|To the Congress of the United States:
"Our Constitution is color blind," wrote Mr. Justice Harlan before the turn of the century, "and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens." But the practices of the country do not always conform to the principles of the Constitution. And this Message is intended to examine how far we have come in achieving first-class citizenship for all citizens regardless of color, how far we have yet to go, and what further tasks remain to be carried out by the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Federal Government, as well as by state and local governments and private citizens and organizations.
One hundred years ago the Emancipation Proclamation was signed by a President who believed in the equal worth and opportunity of every human being. That Proclamation was only a first step--a step which its author unhappily did not live to follow up, a step which some of its critics dismissed as an action which "frees the slave but ignores th ...read full document