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Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist led a sing-along of “Dixie” at a recent conference in Virginia, upsetting lawyers who view the song as a nostalgic appeal to the days of slavery. Some black lawyers said that they avoided last month’s 4th Circuit Judicial Conference because of their distaste for “Dixie,” which was included in a songbook distributed for the event. “Dixie” is a Confederate marching song. It is offensive to blacks, said Brent O.E. Clinkscale, an attorney. “I think it’s nostalgic for slavery,” he said. Mr. Rehnquist, 74, declined to comment on the controversy. Defenders of “Dixie” say the song is a piece of Americana that is appropriate for a mostly Southern conference.

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