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Racial Tension in Schools

June 23, 1991

Regarding David Glidden's "America's Challenge: Getting Along With People We Don't Like" (Opinion, June 9):

I would hope that harmony between diverse groups within a society is characterized by something more substantial than mere tolerance based on material gain. The common law that governs the bazaar must also have a place in private life before true harmonious diversity is possible.

It's government's duty to remedy injustices through legislation. Thus governmental practices such as affirmative action, racial quotas and questionnairing of ethnic histories are necessary because neither the government nor the governed exist behind a veil of ignorance where racial and gender differences go unnoticed. They are noticed.

And since the content of our characters is not all that matters in private life, we can't expect the marketplace to exhibit spontaneously the fairness of common law. Legislative solutions aren't attempts to "sculpt the marketplace"; they remedy longstanding injustices that conflict with our common notions of fairness.

PAUL LEAL, Fontana

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