Georgia’s GOP governor won’t take position on whites-only proms

Georgia’s Republican governor, Nathan Deal, refused a few days ago to take a stand against whites-only proms in his state by endorsing a local school district’s first-ever integrated prom.

As we’d reported a little over a week ago, a group of students – some black, some white – are organizing their school’s first “integrated prom” this year, and not getting any support from their high school, and little from their fellow students.

Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, Georgia lets its students and parents organize their own prom, which means every year they get a racist whites-only prom (the stories have been unclear as to whether the black families are able, or willing, to organize non-white prom). Last year, the police reportedly removed a biracial student who tried to attend the “whites-only” event.

colored-only-drinking-fountainGeorgian officials have been oddly silent in speaking out against this vestige of slavery that some in the Georgia public schools seem to still be embracing.  GOP Governor Deal outright refused to take a stand this past week against the whites-only prom, and instead the Governor’s spokesman blasted those who asked him to take a stand against segregation of the races in the state’s high schools: “This is a leftist front group for the state Democratic party and we’re not going to lend a hand to their silly publicity stunt.”

Maybe it is a liberal group, I have no idea.  But would Governor Deal refuse to take a stand on pedophilia if the people asking him for his position were “leftists”?

And what Republican leaders call a “publicity stunt,” black students call their civil rights.

As for the school, they seem to be expressing shock on their Web site that people around the country are so upset about the students holding a whites-only prom:

Recently the high school has received some negative publicity for hosting segregated proms, but that is simply not true. The high school does not host a prom at all, and groups of students who host private parties have referred to the parties as their proms. The school sytem has no influence over private parties, but we are encouraged by recent events.

Earlier in this school year, a group of ladies approached the Wilcox County Board of Education and the Superintendent to discuss their plans for hosting an “integrated prom.” The Board and Superintendent not only applauded the idea, but passed a resolution requesting that all activities involving WCS students be inclusive and non-discriminatory.

We support the efforts of these ladies, and we praise their efforts to bring our students together.

I am pleased to report that WCHS Principal Chad Davis has stated that his Leadership Team will place the 2014 Prom on its agenda for a meeting in the near future.

Instead of attacking our school system, its employees, and our community, we ask for your support and prayers as we seek to right the wrongs of the past and be the adults our children look up to.

Right. How odd that we’re a little peeved that you’re righting the wrongs of segregation nearly sixty years after the Supreme Court integrated our nation’s schools. I mean, better late than never. But don’t expect a medal for suddenly figuring out, and only after facing withering national and international criticism, that your school’s de facto, if not de jure, policy of having whites-only proms is a problem.  What was your first clue?

This is why people have a problem with the South. It’s the reason  a lot of us worry that the South is still a hotbed of racists and bigots.  As for the GOP, it’s also why so many of us have left the Republican party, or refuse to go there in the first place.  It speaks volumes to the concerns young people – but really a lot of us – have about the Republican party when a GOP governor refuses to take a position on segregating the races in public schools and arresting black children for attending “white” proms. Amazing what goes for “controversial” nowadays in the GOP.

At the very least Governor Deal knows he’s in charge of a racist state and thus is afraid to speak out against racism lest he lose the racist vote, aka his Republican base.  At the worst, Governor Deal is himself a traditional southern racist who believes that whites-only proms are not only good, but to be encouraged.

Either way, it’s little wonder that the Republicans are having a hard time winning over Latinos, blacks, gays, women, youth and anyone with an IQ higher than their pulse when a GOP governor is afraid to take a stand against something as simple, and obvious – and noxious – as a school holding a whites-only prom.

With such profiles in courage, one wonders what Republican governors think of slavery (though we now know that Mississippi, as of four weeks ago, is officially “opposed.”)

CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | 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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34 Responses to “Georgia’s GOP governor won’t take position on whites-only proms”

  1. says:

    It’s interesting that despite the school saying they don’t SPONSOR the proms themselves, people are still blaming the school. Hate that this happened, but honestly, if a private group of people are the racists and bigots, why blame the school for their exclusion? I swear people don’t know how to give responsibility where it is due. “Blame the school”….or…I dunno stop ignoring the terrible parenting that is obviously going on in this country.

  2. Pope Buck I says:

    They’re just biding their time. This “integration” fad will blow over, any day now.

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    No problem.

  4. Moderator4 says:

    Sorry about that.
    Yes, Disqus can be difficult.

  5. Bill_Perdue says:

    Discus is having a very bad day. Comments are disappearing, replies are being assigned to the wrong comment and peoples registration with Discus is constantly being interrupted.

    My first comment was below caphillprof emjayay • 3 hours ago −
    It’s probably related to all those private swimming pools in Arlington VA established in the 1950s and 60s.
    0 •Reply•Share ›

    As far as I know I only have one account with Discus so if there’s a problem it’s on their side. What you may have see is my attempt to delete the reply when I placed it below the wrong comment and as everyone knows. when you do that it’s doesn’t get deleted it gets assigned to ‘guest’. That’s probably what you saw.


  6. Bill_Perdue says:

    Correct. Both parties are run by racists who mistreat imported and immigrant and imported workers, engage in racist wars against Arabs and muslims and who ignore the plight of people in this country who, as always, are mostly last hired and first fired during the Clinton Depression.

  7. Moderator4 says:

    Your duplicate comment below was deleted, Bill_Perdue.
    And please attempt to use one username henceforth. Thank you.

  8. Bill_Perdue says:

    Both political parties share that same racist views on imported workers, on conducting racist wars against the muslim world and on ignoring the plight of people of color who are hardest hit, by far, among workers effected by the Clinton Depression.

  9. Bill_Perdue says:

    Both political parties share that same racist views on imported workers, on conducting racist wars against the muslim world and on ignoring the plight of people of color who are hardest hit, by far, among workers effected by the Clinton Depression.

  10. MyrddinWilt says:

    There will be a downside for the GOP if they don’t disown their racist governor.

    Not taking a stand against racism means that you support racism, it is that simple. And most white voters don’t like racism. That is why Republicans have to decorate their hustings with black faces to reassure the voters that they are not THAT kind of Republican.

    Deal does not want to take sides but takes sides to attack the anti-racists. That makes him either a racist by conviction or a racist by convenience. Makes no difference to me, they are both racists in my book.

    I just updated his wikipedia page to add in the fact that he is a racist.

  11. emjayay says:

    That was my guess.

  12. caphillprof says:

    It’s probably related to all those private swimming pools in Arlington VA established in the 1950s and 60s.

  13. caphillprof says:

    You know it isn’t the name of the party but the racism that counts.

  14. benb says:

    What’s Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council got to say about this? Terrible thing to explain to one’s child why he or she can’t join her friends at that other prom.

  15. I believe the school stopped holding its own prom directly following desegregation.

  16. Zorba says:

    When will this Neanderthal crawl back into his cave?
    Actually, my apologies to Neanderthals. They didn’t only live in caves (they also built shelters), and they were far more sophisticated and advanced than this douche-canoe of a governor.

  17. BeccaM says:

    So it’s a “silly publicity stunt” to ask a sitting governor to endorse the efforts of young people to have an integrated high school prom and to ask him to reaffirm that segregation is wrong.

    George Wallace would have been so very proud of Governor Nathan Deal.

  18. emjayay says:

    I’m guessing that the schools don’t sponsor their own proms in the same racist tradition that private schools blossomed in the South after desegregation. Anyone know the actual history of not having official proms in the South?

  19. karmanot says:


  20. Some context to make it all clear. The current Georgia Governor got the job in large part by demagoguing his Democratic predecessor’s decision to remove the Confederate Flag from atop the state capitol. Then, once in office, he never bothered to put the flag back up because of pressure from business interests. In short, on race matters, Deal is an utter coward who will never take a stand one way or another. He knows he can’t survive in 21st Century Georgia as an outright racist, but he also knows he can’t afford to lose the cracker vote.

  21. Bill_Perdue says:

    The origin of this racist bs lies in the fact that Republican parties in the South are infested with not so former Democrats from the South.

  22. If the school really wanted to address the problem of these whites-only high school proms while still clinging to the fig leaf that these racist proms were strictly private affairs not sanctioned by the school, it ought to be simple enough: announce that at last the school will have an official and all-inclusive prom while condemning the segregated gatherings and explicitly discouraging them.

    I wonder if it can be proved somehow that there was, in fact, collusion, a tacit agreement in the school that these supposedly privately hosted proms were in fact de facto school activities. Did any school officials participate in organizing them? I suspect that the answer to this question is “yes” but I’d love to see a smoking gun here.

  23. They’re like dry drunks who try convince others (and maybe even themselves) that really they’ve turned things around and their problem is a thing of the past, but then apply the least bit of stress and it’s back on the sauce again. Except in this case the drug of choice is bigotry.

  24. Randy Riddle says:

    No matter how much the national Republican Party tries to sound upbeat about women and minorities, they’re still dead in the water when there’s crackers like this around to open their mouths.

  25. Steven says:

    You are correct. I should’ve used the term ‘racist’ and not ‘racial.’ They are fully aware it’s racial, but it doesn’t amount to racism to them.

  26. Houndentenor says:

    They are fully aware that it’s a racial issue. they can use the “let the students decide” issue as a smokescreen so they don’t sound racist. I grew up in East Texas. Such talk doesn’t fool me. I still hear the same people say such things and then use the n-word in the next sentence.

  27. Houndentenor says:

    I went to high school in East Texas and it wouldn’t have even occurred to us to have separate proms. It’s quite some years, okay DECADES!, later and schools are still having segregated proms?

  28. Steven says:

    There’s simply no downside for Deal in avoiding the issue. I live in a small town in northwest GA, and I can tell you, the response of most all white people (Deal’s base) would be, ‘Well, it’s their prom, let them do what they want.’ They wouldn’t even see it as a racial issue. Crazy crazy crazy…

  29. SkippyFlipjack says:

    They’re not the wrongs of the past until they’ve fixed them.

  30. lynchie says:

    But Rand Paul said last week the Republicans are all about inclusion and love.

  31. lynchie says:

    At this rate I can’t live long enough

  32. nicho says:

    There used to be a poster that was very popular back in the day: Not to decide is to decide.

    This cowardly racist has decided.

  33. Drew2u says:

    Still fighting the civil war, I see.

    I understand why Lincoln didn’t try whats-his-treason with treason, but look where it got us; still trying to deal with that same mentality of anti-equality, elitism, and bigotry because the standard was set that there will be no consequence.

    I’m sure Cheney is resting comfortably from that precedent.

  34. Wow if African Americans are still fighting for basic freedoms like this just imagine how long the GLBTQ’s have to go.

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