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The Kerner Commission Report may have decided that "white racism is essentially responsible" for the Civil Rights riots, but these other sources contain many different views.

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Introduction

The Kerner Commission Report may have decided that "white racism is essentially responsible" for the Civil Rights riots, but these other sources contain many different views. Source A is taken from a video clip about the story of LBJ, showing how the Civil Rights protests were conducted and dealt with by the authorities. In this clip, it says that the Voting Rights Act came "too little, too late" and that black demands had moved on by 1965. The black people wanted far more than what they had been given. It also claims that justice and "war on poverty" had been "too long delayed in America", that it had been left too long before anything was done about it. This source does imply that white racism was indeed an issue leading to the riots. Source B shows a picture of black American athletes at the Mexican Olympics in 1968 giving the "Black Power Salute". This reveals the black peoples defiance. What they wanted was black supremacy. It implies that this is because of white racism. ...read more.

Middle

This racism led to discrimination. Therefore it is implied that white racism played a part. Source E is another extract from the Kerner Commission Report. This extract shows examples of how Negroes were enraged at their treatment by the Whites. Not all black people suffered economically. The woman interviewed was middle class and ran an art gallery in Los Angeles. Even still, there was still widespread support amongst all blacks for the demands of the Civil Rights protesters. Source F is an extract from the Dallas Morning News in Texas, August 1965. This extract shows some examples of how Negroes were treated by the Whites. According to this report, Negro mobs were responsible for the riots. This is a bigoted opinion. It could be seen as an example of black people being looked down upon. The fact this paper is a southern paper would have some effect on the reliability of this source, since southerners were traditionally hostile to Black Civil Rights. Source G is statistical information about the number of Negroes in public schools with whites in eleven southern states 1956-1962. ...read more.

Conclusion

This suggests that white racism was responsible for this hatred of whites on the part of blacks, and thus also for the riots. Source J is an extract from the McCohen Commission, which was set up by the government of California. This is a primary source. It gives no real insight into the background of the riots. By telling us that the target of the black rioters was a white man, it suggests they were angry at their treatment by whites. It says that not all blacks were involved and that 70% of the rioters were children. This would suggest that not all the rioters had legitimate claims to be there, perhaps there was a "thug" element to it. Eyewitness accounts are needed to give us a full insight into the riots In conclusion from the sources it would appear that white racism was indeed a cause of Negro ill-feeling, but not necessarily the cause of all the problems. The sources do not give the full picture. They only imply, not prove that white racism is to blame. In order to gain a fuller picture, I would need to consult other sources such as eyewitness reports, Black Civil Rights leaders, rioters themselves, and the white authorities. ...read more.

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