Clinton On Race: The Tour

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WASHINGTON: President Clinton's beleaguered race advisory board dragged itself all the way to Fairfax, Va. Wednesday for a look at the D.C. suburb's diverse school system. Filling the board's 'people of different views' quota: ex-education czar and conservative bulldog Bill Bennett, who argued that "race matters less than family."

President Clinton has bristled at constant suggestions that his ballyhooed "national dialogue" is little more than "presidential Oprah." Whatever it is, one could be forgiven for hoping that the board, in its look at America's racial hotspots, would search farther than Fairfax, a decidedly upper-middle-class bedroom community for government types looking to keep their kids out of the crime-ridden nation's capital. One Fairfax school cited, Bailey Elementary, has 900 students who hail from 40 countries and speak 20 different languages. A jewel of racial tolerance? More like diplomats' children.