In 1966, three hundred largely women fractured with the inaction of the Equil Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in countering discriminationon the basis of sex, founded the National Organization of Women (NOW) to fight for equil rights for women and improvments in their daily lives, including more equal marriages and better daycare.
Freeman includes this organization in the text because it falls perfectly into the 1960’s theme of challenging old ideology. They addressed issues that were prevalent among women but rarely addressed on a national level. These issues include birth controls inclusion in healthcare, domestic violence and equality in the workplace as well as in the home. Women had successfully taken on male roles during WWII and NOW provided the forum for women to organize to demand constitutional equality.
In response to the Newark and Detroit riots, Johnson appointed the National Advisory Commission for Civil Disorder, headed by Illinois governor Otto Kerner. The Kerner Commission produced impressive and thoroughly liberal report on the riots, which became a national best seller.
National Advisory Commission for Civil Disorder really shed light on the underlying causes behind the riots that took place during the 1960’s to the American public. Many Americans were unaware of the root causes of the riots. These causes typically were over unjust police practices, unemployment and the housing segregation. The Commission recommended job creation, rebuilding inner cities and giving additional funding to educational institutions in order to defuse and prevent further riots. Generally, these ideas were what the Johnson administration had in mind when talking about “The Great Society” however few were actually applied. After the reports were published, Johnson rejected the suggestions because he didn’t see the political basis for applying them and didn’t have funding to put them in place due to the rising costs of the Vietnam War.
In 1962 “Port Huron Statement,” issued by one of the new campus groups, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), put forth a sweeping indictment of American society for racism, inequality, complacency, and bureaucracy. But its suggested remedies- federal initiatives in the area of civil rights, poverty housing and economic realignment of the Democratic Party into a national party of liberalism- went only a bit beyond Fair Deal- New Frontier liberalism.
SDS was a major influence on social issues during the 1960’s. It was an activist group comprised of college students that organized themselves in order to voice their opinions, combat injustices and promote reforms. The significance of the SDS in the chapter is to show that these activists made up a large portion of the New Left. They organized rallies, teach-ins and protested for issues like the Vietnam War, civil/ gay rights and poverty.