in this computation does not include law enforcement agents or public officials.

6. Detroit news outlets substantially refrained from publicizing the riot during the early part of Sunday, the first day of rioting.

7. As examples, less than a month after the Detroit riot, the Detroit Free Press published the results of a landmark survey of local Negro attitudes and grievances. Newsweek Magazine's November 20, 1967 special issue on "The Negro American -- What Must Be Done" made a significant contribution to public understanding.

8. The Commission is indebted, in this regard, to M. Thomas Allen for his document on Mass Media Use Patterns and Functions In the Negro Ghetto In Pittsburgh.

9. Detroit, Newark, Atlanta, Tampa, New Haven, Cincinnati, Milwaukee.

10. We have not, in this report, examined the Negro press in detail. The thrust of our studies was directed at daily mass circulation, mass audience media which are aimed at the community as a whole.
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Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

Postby admin » Tue May 03, 2016 9:24 am

Chapter 16: The Future of the Cities [1]


We believe action of the kind outlined in preceding pages can contribute substantially to control of disorders in the near future. But there should be no mistake about the long run. The underlying forces continue to gain momentum.

The most basic of these is the accelerating segregation of low-income, disadvantaged Negroes within the ghettos of the largest American cities.

By 1985, the 12.1 million Negroes segregated within central cities today will have grown to approximately 20.8 million -- an increase of 72 percent.

Prospects for domestic peace and for the quality of American life are linked directly to the future of these cities.

Two critical questions must be confronted: Where do present trends now lead? What choices are open to us?


Negro Population Growth**

The size of the Negro population in central cities is closely related to total national Negro population growth. In the past 16 years, about 98 percent of this growth has occurred within metropolitan areas, and 86 percent in the central cities of those areas.

A conservative projection of national Negro population growth indicates continued rapid increases. For the period 1966 to 1985, it will rise to a total of 30.7 million, gaining an average of 484,000 a year, or 7.6 percent more than the increase in each year from 1960 to 1966.


Further Negro population growth in central cities depends upon two key factors: in-migration from outside metropolitan areas, and patterns of Negro settlement within metropolitan areas.

From 1960 to 1966, the Negro population of all central cities rose 2.4 million, 88.9 percent of total national Negro population growth. We estimate that natural growth accounted for 1.4 million, or 58 percent of this increase, and in-migration accounted for I million, or 42 percent.

As of 1966, the Negro population in all central cities totaled 12.1 million. By 1985, we have estimated that it will rise 72 percent to 20.8 million. We believe that natural growth will account for 6 million of this increase and in-migration for 2.7 million.

Without significant Negro out-migration, then, the combined Negro populations of central cities will continue to grow by an average of 316,000 a year through 1985.

This growth would increase the proportion of Negroes to whites in central cities by 1985 from the present 20.6 percent to between an estimated 31 and 35.6 percent.

These, however, are national figures. Much faster increases will occur in the largest central cities where Negro growth has been concentrated in the past two decades. Washington, D. C., and Newark are already over half Negro. A continuation of recent trends would cause the following 11 major cities to become over 50 percent Negro by the indicated dates:


These cities, plus Washington, D. C., (now over 66 percent Negro) and Newark, contained 12.6 million people in 1960, or 22 percent of the total population of all 224 American central cities. All 13 cities undoubtedly will have Negro majorities by 1985, and the suburbs ringing them will remain largely all white, unless there are major changes in Negro fertility rates,*** in-migration, settlement patterns or public policy.

Experience indicates that Negro school enrollment in these and other cities will exceed 50 percent long before the total population reaches that mark. In fact, Negro students already comprise more than a majority in the public elementary schools of 12 of the 13 cities mentioned above. This occurs because the Negro population in central cities is much younger and because a much higher proportion of white children attend private schools. For example, St. Louis' population was about 36 percent Negro in 1965; its public elementary school enrollment was 63 percent Negro. If present trends continue, many cities in addition to those listed above will have Negro school majorities by 1985, probably including:


Kansas City, Mo.
New Haven

Thus, continued concentration of future Negro population growth in large central cities will produce significant changes in those cities over the next 20 years. Unless there are sharp changes in the factors influencing Negro settlement patterns within metropolitan areas, there is little doubt that the trend toward Negro majorities will continue. Even a complete cessation of net Negro in-migration to central cities would merely postpone this result for a few years.

Growth of the Young Negro Population

We estimate that the nation's white population will grow 16.6 million, or 9.5 percent, from 1966 to 1975, and the Negro population 3.8 million, or 17.7 percent, in the same period. The Negro age group from 15 to 24 years of age, however, will grow much faster than either the Negro population as a whole, or the white population in the same age group.

From 1966 to 1975, the number of Negroes in this age group will rise 1.6 million, or 40.1 percent. The white population aged 15 to 24 will rise 6.6 million, or 23.5 percent.

This rapid increase in the young Negro population has important implications for the country. This group has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, commits a relatively high proportion of all crimes, and plays the most significant role in civil disorders. By the same token, it is a great reservoir of underused human resources which are vital to the nation.

The Location of New Jobs

Most new employment opportunities do not occur in central cities, near all-Negro neighborhoods. They are being created in suburbs and outlying areas -- and this trend is likely to continue indefinitely. New office buildings have risen in the downtowns of large cities, often near all-Negro areas. But the out-flow of manufacturing and retailing facilities normally offsets this addition significantly -- and in many cases has caused a net loss of jobs in central cities.

Providing employment for the swelling Negro ghetto population will require society to link these potential workers more closely with job locations. This can be done in three ways: by developing incentives to industry to create new employment centers near Negro residential areas; by opening suburban residential areas to Negroes and encouraging them to move closer to industrial centers; or by creating better transportation between ghetto neighborhoods and new job locations.

All three involve large public outlays.

The first method -- creating new industries in or near the ghetto -- is not likely to occur without government subsidies on a scale which convinces private firms that it will pay them to face the problems involved.

The second method -- opening up suburban areas to Negro occupancy -- obviously requires effective fair housing laws. It will also require an extensive program of federally-aided, low-cost housing in many suburban areas.

The third approach -- improved transportation linking ghettos and suburbs -- has received little attention from city planners and municipal officials. A few demonstration projects show promise, but carrying them out on a large scale will be very costly.

Although a high proportion of new jobs will be located in suburbs, there are still millions of jobs in central cities. Turnover in those jobs alone can open up a great many potential positions for Negro central city residents -- if employers cease racial discrimination in their hiring and promotion practices.

Nevertheless, as the total number of Negro central city jobseekers continues to rise, the need to link them with emerging new employment in the suburbs will become increasingly urgent.

The Increasing Cost of Municipal Services

Local governments have had to bear a particularly heavy financial burden in the two decades since the end of World War II. All United States cities are highly dependent upon property taxes that are relatively unresponsive to changes in income. Consequently, growing municipalities have been hard-pressed for adequate revenues to meet rising demands for services generated by population increase. On the other hand, stable or declining cities have not only been faced with steady cost increases but also with a slow-growing, or even declining, tax base.

As a result of the population shifts of the post-war period, concentrating the more affluent parts of the urban population in residential suburbs while leaving the less affluent in the central cities, the increasing burden of municipal taxes frequently falls upon that part of the urban population least able to pay them.

Increasing concentrations of urban growth have called forth greater expenditures for every kind of public service: education, health, police protection, fire protection, parks, sewage disposal, sanitation, water supply, etc. These expenditures have strikingly outpaced tax revenues.

The story is summed up below:

Local Government Revenues, Expenditures and Debt (Billions of dollars)


The fact that the problems of the cities are a national problem is seen in the growth of federal assistance to urban areas under various grant-in-aid programs, which reached the level of $10 billion in the current fiscal year.

Nevertheless, the fiscal plight of many cities is likely to grow even more serious in the future. Local expenditures inevitably will continue to rise steeply as a result of several factors, including the difficulty of increasing productivity in the predominantly service activities of local governments, and the rapid technologically-induced increases in productivity in other economic sectors.

Traditionally, individual productivity has risen faster in the manufacturing, mining, construction, and agricultural sectors than in those involving personal services.

However, all sectors compete with each other for talent and personnel. Wages and salaries in the service-dominated sectors generally must keep up, therefore, with those in the capital-dominated sectors. Since productivity in manufacturing has risen about 2.5 percent per year compounded over many decades, and even faster in agriculture, the basis for setting costs in the service-dominated sectors has gone up, too.

In the postwar period, costs of the same units of output have increased very rapidly in certain key activities of local government. For example, education is the single biggest form of expenditure by local governments (including school districts), accounting for about 40 percent of their outlays. From 1947 to 1967, costs per pupil-day in United States public schools rose at a rate of 6.7 percent per year compounded-only slightly less than doubling every ten years.**** This major cost item is likely to keep on rising rapidly in the future, along with other government services like police, fire, and welfare activities.

Some increases in productivity may occur in these fields, and some economies may be achieved through use of semi-skilled assistants such as police and teachers' aides. Nevertheless, with the need to keep pace with private sector wage scales, local government costs will keep on rising sharply.

This and other future cost increases are important to future relations between central cities and suburbs. Rising costs will inevitably force central cities to demand more and more assistance from the federal government. But the federal government can obtain such funds through the income tax only from other parts of the economy. Suburban governments are, meanwhile, experiencing the same cost increases along with the rising resentment of their constituents.

The complexity of American society offers many choices for the future of relations between central cities and suburbs and patterns of white and Negro settlement in metropolitan areas. For practical purposes, however, we see two fundamental questions:

• Should future Negro population growth be concentrated in central cities, as in the past 20 years, and should Negro and white populations become even more residentially segregated?

• Should society provide greatly increased special assistance to Negroes and other relatively disadvantaged population groups?

For purposes of analysis, the Commission has defined three basic choices for the future embodying specific answers to these questions:

The Present Policies Choice

Under this course, the nation would maintain approximately the share of resources now being allocated to programs of assistance for the poor, unemployed and disadvantaged. These programs are likely to grow, given continuing economic growth and rising federal revenues, but they will not grow fast enough to stop, let alone reverse, the already deteriorating quality of life in central-city ghettos.

This choice carries the highest ultimate price, as we will point out.

The Enrichment Choice

Under this course, the nation would seek to offset the effects of continued Negro segregation and deprivation in large city ghettos. The Enrichment Choice would aim at creating dramatic improvements in the quality of life in disadvantaged central-city neighborhoods -- both white and Negro. It would require marked increases in federal spending for education, housing, employment, job training, and social services.

The Enrichment Choice would seek to lift poor Negroes and whites above poverty status and thereby give them the capacity to enter the mainstream of American life. But it would not, at least for many years, appreciably affect either the increasing concentration of Negroes in the ghetto or racial segregation in residential areas outside the ghetto.

The Integration Choice

This choice would be aimed at reversing the movement of the country toward two societies, separate and unequal.

The Integration Choice -- like the Enrichment Choice -- would call for large-scale improvement in the quality of ghetto life. But it would also involve both creating strong incentives for Negro movement out of central-city ghettos and enlarging freedom of choice concerning housing, employment, and schools.

The result would fall considerably short of full integration. The experience of other ethnic groups indicates that some Negro households would be scattered in largely white residential areas. Others -- probably a larger number -- would voluntarily cluster together in largely Negro neighborhoods. The Integration Choice would thus produce both integration and segregation. But the segregation would be voluntary.

Articulating these three choices plainly oversimplifies the possibilities open to the country. We believe, however, that they encompass the basic issues-issues which the American public must face if it is serious in its concern not only about civil disorder, but the future of our democratic society.


Powerful forces of social and political inertia are moving the country steadily along the course of existing policies toward a divided country.

This course may well involve changes in many social and economic programs -- but not enough to produce fundamental alterations in the key factors of Negro concentration, racial segregation, and the lack of sufficient enrichment to arrest the decay of deprived neighborhoods.

Some movement towards enrichment can be found in efforts to encourage industries to locate plants in central cities, in increased federal expenditures for education, in the important concepts embodied in the "War on Poverty," and in the Model Cities Program. But so far congressional appropriations for even present federal programs have been so small that they fall short of effective enrichment.

As for challenging concentration and segregation, a national commitment to this purpose has yet to develop. This is seen in the history of national open housing legislation, pending in Congress, which the President has again urged the Congress to enact.

Of the three future courses we have defined, the Present Policies Choice -- the choice we are now making -- is the course with the most ominous consequences for our society.

The Probability of Future Civil Disorders

Under the Present Policies Choice, society would do little more than it is now doing against racial segregation, fundamental poverty, and deprivation. What effect would this have on the potential for major civil disorders?

We believe for two reasons that this choice would lead to a larger number of violent incidents of the kind that have stimulated recent major disorders.

First, the Present Policies Choice does nothing to raise the hopes, absorb the energies, or constructively challenge the talents of the rapidly-growing number of young Negro men in central cities. Therefore, the proportion of unemployed or underemployed among them will remain very high. These young men have contributed disproportionately to crime and violence in cities in the past, and there is danger, obviously, that they will continue to do so.

Second, under these conditions, a rising proportion of Negroes in disadvantaged city areas might come to look upon the deprivation and segregation they suffer as proper justification for violent protest or for extending support to now isolated extremists who advocate civil disruption by guerrilla tactics.

More incidents, however, would not necessarily mean more or worse riots. For the near future, there is substantial likelihood that even an increased number of incidents could be controlled before becoming major disorders. Such control should be possible if society undertakes to improve police and National Guard forces so that they can respond to potential disorders with more prompt and disciplined use of force.

In fact, the likelihood of incidents mushrooming into major disorders would be only slightly higher in the near future under the Present Policies Choice than under the other two possible choices. For no new policies or programs could possibly alter basic ghetto conditions immediately. And the announcement of new programs under the other choices would immediately generate new expectations. Expectations inevitably increase faster than performance: in the short run, they might even increase the level of frustration.

In the long run, however, the Present Policies Choice risks a seriously greater probability of major disorders, worse, possibly, than those already experienced.

If the Negro population as a whole developed even stronger feelings of being wrongly "penned in" and discriminated against, many of its members might come to support not only riots, but the rebellion now being preached by only a handful.

If large-scale violence resulted, white retaliation would follow. This spiral could quite conceivably lead to a kind of urban apartheid with semi-martial law in many major cities. enforced residence of Negroes in segregated areas, and a drastic reduction in personal freedom for all Americans, particularly Negroes.

The same distinction is applicable to the cost of the Present Policies Choice. In the short run, its costs -- at least its direct cash outlays -- would be far less than for the other choices.

Any social and economic programs likely to have significant lasting effect would require very substantial annual appropriations for many years. Their cost would well exceed the direct losses sustained in recent civil disorders. Property damage in all the disorders we investigated, including Detroit and Newark, totalled less than $100 million. The casualty toll was far smaller than that for automobile accidents on an average weekend.

But it would be a tragic mistake to view the Present Policies Choice as cheap. Damage figures measure only a small part of the costs of civil disorder. They cannot measure the costs in terms of the lives lost, injuries suffered, minds and attitudes closed and frozen in prejudice, or the hidden costs of the profound disruption of entire cities.

Ultimately, moreover, the economic and social costs of the Present Policies Choice will far surpass the cost of the alternatives. The rising concentration of impoverished Negroes and other minorities within the urban ghettos will constantly expand public expenditures for welfare, law enforcement, unemployment and other existing programs without reversing the tendency of older city neighborhoods toward decay and the breeding of frustration and discontent. But the most significant item on the balance of accounts will remain largely invisible and incalculable -- the toll in human values taken by continued poverty, segregation and inequality of opportunity.


Another and equally serious consequence is the fact that this course would lead to the permanent establishment of two societies: one predominantly white and located in the suburbs, in smaller cities, and in outlying areas, and one largely Negro located in central cities.

We are well on the way to just such a divided nation.

This division is veiled by the fact that Negroes do not now dominate many central cities. But they soon will, as we have shown, and the new Negro mayors will be facing even more difficult conditions than now exist.

As Negroes succeed whites in our largest cities, the proportion of low-income residents in those cities will probably increase. This is likely even if both white and Negro incomes continue to rise at recent rates, since Negroes have much lower incomes than whites. Moreover, many of the ills of large central cities spring from their age, their location, and their physical structures. The deterioration and economic decay stemming from these factors have been proceeding for decades and will continue to plague older cities regardless of who resides in them.

These facts underlie the fourfold dilemma of the American city:

• Fewer tax dollars come in, as large numbers of middle-income taxpayers move out of central cities and property values and business decline;

• More tax dollars are required, to provide essential public services and facilities, and to meet the needs of expanding lower-income groups;

• Each tax dollar buys less, because of increasing costs;

• Citizen dissatisfaction with municipal services grows as needs, expectations and standards of living increase throughout the community.

These trends already grip many major cities, and their grip is becoming tighter daily.

These are the conditions that would greet the Negro-dominated municipal governments that will gradually come to power in many of our major cities. The Negro electorates in those cities probably would demand basic changes in present policies. Like the present white electorates there, they would have to look for assistance to two basic sources: the private sector and the federal government.

With respect to the private sector, major private capital investment in those cities might have ceased almost altogether if white-dominated firms and industries decided the risks and costs were too great. The withdrawal of private capital is already far advanced in most all-Negro areas of our large cities.

Even if private investment continued, it alone would not suffice. Big cities containing high proportions of low-income Negroes and block after block of deteriorating older property need very substantial assistance from the federal government to meet the demands of their electorates for improved services and living conditions. In fact, all large cities will need such assistance.

By that time, however, it is probable that Congress will be more heavily influenced by representatives of the suburban and outlying city electorate. These areas will comprise 41 percent of our total population by 1985, compared with 33 percent in 1960. Central cities will decline from 31 percent to 27 percent. ***** Without decisive action toward integration, this influential suburban electorate would be over 95 percent white and much more affluent than the central city population.

Yet even the suburbs will be feeling the squeeze of higher local government costs. Hence, Congress might resist providing the extensive assistance which central cities will desperately need. Many big-city mayors are already beseeching the federal government for massive aid.

Thus the Present Policies Choice, if pursued for any length of time, might force simultaneous political and economic polarization in many of our largest metropolitan areas. Such polarization would involve large central cities -- mainly Negro, with many poor, and nearly bankrupt -- on the one hand, and most suburbs-mainly white, generally at1luent, but heavily taxed -- on the other hand.

Some areas might avoid political confrontation by shifting to some form of metropolitan government designed to offer regional solutions for pressing urban problems such as property taxation, air- and water pollution and refuse disposal, and commuter transport. Yet this would hardly eliminate the basic segregation and relative poverty of the urban Negro population. It might even increase the Negro's sense of frustration and alienation if it operated to prevent Negro political control of central cities.

The acquisition of power by Negro-dominated governments in central cities is surely a legitimate and desirable exercise of political power by a minority group. It is in an American political tradition exemplified by the achievements of the Irish in Now York and Boston.

But such Negro political development would also involve virtually complete racial segregation and virtually complete spatial separation. By 1985, the separate Negro society in our central cities would contain almost 21 million citizens. That is about 72 percent larger than the present Negro population of central cities. It is also larger than the current population of every Negro nation in Africa except Nigeria and Ethiopia.

If developing a racially integrated society is extraordinarily difficult today when 12.5 million Negroes live in ghettos, then it is quite clearly going to be virtually impossible in 1985 when almost 21 million Negroes -- still much poorer and less educated than most whites -- will be living there.

Can Present Policies Avert Extreme Polarization?

There are at least two possible developments under the Present Policies Choice which might avert such polarization. The first is a faster increase of incomes among Negroes than has occurred in the recent past. This might prevent central cities from becoming even deeper "poverty traps" than they now are. It suggests the importance of effective job programs and higher levels of welfare payments for dependent families.

The second possible development is migration of a growing Negro middle class out of the central city. This would not prevent competition for federal funds between central cities and outlying areas, but it might diminish the racial undertones of that competition.

There is, however, no evidence that a continuation of present policies would be accompanied by any such movement. There is already a significant Negro middle class. It grew rapidly from 1960 to 1966. Yet in these years, 88.9 percent of the total national growth of Negro population was concentrated in central cities-the highest in history. Indeed, from 1960 to 1966, there was actually a net total in-migration of Negroes from the urban fringes of metropolitan areas into central cities. The Commission believes it unlikely that this trend will suddenly reverse itself without significant changes in private attitudes and public policies.


The Present Policies Choice plainly would involve continuation of efforts like Model Cities, manpower programs, and the War on Poverty. These are in fact enrichment programs, designed to improve the quality of life in the ghetto.

Because of their limited scope and funds, however, they constitute only very modest steps toward enrichment -- and would continue to do so even if these programs were somewhat enlarged or supplemented.

The premise of the Enrichment Choice is performance. To adopt this choice would require a substantially greater share of national resources -- sufficient to make a dramatic, visible impact on life in the urban Negro ghetto.

The Effect of Enrichment on Civil Disorders

Effective enrichment policies probably would have three immediate effects on civil disorders.

First, announcement of specific large-scale programs and the demonstration of a strong intent to carry them out might persuade ghetto residents that genuine remedies for their problems were forthcoming, thereby allaying tensions.

Second, such announcements would strongly stimulate the aspirations and hopes of members of these communities -- possibly well beyond the capabilities of society to deliver and to do so promptly. This might increase frustration and discontent, to some extent cancelling the first effect.

Third, if there could be immediate action on meaningful job training and the creation of productive jobs for large numbers of unemployed young people, they would become much less likely to engage in civil disorders.

Such action is difficult now, when there are about 583,000 young Negro men aged 16 to 24 in central cities -- of whom 131,000, or 22.5 percent, are unemployed and probably two or three times as many are underemployed. It will not become easier in the future. By 1975, this age group will have grown to nearly 700,000.

Given the size of the present problem, plus the large growth of this age group, creation of sufficient meaningful jobs will require extensive programs, begun rapidly. Even if the nation is willing to embark on such programs, there is no certainty that they can be made effective soon enough.

Consequently, there is no certainty that the Enrichment Choice would do much more in the near future to diminish violent incidents in central cities than would the Present Policies Choice. However, if enrichment programs can succeed in meeting the needs of residents of disadvantaged areas for jobs, education, housing and city services, then over the years this choice is almost certain to reduce both the level and frequency of urban disorder.

The Negro Middle Class

One objective of the Enrichment Choice would be to help as many disadvantaged Americans as possible -- of all races -- to enter the mainstream of American prosperity, to progress toward what is often called middle-class status. If the Enrichment Choice were adopted, it could certainly attain this objective to a far greater degree than would the Present Policies Choice. This could significantly change the quality of life in many central city areas.

It can be argued that a rapidly enlarging Negro middle class would promote Negro out-migration, and thus the Enrichment Choice would open up an escape hatch from the ghetto. This argument, however, has two weaknesses.

The first is experience. Central cities already have sizable and growing numbers of middle-class Negro families. Yet, as noted earlier, only a few have migrated from the central city.

The past pattern of white ethnic groups gradually moving out of central-city areas to middle-class suburbs has not applied to Negroes. Effective open-housing laws will help make this possible. It is probable, however, that other more extensive changes in policies and attitudes will be required -- and these would extend beyond the Enrichment Choice.

The second weakness in the argument is time. Even if enlargement of the Negro middle class succeeded in encouraging movement out of the central city, could it do so fast enough to offset the rapid growth of the ghetto? To offset even half the growth estimated for the ghetto by 1975 would call for the out-migration from central cities of 217,000 persons a year. This is eight times the annual increase in suburban Negro population -- including natural increase -- which occurred from 1960 to 1966. Even the most effective enrichment program is not likely to accomplish this.

A corollary problem derives from the continuing migration of poor Negroes from the South to Northern and Western cities.

Adoption of the Enrichment Choice would require large-scale efforts to improve conditions in the South sufficiently to remove the pressure to migrate. It should, however, be recognized that less than a third of the estimated increase in Negro central-city population by 1985 will result from in-migration -- 2.7 million out of total increase of 8.7 million.

Negro Self-Development

The Enrichment Choice is in line with some of the currents of Negro protest thought that fall under the label of "Black Power." We do not refer to versions of Black Power ideology which promote violence, generate racial hatred, or advocate total separation of the races. Rather, we mean the view which asserts that the American Negro population can assume its proper role in society and overcome its feelings of powerlessness and lack of self-respect only by exerting power over decisions which directly affect its own members. A fully integrated society is not thought possible until the Negro minority within the ghetto has developed political strength -- a strong bargaining position in dealing with the rest of society.

In short, this argument would regard predominantly Negro central cities and predominantly white outlying areas not as harmful, but as an advantageous future.

Proponents of these views also focus on the need for the Negro to organize economically and politically, thus tapping new energies for self-development. One of the hardest tasks in improving disadvantaged areas is to discover how deeply deprived residents can develop their own capabilities by participating more fully in decisions and activities which affect them. Such learning-by-doing efforts are a vital part of the process of bringing deprived people into the social mainstream.

Separate But Equal Societies?

The Enrichment Choice by no means seeks to perpetuate racial segregation. In the end, however, its premise is that disadvantaged Negroes can achieve equality of opportunity with whites while continuing in conditions of nearly complete separation.

This premise has been vigorously advocated by Black Power proponents. While most Negroes originally desired racial integration, many are losing hope of ever achieving it because of seemingly implacable white resistance. Yet they cannot bring themselves to accept the conclusion that most of the millions of Negroes who are forced to live racially segregated lives must therefore be condemned to inferior lives -- to inferior educations, or inferior housing, or inferior status.

Rather, they reason, there must be some way to make the quality of life in the ghetto areas just as good. And if equality cannot be achieved through integration then it is not surprising that some Black Power advocates are denouncing integration and claiming that, given the hypocrisy and racism that pervade white society, life in a black society is, in fact, morally superior. This argument is understandable, but there is a great deal of evidence that it is false.

The economy of the United States and particularly the sources of employment are preponderantly white. In this circumstance, a policy of separate but equal employment could only relegate Negroes permanently to inferior incomes and economic status.

The best evidence regarding education is contained in recent reports of the Office of Education and Civil Rights Commission which suggest that both racial and economic integration are essential to educational equality for Negroes. Yet critics point out that, certainly until integration is achieved, various types of enrichment programs must be tested, and that dramatically different results may be possible from intensive educational enrichment -- such as far smaller classes, or greatly expanded pre-school programs, or changes in the home environment of Negro children resulting from steady jobs for fathers.

Still others advocate shifting control over ghetto schools from professional administrators to local residents. This, they say, would improve curricula, give students a greater sense of their own value, and thus raise their morale and educational achievement. These approaches have not yet been tested sufficiently. One conclusion, however, does seem reasonable: any real improvement in the quality of education in low-income, all-Negro areas will cost a great deal more money than is now being spent there -- and perhaps more than is being spent per pupil anywhere. Racial and social class integration of schools may produce equal improvement in achievement at less total cost.

Whether or not enrichment in ghetto areas will really work is not yet known, but the Enrichment Choice is based on the yet-unproved premise that it will. Certainly, enrichment programs could significantly improve existing ghetto schools if they impelled major innovations. But "separate but equal" ghetto education cannot meet the long-run fundamental educational needs of the central-city Negro population.

The three basic educational choices are: providing Negro children with quality education in integrated schools; providing them with quality education by enriching ghetto schools; or continuing to provide many Negro children with inferior education in racially segregated school systems, severely limiting their life-time opportunities.

Consciously or not, it is the third choice that the nation is now making, and this choice the Commission rejects totally.

In the field of housing, it is obvious that "separate but equal" does not mean really equal. The Enrichment Choice could greatly improve the quantity, variety, and environment of decent housing available to the ghetto population. It could not provide Negroes with the same freedom and range of choice as whites with equal incomes. Smaller cities and suburban areas together with the central city provide a far greater variety of housing and environmental settings than the central city alone. Programs to provide housing outside central cities, however, extend beyond the bounds of the Enrichment Choice.

In the end, whatever its benefits, the Enrichment Choice might well invite a prospect similar to that of the Present Policies Choice: separate white and black societies.

If enrichment programs were effective, they could greatly narrow the gap in income, education, housing, jobs, and other qualities of life between the ghetto and the mainstream. Hence the chances of harsh polarization -- or of disorder -- in the next 20 years would be greatly reduced.

Whether they would be reduced far enough depends on the scope of the programs. Even if the gap were narrowed from the present, it still could remain as a strong source of tension. History teaches that men are not necessarily placated even by great absolute progress. The controlling factor is relative progress -- whether they still perceive a significant gap between themselves and others whom they regard as no more deserving. Widespread perception of such a gap -- and consequent resentment -- might well be precisely the situation 20 years from now under the Enrichment Choice, for it is essentially another way of choosing a permanently divided country.


The third and last course open to the nation combines enrichment with programs designed to encourage integration of substantial numbers of Negroes into the society outside the ghetto.

Enrichment must be an important adjunct to any integration course. No matter how ambitious or energetic such a program may be, few Negroes now living in central-city ghettos would be quickly integrated. In the meantime, significant improvement in their present environment is essential.

The enrichment aspect of this third choice should, however, be recognized as interim action, during which time expanded and new programs can work to improve education and earning power. The length of the interim period surely would vary. For some it may be long. But in any event, what should be clearly recognized is that enrichment is only a means toward the goal; it is not the goal.

The goal must be achieving freedom for every citizen to live and work according to his capacities and desires, not his color.

We believe there are four important reasons why American society must give this course the most serious consideration. First, future jobs are being created primarily in the suburbs, but the chronically unemployed population is increasingly concentrated in the ghetto. This separation will make it more and more difficult for Negroes to achieve anything like full employment in decent jobs. But if, over time, these residents began to find housing outside central cities, they would be exposed to more knowledge of job opportunities. They would have to make much shorter trips to reach jobs. They would have a far better chance of securing employment on a self-sustaining basis.

Second, in the judgment of this Commission, racial and social-class integration is the most effective way of improving the education of ghetto children.

Third, developing an adequate housing supply for low-income and middle-income families and true freedom of choice in housing for Negroes of all income levels will require substantial out-movement. We do not believe that such an out-movement will occur spontaneously merely as a result of increasing prosperity among Negroes in central cities. A national fair housing law is essential to begin such movement. In many suburban areas, a program combining positive incentives with the building of new housing will be necessary to carry it out.

Fourth, and by far the most important, integration is the only course which explicitly seeks to achieve a single nation rather than accepting the present movement toward a dual society. This choice would enable us at least to begin reversing the profoundly divisive trend already so evident in our metropolitan areas -- before it becomes irreversible.


The future of our cities is neither something which will just happen nor something which will be imposed upon us by an inevitable destiny. That future will be shaped to an important degree by choices we make now.

We have attempted to set forth the major choices because we believe it is vital for Americans to understand the consequences of our present failure to choose -- and then to have to choose wisely.

Three critical conclusions emerge from this analysis:

1. The nation is rapidly moving toward two increasingly separate Americas.

Within two decades, this division could be so deep that it would be almost impossible to unite:

• a white society principally located in suburbs, in smaller central cities, and in the peripheral parts of large central cities; and

• a Negro society largely concentrated within large central cities.

The Negro society will be permanently relegated to its current status, possibly even if we expend great amounts of money and effort in trying to "gild" the ghetto.

2. In the long run, continuation and expansion of such a permanent division threatens us with two perils.

The first is the danger of sustained violence in our cities. The timing, scale, nature, and repercussions of such violence cannot be foreseen. But if it occurred, it would further destroy our ability to achieve the basic American promises of liberty, justice, and equality.

The second is the danger of a conclusive repudiation of the traditional American ideals of individual dignity, freedom, and equality of opportunity. We will not be able to espouse these ideals meaningfully to the rest of the world, to ourselves, to our children. They may still recite the Pledge of Allegiance and say "one nation . . . indivisible." But they will be learning cynicism, not patriotism.

3. We cannot escape responsibility for choosing the future of our metropolitan areas and the human relations which develop within them. It is a responsibility so critical that even an unconscious choice to continue present policies has the gravest implications.

That we have delayed in choosing or, by delaying, may be making the wrong choice, does not sentence us either to separatism or despair. But we must choose. We will choose. Indeed, we are now choosing.


1. The Census Bureau publishes four projections of future population growth based upon differing assumptions about future fertility rates (the fertility rate is the annual number of live births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44). Series A assumes fertility rates similar to those prevalent from 1962 to 1966; Series B through D assume lower rates. Assuming that Negro fertility rates will continue to decline, we have used the average of Series C and D -- which make the lowest assumptions about such rates. We have also converted the Census Bureau's non-White population projections into Negro projections by assuming Negroes will continue to comprise about 92 percent of all nonwhites. If, however, fertility rates remain at their present levels, then the total Negro population in 1985 would be 35.8 million rather than 30.7 million. The average annual rate of increase from 1966 to 1985 would be 753,000, rather than 484,000 -- 55 percent higher.

The projection is as follows:

Total U.S. Negro Population (in millions) / Negroes s % of Total U.S. Population / Increase from the Previous Date Shown


2. The general concept of a metropolitan area is of an integrated, economic and social unit with a recognized large population nucleus. Statistically, it is called a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area -- one which contains at least one central city of at least 50,000 inhabitants. It covers the county of the central city and adjacent counties found to be economically and socially integrated with that county.

A Central City is the largest city of an SMSA and which gives the SMSA its name.

"Core city" or "inner city" is a popular expression sometimes meaning central city and sometimes meaning the central business district and densely populated downtown neighborhoods of generally poorer residents. The array of statistical materials for metropolitan areas by "central city" and "outside central city" categories carries with it some dangers which can trap the unwary. The general proposition made in such displays is that the Negro population is concentrated in the central city and is kept out of the suburbs. Certainly this is true.

The danger arises from the inference which the reader may make about the character of "outside central city" and "suburb!' "Outside central city" means the whole metropolitan area outside the city or cities wh.- names are given to the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area. This is not a homogeneous, affluent, white-only collection of bedroom communities or housing developments. It is a wide-ranging assortment of these and more. Some are attractive communities with trees, grass and fresh air. Others are grimy, industrial towns with all the problems commonly associated with the central city. There are, in fact, 246 cities of over 25,000 "hidden" in the concept "outside central city." Seventy-seven of these had over 50,000 population in 1960. Many are white only or close to it. Many are not. Some even have higher proportions of Negroes to total population than the central cities of the metropolitan areas of which they are a part. Some of these cities are new. Some are old and have to fight the same battles against urban blight as the central cities of many metropolitan areas.

3. We have considered two projections of this population. The first projection assumes no further in-migration or out-migration of Negroes to or from central cities. This assumption is unrealistic, but it provides a measure of how much the central-city Negro population is likely to expand through natural increase alone. The second projection assumes that central cities will continue to contain 88.9 percent of all Negro population growth, as they did from 1960 to 1966.

Total U.S. Central-City Negro Population (in millions)


Thus, even assuming no Negro migration into central cities, the total Negro population would increase six million, 49.6 percent, by 1985. Under the more realistic assumption of both continued m-migration (at present rates) and natural growth, total Negro population of central cities would increase by 8.7 million Negroes, 72 percent.

4. We have arrived at these estimates by making three different assumptions about future white central city population shifts: (a) that it will remain constant at its 1966 level of 46.4 million; (b) that it will decline, as it did from 1960 to 1966, by an amount equal to half the increase in central-city Negro population. In all three cases, we assume that Negro central city population will continue to account for 88.9 percent of all Negro population growth. These projections embrace both estimates that are probably unrealistically high and low. The full projections are as follows:

Proportion of Total Central City Population Negro if: White Population Remains Constant at 1966 Level / White Population Declines at an Absolute Annual Rate Equal to: One Half Negro Population Gains / Total Negro Population Gains


The first assumption requires a rise in total central-city population from 58.5 million in 1966 to 67.2 million in 1985. Since many of the largest central cities are already almost fully developed, so large an increase is probably unrealistic. On the other hand, the third assumption involves no change in the 1966 central city population figure of 58.5 million. This may be unrealistically low. But in any event, it seems likely that continued concentration will cause the total proportion of Negroes in central cities to reach at least 25 percent by 1975 and 31 percent by 1985.



* Notes appear at end of chapter.

** Tables and explanations of the projections on which they are based appear at the end of the chapter.

*** The fertility rate is the number of live births each year per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.

**** It is true that the average pupil-teacher ratio declined from 28 to about 25, and other improvements in teaching quality may have occurred. But they cannot account for anything approaching this rapid increase in costs.

***** Based on Census Bureau Series D projections.
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Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

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Part 1 of 4

Chapter 17: Recommendations for National Action


The Commission has already addressed itself to the need for immediate action at the local level. Because the city is the focus of racial disorder, the immediate responsibility rests on community leaders and local institutions. Without responsive and representative local government, without effective processes of interracial communication within the city, and without alert, well-trained and adequately supported local police, national action -- no matter how great its scale -- cannot be expected to provide a solution.

Yet the disorders are not simply a problem of the racial ghetto or the city. As we have seen, they are symptoms of social ills that have become endemic in our society and now affect every American -- black or white, businessmen or factory worker, suburban commuter or slum dweller.

None of us can escape the consequences of the continuing economic and social decay of the central city and the closely related problem of rural poverty. The convergence of these conditions in the racial ghetto and the resulting discontent and disruption threaten democratic values fundamental to our progress as a free society.

The essential fact is that neither existing conditions nor the garrison state offer acceptable alternatives for the future of this country. Only a greatly enlarged commitment to national action -- compassionate, massive and sustained, backed by the will and resources of the most powerful and the richest nation on this earth -- can shape a future that is compatible with the historic ideals of American society.

It is this conviction that leads us, as a Commission on Civil Disorders, to comment on the shape and dimensions of the action that must be taken at the national level.

In this effort we have taken account of the work of scholars and experts on race relations, the urban condition and poverty. We have studied the reports and work of other commissions, of congressional committees and of many special task forces and groups both within the government and within the private sector.

Financing the Cost

The Commission has also examined the question of financing; although there are grave difficulties, we do not regard them as insoluble. The nation has substantial financial resources -- not enough to do everything some might wish, but enough to make an important start on reducing our critical "social deficit," in spite of a war and in spite of current requirements.

The key factors having a bearing on our ability to pay for the cost are the great productivity of the American economy, and a Federal revenue system which is highly responsive to economic growth. In combination, these produce truly astounding automatic increases in Federal budget receipts, provided only that the national economy is kept functioning at capacity, so that actual national income expands in line with potential.

These automatic annual increases -- the "fiscal dividend" -- from the Federal revenue system range from $11 to $14 billion under conditions of steady economic growth.

The tax surcharge requested by the President would add about $19 billion to a total fiscal dividend of about $28.5 billion over a two-year period.

While competing demands are certain to grow with every increase in federal revenues, so that hard choices are inevitable, these figures demonstrate the dimension of resources -- apart from changes in tax rates -- which this country can generate.

Federal Program Coordination

The spectacle of Detroit and New Haven engulfed in civil turmoil despite a multitude of federally-aided programs raised basic questions as to whether existing "delivery system" is adequate to the bold new purposes of national policy. Many who voiced these concerns overlooked the disparity between the size of the problems at which the programs are aimed and the level of funding provided by the federal government.

Yet there is little doubt that the system through which federal programs are translated into services to people is a major problem in itself. There are now over 400 grant programs operated by a broad range of federal agencies and channeled through a much larger array of semi-autonomous state and local government entities. Reflective of this complex scheme, federal programs often seem self-defeating and contradictory: field officials unable to make decisions on their own programs and unaware of related efforts; agencies unable or unwilling to work together; programs conceived and administered to achieve different and sometimes conflicting purposes.

The new social development legislation has put great strain upon obsolescent machinery and administrative practices at all levels of government. It has loaded new work on federal departments. It has required a level of skill, a sense of urgency, and a capacity for judgment never planned for or encouraged in departmental field offices. It bas required planning and administrative capacity rarely seen in statehouses, county courthouses and city hall.

Deficiencies in all of these areas have frustrated accomplishment of many of the important goals set by the President and the Congress.

In recent years serious efforts have been made to improve program coordination. During the 1961-1965 period, almost 20 executive orders were issued for the coordination of federal programs involving intergovernmental administration. Some two dozen interagency committees have been established to coordinate two or more federal aid programs. Departments have been given responsibility to lead others in areas within their particular competence -- OEO, in the poverty field, HUD in Model Cities. Vet, despite these and other efforts, the Federal Government has not yet been able to join talent, funds and programs for concentrated impact in the field. Few agencies are able to put together a comprehensive package of related programs to meet priority needs.

There is a clear and compelling requirement for better coordination of federally funded programs, particularly those designed to benefit the residents of the inner city. If essential programs are to be preserved and expanded, this need must be met.

The Commission's Recommendations

We do not claim competence to chart the details of programs within such complex and interrelated fields as employment, welfare, education and housing. We do believe it is essential to set forth goals and to recommend strategies to reach these goals.

That is the aim of the pages that follow. They contain our sense of the critical priorities. We discuss and recommend programs not to commit each of us to specific parts of such programs but to illustrate the type and dimension of action needed.

Much has been accomplished in recent years to formulate new directions for national policy and new channels for national emergency. Resources devoted to social programs have been greatly increased in many areas. Hence, few of our program suggestions are entirely novel. In some form, many are already in effect.

All this serves to underscore our basic conclusion: the need is not 80 much for the government to design new programs as it is for the nation to generate new will. Private enterprise, lab6r unions, the churches, the foundations, the universities -- all our urban institutions -- must deepen their involvement in the life of the city and their commitment to its revival and welfare.

Objectives for National Action

Just as Lincoln, a century ago, put preservation of the Union above all else, so should we put creation of a true union -- a single society and a single American identity -- as our major goal. Toward that goal, we propose the following objectives for national action:

• Opening up opportunities to those who are restricted by racial segregation and discrimination, and eliminating all barriers to their choice of jobs, educationand housing.

• Removing the frustration of powerlessness among disadvantaged by providing the means for them to deal with the problems that affect their own lives, and by increasing the capacity of our public and private institutions to respond to these problems.

• Increasing communication across racial lines to destroy stereotypes, to halt polarization, to end distrust and hostility, and to create common ground for efforts toward common goals of public order and social justice.

There are those who oppose these aims as "rewarding the rioters." They are- wrong. A great nation is not so easily intimidated. We propose these aims to fulfill our pledge of equality and to meet the fundamental needs of a democratic civilized society -- domestic peace, social justice, and urban centers that are citadels of the human spirit.

There are others who say that violence is necessary -- that fear alone can prod the nation to act decisively on behalf of racial minorities. They too are wrong. Violence and disorder compound injustice; they must be ended and they will be ended.

Our strategy is neither blind repression nor capitulation to lawlessness. Rather it is the affirmation of common possibilities, for all, within a single society.



Unemployment and underemployment are among the persistent and serious grievances of disadvantaged minorities. The pervasive effect of these conditions on the racial ghetto is inextricably linked to the problem of civil disorder.

In the Employment Act of 1946, the United States a national goal of a useful job at a reasonable wage for all who wish to work. Federal expenditures for manpower development and training have increased from less than $60 million in 1963 to $1.6 billion in 1968. The President has proposed a further increase to $2.1 billion in 1969 to provide work experience, training and supportive services for 1.3 million men and women. Despite these efforts, and despite sustained general economic prosperity and growing skill demands of automated industry, the goal of full employment has become increasingly hard to attain.

Today there are about two million unemployed, and about ten million underemployed, 6.5 million of whom work full time and earn less than the annual poverty wage.

The most compelling and difficult challenge is presented by some 500,000 "hard-core" unemployed who live within the central cities, lack a basic education, work not at all or only from time to time, and are unable to cope with the problems of holding and performing a job. A substantial part of this group is Negro, male, and between the ages of approximately 18 and 25. Members of this group are often among the initial participants in civil disorders.

A slum employment study by the Department of Labor in 1966 showed that, as compared with an unemployment rate for all persons in the United States of 3.8 percent, the unemployment rate among 16 to 19 year-old nonwhite males was 26.5 percent, and among 16 to 24 year-old nonwhite males 15.9 percent. Data collected by the Commission in cities where there were racial disorders in 1967 indicate that Negro males between the ages of 15 and 25 predominated among the rioters. More than 20 percent of the rioters were unemployed; and many of those who were employed worked in intermittent, low status, unskilled jobs -- jobs which they regarded as below their level of education and ability.

In the riot cities which we surveyed, Negroes were three times as likely as whites to hold unskilled jobs, which are often part time, seasonal, low-paying, and "dead end" -- a fact that creates a problem for Negroes as significant as unemployment.

Goals and Objectives

We propose a comprehensive national manpower policy to meet the needs of both the unemployed and the underemployed. That policy will require:

(a) Continued emphasis on national economic growth and job creation so that there will be jobs available for those who are newly trained, without displacing those already employed. (b) Unified and intensive recruiting to reach those who need help with information about available jobs, training and supportive aids.

(c) Careful evaluation of the individual's vocational skills, potentials and needs; referral to one or more programs of basic education, job training and needed medical, social and other services; provision for transportation between the ghetto and outlying employment areas, and continued follow-up on the individual's progress until he no longer needs help.

(d) Concentrated job training efforts, with major emphasis on on-the-job training by both public and private employers, as well as public and private vocational schools and other institutional facilities.

(e) Opening up existing public and private job structures to provide greater upward mobility for the underemployed, without displacing anyone already employed at more advanced levels.

(f) Large-scale development of new jobs in the public and private sectors to absorb as many as possible of the unemployed, again without displacement of the employed.

(g) Stimulation of public and private investment in depressed areas, both urban and rural, to improve the environment, to alleviate unemployment and underemployment and, in rural areas, to provide for the poor alternatives other than migration to large urban centers.

(h) New kinds of assistance for those who will continue to be attracted to the urban centers, both before and after they arrive.

(i) Increasing small business and other entrepreneurial opportunities in poverty areas, both urban and rural.

Basic Strategies

To achieve these objectives, we believe the following basic strategies should be adopted:

• Existing programs aimed at recruiting, training and job development should be consolidated according to the function they serve at the local, state and federal levels, to avoid fragmentation and duplication.

We need comprehensive and focused administration of a unified group of manpower programs.

• High priority should be placed on the creation of new jobs in both the public and private sectors.

In the public sector a substantial number of such jobs can be provided quickly, particularly by government at the local level, where there are vast unmet needs in education health recreation, public safety, sanitation, and other municipal services. The National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress estimated that there are 5.3 million potential jobs in public service. But the more difficult task is to provide jobs in private industry for the hard-core unemployed. Both strategies must be pursued simultaneously, with some arrangements for a flow of trainees from public sector jobs to on-the-job training in private companies.

• Creation of jobs for the hard-core unemployed will require substantial payments to both public and private employers to offset the extra costs of supportive services and training.

Basic education and counseling in dress, appearance, social relationships, money management, transportation, hygiene and health, punctuality, and good work habits -- all of which employers normally take for granted -- may have to be provided. Productivity may be low for substantial periods.

• Special emphasis must be given to motivating the hard-core unemployed.

A sure method for motivating the hard-core unemployed has not yet been devised. One fact, however, is already clear from the experience of the Job Corps, Neighborhood Youth Corps, and Manpower Development and Training projects: the previously hard-core unemployed trainee or employee must believe that he is not being trained for or offered a "dead-end" job. Since, by definition, he is not eligible even for an entry-level position, he must be given job training. He must be convinced that, if he performs satisfactorily after the training period he will be employed and given an opportunity to advance, if possible, on a clearly defined "job ladder," with step increases in both pay and responsibility.

• Artificial barriers to employment and promotion must be removed by both public agencies and private employers.

Racial discrimination and unrealistic and unnecessarily high minimum qualifications for employment or promotion often have the same prejudicial effect. Government and business must consider for each type of job whether a criminal record should be a bar, or whether a high school diploma is an inflexible requirement. During World War II, industry successfully employed large numbers of the previously unemployed and disadvantaged by lowering standards and by restructuring work patterns so that the job fit the level of available skills. We believe that too often government, business and labor unions fail to take into account innate intelligence and aptitudes which are not measurable.

Present recruitment procedures should be reexamined. Testing procedures should be revalidated or replaced by work sample or actual job tryouts. Applicants who are rejected for immediate training or employment should be evaluated and counseled by company personnel officers and referred to either company or public remedial programs. These procedures have already been initiated in the steel and telephone industries.

• Special training is needed for supervisory personnel.

Support needed by the hard-core unemployed during initial job experience must be provided by specially-trained supervisors. A new program of training entry-level supervisors should be established by management, with government assistance if necessary.


We are proposing programs in six areas in order to illustrate how we believe the basic strategies we have outlined can be put into effect:

• Consolidating and concentrating employment efforts.

• Opening the existing job structure.

• Creating one million new jobs in the public sector in three years.

• Creating one million new jobs in the private sector in three years.

• Developing urban and rural poverty areas.

• Encouraging business ownership in the ghetto.

• Consolidating and concentrating employment efforts.


There is an urgent need for a comprehensive manpower recruitment and services agency at the community level. The Federal-State Employment Service is not serving this function in many urban areas and cannot do so unless it is substantially restructured and revitalized. This was recommended in 1965 by the Employment Service Task Force but has been only partially achieved by the Employment Services' new Human Resources Development Program.

We believe that every city should establish such a comprehensive agency, with authority to direct the coordination of all manpower programs, including those of the Employment Service, the community action agencies, and other local groups.

The Concentrated Employment Program established by the Department of Labor last year and now operating in the ghettos of 20 cities and in two rural areas is an important beginning toward a unified effort at the local level. A related effort by the Department of Housing and Urban Development is under way in the Model Cities Program, now in the planning stage in some 63 cities.


In order to match men to jobs, we need more effective interchange of information. A computerized nationwide service should be established, as recommended in 1966 by the National Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress, with priority of installation given to the large urban centers.

An information system of this sort would simplify placement -- including inter-area placement and placement from ghetto to suburb. This in turn will often require transportation assistance and counseling.

The existing experimental mobility program, under the Manpower Development and Training Act, should be greatly expanded, and should support movement from one part of a metropolitan area to another. Aid to local public transportation under the Mass Transportation Program should be similarly expanded on the basis of the experiment, with subsidies for routes incorporating ghetto areas.

Job development and placement in private industry is critical to our proposed strategies, and is now handled separately by a variety of agencies and programs: the Manpower Development and Training Act program, the vocational education programs, the Vocational Rehabilitation program, the Job Corps and, recently, the Neighborhood Youth Corps and several new adult work experience and training programs. All seek to place trainees with private employers, sometimes with and sometimes without training assistance, through a wide variety of local agencies, as well as through the Employment Service, community action agencies and others.

A single cooperative national effort should be undertaken with the assistance of business, labor and industrial leaders at national, regional and local levels. It should reach both individual companies and trade associations, systematically and extensively, with information about incentive programs and aids, and with authority to negotiate contractual arrangements and channel incentive funds to private employers.

The recently created Urban Coalition, with its local affiliates, brought together many of the interested parties in the private sector. The National Alliance of Businessmen just established by the President will be concentrating private industry efforts in on-the-job training of the hard-core unemployed. We believe that it may be helpful now to create a federally-chartered corporation with authority to undertake the coordination of the private sector job program outlined below.


Arbitrary barriers to employment and promotion must be eliminated.

Federal, state and local efforts to ensure equal opportunity in employment should be strengthened by:

(a) Including federal, state and local government agencies as employers covered by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the federal anti-discrimination-in-employment law, which now covers other employers of 50 or more employees (and as of July, 1968 will cover employers of 25 or more employees), labor unions, and employment agencies.

(b) Granting to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal enforcement agency under Title VII, cease and desist power comparable to the enforcement power now held by other federal agencies administering regulatory national policies.

(c) Increasing technical and other assistance now provided through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to state and local anti-discrimination commissions under the provisions of Title VII.

(d) Undertaking, through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an industry and areawide enforcement effort based not only upon individual complaints but upon employer and union reports showing broad patterns of discrimination in employment and promotion.

(e) Linking enforcement efforts with training and other aids to employers and unions, so that affirmative action to hire and promote may be encouraged in connection with investigations of both individual complaints and charges of broad patterns of discrimination.

(f) Substantially increasing the staff and other resources of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enable it to perform effectively these additional functions.

Equal opportunity for employment by federal contractors under Executive Order 11246 should be enforced more vigorously against both employers and unions. This is particularly critical in regard to federal construction contracts. Staff and other resources of the Office of Contract Compliance in the Department of Labor should be increased so that withholding federal contracts is made a meaningful sanction.

The efforts of the Department of Labor to obtain commitments from unions to encourage Negro membership in apprenticeship programs are especially noteworthy and should be intensified.

Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which provides for withholding federal grant-in-aid funds from activities which discriminate on grounds of color or race, should be supported fully, particularly in regard to recruitment for federally-assisted job training in hospitals, universities, colleges and schools. The staff and other resources of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, which has primary jurisdiction over these functions, should be expanded for this purpose.

The federal government, through the Civil Service Commission and other agencies, should undertake programs of recruitment, hiring and on-the-job training of the disadvantaged and should reexamine and revalidate its minimum employment and promotion standards. In this regard the federal government should become a model for state and local government and the private business community. To enlist the full cooperation of federal agencies, they should be reimbursed by internal allowances for the extra costs of training disadvantaged employees.

One way to improve the condition of the under-employed, on a national basis, would be to increase the federal minimum wage and widen its coverage. The recent increase to $1.60 per hour yields an annual wage only slightly above the poverty level and only for those employed full time. As an alternative, we recommend consideration be given to an experimental program of wage supplements or other methods for achieving the same income goals.


Existing public employment programs should be consolidated and substantially increased. The Neighborhood Youth Corps last year involved approximately 300,000 youths between the ages of 14 and 22 in three programs of work experience. NYC offers either full-time positions year-round or during the summer, or part-time positions during the school year. Several similar but considerably smaller public employment programs involve chronically unemployed adults, generally in subprofessional community betterment work: Operation Mainstream in small towns and rural areas; New Careers and Special Impact in urban areas; and Work Experience and Training for Welfare recipients under the 1967 Amendments to Title IV of the Social Security Act.

Emphasis in the expanded public employment programs should be shifted, so far as possible, from work experience to on-the-job training, and additional federal assistance, above the present payment of 90 percent of wages, should be provided to pay for the additional costs of training and supportive services to trainees. Federal assistance should be scaled so that it does not terminate abruptly; the public employer should pay a progressively larger share of the total cost as trainees' productivity increases.

Emphasis should also be placed on employing trainees to improve run-down neighborhoods and to perform variety of other socially useful public services which are not "makework," including Community Service Officers in police departments, as recommended by the President's Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice.

Public employers should be required to pay on-the-job trainees not less than the minimum wage or the prevailing wage in the area for similar work, whichever is higher. We recommend a three-year program, aimed at creating 250,000 new public: service jobs in the first year and a total of one million such jobs over the three-year period.

The Department of Defense should (a) continue its emphasis on (and consider expansion of) "Project 100,000" under which it accepts young men with below standard test scores; (b) intensify its recruiting efforts in areas of high unemployment so at young men living there are fully aware of the training service opportunities open to them and (c) substantially expand Project Transition which began on a pilot basis in 1967 and involves training and counseling for servicemen scheduled to return to civilian life.


Eighty-four percent of the nation's 73 million civilian workers are at work in 11.5 million private enterprises. The involvement of only 5 percent of all private companies would represent the use of more than 500,000 enterprises and provide a massive additional spur to job development.

Based on experience with training by private employers, primarily under the Manpower Development and Training Act, our recommendations are aimed at inducing a substantially expanded umber of companies to hire and train the hard-core unemployed.

Recruitment and referral of the disadvantaged unemployed should be undertaken by a public body such as the manpower service agency we have already described. The manpower service agency would determine eligibility and certify a chronically unemployed person for on-the-job training by issuing to him a certificate of eligibility or similar identifying document. This would entitle the private employer to reimbursement for certain costs. A similar technique was used under the G. I. Bill for training veterans of World War II and the Korean conflict.

The direct reimbursement system currently used in on-the-job training programs should be expanded and the existing programs should be consolidated under a single administration. These programs include the Manpower Development and Training Act and the new Work Training in Industry components of the Neighborhood Youth Corps, New Careers and Special Impact programs. Under these programs a federal agency contracts to reimburse each employer for a negotiated average cost of training and supportive services for each trainee.

If a corporation is chartered by Congress to serve as the government's primary instrument for job development in the private sector, the corporation, through regional and local subsidiaries, would:

(a) systematically work with trade groups, companies and labor unions;

(b) arrange for any necessary supportive services and prevocational educational training which employers are unable to provide; and

(c) enter into contracts with employers providing for their reimbursement for the extra costs of training.

The employer would of course undertake not to dismiss existing employees in order to hire trainees; to provide job training along with supportive services: and to give reasonable assurance that the employee would be fairly promoted if he successfully completed his training period.

To serve as an incentive to widespread business involvement the average amount of the reimbursement must exceed substantially the approximately $1,000 per year payment now made under federal on-the-job training programs and, for the hard-core unemployed, should at least equal the $3,500 recommended by the President in his Manpower Message of January 23, 1968.

An additional and potentially lower cost method of stimulating on-the-job training and new job creation for the hardcore unemployed is through a tax credit system, provided that guidelines are adopted to ensure adequate training and job retention. The Commission believes this alternative holds promise. With respect to the tax credit device, we note that since its enactment in 1962 the existing 7 percent incentive credit for investment in new equipment and machinery has been highly successful as a technique for reaching a large number of individual enterprises to effectuate a national policy. During the 1962-65 period the credit was taken on 1,239,000 corporate tax returns representing new investment in the amount of approximately $75 billion.

To assure comparable simplicity in administration, the tax credit should be geared to a fixed amount for each certificated employee hired and retained at least for a six-month period, with decreasing credits for retention for additional periods totaling another 18 months. No credit would be allowed if existing employees are displaced, or if the turnover rate among certificated employees during each period exceeds more than twice the employer's usual turnover rate.

The corporation chartered by Congress would establish performance guidelines, compare and evaluate the results of job training operations by contract and under the tax credit and arrange to share with all participating employers the experiences of other companies with techniques for training the hardcore unemployed and holding them on the job.

The Commission recommends a three-year program, aimed at creating 300,000 new private sector jobs in the first year and a total of one million such jobs over the three-year period, provided that the tax credit is enacted at an early date. If the tax credit is not so enacted, a realistic goal would be 150,000 such jobs in the first year and one million jobs over a three to five-year period.


A tax credit should also be provided for the location and renovation of plants and other business facilities in urban and rural "poverty areas," as already defined jointly by several federal departments and agencies.

The existing incentive tax credit for investment in new equipment (but not for real property or plant) is available without regard to where the investment is made. For investment in poverty areas, the existing credit should be increased substantially and extended to investments in real property and plant, whether for the construction of a new plant or the acquisition of an existing facility. Plant and equipment in these areas should also be eligible for rapid amortization, within as little as five years.

These incentives would be designed to attract to the poverty areas the kind of industrial and commercial development which would create new jobs and provide other economic benefits for the disadvantaged community surrounding the enterprise. An employer eligible for the poverty area investment credit would also be eligible -- if he employed certificated trainees -- for the hard-core employment credit. The two credits are designed to meet separate needs and different costs to investors and employers.

To begin an intensified national effort to improve rural economic conditions and to stem the Bow of migration from these areas to large urban centers, the new investment credit should also be available for firms investing or expanding in rural poverty areas.

The authority and the resources of the economic development administration should be enlarged to enable it to expand its operations into urban poverty areas on a substantial scale.


We believe it is important to give special encouragement to Negro ownership of business in ghetto areas. The disadvantaged need help in obtaining managerial experience and in creating for themselves a stake in the economic community. The advantages of Negro entrepreneurship also include self-employment and jobs for others.

Existing Small Business Administration equity and operating loan programs, under which almost 3,500 loans were made during fiscal year 1967, should be substantially expanded in amount, extended to higher risk ventures and promoted widely through offices in the ghetto. Loans under Small Business Administration guarantees, which are now authorized, should be actively encouraged among local lending institutions.

Counseling and managerial assistance should also be provided. The new Department of Commerce program under which Negro small businessmen are assisted in creating associations for pooling purchasing power and sharing experience, should be expanded and consolidated with the Small Business Administration loan program. The Interracial Council for Business Opportunity and other private efforts to provide counseling by successful businessmen outside the ghetto should be supported and enlarged.



Education in a democratic society must equip the children of the nation to realize their potential and to participate fully in American life. For the community at large, the schools have discharged this responsibility well. But for many minorities, and particularly for the children of the racial ghetto, the schools have failed to provide the educational experience which could help overcome the effects of discrimination and deprivation.

This failure is one of the persistent sources of grievance and resentment within the Negro community. The hostility of Negro parents and students toward the school system is generating increasing conflict and causing disruption within many city school districts.

But the most dramatic evidence of the relationship between educational practices and civil disorder lies in the high incidence of riot participation by ghetto youth who had not completed high school. Our survey of riot cities found that the typical riot participant was a high school dropout. As Superintendent Briggs of Cleveland testified before the Commission:

"Many of those whose recent acts threaten the domestic safety and tear at the roots of the American democracy are the products of yesterday's inadequate and neglected inner-city schools. The greatest unused and underdeveloped human resources in America are to be found in the deteriorating cores of America's urban centers."

The bleak record of public education for ghetto children is growing worse. In the critical skills -- verbal and reading ability -- Negro students fall further behind whites with each year of school completed. For example, in the metropolitan Northeast Negro students on the average begin the first grade with somewhat lower scores on standard achievement tests than white, are about 1.6 grades behind by the sixth grade, and have fallen 3.3 grades behind white students by the twelfth grade. [3] The failure of the public schools to equip these students with basic verbal skills is reflected in their performance on the Selective Service Mental Test. During the period June 1964- December 1965, 67 percent of Negro candidates failed the examination. The failure rate for whites was 19 percent.

The result is that many more Negro than white students drop out of school. In the metropolitan North and West, Negro students are more than three times as likely as white students to drop out of school by age 16-17. [4] As reflected by the high unemployment rate for graduates of ghetto schools and the even higher proportion of employed workers who are in low-skilled, low-paid jobs, many of those who do graduate are not equipped to enter the normal job market, and have great difficulty securing employment. [5]

Several factors have converged to produce this critical situation.
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Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

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The vast majority of inner-city schools are rigidly segregated. In 75 major central cities surveyed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in its study, "Racial Isolation in the Public Schools," 75 percent of all Negro students in elementary grades attended schools with enrollments that were 90 percent or more Negro. Almost 90 percent of all Negro students attended schools which had a majority of Negro students. In the same cities, 83 percent of all white students in those grades attended schools with 90 to 100 percent white enrollments.

Racial isolation in the urban public schools is the result principally of residential segregation and widespread employment of the "neighborhood school" policy, which transfers segregation from housing to education. The effect of these conditions is magnified by the fact that a much greater proportion of white than Negro students attend private schools. Studies indicate that in America's twenty largest cities approximately four out of ten white students are enrolled in nonpublic schools, as compared with only one out of ten Negro pupils. The differential appears to be increasing. [6]

Segregation in urban schools is growing. In a sample of 15 large Northern cities, the Civil Rights Commission found that the degree of segregation rose sharply from 1950 to 1965. As Negro enrollments in these 15 cities grew, 97 percent of the increase was absorbed by schools already over 50 percent Negro and 84 percent by schools more than 90 percent Negro. [7] By 1975, it is estimated that, if current policies and trends persist, 80 percent of all Negro pupils in the twenty largest cities, comprising nearly one-half of the nation's Negro population, will be attending 90 to 100 percent Negro schools. [8]

Segregation has several major effects that have acted to reduce the quality of education provided in schools serving disadvantaged Negro neighborhoods.

Most of the residents of these areas are poor. Many of the adults, the product of the inadequate, rural school systems of the South, [9] have low levels of educational attainment. Their children have smaller vocabularies, and are not as well equipped to learn rapidly in school -- particularly with respect to basic literary skills -- as children from more advantaged homes.

When disadvantaged children are racially isolated in the schools, they are deprived of one of the more significant ingredients of quality education: exposure to other children with strong educational backgrounds. The Coleman Report and the Report of the Civil Rights Commission establish that the predominant socio-economic background of the students in a school exerts a powerful impact upon achievement. Further, the Coleman Report found that "if a minority pupil from a home without much educational strength is put with schoolmates with strong educational backgrounds, his achievement is likely to increase." [10]

Another strong influence on achievement derives from the tendency of school administrators, teachers, parents and the students themselves to regard ghetto schools as inferior. Reflecting this attitude, students attending such schools lose confidence in their ability to shape their future. The Coleman Report found this factor -- destiny control -- "to have a stronger relationship to achievement than ... all the [other] 'school' factors together" and to be "related, for Negroes, to the proportion of whites in the schools." [11]

In other words, both class and race factors have a strong bearing on educational achievement; the ghetto student labors under a double burden.


The schools attended by disadvantaged Negro children commonly are staffed by teachers with less experience and lower qualifications than those attended by middle-class whites. [12] For example, a 1963 study ranking Chicago's public high schools by the socio-economic status of surrounding neighborhoods found that in the 10 lowest-ranking schools only 63.2 percent of all teachers were fully certified and the median level of teaching experience was 3.9 years. In three of these schools, the median level was one year. Four of these lowest ranking schools were 100 percent Negro in enrollment and three were over 90 percent Negro. By contrast eight of the ten highest ranking schools had nearly total white enrollments, and the other two were more than 75 percent white. In these schools, 90.3 percent of the teachers were fully certified and the median level of teaching experience was 12.3 years.

Testifying before the Commission, Dr. Paul Daniel Dodson, Director of the New York University Center for Human Relations and Community Services, stated that:

"Inner-city schools have not been able to hold teaching staff. Between 1952and 1962 almost half the licensed teachers of New York City left the system. Almost two out of every five of the 50,000 teaching personnel of New York City do not hold regular permanent licenses for the assignments they have.

"In another school system in one of the large cities, it was reported of one inner-city school that of 84 staff members, 41 were temporary teachers, 25 were probationaries and 18 [were] tenure teachers. However, only one of the tenure teachers was licensed in academic subjects."

U.S. Commissioner of Education, Harold Howe, testified that many teachers are unprepared for teaching in schools serving disadvantaged children, "have what is a traumatic experience there and don't last." Moreover, the more experienced teachers normally select the more attractive schools in white neighborhoods, thereby relegating the least experienced teachers to the disadvantaged schools. This process reinforces the view of ghetto schools as inferior.

As a result, teachers assigned to these schools often begin with negative attitudes toward the students, and their ability and willingness to learn. These attitudes are aggravated by serious discipline problems, by the high crime rates in areas surrounding the schools, and by the greater difficulties of teaching students from disadvantaged backgrounds. These conditions are reflected in the Coleman Report's finding that a higher proportion of teachers in schools serving disadvantaged areas are dissatisfied with their present assignments and with their students than are their counterparts in other schools. [13]

Studies have shown that the attitudes of teachers toward their students have very powerful impacts upon educational attainment. The more teachers expect from their students -- however disadvantaged those students may be -- the better the students perform. Conversely, negative teacher attitudes act as self-fulfilling prophecies: the teachers expect little from their students; the students fulfill the expectation. As Dr. Kenneth Clark observed, "Children who are treated as if they are uneducable invariably become uneducable." [14]

In disadvantaged areas, the neighborhood school concept tends to concentrate a relatively high proportion of emotionally disturbed and other problem children in the schools. Disadvantaged neighborhoods have the greatest need for health personnel, supplementary instructors and counsellors to assist with family problems, provide extra instruction to lagging students and deal with the many serious mental and physical health deficiencies that occur so often in poverty areas.

These conditions which make effective teaching vastly more difficult, reinforce negative teacher attitudes. A 1963 survey of Chicago public schools showed that the condition creating the highest amount of dissatisfaction among teachers was lack of adequate provision for the treatment of maladjusted, retarded and disturbed pupils. About 79 percent of elementary school teachers and 67 percent of high school teachers named this item as a key factor. The need for professional support for teachers in dealing with these extraordinary problems is seldom, if ever, met.

Although special schools or classes are available for emotionally disturbed and mentally handicapped children, many pupils requiring such help remain in regular classes because of negligence, red tape or unavailability of clinical staff. An example is provided by a National Education Association Study of Detroit: [15]

Before a disturbed child can receive psychological assistance, he must receive diagnostic testing. But before this happens, the teacher must fill in a form . . . to be submitted . . . to a central office committee . . . If the committee decides that psychological testing is in order, the teacher must fill out a second form ... to be submitted to the psychological clinic. The child may then be placed on the waiting list for psychological testing. The waiting period may last for several weeks, several months, or several years. And while he waits, he 'sits in' the regular classroom ... Since visiting teachers are scarce and special classes insufficient in number, the child who has been tested is usually returned to the regular classroom to serve more time as a 'sit-in.'

Teaching in disadvantaged areas is made more difficult by the high rate of student turnover. In New York City during 1963-1964, seven of ten students in the average, segregated Negro-Puerto Rican elementary school either entered or left during the year, [16] Similar conditions are common to other inner-city schools. Continuity of education becomes exceedingly difficult -- the more so because many of the students entering ghetto schools during the school year come from rural southern schools and are thus behind even the minimum levels of achievement attained by their fellow northern-born students.


In virtually every large American city, the inner city schools attended by Negroes are the most overcrowded. We have cited the vast population exchange -- relatively affluent whites leaving the city to be replaced by Negroes -- which has taken place over the last decade. The impact on public education facilities has been severe.

Despite an overall decrease in the population of many cities, school enrollment has increased. Over the last 15 years, Detroit has lost approximately 20,000 to 30,000 families. Yet during that same period the public school system gained approximately 50,000 to 60,000 children. Between 1961 and 1965, Detroit's Negro public school enrollment increased by 31,108, while white enrollment dropped 23,748. In Cleveland between 1950 and 1965, a population loss of 130,000 coincided with a school enrollment increase of 50,000. Enrollment gains in New York City and Chicago were even larger.

Although of lesser magnitude, similar changes have 0ccurred in the public school systems of many other large cities. As white students withdraw from a public school, they are replaced by a greater number of Negro students. This reflects the fact that the Negro population is relatively younger, has more children of school age, makes less use of private schools, and is more densely concentrated than the white population.

As a result, Negro school enrollments have increased even more rapidly than the total Negro population in central cities. In Cincinnati, for example, between 1960 and 1965 the Negro population grew 16 percent, while Negro public school enrollment increased 26 percent. [17] The following data for four other cities illustrate how the proportion of Negroes in public schools has outgrown the Negro proportion of the total city population. [18]

Table 11-1: Negro Population and Public School Enrollment


Negroes now comprise a majority or near majority of public school students in seven of the ten largest American cities, as well as in many other cities. The following table illustrates the percentage of Negro students for the period 1965-1966 in the public elementary schools of 42 cities, including the 28 largest, 17 of which have Negro majorities:

Table 11-2: Proportion of Negro Students in Total Public Elementary School Enrollment, 1965-1966


Because this rapid expansion of Negro population has been concentrated in segregated neighborhoods, ghetto schools have experienced acute overcrowding. Shortages of textbooks and supplies have developed. Double shifts are common; hallways and other non-classroom space have been adapted for class instruction; and mobile classroom units are used. Even programs for massive construction of new schools in Negro neighborhoods cannot always keep up with increased overcrowding.

From 1951 to 1963, the Chicago Board of Education built 266 new schools or additions, mainly in all-Negro areas. Yet a special committee studying the schools in 1964 reported that 40 percent of the Negro elementary schools had more than 35 students per available classroom, as compared to 12 percent of the primarily white elementary schools. Of the eight Negro high schools, five had enrollments over 50 percent above designed capacity. Four of the 10 integrated high schools, but only four of the 26 predominantly white high schools, were similarly overcrowded. Comparable conditions prevail in many other large cities.

The Civil Rights Commission found that two-thirds of the predominantly Negro elementary schools in Atlanta were overcrowded. This compared with 47 percent of the white schools. In 1965, all Atlanta Negro high schools were operating beyond their designed capacity; only one of three all-white high schools, and six of eight predominantly white schools were similarly overcrowded. [19]

Washington, D. C. elementary schools with 85-100 percent Negro enrollments operated at a median of 115 percent of capacity. The one predominantly white high school operated at 92.3 percent, an integrated high school at 101.1 percent, and the remaining schools -- all predominantly Negro -- at 108.4 percent to 127.1 percent of capacity.

Overcrowded and inadequately supplied schools have severe effects upon the quality of education, the most important of which is that teachers are forced to concentrate on maintaining classroom discipline, and thus have little time and energy to perform their primary function -- educating the students.

Facilities and Curricula

Inner-city schools are not only overcrowded, they also tend to be the oldest and most poorly equipped.

In Detroit, 30 of the school buildings still in use in these areas were dedicated during the administration of President Grant. [20] In Cincinnati, although from 1950 to 1965, Negro student population expanded at a faster pace than white, most additional school capacity planned and constructed was in predominantly white areas. According to a Civil Rights Commission report on Cincinnati, the added Negro pupil population was housed, for the most part, in the same central-city schools vacated by the whites. [21]

With respect to equipment, the Coleman Report states that "Negro pupils have fewer of some of the facilities that seem most related to achievement: They have less access to physics, chemistry, and language laboratories; there are fewer books per pupil in their libraries; their textbooks are less often in sufficient supply." [22]

The quality of education offered by ghetto schools is diminished further by use of curricula and materials poorly adapted to the life-experiences of their students. Designed to serve a middle-class culture, much educational material appears irrelevant to the youth of the racial and economic ghetto. Until recently, few texts featured any Negro personalities. Few books used or courses offered reflected the harsh realities of life in the ghetto, or the contribution of Negroes to the country's culture and history. This failure to include materials relevant to their own environment has made students skeptical about the utility of what they are being taught. Reduced motivation to learn results.


Despite the overwhelming need, our society spends less money educating ghetto children than children of suburban families. Comparing the per capita education costs for ghetto schools with suburban, one educator, in testimony before this Commission, said:

"If the most educated parents with the highest motivated children find in their wisdom that it costs $1,500 per child per year to educate their children in the suburbs, isn't it logical that it would cost an equal amount to educate the less well motivated, low-income family child in the inner city? Such cost would just about double the budget of the average inner-city school system. [23]

Twenty-five school boards in communities surrounding Detroit spent up to $500 more per pupil per year to educate their children than the city. Merely to bring the teacher/pupil ratio in Detroit in line with the state average would require an additional 16,650 teachers at an annual cost of approximately $13 million. [24]

There is evidence that the disparity in educational expenditures for suburban and inner-city schools has developed in parallel with population shifts. In a study of twelve metropolitan areas, the Civil Rights Commission found that, in 1950, 10 of the 12 central cities spent more per pupil than the surrounding suburbs; by 1964, in seven of the 12 the average suburb spent more per pupil than the central city in seven. [25]

This reversal reflects the declining or stagnant city tax base, and increasing competition from nonschool needs (police, welfare, fire) for a share of the municipal tax dollar. The suburbs, where nonschool needs are less demanding, allocate almost twice the proportion of their total budgets to education as the cities. [26]

State contributions to city school systems have not had consistent equalizing effects. The Civil Rights Commission found that, although state aid to city schools has increased at a rate proportionately greater than for suburban schools, states continue to contribute more per pupil to suburban schools in seven of the twelve metropolitan areas studied. The following table illustrates the findings:

Revenues per Pupil from State sources


Federal assistance, while focused on the innercity schools, has not been at a scale sufficient to remove the disparity. In the 1965-1966 school year, federal aid accounted for less than 8 percent of total educational expenditures. Our survey of federal programs in Detroit, Newark and New Haven during the school year 1967-1968 found that a median of approximately half the eligible school population is receiving assistance under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Community-School Relations

Teachers of the poor rarely live in the community where they work and sometimes have little sympathy for the life styles of their students. Moreover, the growth and complexity of the administration of large urban school systems has compromised the accountability of the local schools to the communities which they serve, and reduced the ability of parents to influence decisions affecting the education of their children. Ghetto schools often appear to be unresponsive to the community, communication has broken down, and parents are distrustful of officials responsible for formulating educational policy.

The consequences for the education of students attending these schools are serious. Parental hostility to the schools is reflected in the attitudes of their children. Since the needs and concerns of the ghetto community are rarely reflected in educational policy formulated on a citywide basis, the schools are often seen by ghetto youth as being irrelevant.

On the basis of interviews of riot area residents in Detroit, Dr. Charles Smith, of the U.S. Office of Education's comprehensive elementary and secondary education program, testified that "one of the things that came through very clearly to us is the fact that there is an attitude which prevails in the inner city that says in substance we think education is irrelevant."

Dr. Dodson explained this phenomenon as follows:

[This divergence of goals [between the dominant class and ghetto youth] makes schools irrelevant for the youth of the slum. It removes knowledge as a tool for groups who are deviant to the ethos of the dominant society. It tends to destroy the sense of self-worth of minority background children. It breeds apathy. powerlessness and low self-esteem. The majority of ghetto youth would prefer to forego the acquisition of knowledge if it is at that cost. One cannot understand the alienation of modem ghetto youth except in the context of this conflict of goals."

The absence of effective community-school relations has deprived the public education system of the communication required to overcome this divergence of goals. In the schools, as in the larger society, the isolation of ghetto residents from the policy-making institutions of local government is adding to the polarization of the community and depriving the system of its self-rectifying potential.

Ghetto Environment

All of the foregoing factors contribute substantially to the poor performance of ghetto schools. Inadequate and inefficient as these schools are, the failure of the public education system with respect to Negro students cannot fully be appraised apart from the constant and oppressive ghetto environment.

The interaction of the ghetto environment and the schools is well described in the testimony of Superintendent Briggs of Cleveland:

"But what about the child of the ghetto? It is he whom we must save for we cannot afford to lose this generation of young Americans.

"If this child of despair is a young adult, there is a better than a 50 percent chance that he is a high school dropout. He is not only unemployed, but unemployable, without a salable skill. Neither of his parents went beyond the eighth grade. Preschool or nursery school was out of the question when he was four, and when he was five he was placed on a kindergarten waiting list. ... At six he entered school; but could only attend for half a day because of the big enrollment.... During his six years in elementary school, he attended four different schools because the family moved often, seeking more adequate housing for the six children. When he got to high school he wanted vocational training, but none was available.

"The family was on relief and he couldn't afford a good lunch at noon because Cleveland schools at that time were not participating in the federal hot lunch program and the average cost of lunches amounted to 70 cents.

"Of his few friends who were graduated from high school none had found jobs and they couldn't afford to go to college.

"Here he is now; discouraged and without hope -- economically incompetent at a time in life when, traditionally, young Americans have entered the economic mainstream as job holders.

"A younger brother, age 9, is now in the fourth grade. He attends a new school, opened in 1964. Though he lives one mile from Lake Erie, he has never seen it. He has never taken a bus ride, except when his class at school went on a field trip. The family still does not subscribe to a daily newspaper. The television set is broken and there. is no money to have it repaired. His mother has never taken him downtown shopping.

"He has never been in the office of a dentist and has seen a physician only at the local clinic when he was injured playing in an abandoned house in the neighborhood.

"At home there are no books. His toys, if any, are secondhand. His shoes are too small and his sweat shirt, bought for 25 cents at a rummage sale, bears the insignia of a suburban school system.

"Each morning he looks forward anxiously to the free milk he gets at school because there is no breakfast at home.

"He can't study well at home because of the loud blare of rock-and- roll music from the bar up the street. There are nine bars in his rather compact neighborhood. . . .

"The screaming police siren is a very familiar sound to him for he hears it regularly in his neighborhood, where the crime rate is Cleveland's highest.

'These boys both have better than average intelligence but they are the victims of neglect and are lost in the maze of statistics. Their plight and that of thousands like them in America's ghettos can certainly be considered the most pressing unattended business on America's agenda."

Basic Strategies

To meet the urgent need to provide full equality of educational opportunity for disadvantaged youth, we recommend pursuit of the following strategies:

Increasing Efforts to Eliminate De Facto Segregation

We have cited the extent of racial isolation in our urban schools. It is great and it is growing. It will not easily to overcome. Nonetheless, we believe school integration to be vital to the well-being of this country.

We base this conclusion not on the effect of racial and economic segregation on achievement of Negro students, although there is evidence of such a relationship; nor on the effect of racial isolation on the even more segregated white students, although lack of opportunity to associate with persons of different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds surely limits their learning experience.

We support integration as the priority education strategy because it is essential to the future of American society. We have seen in this last summer's disorders the consequences of racial isolation, at all levels, and of attitudes toward race, on both sides, produced by three centuries of myth, ignorance and bias. It is indispensable that opportunities for interaction between the races be expanded. "The problems of this society will not be solved unless and until our children are brought into a common encounter and encouraged to forge a new and more viable design of life." [27]

Provision of Quality Education for Ghetto Schools

We recognize that the growing dominance of pupils from disadvantaged minorities in city populations will not soon be reversed. No matter how great the effort toward desegregation, many children of the ghetto will not, within their school careers, attend integrated schools.

If existing disadvantages are not to be perpetuated, we must drastically improve the quality of ghetto education. Equality of results with all-white schools must be the goal.

We see no conflict between the integration and quality education strategies we espouse. Commitment to the goal of integrated education can neither diminish the reality of today's segregated and unequal ghetto schools nor sanction the tragic waste of human resources which they entail.

Far from being in conflict, the strategies are complementary. The aim of quality education is to compensate for and overcome the environmental handicaps of disadvantaged children. The evidence indicates that integration, in itself, does not wholly achieve this purpose. Assessing his report in light of interpretation by others of its findings, Dr. Coleman concludes that:

"it is also true that even in socially or racially integrated schools a child's family background shows a very high relation to his performance. The findings of the [Coleman] Report are quite unambiguous on this score. Even if the school is integrated, the heterogeneity of backgrounds with which children enter school is largely preserved in the heterogeneity of their performance when they finish. As the Report indicates, integration provides benefits to the underprivileged. But it takes only a small step toward equality of educational opportunity." [28]

Moreover, most large integrated schools retain a form of ability grouping, normally resulting in resegregation along racial lines. The Civil Rights Commission found that "many Negro students who attend majority-white schools in fact are in majority-Negro classrooms." [29]

In short, compensatory education is essential not only to improve the quality of education provided in segregated ghetto schools, but to make possible both meaningful integration and maximum achievement in integrated schools.

Attainment of this goal will require adoption of a comprehensive approach designed to reconstruct the ghetto child's social and intellectual environment, compensate for disadvantages already suffered and provide necessary tools for development of essential literary skills. This approach will entail adoption of new and costly educational policies and practices to provide intensive educational efforts beginning with early childhood and continuing through elementary and secondary schools. It will require extraordinary efforts to reconnect parents with the schools. It will also require unique experimentation with new methods to bring back into the educational process street-oriented teenagers and sub-teenagers who have lost all connection with existing school institutions.

Improving Community-School Relations

In an atmosphere of hostility between the community and the schools, education cannot flourish. A basic problem stems from the isolation of the schools from the other social forces influencing youth. Changes in society -- mass media, family structure, religion -- have radically altered the role of the school. New links must be built between the schools and the communities they serve. The schools must be related to the broader system which influences and educates ghetto youth.

Expansion of opportunities for community and parental participation in the school system is essential to the successful functioning of the inner-city schools.

Expanded Opportunities for Higher and Vocational Opportunities

To increase the relevance of education to the needs and aspirations of disadvantaged youth and to prepare them for full participation in American society, we recommend expanding opportunities both for higher education and for vocational training.

Suggested Programs


• Increased aid to school systems seeking to eliminate de facto segregation either within the system or in cooperation with neighboring school systems.

Local school boards have experimented with a variety of techniques designed to accomplish desegregation. Among those commonly employed are school pairing, busing, open enrollment, boundary changes, strategic use of site selection, enlargement of attendance areas, and consolidation of schools to overcome racial imbalance. The results have not been uniform. Much appears to depend on the size and racial composition of the city and the attitudes of its suburbs.

Some of the smaller cities have achieved considerable success. In many of our larger cities, however, the population shift earlier described has proceeded so far that integration is not feasible without the active cooperation of suburban communities. In others, distances between the white and Negro populations living within city boundaries make these methods of accomplishing integration unfeasible. While the desegregation technique best suited for it should be determined by each community we believe substantial federal assistance should be provided.

Title IV

Under Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the U.S. Commissioner of Education is authorized to provide "technical assistance to ... [state and local education agencies] in the preparation, adoption, and implementation of plans for the desegregation of public schools." However, such aid is not available in support of locally-designed programs to overcome racial imbalance in the schools. Moreover, this program has never been adequately funded, even to accomplish its limited objectives. Applications for Title IV funds have consistently exceeded the amounts requested by the Administration and the far lower sums appropriated by the Congress.

We believe that the Title IV program should be reoriented and expanded into a major federal effort to provide comprehensive aid to support state and local desegregation projects.

To accomplish this purpose, Title IV should become the vehicle for a comprehensive federal construction, technical assistance and operating grant program. Successful implementation of such a program will require repeal of the present statutory prohibition against provision of assistance to support and encourage desegregation through "assignment of students to public schools in order to overcome racial imbalance." To stimulate needed planning, formulation of long-term integration plans by applicant state and local agencies should be required as a condition to receiving assistance. Title IV aid would be available only for projects which promote integrated education in accordance with such plans.

Bonus Support

As an additional incentive to integration, the Title IV program might well be modified to provide substantially increased support upon attainment of specified levels of racial integration. Such bonus assistance should be large enough to enable each recipient school to attain a clearly superior quality of education in comparison with non-integrated schools.

Exemplary Schools

The Title IV program should stimulate development of exemplary city or metropolitan schools offering special courses and programs designed to attract, on a voluntary basis, students of varying racial and socio-economic backgrounds on a full or part-time basis. [30] These model programs should make extensive and imaginative use of resources uniquely available to city schools -- the city itself, its museums, galleries, governmental institutions, and other public and private facilities.

To the extent that the quality of city schools influences migration to the suburbs, development of exemplary schools could operate to retain middle-class white families in the city and induce others to return, so increasing opportunities for integration. Through educational planning on a metropolitan basis, fostered by direct federal grants to cooperative planning bodies encompassing city and suburban school districts, opportunities for engaging central-city and suburban students in common educational experiences can be provided.

Specific methods of providing integrated educational experiences under this program could include the following:

• Establishment of major educational magnet schools: depending upon the size and racial character of the city and its suburbs, these schools could serve all the students of a small city, students living in different sections of a large city or subdivisions of a metropolitan area. Special curricula could include intensive instruction or specialized educational programs (for example, science or commerce).

• Establishment of supplemental education centers: these centers would offer specialized facilities and instruction to students from different schools in the city or its suburbs for a portion of the school day. It is most important that courses be developed and scheduled to provide racially integrated educational experiences for both white and Negro students.

Educational Parks

Such a reoriented Title IV program could provide substantial support, including construction funds, for communities choosing to develop the promising but costly educational parks now under consideration in several cities.

As contrasted with the magnet schools and supplementary centers described above, educational parks would consolidate or cluster existing schools, thereby broadening attendance areas to bring within the school zone a racially and economically heterogenous population. These parks could be developed in conjunction with metropolitan plans to serve students from the suburbs, as well as the city. Their location should be selected to accomplish this objective.

Because of the economies of size made possible through consolidation, the quality of education offered all of the students attending educational parks could be improved. Problems raised by the size of such institutions could be overcome through inclusion of smaller sub-unit schools and individualized instruction made feasible by educational technology (computers, television) and savings resulting from the school consolidation program.

• Eliminating discrimination in northern schools.

While racial isolation in the urban public schools results largely from residential segregation, there is evidence that racial discrimination also plays a part in reducing opportunities for integration.

For example, the Civil Rights Commission found that, when crowding in certain Cleveland and Milwaukee Negro schools became acute, school authorities began busing students to nearby underutilized white schools, where they were segregated in separate classrooms and luncheon facilities. When Negro residents objected, school officials in Milwaukee canceled busing altogether as "educationally undesirable," even though white students had been bussed and integrated into receiving-school classrooms for years. In Cincinnati, to relieve overcrowding in a Negro school, students were bused past several nearby white schools with available space to a 98 percent Negro school, 5.5 miles away.

The Civil Rights Commission also reported that in many cities school attendance boundaries and location of new schools have been designed to perpetuate racial segregation.

Title VI

Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Congress prohibited federal financial aid to any program or activity which practices racial discrimination.

Federal law requires that Title VI be applied uniformly in all states. Implementing this provision, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare has recently instituted a survey to examine compliance with Title VI in school districts of all 50 states. The Department has made clear that its investigation is not directed at de facto segregation arising from reasonable application of neighborhood attendance policies.

We support this survey and urge that it be followed by vigorous action to assure full compliance with federal law in all sections of the country. Sufficient staff and resources should be provided HEW, so that this program can be effectively carried out without reducing the level of activity in the South.


• Improving the Quality of Teaching in Ghetto Schools

The teaching of disadvantaged children requires special skills and capabilities. Teachers possessing these qualifications are in short supply. We need a national effort to attract to the teaching profession well-qualified and highly motivated young people, and to equip them to work effectively with disadvantaged students.

The Teacher Corps program is a sound instrument for such an effort. Established by the Higher Education Act of 1965, it provides training in local colleges or universities for teacher interns -- college graduates interested in teaching in poverty areas. Corpsmen are assigned to poverty area schools at the request of local school systems and with approval of state education agencies. They are employed by the school system and work in teams headed by an experienced teacher.

The National Advisory Council on the Education of Disadvantaged Children and the National Education Association found the Teacher Corps to have succeeded in attracting dedicated young people to the teaching profession, training them to work effectively in poverty areas, and making substantial contributions to the education of students.

The impact of this highly promising program has been severely restricted by limited and late funding. There are now only 1,506 interns and 337 team leaders in the entire nation.

The Teacher Corps should be expanded into a major national program.

The Education Professions Development Act ("EDPA") provides grants and fellowships to attract qualified persons to the field of education, and improve the ability of present teachers through advanced training and retraining. The Act also provides funds for institutes and workshops for other educational personnel, including guidance counselors, social workers, teacher aides and administrators. Finally, EDPA offers grants to local educational agencies experiencing critical shortages of teachers and teacher aides.

We recommend that the EDPA program focus on the special need for expanding the supply and improving the quality of teachers working in schools serving disadvantaged students and that it be substantially funded.

Concomitantly teacher training institutions should place major emphasis on preparing teachers for work in schools serving disadvantaged children. Courses should familiarize teacher candidates with the psychology, history, culture and learning problems of minority group pupils.

Class work alone, however, cannot be expected adequately to equip future teachers of disadvantaged children. Intensive in-service training programs designed to bring teacher candidates into frequent and sustained contact with inner-city schools are required. Other professionals and non-professional' working in ghetto-related activities -- social workers, street workers -- could be included as instructors in teacher training programs.

• Year-Round Education for Disadvantaged Students

The present, anachronistic practice of releasing hundreds of thousands of children from a relatively full school schedule to idleness in the summer months is both a substantial factor in producing disorders and a tragic waste of time and facilities. Financing should be provided, through ESEA, for large-scale year-round programs in the disadvantaged areas of our cities. The testimony before this Commission, including that of Cabinet members and public educators, was unanimous in its support of this proposal.

What is needed is not 12 months of the same routine, but innovative programs tailored to total educational needs, and providing a wide range of educational activities (verbal skills. culture and arts, recreation, job training, work experience and camps).

Planning on a l2-month basis will be required. To meet this need, ESEA assistance should be provided through a single grant program (rather than separate 10-month and summer grants) and conditioned on development of year-round educational plans. Technical assistance should be provided for such planning.

As a step toward year-round education federal funds should be made available for school and camp programs this summer.

The National Advisory Council on Education of Disadvantaged Children studied summer programs set up with ESEA funds and found that they offer special opportunities ,for new approaches to teaching disadvantaged children.

Summer camp programs for disadvantaged children offer significant educational and recreational opportunities, and should be encouraged. Educational components, particularly verbal skills, should be incorporated. It is essential that federal aid for such projects be committed well before the end of this school year, so that adequate time is available to design effective programs.
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Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

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Part 3 of 4

• Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education is the very heart of the effort to reconstruct the environment which incapacitates disadvantaged children educationally, even before they enter the school system. Comprehensive preschool programs are essential to overcome the early language deprivation and conceptual disabilities of these children. Yet in most urban areas, no more than a maximum of 40 percent of the eligible school population in disadvantaged communities is receiving even one year (age 4) of preschool training.

We believe that the time has come to build on the proven success of the Head Start and other preschool programs in order to bring the benefits of comprehensive early childhood education to all children from disadvantaged homes, and to extend the reach to younger children. For this purpose, the Office of Economic Opportunity should receive substantially increased funds.

Effective implementation of this expanded program will be vital to its success. We recommend the following guidelines:

• Early childhood education programs should provide comprehensive educational support tailored to the needs of the child, and should not be simply custodial care. Both day care and Head Start components are part of comprehensive early childhood education; each should be designed to overcome the debilitating effect on learning ability of a disadvantaged environment.

• Parents and the home environment have a critical impact on a child's early development. Early childhood programs should involve parents and the home, as well as the child. This can be accomplished through community education classes, and use of community aides and mothers' assistants. To reduce the incidence of congenital abnormalities, these community-based programs should be tied in with prenatal training.

• Since adequate facilities are scarce in many disadvantaged communities, where schools are overcrowded, and buildings deteriorated, the program should provide funds for special early childhood education facilities.

• There is a need for maximum experimentation and variety. Funding should continue to support early childhood programs operated by community groups and organizations, as well as by the school system.

• Early childhood education programs should include provisions for medical care and food, so that the educational experience can have its intended impact.

• Improving Educational Practices -- Elementary Schools

Without major changes in educational practices, greater expenditures on existing elementary schools serving disadvantaged neighborhoods will not significantly improve the quality of education. Moreover, current assessments of preschool programs indicate that their gains are lost in the elementary grades, unless the schools themselves are improved.

We suggest adoption of the following educational practices to improve school performance:

• Extra incentives for highly qualified teachers working in ghetto and economically and culturally deprived rural area schools. The most effective means to attract such teachers is to make these schools exciting and attractive places to work. The practices set forth below contribute toward this end. In addition, we suggest that opportunities for creative and imaginative teaching be expanded by allowing the teacher greater discretion selection and presentation of materials. Such an approach is likely to produce benefits in terms of attraction and retention of excellent teachers and improved student performance. Rewards related to attainment of career objectives should be provided for teachers working in schools serving disadvantaged children. For example, all school systems should consider requiring service in such schools as a condition to advancement to administrative positions, where the experience gained would be of great value.

• Reduction in maximum class size: It is clear that disadvantaged students require more attention and exert greater demands on teacher time than middle-class students. While reduction of class size may not in itself improve pupil achievement, it will free teachers to devote more time to educating disadvantaged students. It is of vital importance, therefore, that efforts to reduce the maximum class size in schools serving disadvantaged students be coupled with programs designed to improve the skills and capacities of teachers of disadvantaged children.

• Recognition of the history, culture and contribution of minority groups to American civilization in the textbooks and curricula of all schools: In addition, school curricula should be adapted to take advantage of student experiences and interests in order to stimulate motivation.

• Provision of supplementary services in the schools for severely disadvantaged or disturbed students. Such services should be made available within the schools, rather than at centralized facilities, and should include medical and psychiatric care.

• Individualized instruction through extensive use of nonprofessional personnel: There is impressive evidence that these workers can make a meaningful educational contribution by providing individualized tutoring and incentive lacking in segregated schools.

In the Homework Helper program in New York City, pupils in the fourth through sixth grades were tutored after school by senior high school students. Tutoring was provided four afternoons a week under the supervision of a master teacher; the tutors received training on the fifth day. Initiated with a grant from the Ford Foundation primarily to provide employment for high school students, the program had significant educational impact on both the pupils and the tutors. The pupils who received 4 hours of tutoring showed a gain of 6 months on reading tests, compared to 3.5 months by the control group. An even more dramatic finding was that: "In the six months of the research, the mean score of the tutors improved 3.4 grade levels while the mean score of the control group improved 1.7 grade levels."

The Neighborhood Youth Corps and the College Work-Study program provide the tools for reproducing this program in every major city in the country. In some cities, NYC students are already working in these schools. But in many, NYC job assignments are far less stimulating. Colleges and universities should be encouraged to assign more students participating in the College Work-Study program to tutorial projects.

Both programs, NYC and College Work-Study should be expanded and reoriented for this purpose.

• Intensive concentration on basic verbal skills: A basic problem in schools in large cities is the low achievement in the fundamental subjects of students from disadvantaged areas. This has been documented in the Haryou Studies in New York, the study prepared for the McCone Commission following the Watts riot of 1965 and nationally in the Coleman Report. The lack of reading and writing skills affects detrimentally every other aspect of the later school program. Intensive assistance in fundamental literacy skills, including remedial assistance, should be provided in all schools serving disadvantaged children.

We recognize that the enrichment programs we recommend will be very costly. ESEA provides financial assistance for such programs, but the amounts available do not match the need. To make a significant improvement in the quality of education provided in schools serving disadvantaged students, ESEA funding should be substantially increased from its current level.

In addition, Title I should be modified to provide for greater concentration of aid for school districts having the greatest proportion of disadvantaged students. This can be accomplished by altering the formula governing eligibility to exclude affluent school districts with less than specified minimum levels of poor students.

• Improving Educational Practices -- Secondary Schools

Many of the educational practices recommended with respect to the elementary schools are applicable at the secondary level. In addition, secondary school students require extensive guidance, counseling and advice in planning their education program and future careers. Such assistance, routinely provided by middle-class families, is lacking for the ghetto student. To promote its acceptance, indigenous personnel -- college students, returning Vietnam veterans -- should be utilized.

The new Stay in School program, for which the President recently requested an appropriation of $30 million, could provide funds for this and other projects designed to motivate disadvantaged high school students to pursue their education. We recommend that this program be fully funded.

• Intensive National Program to Increase Verbal Skills of Ghetto Residents

For the products of the ghetto schools, many of them unemployed and functionally illiterate, these efforts will come too late. To compensate for educational disadvantages already increased we recommend a substantial appropriation to support an intensive year-round program beginning in the summer of 1968 to improve the verbal skills of people in low-income areas, with primary emphasis on the language problems of minority groups.

The present effort simply does not match the need. Current estimates indicate that there are approximately 16,300,000 educationally disadvantaged Americans (those who have less than an 8th grade education). While exact figures are not available, it is likely that a disproportionate number of the educationally disadvantaged are Negroes. Census data establishes that 36.9 percent of Negroes over 25 years of age, but only 14.8 percent of whites, are functionally illiterate.

The principal federal literacy program -- Adult Basic Education -- is meeting only a small fraction of this need; as of June 1966, it had provided assistance to some 373,000 people.

The Adult Basic Education program is a sound instrument for implementing an intensive literacy program. By affording both the public schools and community-based organizations the opportunity to conduct literacy projects, this program provides desired flexibility. It should be strengthened and expanded to make a major impact on illiteracy.

To 70ncentrate .its effect where the need is greatest and the potential payoff high, we suggest that priority be given to the unemployed and underemployed, and to welfare mothers. Increasing literacy levels would eliminate a major barrier to productive employment, and improved support for education in the home.

The high school dropouts should be brought into the program by lowering the age limit from 18 to 16, as proposed by the President. Course offerings should be expanded to include matters of interest and concern to residents of low-income areas.

• Expanded Experimentation, Evaluation, and Research

Much remains to be learned about the most effective methods of teaching disadvantaged children in schools segregated by race and class. Research efforts should be oriented in this direction.

In addition to research, federal support should be provided for promising, but as yet unvalidated, experimental programs designed to involve the talents and resources of the entire community in support of education of disadvantaged children, and develop new and better educational techniques particularly adapted to the interests and needs of these students.

Among the educational approaches which we believe should be considered and evaluated are the current efforts to develop new patterns of education (such as storefront schools and street academies) for students who do not fit the traditional pattern, possible forms of competitive education (such as the use of businesses, universities and neighborhood corporations as subcontractors for the operation of certain education programs), concentration of assistance to a few schools serving ghetto children in order to test the effects of a maximum compensatory education effort, development of model experimental subsystems (high school and several feeder schools to provide specialized instruction) and teaching English as a second language to ghetto students whose dialect often constitutes a first language.

Finally, there is great need to evaluate not only these experimental programs but the entire enrichment effort. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act should be amended to require recipient school systems to undertake a thorough evaluation of their compensatory education effort, as a condition to receiving ESEA funds.


• Administrative Obstacles to Community Participation in the Educational Process Should be Eliminated

The school systems of our largest cities have become highly centralized, with decision-making responsibility for a large and disparate population concentrated in a central board of education. While this process has produced substantial benefits -- city-wide tax base and nonpolitical administration -- it has sometimes entailed serious sacrifices in terms of accountability and community participation. What is necessary is to preserve the worthwhile features present in the existing system while eliminating the liabilities thus far encountered. The objective must be to make public education more relevant and responsive to the community, and to increase support for it in the home.

This can be accomplished through maintaining centralized control over educational standards and the raising of revenue, while decentralizing control over other aspects of educational policy. The precise mix must be determined locally. However, specific mechanisms for seeking the advice and consultation of students and parents such as Parents Advisory Councils or other similar bodies should be adopted.

• Ghetto Schools Should Serve the Educational and Other Needs of the Total Community

School facilities should be available during and after normal school hours for a variety of community service functions, delivery of social services by local agencies (including health and welfare), adult and community training and education programs, community meetings, recreational and cultural activities Decentralization and the establishment of Parents Advisory Councils will afford the community a means through which to communicate needs for such services and to play an active role in shaping activities. In addition to making better use of the major capital investment in school plants, this approach will encourage ghetto residents to regard their schools not as alien institutions but as vital community centers.

• Use of Local Residents as Teacher Aides and Tutors

We have noted the educational gains accomplished through use of local, subprofessional personnel in the schools. These workers can contribute to improving community-school relations by providing a close link between the school system and the parents.

• Results of Achievement and Other Tests Should be Made Public on a Regular Basis

To increase the accountability of the public schools, the results of their performance should be made available to the public. Such information is available in some, but not all, cities. We see no reason for withholding useful and highly relevant indices of school (but not individual student) performance and recommend that all school systems adopt a policy of full public disclosure.

• Expanding Opportunities for Higher and Vocational Education


By enactment of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the Congress committed this nation to the goal of equal opportunity for higher education for all Americans, regardless of race or economic circumstance. While progress has been made, this goal, the key to virtually all managerial and professional jobs, remains for the disadvantaged student an unfulfilled promise.

Mr. Harvey Oostdyck, Educational Director of the New York Urban League, testified that less than one percent of the youth in Harlem go to college. In the nation, approximately eight percent of disadvantaged high school graduates, many of whom are Negro, attend college; the comparable figure for all high school graduates is more than 50 percent.

The fundamental reasons for this disparity lie in the cost of higher education and the poor quality of the elementary and secondary education available to minorities. In the preceding sections, we have recommended programs which we believe will ultimately eliminate these differences. But the full effect of these changes will not be felt for some years. In the interim, if we are to provide equality of opportunity for that segment of disadvantaged youth with college potential, special programs are needed.

• Expansion of Upward Bound and Establishment of Special One- Year Postgraduate College Preparatory Schools

The Upward Bound program of the Office of Economic Opportunity, a program under which students from poverty backgrounds attend intensive six to eight week summer sessions on college campuses and receive special assistance throughout the school year, is designed specifically to meet the problem of motivating and preparing disadvantaged youth for college. The program has been effective. Of the 23,000 students covered in 1967 (52 percent of whom were Negro), 83 percent went on to college. However, the size of the program is far short of the need. Estimates indicate that some 600,000 poverty- area students could usefully be helped.

We believe that the Upward Bound concept is sound and recommend that it be substantially expanded.

Even an expanded Upward Bound program will not overcome the poor level of secondary school education attained by ghetto youth. We recommend that federal funds be made available for special one-year educational programs with the sole function of providing college preparatory training for disadvantaged youth. These programs could be operated by community colleges or local boards of education.

• Removing Financial Barriers to Higher Education

The effort to assist qualified but needy young people to obtain a higher education should be strengthened and expanded.

Through the Educational Talent Search program, the Federal Government provides financial assistance to public and nonprofit agencies to identify and encourage disadvantaged young people with college potential to enter or re-enter educational programs. The President's proposed Educational 0pportunity Act of 1968 would provide combined grant, work and loan aid to poor college-bound students in need of financial assistance. Such assistance should be sufficiently flexible and substantial to accommodate the differing needs of individual students.

These programs can make an important contribution to realization of the goal set by the President in his 1968 Education Message to the Congress "that every qualified young person ... have all the education he wants and can absorb." If this promise is to become a reality, these programs must be funded at a level commensurate with need.

The benefit gained by increasing opportunities for disadvantaged students to seek and obtain higher education can be amplified by providing incentives for college-trained public service personnel (particularly, teachers and health workers) needed to work in poverty areas. This might be accomplished by including a forgiveness feature in programs providing financial assistance in the form of loans to college and graduate students. This feature, like that now included under the National Defense Education Act loan program, would provide for the cancellation of loans at a reasonable annual rate, if the recipient works in a low-income area.

Vocational Education

Despite substantially increased efforts made possible by the Vocational Education Act of 1963, quality vocational education is still not available to all who need it. The recent report of the Advisory Council on Vocational Education, established to evaluate the Act, concluded that, although five out of six youths never achieve a college education, only a quarter of the total high school population in the country received vocational education. Similarly, a 1964 Labor Department survey found that less than one-half of the non-college-trained labor force had any formal training for the jobs they held.

Existing vocational training programs are not effectively linked to job opportunities. The Advisory Council found "little evidence of much effort to develop programs in the area where critical manpower shortages exist" -- the health occupations and technical fields. [31]

The special need of the dropout is still being neglected. With an unemployment rate for Negro youth more than twice that for white youth, this need is particularly acute.

To improve the quality and expand the availability of vocational education, provision of additional funds as recommended by the Advisory Council may well be required. The federal vocational education program should be strengthened by enactment of the proposed Partnership for Learning and Earning Act of 1968.

Significant improvement of vocational education, however, will depend on the use made locally of federal and other funds. We suggest the following guidelines:

• Inclusion of intensive literacy training: literacy skills are obviously indispensable to productive employment. All vocational education programs should provide literacy training, either directly or in conjunction with Adult Basic Education or other programs.

• Greater emphasis on part-time cooperative education and work-study programs through use of release time: the Advisory Council found that these programs, which provide students with jobs upon completion of the course, are the best available in the vocational education field. They consistently yield high placement records, high employment stability and high job satisfaction. The most important factor in improving vocational education is that training be linked to available jobs with upward mobility potential. To accomplish this goal, the active cooperation of the business community in defining job needs and effective training practices should be engaged. Consideration should be given to releasing students to attend pretraining Opportunities Industrialization Centers.

• Full implementation of vocational training programs for high school dropouts: the Advisory Council found that assistance available under the Vocational Education Act for the training of this group is not being adequately utilized. The need for doing so is critical.

• Elimination of barriers to full participation of ghetto youth in vocational education programs: some vocational schools attempt to improve the quality of their student body and enhance their prestige by raising entrance requirements. This policy eliminates those in greatest need. This practice should be discontinued and support for these students expanded.

• Follow-up support and assistance to ghetto youth receiving vocational training: the Advisory Council reported that "the most successful vocational programs are those which assume responsibility for placing their graduates and thus get feedback on their strengths and weaknesses." Vocational educators should continue to provide counselling and guidance for their students until they have been successfully placed in training related jobs.

• Increased training to meet the critical need for more workers in professional, semi-professional and technical fields: demand for public service workers alone exceeds supply by five to one. Preparation of disadvantaged students for these desirable positions should be greatly intensified.

Implementation of These Programs

The Federal Role -- The principal burden for funding the programs we have proposed will fall upon the Federal Government. Caught between an inadequate and shrinking tax base and accelerating demands for public expenditures, the cities are not able to generate sufficient financing. Although there is much more that state governments can and should do, the taxing resources available at this level are far from adequate.

The Federal Government has recognized and responded to this need. Federal expenditures for education, training and related services have increased from $4.7 billion in fiscal 1964 to $12.3 billion in fiscal 1969. These figures include aid for preschool, elementary, secondary and higher education, vocational education, work-training and activities not related to the education of disadvantaged students. This network of federal educational programs provides a sound and comprehensive basis for meeting the interrelated educational needs of disadvantaged students. We need now to strengthen that base, as we have proposed, and to build upon it by providing greatly increased federal funds for the education of the disadvantaged.

The State Role -- Many states provide more support for suburban and rural schools than for city education systems. Designed at a time when the suburban school systems were poorer than those in the cities, state aid formulas now operate to extend existing inequities.

We urge that every state reexamine its present method of allocating funds to local school districts, not merely to provide equal funds for all political subdivisions on a per-pupil basis, but to assure more per-student aid to districts having a high proportion of disadvantaged students. Only if equalization formulas reflect the need to spend larger amounts per pupil in schools predominantly populated by disadvantaged students in order to achieve equality of educational results with other schools will state aid be allocated on an equitable basis.

To assist the states in devising equalization formulas which would accomplish this objective, we recommend that the Office of Education develop prototype formulas. Federal programs aiding states should require that funds be allocated within each state in accordance with formulas which conform with the criteria set forth above.

We recognize that virtually all school districts need more money than they now receive. Provision of expanded state aid to education may well be justified. Whatever the amounts may be, we believe that allocation should be made in accordance with the standards described above.

Finally, the states and, in particular, the state education agencies, have a key role to play in accomplishing school integration. The states are in a unique position to bring about urban-suburban cooperation and metropolitan planning. We urge that the efforts of state educational agencies in this area be given clear direction through adoption of state-wide, long-term integration plans and intensified through active promotion of such plans.

The Local Role -- We have emphasized that more money alone will not suffice. Accomplishment of the goal of meaningful educational opportunity for all will require exercise of enlightened and courageous leadership by local government. The programs which we have proposed can succeed only if imaginative and effective use is made locally of funds provided by Federal and State governments. Mayors, city councils, school boards and administrators must lead the community toward acceptance of policies which promote integration while improving the quality of education in existing, racially segregated schools. The cooperation of their suburban counterparts is no less essential.

This responsibility is not limited to public officials. It is shared by the private community -- business leaders, professionals, clergymen, civic organizations. Attainment of the goal of equal and integrated educational opportunity will require the leadership, support, talents and energies of the entire community.



The Commission believes that our present system of public assistance contributes materially to the tensions and social disorganization that have led to civil disorders. The failures of the system alienate the taxpayers who support it, the social workers who administer it, and the poor who depend on it. As Mitchell Ginsberg, head of New York City's Welfare Department, stated before the Commission, "The welfare system is designed to save money instead of people and tragically ends up doing neither."

The system is deficient in two critical ways:

First, it excludes large numbers of persons who are in great need, and who, if provided a decent level of support, might be able to become more productive and self-sufficient;

Second, for those who are included, it provides assistance well below the minimum necessary for a decent level of existence, and imposes restrictions that encourage continued dependency on welfare and undermine self-respect.

In short, while the system is indispensable because for millions -- mostly children -- it supports basic needs, drastic reforms are required if it is to help people free themselves from poverty.

The existing welfare programs are a labyrinth of federal, state and local legislation. Over 90 percent of national welfare payments are made through programs that are partly or largely federally funded. These reach an average of 7.5 million persons each month:

• 2.7 million are over 65, blind or otherwise severely handicapped.

• 3.6 million are children in the Aid for Dependent Children (AFDC), whose parents do not or cannot provide financial support.

• 1.2 million are the parents of children on AFDC. Of these, over one million are mothers and less than 200,000 are fathers; about two-thirds of the fathers are incapacitated. Only 60,000 fathers are in the special program called "Aid to Families with Dependent Children (Unemployed Parents)" (AFDC-UP) operating in 22 states.

Among all welfare programs, AFDC and AFDC-UP have clearly the greatest impact on youths and families in central cities areas; for this reason, it will be the principal focus for discussion here.

States and local governments contribute an average of about 45 percent of the cost of supporting the AFDC program, with each state setting the level of grants for its own residents. Monthly payments vary widely from state to state. They range from $9.30 per AFDC recipient monthly in Mississippi to a high of $62.55 in New York. In fiscal year 1967, the total annual cost of the AFDC program, including federal, state and local contributions, was approximately $2.0 billion, providing an average of about $36 monthly for each recipient.

This sum is well below the poverty subsistence level under any standard. The National Advisory Council on Public Welfare has commented:

"The national average provides little more than half the amounts admittedly required by a family for subsistence; in some low-income states, it is less than a quarter of that amount. The low public assistance payments contribute to the perpetuation of poverty and deprivation that extend into future generations."

Over the last six years, despite the longest sustained period of economic progress in the history of this country, the AFDC caseload has risen each year while the unemployment rate has fallen. Cases increased nationally by 319,000 during fiscal year 1967 and will, under present HEW estimates, increase by another 686,000 during fiscal year 1968. The burden of welfare -- and the burden of the increases -- will fall principally on our central cities. In New York City alone, 525,000 people receive AFDC support and 7,000 to 10,000 more are added each month. Yet, it has been estimated in 1965, nationwide, over 50 percent of persons eligible to receive assistance under welfare programs were not enrolled.

In addition to the AFDC program, almost all states have a program of general assistance to provide minimum payments based largely or entirely on need. During calendar year 1966, the states spent $336 million on general assistance. No federal funds have ever been available for this program. In fact, no federal funds have ever been available for men or women, however needy, who are neither aged, severely handicapped nor the parents of minor children.

The dimension of the "pool" of poor but unassisted individuals and families -- either ineligible under present programs or eligible but unenrolled -- is indicated by the fact that in 1966 there were 21.7 million nonaged persons in the United States with incomes. below the "poverty level" as defined by the Social Security Administration. Only a third of these received assistance from major public welfare programs:

"[T]he bulk of the nonaged poor live in families where there is a breadwinner who works either every day or who had worked a part of the year, so that the picture that people have of who the poor are is quite a different thing from an analysis of the poverty population. And what we have done in effect is carve out, because of our categorical approach to public assistance, a certain group of people within that overall poverty population to give help to.

"Seventy per cent of the nonaged poor families were headed by men, an 50 per cent of these held full-time jobs and 86 per cent of them worked at least part of the year, so that the typical poor family is much like the typical American family, except they don't make enough money. And they have been historically excluded from the AFDC program." [32]

The gaps in coverage and low levels of payments are the source of much of the long-term dissatisfaction with the system. The day to-day administration of the system creates even sharper bitterness and dissatisfaction, because it serves to remind recipients that they are considered untrustworthy, ungrateful, promiscuous and lazy. Among the most tension-producing statutory requirements, administrative practices and regulations are the following:

First, in most states benefits are available only when a parent is absent from the home. Thus, in these states an unemployed father whose family needs public assistance in order to survive, must either abandon his family or see them go hungry. This so-called "Man-in-the-House" rule was intended to prevent payment to children who have an alternative potential source of support. In fact, the rule seems to have fostered the breakup of homes and perpetuated reliance on welfare. The irritation caused by the rule is aggravated in some states by regular searches of recipients' homes to ferret out violations.

Second, until recently all amounts earned by adult welfare recipients on outside jobs, except for small allowances for expenses, were deducted directly from the welfare payments they would otherwise have received. This practice, required by federal law, appears to have taken away from many recipients the incentive to seek part- or full-time employment. The 1967 amendments to the welfare laws permit retention of the first $30 earned by a recipient each month and one-third of all earnings above that amount. This is a start in the right direction but does not go nearly far enough. New York City has, for example, begun experimenting with a promising program that allows welfare mothers to keep the first $85 of earnings each month and a percentage of amounts above that.

Third, in most states, there is a residency requirement, generally averaging around a year, before a person is eligible to receive welfare. These state regulations were enacted to discourage persons from moving from one state to another to take advantage of higher welfare payments. In fact, they appear to have had little, if any, impact on migration and have frequently served to prevent those in greatest need -- desperately poor families arriving in a strange city -- from receiving the boost that might give them a fresh start.

Fourth, though large amounts are being spent on social service programs for families, children and young people, few of these programs have been effective. In the view of the Advisory Council on Public Welfare, the inadequacies in social services:

"are themselves a major source of such social evils as crime and juvenile delinquency, mental illness, illegitimacy, multi-generational dependency, slum environments, and the widely deplored climate of unrest, alienation, and discouragement among many groups in the population."

A final source of tension is the brittle relationship that exists between many welfare workers and the poor. The cumulative abrasive effects of the low levels of assistance, the complicated eligibility requirements, the continuing efforts required by regulations to verify eligibility -- often by means that constitute flagrant invasions of privacy -- have often brought about an adversary relationship between the case worker and the recipient family. This is intensified by the fact that the investigative requirements not only force continuing confrontations but, in those states where the same worker performs both investigative and service functions, leave the worker little time to provide service.

As was stated by Lisle Carter, Assistant Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, in testimony before the Commission:

"[W]e think [it] is extremely important that welfare recipients begin to feel that the welfare worker is on their side instead of on the side of the agency. There have been statements made that the welfare workers are among the most hated persons in the ghetto, and one of the studies shows that the recipients tend to feel that what the workers says is something that cannot be challenged. Nowhere do you get the feeling that ... the worker is there to really go to bat for recipients in dealing with the other pressures that they face in the community.... "

One manifestation of the tension and dissatisfaction created by the present system has been the growth of national and local welfare protest groups. Some are seeking to precipitate a national welfare crisis, in part by bringing on the welfare rolls 80 many new recipients that America will be forced to face the enormity of its poverty problem. Others, often composed of welfare recipients or welfare workers, seek expanded welfare programs and attack day-to-day inequities in the administration of the system.

On the other hand, many Americans who advocate better housing, better schools, and better employment opportunities for disadvantaged citizens oppose welfare programs of all kinds in the belief that they "subsidize" people who should be working. The act is, as we have pointed out, that all but a small fraction of welfare recipients are disabled because of age, ill health or the need to care for their children. Even more basic is the fact that the heads of most poor families who can work are working, and are not on welfare. For both of these groups of people in need -- those who cannot work and those who can and do -- the problem in at least one vital respect is the same: lack of sufficient income to provide a base on which they can begin building a path out of poverty, if not for themselves, at least for their children.

An altered and expanded welfare system by extending support to more of those in need, by raising levels of assistance on a uniform national basis, and by eliminating demeaning restrictions, could begin to recapture the rich human resources that are being wasted by poverty.

Basic Strategies

In framing strategies to attack welfare problems, the Commission cognizes that a number of fundamental questions remain to be answered. Although many of the present inadequacies in the system can be identified, and specific changes recommended, long-term measures for altering the system are still untested.

A first strategy is to learn more about how welfare affects people and what its possibilities for creative use are. We endorse the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Public Welfare for greatly expanded research. We also commend the experimental incentive programs being carried out through the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Office of Economic Opportunity, as well as the Model Cities Program through which some cities hope to develop integrated programs of income supplementation, job training and education. We further recommend the President's recent creation of a commission on Income Maintenance Programs, which may provide answers to the complex problems here presented.

Despite the questions left open, we believe that many specific inadequacies in the present structure can and should be corrected.

• The most important basic strategy we would recommend is to overhaul the existing categorical system to:

(a) provide more adequate levels of assistance on the basis of uniform national standards.

(b) reduce the burden on state and local government by financing the cost of assistance almost entirely with federal funds.

(c) create new incentives to work and eliminate the features that cause hardship and dependency.

(d) improve family-planning and other social services to welfare recipients.

• Our longer-range strategy, one for which we can offer only tentative guides, is the development of a national system of income supplementation to provide a basic floor of economic and social security for all Americans.

Suggested Programs


To repair the defects in the existing categorical system is not simply a matter of changing one or two aspects. Major changes are needed in at least seven areas.

• Standards of assistance

The federal government should develop a minimum income standard for individuals and families enrolled in AFDC. The standard should be at least as high as the subsistence "poverty" level periodically determined by the Social Security Administration. Only a few states now approach this "poverty" level, which is currently set at $3,335 for an urban family of four. The amending legislation should, if feasible, also permit cost of living variations among the states and within "high-cost" areas in each state.

As a critical first step toward raising assistance levels, the Commission recommends that the present provision under which the federal government pays fifteen-eighteenths of the first $18 of AFDC monthly payments be amended to provide that the federal government assume the entire first $15 and the same proportion of payments beyond $15 presently applied to that above $18. Taken together with existing legislation that requires the states to maintain levels of support when federal assistance rates are increased, the effect of this change would be to raise by over one-third the monthly welfare payments in eight states of the Deep South. In Mississippi, payments would be more than doubled.

• Extension of AFDC-UP

The Commission strongly urges that the temporary legislation, enacted in 1961, which extends the AFDC programs to include needy families with two unemployed parents be made permanent and mandatory on all states and that the new federal definition of "unemployment" be broadened. This program, which reaches the family while it is still intact, has been put into effect in only 22 states. Even in states where it has been implemented, the numbers participating have been small, partly because many states have narrowly defined the term "unemployment" and partly because the number of broken homes makes many children eligible under the regular form of AFDC.

• Financing

Because the states are unable to bear substantially increased welfare costs, the federal government should absorb a far greater share of the financial burden than presently. At least two methods are worth considering. The first would be to rearrange payment formulas so that, even at the highest levels of payments, the federal government absorbed 90 percent or more of the costs. A second method would be to have the federal government assume 100 percent of the increment in costs that would be encountered through raising standards of assistance and rendering AFDC-UP mandatory. Under either of these approaches, the share of costs presently imposed on municipal governments should be removed to release their limited resources for other uses.

• Work incentives and training

In three important ways, steps were taken in the 1967 amendments to the Federal Welfare Act to encourage -- or compel -- welfare recipients to seek employment. Each of these controversial steps had some salutory aspects but each requires substantial further attention:

(a) Job training. The amendments provide substantially greater fund for job training. This was in principle a wise step. The amendments also, however, require the states to condition grants to "appropriate" adult welfare recipients on their willingness to submit to job training. Though the Commission agrees that welfare recipients should be encouraged to accept employment or job training, we strongly disagree with compelling mothers of small children to work or else lose welfare support. Many mothers, we believe, will want to work. A recent study of about 1,500 welfare mothers in New York indicated that 70 percent of all mothers -- and 80 percent of Negro mothers -- would prefer to work for pay than stay at home.

(b) Day are centers for children. The 1967 amendments provide funds for the first time for day-care programs for children of working mothers. Further expansion is desirable to make centers an effective means of enabling welfare recipients to take advantage of training and employment opportunities. Efforts should be made to ensure that centers are open in the evening and that more education features are built into center programs. State and federal standards that prevent centers from employing subprofessional workers, including welfare recipient mothers, should be removed.

Welfare mothers themselves should be encouraged to set up cooperative centers with one or more mothers tending children of other mothers and with welfare funds available for salaries. Such "living room" day care can only be effective if the mother taking care of the children can be paid without losing any substantial portion of her welfare check.

(c) Retention of part of earnings. The amendments permit an AFDC or AFDC-UP recipient to retain the first $30 of earned income monthly and one-third of the balance. Both the sums that can be kept without penalty, and the percentage of the balance that can be retained, should be raised substantially to maximize incentive to work. To determine the appropriate level and, indeed, to determine how job training and welfare programs can best interrelate, call for experimental programs to test different combinations and approaches. These programs should be supported at all-levels of government.

• Removal of freeze on recipients

The 1967 welfare amendments freeze, for each state, the percentage of children who can be covered by federal AFDC grants to the percentage of coverage in that state in January 1968. The anticipated effect of this new restriction will be to prevent federal assistance during 1968 to 475,000 new applicants otherwise eligible under present standards. In the face of this restriction, states and cities will have to dig further into already depleted local resources to maintain current levels. H they cannot bear the increased costs, a second alternative, less feasible under existing federal requirements, will be to tighten eligibility requirements for everyone or reduce per capita payments. We strongly believe that none of these alternatives are acceptable.

• Restrictions on eligibility

The so-called "Man-in-the-House" rule and restrictions on new residents of states should be eliminated. Though these restrictions are currently being challenged in the courts, we believe that legislative and administrative action should be taken to eliminate them now.

• Other features of the program which can strengthen the capacity of welfare recipients to become self-sufficient and which deserve increased federal support are:

(a) Clear and enforceable rights. These include prompt determinations of eligibility and rights to administrative appeal with representation by counsel. A recipient should be able to regard assistance as a right and not as an act of charity.

Applicants should be able to establish initial eligibility by personal statements or affidavits relating to their financial situation and family composition, subject to subsequent review conducted in a manner that protects their dignity, privacy and constitutional rights. Searches of welfare recipients' homes, whether with or without consent, should be abandoned. Such changes in procedures would not only accord welfare recipients the respect to which they are entitled but also release welfare workers to concentrate more of their time on providing service. They would also release a substantial portion of the funds spent on establishing eligibility for the more important function of providing support.

(b) Separation of administration of AFDC and welfare programs for the disabled. The time that welfare workers have available for the provision of services would be increased further by separating the administration of AFDC and general assistance programs from aid to aged and physically incapacitated. The problems of these latter groups are greatly different and might better be handled, at the federal level, through the Social Security Administration. Any such change would, of course, require that programs for the disabled and aged continue to be paid out of general funds and not impair the integrity of the Social Security Trust Fund.

(c) Special neighborhood welfare contact and diagnostic centers. Centers to provide the full complement of welfare services should be combined into the multi-purpose neighborhood service facilities being developed by the Office of Economic Opportunity and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Federal funds should be provided to help local welfare agencies decentralize their programs through these centers, which would include representatives of all welfare, social, rehabilitation and income-assistance services.

(d) Expansion of family-planning programs. Social workers have found that many women in poverty areas would like to limit the size of their families and are simply unaware of existing birth control methods, or do not have such methods available to them. Governments at all levels -- and particularly the federal -- should underwrite broader programs to provide family-planning information and devices to those who desire them. Through such programs, the Commission believes that a significant contribution can be made to breaking the cycle of poverty and dependency.

Toward a National System of Income Supplementation

In 1949, Senator Robert A. Taft described a system to provide a decent level of income for all citizens:

"I believe that the American people feel that with the high production of which we are now capable, there is enough left over to prevent extreme hardship and maintain a minimum standard floor under subsistence, education, medical care and housing, to give to all a minimum standard of decent living and to all children a fair opportunity to get a start in life."

Such a "minimum standard of decent living" has been called for by many other groups and individuals, including the AFL-CIO, major corporate executives, and numerous civil rights and welfare organizations. The study of the new Commission on Income Maintenance Programs, and the Model Cities Program will be of particular importance in providing direction. We believe that efforts should be made to develop a system of income supplementation with two broad and basic purposes:

• To provide for those who can work or who do work, any necessary supplements in such a way as to develop incentives for fuller employment;

• To provide for those who cannot work and for mothers who decide to remain with their children, a system that provides a minimum standard of decent living and to aid in saving children from the prison of poverty that has held their parents.

Under this approach, then, all present restrictions on eligibility -- other than need -- would be eliminated. In this way, two large and important groups not covered by present federal programs would be provided for: employed persons working at substandard hours or wages, and unemployed persons who are neither disabled nor parents of minor children.

A broad system of supplementation would involve substantially greater federal expenditures than anything now contemplated. The cost will range widely depending on the standard of need accepted as the "basic allowance" to individuals and families, and on the rate at which additional income above this level is taxed. Yet if the deepening cycle of poverty and dependence on welfare can be broken, if the children of the poor can be given the opportunity to scale the wall that now separates them from the rest of society, the return on this investment will be great indeed.
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Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

Postby admin » Wed May 04, 2016 9:41 pm

Part 4 of 4



The passage of the National Housing Act in 1934 signalled a new federal commitment to provide housing for the nation's citizens. Fifteen years later Congress made the commitment explicit in the Housing Act of 1949, establishing as a national goal, the realization of "a decent home and suitable environment for every American family."

Today, after more than three decades of fragmented and grossly underfunded federal housing programs, decent housing remains a chronic problem for the disadvantaged urban household. Fifty-six percent of the country's non-white families live in central cities today, and of these, nearly two-thirds live in neighborhoods marked by substandard [33] housing and general urban bight. For these citizens, condemned by segregation and poverty to live in the decaying slums of our central cities, the gal of a decent home and suitable environment is as far distant as ever.

During the decade of the 1950's, when vast numbers of Negroes were migrating to the cities, only 4 million of the 16.8 million new housing units constructed throughout the nation were built in the central cities. These additions were counterbalanced by the loss of 1.5 million central-city units 1 through demolition and other means. The result was that the number of nonwhites living in substandard housing increased from 1.4 to .8 million, even though the number of substandard units declined.

Statistics available for the period since 1960 indicate that the trend is continuing. There has been virtually no decline in the number of occupied dilapidated units in metropolitan areas, and surveys in New York City and Watts actually show an increase in the number of such units. These statistics have led the Department of Housing and Urban Development to conclude that while the trend in the country as a whole is toward less substandard housing, "There are individual neighborhoods and areas within many cities where the housing situation continues to deteriorate." [34]

Inadequate housing is not limited to Negroes. Even in the central cities the problem affects two and a half times as many white as nonwhite households. Nationally, over 4 million of the nearly 6 million occupied substandard units in 1966 were occupied by whites.

It is also true that Negro housing in large cities is significantly better than that in most rural areas -- especially in the South. Good quality housing has become available to Negro city dwellers at an increasing rate since the mid-1950's when the postwar housing shortage ended in most metropolitan areas.

Nevertheless, in the Negro ghetto, grossly inadequate housing continues to be a critical problem.

Substandard, Old and Overcrowded Structures

Nationwide, 25 percent of all nonwhites living in central cities occupied substandard units in 1960 compared to 8 percent of all whites. Preliminary Census Bureau data indicate that by 1966, the figures had dropped to 16 and 5 percent respectively. However, if "deteriorating" units and units with serious housing code violations are added, the percentage of nonwhites living in inadequate housing in 1966 becomes much greater.

In 14 of the largest U.S. cities, the proportions of all nonwhite housing units classified as deteriorating, dilapidated, or lacking full plumbing in 1960 (the latest date for which figures are available), were as follows:

Percentage of Non-white Occupied Housing Units Classified Deteriorating or Dilapidated 1960 / Percentage of Non-white Occupied Housing Units Classified Deteriorating, Dilapidated, or Sound but Without Full Plumbing, 1960


Conditions were far worse than these city-wide averages in many specific disadvantaged neighborhoods. For example, a study of housing in Newark, New Jersey, before the 1967 disorders, showed the following situation in certain predominantly Negro neighborhoods as of 1960: [35]

Percentage of Housing Units Dilapidated or Deteriorated in Selected Areas of Newark, 1960


These three areas contained 30 percent of the total population of Newark in 1960, and 62 percent of its nonwhite population.

The Commission carried out special analyses of 1960 housing conditions in three cities, concentrating on all Census Tracts with 1960 median incomes of under $3,000 for both families and individuals. It also analyzed housing conditions in Watts. The results showed that the vast majority of people living in the poorest areas of these cities were Negroes, and that a high proportion lived in inadequate housing:


Negroes, on the average, also occupy much older housing than whites. In each of ten metropolitan areas analyzed by the Commission, substantially higher percentages of nonwhites than whites occupied units built prior to 1939.

Percentage of White and Nonwhite Occupied Housing Units Built Prior to 1930 in Selected Metropolitan Areas


Finally, Negro housing units are far more likely to be overcrowded than those occupied by whites. In U.S. metropolitan areas in 1960, 25 percent of all nonwhite units were overcrowded by the standard measure (that is, they contained 1.01 or more persons per room). Only 8 percent of all white-occupied units were in this category. Moreover, 11 percent of all nonwhite-occupied units were seriously overcrowded (1.51 or more persons per room), compared with 2 percent for white-occupied units. The figures were as follows in the ten metropolitan areas analyzed by the Commission.

Percentage of White and Nonwhite Occupied Units With 1.01 or More Persons Per Room in Selected Metropolitan Areas


Higher Rents for Poorer Housing

Negroes in large cities are often forced to pay the same rents as whites and receive less for their money, or pay higher rents for the same accommodations.

The first type of discriminatory effect -- paying the same amount but receiving less -- is illustrated by data from the 1960 Census for Chicago and Detroit.

In certain Chicago census tracts, both whites and nonwhites paid median rents of $88, and the proportions paying various specific rents below that median were almost identical. But the units rented by nonwhites were typically:

• Smaller (the median number of rooms was 3.35 for nonwhites versus 3.95 for whites).

• In worse condition (30.7 percent of all nonwhite units were deteriorated or dilapidated units versus 11.6 percent for whites).

• Occupied by more people (the median household size was 3.53 for nonwhites versus 2.88 for whites).

• More likely to be overcrowded (27.4 percent of nonwhite units had 1.01 or more persons per room versus 7.9 percent for whites).

In Detroit, whites paid a median rental of $77 as compared to $76 among nonwhites. Yet 27.0 percent of nonwhite units were deteriorating or dilapidated, as compared to only 10.3 percent of all white units.

The second type of discriminatory effect -- paying more for similar housing -- is illustrated by data from a study of housing conditions in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Newark, New Jersey. In four areas of that city (including the three are cited previously), nonwhites with housing essentially similar to that of whites paid rents that were from 8.1 percent to 16.8 percent higher. Though the typically larger size of nonwhite households, with consequent harder wear and tear, may partially justify the difference in rental, the study found that nonwhites were paying a definite "color tax" of apparently well over 10 percent on housing. This condition prevails in most racial ghettos.

The combination of high rents and low incomes forces many Negroes to pay an excessively high proportion of their income for housing. This is shown dramatically by the following chart, showing the percentage of renter households paying over 35 percent of their incomes for rent in ten metropolitan areas:

Percentages of White and Nonwhite Occupied Units With Households Paying 35 Percent or More of Their Income For Rent in Selected Metropolitan Areas


The high proportion of income that must go for rent leaves less money in such households for other expenses. Undoubtedly, this hardship is a major reason many Negro households regard housing as one of their worst problems.

Discrimination in Housing Code Enforcement

Thousands of landlords in disadvantaged neighborhoods openly violate building codes with impunity, thereby providing a constant demonstration of flagrant discrimination by legal authorities. A high proportion of residential and other structures contain numerous violations of building and housing codes. Refusal to remedy these violations is a criminal offense, one which can have grievous effects upon the victims -- the tenants living in these structures. Yet in most cities, few building code violations in these areas are ever corrected, even when tenants complain directly to municipal building departments.

There are economic reasons why these codes are not rigorously enforced. Bringing many old structures up to code standards and maintaining them at that level often would require owners to raise rents far above the ability of local residents to pay. In New York City, rigorous code enforcement has already caused owners to board up and abandon over 2,500 buildings rather than incur the expense of repairing them. Nevertheless, open violation of codes as a constant source of distress to low income tenants and creates serious hazards to health and safety in disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Housing Conditions and Disorder

Housing conditions in the disorder cities surveyed by the Commission paralleled those for ghetto Negroes generally.

Many homes were physically inadequate. Forty-seven percent of the units occupied by nonwhites in the disturbance areas were substandard.

Overcrowding was common. In the metropolitan areas in which disorders occurred, 24 percent of all units occupied by nonwhites were overcrowded, against only 8.8 percent of the white-occupied units.

Negroes paid higher percentages of their income for rent than whites. In both the disturbance areas and the greater metropolitan areas of which they were a part, the median rent as a proportion of median income was over 25 percent higher for nonwhites than for whites.

The result has been widespread discontent with housing conditions and costs. In nearly every disorder city surveyed, grievances related to housing were important factors in the structure of Negro discontent.

Poverty and Housing Deterioration

The reasons many Negroes live in decaying slums are not difficult to discover. First and foremost is poverty. Most ghetto residents cannot pay the rent necessary to support decent housing. This prevents private builders from constructing new units in the ghettos or from rehabilitating old ones, for either action involves an investment that would require substantially higher rents than most ghetto dwellers can pay. It also deters landlords from maintaining units that are presently structurally sound. Maintenance requires additional investment, and at the minimal rents that inner-city Negroes can pay, landlords have little incentive to provide it.

The implications of widespread poor maintenance are serious. Most of the gains in Negro housing have occurred through the turnover which occurs as part of the "filtering down" process -- as the white middle class moves out, the units it leaves are occupied by Negroes. Many of these units are very old. Without proper maintenance, they soon become dilapidated, so that the improvement in housing resulting from the filtering-down process is only temporary. The 1965 New York City survey points up the danger. During the period that the number of substandard units was decreasing, the number of deteriorating units increased by 95,000.


The second major factor condemning vast numbers of Negroes to urban slums is racial discrimination in the housing market. Discrimination prevents access to many nonslum areas, particularly the suburbs, and has a detrimental effect on ghetto housing itself. By restricting the area open to a growing population, housing discrimination makes it profitable for landlords to break up ghetto apartments for denser occupancy, hastening housing deterioration. By creating a "back pressure" in the racial ghettos, discrimination keeps prices and rents of older, more deteriorated housing in the ghetto higher than they would be in a truly free and open market.

Existing Programs

To date, federal building programs have been able to do comparatively little to provide housing for the disadvantaged. In the 31-year history of subsidized federal housing, only about 800,000 units have been constructed, with recent production averaging about 50,000 units a year. By comparison, over a period only three years longer, FHA insurance guarantees have made possible the construction of over ten million middle and upper-income units.

Federal programs also have done little to prevent the growth of racially segregated suburbs around our cities. Until 1949, FHA official policy was to refuse to insure any unsegregated housing. It was not until the issuance of Executive Order 11063 in 1962 that the Agency required nondiscrimination pledges from loan applicants.

It is only within the last few years that a range of programs has been created that appears to have the potential for substantially relieving the urban housing problem. Direct federal expenditures for housing and community development have increased from $600 million in fiscal 1964 to nearly $3 billion in fiscal 1969. To produce significant results, however, these programs must be employed on a much larger scale than they have been so far. In some cases the constraints and limitations imposed upon the programs must be reduced. In a few instances supplementary programs should be created. In all cases, incentives must be provided to induce maximum participation by private enterprise in supplying energy, imagination, capital and production capabilities.

Federal housing programs must be given a new thrust aimed at overcoming the prevailing patterns of racial segregation. If this is not done, those programs will continue to concentrate the most impoverished and dependent segments of the population into the central-city ghettos where there is already a critical gap between the needs of the population and the public resources to deal with them. This can only continue to compound the conditions of failure and hopelessness which lead to crime, civil disorder and social disorganization.

Basic Strategies

We believe the following basic strategies should be adopted:

• The supply of housing suitable for low-income families should be expanded on a massive basis

The basic reason many Negroes are compelled to live in inadequate housing is the failure of the private market to produce decent housing at rentals they can afford to pay. Programs we have recommended elsewhere are directed toward raising income levels. Yet it is obvious that in the foreseeable future there will continue to be a gap between the income of many Americans and the price of decent housing produced by normal market mechanisms. Thus, the implementation of the strategy depends on programs which not only generate more lower cost housing, but also raise the rent-paying capability of low-income households.

• Areas outside of ghetto neighborhoods should be opened up to occupancy by racial minorities

Provision of decent low-cost housing will solve only part of the problem. Equally fundamental is the elimination of the racial barrier in housing. Residential segregation prevents equal access to employment opportunities and obstructs efforts to achieve integrated education. A single society cannot be achieved as long as this cornerstone of segregation stands.

Suggested Programs

We propose programs in ten areas to illustrate how we believe the basic strategies we have outlined can be put into effect:

• Provision of 600,000 low and moderate-income housing units next year, and 6 million units over the next five years.

• An expanded and modified below-market interest rate program.

• An expanded and modified rent supplement program, and an ownership supplement program.

• Federal write-down of interest rates on loans to private builders.

• An expanded and more diversified public housing program.

• An expanded Model Cities Program.

• A reoriented and expanded urban renewal program.

• Reform of obsolete building codes.

• Enactment of a national, comprehensive and enforceable open-occupancy law.

• Reorientation of federal housing programs to place more low and moderate-income housing outside of ghetto areas.

• The supply of housing suitable for low-income families should be expanded.

The Commission Recommends:

• Provision of 600,000 low and moderate-income housing units next year, and 6 million units over the next five years.

Some 6 million substandard housing units are occupied in the United States today, and well over that number of families lack sufficient income to rent or buy standard housing, without spending over 25 percent of their income and thus sacrificing other essential needs. The problem promises to become more critical with the expanded rate of family formation on the immediate horizon and the increasing need to replace housing which has been destroyed or condemned.

In our view, the dimension of the need calls for an unprecedented national effort. We believe that the nation's housing programs must be expanded to bring within the reach of low and moderate income families 600,000 new and existing units next year, and 6 million units over the next five years.

This proposal can only be implemented if present subsidy programs are extended so that (a) a part of the existing housing inventory can be brought within the reach of lower income families, and (b) private enterprise can become a major factor in the low-cost housing field, both in terms of the construction capabilities of private developers and the capital of private institutional lenders.

In the sections that follow, we discuss specific programs that must be part of this expanded national effort.

• An expanded and modified below-market interest rate program.

The below-market interest rate program, which makes long-term, low-interest financing available to nonprofit and limited profit sponsors, is the best mechanism presently available for engaging private enterprise in the task of providing moderate and lower-income housing.

Several limitations, however, prevent the program from providing the quantity of housing that is needed. Nonprofit sponsors are deterred by lack of seed money to finance preconstruction costs, limited profit corporations are deterred by the statutory prohibition on transfer or refinancing of projects for 20 years without FHA permission. Funding levels are inadequate to launch a national program.

We recommend that legislation be enacted to permit interest- free loans to nonprofit sponsors to cover preconstruction costs, and to allow limited profit corporations to sell projects to nonprofit corporations, cooperatives, or condominiums. We also recommend that funding levels of the program be substantially increased.

Though the potential of the program is great, it presently serves few truly low-income families. Current costs average $14,400 per unit, making the typical rental for a two-bedroom unit $110 per month, thereby in effect requiring a minimum annual income of $5,300. Only with rent supplements can poor families afford housing commanding rents of this amount, but the amount of rent supplement funds which can be used in such developments is limited by statute to 5 percent of the total appropriation for the rent supplement program.

In order to make below-market interest rate housing available to low as well as moderate-income families, we recommend that the 5 percent limitation be removed, and that the overall funding of rent supplements be greatly expanded. We also recommend that serious consideration be given to expanding the interest subsidy under the program in order to lower the rate for sponsors.

• An expanded and modified rent supplement program, and an ownership supplement program.

The rent supplement program offers a highly flexible tool for subsidizing housing costs, because it permits adjustment of the subsidy according to the income of the tenant. The project financing is at market rates, so that tenants wl;1odo not qualify for supplements must pay market rentals. Potentially, therefore, these developments can provide an alternative to public housing for low-income families, while still attracting middle-income families.

We believe, however, that several changes are necessary if the full potential of this program is to be realized.

First, we recommend that existing regulations restricting architectural design, imposing rigid unit cost standards, and limiting tenant income to amounts lower than required by statute be removed. These regulations diminish the attractiveness of the program to private developers, and represent a major barrier to substantial expansion of the program.

Second, the statutory limitation of rent supplements to new or rehabilitated housing should be changed to permit use of rent supplements in existing housing. In many areas, removal of the restriction would make possible a major increase of the program without requiring investment in new construction. This option must be made available if the program is to be expanded to its fullest potential.

Third, the rent supplement concept should be extended to provide home ownership opportunities for low-income families. The ambition to own one's own home is shared by virtually all Americans, and we believe it is in the interest of the nation to permit all who share such a goal to realize it. Home ownership would eliminate one of the most persistent problems facing low-income families in rental housing -- poor maintenance by absentee landlords -- and would provide many low-income families with a tangible stake in society for the first time.

The Senate Banking and Currency Committee recently approved a bill that would establish a program to pay a portion of the mortgage payments of low-income families seeking to purchase homes. As with rent supplements, subsidy payments would decrease as the purchasers income rose. The income limits of the program -- 70 percent of the below-market interest rate eligibility limits -- would, in our opinion, greatly impair its usefulness and should be eliminated. With that reservation, we strongly endorse the concept, urge that such a program of ownership supplements be enacted, and recommend that it be funded on a basis that will permit its wide use in achieving the goal of 6 million units for low and moderate-income families over the next five years.

• Federal write-down of interest rates on loans to private builders.

To make private loan capital available, we recommend direct federal write-down of interest rates on market rate loans to private construction firms for moderate-rent housing. This program would make it possible for any qualified builder to enter the moderate-rent housing field on the basis of market rate financing, provided that the project meets necessary criteria. The federal government would enter into a contract with the financing institution to supply the difference between the mortgage payment at the market interest rate and 20 percent of the tenant's monthly income, to a specified maximum "write-down" which would make the interest rate paid by the tenant equivalent to 1 or 2 percent.

• An expanded and more diversified public housing program.

Since its establishment in 1937, the public housing program has produced only some 650,000 low-rent housing units. Insufficient funding has prevented construction of a quantity more suited to the need, and unrealistic unit-cost limitations have mandated that most projects be of institutional design and mammoth size. The resulting large concentration of low-income families has often created conditions generating great resistance in communities to new projects of this type.

We believe that there is a need for substantially more public housing, but we believe that the emphasis of the program should be changed from the traditional publicly-built, slum-based, high-rise project to smaller units on scattered sites. Where traditional high-rise projects are constructed, facilities for social services should be included in the design, and a broad range of such services provided for tenants.

To achieve the shift in emphasis we have recommended, we urge first, expansion of present programs under which public housing authorities lease existing scattered site units. Present statutory restrictions on long-term leasing should be eliminated to provide incentives for private construction and financing. Families whose incomes increase above the public housing limit should be permitted to take over the leases of their units from the housing authority.

We also urge expansion of present "turnkey" programs, under which housing authorities purchase low-rent units constructed by private builders instead of constructing the units themselves. Here too, families whose incomes rise above the public housing limits should be permitted to stay in the units at market rentals.

• An expanded Model Cities Program.

The Model Cities Program is potentially the most effective weapon in the federal arsenal for a long-term, comprehensive attack on the problems of American cities. It offers a unique means of developing local priorities, coordinating all applicable government programs -- including those relating to social development (e.g., education and health) as well as physical development -- and encouraging innovative plans and techniques. Its "block grant" multi-purpose funding feature allows the city to deploy program funds with much greater flexibility than is possible under typical categorical grant programs. The statutory requirement that there be widespread citizen participation and maximum employment of area residents in all phases of the program promises to involve community residents in a way we think most important.

The full potential of the program can be achieved, however, only if (a) the Model Cities Program is funded at a level which gives the cities involved an opportunity and incentive to produce significant results, and (b) the various programs which can be brought into play under Model Cities, such as urban renewal, below-market interest rate housing, and health, education and welfare programs, are independently supported at levels which permit Model Cities' funds to be used for essentially innovative purposes. Appropriations must also be sufficient to expand coverage far beyond the 63 cities that are currently funded.

The President has recommended that $1 billion be appropriated for Model Cities. We strongly support this recommendation as a minimum start, noting that a much greater scale of funding will ultimately be necessary if the program proves successful and if it is to be made available to all the cities that require such aid.

• A reoriented and expanded urban renewal program.

Urban renewal has been an extremely controversial program since its inception. We recognize that in many cities it has demolished more housing than it has erected, and that it has often caused dislocation among disadvantaged groups.

Nevertheless, we believe that a greatly expanded but reoriented urban renewal program is necessary to the health of our cities. Urban renewal is an essential component of the Model Cities Program and, in its own right, is an essential tool for any city attempting to preserve social and economic vitality. The program has sometimes been poorly implemented, but we believe the concept is sound.

Substantially increased funding will be necessary if urban renewal is to become a reality in all the cities in which renewal is needed, but a reorienting of the program is necessary to avoid past deficiencies. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has recognized this, and has promulgated policies giving top priority to urban renewal projects that directly assist low-income households in obtaining adequate housing. Projects aimed primarily at bolstering the economic strength of downtown areas, or at creating housing for upper-income groups while reducing the supply of low-cost housing, will have low priority, unless they are part of balanced programs including a strong focus on needs of low-income groups. It is with these priorities in mind that we recommend substantial expansion of the program.

• Reform of obsolete building codes.

Approximately 5,000 separate juri9dictions in the United States have building codes. Many of these local codes are antiquated and contain obsolete requirements that prevent builders from taking advantage of new technology. Beyond the factor of obsolesence, the very variety of the requirements prevents the mass production and standardized design that could significantly lower building costs.

Opinions differ as to whether a uniform national code is yet feasible, but it is clear that much greater uniformity is possible than presently exists. We urge state and local governments to undertake the task of modernizing their codes at once, and recommend that the Department of Housing and Urban Development design, for their guidance, a model national code. We can no longer afford the waste caused by arbitrary and archaic building codes.

• Areas outside of ghetto neighborhoods should be opened up to occupancy by racial minorities

The Commission Recommends:

• Enactment of a national, comprehensive and enforceable open-occupancy law.

The federal government should enact a comprehensive and enforceable open-occupancy law making it an offense to discriminate in the sale or rental of any housing -- including single family homes -- on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin.

In recent years, various piecemeal attempts have been made to deal with the problem of housing discrimination. Executive Order 11063, issued by President Kennedy in 1962, provided that agreements for federally assisted housing made after the date of the Order must be covered by enforceable nondiscrimination pledges. Congress, in enacting Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, promulgated a broad national policy of nondiscrimination with respect to programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance -- including public housing and urban renewal. Eighteen states and more than 40 cities have enacted fair housing laws of varying degrees of effectiveness.

Despite these actions, the great bulk of housing produced by the private sector remains unaffected by anti-discrimination measures. So long as this continues, public and private action at the local level will be inhibited by the argument that local action produces competitive disadvantage.

We have canvassed the various alternatives, and have come to the firm opinion that there is no substitute for enactment of a federal fair housing law. The key to breaking down housing discrimination is universal and uniform coverage, and such coverage is obtainable only through federal legislation.

We urge that such a statute be enacted at the earliest possible date.

Open housing legislation must be translated into open housing action. Real estate boards should work with fair housing groups in communities where such groups exist, and help form them in areas where they do not exist. The objective of voluntary community action should be (I) the full dissemination of information concerning available housing to minority groups, and (2) providing information to the community concerning the desirability of open housing.

• Reorientation of federal housing programs to place more low and moderate-income housing outside of ghetto areas.

Enactment of a national fair housing law will eliminate the most obvious barrier limiting the areas in which nonwhites live, but it will not deal with an equally impenetrable barrier, the unavailability of low and moderate income housing in non ghetto areas.

To date, housing programs serving low-income groups have been concentrated in the ghettos. Nonghetto areas, particularly suburbs, for the most part have steadfastly opposed low-income, rent supplement, or below-market interest rate housing, and have successfully restricted use of these programs outside the ghetto.

We believe that federally aided low and moderate income housing programs must be reoriented so that the major thrust is in nonghetto areas. Public housing programs should emphasize scattered site construction, rent supplements should, wherever possible, be used in nonghetto areas, and an intensive effort should be made to recruit below-market interest rate sponsors willing to build outside the ghettos.

The reorientation of these programs is particularly critical in light of our recommendation that 6 million low and middle-income housing units be made available over the next five years. If the effort is not to be counter-productive, its main thrust must be in nonghetto areas, particularly those outside the central city.


One of the first witnesses to be invited to appear before this Commission was Dr. Kenneth B. Clark, a distinguished and perceptive scholar. Referring to the reports of earlier riot commissions, he said:

I read that report ... of the 1919 riot in Chicago, and it is as if I were reading the report of the investigating committee on the Harlem riot of '35, the report of the investigating committee on the Harlem riot of '43, the report of the McCone Commission on the Watts riot.

I must again in candor say to you members of this Commission -- it is a kind of Alice in Wonderland -- with the same moving picture re-shown over and over again, the same analysis, the same recommendations, and the same inaction.

These words come to our minds as we conclude this Report.

We have provided an honest beginning. We have learned much. But we have uncovered no startling truths, no unique insights, no simple solutions. The destruction and the bitterness of racial disorder, the harsh polemics of black revolt and white repression have been seen and heard before in this country. It is time now to end the destruction and the violence, not only in the streets of the ghetto but in the lives of people.



1. The text of the report to the Commission by its Private Enterprise Task Force is set forth as an appendix to this Report.

2. The Commission invites particular attention to Chapters 3 and 4 of "The People Left Behind," a Report by the President's National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty, September, 1967.

3. "Equality of Educational Opportunity," U. S. Department of HEW, Office of Education (1966), p. 20. This report, generally referred to as the "Coleman Report," was prepared pursuant to Section 402 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

4. The actual nonenrollment rate for Negro students in these areas is 20 pecent, as opposed to 6 percent for white students. Coleman Report, p. 31.

5. Employment figures reflect discriminatory practices as well. The contribution of inadequate education to unemployment, while not quantified, is clearly substantial.

6. "Big City School Desegregation: Trends and Methods," Dentler and Elsbery, National Conference on Equal Educational Opportunity, November, 1967, p. 3.

7. While the proportion of Negroes attending all-Negro schools in Southern and border states has declined in the 14 years since the Supreme Court's school desegregation decision, the number of Negro students attending schools with all or nearly all Negro enrollments has risen. "Racial Isolation in the Public Schools," p. 10.

8. "Big City School Desegregation: Trends and Methods" op. cit.

9. The poor quality of education offered in these schools, located in the most poverty stricken section of the country, is attested to by the fact that "the 12th-grade Negro in the nonmetropolitan South is 0.8 standard deviation below -- or, in terms of years, 1.9 years behind -- the Negro in the Metropolitan Northeast . . . " Coleman Report, p. 21.

10. This finding was limited to performance of students from minority groups. The Coleman Report states:

"if a white pupil from a home that is strongly and effectively supportive of education is put m a school where most pupils do not come from such homes, his achievement will be little different than if he were in a school composed of others like himself." p. 22

11. Coleman Report, p. 23.

12. The Civil Rights Commission's survey found no major national di1lerences In the educational attainment (years completed) of teachers in majority-Negro or majority-white schools. However, many large cities did not take part in the basic studies which supplied the data for this conclusion. It is precisely in these cities that teachers of disadvantaged Negro students tend to he the least experienced. Moreover, the Commission did conclude that Negro students, more often than whites, had teachers with non-academic college majors and lower verbal achievement levels.

13. Coleman Report, p. 12.

14. "Dark Ghetto," Dr. Kenneth Clark (1965), p. 128.

15. "Detroit, Michigan: A Study of Barriers to Equal Educational Opportunity in a Large City," National Commission on Professional Rights and Responsibilities of the National Education Association of the United States, March, 1967, p. 66.

16. The comparable rate In the white schools was four out of ten.

17. Cincinnati report for U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, pp. 8-9. 11.

18. Figures for Atlanta, Milwaukee and Oakland are from their reports to the Civil Rights Commission: Atlanta, pp. 2-3, 25; Milwaukee, pp. 19, 37, 42; Oakland, pp. 7, 11-15A; and the Bureau of the Census. Washington figures are from the District of Columbia Board of Education.

19. Atlanta report for Civil Rights Commission, pp. 32-34.

20. Testimony of Norman Drachler, Superintendent of Schools, Detroit.

21. Cincinnati report for the Civil Rights Commission, pp. 21-25.

22. Coleman report, pp. 9-12.

23. Testimony of Dr. Dodson.

24. Testimony of Norman Drachler, Superintendent of Schools, Detroit.

25. "Racial Isolation In the Public Schools," p. 27.

26. "Racial Isolation in tile Public Schools," p. 26.

27. Testimony of Dr. Dodson.

28. "Towards Open Schools," James S. Coleman, The Public Interest, Fall 1967, p. 23.

29. "Racial Isolation in the Public Schools," p. 162.

30. Limited funds have been provided for this purpose under Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This aspect of the Title III program could be used to supplement the Title IV program here proposed or could be discontinued, releasing limited BSEA funds for other purposes.

31. "Vocational Education: The Bridge Between Man and His Work," Report of the Advisory Council on Vocational Education, 1968, p. 29.

32. Testimony before the Commission of Lisle C. Carter, Jr., Assistant Secretary for Individual and Family Services, Department of Health, Education and Welfare.

33. The Department of Housing and Urban Development classifies substandard housing as that housing reported by the United States Census Bureau as (1) sound but lacking full plumbing, (2) deteriorating and lacking full plumbing, or (3) dilapidated.  

34. Hearings before the Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization of the Committee on Government Operations, United States Senate, 89th Congress, 2nd session, August 16, 1966, p. 148.

35. Source: George Sternlieb, The Tenement Landlord (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers (1966), pp. 238-241.
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Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

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Part 1 of 3


Supplement on Control of Disorder


Chapter 12 on Control of Disorder focused on the problems of civil and police omc1als seeking to prevent disorder, dealing with incidents leading to disorders, and responding to political, social and legal issues that arise at all stages of a disorder. In this Supplement we focus principally on controlling disorders that have escalated beyond immediate police capabilities and require a total community response to halt the violence. We also consider the rarer cases where state or federal forces are necessary to achieve control.

Within this context, we assess the present capabilities and preparedness of public safety forces, military units, civil government and the community at large to cope with disorders of large magnitude and make recommendations to help assure adequate responses at all levels.


The capability of a police department to control a civil disorder depends essentially on two factors: proper planning and competent performance. These rely in turn upon the quantity and quality of police manpower, the training of patrolmen and police commanders, and the effectiveness of their equipment. This portion of the Supplement will review the adequacy of police planning, training and equipment to deal with civil disorders, together with the Commission's recommendations for improvement.

When underlying tensions are present -- and they exist in every American city with a large minority population -- a small incident can turn a crowd into a mob. Last summer an appreciable number of incidents were triggered by police actions -- some serious, such as shooting a suspect, but usually by routine activities, such as a simple arrest.

The way policemen approach an incident often determines whether it is contained or develops into a serious disorder. Experienced police administrators consulted by the Commission repeatedly stressed the need for good judgment and common sense among police officers called to the scene of an incident in a neighborhood where tensions exist. They warned against using sirens and flasher lights that attract crowds. They cautioned against over-responding to a small 1nc1dent with too much visible force -- riot guns and helmets may only aggravate a tense situation. Yet control has sometimes been lost because an insufficient number of police were on hand to control a disorder in its initial stages. It takes a seasoned senior officer to make the all-important initial assessments and decisions that will contain an incident.

If an incident develops, and a crowd begins to threaten lawlessness and acts of violence, the police must act promptly and with a sufficient display of force to make clear their intent and capacity to suppress disorder and ensure the public safety.


Effective preparation for disorder requires careful plans. Large numbers of police officers must be mobilized, deployed, and directed by senior officers. They must have adequate logistical support, particularly if extended operations are necessary.

Mobilization Planning -- To find and mobilize enough policemen to handle a riot emergency is difficult, even in large cities. In one major city with a population of more than 1 million, an area of 140 square miles, and a police force of nearly 5,000 men, 192 patrolmen were on duty when a major civil disorder erupted. Of these, only 44 were in the riot area. The difficulties in mobilizing additional men were described by the police commissioner:

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that mobilization is inherently a time consuming operation, no matter how efficient. After a man is notified, he must dress and travel to his reporting point. Once he has checked in and has been equipped, he must be turned around and transported to a command post or an assembly point. There he must be briefed on the situation that exists, the location of the riot area, his duties, and other details required to make him effective once he is deployed. He must then be actually committed to the area of involvement. The time lapse in this entire procedure ranges from 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

By the time sufficient manpower was brought in, the disorder had developed beyond the control capability of the police department.

Adding to this difficulty is the fact that the standard training for police operations is basically different from that required for riot control. Traditional police training seeks to develop officers who can work independently and with little direct supervision. But the control of civil disturbances requires quite different performance -- large numbers of disciplined personnel, comparable to soldiers in a military unit, organized and trained to work as members of a team under a highly unified colDDl8Dd control system. No matter how well-trained and skilled a police officer may be, he will be relatively ineffectual to deal with civil disturbances so long as he functions as an individual. Thus, a major civil disturbance requires a police department to convert itself, suddenly, into a different organization with new operational procedures.

To cope with the difficulties of this transition, a police department must have So specific mobilization plan that can mobilize and deploy needed manpower with a minimum deviation from established operating procedures, and with m1n1mumcurtaIlment of essential police services.

A study conducted for the Commission by the International Association of Chiefs of Police of 30 major police departments found that all had some form of written mobilization plan. The quality of the plans varied greatly. Principal defects were: inadequate attention to implementing the plan; inadequate relief of reserve forces after the plan has been activated; inadequate accounting for personnel dispatched to a disorder; inadequate predesignated assembly areas or command posts in the various areas of the cities where trouble might be expected; inadequate logistical support of police and other law enforcement officers engaged in control activities; inadequate flexibility in planning to cope with disorders of varying natures and magnitudes; and unnecessarily complicated planning that deviated excessively from normal operations.

Because of these deficiencies in the mobilization plans of the leading police departments, the Commission has prepared a model plan, which can be adapted to local requirements. Currently used as training material in the Conference on the Prevention and Control of Civil Disorders conducted by the Department of Justice in response to Commission recommendations, the plan will be revised as additional information is developed by these conferences. The Commission recommends that the Department of Justice disseminate the revised plan to police departments across the country and ensure that it is used in federally-sponsored training on riot control methods.

Operational Planning -- Operational planning, a necessary complement to mobilization planning, tells the police command and the men what to do to control the disorder. It includes command and control mechanisms, communication, intelligence, means to combat inflammatory rumors, and tactics.

(1) Command and Control and Communications -- Whether the shift from normal routine police operations to an emergency basis is smooth and effective depends upon the success with which the police can provide unified command and control. Under ordinary conditions, a police dispatcher controls the movement of men and equipment from a central position to places where they are needed. In most police departments the system works well enough so long as the demands on the dispatcher are within the capabilities of the man and his equipment.

Many local police departments called upon to control civil disorders have had serious problems in commanding and controlling the large numbers of men required to work together as an effective, coordinated team. The problem has been compounded by the shortage of on-duty supervisors and staff at certain periods of the day. It is one thing to assemble a large force; it is quite another to provide appropriate direction and leadership.

Effective command and control in a civil disorder depends upon communications, and communications is a function both of planning and of equipment. Relatively few police departments have adequate communications equipment or frequencies. Forty-two percent of all police departments studied by the Commission had no special radio frequency for emergencies.

The lack of emergency frequencies overloads normal frequencies. This may not only preclude effective command and control of police in the area of a civil disorder but may also undermine the ability of the police to provide vital services to the remainder of the city.

The absence of adequate communication facilities is particularly acute with respect to outside police assistance. Approximately 50 percent of all police agencies surveyed had inadequate means to coordinate with neighboring jurisdictions. Incompatible radio frequencies in one instance prevented effective use of men and equipment from a neighboring police department. When local and state police must cooperate with National Guard units. the need for communications coordination is urgent.

We believe that the critical communications and control problems arising from the present shortage of frequencies available to police departments require immediate attention. Accordingly, we recommend that the Federal Communications Commission make sufficient frequencies available to police and related public safety services to meet the demonstrated need for riot control and other emergency use. [1]

Miniaturized communications equipment for officers on foot is critically needed for command and control in civil disorders particularly if the riot commanders are to exercise effective command and control over police units in control operations. At the present time police officers can generally communicate only to headquarters and only from a police vehicle. This Commission, therefore, endorses the recommendations made by the Crime Commission that the federal government assume the leadership in initiating and funding portable radio development programs for the police. [2]

(2) Intelligence -- The absence of accurate information both before and during a disorder has created special control problems for police. Police departments must develop means to obtain adequate intelligence for planning purposes, as well as on-the-scene information for use in police operations during a disorder.

An intelligence unit staffed with full-time personnel should be established to gather, evaluate, analyze, and disseminate information on potential as well as actual civil disorders. It should provide police administrators and commanders with reliable information essential for assessment and decision-making. It should use undercover police personnel and informants but it should also draw on community leaders, agencies, and organizations in the ghetto.

Planning is also necessary to cope with the ever present problem of rumors. A rumor collection center will enable police and other officials to counter false and inflammatory reports by giving accurate information rapidly to community leaders and others in troubled areas. Evaluation of rumors can also provide important information about potential disorders.

In Chicago, for example, a "Rumor Central" unit established in the Commission on Human Relations averted trouble. When a Negro, after an argument, was shot to death by a white store owner who was placed in custody by the police, a rumor spread through the neighborhood that the white man would not be arrested. This false information was picked up by a radio station and broadcast. But Rumor Central, which received some 500 telephone calls about the incident, obtained the facts from the police and gave those facts to community leaders and news media. This appreciably assisted the police in alleviating tension.

How police intelligence units can be organized and can operate is set forth in a Model Operations Plan discussed below.

(3) Tactics -- In dealing with disorders, police have traditionally relied principally on the use of various squad formations and tactics to disperse crowds. These tactics have been of little or no value in some recent disorders marked by roving bands of rioters engaged in window breaking, looting and fire-bombing.

Studies made for the Commission indicate that the police are aware of the deficiency. Many police departments admitted that traditional riot control methods and squad tactics were wholly ineffective or only partially useful in the disorders. But no new and practical response to the recent types of disorders has emerged. Few departments have evolved new tactics against rioters. Even fewer have sent trained personnel to consult with officials in cities that have experienced civil disorders.

The tactics effective in dealing with the type of disorders experienced last summer, as well as those that may develop in the future, are also presented in the Model Operations Plan discussed below.

(4) Recommendations for Operational Planning -- The Commission believes that model operations plans are needed now. They must provide guidelines tor police departments and assist them in coping with civil disorders.

The Commission also believes that more thought is needed about types of disorders that may develop in the future, together with the police responses that will be relevant and effective.

Acting on these convictions, the Commission has developed a model operations plan after consultation with leading police officials. Like the mobilization plan, this plan is also being used in the Department of Justice training conferences and will be revised from time to time. The Commission recommends that this plan be distributed to local and state police departments in the same manner as the proposed model mobilization plan.

Obtaining Outside Assistance -- When should a mayor or local police chief call for state assistance? The answer is difficult partly because of the problem of determining when outside assistance is actually necessary, and partly because local officials may be understandably reluctant to admit that they cannot control the disorder.

No amount of planning will provide an automatic solution to this problem. Sound judgment on the part of mayors and police chiefs remains the only answer. Yet once the decision has been made, proper advance planning will help speed assistance.

Outside forces will need a relatively long lead time before response. A survey of National Guard capabilities, for example, shows that an average of four to six hours is required from the time of notification to the time of arrival of an effective complement of men.

Local authorities must not wait until the critical moment to alert a neighboring jurisdiction, the state police, or the National Guard. Outside control forces will then be unable to mobilize and respond on time. All agencies that may be asked to help control a civil disturbance must be alerted at an early stage and kept informed.

These problems will be further discussed in the section on the National Guard and state local planning.

Logistical Planning -- Commission studies disclosed serious deficiencies in police plans for logistical support. Many police departments simply assume that supplies and equipment are on hand and in the amounts required. The moment of need is too late to find out whether they are.

Regular police vehicles are usually inadequate for transporting and supplying large numbers of police, particularly since the men should be moved in units. Furthermore, a disorder extending over a long period of time will require the resupply of expended items and probably food and shelter for police personnel. In one city. when the failure to plan for these contingencies kept an entire police force on 24-hour duty, physical exhaustion seriously impaired police effectiveness.

Commission studies indicate that few police departments are prepared for these exigencies.

A major problem of the 1967 disorders arose from the large number of persons arrested. Facilities to transport, detain, process, feed, and house them overwhelmed the existing structure. Discussed in the chapter on the Administration of Justice under Emergency Conditions, the task of caring for large numbers of prisoners is also a matter of logistics.


The Commission survey on the capabilities and preparedness of selected police departments showed that the most critical deficiency of all is inadequate training. Practically no riot control training is provided for supervisory police officers. Recruits receive an average of 18 hours in departments offering anywhere from 62 hours to only 2. Moreover, although riot control tactics require the work of highly disciplined and coordinated teams, almost all departments train policemen as individuals.

Eleven of the 30 police departments surveyed reported no special or additional riot control training beyond the recruit level. Of the 19 departments reporting some post-recruit training, five limit training to the use of firearms and chemicals. In many cases, the training program is built around traditional military formations that have little applicability to the kinds of civil disorders experienced by our cities. Yet 50 percent of all the departments, surveyed said they were generally satisfied with their training programs and planned no significant changes.

Basic riot control should be taught in recruit school, and intensive unit training should be conducted subsequently on a regular or semi-annual basis. Without this kind of training police officers cannot be expected to perform effectively in controlling civil disturbances. Training supervisory and command personnel in the control of civil disorders must also be a continuing process.

Emergency plans and emergency operations must be reviewed in the classroom and practiced in the field. Yet few departments test their mobilization and operational plans. As a result, where carefully planned variations from the normal chain-of-command communications systems and unit assignments go into effect at a time of riot emergency, policemen are often unfamiliar with them. The most thoroughly developed emergency plan is useless unless all personnel fully understand it before it is put into operation.

Of the 30 police departments surveyed, not a single one reported coordinated training with fire units. Yet recent experience shows a clear need for police-fire teamwork in riots. Even more revealing, only 2 of the departments surveyed have undertaken coordinated training with other community agencies required in a riot emergency. Only 2 departments reported coordinating their riot control training with the National Guard and state police.

In order to strengthen police training, the Commission recommends:

1. Departments should immediately allocate whatever time is necessary to reach an effective level of riot control capability. The need for training in civil disorder prevention and control is urgent.

2. Training must include all levels of personnel within the police agency, especially commanders. Post-recruit riot training must be a continuing process for all personnel and build upon recruit training rather than duplicate it.

3. Riot control training must be provided to groups expected to function as teams during actual riot conditions. Required levels of teamwork can be achieved only through team training. All special riot control units must receive additional and intensive training in tactics and procedures, as well as in special equipment and weapons.

4. Mobilization plans and emergency procedures must be reviewed in the classroom and practiced in the field. All members of the department must be familiar with riot plans at all times.

5. Mayors and other civil officials must recognize the need and accept the responsibility for initiating regional training and coordination with military and state police personnel, as well as with other agencies of local governments.

6. Police agencies must review and become familiar with recent riot experience so that training programs can be realistically adjusted in the light of anticipated problems.

7. In order to help law enforcement agencies improve their knowledge and strengthen their capabilities to prevent and control civil disorders, a national center and clearinghouse should be established to develop, evaluate, and disseminate riot prevention and control data and information. This center should be part of the proposed National Institute for Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recommended by the President and awaiting action by Congress.

A suggestion has been made that national observer teams be established and assigned to the scene of incipient or developing disorders. These teams would study the effectiveness of control techniques and organization, recommend improvements, and make this information available to public officials. The Commission endorses the recommendation and suggests further that the disorder observer teams be made an integral part of the proposed national center.

Police Control Equipment

Personal Equipment -- A serious hazard faced by police officers during disorders is injury from bottles, rocks, and other missiles thrown by rioters. Yet few police departments can furnish every man assigned to civil disturbance duty with the proper equipment to protect head, face, and eyes. The Commission has found that protective clothing, boots, and gloves are generally not available for the police, although most police administrators recommend their procurement and use. Police officers must have the proper personal equipment and clothing to safeguard them against the threat of bodily harm.

Police Weapons -- On the basis of the surveys made of 30 major police departments, the Commission found that many police forces are inadequately equipped or trained for use of even conventional riot control weapons and materiel. For example, although the police baton has proven to be a very effective weapon in situations where a low level of physical force will control a disorder, many police departments fail to instruct their men in the proper use of this control weapon. The value of the police baton should not be overlooked and police administrators should assure that proper training in its correct and most effective use is given to all police officers.

The most serious deficiencies, however, are in advanced nonlethal weapons. Riot control authorities regard nonlethal chemical agents, such as tear gas, as the single most valuable and effective type of middle-range weapons in controlling civil disorders. In listing the priority of force to be applied in a disorder, the FBI manual on riot control, as well as Army and National Guard doctrine, prescribe the use of tear gas (CS and CN) before resorting to firearms. According to the FBI riot control manual: "They are the most e1fective and most humane means of achieving temporary neutralization of a mob with a minimum of personal injury."

While most of the police departments surveyed possessed some chemical weapons with varying degrees of supplies on hand, they lacked sufficient gas masks to equip even 30% of their personnel properly. The lack of gas masks restricts use of gas by many police forces.

Police and other civil officials have also been inhibited by the unfavorable psychological reaction to the use of any gas or chemical weapon. An additional restraint is created by the presence of large numbers of innocent people in the disorder area who would be affected by the traditional, massive use of tear gas.

The recent development of new containers and projectile devices by the U.S. Army now makes it possible to use CS discriminatingly against small groups and even individuals. Police departments could use them to deal effectively and appropriately with looters and snipers.

Some police departments have recently been equipping police officers with a liquid tear gas device. Initial reports indicate that, though less effective than CS, it provides a useful method of dealing with unruly and dangerous individuals. Used properly, it renders offenders harmless for 10 to 15 minutes. Projectors now in production promise to give police a means of acting against lawless small groups or individuals up to a distance of 30 feet.

The use of distinctive colors and odors either added to the liquid tear gas or projected from a separate device may be an additional way to help police not only identify those engaged in vandalism and other illegal acts but also deter others.

The exaggerated reports of sniping in many cities experiencing disorders created unwarranted apprehension among some police administrators. This concern has led to a belief in some communities that police officers should be armed with highly destructive implements of war.

The Commission believes that equipping civil police with automatic rifles, machine guns, and other weapons of massive and indiscriminate lethality is not warranted by the evidence. Chemical agents provide police forces with an effective and more appropriate weapon. If violence by rioters goes beyond the capability of the police to control, trained military forces should be called in. We should not attempt to convert our police into combat troops equipped for urban warfare.

The true source of police strength in maintaining order lies in the respect and good will of the public they serve. Great harm is likely to result from the use of military weapons of mass destruction by police forces which lack the command and control and firearms discipline of military units. Improper action could destroy the concept of civilian police as a public service agency dependent for effective operations on community cooperation and support.

Ot1erall Recommendations -- The development of modem, nonlethal control equipment has languished because police departments lack the resources for tests and evaluation. The decentralized nature of law enforcement and the absence of standard criteria have also limited market opportunities. As a result, private industry has been reluctant to invest in research and development of new police equipment.

Accordingly, the Commission recommends:

• The federal government should undertake an immediate program to test and evaluate nonlethal weapons and related control equipment for use by police and control forces.

• Federal support should be provided to establish criteria and standard specifications which would stimulate and facilitate the production of such items at a reasonably low cost.

• Federal funds should be used to develop appropriate tools and materiel for local and state law enforcement agencies.

If these recommendations are adopted, the result will better maintenance of law and order and better control of disorders with fewer risks to police and the public. Use should be made of technology and resources of the Department of Defense and other appropriate federal agencies.


Of the 23 cities studied by the Commission, most reported arson and fires accompanying the disorders, ranging from burning of police barricades in Jackson, Mississippi, to the 682 riot-connected building fires listed by the Detroit Fire Department. Fire departments face problems equal in difficulty to control problems of law enforcement agencies.

Major Fire Department Problems in Civil Disorders

Abnormal Number of Fires -- The basic problem for fire departments during a civil disorder is lack of resources to cope with an abnormal number of fires in one area while maintaining some coverage of other areas. Detroit had as many fires in the five days of disorder as it usually has in a month. No other city approached this number of fires during a disorder, but fire problems were still critical. For example, during the four days of disorder in Newark, the fire department responded to 250 fire calls, plus 64 false alarms, and 50 emergencies where no fire existed. Of these 364 calls, 166 took place on the first day of the disorder.

Fire departments are not organized or equipped to cope with an abnormal number of fires on a sustained basis. There are more than 23,500 public fire departments in the United States, and only 285 have 100 or more employees .Only 19 cities have more than 1,000 paid employees, ranging from 13,917 in New York City to 1,061 in New Orleans. But total strength is far from the number of men available to fight a fire. Regular hours of duty mean that only 20 to 35 percent of personnel are on duty at any one time. The situation is even more critical in the suburban communities surrounding the core city of a metropolitan area, for many of these departments depend to a very large extent on volunteer firemen even for routine fires, and few have as many as 25 men normally on duty.

Shortages of equipment, particularly reserve equipment necessary for a full utilization of all available manpower, also inhibit efforts to combat widespread fires. During the Detroit disorder, 41 suburban communities furnished men and about 49 pieces of equipment to augment the 97 pieces of equipment in the city department. The danger in relying on mutual aid agreements comes from the possibility that adjoining communities may be simultaneously involved in a disorder and unable to release men or equipment.

Malicious or Nuisance False Alarms -- False alarms have often plagued fire departments during disorders. These alarms overload incoming communications systems and deplete manpower and equipment needed for actual fires.

Attacks and Harassment of Firemen -- In many of the cities experiencing civil disorders, firemen have been harassed, and even attacked, primarily by thrown objects. These, plus fear of attack, have seriously interfered with the work of firemen. Firemen can no longer depend upon community assistance, but must be ready for open hostility.

Overtaxed Communication Facilities -- Fire department communication capabilities have been severely taxed during disorders. At headquarters, increased number of alarms overload incoming telephone lines, and impose heavy burdens on dispatchers. In the field, frequencies have been overloaded, while the use of different frequencies by fire units, law enforcement agencies and National Guard forces has prompted confusion. The Commission has requested that the Federal Communications Commission provide sufficient frequencies to permit communication during disorders among all agencies of government involved in control.

Identification of a Civil Disorder Fire Problem -- The fire problem in a civil disorder has usually developed after the initial disturbance. The time interval may be a matter of hours as in Detroit, or a matter of days as in Los Angeles in 1965. In order to insure efficient response, fire chiefs must identify the start of a problem as early as possible both to activate emergency plans and to avoid an initial over-commitment of resources.

Water Supply Problems -- Numerous fires reduce water pressure, and malicious openings of hydrants deplete water supplies.

Logistical Support -- Extended fire-fighting operations by large numbers of personnel and equipment have created serious logistical problems. Sufficient manpower and equipment must be on hand not only to combat the fires but also to avert long hours of duty leading to exhaustion. Special feeding and rest facilities near the center of operations should be provided.

The availability and state of repair of reserve equipment creates additional difficulties when this equipment is pressed into service during an emergency.

Large scale glass breakage during disorders has damaged tires of fire trucks. Hose problems have been acute. Most fire departments lack the heavy stream equipment that is most efficient in handling riot-caused fires. Forced withdrawals because of attacks on firemen and rapid reassignment to new threatened areas have prevented recovery of hose. Damage from large scale operations, as well as from sabotage, has further reduced hose inventories.

Recommendations for Improving Fire Department Response

The Commission recommends that fire departments evaluate all existing resources, develop and test plans of response, and make every effort to strengthen the fire-fighting force within the limits of the community's financial base. Beyond this, detailed plans must be prepared to:

• identify areas where disorders and fires are likely to occur.

• compute the units needed to service critical areas, while maintaining minimum protection for the remainder of the community.

• evaluate jointly total needs with cooperating agencies and schedule required assignments in advance.

• select command post sites, providing for a command room, adequate parking of apparatus, sufficient access and maneuver, communication facilities, and space for personnel for extended periods of time.

• provide for coded signals to implement responses, to activate command posts, and to recall off-duty personnel.

• choose special teams of men and equipment for commitment, including, normally, one or two pumpers, a ladder truck, a chief officer, necessary heavy equipment, and communication facilities.

• review the adequacy of the water supply and solve foreseeable problems in advance.

• develop plans for actual operations at the scene of fires.

• provide a way to screen incoming alarms to avoid duplication of response and depletion of resources.

Coordination and Liaison with Other Units -- Fire departments must be an integral part of the planning to coordinate all government agencies and private groups involved in control operations, in particular with law enforcement agencies and the National Guard. Effective liaison must be established well in advance of emergencies, and lines of communication to the police will provide both information for the prompt recognition of special fire problems and police protection. Tests of all agreements are a necessity.

Protection of Firemen -- A fireman is neither trained nor equipped to control rioters. To be effective, he must be able to devote his entire attention to fire control activities. Since firemen have a professional responsibility and duty to respond to all fires, protection furnished by outside sources may be necessary for the personal well-being of firemen, and for effective fire-fighting operations.

Thus, if firemen are attacked or severely harassed or interfered with in their operations, either police or National Guardsmen should be assigned to fire units, to furnish effective protection. In order to ensure that proper protection will be immediately available if needed, advance commitments and assignments are necessary. Firemen must establish and maintain liaison with top police officials and National Guard officers.

Personal protective equipment for firemen and apparatus may also be necessary -- covered cabs, eye shields and crash helmets, as well as covering material for fire engines.

Adequate Communication Equipment -- Adequate communications between headquarters and field operations are essential -- additional telephones to receive alarms; direct-line telephones to command posts and key officials; portable two-way radios; radio links to other agencies and cooperating fire departments; equipment for reserve units; and reliable means to direct firefighters to fire scenes. Periodic exercises and tests are necessary.

Logistical Support -- To ensure an adequate logistical support, fire departments must make an inventory of all equipment and supplies, repair or replace inoperative or defective equipment, and ensure adequate repair and maintenance facilities. Sufficient quantities of hose, particularly heavy stream and large diameter hose, are required.

Training -- Because operations during civil disorders differ substantially from normal operating procedures, training must be carried out at operational and command levels. Command level training is of special importance, for many fire department officials lack experience in wide-scale operations. Tactical exercises will help train senior staff officers and test communications and command capabilities.

Training and Planning Conferences -- The Commission recommends training conferences for the nation's fire departments. Nationwide or area-wide conferences among top fire department officials will promote exchanges of information relating to basic plans for responding to disorders and the preparation of training programs and materials for both operational and command levels. The Federal Government should assume the responsibility for instituting, and funding such conferences.

Improved Community Relations -- Fire departments, like police departments, must improve their relations with the communities they serve in order to gain the community cooperation and assistance that are essential for effective fire-fighting. This requires getting out of the fire house and becoming acquainted with the people in the neighborhood. Fire department officials have an obligation to develop programs to achieve these goals.


A major civil disorder may require control forces beyond the personnel and equipment of a single city. When this occurs in an American city, the response will necessarily be far different than it would be in many foreign countries. Most Asian and European countries have national police forces under centralized control, and in the event of a disorder, thousands of additional, specially trained and equipped control personnel can be rapidly deployed to the scene.

Because a national police force is anathema to American tradition, and because the use of federal forces in domestic violence is limited by the Constitution, governing statutes, and precedent, state forces alone will be available in the great majority of civil disorders in this country. The state forces presently available to assist local law enforcement agencies are the state police and the National Guard.
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Re: Report of the National Advisory (Kerner Report 1967)

Postby admin » Fri May 06, 2016 8:03 am

Part 2 of 3

State Police Forces

All states except Hawaii have a state police department, highway patrol, or department of public safety. Together they number approximately 32,500 sworn personnel. All but seven states have under 1,000 men. In most states, these officers are responsible for policing the entire highway system and must be generally dispersed over the entire state. Thus, state police departments find it difficult to mobilize sufficient numbers of men to be of appreciable help in assisting local police control a civil disorder.

In fact, traffic supervision rather than law enforcement is the chief function in more than half of the states. Twelve of the 49 departments lack full police powers. Only five spend less than half time on traffic; 27 spend three-quarters or more time on traffic. Only eight spend over 15 percent of their time on control of criminal activities.

In the comparatively few states where the departments spend appreciable time on crime control, they may be the principal law enforcement agency for many rural areas. To divert these forces to riot control activities would strip rural areas of police protection.

Although state police recruits in 44 states receive training in crowd and riot-control tactics, the average number of hours for such training is approximately 10, as compared to 39 for the state traffic code and 38 for accident investigation.

Thus, despite real variations, most state police forces lack the necessary manpower, experience, and training to assist local police effectively in controlling civil disorders. In the great majority of states, only the National Guard can furnish effective assistance.

National Guard

Since World War II, the National Guard has been summoned to aid in controlling disorders a total of 72 times in 28 states. Thirteen took place during the summer of 1967. The performance of Guard forces in certain disorders, particularly in Newark and Detroit, raised doubts regarding their capabilities for this type of mission.

Their performance also poses a serious challenge to the nation. Because of the limitations of state police and the restrictions on the use of federal forces, the National Guard in state status is the only organization with sufficient manpower and appropriate organization and equipment to assist local police departments in riot control operations.

After hearing testimony and reviewing evidence of the Guard's performance in riot control operations in several cities, this Commission recommended immediate action to improve the Guard's effectiveness. These recommendations included:

(1) increased riot control training.

(2) review of the standards for National Guard officers.

(3) a substantial increase in Negro personnel in both Army and Air National Guard.

These recommendations provoked changes in the Guard, and they will here be evaluated.

Background Information on the Guard -- Certain difficulties experienced by the Guard in responding to civil disorders result from the dual nature of its organization and mission. On one hand, it a state militia organized, trained, and equipped to protect life and property and preserve order and public safety within the state it serves. On the other hand, it has a federal mission to provide organized units of trained personnel with sufficient and suitable equipment to augment the national and active Army and Air Force in time of war or national emergency.

National Guard officials maintain that their primary duty is to be ready to respond to the federal mission. For the Guard's force structure is tailored by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to enable its immediate integration into the active Army and Air Force. The Army prescribes standards for enlistment, and for the appointment and promotion of officers; the Army directs training. A federal order to duty has priority over a state call. The Federal Government pays for 90 percent of the operating costs, virtually all of the equipment, and nearly half the cost of the physical installations and facilities.

Yet members of the Guard take an oath of allegiance to the state. Unless called into federal service, and except when on annual two weeks tour of active duty, the Guard is under the control of the Governor, who appoints officers. When on state duty, the Guard is paid by the state and is subject to state or local control. The concept of a state militia is enhanced by the "hometown" makeup and traditions of Guard units.

This dual nature of Guard makeup and mission must be taken into account when Guard capabilities for use in riot control operations are assessed, and when responsibility for improvements is fixed.

Here we consider the Guard's control capabilities in terms of personnel, organization, planning, training and equipment, as presently in being.

Personnel Resources--

(1) Sufficiency of Manpower -- The total strength of the National Guard is determined by Congress in response to requirements set by the Department of Defense. The manpower level has varied little over the past several years.

Although the National Guard Bureau and the Adjutants General of the states participate in the process, establishing Guard strength in any state and allocating Guard units to a particular state are primarily federal functions based upon the needs of the active Army in the event of a national emergency. A Governor can refuse the total Guard manpower allocated to his state, in which case the "excess" manpower is assigned to other states. A Governor can also increase the total manpower assigned, but there would be no federal recognition or support of the additional units.

In the recent past, no state has called its total Guard force to active duty to deal with civil disorders. Since 1957, the average proportion of the force employed has been nine percent; in only two instances has a state employed more than 50 percent of Guard strength. California called out 60 percent for the Watts riot in 1965. Michigan called 85 percent for the Detroit disorder in 1967, but held 20 to 25 percent in reserve near Detroit. New Jersey employed 31 percent of its Guard in Newark, Wisconsin about 43 percent for Milwaukee. Even if civil disorders increased somewhat in frequency and magnitude, Guard strength appears adequate to assist local law enforcement units.

other factors must, however, be considered. First, without the pressure of the accelerated draft in times of international crisis, the Guard usually has difficulty maintaining its strength. Second, no state has yet experienced more than one major civil disorder at anyone time. Two or more major disturbances would probably necessitate outside help. Third, control of an extremely severe or prolonged disorder would undoubtedly be beyond the present capabilities of any state. And, fourth, repeated disorders in a state would create manpower problems since calling the same units to duty several times in a short period would cause severe dislocations for the men involved.

In summary, no state alone has the resources to support a Guard force capable of controlling all potential disorders, but no state can be expected to maintain a force of that strength. Elsewhere in this Report the Commission will consider the problem of obtaining outside aid.

(2) Quality of Guard Officers -- Total manpower is not the only determining factor in an evaluation of Guard capabilities for control purposes. Proper leadership at all levels is vital to prevent the indiscriminate riot control measures utilized by some Guard units in recent disorders.

Evidence presented to the Commission concerning Guard performance in recent control operations brought into question the caliber and competence of certain Guard officers. Some displayed inferior leadership below the level needed to handle extremely sensitive operations of controlling disorder in an American city. As a result, the Commission recommended that the qualifications and performance of all Guard officers be reviewed. This recommendation was intended not as a reflection on the entire officer corps of the Guard, but rather to suggest that objective tests be used to replace or retrain officers who failed to meet minimum standards of leadership.

Prompt action was taken on the Commission's s recommendations. A special board was formed to make a general assessment of the qualifications and performance of all Reserve Component officers. The Commission assumes that the Department of the Army will continue these efforts and will work with the states to upgrade or eliminate officers who lack the necessary leadership attributes.

The responsibility to improve Guard leadership does not rest solely with the Federal Government. Governors appoint Guard officers, and they too must exercise responsibility to improve Guard leadership by selecting only the well qualified.

(3) Negro Personnel in Guard Units -- Evidence from Detroit indicates that active Army troops were more effective than National Guard units in controlling the disorder. According to many observers, the higher percentage of Negroes in the Active Army was a significant contributing factor. After reviewing this evidence and examining the percentage of Negroes in Guard units, this commission recommended immediate efforts to crease substantially the number of Negroes in Army and Air National Guard units throughout the country.

The Department of Defense responded in two ways:

(a) On August 31, 1967, a special Board was convened to study the extent of Negro participation in the Army National Guard and Reserve, to explore the reasons why Negroes were not fully participating in the National Guard and Reserve and to suggest a program to increase their participation substantially. On October 16, 1967, the Board issued its report and recommended steps to recruit and retain additional Negro personnel.

(b) The New Jersey National Guard was authorized a temporary 5 percent overstrength -- 865 additional spaces -- in its paid drill strength. The purpose was to test methods of increasing Negro participation in the Army and Air National Guard. An intensive recruiting program was immediately instituted to obtain qualified Negroes for the additional positions. By the end of December, 1967, approximately 1300 Negroes had expressed interest in the Guard. Of 723 whose applications were fully processed, 397 were actually enlisted into the Army and National Guard. Thus, approximately 46 percent of the over-strength positions have been filled, amounting to an increase of Negro participation in the New Jersey Guard from 1.7percent on December 31, 1966, to 3.97 percent at the end of December 1967. The program is continuing.

The Commission commends these efforts. Although it is too early to determine whether the New Jersey program will be a complete success, preliminary results indicate that Negro participation in the Guard can be increased. The Commission recommends that the findings of the special board and the results of the New Jersey experiment be fully utilized to stimulate additional Negro participation. If necessary, overstrengths should be authorized.

Every effort must be made to ensure fair assignments and promotions for Negroes. Increased Negro participation in the Guard will have meaning only if there is a fair proportion of Negro officers in command of integrated units.

Organization -- Unit organization in the Guard is identical to active Army organization. Command and control arrangements are also identical, ensuring close supervision of troops and quick and flexible reaction to changing situations.

Command organization of the Guard is currently undergoing a modification which brings into a sharp focus potential conflicts between the state and federal missions of the National Guard. In the opinion of experienced consultants, the basic military element that lends itself most effectively to riot control is the battalion. However, the current plan splits support type battalions between various states with the resulting loss of at least one unified battalion in each state where divisions are split.

The Commission recommends that the Department of Defense reconsider alignment of units between the states in order to ensure that state needs for unified command and control in riot operations are fully taken into account.

Planning -- The importance of planning in effective control operations cannot be overemphasized. Plann1ng is particularly important for the National Guard because it needs to mobilize a large number of men from a variety of locations and occupations, be sure they are properly equipped, deploy them rapidly in effective units to the scene of the disorder, and provide adequate logistical support for expanded operations.

The Department of the Army in August 1967 instructed all National Guard commands to develop riot-control plans. A revised tra1n1ng schedule issued at the same time required an 8-hour command-post exercise to develop plans or exercise previously developed plans. All National Guard units have now met this requirement.

The commanding general of the United states Continental Army Command has dispatched liaison teams to review all state National Guard riot-control plans and to assure that they are coordinated with plans drawn by state and local civil officials.

The Army has also developed planning packets for certain cities. These include maps and other information necessary for control operations.

The Department of the Army and the National Guard Bureau have provided a basic framework which helps the states construct appropriate riot-control plans. The states now have a clear responsibility to develop them.

In order to aid appropriate federal and state officials fulfill their planning responsibilities, the Commission makes the following recommendations:

(1) The 8-hour command post exercise mentioned above is inadequate for proper drafting of control plans. The Commission believes that riot-control plans should be developed by the state Adjutant General working together with his full-time duty staff, rather during a training exercise. The Commission suggests that the Military Support of Civil Defense section be utilized to assist in the planning process. Only if the planning is carried out in this fashion by full-time personnel will there be adequate opportunity to develop a workable and comprehensive plan, and also to exploit fully the training exercises devoted to testing and revision of the plans. We are informed that the Department of the Army is presently taking steps that would substantially carry out this recommendation.

(2) The planning process must involve all state and local officials who be involved in the control operations. It cannot be left solely to the Army and National Guard, nor to the National Guard and police departments.

(3) The lack of adequate communication between the Guard and local agencies has been a problem in nearly all instances where National Guard troops have been utilized to assist in controlling a disorder. Proper planning must insure effective communications among all Guard units involved, as well as among the Guard and appropriate local agencies, particularly the police and fire departments.

(4) Planning should take into account those National Guardsmen who are policemen, firemen, and other emergency workers. They must be released from active military duty if they are needed in their civilian capacities.

(5) Plans must be constantly reviewed to ensure their applicability to changing conditions and new techniques and equipment.

(6) An officer should be on duty at the state Guard headquarters on a 24-hour basis to ensure proper contact with state and local civil officials and law enforcement agencies. Guard headquarters should maintain regular contacts with all major state and local law enforcement agencies in order to provide an exchange of information, particularly intelligence.

(7) All states should plan to have Guard cadres, key personnel, and even some units, available for rapid call-up during the crucial warm-weather months. This will provide a minimum force for immediate aid to local law enforcement agencies and will facilitate full mobilization and deployment if necessary A force of this nature can be created by placing personnel on an alert status (subject to recall on short notice) on a rotating basis, or by scheduling weekend training for various Guard units. It is useful to recall that in 18 of the 23 cities studied by Commission, the disorders began during a weekend, or on a Friday or Monday.

Weapons, Equipment and Logistical Support -- The Guard is armed and equipped by federal funds in order to fulfill its federal role as a combat force. Experiences of this last summer reveal that much of this equipment is inappropriate for dealing with civil disorders in American cities. The Guard and other military units lack an adequate "middle ground" between a display of force and the use of lethal or indiscriminate force.

The Commission has recommended federally sponsored and financed research for developing nonlethal weapons. The Commission further recommends that the Department of Defense participate fully in such efforts to bring about full utilization of available resources. Suitable products of research and development should be used to the fullest extent possible by the National Guard and other military forces, as well as by local and state police.

In the foreseeable future, however, the National Guard has no alternative but to use existing equipment in control operations.

(1) Control Weapons and Equipment -- The rifle is the soldier's basic weapon. He has been trained with it and has developed a degree of confidence in it. This weapon has a psychological effect for a show of force that distinguishes military units from the police. Unfortunately, actual use of the rifle in riot control operations is generally inappropriate. It is a lethal weapon with ammunition designed to kill at great distances. Rifle bullets ricochet. They may kill or maim innocent people blocks away from the actual target.

Unless or until an effective nonlethal replacement for the rifle is developed, it will of necessity continue to be the basic arm for the individual guardsman assigned to civil disorder duty. The Commission recommends that the Department of Defense immediately institute a research program that seeks to develop a new type of ammunition for use in civil disorders. It should be capable of striking with deterrent but not lethal force at reasonable range. British units in Hong Kong, for example, fire a wooden peg that incorporates these basic features and is reportedly highly effective.

(2) Bayonets -- Considerable controversy developed around the use of bayonets by National Guard and Army troops in controlling riots. Proponents of this weapon argue that it has the strong psychological impact necessary for an effective show of force, and provides a means of self-defense for the individual guardsman. Opponents point out that bayonets are likely to cause death or severe wounds and may inflame a crowd to greater disorder.

One commentator, after pointing out that successful modem armies have trained men to perform effectively in combat without bayonets, concludes:

In any case, the bayonet is completely useless as an instrument of riot control and the management of civil disorder. As a device for separating hostile groups or controlling mobs, it has some of the impact of a police dog, in that it produces counter-effects that are not desired. It is not a weapon which reassures soldiers, especially national guardsmen; federal troops tend to avoid its use. Even in most difficult riot control situations which faced British forces as for example in Hong Kong, the bayonet was absent. [3]

The Commission recommends that the Department of the Army and the National Guard Bureau reexamine their policy underlying the use of the bayonet for riot control operations. At the very minimum, the Commission believes that nonlethal chemical agents should be utilized before bayonets are fixed.

(3) Chemical Agents -- The National Guard is equipped with CS, the standard Army chemical agent for riot control. The Army has recently developed a variety of dispensers that include small hand-thrown rubber grenades; grenade launchers accurate to a range of 200 meters and useful, for example, against a sniper firing through a window; and large devices that can be mounted on helicopters and disperse effective amounts of the agent over relatively large areas. These should be made available to Guard units as soon as possible.

Despite the existence of some problems, previously discussed in the control chapter, the only present alternative to use of CS is the application of potentially lethal force. New delivery projectiles now enable CS to be used in a highly discriminating manner against individuals or small groups, and they can provide more flexibility in the present range of coercive force. The Commission, therefore, believes that until more selective nonlethal weapons are available, CS should be utilized before rifles and bayonets. The Commission urges the Department of Defense to expedite the development and production of advanced delivery systems, which should also be made available to police departments.

It is important to avoid the indiscriminate use of chemical agents. Their use should be announced to all who may be affected, an adequate escape routes should be opened to allow a crowd to disperse upon being so ordered.

All National Guard units should have on hand a sufficient number of gas masks to equip all guardsmen who may be used in riot control operations. Furthermore, each participating unit should have a supply of additional gas masks for police and other officials who may be attached to or involved with the National Guard in control operations. Utilization of chemical agents presents sufficiently difficult problems of judgment for a commander; the difficulties should not be enhanced by a lack protective equipment.

(4) Automatic and Other Weapons -- The Commission heard from witnesses and its own investigators disturbing accounts of indiscriminate firing of machine guns during certain of the recent disorders.

Controlling a civil disorder is not warfare. The fundamental objective of National Guard forces in a civil disorder is to control the rioters, not to destroy them or any innocent bystanders who may be present.

Brigadier General Harris W. Hollis, Director of Operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations, U.S. Army, testified before the Commission:

Commanders and their personnel should do whatever is possible to avoid appearing as an alien, invading force rather than as a force which has the purpose of restoring order with minimum loss of life and property, and with due respect for the great number of citizens whose involvement in the area is purely coincidental.

A military machine gun -- as well as similar types of automatic weapons -- is constructed to fire bursts or continuous streams of deadly ammunition a great distance and over a relatively large area. A machine gun, unlike a standard rifle, cannot be fired at individuals with selectivity or accuracy. By design it is a weapon of mass fire. Except in an extraordinary situation, where the Guard or the local community is endangered by the use of lethal weapons that can be neutralized only by mass fire, and only if there is no disproportionate danger to innocent persons, the Commission recommends that the use of machine guns be prohibited for National Guard forces assigned to riot control. Other mass destruction weapons of modern warfare -- flame throwers, recoilless rifles, and artillery -- have no conceivable place in riot-control operations in densely populated American cities.

(5) Communication Equipment -- The Commission has previously emphasized that proper planning must include facilities for adequate communication between the Guard and other agencies involved in control operations. Both the Federal Government and the states should take appropriate steps to insure that adequate equipment is immediately available to Guard units involved in control operations.

The Commission has been informed that the Department of Defense is now equipping National Guard forces with tactical communications equipment and that the Army is developing prepackaged communications systems prescribed for use in major civil disturbances, systems that can be moved to an affected area in a minimum amount of time.

The Commission appreciates the importance of these preparations and recommends that these plans be fully executed immediately.

(6) Miscellaneous Equipment -- Several other items of equipment have proved useful in riot-control activities. Some are available from civilian sources, others only through military supply channels. In either case, these items should be immediately available if the need arises:

(a) Armored vehicles -- Both Army and National Guard units have found that armored personnel carriers are effective for moving troops through areas which may 6e subject to sniper fire or to approach buildings from which snipers may be firing. For National Guard units in states where such equipment is not available, armored trucks, such as the type used by banks, have been found effective. They have the added advantage of being less conspicuous than military armored vehicles. The use of tanks, however, is clearly inappropriate because of their potential for mass destruction.

(b) Illumination equipment -- The Detroit experience demonstrated that it may be highly desirable to illuminate large areas. Powerful portable light sources have been developed and are available for mounting on helicopters or vehicles. Army searchlights are appropriate. Advertising and display companies in most major cities have lights, often obtained from Army surplus, that can be useful.

(c) Public address systems -- Loudspeaker systems, both band-carried and larger, are essential for warning and directing crowds.

(d) Material for constructing roadblocks -- In the watts riot, the Guard experienced major difficulties in constructing effective roadblocks. In many instances, when the troops lacked adequate materials, they resorted to gunfire to stop vehicles. Damage and loss of life resulted. All Guard units should make arrangements to obtain suitable materials for constructing effective roadblocks, which should be marked by signs to warn citizens.

(7) Logistical Support -- If logistical planning bas been adequate, no serious deficiencies in equipment and supplies should hamper Guard units engaged in riot-control duty.

Training -- Before August, 1967,Army regulations required National Guard units to conduct riot-control training, but specified no particular number of hours. Instruction, consequently, varied from a minimum of six hours in one state to a maximum of 32 hours in another. In addition, the general military training received by National Guard troops during their six months of active duty and ongoing drills was also applicable to riot control.

In August, 1967, the Army increased mandatory riot-control training to 32 hours of unit training, 16 hours of command and staff training, and an eight-hour command post exercise for all Army National Guard units and certain designated Air National Guard units. By the end of October, 1967, all state forces had completed this required training.

The Commission commends the Department of Defense, the Department of the Army, and the National Guard Bureau for their prompt action in increasing the riot-control training of the National Guard. But in view of the reliance upon the National Guard as the main source of support for local police in controlling disorders, the Commission recommends that further steps be taken to improve training:

(1) The 16 hours allotted to command training is insufficient to complete the designated review of applicable military subjects and also the preparation and review of operational and mobilization plans. Therefore, the Commission earlier recommended that actual preparation of plans be left to the full-time staff. The 8 hours allocated to the Command Post Exercise should be devoted fully to testing plans to determine their general adequacy. If such testing reveals defects, revisions should be made, and further training time made available to test the revised plans.

(2) Riot-control training for National Guard troops should be a continuing part of the regular training program, to ensure familiarity with established procedures and to train incoming recruits.

(3) Riot-control training, and all training materials, should be subject to periodic review In order to ensure that they fully Incorporate the latest techniques developed by the Army, the National Guard, and the state and local law enforcement units. A special Subcommittee of the House Committee on Armed services (Special Subcommittee to Inquire Into the Capability of the National Guard to Cope with Civil Disturbances) has recommended that the Department of the Army establish a permanent Board of Officers to supervise the development and testing of civil disturbance control measures and equipment, and to develop and periodically publish revised training directives. We believe that this recommendation is sound and we endorse it. Such a board could carry out our recommendation for periodic review of training materials.

(4) All Guard units should cooperate fully with efforts to integrate National Guard training with that of state and local police. If necessary, Guard commanders should take the initiative In proposing such training.

(5) Guard training for control activities should include provisions to ensure that Guard officers and men are fully aware of the organization, procedures, and capabilities of other law enforcement and government agencies that may also be involved in control activities.

(6) Guard training should include increased emphasis on the community relations aspects of control operations.

(7) Until all National Guard officers have received thorough training in riot-control activities, each state should designate appropriate senior officers for command of riot-control operations. The Department of the Army should establish a school to train these officers for command during riot situations, with spec1al emphasis on the political, sociological, and legal problems that are involved in control operations. We have been informed that planning for such a course is currently underway.

(8) Top Federal, State, and Guard officials must make every effort to ensure that training directives are fully carried out, and that every guardsman is made aware of the importance of all aspects of riot-control training. In particular, emphasis should be placed on the importance of using only the minimum force necessary to achieve control.


The commitment of federal troops to aid state and local forces in controlling a disorder is an extraordinary act. Only twice in the last 45 years have governors requested federal troops to help quell civil disorders.

As pointed out elsewhere in this report, however, it is imperative that states have back-up forces for controlling major disorders. This section considers the capabilities and preparedness of the active Army to perform the back-up function.

An Army Staff Task Group has recently examined and reviewed a wide range of topics relating to military operations to control urban disorders: command and control, logistics, training, planning, doctrine, personnel, public information, intelligence, and legal aspects. The study also extracted lessons from recent disorders and sought to make them applicable to any possible future disturbances.

The Commission, in preparing this portion of the report, has relied heavily upon information developed by the Army 'Task Group and commends the Army for undertaking this overall review of the Army function. It recommends that each state consider a similar review of its own control capabilities. It further recommends that the results of the Army review be made known to the National Guard and to top state and local civil and law enforcement officers in order to stimulate review at the state and local level.


The active Army has designated seven task: forces, each of brigade size (approximately 2,000 men), to be immediately available for assignment to control civil disorders in the event federal troops are needed. Additional Army, as well as Marine Corps, forces can be furnished if necessary.

In the opinion of the Army, these forces are an adequate supplement to the National Guard. The Commission concurs.


For some years, the Army has conducted the military planning and coordination necessary to control civil disorders, including the preparation of a family of plans which have been coordinated with appropriate headquarters and agencies. It is continuing this work to be certain that adequate federal units can be rapidly and effectively deployed and redeployed.

The planning steps undertaken by the Army appear sufficient for the effective deployment of active Army troops to the scene of a disorder.

The Commission believes it imperative that Army plans be fully coordinated with those of state and local governments. In particular, the Commission recommends that the Department of Justice, in cooperation with the Department of the Army, inform state and local officials and National Guard officers of the exact procedures that must be used to obtain federal troops, the number of federal troops that would be available, the response times for such troops, and the relationships to be established among federal, state, and the local forces, particularly in the matter of command responsibilities.

The Commission further recommends that federal-state planning should ensure that federal troops are prepared to provide aid to cities not presently covered by the Army's "planning packet" effort.


The effectiveness of the active Army units committed in Detroit was due in large part to the broad spectrum of training at individual and unit levels. Basic training produces well-conditioned and disciplined soldiers. Unit training molds them into teams and units, and develops further proficiency. Operational training for contingency missions stresses tactical techniques, as well as technical support to sustain large numbers of men in the field on extended duties. In sum, Army training in its totality produces the type of well-disciplined and self-supporting force essential for the control of a major disorder.

Under present plans, units assigned to riot control contingency missions conduct specialized training in accordance with the doctrine and techniques set out in the Army Field Manual on "Civil Disturbances and Disasters." Special Army directives and the subject schedule recently prepared for National Guard units are also used to guide active Army training. Administrative and logistical units undergo specialized training in support of forces utilized for riot control.

Because riot control duties are sometimes assigned to military police units, these units receive continual training in riot control, including apprehension, detention, and crowd control measures. Selected Army officers and non-commissioned officers receive riot control training at the Military Police School.

The Army is making an overall review of riot control training, including expansion and revision of Field Manuals and subject schedules; an examination of the feasibility of integrating National Guard and civilian authorities into command post and field training exercises; a revision of the course content of the Military Police School; an updating of riot control training films by addition of recent film footage; a revision of equipment allowances for training; and distribution to various Army commands of lessons learned in recent disorders.

The Commission commends the Army for the advanced status of its training, and for its current steps to strengthen that training. As suggestions for further improvement, the Commission recommends:

1. All officers and selected non-commissioned officers of Army units designated for use in civil disorders should receive advanced command and staff training in riot control.

2. Selected Military Police Corps officers should be given additional staff and command training in riot control and should be assigned as staff advisors to commanders of all Army units to be deployed to civil disorders. Training of such officers should include emphasis on close coordination with police departments in the major cities in the areas to which units are assigned. The traJn1ng should familiarize them with the plans and operational procedures, as well as the command personnel, of these departments.

3. The Army should investigate the possibility of utilizing psychological techniques to ventilate hostility and lessen tension in riot control, and incorporate feasible techniques into training for Army and National Guard units. The Hong Kong police department has successfully used a number of such techniques in controlling disorders. For example, when confronted by a mob of screaming rioters, a detachment of Hong Kong police used microphones and amplifiers to make louder and play back the mob noise on the mob itself. The noise confused and ultimately broke up the mob. The "singed chicken" episode described in the Profile in Chapter 1 of the Elizabeth, New Jersey disorder is an example -- although not a planned one -- of how humor can break tensions and dissipate a crowd.

4. All pertinent information and recommendations resulting from the review of training matters should be made available to the National Guard, and to public safety and other officials of states and local communities.

Equipment and Logistical Support

The equipment and supplies normally issued and stocked for Army units equip them basically to perform in a civil disorder operation. Moreover, special equipment for riot control operations has been identified and will be made available to appropriate Army and National Guard units.

In the section on the National Guard, the Commission makes recommendations regarding the equipment and logistical support of National Guard units engaged in control operations. The Commission believes these recommendations are fully applicable to the Army.

The Commission further recommends that:

1. The Army should put particular emphasis on having available adequate supplies of communication equipment that will permit effective communications with such National Guard units and state and local law enforcement agencies as may be involved in control operations.

2. The Department of the Army should participate fully in efforts to develop non-lethal weapons and personal protective equipment appropriate for use in civil disorders.


Prompt and efficient response to a civil disorder requires full cooperation and coordination of all groups, public and private, that may be involved in overall control activities; only proper planning can ensure this response. The degree of coordination necessary and obtainable will vary with the type of agency or group involved, particularly private groups, but a basic requirement is an allocation of duties and responsibilities, plus an effective command structure.

The necessary planning is both "vertical" and ''horizontal'' in nature. Horizontal planning involves coordination among government agencies and private groups within a city or community (intracity planning); among neighboring jurisdictions, including city and counties (intercity planning); and among states (interstate planning). Vertical planning involves coordination at the state-local and federal-state levels. The primary responsibility for coordinated planning rests with state and local government.

This portion of the Report considers areas where coordinated planning is necessary, and suggests guidelines for solutions.

Horizontal Coordination and Planning [4]

Intercity Coordinated Planning -- For effective control of civil disorder, planning must include at least the basic city agencies (police, fire, courts) involved in control activities. Enlightened planning will also use the personnel and resources of all government agencies, together with groups of private citizens. that may be helpful in restoring and maintaining order.

1. Government Agencies and Private Groups -- Commission studies reveal that most of the police departments surveyed have made some arrangements with other government agencies for a working relationship during a period of civil disorder. Nearly all of the departments have made arrangements with fire departments. Fewer, but still a clear majority, have made agreements with public transportation agencies; courts, detention personnel, probation and parole officers; human relations commissions; and departments controlling streets, lights, signs and signals. Although these percentages indicate a degree of planning by most cities, there is little excuse for lack of coordinated planning among these basic agencies in any city. More important, the true degree of coordination cannot be determined without evaluating the precise type of arrangements in use. Certain responses indicated "cooperative" arrangements; but to be effective, planning must involve firm coordination, not merely vague cooperation.

Our survey indicates that cities and police departments have not planned to make full use of the resources of various private groups and agencies that can contribute to both prevention and control of disorders. Of the 26 police departments reporting information in this area, 11 plan to use church groups, seven plan to use youth service agencies or groups, ten have arrangements to obtain food and shelter from private sources, three plan to use personnel resources of watch services and private guard services, 12 plan to utilize the services of social service agencies, and 15 contemplate the use of personnel resources of police-community relations councils.

The Commission recommends that all cities that have not already done so should devise plans that coordinate all government agencies involved in control activities. It is the responsibility of mayors and other elected officials to assume the initiative in instituting such planning, and carrying it to a satisfactory conclusion.

Such plans should also include to the fullest extent possible all private groups and agencies that may be directly affected by the disorder, or that can make a positive contribution to control. Naturally, such planning will be less formal, and it should be sufficiently flexible to adapt to changing leadership of these groups.

The government agencies and private groups to be covered by the planning include: police departments (including police-community relations units), fire departments, ambulance services, detention facilities, courts, legal aid services, probation and parole services, city or county human relations commissions, public and private transportation systems, public and private utilities, public health departments, hospitals, sanitation departments, telephone companies, news media, municipal works, civil defense agencies, private guard services, youth service groups, service agencies, churches, social workers, community action agencies, poverty program workers, and others.

Coordinated planning should take into account the organization, manpower, and resources made available to state and local government for civil defense purposes under the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 (as amended). Those resources include: emergency control centers, communications equipment, emergency power sources, special rescue equipment, and various trained reserve personnel. The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reports that more than 184,000 volunteer reserve police, 172,000 reserve firemen, and 176,000 rescue personnel have been trained through the civil defense program. Furthermore, at least 2,076 political jurisdictions have established emergency operating centers, with an additional 547 in the process of construction or completion.

Although the federal government provides equipment and funds to develop these resources, they belong to the states and local jurisdictions. 'They must be integrated into planning on a state or local level.

Office of Civil Defense regulations authorize state and local governments to use such resources in time of an emergency whether caused by attack, a natural disaster, or a civil disorder. However, because of the need for police forces specially trained for riot control operations, local officials should carefully evaluate the state of training of any civil-defense trained personnel to be used as police. If such training is inadequate for actual control operations, the men could be assigned to guard vital installations, or other positions, in order to release active-duty police for control operations.

In the past, it has not been clear whether equipment marked with civil defense insignia is available for use during a civil disorder. The Commission understands that the OCD is reviewing its regulations, and if necessary will revise them to ensure that this equipment will be fully available. We recommend that the OCD ensure that the applicable rules and regulations are disseminated to all responsible state and local officials.

The Commission further recommends that not only should all concerned agencies and groups be integrated into disorder control plans, but they should be involved also to the fullest extent possible in the planning process itself. As Brigadier General Harris W. Hollis, Director of Operations, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations, testified:

The very process of involving all responsible officials in this planning process creates an awareness of common problems, and assures that principal officials will know their counterparts in other Government agencies and permits major policy questions to be addressed and resolved without the air of crisis which prevails after a riot breaks out.

Effective control operations require a specific and well-defined chain of command. Planning must clearly set out this command structure, and provide adequate mechanism for communication of orders. In accordance with traditional concepts of government, the mayor or other top city official must be in overall command. Because of the need for clear command authority, existing organizations and procedures of participating agencies should be reviewed to identify command weakness and to pinpoint any defects in routine operations that could be disastrous during emergency conditions.

All plans should be tested in training exercises. At a minimum, exercises should include checks of the command structure and communications. Finally, provision should be made to update the plans periodically in order to take into account changed conditions, or to incorporate new control equipment and techniques into the procedures.

After a plan has been formulated and implemented, steps must be taken to assure that all participating units are aware of their responsibilities under the plan. The plan should be set out In manual form and made available to all participating agencies. Except for strictly confidential portions, the plan should also be made public. The public has a right to know what to expect from government during a disorder -- as well as what the government expects from the public.

Major or prolonged disorders may cause severe shortages of food, medical supplies, and even housing in the areas directly affected. Local and state planning must include means to supply on an emergency basis these basic human needs.

2. Selected Community and Youth Groups -- Two groups may be extremely useful in control activities, and in the prevention of civil disorders:

a. Community groups already involved in government or police department activities through various police-community relations programs, as for example, the police-community relations councils set up in many cities.

The value of these groups was cited by one police chief who reported that during a disorder members of a neighborhood improvement group that had previously been meeting with police-community relations people, took to the streets and successfully persuaded parents to keep youths off the streets and in their homes. Improper planning led to an instance where an agency issued passes to certain persons who were to attempt to "cool a situation" and who were themselves arrested by the police for apparent involvement in the disorder.

All groups with the potential to help should be included in the planning process to ensure that their views and judgments are respected and used by the planning agencies to the fullest extent possible. They cannot be expected to participate effectively in control activities if they are called upon for help only after trouble has broken out.

b. Youth groups. [5] Evidence developed to date shows that youths are the main participants in a typical disorder, especially in the early stages, and are the principal source of "energy" for many of the disorders. In Detroit, for example, preliminary evidence shows that 50 to 60 percent of the persons arrested during the riot were under 25 years of age. In the 1965 Watts riot, final records of all arrests reveal that 45 percent of those arrested were under 25.

Several cities have urged groups of Negro youths to assist police and others in the control of civil disorders. In Tampa, Florida, and Dayton, Ohio, they were called "White Hats." Their use has generated widespread publicity, as well as debate, on their effectiveness.
The Tampa "White Hats" were organized during the Tampa disorder by three Negro adults: a doctor, a policeman, and the head of the Tampa Human Relations Commission. The county sheriff gave the youths permission to patrol the riot area, and later furnished them with white helmets for identification. The youths, who were recruited from active participants in the riot, patrolled the riot area, particularly during a period when law enforcement officers were pulled out. This group has since been disbanded.

In Dayton. Ohio, the "Youth-Dayton Police:' also referred to as the "White Hat Patrol," was organized by a Negro state legislator. Many of the youths involved had criminal records and, once again, were potential rioters. In the June 1967 disorder in Dayton, the White Hat Patrol helped persuade other youths to stop disorderly behavior, and was influential in getting them off the streets.

There are, however, conflicting reports on the effectiveness of these groups. The Director of the Tampa Commission on Community Relations. an organizer of the Tampa "White Hats," claims that they were very effective in restoring law and order in Tampa. Extensive publicity in national media echoed this assessment. On the other hand, certain police officials have minimized the importance of the Tampa "White Hats." They claim that the youths were used only after the disorder had peaked and the riot was waning, or after police measures had taken effect. The same officials have said they would be reluctant to utilize such groups, primarily because of the "vigilante" aspect of their activities.

The Commission still lacks conclusive evidence on whether youth groups like the "White Hats" can be effectively utilized in all instances to help control disorders. Types of disorders and youths, as well as the quality of leadership, are hardly standardized. But the fact is they have been used with at least some degree of effectiveness. The Commission, therefore, recommends that intracity planning give attention to the possibility of using youth groups in control activities. This planning must be highly flexible to cope with the changing leadership of these groups.

A delicate balance must be struck between working with and against youth groups; both courses carry implicit dangers. Working too closely with them can ultimately reduce their effectiveness since they may become too closely identified with the "establishment." But placing the "establishment" in direct opposition to them may itself contribute to a disorder, or, at least, galvanize hostility during a disorder.
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