1967: Alice in Wonderland

Detroit-1967

The 1967 report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders opens with a now-famous conclusion: “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white–separate and unequal.” The closing of the report is less well known:

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.”

Image: Detroit, 1967

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