Seriously? There are still places in America where black and white high school kids can't attend the same school prom?
Yep. Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, Georgia, hasn't quite made the leap to integrated school proms yet. Last year a biracial student was escorted from the premises when he attempted to attend the "white" prom instead of the "black" prom across town.
Many of the students rightly think this is ridiculous, and want to drag their school (kicking and screaming) into the latter part of the 20th century, if not entirely into the current one. The school claims this has nothing to do with school policy and is completely a decision local parents have insisted upon over the years, making it "traditional".
Well, shit... having black folks picking cotton under the whips of white folks was "traditional" for years, too. So were laws requiring separate but equal schools, and water fountains for whites and other fountains for "colored" people. Traditional. Like fireworks on the Fourth of July.
I was reading accounts of the latest squabble about this prom thing in Georgia and had to stop myself from involuntarily shaking my head from side to side as I read.
The kids who are trying to integrate this year's prom say posters they've hung up at school to advertise the mixed race prom have repeatedly been ripped down. Kids who have played on the same integrated high school athletics teams are now standing on separate sides of an emotional debate that borders on violence.
And the people who ought to know better, the adults of the community, are cowed into silence because of the hard-ankle attitudes of a few racist assholes who can't fathom a world in which black and white kids dance on the same floor to the same music.
According to some articles, the school also holds separate homecoming ceremonies. Black homecoming here, white homecoming there. And friends who do everything together any other night of the year have to ask one another how the other person's party turned out, because they're not allowed to attend themselves.
If there's anyone out there who thinks this is a reasonable situation in this day and age, I'd LOVE to hear from them.