Monday, June 1, 2009

Why is this crap still happening?

Now, instead of eggs, imagine people, and you get Georgia.


During this time of the year, high school seniors around the country are prepping themselves for the long anticipated prom night. In Montgomery County in south central Georgia, however, the local high school will facilitate two prom nights, one for the black students and one for the whites.

Segregated proms have long been a tradition in many parts of the rural south, but in recent years, students and parents in some communities have banned together and pushed for prom integration with success.

The senior class of Montgomery County High school, which only consists of 54 students, willingly participated in the prom that matched their ethnicity, reports The New York Times. On Friday, May 1, the white students had their prom and the following night, the black students had theirs.

The students of Montgomery High School refer to the set of dances as "white-folks prom" and "black-folks prom," which are organized by committees outside the school with help from parents. Perhaps the most disturbing twist is that all students are invited to the "black-folks prom," though whites seldom attend. Students say the unspoken rule for the white prom is black students aren't welcomed.

Black members of the student council say they have asked school administration to consider hosting a school-sponsored prom for all seniors and made efforts to collaborate with white prom planners with no success. Timothy Wiggs is one of 21 black students graduating this year and student council president. "We just never get anywhere with it," he said in reference to the integration efforts.

The school's principal, Luke Smith, says the school has no intention to sponsor a prom after a one time attempt in 1995 in which the turnout was minimal.

Interracial friendships and dating are both common at Montgomery High and many students have conflicting views.

“It’s awkward,” said Jon Paul Edge, a white senior. “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.” But in the same breath defends the "tradition" as many white parents in the area do. “It’s how it’s always been,” he says. “It’s just a tradition.”

Terra Fountain, a 2008 MHS graduate who now lives with her black boyfriend said, “Most of the students do want to have a prom together. 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.”

White parents resisting integration. What is this, the 1950's? I may not look like it but I was born and raised in the South -- here's a clue: you don't have to be white and/or own a pickup truck to be from the South -- and I really do like it most of the time, but I really don't like looking like a bunch of cavemen because of stuff like this.

Oh, I know a way to help. Donate to our blog and help us change the south :)