The initial purpose of the board, says McAllister, was to research and write a report on race in America. Instead, the board has been stuck at the center of a heated national debate over whether America should say it's sorry for slavery, as proposed by the President. "Slavery is deeply embedded in American history, a trauma for which no apology can fix," says McAllister. "Who is he, a '90s president, to apologize for slavery?"
WASHINGTON: As the President's race advisory board debates yet another American mea culpa — this time aiming to apologize for Jim Crow laws — TIME White House correspondent Jef McAllister says the panel is disorganized and confused because Clinton has failed to lead it. "No one knows what they're supposed to be doing," says McAllister, warning that while Tuesday's meeting could shed some light on the panel's mission, "expect to be disappointed."