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Two of America's most cherished values will collide head-on this year, when the U.S. Supreme Court comes to grips with the most significant civil rights suit since the school desegregation cases of 1954. Arrayed on one side is the principle of governmental "color-blindness," the appealing notion that the color of a person's skin should have nothing to do with the distribution of benefits or burdens by the state. Set against it is the goal of a truly integrated society and the tragic realization that this objective cannot be achieved within the foreseeable future unless race and color are taken into account by educators, employers and other key decisionmakers- both public and private.


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