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A Yale Law School Professor called for open discussion of race issues and affirmative action in a speech yesterday.

Stephen L. Carter, author of Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, called on President Bush to acknowledge that race was a factor in the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.

"Everyone knows that Clarence Thomas was nominated because Clarence Thomas is Black," said Carter, who is the Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale.

The speech, sponsored by the Harvard Book Store, took place yesterday at the Old Cambridge Baptist Church.

Carter, who begins his book by writing, "I got into law school because I am Black," said yesterday that "it was peculiar thing that President Bush said that race was not a factor."

The legal scholar also said that it is important to note that "Thomas had to overcome racist obstacles," but he added that, "It is important to realize that the nominee is not Clarence Thomas's grandfather."

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