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.


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 | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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