During a commencement address over the weekend, U.S. Appeals Court Judge Charles Pickering, Sr. encouraged William Carey College graduates to participate in racial reconciliation.
Pickering says he hopes in his lifetime to see all people sit down and discuss their differences without regard to race.
In the past, the south Mississippi judge was accused of not being racially sensitive in a cross-burning case. Senate Democrats cited the case as a reason to block a vote by the full senate on his nomination to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans.
President Bush used a recess appointment to elevate Pickering to the appeals court.
Blacks in Pickering's hometown of Laurel and others spoke up in his defense, when Democrats blocked his nomination.