Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The almost twenty years that followed Brown showed real progress toward a color-blind society. That progress, however, lost momentum in the 1970s as many civil rights leaders advanced well-intended, but poorly conceived, policies with the all-too-familiar consequence of dividing people along color lines. In that decade, the bright future of race relations began to dim as discriminatory techniques--mislabelled as"benign" or "affirmative"-reemerged to work their destruction on the hopes of a public anxious to find harmonious, goodwilled solutions to the problems of the past.Today, the struggle continues for a national heritage blind to skin color or ethnic background. The challenge for the present generation, as for its predecessors, is to reset our sights on the nondiscriminatory ideal that guided our forefathers down the path of greater civil equality. During the past eight years the Reagan Justice Department resolutely charted such a course, and by daring to challenge the liberal orthodoxy that invariably zigzags down the road of political favoritism, has assumed an important and central role in the ongoing national debate.