Thursday, April 4, 2013

Georgia on My Mind

Remember when schools were segregated?  

Me neither. I'm just such a young, vivacious thing that I wasn't even a twinkle in my mother's eye when the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that segregation in public schools was unconstitutional.

I read about it in history books.  I know the transition from a segregated society to an integrated one didn't happen smoothly nor expediently.

BUT I did kind of think it already happened.

"We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself; a society that can live with its conscience."*

I'm a clueless white lady so I thought overt, organized racial segregation was a thing of the past.

Yes, I know racism exists. Yes, I know racism is alive and well in the hearts of some very narrow-minded, ignorant people. BUT I thought the days of organized, overt racism were over.

That all changed when I read "Georgia High School Students Fight Against Segregated Prom."

According to the article, "The segregated prom has been a tradition at Wilcox County High School, with separate dances for each race for as long as people can remember."

Now some students are trying to change that. Yes, now as in 2013.  A mere 59 years AFTER the United States Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools as unconstitutional.

The article continues, "The idea hasn’t gone over too well with some people. Some students ripped down signs for the Integrated Prom. Last year, when a biracial student tried to attend the whites only prom, police came to turn the student away."

Georgia, what are you thinking?

I read this article and I actually thought I was reading one of those fake new stories from The Onion.  Please tell me this is just part of some really bad joke.  Please.

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."*

To the students planning the integrated prom in Georgia, you are making your community a better place. Do not be discouraged by the heartless acts of a few.  You are on the side of justice.

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice."*

* Quotes are from Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. They are also some of the quotes etched in stone at the MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C.

No comments:

Post a Comment