A year or two ago I made a disparaging comment about the South in the threads and was rightly taken to task by a number of readers. (As I recall, MFarmer was particularly on-target.) After all, I’ve never lived anywhere near that region, and my only real experience as a traveler has been in highly metropolitan or tourist-oriented destinations. (e.g.: Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Key West, etc.) So what the hell do I know?
After that miscue, I’ve tried to both consciously and actively view the South as being not that much different than any other place, really, because that’s what people from the South keep telling me I should think – and they ought to know.
So WTF is up with this?
Students at Wilcox County High School in south Georgia share classrooms and sports fields, but they don’t share the same dances. Some students are aiming to change that.
“We’re embarrassed, it’s embarrassing, yeah it’s kind of embarrassing,” said a group of students who want to change the policy… “There’s a white prom and then we have our integrated prom,” said [Wilcox student Keela] Bloodworth.
If any race other than Caucasian tries to attend the white prom, Bloodworth said they “would probably have the police come out there and escort them off the premises.”
That was the case just last year as a biracial student was turned away by police. It’s been that way for as long as anyone can remember, and it doesn’t stop at prom – homecoming is also segregated.
When CBS Atlanta first reported on the story, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, a Republican (natch), said that he would refuse to either endorse or condemn the idea of an integrated prom, because he did not think it proper for his office to “take sides” on the apparently somewhat controversial issue. A spokesman for Deal has described those politicians backing the idea of an integrated prom as simply manufacturing a “silly publicity stunt.”
I want to pause here for one second, because this is absolutely blowing my mind: It’s 2013 and there are still places in the South that segregate their students when it comes to dances… and integrating them is at least somewhat controversial… and the Governor of the State doesn’t want to take sides.
Why the fish are there sides to take??? It’s fishing 2013!!!
I’m trying hard not to slip back into a view of the South that I’ve been trying to overcome, but it’s really, really difficult. I need some help here from those of you who know the region better than I do, so if those readers who live or have lived there might help me see what I’m missing I would deeply appreciate it. (Note to non-Southerners: Please treat people that step up to this plate with respect, ok? I’m really trying to wrap my head around this, and I don’t want a pile-on on anyone willing to help me do so.)
Also, on a tangential note: I’d like to say to those conservative Republicans who can’t figure out why they just can’t seem to win the black vote no matter how many times they put a black person in front of a camera or try to rap, it’s exactly because of stuff like this.