Georgia high school kids plan 1st-ever “integrated prom,” face opposition

A group of racially-mixed high school students in Georgia are bucking local tradition and holding an integrated prom where blacks and whites are all permitted to attend.

I am not kidding.

Apparently the tradition at Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, Georgia is for whites to hold a whites-only prom, and it’s unclear what the black kids are supposed to do (the report from the local news, in the video at the end of this post, is contradictory on this point) .

And what happens if a black student tries to attend the whites-only prom?  Last year, a biracial student tried just that, and was thrown out by the police, who I’m sure promptly washed their hands so as not to get cooties.

One year they even held two whites-only proms, because the little racists couldn’t agree on a band, so they split the prom in two.  Still no blacks, though.

It’s just the way things have been for years, a school administrator says.

The school gets around those pesky civil rights laws by not sponsoring the prom itself – there is no official school prom. Racist parents and racist students get together and throw the prom all by themselves, so it’s a private event where they’re permitted to keep the gene pool pure.

The school board refuses to get involved “because of liability issues.”  That’s a load of bs. The school ought to be holding a prom – not an integrated prom, not a whites-only prom, but a PROM where all students can attend.  The very fact that the school won’t even hold a prom, and is letting the students organize one themselves, is part of the not-so-subtle racism underlying this entire story.

And I’m not so sure the school has successfully skirted civil rights laws.  Note this paragraph in a story by the local Fox affiliate:

There will still be two proms this year. Neither proms are financed by or allowed to take place at Wilcox County High School. The students said that when they pushed for one prom, the school offered a resolution to permit an integrated prom that would allow all students to attend but not stop segregated proms.

The four friends who are organizing their school's first-ever "integrated prom."

The four friends who are organizing their school’s first-ever “integrated prom.”

I’m not convinced the school can touch the racist prom with a ten-foot poll.  By offering a resolution about the racist prom, it can be argued that they have a hand in the racist prom.  I’m also intrigued as to whether the police are permitted to block the door at the racist prom.  Perhaps if they’re paid privately, but still, it’s an interesting question as to whether you don’t have government involvement when the police are enforcing segregation.

The integrated prom is being organized by four friends, Stephanie Sinnot, Mareshia Rucker, Quanesha Wallace, and Keela Bloodworth.  Good for those courageous girls, who apparently are getting blowblack for their decision.

But one more thing, WTF IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH?

Chris and I get a lot of crap giving the South a bad rap on its racist, homophobic past and present.  I had someone on Twitter the other day argue that that’s the old South – the new South is no more racist than, say, New York City.  I’ve got news for you – good luck finding a whites-only prom in New York City.

This really sickens me.  I consider myself a pretty informed person, and I had no idea they were still holding whites-only proms in southern high schools.  What a national disgrace.  And when you hear the school administration describe it, it’s like it’s no big deal, just tradition.

It’s tradition all right.  Racist southern tradition. This thing should have been shut down years ago. The entire state ought to be ashamed of itself.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • embarrassed

    WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT
    A FUCKING SEGREGATED PROM
    I thought this was the 21st century
    more like the fucking 1800’s

  • Bill

    The school should not allow anything that involves the white prom to be held on school grounds, unless they would like a big fat lawsuit. They should not allow ANY posters for the white prom to be put up either. The fact that parents still held a whites only prom is a disgrace. They should have camera crews outside the whites only prom and disgrace the parents and students by showing their faces. That or give a list of those who paid for the white prom. I am sure the publicity from that will change things…. Then people wonder why the south gets a bad reputation. Congratulations to the students who stood up against this stupid outdated BS.

  • http://twitter.com/bravofan4life mother of 3

    Most people do not realize that in the South, more blacks are anti-white than vice-versa. Others find the racism against whites as pay back. Black women are the most outspoken against bi-racial couples. But to other parts of the nation it’s easier to stereotype southern whites than to look into the reality of what it is like. Be white and go to an all black gathering in the south. I dare you.

  • Clecinosu

    New info: An aide of the Georgia governor is calling the integrated prom a “publicity stunt.”

    The mind boggles …

  • Sikus

    Can anyone picture Obama’s oldest daughter being turned away at the door of the whites only prom? Way to go US south… sickening

  • Jim Olson

    Actually, we’re not stuck with them. Secession is still a viable option. Perhaps this time we’ll simply let them go, and make sure the borders are tight and secure. Just let me get my parents out of Florida first.

  • samizdat

    That was so obviously snark, KA. You know, based upon the common bigoted “I’ve got a __________(insert minority group here) friend…” trope.

    Bang those rocks together, guys!

  • SkippyFlipjack

    That’s totally different. Everyone knows the Greeks suck.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I had a friend from the Northeast go to college in Mississippi for a year in the 90s, and he came back a changed man, and not in a good way. I saw him give a stranger the wrong directions once, just “because he was a n—-‘.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    You’d be amazed at how many conservatives think — or have convinced themselves — racism is a thing of the past. It comes up a lot in discussions about affirmative action, but also in most discussions involving race.

  • Kevin A

    No, I’m sure they know racism exists because of articles like this. If you actually read the comments, things like this in modern human society are unheard of. Seems like some towns in the south are stuck in a barbaric age when humans were closer to animals in their racist psychology.

  • Kevin A

    yes, because what one little black girl says represents the majority of america’s opinion on the definition of the word racism

  • samizdat

    I understand. No worries.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Well that’s just sick, when racism is rewarded with re-election.

  • http://www.facebook.com/regina.weir.9 Regina Weir

    I’m guessing it’s because they want to be re-elected.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I bet you wore drapes to the prom miss Scarlet.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Sass it up your fras.

  • http://twitter.com/boywonder3919 Mike Rasor

    The problem is the principal can only have a school sponsored prom. He can’t prevent students from planning their own private prom. So he can’t exactly end the practice. But I agree that the school should be holding its own prom rather than facillitating the racist practices of the community. However, we should all be realistic about what would happen. When Constance McMillan won the right to take her girlfriend to the prom, the straight students got together and held a private prom at the same time. The official prom was sparsly attended and consisted mainly of McMillan and some special education students.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcrEqIpi6sg Moderator4

    Samizdat, your comment was edited because the “n word” spelled out is not allowed in this blog, even though we realize that you were merely quoting from the opinions of others.

  • silas1898

    The fact that the president is black stirred them up and scared them (racists in all 50 states) even more. It was truly the sign of the apocalypse.Now that after 5 years we are not in some sort of “Mad Max” world seems to be shorting out their brains. See: Benghazi

  • George Melby

    Please don’t denigrate dust/dirt/terra firma… it did nothing to deserve this fate! And yes, older than… MUCH older than- upstairs!

  • George Melby

    Don’t forget… for those who have never left the county they were born in, the world is flat… REALLY!!!

  • George Melby

    It is, slowly but surely. Then we can start truly righting the wrongs of anti-democratic, and bullying in ALL respects, for good! All people who can’t adjust… will wither and die.

  • George Melby

    Yep, I’m afraid so! Society hasn’t changed much in the South over the 150 years. Nor has southern education… or at least it had nothing to ‘stick’ to. :-(

  • George Melby

    Had they been in their right mind, the Northern Sherman army should have done a ‘Sherman’s March’ through the entire south, and THEN rebuilt them into a modern day moral society! Now we’re ‘stuck’ with them! And they can’t leave either… bwaaaaahahahaha!!!!

  • Sassifras

    Except the part where I called it egregious. That’s not an apology for the racism, it’s a condemnation of it. But just as I would condemn the racism that would allow a ‘whites only’ prom in 2013, I would also question the generalization and implication that all people in ‘the South’, as John doesn’t make a distinction here, are racists or are fine with racism. It’s a small point in the larger discussion, agreed, but it’s one that people seem to be missing. It’s an ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality that is sometimes subtle, but occurs often when people rightfully criticize the racism that exists. It doesn’t contribute in a helpful way to the discussion.

  • http://poodyheads.wordpress.com/ Papa Bear

    You mean, older than (creationist) dirt?

  • pappyvet

    snort…guffaw ! At least !

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Based on what you have said, I could clearly make the generalization that you are a racist apologist.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Institutional bigotry

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Didn’t SC invent Cracker Jacks?

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    What ever you do Miss Woodstein, burn that god damn hoop skirt and run as fast as you can back to any community north of Monticeito CA—that’s the border where Norther CA and civilization begins.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Isn’t Pat Roberts about 6000 years old.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Fascinating to learn how, like with these segregated proms, this SC district deliberately used the system itself to find ways to perpetuate the discrimination and school segregation.

  • Cal

    For those saying that this doesn’t reflect the reality of “the new South,” I say bullshit. I live in Nashville, a pretty progressive city, and the casual racism here is constant. No, there’s no visible segregation or separate proms, but as a white person, I am constantly being brought in on “jokes” and derogatory comments about non-whites with the assumption that I would not object because of my color. And when I call out the offenders, it’s always, “Oh, I was just saying” and “You know how it is” and “of course, there are some ‘good ones'” The school district in this article is just doing what they are doing because NO ONE HAS OBJECTED so far. Think about that.

  • samizdat

    Well, their black friend told them they weren’t racist, sooo…

  • caphillprof

    I think we need to have a national discussion precisely on this festering issue.

  • caphillprof

    Right on Becca

  • caphillprof

    You can go right on and add footdragging on fag bashing, sodomy and same sex marriage.

  • caphillprof

    We were so unfair to the Germans?

  • caphillprof

    It’s the isolated, egregious incident with massive silence by the rest of the state that establishes the reputation of any state.

  • Carl Gorney

    And I’m sure you’re ticked at all the stuff Mississippi has done too(took them until the 21st century to ratify an amendment to the Constitution, had their own problems with integrated proms, etc.)

    If you’re so pissed at what John said, how about working to SHOW people the South has progressed instead of coming on these boards to whine and complain about it?

  • hollywoodstein

    Sadly, not surprised.

  • hollywoodstein

    But surprised? No, not surprised.

  • hollywoodstein

    The larval woodstein had the good fortune of growing up in the California school system back when it was the pride of the nation before Saint Ron ruined it. One year included field trips to museums, zoos, boat rides to see grey whale migration, recording and film studios, planetariums, aeronautics facilities, just great stuff to inspire kids.

    Then larval woodstein had the misfortune to move to South Carolina, where her background caused her to be classified as a remedial student. Funny, all the other remedial students just happened to be African American. All the white kids were in the gifted classes. Larval woodstein told Father Woodstein of her situation when he asked at the dinner table how her day at school went.

    Father Woodstein paid visit to said school. Miraculously, larval Woodstein became a gifted student overnight, even though the white gifted math was still at least three years behind California regular math at the time.

    Father Woodstein inquired as to how school went that day at the dinner table. Larval woodstein related how she had gone from remedial to gifted in a day, but the black kids were still all remedial.

    To his enduring credit Father Woodstein was not happy. He threatened to get the Feds involved. The school became integrated.
    A cross burned in the Woodstein lawn. The larval woodstein was beat up a lot at school, and her elementary record showed that she was “overly pugnacious” and picked fights with gangs that she would often lose, though once she sent the biggest bully to the hospital to get stitches across his bottom lip. The fights stopped after that.
    So disappointed to hear this story. Miss Woodstein hoped this fight was won decades ago.

  • Jim Olson

    Remind me again why we fought a Civil War in the 19th c, and took the Confederate States back into the Union?

  • atalex

    I live in Mississippi and I find these things astonishing. I was very blessed to have attended a school in what you would probably consider a small town, but it was “the city school” when compared to the rural, lily white county schools in the area. And by “city school,” I mean “the black school,” because an astonishing 20% or so of the student body was black, which might as well have been the heart of Watts for all the county hillbillies thought. And at no point was there every anything resembling segregated proms at least in my memory (maybe back in the early 70’s, but certainly not that I can recall). It’s ludicrous that such nonsense continues on into the 21st century.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1355224588 Nicholas A Kocal

    And I bet every one of the people supporting the white’s only prom votes republican and do not consider themselves to be racist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=566998482 Joe Trohoski

    Is this real?

  • http://www.zazzle.com/fierylocks FieryLocks

    Are we not living in the 21st Century? This ‘Old South’ racist, segregation bullshit needs to die.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Bullshit.

    If I was governor of that state I would go down to that school and ask what the fuck is wrong with the school. I would publicly shame them all.

    It is a moral outrage if just one school does this.

    I would tell the principal that he had better end the practice or look for a new job.

  • http://twitter.com/boywonder3919 Mike Rasor

    With all due respect — you didn’t really address the criticism. The issue is that you can make the same argument that there is pattern of structural racial discrimination in the north. The difference is that it is a less overt form of racism. Pointing to the most egregious examples of racism in the south while simultaneously failing to bring that same scrutiny to bear on northern states arguably compounds the problem of racial discrimination because it furthers a narrative that racism only consists of the most overt instances of racial bias.

  • http://twitter.com/JafafaHots Jafafa Hots

    Slavery.
    Seceding from the union and in that secession statement explicitly calling abolitionism the precipitating cause.
    Jim Crow.
    Segregation.
    Lynchings.
    Minority voter suppression.
    Anti-miscegenation laws.
    Opposing civil rights legislation.

    All “isolated incidents.”

    No pattern there… anything looking like one is just some odd geographical coincidence.

  • Hue-Man

    “…I had no idea they were still holding whites-only proms in southern high schools.”

    “Prom Night in Mississippi is a 2009 Canadian documentary film written and directed by Paul Saltzman. The documentary follows a group of 2008 Charleston High School high school seniors in Charleston, Mississippi as they prepare for their senior prom, the first racially integrated prom in Charleston history.”

    “The prom was funded by Morgan Freeman, a Charleston resident, and exposed racial tension in the town, mainly among administrators and parents of the students of the high school.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prom_Night_in_Mississippi

    The impressions that remain after watching this on Canadian HBO or Superchannel several years ago are the following: “We’re just doing what our parents and grandparents have always done and what we’ve been taught to do.” Like all bigotry and hate, it is illogical and petty. The tricks of the white kids are straight out of the GOP voter-suppression movement – secret whites-only prom, misdirection, lies. Morgan Freeman dealing with the reality of persistent racism in his home town. (I’ve not re-watched the movie so please excuse me in advance if they’re inaccurate.) BTW from wiki: 2009, Nominated for Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema – Documentary at Sundance Film Festival

    Canada has a racist past – Komagata Maru, Chinese Head Tax, whites-only immigration, Japanese internment camps, attemped elimination of First Nations culture and language – and racist present (a letter to the editor published in a Nanaimo, BC, newspaper expressing racist views of First Nations people made national headlines last month). It’s not a holier than thou attack documentary – most of it is the students speaking to the camera in their own words (yes, I know about selective editing).

  • http://twitter.com/boywonder3919 Mike Rasor

    Because of a little thing called the first amendment. If it is a private gathering and not a public accomodation the government isn’t going to be able to stop the gathering without violating citizen’s freedom of association rights.

  • nicho

    With all due respect — bullshit. What you call an isolated incident is part of a pattern. It’s like when the Catholic Church tried to pass off systematic child rape as a series of “one bad apples.”

  • Sassifras

    Because ‘the South’ extends beyond a school district in Georgia. It would be similar if someone made a sweeping judgement about ‘the Greeks’ because of the neo-nazi movement that’s now prevalent in the country. It would be an unfair generalization, and would serve to purposefully antagonize those who otherwise agree with you about an issue. And then when you go on to utter that generalization repeatedly, and paint millions of people with the same brush, you’re not contributing to the discussion.

  • pappyvet

    Wingers love to proclaim that racism no longer exists. But then again,many of them believe the Earth to be only 6000 years old.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I can’t believe these girls are trying to change the traditional definition of prom. The institution may not survive. According to scripture, Prom is one white guy and one white girl, or one black guy and one black girl someplace else. There’s no reason to change the traditional definition. Why do these girls want special rights?

  • SkippyFlipjack

    “I’ve got news for you – good luck finding a whites-only prom in New York City.” Hahaha — totally! These are the same people who are saying that racism is just a media construct and that it only exists because people won’t stop talking about it. You know how we know racism exists? BECAUSE OF YOU IDIOT RACISTS!

  • SkippyFlipjack

    Normally I agree with you and get on them for bashing Tennessee or Idaho as a whole, but in this case we’re talking about the status quo for an entire school district. At some point you have to hold a region accountable for its accepted social conventions.

  • Kes

    Yeah, racism exists everywhere, but I’ve never had somebody in the northeast tell me upon first meeting that “there’s a difference between black people and n—,” or upon first meeting say that their dog doesn’t like the way black people smell, or refer to a rural area as a “ghetto” simply because the majority of the population there is black. All this and more was said to me the first MONTH that I lived in Mississippi in the 2000s. Racism definitely exists in the northeast, but in the Deep South it is an ENTIRELY different LEAGUE.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    There’s a key difference between personal racism and bigotry — like that espoused by my late father, who hated pretty much anybody who wasn’t white and preferably male — and institutionalized racism, as is being practiced by this school district.

    Yes, there are racists all over America, including in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, you name it. But for the most part, they’re not running the local and state governments, holding office as town mayor or on the school boards.

    In this particular district in Georgia, racist bigots ARE running the school district, and in all likelihood, the county government as well. Why? Because they are tacitly approving of this ‘private prom’ set-up, precisely because it’s how to get around anti-discrimination in public accommodations laws.

    I’m not going to bash the South — but I would like to know why no one in the local or Georgia state government is trying to stop this, or at least speaking out against it.

  • Peter

    After living outside of the US, UK to be specific, for 13 years before moving back, it saddens me that this sort of racism is still alive and well. Having a black president seems to have made the situation even worse, although you would think it would have made it better.

  • UncleBucky

    Then why doesn’t the state, county or municipality end the practice of racist whites only gatherings?

  • Sassifras

    “Chris and I get a lot of crap” -> “WTF IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH?”

    John, it’s because you pick an isolated, egregious incident and pass it off as representative of ‘the South’. It’s stereotypical generalization, and it’s ignorant. You’re smarter than that, and you know that language
    matters. Yes, racism exists, but not just in ‘the South’. It may be more overt in certain places, on occasion, but if you would like to pretend that it doesn’t also exist in DC or NYC, or anywhere else, you’re being dishonest with yourself.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    I wonder if they have their own water fountain. Seriously, this is outrageous.

  • jakethesnake

    I’d like to know what John Roberts thinks of this prom situation. Can students bring a banner that says “Bong Hits For Jesus!” to one of these unofficial proms?? Because the student in Alaska was not on school property when his free speech was restricted by the Roberts court.

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