America's Wire Releases Story on the Ineffectiveness of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Mar 10, 2011, 09:47 ET from America's Wire

**America's Wire Stories Now Available to Associated Press Member Newspapers**

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's Wire today released a story discussing the ineffectiveness of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, with some critics contending that the once influential commission needs significant structural changes to regain its past glory.

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Kenneth J. Cooper reports that the commission has been largely ineffective in addressing civil rights issues, even with the recent addition of three Democratic members. Appointees of former President George W. Bush serve as the panel's chairman and staff director and Bush or Republican congressional leaders chose a majority of its members.

With critics pressing for adjustments, Wade Henderson, president and chief executive officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Fund, says, "The commission of the 21st century can't be the commission we had 50 years ago."  And, Mary Frances Berry, a former chair of the commission, says the advisory panel is not worth preserving in its current form.  "It is sort of useless, to tell you the truth. What is it good for?" asks Berry, a history professor at the University of Pennsylvania. "I don't see any change occurring until the statute is changed."

This story, as well as others, are available free of charge from America's Wire.  Go to, sign up for a trial subscription and media outlets can download our stories and publish them free of charge.  As part of a distribution agreement with the Associated Press, America's Wire articles are also available to AP members.  To receive the story on the Civil Rights Commission, media outlets that are members of the AP must email  Please put "America's Wire" in the subject line.

America's Wire provides newspapers, community papers, websites, ethnic publications and wire services with stories that report on structural racism, and the communities impacted by it.  America's Wire provides a minimum of two enterprise stories a month by our staff reporters, Mr. Cooper and Marjorie Valbrun, also an award-winning journalist. We also provide articles by freelance writers, as well as commentaries from experts on a variety of topics.

Other stories currently available on America's Wire include:

  • Exclusive story on mortgage discrimination since the housing crisis began
  • Efforts to include more people of color in genetic research
  • A report on hospital closings in minority communities
  • Marisa Trevino's commentary on increases in hate crimes against Latinos
  • The impact of black prosecutors across the country
  • Q & A with Shirley J. Wilcher, director of American Association for Affirmative Action
  • The impact of residential segregation on health outcomes
  • Conservatives blaming the poor for being poor
  • The declining number of black males at colleges and universities
  • Tim Wise, a white crusader against racism
  • States easing restrictions on ex-convicts  

America's Wire is operated by the Maynard Institute's Media Center on Structural Racism. Our news service provides enterprising content for wire services, mainstream newspapers, ethnic/community papers, magazines and websites. The professionally reported, written and edited stories help readers comprehend the challenges that people of color face from racial injustices.  America's Wire is made possible through a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.


Michael K. Frisby


SOURCE America's Wire