Now that the South Carolina Legislature has voted to remove the Confederate flag from its statehouse grounds in the wake of the unfathomable killing of nine people during a Bible study meeting in a historic Charleston church, recent history tells us that the story will recede from the ­headlines.

But instead of turning away from the tragedy that befell Charleston this summer, this is precisely the time for a sober, reasoned discussion of the problems that led to this tragedy. We must not allow this horrible event to pass without having a deeper conversation about race and without taking full measure of what each of us can do to set a course toward racial equality and reconciliation.

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