NY Times and HBO highlight issue of segregated proms still held in the south

whiteprom
I know we usually cover gossip, entertainment and fashion, but this story upset me so much that I wanted to talk about it. It’s also something I was unaware of until I just read about it. There are still segregated high school proms in the US South to this day, with white students and black students attending different formal balls. I thought segregation in school was outlawed 55 years ago with Brown vs. Board of Education, but apparently some people think that law doesn’t apply to their community. Parents have organized a separate “white prom” in Montgomery County, Georgia at which black students aren’t welcome. They’re held outside of school and since the school isn’t involved it technically may not violate anti-segregation laws. These type of segregated proms are also known to be held in Mississippi, with the issue to be covered in an upcoming HBO special to air in July:

About now, high-school seniors everywhere slip into a glorious sort of limbo. Waiting out the final weeks of the school year, they begin rightfully to revel in the shared thrill of moving on. It is no different in south-central Georgia’s Montgomery County, made up of a few small towns set between fields of wire grass and sweet onion. The music is turned up. Homework languishes. The future looms large. But for the 54 students in the class of 2009 at Montgomery County High School, so, too, does the past. On May 1 — a balmy Friday evening — the white students held their senior prom. And the following night — a balmy Saturday — the black students had theirs.

The white students’ prom was held on May 1 at a community center in nearby Vidalia; the black students had theirs at the same place the following night.

Racially segregated proms have been held in Montgomery County — where about two-thirds of the population is white — almost every year since its schools were integrated in 1971. Such proms are, by many accounts, longstanding traditions in towns across the rural South, though in recent years a number of communities have successfully pushed for change. When the actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for last year’s first-of-its-kind integrated prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi, his home state, the idea was quickly embraced by students — and rejected by a group of white parents, who held a competing “private” prom. (The effort is the subject of a documentary, “Prom Night in Mississippi,” which will be shown on HBO in July.) The senior proms held by Montgomery County High School students — referred to by many students as “the black-folks prom” and “the white-folks prom” — are organized outside school through student committees with the help of parents. All students are welcome at the black prom, though generally few if any white students show up. The white prom, students say, remains governed by a largely unspoken set of rules about who may come. Black members of the student council say they have asked school administrators about holding a single school-sponsored prom, but that, along with efforts to collaborate with white prom planners, has failed. According to Timothy Wiggs, the outgoing student council president and one of 21 black students graduating this year, “We just never get anywhere with it.” Principal Luke Smith says the school has no plans to sponsor a prom, noting that when it did so in 1995, attendance was poor.

Students of both races say that interracial friendships are common at Montgomery County High School. Black and white students also date one another, though often out of sight of judgmental parents. “Most of the students do want to have a prom together,” says Terra Fountain, a white 18-year-old who graduated from Montgomery County High School last year and is now living with her black boyfriend. “But it’s the white parents who say no. … They’re like, if you’re going with the black people, I’m not going to pay for it.”

“It’s awkward,” acknowledges JonPaul Edge, a senior who is white. “I have as many black friends as I do white friends. We do everything else together. We hang out. We play sports together. We go to class together. I don’t think anybody at our school is racist.” Trying to explain the continued existence of segregated proms, Edge falls back on the same reasoning offered by a number of white students and their parents. “It’s how it’s always been,” he says. “It’s just a tradition.”

[From The NY Times]

Am I naive and/or uninformed? I had no idea that anything like this was happening still in America. It really upsets and surprises me, and my mouth was hanging open reading this story.

Friends of Justice points out that this type of segregation and discrimination is not uncommon in the south and that there are even separate Mardi Gras parades held in a town in Louisiana. My father is a retired guy who reads the newspaper cover to cover every day and he said that he’s heard of this before. A Facebook friend, Lauren, also says she read about this last year during the prom season.

Do we need a law that it’s illegal to hold parties for the express intention of ensuring that only one race or nationality attends? Is that overstepping the bounds of government or just making sure that racism isn’t allowed in any form? This would of course not apply to parties that celebrate a certain culture or background without the purpose of excluding others.

At least the NY Times, Morgan Freeman and HBO are bringing awareness to this issue. Maybe the people who perpetuate this racism will be shamed into ending this outdated practice with this year’s proms.

blackprom

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119 Responses to “NY Times and HBO highlight issue of segregated proms still held in the south”

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  1. Ophelia says:

    If you’re naive, so am I! I really didn’t think anything like this could happen. People do talk openly racist, which I detest, but actual segregation is appalling. I really don’t understand racism. Everybody looks the same to me. It’s not like some people have three eyes. And even then, who cares?

  2. Megan says:

    The black students in the bottom picture don’t look very happy, considering it’s their prom.

    Really I think this sort of behaviour is disgusting, and how anyone can go about arranging a ‘white students only’ prom and not feel that there is something morally wrong about it, really are mindless and ignorant people. I too am shocked that this could still be happening.

  3. Wresa says:

    Well, I am at least relieved that the students themselves realize that there “IS another America.” Hopefully this “peculiar tradition” will die out soon–along with their parent’s outdated thinking.

  4. Snappyfish says:

    And I thought after watching “Jesus. Camp” not much else could upset me so. This is ridiculous and v v sad that crap like this still occurs.

  5. Lori says:

    mte snappy. how awful.

  6. boomchakaboom says:

    It’s a very outdated practice, to be sure. My graduating class of the dinosaur age was one of the first fully integrated schools in the state, and we were just flat out denied a prom altogether. *sniff* I never got to go to proooom..*sniff* Thankfully, they don’t do that anymore – in fact, ours was the ONLY class to be denied a prom. Like the students in the article, we made great friends at school, and continue those friendships even today, but the parents were outraged back then. I really thought all that went out the windows of time, however.

  7. Alecto says:

    I live in Louisiana. We still have schools that are so rural that they were completely white until the past few years. None of our intergrated school had seperate proms though.

  8. Lee says:

    Yeah I remember hearing about this a couple of years ago in the news.

    Another segregation thing I learned that really bugged me was when my sister visited Texas last year with her best friend and visited the country club her best friend’s grandparents are members. Apparently black people were not allowed to be members of the country club. But they could work there. There are still stupid discrimination “traditions” in the US and I don’t understand how this is tolerated.

  9. Nony says:

    I hope that future students in these schools, supported by media attention, will be willing to stand up to the parents who organise and perpetuate this sort of thing and say

    “NO, mum/dad, I will NOT go to a segregated event, I want only a mixed prom with ALL my friends.”

    Time to tell those parents to get with the times.

  10. ROM says:

    The United States are so backward on so many things it still astounds and frightens me that they are a world power. The sheer ignorance perhaps due to the inbreeding in the south is profoundly saddening

  11. boomchakaboom says:

    ROM: People who like to generalize huge swaths of the population based on the actions of a few are actually quite ignorant themselves.

  12. georgiagrl says:

    I am a native NYer living in Metro Atlanta, and yes, the South is still backwards. The local and state governments and schools are inept and just bad. Its no wonder after every election people laugh and make fun of how the South votes. Read the comments on the AJC.com site one of these days and just see the ignorance.

  13. Ginny says:

    Unfortunately this happens all over, in both obvious (like the Proms) and un-obvious ways between all the different races, and it’s very depressing, but we can just hope that every generation gets a little better about it, and that the lid gets blown on it too. At least the children are opposed to the segregation, which is much much better than them approving of it.

  14. BLA says:

    I teach at a almost entirely black high school in North Carolina and I know some of the non-black students will try to go to other, majority white schools’ proms in order to “fit in” better. I also know of black students from those same white high schools who will come to our prom to do the exact same “fitting in.”

    This, however, is done by the students’ choice and not by parental mandate. That doesn’t make it any less segregating, but it is just another example I thought I’d add to the pile.

  15. Bellatrix says:

    I feel very ignorant too, Celebitchy!

    I tend to try not to let the cliché of America make its way into my mind.
    But this is plainly awful! I couldn’t care less about skin colour. It feels like the Apartheid movement is still going strong in a way…

    Prom isn’t something we have in Europe but I have never (ever!) heard of any social event that didn’t allow people based on an ethnic (or religious for that matter) factor in my environment.
    I just can’t believe this.

  16. GlitterSha says:

    I read about this/saw a documentary a few years ago… It’s upsetting and exhausting- but not surprising to me. We don’t talk openly about racism in America for it to actually be considered a real issue. Swine Flu? Yes. American Idol? Ofcourse. Segregation? Not going to happen…

  17. Ginny says:

    I’m sorry, I have to jump back in for a second. I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama (the area with the third highest density of PhDs in the Nation) and live in Georgia now. Yes, there are many, many ignorant people here, but there are ignorant people *everywhere*. The South is not the last bastion of racism, ignorance and stupidity in the United States, and I really wish people would stop assuming that. Some of the most racist people I have met are from the Midwest. I just think that people look for it here more than they look for it in other places. I’m not saying that it’s perfect or that it doesn’t exist, it just *really* frustrates me that every thinks that only the South has these issues, and that there is nothing redeeming or modern about us. Like I said, Huntsville has an insane amount of PhDs and is incredibly diverse, and it’s in Alabama.

    The segregated Prom is disgusting, but these things don’t only happen here.

  18. Bellatrix says:

    GlitterSha: if I managed to follow the American Idol saga of this year, there was probably also some Southern attitude involved into the voting and maybe some segregation towards a contestant’s (supposed) sexual orientation. Well, that is what a lot of blogs are claiming…

    Yet, I fear I now have to say that the Kris boy deserved the win or else his fans might hunt me down and make me listen to the worst auditions of the year over and over again.

  19. Michelle says:

    Wow. I can’t believe, in 2009, that there are still people who are ignorant and judge others by something as trivial as skin color. I grew up in the south and I guess was just fortunate enough to live in an area where racism/segregation was nonexistent, or at least not prevalent. I have two biracial half-siblings (we share the same awesome mother) and while it doesn’t happen often, it angers me when someone treats either of them differently just because of the color of their skin… they’re my flesh and blood! I can’t imagine how horribly demeaning and insulting it must be to actually be on the receiving end of discrimination like that. It’s really sad that some people have to resort to racism to validate their own pathetic existence.

  20. sarah says:

    It is pretty awful that this kind of segregation still exists anywhere. The only problem is, there’s really nothing to do about it. The principal said they tried a prom for everyone, but there was little attendance. Now prom activities are held outside of school boundaries. As sad as it is, you can’t tell people who they can and who they can’t invite to a party. Hopefully, these kids who see no difference between themselves and those of another race will grow up and teach their kids their values. Then the school-sponsored prom will hopefully be the only one attended by everyone.

  21. ohcutemissa says:

    I”m from Texas, and have never heard of such a thing. So awful. My highschool prom was not segregated, we all had a great time together. So horrible to think some mindsets are so outdated.

  22. River says:

    Ok, kinda off topic– but take a look at Miss Barbie doll peroxide blonde on the left in the white kids shot. Seriously, and her racist, god fearing, Christian parents let her leave the house like that?! I’ll bet her dress cost more than my flat in London does for a month, but for goodness sakes, she looks like a complete tart!
    If that’s how the white kids present themselves, I’d be going to the black kids’ prom; they look a heck of a lot classier! :D
    Blondie should take some notes about how not to look like a cheap skank…

  23. boomchakaboom says:

    I’m curious. Every year there are two huge debutante ball things, one for white girls and one for black girls. Each one is showcased in the Society section of the newspaper. Does everyone consider those shindigs to be rooted in racism, ignorance, and generally horrible principles? Not being of the debutante set myself, I haven’t a clue about the inner workings of these things.

  24. Michelle says:

    ohcutemissa: Me too! San Antonio here :)

  25. cookies says:

    where in the south exactly is this crap happening i just wanna know im from texas as well and never heard of it happening here and if it is i will truly be ashamed of my state segragation is an awful practice seperating groups of people cause there different ? what kinda idiot thought that would help anything . . if anything it made everything worse . . and whats up with those kids just going along with it like its not a big deal . . that one kid said ” it’s a tradition” what kinda chickin shit response is that if he had friends that were both black and white wouldnt he want to be at a prom that included both his group of friends . .

    If my parents told me i had to go to just mexican prom and that no white people can go i tell my parents tough shit if my friends cant go then i wont go and then try to get as many people to back me up so they can change the rules . . .

    This kinda crap just makes me mad idiotic people with retarded outdated “traditions” thinking that there doing something really good when really they make them selves look like backward hicks.

  26. ! says:

    We should all consider the source.

  27. anna says:

    I agree with Ginny– the South does not have a monopoly on prejudice and racism.. its head, sadly, rears everywhere.

    Let’s hope that there are some amongst these kids, white and black, that will begin new traditions for diversity and acceptance for themselves and all the people in their community.

    As it stands, this is so sad.

  28. boomchakaboom says:

    Ginny & Anna: You guys are so right.

    Personally, I found the story of a Latino gang whose mission is to rid their town of every single African-American to be of a far more racist and violent nature in every way than some prom in a small, southern town. Maybe HBO can get on that one for a different perspective.

  29. Hieronymus Grexx says:

    Been going on for years in that area, the idiocy in generational. And Rom if it wasn’t for us, YOU would have to fight your own dirty wars in the desert- so show some respect. Jag-off.

  30. DiMi says:

    Ginny: It’s true that the South isn’t the only racist place in the country. However, I have never heard of segregated proms during the 21st century in any other region of the country. Only in the south. So be honest about it. The south needs to acknowledge this.

  31. Boat says:

    Whoa, let’s all bash the South with our generalizations. Not all areas of the South are that way, in fact, most are not. Here people of all races and ethnicities go to school together and go to prom together, as well. We live together. I do not like how everyone is attacking one region of the country based on reports from two communities.

  32. terrapwn3d says:

    This breaks my heart. If this happened at my school, I’d boycott prom. No way in hell would I want to go to my prom without my black friends.

    I have a white friend whose dad said she couldn’t date this awesome guy cause he’s half-Indian, half-white. I told my dad if he ever made me break up with someone because of the color of his skin, I’d tell him to go screw himself. He just nodded his head.

    Even though the kids say they aren’t racist, they’re not helping much by letting their parents do this. These kids are their friends. I just wish those kids could grow a pair.

    And just an FYI – racism isn’t limited to just the South. They’re just more blatant about it there.

  33. cheekemunkey says:

    Cookies – you nailed it. You can already tell these kids are most likely going to perpetuate their ‘traditions’ since they already buy into it by playing along.

    I’ve never been to the south, but the most racist city I’ve ever had the displeasure to visit to date – Washington, DC. Sooo uncomfortable. Racism is everywhere (and every country). I recall being followed around by a local cop in an Australian outback town when travelling with a group of people which included an Indian national. We were pulled over and told there was no accommdation available to us… It’s everywhere, people. All I can say is that not all white folk buy into it, but those of us who don’t will usually find a way to stand up to it. The white kids in Georgia need to grow a backbone.

  34. boomchakaboom says:

    Has it occurred to any of you “shocked” people that it is entirely possible both the black AND white kids kinda prefer it the way it is? Both proms involve parents and students who pay, organize, etc., and if the two were to merge, there would be room for only ONE planning committee – on both sides there are probably queen bees who would rather shoot themselves than give up their “head beeyotch in charge” status.

    Why is this story even on Celebitchy anyway?

    For all you who’ve never been to the south, come on down! We’ll impregnate you with your brother’s sperm and force Budweiser down your babies’ throats as soon as they’re old enough to swallow – yeah, that early. Then we’ll all gather round the tire fire and take turns shooting headlights out of passing cars, just for target practice. THEN we’ll take you snipe hunting, which is by far the most fun.

  35. daisy424 says:

    Good points Cookies & cheek.

    @Dante, Great comment, agree with every word.

  36. Bodhi says:

    Thank you Ginny & Anna!

    I live in Charleston, SC & yeah, there are a lot of ignorant jerkoffs here, but there are ignorant jerkoffs everywhere. Some of the most racist people I’ve ever met come from New England & California. No region holds a monopoly on ignorant racist jackasses.

    And DiMi~ While the only 21st century segregated proms you have heard of happened in the South, all ya gotta do look at the national news to find stories about racist jackasses all over the country. The country as a whole needs to acknowledge & deal with the problem of racism & stop dumping on the South.

  37. Bodhi says:

    Hehe Boom! Snipe hunting!

    Don’t forget about walking around barefoot & drinking PBR on the front porch! Oh! And the broken down trucks & dogs in the yard

  38. Asiont says:

    that is sick, really really sick, those teenagers should be ashamed that they didn’t do anything about it, they can have stupid and retarded parents but don’t they have any brains??

  39. boomchakaboom says:

    Bodhi, I do believe a lot of these people here would make excellent snipe hunters – probably break all kinds of state records.

    We can gather at the see-ment pond for some moonshine & Velveeta brunch festivities after the hunt. Well, before, during AND after the hunt.

  40. MeowMeow says:

    Thank you Ginny! I agree wholeheartedly. Saying racism is more prevalent in the south is an easy jab. It’s stereotypical so most people don’t bother disputing it. Having lived in the rural south and the metro north, I can say, trust me, it’s EVERYWHERE.

    The last thing we need is another law mandating this and that. Enough with government micromanaging, especially where proms are concerned. Good God.

    I graduated from high school in 1995, in rural Texas. We had a private Valentine’s dance one year, hosted by about 8 white kids. We could each invite 25 people or so. Guess what? A wide swath of students were invited, from every background. Everyone showed up and had a good time. Our prom wasn’t segregated either, and we all had a good time. Both blacks and whites and hispanics came to our 10 year reunion, and we all had a good time!

    When you leave it up to the kids, they usually go with their gut, in which case, you’re rarely wrong. All the kids want is to have a good time. :)

  41. the original kate says:

    the blonde girl in the black dress holding the yellow flowers looks about 35 years old. i find it hard to believe she’s a senior. maybe she got held back alot!

  42. boomchakaboom says:

    I want more on the African-American hating Latino gang in California, Celebitchy – what’s up with that? California is so hip, liberal, and progressive, where did this Latino gang come from? How inbred and ignorant must their poor, poor, children be?

  43. ROM says:

    @ Grexx: Wars being fought in the desert are for oil and not for oppressed people. No one asked you to fight you happily volunteered as the spoils of war would be immeasurable. The media carefully weeds out the content before they display what is shown. So get your head out of the sand and try to comprehend the big picture. Do some research. As for the racism in the south, granted is has thinned out but it would always remain as along as events like segregated proms take place.

  44. Melissa says:

    Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas still has a seperate “black graduation” and that is arranged by black students. Some black students attend regular graduation and some attend just the black graduation but some attend both, while the white students only attend regular graduation. I’m amazed this takes place still too!

  45. JustMe says:

    I’m devastated; the South is a disgrace to the United States. IMO.

    Happy flipping Memorial Day: ALL races fought for our Country – why the hell is this permitted to occur?

  46. boomchakaboom says:

    Yeah, yeah, the South is a “disgrace” – so please God tell me the freakin’ flood of Northern transplants will soon STOP coming to this “disgraceful” section of the US. SPREAD THE WORD! The South is KEE-RAZY, and don’t go there.

  47. Elvie says:

    Funny, you know the white parents only do this to keep out people they deem “questionable” in morals, a sure holdout from the 50s, and yet the white girls are wearing skankier dresses than the black girls, particularly the blond tart on the left with the tiger bodice.

  48. Feebee says:

    Where are the student leaders? Do they only grow a back bone at University? Whoever said the students will perpetuate this because they already buy into it is right. Would an integrated scaled down prom hurt so much (if mummy and daddy refuse to helf with $$). I’m not American so I don’t know how deep this Prom crap runs.

  49. Jon says:

    GeorgiaGirl, DiMi:

    Oh please STFU. First off, the north has a notoriously high murder rate; a great deal of those murders are hate crimes. Conneticut? Has reported segregated proms, country clubs, and churches. Spare me your Yankee moral superiority crap. Exactly how many businesses have been busted up north for illegally bringing in immigrants and then pretty much holding them as slaves?

    I’m from Texas. My school had white, black, pacific asian, and latino students. Some communities tolerate this crap, but quite plainly (based on our excedingly ignorant comments) it isn’t a ‘southern thing’. And many of us Texans are getting sick and tired of westerners and notherners coming down here to pick a fight with the latino population.

    Read a friggin’ newspaper every now and then. Might help you sound more intelligent.

    Now I’m off to The Salt Lick for a drink.

  50. Jennifer says:

    Um, I’ve lived in Tennessee, Florida, and Texas, and segregated proms NEVER took place anywhere.

    I’m sorry that the media decides that the south is apparently the only beacon of racism in the entire world, but how about in Africa where Muslims are slaughtering Christians? Why don’t we report on that?

    If you’re “disgraced” by the south, by all means, please NEVER EVER COME HERE. All of my black, white, Hispanic, Asian, and mixed race friends will be thrilled to keep all the delicious sweet tea to ourselves and leave you to dwell in your own ignorance.

    Oh yeah, my black husband is PISSED about the “south is a disgrace” comment. Get over yourself, please.

  51. boomchakaboom says:

    Elvie: How do you know the white people alone are responsible for this? That in and of itself is a dumb comment. It takes BOTH SIDES.

    Jennifer: I agree, word for word. HBO must be running out of stereotypical groups to hold to the fire. Honestly, since the 1960′s, I think violence against non-whites increased in every part of the country EXCEPT the South.

  52. Bodhi says:

    Haha! Defiantly, Boom!

    A “disgrace”? Really? Then don’t come here. Ever. We don’t cotton to being told how, when & why to do things.

    Damn carpetbaggers….

  53. Jenna says:

    JustMe, see Jon’s comment and then proceed to take your head out of your ass. Worthless prick you are.

  54. disgruntled says:

    I too am tired of hearing how the South is the last bastion of racism; it’s simply untrue. While it is utterly disgusting, this stuff isn’t even limited to the US. LOTS of countries worldwide have tons of racial divides. The only way everyone will ever get along is if we just cease to have any difference at all between us, and the only way that will happen is if none of us are here.

    People will always group with people they identify with, be it gender, race, religion, weight, or having 10 fingers. It’s the nature of animals. That doesn’t make this right at all, but it is still thoroughly unsurprising.

  55. boomchakaboom says:

    “The media carefully weeds out the content before they display what is shown.”

    ROM: You think?

    What, pray tell, is your qualification for making such sweeping condemnations of the South? Surely you are not a victim of MEDIA bias? That would make you a “spoil of immeasurable value” to the media. Huh.

  56. boomchakaboom says:

    Celebitchy: I’m still waiting for some kind of tidbit from you regarding that violent, African-American purging Latino gang in California. It’s actually a CURRENT news story, as opposed to this one. Waiting….waiting…waiting…

  57. Jgolden says:

    Why is it ok to stereotype southerners as racists or any other adjective you may come up with? You don’t want blacks, hispanics, asians, etc stereotyped, but by all means stereotype everyone from a specific geographic region! Could you embody the word hypocrite any more perfectly?

  58. Jon says:

    Hell, my sister-in-law is a Roma. Her family moved here from New Jersey back in the early 90s because until 1998, New Jersey still had anti-Roma laws.

    Of course, Italy takes the cake on that score, fingerprinting them. And who could forget the infamous case of the two dead Roma girls lying on a beach in Italy- with swimmers nearby ignoring them?

    The point is that it’s every race, gender, nationality. Stop taking cheap shots at the South based on stereotypes.

  59. Codzilla says:

    JustMe: What a shameful generalization. The notion that racism exists solely, or is even more prevalent, in the South is more ignorant than the people you’re condemning. Go spend some time in central California, or certain areas of the Midwest, Northwest, or anywhere, really, and you’ll undoubtedly encounter racist idiots. They’re everywhere. And making some blanket statement about how the South in its entirety is a “disgrace” only makes you look foolish and small-minded.

  60. boomchakaboom says:

    To everyone who pointed out the hypocrisy on display by those who engage in bashing a certain geographical region with claims of racism, ignorance, intolerance, etc., all the while maintaining that they stand on the highest of moral ground in those same areas, THANK YOU!

  61. anastasiabeaverhausen says:

    Wow, makes me glad we live in Texas. I’ve never heard of or seen a segregated prom around here. In fact, the area of Texas I live in is extremely diverse and we like it that way.

    Sounds like the kids DON’T want to be segregated, but the parents are holding on to the racist past. It’s the parents who need to stop this nonsense. Why have two proms? That’s silly.

  62. boomchakaboom says:

    Jon: I just googled that info about Roma people, and wow. Just, wow. Damn. I guess everyone is so busy throwing stones Southward they just don’t have time to check their own backyards for stone-worthy targets.

  63. maybejustmaybe says:

    This is a story that should have created discussion on racial inequities. Discussions that would hopefully make way for change.

    Instead, this is the discussion happening: “it’s the south”, “nun-uh, it doesn’t happen here: it’s the mid-west”, “nun-uh, it doesn’t happen here, it’s the north”. It’s like asking a group of 10 year olds whose piece of garbage that is on the floor. “Not mine!”

    The fact is that it is happening in OUR world. If we ever hope to change that, we need to admit to that instead of trying to pass the buck by saying “it’s in THEIR little corner of the world. It’s not MY problem, it’s theirs.” Arguing over which part of the world, or which country, or which town, is more racist, is irrelevant and only perpetuates the problem: now, instead of showing prejudice towards ethnicities, we’re showing prejudice against geographical regions. How is that any different?

    In my opinion, it’s only when we can honestly accept those embarassing and ashaming parts of us (as a global society) that we can hope to change them.

  64. Jon says:

    According to the FBI Hate Crimes Statistics for 2007 (the latest they offer):

    Texas – 242
    California – 1400
    Lousiana – 32
    New York – 493
    Georgia – 13
    New Jersey – 748

    I found some from 14 years ago and here’s some food for thought: see California’s number up there? It’s lower than the ’95 statistic by more than 300.

  65. Giz says:

    boomchakaboom great postings!

    First point:

    I’ve been hearing and about Latino-A-A murders for over a year from both A-A and Latino friends, never in the mainstream media. One supposes that if it were Latino or black gangs committing a number of nightly murders against the white community, there would be all kinds media coverage and commissions appointed to “handle and analyze” the situation!

    Secondly, I’m from NY and as a minority, I don’t fool myself into believing that the north is better than the south, when it comes to racism. In fact, I’ve gotten better treatment in the south and when the racism did rear its ugly head, it has never excused away or covered up as something else. Northern racisim is far more insidious because its institutionalized while it turns it in on the very individuals it is practiced against!

  66. boomchakaboom says:

    Jon: Great info. Thanks for looking it up.

    Well, well, well. Educated, liberal, progressive, future’s so bright we gotta wear shades, CALIFORNIA tops the list for hate crimes, while the southern states don’t even go over 32. Well, well, well.

    Why don’t all you South-bashing yammerheads stop looking down your noses at us and check out your own neck of the woods?

  67. TexasGirl says:

    You beat me to it Jon. Thank heaven someone else knows about that stat! I have lived in Tx most of my life, in a town of less than 5,000. I had to move to Upstate New York in jr high and stayed for about 5 years. and I will testify that the most racist, backwards place I have been to was Upstate NY.

    These gross generalizations about the South and how backwards we must be are just as much a problem as the racism presented in the HBO feature. The South has come a long way from the Civil war and the 1960′s. But that never gets reported.

  68. TexasGirl says:

    Oh, and another thing: forced segregation never, ever worked. That caused more problems and deeper divides in the fight against racism because people (especially people here in the south/ southwest) don’t like being told what to do. So forcing these schools and proms to integrate would probably make more problems. Maybe time/outreach is the best fix here?

  69. ruserious says:

    Is this for real???? This makes me literally feel sick to my stomach….I DETEST racists. How the HELL can anyone judge someone based on their skin color??? I know racism goes both ways, but since white->black racism has been going on for so long incidents like this make me feel ashamed to be white. Racists are the scum of any race. We are ALL PEOPLE!!! If anyone is so stupid as to judge a person based on the color of his or her skin, then they need to grow a brain and get the f*ck away.

  70. Kathleen says:

    I am all for it. Black and spanish have awards shows, pagents, magazines, even networks DEVOTED TO THEM ONLY. Racism isn’t a white issue…

  71. monica says:

    blacks and whites have their own proms ALL THE TIME. both groups want it that way. not even mentioning how many African-American beauty pageants there are, clubs, associations, sports teams etc. I don’t like any of it, but if you’re gonna make a big deal out of whites holding a caucasian prom why don’t you make a big deal out of an african-american prom – there are thousands of them in the south? Or african-american beauty pageants? How about = now that we have a black president – we stop with the double standards?

  72. Aspen says:

    Everything about this story is so rich…I could go on for days.

    I was born and raised in Arkansas. My mother, who has advanced degrees in special education, gifted education, and American history lives on the Arkansas/LA/MS border to this day. On the river…in a trailer…with a pickup and a bass boat…by choice…I shit you not.

    I never encountered hostile racist sentiment until I moved out of The South. Yes, racism exists there…but you Yankees in your big cities hold the contemporary PATENT on racially-motivated violence and discord.

    Pot calling kettle what?

    Southerners know what they are and where they come from, what their history is about, and what they believe. You don’t like it? Leave them alone. You don’t know ANYTHING about The South if you think this type of segregated crap is normal down there. It’s not and hasn’t been for decades…and we don’t care if you believe us or not.

    The earlier poster citing two queen bee moms at odds over decorations is the best stab at a reasonable explanation for this…situation. Yes, there are racists down south. There are bigots in L.A., too. High school prom assemblies aren’t at the top of any of their priority lists. I find it typical and sad that the focus is placed on a rural area in The South instead of on larger hostilities of greater import and danger in places like Los Angeles. I supposes it’s cooler to drip with disdain at rednecks from Mississippi than it is to acknowledge brown on white on black violence in progressive, hip states like California.

    Racism isn’t a Southern issue and it certainly isn’t relegated to Southern white people.

  73. Hieronymus Grexx says:

    To my southern lovers I say: I’ve never been hassled by the cops for being a black man behind the wheel of a his own BMW ANYWHERE but in the southern part of the US. A 30 minute point for point interrogation with a loud, heavily-armed beer gutted jerk with the authority to arrest me if I blink wrong tends to alter your perception of a region permanently.

    To Rom: you missed the point entirely but I expected no less. So much for enlightenment.

  74. Hieronymus Grexx says:

    because people (especially people here in the south/ southwest) don’t like being told what to do.

    So I guess if that little pesky law against murder gets in the way of your good time or your ability to express your independence, you’d just ignore that as well, right ?

  75. Hieronymus Grexx says:

    According to the FBI Hate Crimes Statistics for 2007 (the latest they offer):

    Texas – 242
    California – 1400
    Lousiana – 32

    I guess we’re dismissing the fact that in the South racial hate crimes go unreported due to fears of retaliation, not to mention the cops simply not giving a f**k.

  76. boomchakaboom says:

    Grexx: You’re missing the point, dildo. Maybe there’s another reason you get grief when others don’t. Maybe you’re an asshole with a shitty attitude. Cops don’t like that, and that’s universal knowledge.

  77. Rio says:

    I gotta say, as a good Suthun’ Gal livin’ in Suhvannuh, Gawgia…seriously, small minorities of a**holes DO NOT represent the South. At. All. Frankly, I am…well, FED UP with having to defend my Southern heritage. When I lived in NYC, apparently the bastion of culture and modernity, people would literally do double-takes if I DARED to let a “y’all” slip. Apparently having a drawl means you live in a trailer, luv yew that Nascar, and have babies with your brother.
    Am I defending any type of racism? HELL NO. I never would. Bigotry of any kind is wrong. I’m just sick to death of people blindly putting down the South.
    To do so is just as bigoted.

  78. molly says:

    who cares? maybe both sides are happy about this, did you ever stop to think about that?

  79. Bad_As_Dana says:

    My hometown in MS is 70/30 black, population county wide abt 35k. Never was a problem for my friends (black & white) and me. We all cheered together, danced together, marched together, and generally did everything together. I’m white & graduated in 1988. My daughter graduated last year and I had as many white kids through this house as I did black, even a few Hispanics as they are making their way to our area. Parents red, yellow, black, and white banded together to make every event special for “our” children.

    You don’t know me, so you can’t judge me. Yanno, ROM, georgiagrl, et al, if you’d stop pattin’ yourself on the back you could use both hands to carry that cross.

  80. Wresa says:

    JGolden (#57) hit the nail on the head. People to be stereotyped on their race, and they shouldn’t be stereotyped by their geographic location either. Just because there are individual instances of this, it doesn’t mean everywhere in the South is like this.

    EVERYONE HERE AGREES THAT THIS SHOULDN’T BE HAPPENING. SO WHY ARE WE RIPPING EACH OTHER APART?

  81. HashBrowns says:

    Yes, there are racist people everywhere. But the point of the story is that in these particular towns there are segregated proms.

    Mentioning that there are, in fact, racist people everywhere is completely moot. Everyone knows that there is racism everywhere. It’s not like it’s a big secret that only Southerners know about.

    The story is about the two SOUTHERN states in which these segregated proms happen.

    In my experience, having been to Texas, Alabama and Georgia, the racism is far more blatant in “Southern” states than anywhere else. In my experience, people have not hesitated to tell me to get my “n*gger ass* out of their building (that’s a direct quote).

    I’m from California, from Los Angeles actually and now I’m in Berkeley. Being a black female person, I experienced more racism in 3 weeks in the South than I did in 23 years in Los Angeles/Berkeley. My mom has experienced more racism in the South in the 3 years or so she’s spent of her 53 years there than in Los Angeles.

    I’m not saying that the South is the only place that racist nonsense goes down. Rural areas in any part of the world tend to harbor racists and be more accepting of racism for some reason. The South happens to have a lot of rural areas and has a sad history of being one of the worst places to be if you were black.

    I’ve definitely experienced racism here in California, but not nearly to the magnitude as in the Southern states I visited.

    Also, I suspect that California’s hate crimes are so high because there is a high concentration of minorities in particular cities and they aren’t afraid to report a hate crime. I feel that when you see any statistic you can’t take it at face value. You have to think of WHY that statistic is the way it is. Could there just be more hate crimes in California? Or could there be easier ways to report them in California? Could people be less afraid to “out” themselves in California by reporting a hate crime? Are there better laws protecting victims of hate crimes?

    California also has about 13 million more people in it than Texas. More people, more hate crimes? Maybe.

    Louisiana? Has about 30 MILLION less people than California.

    You have to think of variables; as many as possible to make sense of why something is the way it is.

  82. me says:

    Raven Symone from cosby show was in a movie about these segregated proms.

    there are still towns in the south where other races arent welcome. for example in texas a town called vidor.

  83. Hieronymus Grexx says:

    Grexx: You’re missing the point, dildo. Maybe there’s another reason you get grief when others don’t. Maybe you’re an asshole with a shitty attitude.

    AKA When you’re back is to the wall and you know you’re losing the argument you whip out the names like a child with a skinned knee.

  84. MsEmme says:

    Racism sucks.
    Although, reading the comments was entertaining. I *love* being called a Yankee, especially from those who don’t want others to make generalizations about the south. That’s rich.

  85. stellapurdy says:

    Nice call MsEmme. I apparently fall into that category too according to TexasGirl as I’m an Upstate NYer. Ignorance must be the flavor of the day today.

  86. CanadianGirl says:

    Students of any high school should not have segregated proms; it’s ridiculous! Are we in 2009 or 1959?

    There’s a difference in having cultural/ethnic dances, competitions, or pageants, vs blatant segregation.

    In Canada for example, we have lots of different competitions, such as the Miss India Canada pageant, the Miss Italy Canada pageant, South Asian college dances, Chinese college dances etc.

    HOWEVER, these events are not exclusive for members of any one community. If I wanted to attend a Chinese dance, I can. In fact, last year a “white” girl competed in one of the local Miss India competitions.

    The prom issue is akin to me starting a stamp collecting club, where everyone is supposedly welcome and then saying, there’s gonna be 2 meetings, one for the whites, and one for the non-whites. It’s utterly backwards and unaccepatable.

  87. BOGART4017 says:

    Must be naive—i’vwe been reading about this very thing off and on since the mid-70′s. Of course mainstream media rarely covers it unless a racial incident occurs.

  88. JustMe says:

    Sorry to have wrapped the entire South into a parcel and called it a disgrace: but frankly, NO, I don’t go South and any region that allows these practices to go on, it’s a disgrace.

    The Confederacy lost, by the way: read your historical books.

    So, don’t come up North all you indignant Southerners; you may just get the “vapors” at having to walk the same streets, ride the same transportation, work alongside other ethnicities and *gasp* even EAT in the same establishments. Oh my… *fanning self*

  89. Annie says:

    In my experience, people have not hesitated to tell me to get my “n*gger ass* out of their building (that’s a direct quote).

    Oh boy have I been there….in fact, I’ve been asked in the south: “Are you one of them yell-er people? You ain’t white and you ain’t a n++gah…so you must be one of them orientals.”

    WTF?

    I, too, am from California. Specifically LA/Orange County and currently in San Diego and the only places/people I ever experience racism from was either the RITZY white areas (Laguna Beach can kiss my…) Upstate New York, which was predominantly white and the South. Does this mean that I think ALL Southerners are like that? Or all upstate New Yorkers are like that? HECK NO! Am I going to just pigeon hole everyone into that? NO! Will I still be throwing my hand out and saying hello? No Doubt!

    But am I more cautious when I go into those areas? Oh you betcha. (;) lol)

    I honestly feel safer in a location full of minorities than anything else.

    Statistics be damned because I’m also aware of who controls such statistics.

    I’m just telling the story based on what my family and I have personally experienced.

    Oh, and unfortunately, I found out about the segregated proms crap some years ago.

  90. Bodhi says:

    Its ok MsEmme, my husband is a Yankee too & I love him. :)

    JustMe~ Duh the Confederacy lost. It lost a long long time ago & everyone already knows it. If you aren’t going to any region that is racist you’re gonna be stuck in your house for a very very long time.

    Look, the South in general has loads of problems, just like every other place in the country. I am proud to be from the South, but that doesn’t mean that I’m proud of everything that has happened here or condone most of it by any means.

    Yes, racism still exists in the US & yes it is a terrible thing. “Placism” isn’t any better. Generalizing about any group of people (based on skin color, place of origin, shoe size, whatever) is never a good thing & can only lead to more negativity

  91. JustMe says:

    And I turn your attention to my last post, Bodhi: placism apology was the first line.

    I’ve been many places and experienced many wonderful, exotic and sometimes frightening adventures: if it’s not racism, it’s bigotry. If it’s not bigotry, it’s elitism. Etc…
    So, as a “Yankee” that lives in a melting pot of humanity – it is beyond my ken that segregation is being passed down from generation to generation in ANY place.

  92. Clarksdale, MS says:

    I live in Clarksdale, Mississippi, not far from Morgans home town and the public schools here still have separate proms. It is called ‘Lead Out’, the parents host it for the kids. It is not uncommon in the Delta area, but every where else in Mississippi it is!

  93. CB Rawks says:

    If my parents said I couldn’t have black friends at my prom, I would move out of their house and cut their ass out of my life as soon as possible.

  94. jayem says:

    HashBrowns took the words right out of my mouth. California has a much larger population, so it would have a higher rate. I’m sure the percentage is about the same, if not less.

    I am a mixed Californian who’s family is from Louisiana and routinely attended schools where I was THE only or ONE of the only non-white people in SCHOOL (not just my class). And I didn’t experience any racism until I got to middle school and was accused of being “whitewashed” by the black kids.

    Racism IS prevelent everywhere. It may never die. Maybe we, as a human race will find someone else to discriminate against (aliens?!). It’s just the way of the world…

  95. MB says:

    This is just a little different spin on the subject of racism in the schools. Why do these same parents that do not want an integrated prom pack a football stadium or other athletic venues where there are black athletes on these teams or are the stars of the teams? Why would they want to be there with the black or other ethnic supporters for the teams when deep down inside they don’t want to associate with other races? Are they too good for their children to attend a prom with other races, but it’s ok to have sporting events where their white kids are playing right beside other races on the same team? I’d think they’d want separate playing teams and fields too. That kind of thinking is twisted!

  96. Bodhi says:

    I read your post, JustMe, & I found your “apology” half-hearted at best. Obviously not all Southerners are dunderheaded Neo-Confederates. What is equally clear is the fact that the Southern population is hardly homogeneous. An apology that turns into yet another slam is hardly an apology. And nobody gets the vapors anymore, we have air-conditioning here too.

    But I agree wholeheartedly with So, as a “Yankee” that lives in a melting pot of humanity – it is beyond my ken that segregation is being passed down from generation to generation in ANY place. Just sub in “Southerner” for “Yankee”

  97. boomchakaboom says:

    I’m telling you: it’s the queen bee moms who are doing this. It has nothing to do with racism, it’s all about being in charge of the prom itself. You guys are jumping to conclusions about this being racism on display, when it more than likely has to do with MOMS. Soccer moms are bad enough, but Lord help you if you cross a mom who is in charge of cheerleaders, proms, pageants, etc.

  98. Bodhi says:

    Boom, I do believe you are right. Those mommas are terrible!!

  99. boomchakaboom says:

    Bodhi, you know what I mean. Can’t you just see the moms who head up each prom in that town? No way in hell either of them are giving up their status in that situation. I guess HBO didn’t find that kind of information, i.e. the truth, to fit in with their precious Mississippi’s Still Burning, ominous little documentary.

    HBO, shame on you.

  100. boomchakaboom says:

    JustMe: You are totally full of sh** in your assessment of us. If, God forbid, you ever come here I suggest you get with the locals and ask them about all this. You would find out how incredibly wrong you are. You don’t strike me as one who would dirty her little hands by actually mingling with the locals, however. Tourist traps seem more up your alley. As long as you gather your information from media bull, you’re more than welcome to stay right where you are and tsk, tsk, tsk, about us down here. Wherever you live, you’d expand your range of knowledge by checking for instances of racism right there. Try it. Don’t you want to be enlightened, or would shattering your comfortable little bubble of snottiness and self righteousness not be worth the pain of personal growth? Don’t answer: I think the answer is obvious.

  101. Bodhi says:

    Boom ~AquaNet & sequin wars from hell!!

  102. boomchakaboom says:

    Bodi – You ain’t kidding. I’m on the county Fair Board here, and one of my duties is to assist with the beauty pageant. Dear God. Those people would think nothing of slashing the tires of judges and they have gonads the size of Jupiter when it comes to their precious angel getting a little leg up if possible, sucking up to the judges, dashing the tenuous confidence levels of the little girls who just might be serious competition. The women are totally shameless. You have no idea what they’ve done to cheerleader tryouts. It is beyond belief. Separate proms? That’s nothing to these women. It just assures them that THEY will stay in charge, and that’s all that matters. I’m so glad I have a son, so I never had to get into that stuff.

  103. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    While I don’t doubt that a legacy of committee culture can make some parents foam at the mouth at having their showcase taken away, one has to wonder why this power would routinely be exercised in this manner. Authority can asserted in so many ways. And even though people can become contrary when they feel as though there are self-interested and self-righteous interlopers and instigators in their midst, it seems a little pat to me to declare that this is an issue of retaining tradition, and nothing more.

    If neither side has a problem with it, why would students make statements to the contrary? They bring up ‘tradition’, but from what I’ve read– here, at least– said interest in tradition sounds like a their parents’ convenient, but transparent cloaking of more insidious intentions.

    As for culturally/ethnically-based events, they began as a response to an under-representation or mis-representation in any given sector. It’s an affirmation. You can yell out ‘I am here’, in a place that maybe doesn’t want to hear you speak, or know how to interpret what you have to say. And if you yell enough, someone will hear you. But you know, it’s tiring. There times when you all support each other, you celebrate, and you yell together. Because hey, in these sensitive and PC times, I’m sure that the well-intentioned search for ‘authenticity’ has led to so much hand-wringing that someone has just said ‘Ah screw it, I don’t want any trouble, just get Kate Hudson.’

    In avenues where WASP-ness is implicitly accepted as the default, any traits or types that deviated from that ‘norm’ would be viewed with some sort of filter. Perhaps negatively, or perhaps as a curiousity, or whatever.

    At any rate, when the reins of power are not in your hands–whether it is intentional or not–you lose some degree of agency when you are working within the realm you never made. To a degree, you’re working within someone else’s terms, so a sense of self, identity, worth, purpose, etc., can become negated or denigrated. It doesn’t have to, but it can.

    I really don’t see these events as a re-affirmation of segregation, now just couched in a minority’s point of view. To an extent, they are an affirmation, a declaration of self and pride in a sphere that does not always allow those messages to be integrated seamlessly into the fabric. Or at all. It’s an opportunity to not be what’s traditionally known as an ‘other’, although I wonder if such a thing can really exist now. Barriers are changing, but they’re still working on falling.

    Veneration of a group’s achievements doesn’t have to mean that it’s a message to others that someone has decided to privilege one group over another. If anything, I see it as a celebration of the multiplicity of identity. It honours the fact that many different voices and faces and stories are all equal and proud contributors to a community. It highlights the fact that there is no exclusive and incontrovertible grand narrative that elementally defines something. You can show pride in yourself, and in your contribution to the whole, and a so-called ‘identity’ that forces someone to suppress some facet of himself is woefully unstable and lacking. Because identity isn’t monolithic and undifferentiated. It’s always growing and changing, and sometimes quite nebulous. It just seems to me that quarreling over how other people define identity takes time away from getting to the business of actually having one.

    Smile, people. Thou Shalt Chill Out!

  104. David Smith says:

    As an American who has lived overseas for over ten years (on 4 different continents) I would like to weigh-in on the comments. Americas fascination with race is both laughable and pathetic. We are a nation of so few problems we love dragging this old chestnut out to self flagellate.

    This TV show trying to find a story about segregation in the modern South….whatever. Sheer sensationalism.

    Here is a recommendation….go overseas and see the rest of the world people. There is xenophobia and racism in every country….in Krackow Poland they make Jew-jokes today even though Auschwitz is right down the road, in Moscow Uzbeks and Turkmen are constantly hastled by cops and feared as rapists by the general population, in Dubai South Asian are treated as 4th calss citizens at best, in Amsterdam i heard about “stupid Turks” all the time.

    Blah, Blah Blah…..the south is racist….no the world is racist.

    But, IMO, it is getting better. Why….globalisation…..we travel together, eat together, work together….and ultimately sleep together.
    When you know someone….it is hard to hate.

  105. boomchakaboom says:

    David: Great info. I’m curious as to why HBO didn’t include country clubs, proms, etc. in places other than the South. Could it be…NO, surely not…the desire to capitalize on that worn out stereotype of the dreaded South?

    Just for another perspective: If Lincoln had not been killed, the South would not have been subjected to the massive power grab that took place, i.e. Confederates were not allowed to vote for 5 years, which effectively allowed “Yankees” to rush down and grab whatever, including entire voting districts. That, I believe, is where the intense animosity against Northerners really took root. President Lincoln would absolutely not have endorsed such a blatant power play. So called history lessons teach that loss of slave ownership is what really pissed the South off, but that is simply not the case. Loss of a voice in a democracy is what did it.

  106. buenavissta says:

    Racism is everywhere, and it sucks. Period.
    Good on all of you Southerners for standing up to generalizations.
    You can’t fight hate with hate.

  107. Annie says:

    Americas fascination with race is both laughable and pathetic. We are a nation of so few problems we love dragging this old chestnut out to self flagellate.

    I agree. To a point though.

    I mean, here’s the thing, at the end of the day it’s all racism whether it be the extreme of say.. genocide or hate crimes or something less like separate proms. None of it is ok. None of it should be acceptable, in any country and in any place.

    I’m aware of the deep caste system in latin america and all over. I’m aware that there are countries where being a different skin color can get you killed. But you know what? That doesn’t make it ok for someone to stare at me in disgust. “Oh but at least they’re not throwing a knife at you” yes yes. I get that. But if we all play the “my oppression is worse than your oppression” we’re pitted against each other instead of pitted against destroying racism.

  108. david Smith says:

    Here is my point….an my final word. America is a blessed country…..great resources and a great start from our founding fathers.

    But,,,,,to really appreciate it….go overseas and see the world…not London you losers….the REAL world….Bolivia, China, Bangladesh, anywhere in Africa, Russia, etc.
    It is only then you will you realise how lucky we are….even in race (whatever that is) relations. We, all of us, need to work to buidling a better society. But wasting our time on some bullshit hick town issue (and I am Southern by the grace of God!)is the laughable bit. Is it some horrendous cancer that is going to bring down our nation if it is not exposed on national television??!! Puh-lease!!

    I have probably been to eighty countries and this crap happens everywhere but mostly worse!

    If you want to make America a better place….learn a language, travel (and don’t eat every meal in McDonalds)and engage with others. YOU will be better for it and so will they.

    10 years ago when I left the US I was convinced America was the best place in the world. Since then I have learned it only “pretty good”. There is a lot to learn from those black, brown, white, purple, etc. people….believe me I know.

  109. JustMe says:

    Whatever boom and Bodhi: I extended the apology and if you wish to call it half-assed then so be it.

    As for my hands and mingling with locals, you know NOTHING about me nor what I’ve done and where I’ve been therefore your opinions are just that, opinions – and I am certainly allowed mine.
    I won’t justify myself to you: I know that racism is wrong whether it be South, North, East or West.

    So keep your eye on the ball – racist balls in the South – and don’t judge me for my opinion and “unacceptable” apology.
    Oh and if all you can do is comment on MY comment well then, have at it.

  110. JustMe says:

    david: you’re 100% correct.

    Traveling to non-tourist Countries is where the real pain, suffering, hunger, poverty, castes, etc… are daily occurrences. Breaks ones heart and spirit.

  111. Annie says:

    Hopefully not spirit. :)

    It doesn’t break theirs. Some of the greatest spirits come out of places like that.

    I recently watched “Born into Brothels” and let me tell you, the human spirit is a beautiful and resilient thing and the children in that film had more spirit and heard than Parisite Hilton.

  112. JustMe says:

    Agreed, Annie… Some of the greatest people rise out of the ashes like Phoenix.

    One must never let their spirit be crushed: unfortunately, some people don’t have the strength and resiliency.
    “Born into Brothels” was excruciatingly painful, and you are most correct: the children in that movie were incredible.

  113. Annie says:

    They were amazing!

    I was bawling like mad.

    And I totally meant to spell “Heart” not “heard” Hah! Also, I reread it and thought that it may have sounded like I was comparing the two, which is totally not the case lol. I just wanted to note the stark difference between what I think is a real star (those kids) and our crap pseudo-celebs.

    Anyway, I digress. lol.

  114. Bodhi says:

    JustMe~ In no way, shape or form is any remotely justifying or condoning racism in any shape or form in any place in the world. That part has already been agreed upon so please don’t intimate that boom & I are racist or condone or support such ideals.

    You’re right, I don’t know shite about your personal experiences & neither do you mine. This isn’t a pissing contest. Your “apology” was almost offensive as what it was aimed at, IMHO.

    The Confederacy lost, by the way: read your historical books.

    So, don’t come up North all you indignant Southerners; you may just get the “vapors” at having to walk the same streets, ride the same transportation, work alongside other ethnicities and *gasp* even EAT in the same establishments. Oh my… *fanning self

    So effing much for being non-judgmental. Might wanna talk the talk before you walk the walk.

    Honestly, I don’t have a problem with what you are saying; racism & placism + bad; right? Ok, agreement there. Duh. But seriously, it (they) exist all over the country (& world) & pretending that those world views exist only in the South does yourself more of a disfavor than anyone else.

  115. Trashaddict says:

    What will make this country great, is our people not letting things like this slide, looking at them squarely and talking like people are blogging on this site.
    There’s still overt racism, there’s still covert racism, there’s still overt and covert sexism everywhere. Long way to go to justice.
    This may seem trite, but I’ve always found the whole concept of proms painful to all except the cool few. Maybe a new concept for graduation is needed.

  116. walker texas wanker says:

    The white students seemed happy in the picture, if that’s what they want I’d say more power and happiness to them, isn’t there something called ‘freedom of association’?

  117. RubyKaur says:

    I wonder how those white ass racists feel about having a black president? Their actions are just disgusting!

  118. Bonnie says:

    I, myself, live in Montgomery County, GA. One of the students in the top photo is a family member of my husband. I don’t think that the school is to wholelly blame here. It’s just as much the student’t fault as it is the schools. If the student’s did not want to participate in a segregated prom, they wouldn’t raise money all year for two seperate proms. They would raise money for ONE. But they don’t. They raise enough for two. I agree, that something should be done about this. It’s ridiculous. I’ve lived in Vidalia, GA, (15 miles from Mt. Vernon) all my life. My husband attended Montgomery County High School but dropped out before he would have been able to attend his prom. The proms were still segregated then. That was 6 or 7 years ago. The school sponsered ONE prom some years ago and refused to do it again because the attendance was so low, What would they do this? Sometimes I myself think that rather ignorant. How can they think that ONE prom is going to change peoples mind about how things have been done for 50 or 60 years. They gave up on the first try. If the students really didn’t want to attend seperate proms they would do something about it. They haven’t. They still aren’t. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I guess that’s something that Montgomery County School Board is going to have to realize.
    ———————-
    To all those who have ‘flamed’ southerners in your articles and have called us inbreeders, and such, your simply making yourselves look more ignorant than we could ever possibly imagine. We may have the drawl and we may not do everything right. But so do you. You insult us, yet you don’t know us. You only know what you see on the news. Grow up and get your head out of the dirt. We stopped marrying our cousins in the early 1900′s. :D Unlike most of you who are willing to sit behind your big desk and never get your hands dirty, we appreciate the land we live on and never take it forgranted. We don’t mind getting out in the dirt to help a hurt animal instead of just running it over. We don’t mind helping a neighbor who needs a hand. We take care of whats ours. If your going to try to insult us, atleast use something thats based in fact. “Inbreeding” went out of style a VERY long time ago boys and girls. Find something else to throw.

  119. This show was great! But it was really sad to see that this sorta thing really does still go on!