The purpose of this discussion is to emphasize that the general assumptions of integration, equal opportunity, and racial neutrality in contemporary America are false and dichotomous assumptions, which prevent us from achieving the goal of true equality. While race is a difficult and painful subject to discuss in America, it is equally clear that without dialogue, we will not achieve the democratic values and principles we hold so dear and that drive our way of life.

The topic “What Every Teacher and Judge Should Know About Reconstruction,” provides an opportunity to open dialogue and to think critically about our values, ideals, and behaviors. The emphasis is placed on ideology as juxtaposed with reality. Our beliefs are manifested through our individual and collective public policies, laws, statutes, public sentiment, and actions.