A friend posted this article on facebook, and I was shocked when I read it. They still have segregated proms in Georgia, Mississippi, and other Southern states. One night is the white prom (exclusively), and one night is the black prom. Students responded overwhelmingly to Morgan Freeman’s offer to fund an integrated prom, but white parents submarined it. Schools don’t sponsor the proms; student groups plan them with parents. And efforts by some students to combine the proms always fail because the white parents say they won’t pay for a prom where there are black students.
Are you freaking kidding me? You think we’re gonna have thoughtful, engaged citizens when parts of this country still act as though people are different just because of their color, gender, religion, orientation, politics, learning style? Geez, Georgia, what the hell is wrong with you? America, what the hell is wrong with us?
Segregated proms are a symptom, but a pretty big symptom, of intolerance and fear and hatred and ignorance. People who believe you can’t marry someone you love. People who don’t “believe” in evolution. Beating other people because of who they love. Government sponsored killing. Government sponsored torture. Wiretapping Americans. Disenfranchising citizens. Blaming other people for our failures. Corporal punishment. Death penalty. Body by McDonald’s. And AgroBusinessChemicalUSA. Picking and choosing who we help and who we leave on the side of the road. Concentrating wealth in the hands of, like, four hundred people while the rest of the world starves to death.*
Could we, as a nation, be more backward and uncivilized? Didn’t we used to stand for something? Like, maybe, equality and democracy and secular morality? Why do we now seem to stand for narrow-mindedness and hatred?
*no claim of moral equivalence in this list of terrifyingly unAmerican realities in America.