So, explain to me again how the South is just the same as everywhere else?

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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428 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy
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    says:

    Isn’t this story a few years old already? I feel like I saw a documentary on it last year.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      I should clarify… apparently this has been the case in that town forever… but the story broke national news around this time last year, if not earlier.Report

      • Avatar RTod in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        This story is from this week… which does not mean that you weren’t aware of segregated proms here or elsewhere last year.

        All of my questions still stand, though.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to RTod
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          says:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prom_Night_in_Mississippi

          It does indeed appear to be a different school. Nothing at all makes this acceptable, but it becomes even higher on the outrage meter to learn that these are not isolated incidents.

          From what I remember about PNiM, the proms were not run by the schools, but rather were private parties organized by parents that were invite only. Which is how they avoided any legal challenges.

          As to why there are “sides” to take, my hunch is this… Deal, and other Republicans, likely aren’t going to gain votes by challenging this absurdity… because the folks outraged by ongoing high school segregation are not going to suddenly become lockstep GOPers. But he certainly can lose himself votes.Report

          • Avatar Plinko in reply to Kazzy
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            says:

            Important to note that those ‘Proms’ as private parties started precisely so that white community leaders could keep segregated events without risking those very lawsuits.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Plinko
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              says:

              If I were affiliated with the school or the town, I would respond a few ways:
              – Implore the school/town to take whatever steps possible to bar the private parties from utilizing the school name, its mascot, its logo, or anything else that implies an association or endorsement
              – Implore the school to host a goddamn integrated prom. If white parents want to get together and host their own damn little Klan rally, go for it. But the school not hosting its own is a de facto endorsement of the status quo that is nauseating. Students don’t have a “right” to a prom, by any means, but they damn sure deserve better from their educators.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                If I were afilliated with the town, I’d move.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to trumwill mobile
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                says:

                I mean, there are some things I can defend as not being indicative of a community. This, however, requires the complicity of the community in a way that a distasteful store doesn’t (necessarily).Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to trumwill mobile
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                says:

                That is a very fair point and I wouldn’t fault folks who moved. If I somehow found myself in that town unaware of this legacy and then learned of it, I’d probably take that route. I’m sort of tempted now to look into how my own town handles things like prom and the like. Most of us without high school aged students probably don’t even know unless we ourselves grew up in the town.

                But if I was more connected to the town and didn’t want to just pick up and move but instead wanted to seek change, those are the steps I’d take. However, it seems like this is deeply ingrained in the community, so much so that I couldn’t really stand up and say, “This is not what Wilcox is about!” Because the evidence is clear that this is precisely what Wilcox is about.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                God bless those who would stay behind and try to change things. I’m just not that guy. I’d be concerned that my daughter would pick up the wrong racial attitudes (We’d teach them different, but betting on them listening to us and not our environment strikes me as risky).

                Having said that, these kids are trying to change things. There is an upside here. Good for them.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Beyond my official capacity, I would support them every step of the way. If they wanted to bum rush the private party, I’d be there with them, even if I might advise against it for legal reasons (I don’t know how arrests for legitimate civil disobedience go over with colleges and employers); I would work it into my curriculum every which way possible; etc.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to trumwill mobile
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                says:

                “If I were afilliated with the town, I’d move”

                Looking at the census figures, most people have. What remains are about 4 towns with a majority black population, a county with a majority white population, and a single high school of probably around 400-500 students for the entire unified county school district.

                The school district looks like it is being somewhatproactive about the issue, with caveats.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kolohe
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                says:

                Kolohe,

                I’m not sure “proactive” is the right word given how long ago segregation ended…Report

              • Avatar Nathanael in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                I have to say, even the wording on the most positive parts of that site feels outdated. “A group of ladies…”

                It really is a different world in the Deep South.Report

              • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Where I live in Central Florida, school segregation ended in the eighties, around the time I started 2nd grade, if I remember correctly. The segregation was accomplished by the way the school districts were drawn, and they were finally redrawn to force integration.Report

              • Avatar Redwood Rhiadra in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                @Reformed

                Did it really end? My parents moved to Orlando when I started 2nd grade (in 1982), and for the first year I was one of the token white students at Orange Center Elementary, which was then 90% black (both students and teachers). Based on the photos on their web page, it still is an essentially all-black school.

                The next year, I was transferred to the brand new all-white school (Keith Elementary). My class did have a black teacher to start with, but she was fired for no apparent reason and replaced with a white one after only two months.

                (Ironically, the black teacher was Mrs White and the white teacher was Mrs Brown).Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Segregation through sorting (both by settlement patterns and district lines) still persists, but that’s true nationwide.Report

              • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Kazzy
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                Redwood,

                I cannot speak for Orlando. My county is Polk. There was definitely an improvement after districts were redrawn, though I believe some schools managed to remain predominantly white. In my city, one thing that helped with the mixing was that two of the predominantly black elementary schools were converted to magnet schools, and those students were mixed into predominantly white schools.

                I am not how perfect integration in schools would be defined. One issue is that neighborhoods tend to be heavily segregated. One area might be heavily latino, another heavily black, and another heavily white. Without really weird boundaries, it is hard to mix that up.

                And we do have some weird boundaries. It is entirely possible to be assigned to a school across town, when there is another school less than 10 minutes away.

                Another aspect is that people with more money will move where the better schools are, so there is an element of white flight that goes on.

                Is there an answer that will equalize access to education? I am not sure. Maybe a better way to say it is that I think there is no simple solution, so it is more than one answer.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                “white parents want to get together and host their own damn little Klan rally, go for it”

                I’d say even that is too weak. I’d say the school should have a policy, something like this: If parent X pays for or helps organize an event that large numbers of students are invited to simply in virtue of their being invited, and said party discriminates on the basis of race, parent X may be asked to remove their child from school for having created a toxic, racist environment in the school.

                Sure the racist parents will find a way around this, but some sorts of racism in organizing have to be stated as intolerable, even by public institutions.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Shazbot5
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                says:

                I mean simply in virtue of their being students.

                I do think the line between private sphere and public has been crossed here. The parents aren’t having a party for a few of their white, equally racist friends and their children. They are having a party for all and only the white children of the public school,.

                Any principle who doesn’t drag the kids into an assembly and show them how awful this is, how the school refuses to be part of it, and then says the same with the key parents supporting this, is an awful racist. Racist. Indeed, the principle shoud make a prom mandatory one night (or day) that all students have to go to and be cordial with everyone.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Shazbot5
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                says:

                Shazbot,

                That’s fair. If these are public schools, you’re going to be VERY hard pressed to remove students because of the racist but legal actions of their parents. But an assembly such as you described and outspoken denouncement would all be fair. What I meant when I said “Go for it” was that I wouldn’t seek any legal remedies because I’m not sure any exist or that I’d even *want* any to exist.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Kazzy
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                Yeah. I can’t see a legal remedy here that I’d be comfortable with.

                Of course, political leadership could actually go a long way towards combating this sort of thing. The cover that Deal and his ilk are giving them is doing active harm.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                I’d be really impressed to see Rand Paul explain why legal remedies would be inappropriate, and then continue “But personally I find this bigoted, un-American and frankly disgusting.” Not gonna happen, of course.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                It’s maddening.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                I get it, but I think you’re missing how laws and school policies could make an impact in in cases like these.

                Given that the law or school policy I’m talking about can be skirted (people could find another way to have segregated parties), and my law would be hard to enforce, it lays down a marker, or sends a signal, or whatever you want to call it, that suggests the community itself disapproves of this behavior.

                What was really damning of the south (and souther R’s) is that the local representative won’t out and out condemn the practice. The condemnation of local politicians could make a difference, and so could an admittedly weak and hard to enforce ban on such kinds of segregation.

                IMO, the lack of condemning policies is reflective of and contributes to a cultural approval of this kind of segregation amongst a large segment of the population.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
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                says:

                Shaz,

                You have a point. For me, it’d largely depend on what my role in the school is. I think the issue is serious enough that I’d be willing to cross some lines, ruffle some feathers. But given that the kids are as much victims as they are culprits in the matter… yes, they’re teenagers and ought to know better but they’re clearly growing up in some fairly toxic environments and are not going to learn better through punishment… I’d want to be careful to not further divide the student community. But you are right that even symbolic gestures would be important and that there would be a lot of closed-door stare downs with parents.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Kazzy
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                Yeah, punishing the kids and not the parents is a problem.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Shazbot5
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                says:

                I would love to be able to take all the minority students from every high school where this happens and give them a time of their life experience in San Francisco. A full out, no holds barred party.

                And then say nyah nyah to the parents and their “invite-only” unofficial white-prom.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to NewDealer
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                says:

                Buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-but that’s racist! Some sort of Affirmative Action party!Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to NewDealer
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                says:

                I’m in for $50.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to NewDealer
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                says:

                Mike,

                How about crash space? You have some teenagers right?

                😉Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to NewDealer
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                says:

                If they’ll settle for sleeping bags on the floor, I can host quite a few 🙂Report

            • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Plinko
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              says:

              This is what I thought. It is a holdover from massive resistance because social mixing (and dancing!) is probably more of a threat to racists then integrated classrooms.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Plinko
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              says:

              Important to note that those ‘Proms’ as private parties started precisely so that white community leaders could keep segregated events without risking those very lawsuits.

              Proof. Pudding. That sort of thing.Report

            • Avatar Damon in reply to Plinko
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              says:

              So it’s a private party and not a school funded or sponsorded event?

              I’m trying to understand why I should give a damn then about the fact that it’s segregated or that someone girls want to change it. Good for them. Why is this even being covered?Report

      • Avatar Christopher Carr in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        And I imagine it will continue to break and rebreak national news for as long as it remains a story.Report

      • Avatar LWA in reply to Kazzy
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        says:

        Kazzy, this story first broke in 1865. Then again in 1955, 1965, 1975, and just last year.Report

    • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Kazzy
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      says:

      Every year there is the obligatory prom story. For the last few years, the story has been about the high schools that have no official prom but have racially-segregated private parties in place of proms.

      The only thing these days that interrupts the racial prom stories are the lesbian prom stories.

      Of course, the real question should by why are high schools still invovled in proms.Report

  2. Avatar Will Truman
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    says:

    There are two issues here.

    First, is the prom itself. I wish I could say that this sort of thing is unheard of. It’s unthinkable where I’m from, but obviously it’s thought and done elsewhere. This isn’t an isolated case. Basically, a long time back instead of integrating their prom the whites would either host their own, private prom, or the prom would be cancelled and there’d be two private ones. Then there is a reluctance to change by combination or racism, tradition, and a desire not to “give in” to the outsiders.

    This type of thing definitely needs to call out. Where I get antsy is where it comes to define the region.

    That, of course, brings us to the second item. Which is Deal’s refusal to “take sides” in what is truly a no-brainer and low-hanging fruit. Contra Kazzy, I don’t think this is politically smart. This sort of thing does bother a lot of Republicans and independents. Rather, it’s cowardice (at best). Not for fear of losing the places that have this sort of thing (such places are too few to matter electorally) but those who want to egg this sort of thing on (even if they don’t do it in their own communities). These are the people I don’t think that Deal wants to cross. And it’s a bane to the party and the region.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Will Truman
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      says:

      That’s probably a better assessment of Deal’s motivation. No less abominable, but more accurate. Two points to Truman House… which I trust allows non-Trumans to attend :-P.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Will Truman
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      I think there’s a good case to be made for politicians not commenting publicly on private issues. We shouldn’t look to politicians for moral guidance, and there’s a fine line between a politician expressing an opinion and issuing a threat.

      That said, he doesn’t get to use this defense if he has a record of commenting publicly on other private issues.Report

    • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Will Truman
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      “Which is Deal’s refusal to “take sides” in what is truly a no-brainer and low-hanging fruit. Contra Kazzy, I don’t think this is politically smart. This sort of thing does bother a lot of Republicans and independents.”

      I’m concerned that this isn’t true, depending upon what you mean by “a lot” and “bother.” You’ll have to convince me. (I am open to being convinced.)

      I take it you mean that you believe that the majority (“a lot” = 51% or more?) of southern Republicans (and conservative-minded independents) are bothered by the segregated prom. And by “bothered” you don’t just mean they think “well, the prom probably could be done a little differently, ideally, but it’s not THAT big a deal. Maybe they could invite the nice black kids, but the tough ones who steal things. Let’s hope they change it, but it is their right. Let’s not be hasty.”

      I mean, “bothered” is a pretty weak standard here, given that they should feel total outrage, as you rightly agree, in saying that you’d move.

      I think what Tod rightly thinks is strange is that the vast majority of Southerners (or Southern R’s and conservatives) aren’t outraged (or “bothered” intensely), as they would be elsewhere.

      If the majority were bothered/outraged, in the same way that they are in other parts of the country, then it would be a no brainer politically to support condemning the practice strongly and maybe even making a trip down to shame the parents into changing things.

      But it isn’t a no brainer in the south, which implies that there is less of a demand to condemn these acts of segregation there, which is a horrible stain on the South (although we should be careful about lumping the whole south in with one southern state) that makes it awful in this respect. (Other places are awful in other respects.)

      That said, we should never judge each individual on the basis of the average person in their region. No Southerner should be thought to be racist just because there is more racism in the region than elsewhere.

      It could be that the problem is a vocal minority has outsized political muscle. But you must admit, even if it is not a majority, it is a very sizable minority of racists. And you seem to be admitting that the minority’s racism is more intense than the majority’s outrage at the racism, which would not be the case elsewhere, where the outrage about this would be as intense as the support for it, which is exactly why politicians would come out against it.Report

      • Avatar Nathanael in reply to Shazbot3
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        “(although we should be careful about lumping the whole south in with one southern state)”

        It is true that by most accounts of everything of this sort, Mississippi is the absolute worst; though sometimes South Carolina looks worst. Or Alabama.

        (Occasionally Texas, when it comes to killing, since Texas seems to be extra-bloodthirsty.)

        The awfulness reduces as you…. uh, get further away from the heartland of the South. Basically the closer you are to not being in the Deep South, the better.

        Which doesn’t say anything good for the South.Report

      • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Shazbot3
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        says:

        the home of the fucking KKK is in Pennsylfuckingvania.

        Ya’ll think this shit bad?!

        There are no words.Report

  3. Avatar Jakecollins
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    says:

    I’ve lived my whole life in the South. Anyone who claims that racism isn’t still a pervasive part of our culture is lying… Probably to themselves.
    Feel free to stereotype us as ignorant racists… It’s probably a fair assumption.Report

    • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Jakecollins
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      The most racist city I ever visited was Detroit. Everyone was aware of race and were just as conscious of the racial aspects of their behavior that any other place.Report

      • Avatar mwilbert in reply to superdestroyer
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        says:

        Detroit is a very race-conscious metropolitan area. But in my experience, people in Detroit aren’t racist (or oblivious) enough to think it would be OK to have a “white prom”.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to mwilbert
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          Then what percentage of the Detroit public schools is white and what percentage of the Gross Pointe schools are black? In large urban areas, there are white proms and black proms because the neighborhoods and schools are segregated.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi in reply to mwilbert
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          No, they’re more racist.
          The people down south, at least in this story, aren’t recruiting you into white power militias — aka folks with guns, ready to take on the Other…

          Down south folks are less likely to try to conceal racism… or to pretend it doesn’t exist. This is not to say that racism is more prevalent down there.

          Can You IMAGINE the furor if white folks from the SOUTH walked into a ghetto and started “hunting black bucks?” (that actually happened in the Midatlantic. Not the south. But hell, you didn’t hear about it. Musta not happened.).Report

  4. Avatar Mark
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    I live in Deep East Texas and all of the towns and communities around here have segregated proms. Here in Lufkin, there is the official school prom which everyone can attend, and on the very same night, there is the “whites only” prom held at the local “whites only” country club.

    But it isn’t racist, because people here aren’t racist, natch. It is just a “private party” a few parents throw for the white teenagers where everyone dresses up in prom attire.

    Been going on for years and years. And people here seem to think it is nothing unusual.

    Yes, the South isn’t like other parts of the country. It is oh so much worse.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Mark
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      says:

      When I lived in Dallas I had a friend who was black, and as we moved our way thru town and our social lives I was always *amazed* that people would call him a n****r right to his face as if the term was an entirely appropriate designator. So … it struck me as very different than what I was used to.Report

      • Avatar Mark in reply to Stillwater
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        The thing that makes me so crazy here is that it is all seen as just so normal. The local paper carries stories about both proms as if that is just how it supposed to be. There are prom kings and queens from both proms.

        Among the local white population, the proms are called The Prom (white only) and The School Prom (referring to the black / hispanic prom when in public) or the Ni**er Prom (when only white people are around).

        But don’t you dare call anyone around here racist. Because THAT is just racist.Report

    • Avatar david in reply to Mark
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      says:

      [It is just a “private party” a few parents throw for the white teenagers where everyone dresses up in prom attire.]

      To be more accurate of the situation, it’s a private party a few of the wealthiest and most politically-connected white parents throw for THEIR teenagers. Any white teenager whose parents possess a net asset value of under 7-figures is, likewise, not invited. Not so much racism as elitism.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Mark
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      says:

      Sure.
      You gonna tell me stories about folks having “parties” where the goal is to rape folks of other races?

      Nah, you ain’t gonna mention shit like that, cause it don’t happen down South. It’s not a consistent part of the culture. A few places out west, it’s pretty bad. The feds just passed a law because of it.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Mark
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      says:

      I have family in Lufkin. As I have said before, Lufkin is the Appalachian Hills of Texas. (I know a man who lives there who has gone forty years with a dislocated jaw. He chokes on his food a lot. How did he dislocate his jaw? Hit with a piece of flying trailer during a tornado. Why was it never set? Doesn’t trust doctors…..he’s a character, all right.)

      East Texas as a whole is just ridiculous in that fashion. It’s like another state, another country.Report

  5. Avatar NewDealer
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    says:

    As I understand, there is either no official school prom or there is an official school prom and then an “informal prom” or “unofficial prom” that student’s need an invite to.

    In the second version, only black students attend the “official” school prom and the white parent’s throw and organize the informal/unofficial” prom and the only student’s who get invited to that are white.

    In the no official school prom version, both black parents and white parents ended up organizing two different proms.

    IIRC this is a holdover from the day’s when the South used to shut down school districts instead of integrating. However when this happened the white parent’s would organize academies and the black parents would be left in the dust:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griffin_v._County_School_Board_of_Prince_Edward_CountyReport

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to NewDealer
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      says:

      Correction:

      Both black and white kids were given vouchers for tuition but there were no black private schools and the black parents nobly choose not to set one up and to fight against segregation and Jim Crow.Report

      • Avatar Nathanael in reply to NewDealer
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        It was made very clear that the black parents would not be permitted to have resources similar to the whites-only private schools if they did try to set up private schools. Everyone knew separate-but-equal was a sham.Report

  6. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Technically, the school doesn’t segregate the dances; that would be illegal. The proms are put on by private groups which prefer them segregated. I would not be at all surprised if when the school was first integrated a mixed-race dance would have been a deal-breaker, so it’s survived as an integrated (rather than all-black with the white kids in private “Christian” schools) public school only because it agreed not to host mixed-race social events. I do recall reading that, while this school has been singled out for criticism, the practice isn’t unusual in that part of the state.Report

  7. Avatar NewDealer
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    says:

    Tod out of curiosity because you go after Fox News for their slant and editorializing, what is your opinion on the first line of the story:

    “It’s worth pointing out that this is actual news from 2013, and not from decades ago.”

    I personally support the editorial line that the story takes and the slant. However, it occurs to me that this what conservatives complain about whenever they mention the “liberal bias” of the media. The story is rightly and clearly not-objective in my mind.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to NewDealer
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      The story is not at all objective: it calls the current situation “toxic” and condemns segregated proms. That’s absolutely liberal lias, because conservatives …

      Hmm.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Mike Schilling
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        says:

        And I said I agree absolutely with every single non-objective word in the article!

        I have no problem with a slanted media. It is the norm in every other country but the US. We seem to be alone in our belief that journalism should be non-partisan. This is a relatively new phenomenon. Our early media was highly partisan!Report

        • Avatar Nathanael in reply to NewDealer
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          says:

          🙂 If you don’t have a point of view, if you attempt to be “non-partisan”, you end up giving equal time to Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, and gravely discussing their proposals for slave labor camps, poison-gassing Ethopia, and forcible violent population reclocations, as if they were reasonable.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to NewDealer
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      I wouldn’t think of it as editorializing, no. The only way I can think of it as going into what we think of as editorializing is if you assume that black students hanging out and dating white students (and having the police called on you to escort you out of buildings if you do not comply) qualifies for something that needs editorial comment for clarification.

      It’s like when that loser at CPAC defended slavery; it’s hard to call out stories that described his defense of slavery as “shocking,” because in 2013 it just is. Or to let that line out further, you wouldn’t really criticize a news story that described Jeffery Dahmer’s crimes as being “horrible,” because as a society we’re pretty much all on the same page there.

      There are just some things I think you can safely say are unusual in this day and age and not be “biased” in a way that leads to justifiable criticism. And I would think that, except in certain pockets of the country that I was not aware existed until today, racially segregated school dances would be one of them.

      That being said, as stupid and self-destructive in their messaging as I think the GOP can sometimes be on race issues, they’re not so stupid and self-destructive that we’ll be hearing them moan of liberal bias against racially segregated activities.Report

    • Avatar Gavolt in reply to NewDealer
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      says:

      this type of thinking is quite possibly why we have some of the media issues we have today.

      a majority of Republicans will find attempts to continue the culture of segregation appalling, and relatively few will note the “liberal bias” of the article because most people who vote Republican do not see hostility to racism as an exclusively liberal trait. they see it as basic decency.

      the problem is that nutters are allowed to represent the whole, and more moderate conservative opinion is pushed away from public reckoning. this not only disenfranchises a very large group of people, and not only alienates them politically, but it also gives them no space in which to carve out a uniquely legitimate position that must be acknowledged.

      the situation is similar to how Christianity is dealt with in the media. every religious person whose opinion is deemed worth listening to is conservative. it is almost as if not being conservative makes you de facto irreligious. Evangelicals only represent 25% of Christians in the US, but theirs is often the only opinion that is taken to matter. Apparently the millions of liberal Christians are irrelevant. Catholics voted overwhelmingly Democrat in the last election, but when you hear about Catholic opinion in the media it is almost always from conservative clergymen.

      lots of people lament the trend of “opinions on shape of the earth differ” journalism, but one of the reasons why this happened is because the “center” as we now know it is a fiction, a theoretical midpoint between Democrats on the one hand and radical conservatives on the other which no one actually occupies except perhaps some journalists. in reality the moderate US is clustered in the vicinity of the Democratic party platform, though many of these people vote Republican. Acting as if their opinion doesnt matter or is somehow illegitimate is one of the major ills of our current political situation.Report

  8. Avatar NewDealer
    Ignored
    says:

    Now you got lawyer me curious.

    The Supreme Court does give Congress the power to regulate private behavior via the 13th Amendment. The purpose of this is to remove “the badges and incidents of slavery”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jones_v._Alfred_H._Mayer_Co.

    The case above was about the sale of private property. I wonder if Congress could do something similar for “private prom’s” and “country clubs”Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to NewDealer
      Ignored
      says:

      Maybe the libertarianism of the LOOG is rubbing off on me, but that seems pointless to me. These assholes are not going to have their attitudes improved by having Congress tell them to integrate the dances: they’ll either stop holding them or create more elaborate smokescreens. Let their own kids shame them, as they’re doing now. They might learn something. Or if not, they’ll eventually die off.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to NewDealer
      Ignored
      says:

      I would love to hear Burt weigh in on this, but I suspect that the only reason that this isn’t an illegal activity is that no one has challenged it in court.Report

      • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Tod Kelly
        Ignored
        says:

        I am pretty sure it’s not illegal because it’s private. How do you force a private event tointegrate? The most I tthink you could do is to prevent them from putting fliers up on public grounds and that might be iffy depending on what else they do or do not allow.

        I wish it were so simple as making it illegal.Report

        • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to trumwill mobile
          Ignored
          says:

          I said this below, but it seems like it would absolutely be legal if it was just some party and people invited who they wanted. But it’s not really quite that, since the school doesn’t have a prom or homecoming dance, presumably so that they don’t have to have an integrated one.

          As I said below, I think it’s more nebulous than someone holding a private dinner party.Report

          • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Tod Kelly
            Ignored
            says:

            There may be a distinction morally but I don’t see how you make one legally.Report

          • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Tod Kelly
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah, imagine that some parents invited all the white children to a Neo-Nazi rally, and they all went. And suppose, as a result, the black kids suffered for all sorts of reasons. I think, at that point, even the public school district has a right to say that if you want to send your kids here, you can’t do such and such, because it is harming the other parent’s children.

            I suspect that the segregated proms do have pernicious psychological effects by making racism worse in the school and these problems are analogous to the thought experiment above.

            There is a line between public and private, of course. But by inviting all of the students of one type and not another (even if they try to hide that fact), they are crossing the line from private into public.

            Please do not reply to this with slippery slope arguments.Report

            • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Shazbot3
              Ignored
              says:

              That is the dance involves effects all of the children, both white and black, and does damage to the latter.

              If I want to raise my child just doing things that the majority think are crazy for her, that is private. (Though even there, social services draws lines about what is acceptable.)

              And if my crazy child has some small negative effects on those around her because of my crazy parenting, that is still close enough to private, though now we’re blurring the line a little bit.

              If I want to do something that effects every child in the school, related to a function (proms) that are normally controlled by schools, the school has a right to regulate that behavior.

              If my child and I are distributing neo-nazi hate material to every other white child in the school (maybe after school hours), then the school has a right and a duty to step in and protect its students.

              I would pass a policy saying invites where all students except those of a certain race are invited will result in fines or expulsion or whatever. Of course, this policy could be skirted by having a party where you invite only white kids, and maybe not all the white kids, but just your kids’ widest circle of friends (Shazbot never got invited to parties).

              But the presence of a law like that would signal the community that some kinds of overt racism are shamefully intolerable, and the absence of such a policy signals the opposite. That signaling might not have a major impact in the short term, but it will in the long run, and could’ve done a lot of good had it been done, oh, 50 years ago.Report

            • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Shazbot3
              Ignored
              says:

              Going to school is compulsory. It’s not a privilege that can be revoked for having terrible beliefs on your own time.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not the beliefs. Its the pernicious psychological impacts of overt acts of racism by a set of parents and children.

                But fines may be a better punishment than expulsion. However, I do think some kid-parent combos could be so damaging to even a public school that they lose the right to go their and will need to opt for homeschool.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Shazbot3
                Ignored
                says:

                Going to a rally is speech. Saying that as a student you can go to a rally for this but not that is discriminating on the basis of belief. A school has some discretion over what happens on campus, but I have difficulty with the notion that they should be able to control what kids do on their own time, provided that it’s not illegal.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                And even if it is illegal, I’m not sure why that shouldn’t be a police and court matter rather than a police one.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Shazbot3
                Ignored
                says:

                Like I say, the line between public and private gets blurry in places.

                But here it seems to be clearly crossed because

                a.) Proms are normally a school function and this prom is described as such, and will be thought of as such, even if the name is changed now, because of the history.
                b.) All students are invited, in virtue of their role as student, except black students. This is not a party for a few individuals as private people, but a party for all members of the school, except blacks.
                c.) There is a history to this event that was intended to discriminate against a protected class, and has done so, perniciously
                d.) The party is organized by a few parents (IIRC) whose behavior effects the school body on the whole in a massive way that crosses from effecting a few individuals privately to having an effect on the whole publicReport

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Shazbot3
                Ignored
                says:

                Would it make it better if they didn’t use the P word? If they invited kids from two schools or simply white residents of the county of high school age?

                I think we’d still be here, similarly angry.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure I *am* angry.

                I think I’m still too gobsmacked with disbelief to be angry. I think I’m just shocked.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m angry. Maybe this hits closer to home with me. It’s not surprising or gobsmacked to me, sadly, but sure does put me in a foul mood. Regardless of whether they actually call it a prom or not.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                On the other hand, to the extent that students are seeking change, that makes me feel kinda good.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                http://cinderellaball.info/Pictures.html

                There you go. Now go be angry. (That’s pittsburgh, by the way).

                I get steamed when I hear pots calling the kettles black.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Not following what you’re saying, Kim.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                trum,
                you were saying “well, what if it wasn’t an actual “prom”” — that we’d still be here, and still be getting angry.

                My point is: nobody seems to care if it doesnt’ fit the scripted storyline. You aren’t actually getting angry that that Ball is being held.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Does the ball exist for the explicit sake of avoiding an integrated prom?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                no, but i’m certain it does exist ot keep a “certain element” out of their party.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                I think the most jarring thing about what’s going on in Georgia is the explicit racialness of it. Snobbery, which is at least my initial impression of the Cinderella Ball, is not nearly as jarring. If the rich kids from Wilcox County – all white – had their own prom, I doubt we’d be talking about it here.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Shazbot3
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t think the police should be involved. The school should set policies protecting it’s students from such attacks on their well-being.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Shazbot3
                Ignored
                says:

                The school can’t protect its students from what other students legally do on their own time. Not by punishing the latter for activities done off school grounds and outside of school hours. They don’t have the jurisdiction.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, two things.

                Are we debating what the school should be able to do, ideally? Or what they can do in the legal system here in the U.S.?

                Cause I have no idea what the answer to the latter question is.

                I would say there are cases where what is done off campus crosses from private to public, and the school should have a right to protect its students, even if it doesn’t have that right in the U.S. right now.

                We can easily imagine such a hypothetical. Imagine a school with a large minority of Jewish students and a majority of Muslim Arab students. Imagine that a set of parents invites all of the students, except the Jews, to a series of cultural events, the sole purpose of which is to think about how the local Jewish students can be harmed psychologically, taunted, teased, discriminated against, all for the express purposes of driving them out of the school system.

                Suppose it is admitted that the purpose of this off-campus activity is to create racist, anti-semitic on-campus interactions that harm the Jewish students. Suppose also that actual acts of sectarian violence on campus have begun to increase, and experts say the actions of the inciting set of Islamic parents are the indirect cause of the violence.

                Can the school do nothing? Maybe in the U.S. now, it couldn’t. But that strikes me as a less than ideal legal system that hasn’t figured out how to navigate the distinction between private and public properly.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Shaz, I think I still disagree. I am refraining from further comment to decide whether I actually disagree or whether I am being stubborn. Both are possible.

                I will say that to some extent we may be working off different definitions of public and private. To some extent, I mostly mean “non-government” when I say private. Which is to say that even a Klan rally in the public square is private, so long as the school/government isn’t sponsoring it nor are any special considerations being made for it.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Fair enough.

                I do get the legal problem thatyou are referring to. The private sphere should be drawn as largely as possible. We don’t want schools to start telling people how to live all over the place.

                I am willing to concede, really, that maybe a legal solution is not the right way to go here, too. But if the situation were a little “worse” (and I’m not defining that), the schooldistrict could have a right to start penalizing the guilty parties in some way or another by denying access to the school system that they are harming.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Shazbot3
                Ignored
                says:

                “It’s not the beliefs. Its the pernicious psychological impacts of overt acts of racism by a set of parents and children.”

                Which is one of the prime reasons that the Supreme Court made the Brown decision in favor of desegregation.Report

          • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Tod Kelly
            Ignored
            says:

            That is my thought. There is a nexus between the party, lack of an official prom, and this conduct.Report

        • Avatar NewDealer in reply to trumwill mobile
          Ignored
          says:

          The 13th Amendment is the only Amendment that also applies to private conduct. Well the 14th sort of does indirectly.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to NewDealer
      Ignored
      says:

      That link’s not working. This one sums it up pretty well, though. That said, courts seem more inclined to jump in when money changes hands. In our civic religion, making money is a venial sin which must be atoned for by following certain rules as penance. If they’re selling tickets, I could see courts ruling against it. If admission is free, then that’s basically the court dictating a private party’s guest list, which I don’t think they’d do. Likewise, you can racially discriminate in selecting roommates, but not in renting.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, this seems slightly more than that, though.

        To not have a prom or homecoming dance sponsored by the school so that (I assume) you can really have one off the books that’s whites only doesn’t feel quite like the school coming out for segregation, but it also doesn’t quite feel like some guy choosing a roommate. It feels really nebulous legally. I mean, it’s clearly a system set up to get around being illegal – but to what degree can you do that and have the courts agree with you that it’s kosher? I really don’t know.

        Like I said, I would love to know what Burt would say.Report

        • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Tod Kelly
          Ignored
          says:

          Would it remediate the problem if the school has a prom but all the white kids went to the private one?Report

          • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to trumwill mobile
            Ignored
            says:

            Legally? I would think so.Report

            • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly
              Ignored
              says:

              Although now I’m wondering. Is the country club where it’s being held liable? (Not should it be, but is it – at least potentially.)Report

            • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Tod Kelly
              Ignored
              says:

              To what extent do we legally require schools to fund proms?Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Not at all. Nor do we legally require them to have sports, drama or band. But try using that as a legal excuse for trying to create a white’s only golf team.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Or, to make it more parallel, having a school golf team made up of only whites and then disbanding it when a black kid tries out and starting a private, invitation only school golf team that only white people are invited to try out for.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                But in this case, they scrapped the golf team and a bunch of parents got together so that their kids could play against one another. The school can’t sponsor a segregated prom, and they aren’t. I just don’t see how you close this loophole. Beyond which, even if you could force them to have a prom, our primary complaint here isn’t addressed.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                But it’s still identified as the school golf team (like this prom). The school allows the team to post flyers inviting people to try out for the School Golf Team (like this prom). The school doesn’t try to hide why they disbanded the team; they are pretty upfront about why they did so (like this prom).

                I really want Burt to weigh in here, because the more I think about a sports analogy, the more I think it may be challengeable.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Is this prom identified as the school prom? Or a prom for some students who go to the school?

                The most I think you may be able to do is prevent them from sending out fliers or sfilliating itself from the school. These are easily worked around.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not a school prom. It’s a prom for the school.

                If the legal case here hinges on that semantic non-distinction, we need a new legal-system.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s a prom for some students who attend the school.Report

              • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                OK, I’m coming around, I think you’re right.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s a sucky situation.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Will,

                That is why, if I were involved with the school, I’d fight *ANYTHING* that implied a connection between the school and the prom. I’d go so far as patenting/trademarking color schemes, mascots, titles, names… whatever… and suing the pants off anyone doing anything to imply a connection. Even if my suits lost, I’d A) send a message and B) tie them up in the courts (provided the cases aren’t frivolous). I would bar any advertising on school grounds. I’d advocate the town barring any advertising on public property. Hell, I might even consider discussion of the prom to be forbidden on campus as hateful and divisive language.

                Would all of this be totally kosher? Perhaps not… but sometimes you have to ruffle some feathers in such situations. There would still be a limit to just how much you can do to actually stop this, but I think there are a lot of steps one could take… more than I initially realized before reading some other opinions here.

                Of course, that would require the adults involved to be so motivated. Clearly, they are not.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Kazzy I was with you all the way until “Hell, I might even consider discussion of the prom to be forbidden on campus as hateful and divisive language.” That would I think be going just a tad bit too far.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Kazzy, the adults are worse than not-motivated. They’re complicit. This isn’t a case of the government doing something they can’t stop, or a few parents doing something. This is a tradition the *whole town* is swept up in.

                I don’t really know the extent to which the school can or can’t do the other things you suggest. I agree it’s likely that the school can do more than its doing. It’s just that it couldn’t stop it even if it wanted to. But I do like the idea of focusing on what the school could do.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                JM,

                Perhaps a bridge too far. But schools do similar things already. I’ve worked in schools that largely discourage conversation about birthday parties if the whole class isn’t invited and bans distribution of invitations on school grounds for such events (this is typically with younger children, mind you). They wouldn’t punish kids for violating it, but we might talk to them about exclusion and avoiding topics that can be so upsetting (and to a 5-year-old, not getting invited to a birthday party is equivalently awful as racism). So there is a quasi-precedent for something similar.

                But I was just riffing there and might have easily pushed too much. As Will said, I’m just trying to think of what schools can do.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s actually kind of funny, Kazzy. I read that sentence and thought “they can’t do that”… but then thought for another minute and realized that if they wanted to, they could.

                The problem here comes down to an inverse relationship between those who would likely do the right thing and proximity to the situation. The parents could fix this tomorrow, but won’t. The school might have to stretch itself to make an impact, but won’t. The state might could do something, but maybe not and might not anyway. Outsiders, who are really wanting something to be done, really can’t do much of anything. It’s not illegal.

                The more I think about it, though, the more I am wondering about the cancellation of the school prom. If they could get that reversed, then the “black prom” could be the official school prom. And they’d have a real claim in preventing the “white prom” from calling itself a prom or associating with the school in even the most trivial sense (because then it might get accused with the “real prom”).

                But mostly? This day in age, even in the south, I think it would ultimately leave towards gravitating to a single prom. There’d still be holdouts, and maybe holdouts among both races, but I think it’d start getting a lot easier for more and more whites to gravitate towards a real prom, where they would likely feel more welcome than at the black prom, and there you go. You may end up with three proms, but you’d have an integrated one that I think would gain momentum as time passed.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, Kazzy is right. A rule that doesn’t even have much actual power to stop the event is still warranted here as it might change attitudes in the long run.

                How about this: Anyone who goes to the racially segregated prom gets “Went to racially segregated prom, intentionally” on their transcript.

                Anyone who goes to the integrated prom or can demonstrate that they went to prom will not that printed on their transcript.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                “Yeah, Kazzy is right. A rule that doesn’t even have much actual power to stop the event is still warranted here as it might change attitudes in the long run.”

                Shaz, I’ll credit you for actually helping me come to this conclusion.

                And I like your transcript idea. They might have to tweak the wording, something like, “This student earned a gold star for attending non-racially exclusive events as part of our “Break the Hate” initiative.”

                But then we might get more WSJ editorials so….Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                The carrot may be better than the stick with the transcript idea. I don’t like kids having to prove a negative (that they did not go to a segregated prom, a number kids don’t go to prom at all), but any kid with a lick of sense would love to be on the “Integrated Prom Committee” which basically consists of everyone who went to the integrated prom.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Lord, I hope you all are really being facetious with these ideas.

                How about we look at it as progress that the students have come far enough to be able to say that they want things to change? They are defying tradition, something that is really hard to do, especially in smaller towns or real tight knit communities. We seem to always want to find the negative of any story and focus on that. It is fine to acknowledge the negative but not at the exclusion of the positive.

                You want to make a difference, throw a party and invite all students, not just one group. Or rent limo’s for them, get some dresses and tux’s and reward the positive.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                JM, I’ve said on a couple of occasions that I’m pleased as punch that these kids are doing what they’re doing. That is progress. The question is, how do we get to where we want to go? It would be great if nothing more were necessary here and that they finally have their integrated prom.

                But even if so, there is still a lot of progress to be made elsewhere.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                I mean to say “that can demonstrate that they didn’t go to a prom.”

                The details would have to be worked out:

                1. Sign a statement in school that you won’t go to or didn’t go to such and such a prom. Obviously people could lie or break their promise, but if you ever wanted to go into local politics, or marry a local who might found out who would care about your lies, the lie could cost you as much as the truth of being found to be racist. And people don’t like lying or breaking written promises, in general. Oddly, these sworn, non-binding contracts or statements often are treated as if they are binding.

                2. If the students think there is nothing wrong in going to such a prom, then there is no problem putting which prom they went to on their transcript. But I bet they’ll find that a near majority don’t want to be associated with this sort of thing.

                3. If students argue that their is nothing wrong with a segregated prom, but they worry that they will be unfairly judged for having done so, then remind them that a segregated prom is a bad thing, objectively, and the moral judgment against them is right.

                However, if they believe in segregation but don’t want to advertise it, all they need to do is promise to go to the non-segregated prom, just as they go to a non-segregated school. After that, and before it, they can privately be in favor of segregation and lying about it for as long as they like.

                4. Now all we need to decide is the music. I say the following. Let the students share the choices of what will be played and talk about it like adults and vote.

                This won’t be a problem. The black kids won’t go insane and trash the place because they can’t discuss how to share the music choices. It is the worst sort of racism to think otherwise.

                A more likely problem is that the votes will be gerrymandered to make sure the kids from the black districts votes don’t count for much. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, the positive statement is better. On the transcript it could say “Certificate for improvement of racial relations in community.”

                To get it, the student would have to sign promising to go to integrated prom and avoid all intentionally segregated events, to not commit hate crimes, etc.

                However, all transcripts should include a brief note on what was required to get the certificate, so that they know what students who failed to get it had failed to do.

                Area colleges (and national ones) would quickly learn what this meant.

                The problem would be solved, immediately, I think. And in a year or two, you could scrap the whole system.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Will, that post was not directed at you. I think I was typing it at the same time you were typing yours…just happened to end up right under yours. I have this horrible habit of having to delete everything I write a few times before I finally decide to just post the dang thing.

                I really really do hope that no one really believes that putting on a transcript what prom you went to is a good idea. Or that as a society we are not so keen on righting wrongs that we turn into something much worse than we are currently.

                I am appalled to read that to a 5 year old not getting invited to a party is as bad as racism therefore we ban children from discussing parties that are not all inclusive of every child. I am appalled that if children are following a tradition they grew up with they are automatically labeled as racist. I am appalled at the lack of nuance I read when it comes to racism. I am appalled that because I am white I can not ask questions or comment, because it is racism. I am appalled that if I say the previous sentence I am somehow thought to be saying that white people are the oppressed people, not blacks. I am appalled that I have written the word appalled so many times in one paragraph, but what can I say it expressed exactly what I am feeling as I type away.

                How has it come to be that unless I say with every breath, I am not minimizing the experience that those who did not have the privilege of growing up with my skin color I am being racist?

                No, I don’t think anyone has called me racist, this is an overall reaction to a theme I have seen the last few day. I am using the universal I to encompass anyone who is white and wants to talk about their own experiences in life.

                I like to think that I am a product of my personal experiences and the experiences of those I know. Now I feel that being a product of those experiences is inadequate. Inadequate in that I am not informed enough to speak or ask questions. It seems lately that only one thought is allowed to be spoken. If someone doesn’t conform then you just don’t understand the black experience and you are trying to diminish their experiences by talking about your experience as a white person.

                Of course I don’t understand the black experience. I understand the experiences I have had. I understand that I am white. I do have to admit that I never once considered myself as privileged. I find the definition of privilege as suspect that I have seen bandied about. I grew up with older parents who would be considered racist, they would never discriminate to someone’s face but they do talk smack that I find offensive. I never was afraid to tell them that I thought their comments were inappropriate. Just like I was never afraid to tell a couple of my brothers that their homophobia was inappropriate, or just like I never felt afraid to tell some of my coworkers that they were inappropriate for their comments they made about Hmongs.

                If I as a white person was to say this is an experience I had why is that not taken with the same value as a black person who says this is an experience I had? Does my asking that question somehow trip some switch that throws off a big neon sign over my head that says this is a white person who is trying to dismiss the systematic racism perpetrated against blacks in America?

                My brother J had a birthday party, after dinner we all went to a comedy club where a friend of his was performing. I was talking to one of his friends about how I had never been to a comedy club before and this place was really nice. She responded by telling me that she always thought this was a white place so she had never been there before either. Now that she knew it wasn’t a white club she would definitely be back. I remember thinking wow, what must it be like to stop and question what color people go to a place before you will go in. I really wouldn’t know. I haven’t had any experiences where I associated one race with bad experiences. I understood that she had different experiences than I did. I didn’t look down on her for having different experiences. I also didn’t look down on myself for not having her experiences either.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                JM,

                I appreciate that this is a heartfelt post. It is also very interesting, well written, and aiming at fairness. I don’t mean to crtiticize too harshly, but I strongly disagree with most of it.

                a.) ” I am appalled that if children are following a tradition they grew up with they are automatically labeled as racist.”

                We are talking about high school seniors here. Some old enough to vote. All old enough for military service. Old enough to be convicted as adults in criminal court and to know right from wrong. As Kazzy explains elsewhere, it is the parents fault, primarily, but I’m not sure I give these “kids” a pass, or a total one, anyway.

                b.) “I am appalled to read that to a 5 year old not getting invited to a party is as bad as racism therefore we ban children from discussing parties that are not all inclusive of every child.”

                No one said the former. And the latter is a rule in schools that helps small children not get hurt, which isn’t all bad. (I think children should follow this out of politeness anyway, which I follow in my dealings with the world.)

                C.) “I am appalled at the lack of nuance I read when it comes to racism.”

                It’s segregation, dude. Literal segregation. There wasn’t nuance in this 40 years ago.

                d.)” I am appalled that because I am white I can not ask questions or comment, because it is racism. I am appalled that if I say the previous sentence I am somehow thought to be saying that white people are the oppressed people, not blacks.”

                Who said that? I do think your post suggests (please deny it if I am wrong) that you think the fact that you should be sensitive about how you talk about race is unfair to you.

                I think that is disturbing if you believe that, and I would be willing to discuss it in another thread. The fact is that a lot of rhetoric contributes and perpetuates racist attitudes, even subconsciously and subtly, which is deeply unfair to the many victims of racism, of which you are not one, I am guessing. The harm of some rhetoric is indirect, but awful.

                Personally, I am very apologetic when anyone points out my rhetoric is or may be contributing to racism or sexism, and I am glad to have learned how to better avoid contributing to racism in being so criticized. Moreover, after apologizing, I can always restate my view differently if it is based in fact and logic.

                This deference to those who are offended seems like the right attitude to me. Why are you appalled by it?

                e.) “I am appalled that I have written the word appalled so many times in one paragraph, but what can I say it expressed exactly what I am feeling as I type away.”

                In all that list of appalled’s, you didn’t mention that you were appalled about the segregated prom, which is the subject at hand.

                Are you?

                f.) “She responded by telling me that she always thought this was a white place so she had never been there before either. Now that she knew it wasn’t a white club she would definitely be back. I remember thinking wow, what must it be like to stop and question what color people go to a place before you will go in.”

                This suggests that you might not be thinking things through very well about how your situation is different from hers.

                I suspect she means that she was worried she wouldn’t be welcome, either explicitly (especially if you’re in or she’s from the rural south), or more likely implictly, but now she knows she will be welome, because there were other black people.

                It’s not like she has a positive preference for non-white places because she enjoys them more. She was afraid, reasonably and plausibly, of an incident where she would be made to feel unwelcome or worse, IMO. This is the effect of the real racism that is still prevalent in society today.

                Or at least that’s how it sounds to me.

                —-

                Anyway, I know this might come off as rude or an attack. I don’t mean it to. A better writer wouldn’t sound so rude, like I sound. My apologies.

                But I think you should really reconsider these beliefs and attitudes.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the goal here is obviously to maintain their separate proms while adding an integrated prom, because three parties are always better than one or two parties. ^_^

                Seriously, I wouldn’t want to interfere with groups who want to have some events that are by nature largely racially segregated (the high-school proms are probably a modern oddball because so few of the whites and black kids that age haven’t intermarried yet), since many of the remaining events with a racial component celebrate African-American culture, traditions, and togetherness (often church sponsored, or groupings of churches, and then super-groupings that include the whole black community).

                There’s a nearly constant stream of such events that get very frequent coverage by my local news. It’s not that they exclude whites, it’s just that they make sure white’s don’t attend to such levels that it turns into Octoberfest or St. Paddy’s day, and they don’t let white liberals run the show. Basically, token whites are welcomed, including pandering politicians, and especially ones who can get bitched at and booed, but they are black events. ^_^

                Anyway, my point is that any legal environment that could stop a private white lake party could be a very heavy-handed and blunt instrument regarding all sorts of rather closed cultural celebrations and festivities, from Juneteenth to all sorts of downtown commemorative events run by the urban league or its local equivalent.

                Something I haven’t seen in coverage of the prom story is interviews with local blacks (who make up about 40% of the high-school) regarding their feelings about abandoning their own private prom traditions, and to what level both whites and blacks in the county supported the status quo.

                Basically, we’re missing some background and just assuming that the local black parents must regard the separate parties as oppression instead of having their own space and their own strong traditions. I’d think their opinions would trump all others, either providing strong moral justifications for switching to the integrated, official prom or providing a counterweight to all the outside condemnation the county is suffering. It might even cast the story in a different light entirely, one of both black and white kids rebelling against the strongly held, shared opinions of their parents.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                If the African American students want to come forward and say “we like this arrangement, I’ll reconsider. But not until then.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Take as evidence the number of schools that have cancelled their integrated proms because the minority parents preferred having private, segregated ones. I believe that would be a “zero”.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, that’s why all the historically black colleges collapsed in the late 1960’s, along with black fraternities. All the black kids wanted to party with whites…

                Oh wait, that didn’t happen. That’s why I’m making allowance that it’s not a bit unlikely that many of the black kids preferred not partying with snotty pimply-faced kids who listened to Duran Duran and Lynyrd Skynard, or at least didn’t mind not partying with them for at least one function. It’s not like they were sitting at home alone. They were out having the real party.

                As the principal mentioned, the idea of integrating was just brought up by a few girls who came to him this year, and he and the school board heartily endorsed it. 40% of the school is black. If the school is that receptive then perhaps this is the first time that any students decided an integrated party was a better idea. I just don’t know, because I haven’t seen any student interviews. Perhaps I can find the county paper online.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                And that’s why segregated school events are the norm all over the country.

                Wait…Report

              • Avatar Nathanael in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                FWIW, a lot of the historically black colleges have really lost that identity — outside the racist South.

                Most of the historically women’s-only colleges have gone coed during the same time period.Report

              • Avatar Creon Critic in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Here’s the NYT Magazine coverage of a similar segregated prom setup from 2009, with interviews from students and parents, A Prom Divided. I’d also recommend the accompanying audio slideshow. What I’d written about the Times piece before,

                Tradition, it’s worked, the kids are perfectly fine with it, this community is fine like it is… That’s the recurring theme from the interviews with the white participants. “It really is hurtful.” Is nearly the first sentence from a black student, another black student remarks, “I wish color wouldn’t be such a big factor in Montgomery County period.”

                Comparisons with historically black colleges and universities and other such attempts to draw parallels fall flat to me. Broadly speaking, the racial dynamic in the US has not been of structural racism directed against the white population. That fact makes all the difference.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Tod Kelly
                Ignored
                says:

                @Just Me,

                Roll with it. “I think, therefore I am a racist piece of sh*t” is the mantra, even if you your morality would make Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King bow and weep and beg forgiveness for their transgressions at the 7-11.

                If you are white, you are by definition guilty, and that’s all there is to it. If you’re not out selling crack below cost you are part of the problem. Once you accept that fact you can start to live again.

                By Internet (and LoOg standards) most blacks are KKK members, because they don’t conform to ideal liberal thought models. You are in a place that Ellison would describe as whiter than white in its purity. It’s a competition for who can be the whitest. If you don’t win, you lose.

                But faith in yourself, your history, logic, and the lord will be your salvation when the constantly gnashing teeth come for you, for they are nothing but Kim Kardashian, Peewee Herman, and their minions come to bring you down, and who is scared of those?

                I sometimes mark my time on the Internet by the anonymous death threats I have received. Half want to kill me for being a Nazi, half want to kill me for being an ultra-Zionist Jew. I think of that as balance. I’m happy with it.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Dude. You ever give thought to your trolling habits?

                I mean, there’s getting death threats for selling “fake bacon” to Orthodox Jews…

                And then there’s getting death threats from epileptics for making their website all blinky.

                These take effort, ya know?

                Maybe you oughta upgrade to something more difficult, yaknowwhatImean?Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        “In our civic religion, making money is a venial sin ” I love to travel, where do you live? I’d love to visit such a place to see how that works out. I’m in the US so i can’t even picture this.Report

  9. Avatar Ethan Gach
    Ignored
    says:

    This is like something straight out of Bioshock Infinite.Report

  10. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto
    Ignored
    says:

    But remember, the South is ready to draw congressional districts without bias.Report

  11. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    The tradition of separate proms doesn’t just reflects that white parents were reluctant to have too much mixing with black kids, but that the integrated schools were usually the result of folding a black school into a white school, both of which had their own long traditions. In the first years, the students really represented two different high schools operating under one roof, and both maintained their old proms as private parties.

    As the principle of Wilson County high mentions, their real party is the cadet ball, which is and always has been racially integrated, where the cadets come in uniform and the girls arrive in elaborate dresses. Some other Georgia high schools that have gone to integrated official proms said it was a huge headache, not because of the racial integration, but because hosting a prom is a huge headache with insane planning, a difficult search for a suitable venue, often in vicious competition with other schools, and profound legal liabilities. Many students are also reluctant to skip their own wild, drunken, lakeside parties for an official function with strict alcohol rules and teachers looking over their shoulders. The successful attempts have required principles to win over the students (all the students) on the idea of an official prom, because an official prom sounds awfully lame (Mr. Garrett is going to be there?!!)

    And of course in the adult world blacks often choose to party separately from whites on many occasions because they don’t want to feel that they’re being judged after-hours like they were all day at work. As is well noted, beer thirty is the most segregated time in America.

    In this particular county it looks like the issue was that they elected a black home coming Queen who wouldn’t be asked to the white prom, which of course would mean that the homecoming Queen wouldn’t be there, which sucks, but she couldn’t very well show up without her friends, making the whole separate prom tradition an impediment to proper partying. So the girls at the school asked the principle to make an integrated prom that everyone could attend. I’m sure that will become the new norm for the community.Report

    • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      I think everyone who did not attend a high school with a large percentage of blacks is that an integrated prom quickly becomes the black students prom with the white kids standing on the sideline. The music, dancing, and everything else that goes on will be arranged to keep the black students and especially the black alpha males happy.

      So, it the white students want to have a party where they get to listen to music that they like or do thing that they like, they usually have to segregate themselves.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to superdestroyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Wha…?

        Am I reading you incorrectly, or are you arguing that whites who have “whites only” proms are the real victims of racism?

        Because I don’t want to read you this way, but it’s kind of what it sounds like you’re saying.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Tod Kelly
          Ignored
          says:

          Well of course. Everyone knows that white kids don’t like hip-hop.Report

          • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            It is not that some white kids like or do not like hip hop. It is that the blacks like nothing but hip hop. An integrated prom quickly becomes a 100% hip hop prom because the black kids will tolerate nothing less.

            If the white kids want to listen to alterantive, country, rock, or even Taylor Swift, then they have to do it somewhere else but the integrated prom.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to superdestroyer
              Ignored
              says:

              “It is that the blacks like nothing but hip hop. An integrated prom quickly becomes a 100% hip hop prom because the black kids will tolerate nothing less.”

              You realize just how prejudice this is, right? Like, really, really fricking prejudice, right? Offensively so.

              Is this really what we tolerate here? Ugh.Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                What is prejudice about understanding the same thing that every music marketer in the U.S. knows.Report

              • Avatar KatherineMW in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, I know this site has a pretty loose policy on banning here, but I don’t think having open racists really adds anything to the quality of the discourse. This guy is on the level of Sailer.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to KatherineMW
                Ignored
                says:

                Eh, I’m kind of glad he showed up in this post in particular. Sometimes it helps to have a working example.Report

              • Avatar RTod in reply to KatherineMW
                Ignored
                says:

                What Chis said, KMW.

                As soon as we talk about something other than race, he’ll be gone and never return. Until then, it’s actually instructive for me in liberal Portlandia that people like this exist – otherwise I think they’re a liberal construct.Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to RTod
                Ignored
                says:

                You do realize that Portland is the whitest urban area in the U.S. I would guess that if portland had a population that was 20% or more black, that many white liberals would not live there, independent of the weather, location, economy, or diversity.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to superdestroyer
        Ignored
        says:

        “the black alpha males”

        If you’re joking, it’s in poor taste. (If so, I would forgive you if you explained that, because I have made a lot of bad taste jokes, too.)

        If you’re not joking, please go away forever. (Though you have given us a nice anecdotal piece of evidence about racism.)Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to Shazbot3
          Ignored
          says:

          “Alpha male” is standard speech regarding high-school social structures, like “jocks and geeks” and other terms that reflect the reality we all lived under. Sociologists even use the term to distinguish a rank of high-schoolers, and one report I read discussed the loneliness of an alpha-female, usually the head cheerleader, who all the other girls live in fear of, including the beta-female (second-in-command, right-hand social-thugette of the alpha). In this usage the “beta” rank is quite different than the usual usage, distinguishing the star running back from the star quarter back.

          Perhaps you have “alpha male” confused with a racist term.

          But the comment does raise an inevitable issue, one of multiple, almost non-overlapping cultures that do cause a few difficulties with any such large party. Some kids want Duran Duran and Elvis Costello (we’ll call them losers), some want Madonna, some want Hank Williams Jr., some want Ozzy Osbourne, some want One Republic, and some want Jay-Z and Tupac.

          I’m betting the whites in rural Georgia are going to be split between Ozzy, Hank Williams, and Lynyrd Skynard. I’m betting they’ll be in for a Marty McFly moment when the beat starts thumping, unless of course the white kids are the ones crazy for rap music, which isn’t unlikely in most other areas.

          I’m pretty certain the weird white kid who always played Duran Duran, and who has spent all year planning to play some Justin Bieber, is going to get an interracial beat down.Report

          • Avatar LWA in reply to George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            Well of course.
            There certainly aren’t any black nerds- they are all strapping young- er, alpha males, and will just naturally overpower the white males with their natural rhy- um, superior dance skills.

            Think of the bar scene in Animal House, where the black alpha male asks, “Mind if we dance wit you dates?”

            Why wouldn’t the white kids want to protect themselves from such victimization?Report

          • Avatar Shazbot3 in reply to George Turner
            Ignored
            says:

            I meant that the phrase is a dog-whistle (though I think we all heard it) suggesting that young black guys are too violent; so they shouldn’t be invited to the party.

            Also, the term “alpha male” is a term normally used to describe social animals, especially apes, and only humans in certain contexts, so you might want to steer clear of using the term to describe groups of people who are probably rightly sensitive about being implicitly analogized to animals.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Shazbot3
              Ignored
              says:

              When Superdestroyer wants to say that black people are (inordinately) violent, he is actually the kind of guy who comes out and says it. He doesn’t really speak in whistles.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Then he sort of did that. I guess, “dog-whiste” implies something subtler than just out and out saying that the blacks are too violent to go to the prom. I guess he did the latter, which is just racism, not a dog-whistle, per se.

                Though biological descriptors, often used for apes, are also pretty insensitive here, given the long and horrid history of treating and talking about black people as if they were violent animals, who couldn’t be trusted around white women in social situations.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                Superdestroyer is among the most direct and non-subtle commenters I run across on a regular basis. He was also a regular at Half Sigma and associated blogs, where the “alpha male” and “beta male” descriptions were used on a pretty regular basis to describe both black men and white men with dominant or charismatic personalities.

                It’s an ideology that has racial baggage, but it isn’t actually a dogwhistle for the blacks-apes paradigm. It’s its own thing.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                I guess the questiony is how it is taken by many people, not just you and me.

                IMO, it would offend a lot of people to talk this way, but it is just skirting the line (which is why I misused the expression “dogwhistle”, for lack of a better word.)

                But, as always, maybe MO is wrong.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                If I were giving SuperD advise, it would be not to use the phrase “Black alpha males.”

                I have never gotten the sense that he is particularly open to advice.

                But anyway, yeah, there is racial baggage in what he said. Of that, there is no doubt.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                Fair enough.

                And is it just me, or are you and I arguing in a really fair and fun way a lot, lately, and coming to agreement (or at least agreeing to disagree)?

                It must be your doing, because normally I blow a gasket when arguing and throw a hissy fit.

                I appreciate it a lot. Great fun, and informative. I’ve moved quite a bit on your federal college proposal.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh… Will’s good like that. The right-wing jerk.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                Everyone but me is a jerk.

                Every time I think that, I try to remember that this means I’m almost certainly the jerk. Some of you seem to have collegiality down better than me.

                I have really appreciated Will, Kazzy, Mark, Stillwater, and some others’ thoughts on the education symposium. (Hope I’m not forgetting anyone who commented and posted a lot.)

                I think I’m diametrically opposed to most of you in that I am a big fan of the current tertiary system as it is (obviously, it needs some serious fixes, especially costs), but the debate has been great.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, Shaz, it’s been kind of interesting. Education in general is one of those issues that gets me pumped up. In fact, I almost avoid discussing K-12 I can be so emphatic. So it was nice to be able to discuss some of my ideas without things turning ugly. You gave me quite a bit to think about.

                Now that we’re being all nice to one another, I’ve gotta ask:

                Shazbot3 vs. Shazbot5… WTH?

                (If you’re wondering, Will Truman is what it comes up as when I am logged in. Trumwill is when I am not logged in (and what I commented as before I became a contributor). Trumwill Mobile is what I use from my phone as a pre-emptive request to ignore the many typos that are about to occur.)Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                Shazbot3 was created first and he was created with emotions. But people were disturbed by these emotions, and he was dissasembled. (“No dissasemble! Shazbot 3 is alive!” he would say, back in the 80’s, and everyone was irritated and not at all entertained.)

                So Shazbot5, me, was created without emotions, and my exploits and adventures were very popular with nerds of all stripes, until the early 2000’s, when I got an emotion chip, and my whole demeanor and act got pretty irritating and then stale. Or so they say.

                In the 90’s, Shazbot3 was discovered and reassembled and has been a real jerk ever since, what with his schemes and plots.

                Nobody really knows what happened to Shazbot4, but there was some girl named Sarah Conners that he seemed to hate. Ex-girlfriend, maybe.

                Does that answer your question?Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                the term “black alpha males” is used to described the socially dominated males in a mixed-race high school. Those alpha males are such dominant personalities that the prom, homecoming dance, and everything that they are interested in will be arranged for their benefit. They will show up to the prom expecting and knowing that the music and entertainment will be arranged to their benefit.

                The nerdy, goth, alternative, or cowboy white knows that the music they like will not be played at an integrated prom. The white queen bees also know that they will not have control of an integrated prom.

                The high school in discussion is 50% white and 50% black according to greatschools.com. I would guess that black culture is the dominant culture at such a high school because all of the black kids would function as one clique and the white kids are divided among several cliques. I would also guess that if you look at the yearbook for the high school, there are the white kid activities such as maybe band and there are the black kid activities.

                I find it amazing that people who attended lillywhite high schools are so quick to condemn the white kids at a schools where those white kids are probably treated as outsiders.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                SD,

                How often do you think the black students are expected to make peace with a culture other than their own? Do they just not show up to history class because the teacher is white and the curriculum is about dead white dudes? Nope… they still go to class. Do they boycott gym when bowling or tennis are on the agenda? Nope… not in my experience.

                So why do white students feel the need to flee an event that isn’t uniquely catering to their interests? Privilege. Plain and simple.Report

        • Avatar LWA in reply to Shazbot3
          Ignored
          says:

          If its the same superdestroyer from Outside The Beltway, he’s not joking.
          Just don’t get him started on immigration reform.Report

          • Avatar NewDealer in reply to LWA
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m still curious about how the word spreads on these things to bring out the trolls….

            No, I really am. Are there a bunch of people who can for words over and over again and then report “Hey guys, people are being decent here…..”Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to NewDealer
              Ignored
              says:

              The League has some overlapping readership with OTB.Report

              • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                That makes sense but I’ve seen this all over the net. A normally low traffic site suddenly gets hit by a bunch of trolls.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to NewDealer
                Ignored
                says:

                A combination of things.

                1) Certain words and phrases trigger Google Alerts. Here we have learned that some of them include but are not limited to: vaccinations, midwifery, fluoride.

                2) Certain phrases can turn up surprisingly high on Google News. NaPP seems to get a traffic bump any time I mention one of the lower-tier football conferences. My post on the Western Athletic Conference remains one of our highest.

                3) Sometimes something a blog says gets mentioned on some message board, usenet, or something like that. Then you get a lot of people who are passionate about some subject suddenly showing up at your doorstep.

                Those are three. I’m relatively sure there’s more.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to NewDealer
                Ignored
                says:

                This place does reach google news…Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to superdestroyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Oy Vey!

        “Black Alpha Males”! What the fuck is that supposed to be code or a dog whistle for?Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to superdestroyer
        Ignored
        says:

        As someone who *did* attend a high school that was majority African-American, allow me to weigh in…

        There were a number of events where the dominant pop culture influences WERE largely from African-American youth culture. But ya know what? That’s true in schools even with white majorities. Not all of them… but a lot of them. Like it or not, rap and hip hop are some of the most popular musical genres with high school aged students. So if you go to a high school prom in damn near any part of this country, regardless of the racial makeup of the student body, you’re going to here Hova and Yeezy and Lil’John (ugh) and Beyonce. With a whiter population, you’ll probably here more Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift, but in all but a few circumstances, hip hop and pop are going to be the dominant musical genres. And why wouldn’t you expect a school with a large or predominant black population to play more “black” music? Are we going to argue that predominantly white schools in rural Texas shouldn’t play country music if that is what the students love? If not, why argue that schools like my own, 2/3 black and just outside NYC, shouldn’t play rap music?

        So, the phenomenon that SuperDestroyer is describing isn’t necessarily wrong… but he is describing all sorts of insidious motivations to it. If we see a bunch of white kids listening to rap, we see it as youth being youth. But if we see a mixed group of kids listening to rap, clearly the “black alpha males” have imposed their will on the cowering whites.

        And if whites want to stand on the sidelines? That’s on them. And tough shit for them. Welcome to how kids of color feel when they study “American history” and you learn exclusively about dead white men or when you they take American Lit and Toni Morrison is not on the syllabus or when they look at the faculty and administrative staff and don’t see a damn person that looks like them.

        And yet again we’ve reached a point where white people not enjoying privilege is derided as the “real racism”. Ugh.Report

        • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          I think the implication is that the Blacks will need to be placated because they can’t listen to reason and discuss what music should be played (whites with divergent music taste can discuss it), so the blacks, and especially the physically strong males, will need to be placated or else…Report

          • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Shazbot5
            Ignored
            says:

            To whatever extent my black peers were more agitated when it came to pop culture issues, I’d say it was largely a function of the one area of the school where they felt they had control. Most of the student groups in charge of these events were filled by black kids (probably somewhat of a feedback loop… the events were somewhat seen as black events so they were run by black kids who ran them more geared towards black interests thus solidifying the perception of them as black events…), but that is because the adults had no say over who was in the groups. They were either elected by their peers or simply signed up. So it was their level of investment and feeling of empowerment that dictated their response, not their skin color or “culture”. And their response was nothing atypical for high school students.

            And, personally, I loved my school for having that element. Our marching band’s 4th quarter routine blew out what my college could do… our pep rallies were awesome… our dance teams were so much fun to watch. Our prom was a blast. And not because they were exclusively black, but because they pulled from all areas of pop culture.Report

            • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Kazzy
              Ignored
              says:

              All well said. This kind of thinking is what isn’t common in the towns that we are talking about.

              There are cultural differences between different groups, sure. But using these differences as justifications for segregation of large-scale public events is appaling, as you seem to be suggesting.

              Indeed, the good thing about prom is that students have to go through the act of voting to put people in charge, who then have to try to represent everyone’s interests. It’s an action in democracy, and it often engages more students than actual student government. But yes, those who are most interested in music and parties will have more sway. That again, as you suggest, is a good thing, as it is democratic.

              Indeed, I think the democratic school prom is a small part of the educational process, a sort of large scale group project, and the school has a legitimate interest in making sure it isn’t subverted too badly.Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Shazbot5
                Ignored
                says:

                Every school is organized is a different way for organizing the prom. At my daughters high school it was a function of student government and student government was an elective class and they were not elected. Of course, it ended up being all white kids and the 1/3 of the school that was Asian (mainly Korean) and the Korean kids had their own function as a kind-of-prom that they would like.

                I find it amazing that everyone is agreeing that proms at high schools that hare 50% black will be black affairs but that it is something that the white kids could endure and that those schools should give the black kids whatever they want.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to superdestroyer
                Ignored
                says:

                “I find it amazing that everyone is agreeing that proms at high schools that hare 50% black will be black affairs but that it is something that the white kids could endure and that those schools should give the black kids whatever they want.”
                No one is agreeing to that.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          However, is some southern towns, the white kids are not standing on the sidelines. The are creating social situaitons where they can listen to rock, country, or even Taylor Swift. However, the rest of the country feels quite comfortable calling them racist for taking actions to create social situation where they feel comfortable.

          It is not that some white kids like some hip hop. The reality is that blacks seem to like nothing but hip hop. White kids can have a wide variety of musical tastes. Blacks seem to like to limit their musical taste to currentlly popular music that is performed by other blacks and is liked by other blacks.

          Also, Black History month as been around for decades. The problem with history education is not that it is about white males these days but that white males are ignored to promote non-white historical figures.Report

    • Avatar Nathanael in reply to George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      “As the principle of Wilson County high mentions, their real party is the cadet ball, which is and always has been racially integrated, where the cadets come in uniform and the girls arrive in elaborate dresses”

      Frankly, the sexism involved in this is mind-boggling to someone from the egalitarian Northeast. What do the female cadets wear? What do the male non-cadets wear?

      The South IS different. In a bad way.Report

      • Avatar Nathanael in reply to Nathanael
        Ignored
        says:

        (Of course, I can guess. Men who aren’t cadets are non-people and are not invited and are mocked. Women who try to be cadets are discouraged, probably with violent harassment. What do you bet?)Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Nathanael
        Ignored
        says:

        When I was in college (my alma mater is in the Northeast), some of my Southern classmates still talked about having or attending Debutante balls.

        My reaction was “Wait a minute. Do people still really have debutante balls?”

        Then again, someone just told me that they are a member of the Junior League and now I live in San Francisco. My reaction was “Wait a minute. Does the Junior League still exist? In San Francisco?”

        My big issue with the Cadet’s ball is my general suspicion of militarism but I am old-fashioned that way in my liberalism.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Nathanael
        Ignored
        says:

        This just in: The Atlanta Journal Constitution has found out that the school also has sexually segregated bathrooms.

        Let’s all flap our arms in outrage.Report

  12. Avatar Pierre Corneille
    Ignored
    says:

    I wonder how much of this is truly a “southern” thing. In some ways it might be: I’m not aware of de facto segregated proms in other regions.

    However, lest those of us who live in other regions get too haughty, we might reflect about the self-segregation in our own regions–all white or almost completely white suburbs or neighborhoods that result in all white or almost completely white socialization for children. I could look to myself and the mostly white neighborhood in Chicago I live in–that’s not why we chose the neighborhood, but we feel comfortable here and part of what makes it “comfortable” is undoubtedly related to its whiteness relative to other Chicago neighborhoods.

    The example Tod gave is truly reprehensible, and although I’m with Will, who said above that he has trouble thinking of a legal solution to that problem that he’d be comfortable with, I would hope that local politicians and citizens repudiate the practice. But as to whether this is a truly “southern” thing (as opposed to something more universal), then I reserve judgment.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Pierre Corneille
      Ignored
      says:

      As blacks noted eons ago, in the South they didn’t care how close blacks were, just how high they got. The North was the opposite, where a black could succeed but had to stay at arm’s length. In the North blacks were segregated by geography (different neighborhoods, different school districts), whereas in the South blacks and whites lived in close proximity.

      So only in the South were purposely-separate white and black schools required to segregate the student populations, yet the Southern system also made no exceptions for wealth or status – because the South was intolerant of blacks becoming as successful as whites. In the North, the whites didn’t mind the exceptions because they didn’t mind blacks becoming successful, so letting white kids and Huxtable kids go to school together wasn’t a problem since there weren’t that many Huxtables (even Archie Bunker tolerated George Jefferson, who had gotten rich). They were okay as long as their rich white kids didn’t have to go to a poor school filled with blacks.

      So the North has always had separate proms, ones for rich suburban kids (with a few token Dr. Huxtables and George Jeffersons) and ones for all the poor minority kids (blacks, blue collar whites, and immigrants).

      What’s odd is that the Northern influx into the sunbelt, along with increasing Southern suburbanization and economic growth, is reproducing the yuppy northern suburbs and gated communities and re-introducing Northern style segregation by school district. Unfortunately Northerners are largely blind to it because they think it’s normal, and that only the Southern ways produce racial segregation.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        “As blacks noted eons ago, in the South they didn’t care how close blacks were, just how high they got. The North was the opposite, where a black could succeed but had to stay at arm’s length.”

        I have never heard it put like this before, but it seems really correct.Report

      • Avatar Nathanael in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s also worth noting that race and ethnicity were NEVER the top issue in much of the north…. whereas *classism* is huge, and money has always been a large part of that (though there’s more to it than money).

        Listening to my grandparents talk about “shanty Irish” vs. “lace-curtain Irish”, the money division runs deep as a fundamental psychological factor across a very large portion of the country.

        It’s even worse in areas which were heavily influenced by the “prosperity gospel”.

        So now in much of the north, people have no problem with black people in their yuppie gated communities. As long as they’re *rich* black people who know all the right wines. “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” was actually making a point with the Banks family.

        Now, poor white people in the north will sometimes resort to racism because they realize that they’re lower class and want to believe that they shouldn’t be. This is seen as kind of pathetic… because (in the view of the average status-conscious person up here) their skin color isn’t important, it’s the size of their wallet and the cut of their suit which matters.

        Hmm. I’m kind of not making the North sound very good, am I?

        Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that in much of the North, anyway (I’m not talking racist Indiana here), people would genuinely be fine with it if the middle-class suburban party consisted mostly of black people like the Huxtables and Jeffersons, and if the upper-class party consisted mostly of black people like the Bankses. But invite the dirt farmers and mechanics and industrial laborers? Well, that… that would actually require overcoming some taboos….

        Anyway, my point is that in the North you should not think of racism as a primary motivator, at least not in the last 30 years. It is *strictly* secondary to classism.

        I’m not really sure how it developed in the South, but the plantation culture with its many servants made it very different — you had to allow the servants to be near you because they were live-in servants. The taste in the North has, for a long time, been for servants who are as invisible as possible and who go home (somewhere else! outside our gated community!) when their work is done.Report

        • Avatar Nathanael in reply to Nathanael
          Ignored
          says:

          Another way to put this. In a highly racist area, when you hear “not our sort of people”, it’s often code for “not white”.

          In a typical northern area, it’s often code for “not the same social class” or “not the same economic class”, or simply “not as rich as us”.Report

          • Avatar Nathanael in reply to Nathanael
            Ignored
            says:

            (Or, due to weird inverse bigotry, “not as poor as us”.)Report

          • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Nathanael
            Ignored
            says:

            There is still a lot of racism up north.

            The busing fights originated in Boston. Philadelphia is long known for a high amount of racism in the city including the incidents around Mayor Rizzio (a notorious racist) and the Mumia case. Plenty of norhtern cities also had “white flight” into the suburbs during the Civil Rights Years.Report

          • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Nathanael
            Ignored
            says:

            Though you are right that socio-economic status is the bigger divider in the North East (I am a native New Yorker). There are all sorts of permutations to this though. Staying in NYC and sending your kids to exclusive prep schools (even if a family really strains to afford the tuition) is seen as being “better” in some circles than moving to a well-to-do suburb and using the excellent but public schools.

            Then there are divisions about how you make your money with some path’s being more tasteful and acceptable than others. Investment banking > Trial Law in some circles as an example.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Nathanael
            Ignored
            says:

            Good comments all.

            This reminds me of Paul Fussell’s (sp?) book “Class”, which I highly recommend. (Yes, you do get points for pouring your beer into a glass). It’s written by a Britisher looking at the class system in America, and it’s like deToqueville for more modern times on a taboo subject. In the back he lists questions from British readers, and one asks about the complexity of the class system in America, explaining that they’ll be moving there. He advised that they’ll never possibly understand it fully because its vastly more complicated than the British class system, but since the reader was British they’ll get lots of free bonus points and so shouldn’t worry about it.

            Some of the early black literature (Ellison, etc) deals with the complexity of the Northern class system. Escaping the South they expect it to be just as simple but without facing the big barrier of race. Instead everything was far more complicated, far more subtle, and in many ways far worse because you couldn’t understand where all the glass walls were. Things weren’t labeled with signs.

            Northerners like to point to the South as being backwards, and when it comes to furiously generated and maintained status markers and social impediments, they’re probably right. Or as Southerners would observe, they all seem to despise each other, as if everyone’s great-grandparents had killed their pig but nobody would settle it with force of arms, so it just festers and nobody will talk about it directly.Report

          • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Nathanael
            Ignored
            says:

            rich whites in the south descriminate against poor whites as much as rich whites in the north.Report

          • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Nathanael
            Ignored
            says:

            most of the time both of these are combined together.
            Northerners are less likely to state it baldly. that doesn’t mean racism isn’t there.

            Driving While White is just as likely (if not more) to get you arrested as Driving While Black.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Nathanael
          Ignored
          says:

          “So now in much of the north, people have no problem with black people in their yuppie gated communities. As long as they’re *rich* black people who know all the right wines.”

          Yes and no. Chris Rock pointed out how his neighbor was a white dentist. He was a multi-millionaire celebrity and he lived next to a white dentist. For a black dentist to live in his neighborhood, he “would have had to invent teeth.” A joke, obviously, but accurate in terms of differing standards.Report

  13. Avatar Neil
    Ignored
    says:

    Until January, I lived all of my 41 years in “the New South” (Research Triangle region mostly, but one year in a town of 4000 people in eastern NC). The urban South really is pretty much like anywhere else in the US, and in some cases (like my hometown) is heavily populated by transplants. And then there are these pockets of the Old South where people hang nooses as a “joke” and hold segregated private proms. The patches of “Old South” have been shrinking in size for decades, but they hang on. That kind of thinking is probably pretty easy to hang onto when all the factory jobs vanish (once upon a time textile mills and furniture factories dotted rural communities throughout my home state…it wasn’t just farming out in the hinterlands), and when a whole new group of economic immigrants (Latinos) comes in large numbers to compete for blue collar jobs against the “crackers” and blacks who historically competed for those jobs. Plus, once upon a time the more ambitious crackers, including my own ancestral cracker people, were able to make a living farming smaller tracts of land and maybe running small businesses. Now big ag and Wal-Mart own farming and retail in these areas. None of this excuses the racism, but it might shed some light on it (or it might not). The rural areas of the Great Plains states have seen similar transformations, but maybe because they lack the racial history of the South, they aren’t as hostile to the new economic immigrants in such news-grabbing ways. The post above makes a good point–the just doesn’t happen elsewhere–but I’m not convinced that in terms of population, the communities where this crap still goes on are more than a tiny fraction of the South. Certainly it’s not like this in the urban South, but also there are plenty of rural communities where overt racism is pretty socially unacceptable, even while it lives on in private. The Georgia Governor’s position is pretty jaw-dropping, I certainly concede. It’s kind of ironic that no southern metropolis is more associated with prosperous Black middle-and-higher classes than Atlanta.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Neil
      Ignored
      says:

      Thanks for your perspective, Neil. Very informative.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Neil
      Ignored
      says:

      This was both excellent and incredibly informative; thank for taking the time to put that all down.

      And comment more, please.Report

    • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Neil
      Ignored
      says:

      If you want to entertain yourself, look up the percentage of large urban school districts that are white. The liberal bastion of Boston has a public school system that is less than 20% white. Whites who have the economic means find ways to isolate themselves from blacks and Hispanics. The idea that the south is more racist is somewhat laughable. Northerns learn to just keep quiet about their behavior. They learn to use the phrase “it is for the children” or “that school has real problems teaching students” to justify their housing choices or their private school choices.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to superdestroyer
        Ignored
        says:

        Whites are the true victims of race discrimination in America, just like Christians are the victims of religious discrimination here.

        Their sad, sad, status as the persecuted majority remains…perplexing.Report

        • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Morat20
          Ignored
          says:

          If you want to find some interesting reading, try digging through the Department of Education databases (like ERIC) and try to find the studies of white students in majority black schools. What little research that educators will bravely perform shows that white students are adversely affect by being sent to majority black schools.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Neil
      Ignored
      says:

      Some places its shrinking. other places its growing.Report

      • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Kimmi
        Ignored
        says:

        Whites are barely 50% of the public school students in the U.S. and will soon be less than 50%. What is odd is how little research educators seem to want to do on majority non-white schools and what happens if there are not enough white kids to bus around any more.Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Public schools. Feh.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Interesting reaction……Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to NewDealer
        Ignored
        says:

        It is pretty annoying when your tax money goes to not holding proms for other people’s kids.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to NewDealer
        Ignored
        says:

        I asked myself “How would a *REAL* Libertarian respond to this problem?”

        And then it hit me.Report

        • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Absent government-run schools, or government intervention, isn’t there a good chance we’d be asking ourselves about these parents going off to start their own school, instead of their own prom?Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman
            Ignored
            says:

            It seems like we’d have a lot more reason to be discussing funding of public education rather than funding of rites-of-passage for the pretty people.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              Maybe, but this whole thing we’re objecting to (well, most of us) is an initiative in privatization. Even if it were a non-government school, I think we’d still be talking about this.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, hate is ugly… no matter how you package it.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                If the state were involved, it would be hatred. This is merely freedom of association.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Will Truman
                Ignored
                says:

                You really think a school with a hundred people in their graduating class, who have spent the last 12 years together, and who depend on each other in equal measure in everything from tests to football games, has room for hate?

                I think you’re projecting a bit much.

                The white students picked a black homecoming queen, and that probably wasn’t because they hate blacks. It’s probably because she’s the most popular girl in school. Then the girls there realized that she wouldn’t get invited to one of the traditional graduation parties, and apparently her absence there would’ve been intolerable, whatever the traditions were. So they took it upon themselves to overthrow half a century of accepted county tradition and move everyone out of their comfort zones because they will not hold a party without the girl whom they love.

                So yeah, they’re just ate up with racist hate.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                The kids? Not so much. The adults? Ohhhhhh yeeeeeeaaaaaa.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Have any of the adults emitted one peep in support of the separate parties?
                The adults who started the previously accepted tradition are all about a hundred years old. People don’t tend to question traditions, which is why I’m sorely lacking in invites to bachelorette parties. (Yo women, it’s sexist not to invite me.)

                Most traditions and habits are never questioned, which is why they stick around. Americans swap hands when they use their forks, even though it hasn’t made any sense to do that in about three hundred years. We stick our pinkies out when we eat and drink, even though that hasn’t made sense in perhaps a thousand years. People still vote in huge numbers for the party of slavery, even though the practice was banned by Constitutional amendment.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Someone called the cops when a black kid showed up. That ain’t tradition… That’s unmitigated hate.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “I believe in traditional American values like a balanced budget, a strong defense, and making excuses for racism.”Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Gee, some calls the cops about a black guy happens about a million times a year up north in liberal areas. Must be because they’re all racist.

                To understand why someone would call the cops you’d have to imagine why they thought the arrival might mark the start of some trouble, perhaps based on a challenge issued in school. We are talking about a vengeance and honor culture, where everyone is aware that they live in a vengeance and honor culture, and that a house full of drunk teens of either race are going to be looking for an excuse.

                These assumptions about what everyone else must be thinking are a part of what maintains cultural traditions long past their due date. It maintained Southern racial separation long after the majority of Southerners wanted to abandon it, especially the influential business people who would rather have access to better labor but wrongly assumed that their fellow whites wouldn’t tolerate it.

                To realize what’s going on you have to put yourself in the mind of other members of the culture and see through their eyes. Admittedly its far easier to sit back and make fun of them as backwards primitives, the reflexive liberal attitude of those who can’t understand that other people might be different from them, much less see where the big cultural opportunities are, but it is worth the effort.

                You just have to quit making fun of how stupid Italians are because of their idiotic festivals, how backwards Irish are (another bizarre honor culture), the idiocy of Hispanics, the barely medieval customs of India, the primitive superstitions of Chinese, the seal-clubbing pom-wannabe Canadians, and tattooed half-cannibal New Zealanders.

                Once you quit hating and despising all those people, rural Southerners (black and white) are a cinch. They’re just people, very friendly people, whose lives aren’t built around hating everyone who is not exactly like them, unlike liberal Northerners. They like to fight, and they know it. They like to drink, unless they’re Baptist and won’t admit it. They like to fish. And most of all, they have a shared culture.

                Black culture is more like traditional Southern culture than it is like Northern or Western culture, because that is where American black culture comes from. Southern culture, not surprisingly, comes in large part from black culture. The slow drawl down South is from Portugal, via Africa by way of West African trade languages. Black English is a branch of Southern American English.

                So why make fun of Southern whites and blacks instead of just making fun of black directly? Why not poke fun of their primitive Southern culture and beliefs? Why not single them out for derision and assume that every bone in their body is motivated by hatred? All from a lily white perspective of social superiority, of course, unless you have Italian, Czech, or Polish blood like the people down in the copier room, unless you’re so mixed that your roots just trace back to a Ford production line in the 1920’s.

                Fifty years go the ancestors of these students made a cultural decision that became a tradition. Now their descendants have found reason to overthrow the tradition, so why should we make fun of them, their families, their heritage, or their culture? Why should we belittle them for doing what every other culture on Earth has been doing? Why do we not make fun of Japanese, Koreans, Bangladeshis, Indians, Vietnamese, or Mexicans for every ancient social custom they throw in the wastebasket?Report

              • Avatar Will Truman in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I think the calling of the police falls short of “unmitigated hate”, but I don’t think you can write enough paragraphs to make it anything other than really ugly. And I don’t think what you have said has particularly helped your cause here.Report

              • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t understand any of this comment.

                I suspect parts of it are tongue in cheek, but even so it is so weird.

                The use of the phrase “idiocy of Hispanics” should be apologized for immediately, IMO, and maybe some other stuff, too. Or at least make clear that you’re joking, if you’re joking.

                Still a pretty gross joke (and nonsensical) but if it isn’t a joke, I’d suggest to the powers that be that you be warned about crossing lines and being temporarily banned.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to George Turner
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                says:

                Shazbot, that comment was a mirror about all the condemnation of Southern whites and blacks because they come from a different culture, which far exceeded mere observation or advice and quickly sank to sanctimonious moral condemnation and the creation, out of thin air, of imaginary caricatures of phantom racists.

                Unfortunately this is an all too comfortable pose in some circles, which I was calling out. Since their imagined enemies are so familiar then no thought or understanding is necessary, and they just wade in with a broad brush and outrage by proxy and fill in all the thoughts and motivations for people they have never met, in a culture they have never even attempted to understand.

                What I find most bizarre is that while being a perfect example of the kind of American they purport to despise, they provide a perfect example of it. Sanctimonious, narrow-minded, insular, intellectually limited, self-centered, aggressive, judgmental, harsh, and the list goes on. Yet they convince themselves that they’re the opposite of all those traits. They’re not. They’re the case study, and it comes out whenever you present them with something that doesn’t happen in a culture whose odd quirks require “understanding.”

                You objected to one of my examples. You should have objected to ALL of them, because I was describing the mind of Archie Bunker as a mirror image of almost every liberal on this board. At least conservative take the time to try and understand the people we fight, and we don’t even bother to hate most of those we fight. We actually like them quite a lot. I can’t think of any people we’ve gone to war with that I didn’t like, from Cherokee to the Iraqis.

                Liberals will probably respond to that last sentence and claim it’s a dog whistle, but sorry, no. Conservatives don’t hate their enemies (except for liberals, who can all go suck eggs because their lives revolve around hatred and envy).

                In our world, today’s enemy is tomorrow ally after you kick him in the butt a few times or kick the butt of the person who’s persecuting them. And often you don’t have to do a thing, because they are kindred spirits. Mexicans are like that. We can’t really object to them because we can’t find a significant difference between us. If they take our place we’ll be proud, because we can’t think of a better inheritor who will keep our customs intact. Unfortunately, these are also conservative Catholic customs, which in any other context would open them to derision and condemnation by liberals.

                Blessed be to G-d that they’re voting Democratic right now, otherwise there would be machine gun nests set along the border.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I got about a quarter of the way through this, saw you were faulting the “vengence and honor” aspects of black culture, not the racist white culture, and just had to stop.

                Piss off.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                George,

                Show me where someone is saying all whites are stupid or racist. We’re not. Which is why your analogies fail. Pointing to a group of white people doing something stupid and racist and calling them such is not racism.Report

              • Avatar Citizen in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks for not painting with a homogeneous brush George. Many wouldn’t appreciate that. We are the same in that we are different, but lets not dare speak of it.Report

              • Avatar Matty in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                People still vote in huge numbers for the party of slavery, even though the practice was banned by Constitutional amendment.

                There’s a political party in the US that advocates slavery?Report

              • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Matty
                Ignored
                says:

                Just ask Rand Paul at Howard!Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                If you think the white kids and the black kids have been totally integrated while in high school, then you are a fool. Schools that are 50% white and 50
                % black have the classes that the white kids take and the classes that the black kids take. The are also the extra-curriculars that the white kids do (think golf or softball) and the extra-culliculars that they black kids do.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to superdestroyer
                Ignored
                says:

                SD,
                How many black kids were in your school? And what decade did you attend? As I said, I went to a school that was majority black by the time I graduated in 2001. We weren’t singing Kumbuya, but we sure as hell didn’t have a whites only party.Report

              • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I attended a school that was 40% white. However, the senior level calculcus class had a grand total of one black and one hispanic. Even in liberal cities like Alexandria, VA, the white kids all take AP classes to avoid the all black/Hispanic non-AP Classes. The Washington Post has written stories about it.

                At your high school, how many blacks were on the golf team or on the debate team?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t even know if we had a golf team or debate team, to be honest.

                And if whites are avoiding blacks, well, hard to put that on black kids.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Coincidentally, my son is on the debate team at his high school, and he’s the only white kid on it.

                Also, are white kids taking AP courses ” to avoid the all black/Hispanic non-AP Classes,” or are they taking them because AP courses can lead to college credit, and even if they don’t, they look better to colleges. Maybe, then, the reasons these classes are so segregated, when they are, might have something to do with the course tracks these kids are on, and perhaps there might be some racial dynamics related to these course tracks that aren’t so much about self-segregation as they are about systemic issues that exist well before these kids even get to high school?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                I went to a school with a graduating class of 50. Plenty of room for hate.
                Maybe these kids were better than my class.Report

  15. Avatar dand
    Ignored
    says:

    Wouldn’t one way to discourage this practice be to set up a website listing the every town that has a practice like this? I mean the shame of having the entire country know that your town does this make it less likely.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to dand
      Ignored
      says:

      I really like this idea.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        I actually looked to see if there was a comprehensive list earlier. Wikipedia mentions some, but I couldn’t find a comprehensive list.Report

        • Avatar dand in reply to Will Truman
          Ignored
          says:

          Why any of the civil rights aren’t groups doing anything about this; I mean the SPLC done a lot of good work but they’ve also gone after a lot of things that have are both less severe and less connected with their core mission than this (and that’s me being very diplomatic).Report

          • Avatar superdestroyer in reply to dand
            Ignored
            says:

            And what would SPLC do about privately organized parties that call themselves proms? Do you really want the government to go to the point on social engineering that they will control the private parties of high school kids.Report

          • Avatar Qub in reply to dand
            Ignored
            says:

            Because it’s not illegal to throw a private party, even if the reasons for it are ugly. It’s still not against the law to be an a-hole.Report

            • Avatar dand in reply to Qub
              Ignored
              says:

              pick-up-artist blogs aren’t doing anything illegal either but the SPLC still made an issue out of themReport

              • Avatar Chris in reply to dand
                Ignored
                says:

                Why do you think the legality of behavior is relevant here?Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                i don’t i was responding to bob. did you read his post?Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to dand
                Ignored
                says:

                Hmm… I suspect you just wanted to throw that little fact out, and used it as an opportunity, because I don’t see any clear reason why that is particualrly relevant to what Qub said.Report

              • Avatar qub in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                As dumb as it is for the SPLC to dilute its mission by focusing on pickup artists (not that someone else shouldn’t be doing so), I think dand’s point was reasonable. I suggested SPLC wasn’t doing anything because the private segregated parties aren’t illegal, and he pointed to something else that also was not illegal but that the SPLC was focusing on. It’s a fair enough point about the SPLC, even if the two activities themselves aren’t necessarily comparable.

                However, as I noted before, the premise that the SPLC wasn’t addressing segregated proms is factually incorrect.Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                it’s relevant because qub said that the reason the splc wasn’t going after them because they weren’t doing anything illegal, i provided an example of the SPLC going people who aren’t doing anything illegal showing that his reason was not valid.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, I suspect they’re not focusing on segregated proms largely because there’s not an identifiable group or set of groups that promotes them (or if there are such groups, they’ve probably already been identified by the SPLC). I could be wrong, of course.Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, I suspect they’re not focusing on segregated proms largely because there’s not an identifiable group or set of groups that promotes them (or if there are such groups, they’ve probably already been identified by the SPLC). I could be wrong, of course.

                Wouldn’t creating a comprehensive list of town that have segregated prom be more central to their stated mission of fighting racism than producing a list anti-government individuals.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                dand, I’m not sure. Let me ask you this: why do you think they listed those “anti-government individuals?” What was their explicit reason for doing so (they always provide descriptions and reasons for highlighting someone). I do think that it would be good for them, or another highly visible group, to list the places, and the schools, where segregated proms and other celebrations occur.Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                dand, I’m not sure. Let me ask you this: why do you think they listed those “anti-government individuals?” What was their explicit reason for doing so (they always provide descriptions and reasons for highlighting someone).

                Here’s why Judge Andrew Napolitano made one of their list He did nothing more than oppose leftist economic policies and his criticism of Obama hasn’t been any more harsh than his criticism of Bush.
                also this link that i posted aboveReport

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                If it is in fact the case that they go after people simply because their politics aren’t “left wing,” then yes, it would definitely be more productive for them to highlight the people who are holding segregated proms. It appears to me that there reasoning behind including Napolitano as one of the “enablers” go beyond him merely not being on the left side of the American political spectrum, but maybe I’m wrong (they do give an explanation; you could probably start there).Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                If it is in fact the case that they go after people simply because their politics aren’t “left wing,” then yes, it would definitely be more productive for them to highlight the people who are holding segregated proms. It appears to me that there reasoning behind including Napolitano as one of the “enablers” go beyond him merely not being on the left side of the American political spectrum, but maybe I’m wrong (they do give an explanation; you could probably start there).

                They’re reasons for going after him are that he criticized the community reinvestment act and Healthcare reform.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                dand, I think you’ve left something out of your description of their explanation, probably the thing that they used to justify his inclusion. But I’m not going to press you, even though what you left out is in the link you provided, because this is clearly a partisan political issue for you, and I’m not particularly interested in partisan politics.Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                , I think you’ve left something out of your description of their explanation, probably the thing that they used to justify his inclusion. But I’m not going to press you, even though what you left out is in the link you provided, because this is clearly a partisan political issue for you, and I’m not particularly interested in partisan politics.

                It’s not a partisan issue for me.

                The only other things they mentioned are a couple of conferences he attended one on the Tenth Amendment and another on small government; how odes supporting the Bill Of Rights or wanting to significantly reduce the size of government merit inclusion on the list?Report

              • Avatar qub in reply to dand
                Ignored
                says:

                dand,

                Your premise was wrong.Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to qub
                Ignored
                says:

                how was it wrong?Report

              • Avatar Qub in reply to qub
                Ignored
                says:

                Sorry, don’t know what happened with that link. Try this.Report

              • Avatar dand in reply to dand
                Ignored
                says:

                their stated reasons for going after him are that he criticized the community reinvestment act and Health care reform.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Will Truman
        Ignored
        says:

        http://douchebag.edu/ is available.Report

  16. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    Ya know, I respect and appreciate Tod’s request to avoid turning this into a needless bash session of the South and Southerners as a whole. Though I haven’t ready every comment, it seems to me this has largely been avoided and criticism directed that way has been targeted, specific, and evidence-based.

    Now, if only we could extent that same request and same level of respect to people of color. I’ve seen more comments here on the problems with black culture than the problems with Southern culture. That is… curious…Report

    • Avatar RTod in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      Meh…

      This happens every time we talk about race. Some guy shows up and comments at length about how Chuck E Cheese is the most dangerous place on Earth and then when they see that we talk about things over than race they disappear – presumably to find another blog to wonder out loud why their fellow whites can’t see things the way they do.

      Best ignored.Report

  17. Avatar Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    Tod, I haven’t gone through all of the comments, so forgive me if this has been covered already, but the South is different, and anyone who denies this has never spent any time there. Let me start by saying that the South is different from itself. I’m from Tennessee (the southern part of Middle Tennessee, which is close to, and similar to, northern Alabama), which is basically 3 states, one of which is more similar to North Carolina and Eastern Virginia than it is to the Memphis area, which is a bit like most of Mississippi, which has parts that are similar to southern Louisiana and Alabama, while much of Alabama looks like much of Georgia, and parts of Georgia look like Tennessee or South Carolina, while South Carolina is in some places just weird. Oh, and Florida is Florida, and Georgia, and New York, and the Caribbean. And don’t get me started on my current home, Texas (which is bigger than several states combined, and might as well be several states). Oh, and I’ve lived in Kentucky too, which I don’t really consider the South, though southern and Western Kentucky are pretty southern, and Northern Kentucky is basically Ohio, Louisville is Indiana, and Eastern Kentucky is a different planet complete with its own alien language.

    I start with this because its worth noting that different parts of the South are healing, or progressing, at different rates. However, cultural and institutional racism are the legacy of pretty much every place I’ve mentioned, and to varying extents its residue is still very much a part of Southern culture. One way in which this causes the South to differ from much of the rest of the country (though not all of it; I recommend a visit to Indiana if you think the South is wholly unique in this regard) is that you will find varying amounts of explicit, unapologetic racism in most of the South. This ranges from Confederate flags on the back windows of pickups to racial violence, with various types of segregation in between.

    The difference, in case its not clear, between the South and much of the rest of the country (but again, not all of it) is that the racism is explicit, it’s on the surface and easy to see. In much of the rest of the country its more under the surface, though its effects are just as real, whether its housing and how different neighborhoods are treated by business and government alike in Chicago, or the treatment of immigrants in Southern California, racial profiling in New York, or the well-maintained whiteness of Oregon and Washington state. I’ve met people from Montana who’d never seen a black person until they left Montana, and their attitudes toward black people reflected this. White flight in Michigan and Illinois and Missouri and plenty of other places is as real as any explicit racism in the South. And so on.

    I don’t say this to excuse the places where there are still segregated proms. These are genuinely terrible things that can cause real damage, particularly in the lessons they teach the kids iun those places, but if you are outraged by this and not, say, by the way Chicago treats people of color, or Detroit, or Oakland, or any number of non-Southern places, I’m not sure what to tell you.Report

    • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      This was good. Thanks for this.

      And FTR, I am not suggesting that racism does not exist in other parts of the country – it clearly does. But there is still something about segregated proms that seems inconceivable to me in 2013. I can see how a community can develop poor black and affluent white neighborhoods, for example, and do so in a way where its white citizens are able to tell themselves a story that says it has nothing to do with race to make themselves feel better.

      But the prom thing… it just requires a level of conscious, visible and public choice by the community at large (or at least the white community at large) that I had kind of assumed assumed we’d shamed out of existence.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Tod Kelly
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, that’s what I’m getting at when I say that to varying extents throughout the south, explicit racism is still common, and not generally shamed. Hell, people don’t even bat an eye at it much of the time, because it’s just a part of the fabric of their cultural environment. I think this is deeply unfortunate, and while it is changing, it’s not changing fast enough (clearly, if there are still segregated proms and Mardis Gras celebrations in some places, just to use two examples).

        The other point I wanted to make, though, is that I think it’s unfortunate that these explicit forms of racism tend to act like cultural backlights that, shining directly in our eyes, blind us to the less illuminated forms of racism that are equally pernicious (in some cases, like Chicago, significantly more so). Sometimes the devil you know isn’t as bad as the one you don’t, except to the extent that the devil you know’s behavior distracts you from even looking at the behavior of the devils you don’t know.Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris
          Ignored
          says:

          Let me follow this up a bit.

          My hometown is actually a pretty good example of the distinction I’m making. When I was a kid, it was small, about 65% white and 35% black (there were few other ethnic groups, as was common in much of the South). Most of the people who lived there were native southerners, native Tennesseans in particular, and it wasn’t uncommon to find people whose parents’ parents had gone to the same elementary school we attended. Racism was still very much on the surface, and the environment was at times extremely toxic. By the time I was in high school, when the Saturn plant had opened a few miles down the road and a bunch of people from the North and Midwest had moved in (roughly doubling the population to a solid 16,000 in less than 2 years), the culture began to change, and it became less acceptable to be explicitly racist. This led to a backlash by the Old Southerners, most notably for me in the form of the Confederate flag being displayed more and more prominently at my high school (the t-shirts the senior organizing committee produced for my class, which was almost exclusively white, featured it prominently), and some half-hearted though fully offensive invocations of the Klan by some people in town. But the town continued to grow, and more and more people moved in from other parts of the country, making the explicit racism less and less common and more and more socially unacceptable. Now the town is 10 times the size it was when I moved there, it’s 85% white, almost all of its non-white residents live in one of two parts of town, the schools are mostly white, the country club is as white as it was when, back in my childhood, it didn’t admit black members, and there are no elected black members of city government. This is progress and regression at the same time. It’s frustrating and sad and seemingly inevitable.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Chris
      Ignored
      says:

      The one time I heard the N-word used out lout, in public, amongst strangers, unapologetically was in… Maine. That is about as far north as it gets. Though we tend to joke that Maine must have some wraparound quality to it… you’ve gone so far north you’ve wrapped around to the south. Where we fish up there, everyone has a southern-ish accent, listens to country music, and is okay with a guy yelling out the N-word in a bar. Go figure.Report

      • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        Maine is the whitest state in the nation.

        I haven’t lived everywhere in the state, obviously. And the area where I live now is in the southernmost tip, where people would fall into horrified silence were the “N-word” uttered thusly. But it wouldn’t shock me in the least to know that there are parts where attitudes are quite different.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Russell Saunders
          Ignored
          says:

          Yea… we were way out there… Moosehead Lake. I should note that the statement was one man saying it one time and he was pretty drunk. My friends and I made some rustling about it (not as much as I wish we had, in hindsight) but ultimately decided to simply leave the bar as we were in a town we were not familiar with and didn’t know how things might escalate. The comment was met with awkward silence by other patrons and a hasty apology by his friend.

          I don’t mean to cast aspersions on the entirety of Maine… or the south… or anywhere. Just trying to point out that, going along with Chris’s point, racism is alive and well in various forms through the entirety of our nation.Report

          • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            The first person I met from Montana who’d never seen a black person until she moved out of Montana (I’ve since met a couple more) was a woman I dated back in college (she was older). One day, she called me up in a rage, almost gasping for breath she was so worked up. She began to tell me about the car accident she’d just been in. When her story got to the woman who had run into her, the racial slurs, epithets, and exclamations of racial stereotypes that came out of her mouth would have made some of the old Sons of the Confederacy (who were actually sons of people who’d fought for the Confederacy) in my hometown back in the early 80s blush. I got off the phone, sat in the same seat, stunned, for several minutes, and then called her back and told her that I didn’t think we should see each other anymore. To this day I can viscerally recall the horror that I experienced as my hardly virgin ears took in the hate that she was spewing. She was a successful, well-educated, and thoroughly modern woman, and to my thinking at the time, non-Southern which meant less racist, which made it all the more shocking to hear such vile things come out of her mouth.Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Chris
              Ignored
              says:

              Heh… it is amazing what we learn about the people we date, isn’t it?

              I had an ex… we were very serious and had a pretty ugly breakup… and we attempted to clear the air by meeting for a drink once I moved to NYC, where she lived. I was dating Zazzy at the time, though it was relatively early in the relationship. She knew about this, via Facebook or mutual friends or whatever, and asked about her and I said things were going well but it was early. I then asked if she was dating anyone, to which she responded, “I am… it’s going well, but it’s not that serious… he is Hispanic.” Apparently him being Hispanic and him being serious were mutually exclusive propositions. And right then I knew that us breaking up was the right move and whatever hopes/feelings I harbored of reconciliation were gone.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it weird that, as I typed that story, I felt guilt for breaking up with her on the same day she’d been in a car accident? I mean, on the one hand, we all say shit we wish we hadn’t said when we’re really, really angry. On the other hand, that sort of thing doesn’t come out unless it’s in there somewhere, and what I learned was in her on that day was too much for me to overlook.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh… presuming she wasn’t lying in a puddle of her own blood or writhing in pain in the hospital, I think what you did is probably fine. It might have been better to wait until things calmed down, but I don’t think it inappropriate provided she was fine after the accident.

                And therein lies the rub. You’re wondering if your response to her blatant racism, a time where you were probably really angry, was appropriate, but I doubt she is being so retrospective.

                It is sort of like when that old racist/sexist/homophobic relative says something racist/sexist/homophobic, and the person who calls them on it is see as “causing trouble”. That bothers me to no end.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh… presuming she wasn’t lying in a puddle of her own blood or writhing in pain in the hospital, I think what you did is probably fine. It might have been better to wait until things calmed down, but I don’t think it inappropriate provided she was fine after the accident.

                And therein lies the rub. You’re wondering if your response to her blatant racism, a time where you were probably really angry, was appropriate, but I doubt she is being so retrospective.

                It is sort of like when that old racist/sexist/homophobic relative says something racist/sexist/homophobic, and the person who calls them on it is see as “causing trouble”. That bothers me to no end.Report

      • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        Try hearing it suddenly from your father when you are visiting for Christmas with you new wife…Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to ThatPirateGuy
          Ignored
          says:

          Wow… that’s… wow…

          Don’t get me wrong… I heard it before… from parents, from friends… sometimes “joking”, often times serious… but always behind closed doors with familiar company. This was a guy deciding that the appropriate way to respond to a Michael Vick highlight on the TV of a half-filled bar was to say, “Someone should shoot that nigger in the head,” and a fairly loud decibel.Report

          • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            This last Christmas as I got married Dec 1 2012.

            It was a story about how the casino told a black woman she had to give up one of her slot machines to my Dad because customers who are sitting in front of a machine take priority over customers playing multiple machines.

            My wife and I were stunned.Report

  18. Avatar BlaiseP
    Ignored
    says:

    The most segregated prom in the nation is the Congressional Black Caucus.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to BlaiseP
      Ignored
      says:

      I was waiting for this (I actually searched for “Congressional Black Caucus” when I came into the thread). At least the world is still somewhat predictable. I was starting to experience a bit of vertigo there for a moment.Report

      • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Chris
        Ignored
        says:

        When it comes to Racial Agendas — how did Orwell put it? All Animals are Equal. But Some are more Equal than Others. Some of us continue to believe these sorts of things are genuinely terrible that can cause real damage, particularly, as you were so good to note, in the lessons they teach the kids. For CBC arranges for their own kids to benefit from scholarship money donated to CBC, most notably a certain Rep. Sanford Bishop, easily one the most corrupt members of Congress.

        But nothing can be said of him, or that racist Mel Watt, or Sheila Jackson Lee, who believes the Tea Partiers are equivalent to the KKK and who also believes Neil Armstrong landed on Mars. We must all endure these frivolities and excesses, gloss them over like the behaviour of a particularly obnoxious child in a public setting. You’re damned if you say something about it to the parents, your evening out spoiled if you don’t. And there seems to be no maître d’ to whom to appeal.

        Racism being what it is and segregation the mortal enemy of human society, it seems fair to note, in your own words, this is about the lessons we’re teaching the kids. I know, I know, this rationale is often used as a Special Pleading, an appeal to emotion to the point of inadvertent comedy. But the Congressional Black Caucus represents something particularly ugly about race relations in this country. Were it the case that CBC represented some outreach to other cultures, there might be some defence for its existence. CBC is no such thing.Report

        • Avatar Chris in reply to BlaiseP
          Ignored
          says:

          I wish there was no political or social need for the Congressional Black Congress. I think there is a political and social need for the Congressional Black Congress. I’d love to be able to discuss with you why I think that, but given that you bring this up in every discussion we have on the League about race and racism, I’m not sure it would do either of us any good.Report

          • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Chris
            Ignored
            says:

            Given that CBC continues to be a Segregated Prom, what needs, political or otherwise, does CBC address? Start there.Report

            • Avatar Chris in reply to BlaiseP
              Ignored
              says:

              The point of the CBC is that the rest of Congress, mostly white men, tends not to address issues that may affect white men less than they affect black people. The CBC may not be very effective at promoting those issues, but then we live in a country where the political system is so broken that, unless you’re a banker or a stockbroker, chances are the issues important to you aren’t going to get addressed no matter who is pretending to represent you in Congress.Report

          • Avatar Just Me in reply to Chris
            Ignored
            says:

            What always had me confused about the CBC is how come it is only about the black politicians? You would think it would be more about the black constituents than the politicians themselves.Report

            • Avatar Chris in reply to Just Me
              Ignored
              says:

              Wait, you’re telling me that there is a group of politicians that is more interested in getting themselves re-elected, entrenching their power, and padding their own pockets than they are in improving the lives of their constituents? I refuse to believe it! Nothing like that could possibly ever be the case.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Chris
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, you know how those people can be… with their hip hop and self-serving attempts at retaining their jobs and political power.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Hip-hop inducted Aerosmith as an honorary member pretty early on. Do you remember the MTV video where Steven Tyler used his mike stand to pound through the wall dividing his band from Run DMC?

                Maybe not. Maybe that was just a pigment of my imagination. Hip-hop’s biggest fans were suburban white boys and they entered its ranks with remarkable speed. Now nobody even thinks of hip-hop as black or white or Hispanic, everyone’s in on that game and they glom samples from everything from Kraftwerk to P Funk. Nobody cares.

                Now why can’t CBC manage this little stunt? If a political Steven Tyler tried to break through the wall CBC has set up, he’d be told to STFU and go away.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to BlaiseP
                Ignored
                says:

                Someone did try. And was rebuffed. And he accepted it.
                “Quite simply, Rep. Cohen will have to accept what the rest of the country will have to accept—there has been an unofficial Congressional White Caucus for over 200 years, and now it’s our turn to say who can join ‘the club.’ He does not, and cannot, meet the membership criteria, unless he can change his skin color. Primarily, we are concerned with the needs and concerns of the black population, and we will not allow white America to infringe on those objectives.”

                We really need to stop pretending that the experiences of people of color in this country are exactly the same as those of whites and thus they should be treated and viewed in exactly the same light. Like, immediately.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Every constituency has its own issues and caucuses are as old as the political system in this country. No other caucus in Congress rejects applications for membership in this way.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m sorry Kazzy but who are you to tell us what we should or should not do? Oh, I get it, even though there is a representative of a majority population of blacks who is whites who was elected by the blacks in his district he is really not representing them. He has no plans to try and make their lives any better. I guess any time any black person votes for a non-black person they are just how do I say….dumb. They are voting against their own best interests. I mean we ALL know that only blacks can represent blacks.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                JM,

                People tell each other what to do all the time. It amazes me that it raises a particular level of outrage when it is done in advocacy of people of color.

                You can pretend anything you want. But the reality is what it is. And I think people should avoid pretending otherwise. But I’m not going to actively stop them.

                Go read the CBC’s mission. It is not what you appear to think it is. And it justifies exclusive black membership.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Are you familiar with the book “When Jews were Black”?Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Kazzy, ok I think I read the mission. They are supposed to be the voice of the black community among their peers. Wouldn’t that mean that anyone how is representing the black community should be a member of the CBC? I really am confused here. Does this mean that the only way to represent the black community is to be black?Report

              • Avatar Mo in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Cohen should have responded by doing a color swatch off with G.K. Butterfield.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Ok, that is sad. So I guess we admit that the CBC is really just a political re-election club and it has nothing to do with making the lives of black non politicians any better. To my mind that makes it fair game for criticism. Or is it because the people in the club are black that they shall not be discussed?Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                JM,

                I don’t think any group or individual is above discussion or criticism.

                But, for me, if the criticism is solely based on, “Well, it’d be racist if white people did that,”I’m not going to take it that seriously because it ignores the vast difference in experiences, both historically and contemporarily, of people of different races (or genders or ethnicities or faiths) and the ways in which that should factor into our assessment of their actions.

                We’re moving beyond color blind towards color conscious.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                While this society continues to tolerate the likes of Mel Watt calling Ralph Nader “just another fucking arrogant white man”, I see no reason to think CBC is anything more than a diverticulitis sac on the colon of Congress.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Blaise,
                Ralph Nader is a unionbusting scab.
                I’d say that makes him plenty arrogant.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Yeah, I get it. We are at the point where responsibility for ones actions are negated by a collective past that made them decide to form their own group and then deny entrance to any person who may have a legitimate reason for joining. You represent a district that is largely black, a district that if filled with people we profess to want to help. We will help you when you elect a black person. Until then, sorry but he’s not really going to help you. I mean don’t you understand he can never represent you he is white. Seems to me you are advocating more self segregation on one hand and then advocating that it is bad on the other. I guess that is my frustration. Have you ever considered that it doesn’t ignore the differences in experiences but embraces them. I’m just trying to imagine a white person in the 60’s who thought racism was horrid and stood side by side with blacks to try and make changes being told that they couldn’t join a Congressional Black Caucus because they just really wouldn’t understand the black experience because they don’t have the right skin color.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                At least Mel Watt could have called Ralph Nader a fucking arrogant Arab. But you know, we “white men” all look alike to Mel Watt.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                JM,
                If you don’t think the needs and motivaions of a black person seeking a racial affinity group are different than a white person doing the same, I don’t know what to say.

                And I’ll tell you this… I wouldn’t reflexively reject an all-white group. Hell, I am a member of one: the White Anti-Racist Educators Allies group! If a race-exclusive group was formed to serve legitimate, constructive ends and felt that race exclusivity was the ideal way to do that, I wouldn’t object. That’s not happening with these proms. So comparing them to the CBC is flat out wrong.Report

              • Avatar DRS in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                So what magic powers do the CBC members have that other representatives don’t? JM, you talk as if constituents get their old age pensions cut off if their representatives aren’t in the CBC.

                We are at the point where responsibility for ones actions are negated by a collective past that made them decide to form their own group and then deny entrance to any person who may have a legitimate reason for joining.

                Actually that sounds like a good all-around description of the South to me. The South is big on collective pasts.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Am I given to understand black legislators get an automatic pass for making racist statements?Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                So what magic powers do the CBC members have that other representatives don’t?

                They award scholarships — to their own children.Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Blaise,
                *shudder* you just had to bring that up. Arabs are white, by government statistics (no, I don’t know why we default to calling “mutts” white). It took my friends in the next cube over 30 minutes to finish discussing that…Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Mhm. The Hausa sort people out the same way: bature includes Arabs and White People in the same pigeon hole. But Jews, they don’t get put in that pigeon hole, the Qur’an puts them in their own category so the Hausa do too.

                It’s very important we know which labels to apply to which people. We don’t dare say it’s all so much filthy racism and perpetuation of stereotypes or unscientific Us versus Them thinking. American halakha, without the mitzvah of not cherishing hatred in one’s heart.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                JM et al,

                Let me ask this. Would you tell a woman that she should be fine using a urinal because, hey, it works for men and, more importantly, you just don’t see gender because you’re gender blind? Seems a bit silly, no?

                So why is it appropriate to tell people of color, who both historically and contemporarily have been discriminated against and made to feel “other” and treated as outsiders and, as a coping mechanism, seek solace in others who share that experience of pain and oppression and who provide a space where they don’t have to feel all those things and who understand and empathize with their expressions of anger and frustration and sadness, which are so often dismissed when in other contexts, that they have to integrate their groups because, hey, you don’t see color and integrated groups are good enough for white folks, who are largely immune from all those indignities, so why should they need anything different?Report

              • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                kazzy,
                if there were actual discriminatory activities going on in the Senate — even merely “percieved” ones, I’d be a lot happier with the CBC.

                You want a good ol’ boys club? You tell me how the other folks are hurting your fe-fes.

                My ears are open, but I haven’t heard “this is why we’ve gotta have this”Report

              • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Kimmi,

                Go read their mission statement and other info on their website.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                To make your example work, Kazzy, we would need to re-segregate the public bathrooms. In my bathroom, the Girl Stuff is up there on the shelf. Many bathrooms are sex-integrated, it always seemed a bit silly and prudish to make such a big deal of our bodily functions.

                I’ve seen cases where a few kindly men will notice the women’s bathroom has a long line — and will form a little guard at the men’s room door and let a dozen grateful women rush in to relieve themselves. Any rationally designed building would build as many toilets into the ladies’ room as there are toilets and urinals in the men’s room.

                Seeking solace in others who share that experience of pain and oppression and who provide a space where they don’t have to feel all those things and who understand and empathize with their expressions of anger and frustration and sadness is one thing. Perpetuating the race line is another. Calling Ralph Nader a fucking white man is not exactly a position worth defending, though you’re invited to do so.

                If that’s what you want from America, if that’s what you think the Civil Rights movement was about, you’ve got another thing coming. What do you think Dr. King was talking about when he talked about his children being judged on the contents of their characters and not on the colour of their skins?Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Kazzy, I guess I am confused.

                Isn’t the Congressional Black Caucus supposed to represent the issues of black people in America? I’m not sure I see how if a congressional district that is overwhelmingly black elects a white representative that that representative should not be able to caucus with the CBC. I’m not saying every joe blow white congressmen should be able to caucus with them. I’m not even saying that any white congressman should be able to caucus with them. I am saying though that if the CBC is really about representing black communities why wouldn’t they allow in a congressman who is a non-black but represents a black district.

                Hope that clarifies things a little bit.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                Too funny DRS, reflect much?Report

              • Avatar Jim Heffman in reply to Kazzy
                Ignored
                says:

                “Would you tell a woman that she should be fine using a urinal…”

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_urination_deviceReport

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                Ahhh, we are back to you must be a racist. See I too can read code words.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                That was in response to DRS btw… put in the wrong spot.Report

              • Avatar DRS in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                Your comment makes absolutely no sense.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                So what magic powers do the CBC members have that other representatives don’t? JM, you talk as if constituents get their old age pensions cut off if their representatives aren’t in the CBC.

                We are at the point where responsibility for ones actions are negated by a collective past that made them decide to form their own group and then deny entrance to any person who may have a legitimate reason for joining.

                Actually that sounds like a good all-around description of the South to me. The South is big on collective pasts.

                You consider the south racist don’t you? If I am incorrect on that then I apologize.Report

              • Avatar DRS in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                You know, JM, if you’d get off this suspicious attitude that everything is some kind of code word and just read what people are writing, you might find this discussion more rewarding. It’s getting kind of embarrassing that you seem determined to pick fights where no one else is.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                Ooppss…again went in the wrong spot….

                Too funny DRS, reflect much.

                Belongs here.Report

  19. Avatar Tod Kelly
    Ignored
    says:

    Yeah, so remember when I asked people to treat one another with respect in the OP? Yeah, good times.

    A quick warning, then, that I’m not inclined to let the threads to this post devolve to the point of having to shut them down. So please refrain from words like “coward,” “needle dick,” etc. when addressing your fellow commenters.

    Anyone that can’t do so will get commenting privileges taken away for the day, or until the FP conversation moves on to other topics.

    If this doesn’t apply to you, don’t worry about it.Report

  20. Avatar Just Me
    Ignored
    says:

    Shazbot5,

    I decided to bump this out and my response got too ginormous to reply to every question you asked. No I do not think you are being rude for asking me these questions. Personally I think this conversation needs to be had. I have answered the other questions, juts not posted, but I think the important question asked was “I do think your post suggests (please deny it if I am wrong) that you think the fact that you should be sensitive about how you talk about race is unfair to you.” So that is the question I am going to attempt to answer.

    Do I think that I have to clarify every statement with I am not a racist and please do not construe my words as condoning racism and unfair….YES. The fact that as a white person I have to start with the premise that I am racist and then work my way back to show I am not racist is pretty stupid and unfair. I don’t know what life experiences you have had, but I am sure they are very different from mine. I have never met a black persona and thought, gosh I hate them because they are black, or thought gosh I wonder if they think I am racist because I am white.

    I don’t want to live in a world where that is the norm, where all interactions or discussion on race revolve around if I am sufficiently dismayed about the treatment that black people have experience. I want to live in a world and have been living in a world where I talk to people regardless of color, I talk to people regardless of sexual orientation, and I talk to people regardless of religion. I don’t apologize for not being religious, I don’t apologize for being a mutt and not having any real common ancestry to point to, I guess I could do the I’m English, Irish, Scottish, German, Prussian thing, but I don’t. I don’t apologize for being white. I am just me, a human being who grew up on a small dairy farm the second to last of eight children. Who was about sixteen before I even learned that the n word was a derogatory term and not a type of nut we ate at Christmas. Might I add that it still is upsetting to me that I still think to this day of that term when I see this particular nut. Who joined the military at 18 and had friends, boyfriends and people I didn’t like of all nationalities and backgrounds. I am just me, someone who when her brother’s boyfriend beat him up and tried to kill him didn’t automatically think that it happened because the boyfriend was black. All of his other boyfriends were wonderful and so were their families.

    Somehow I feel like I am stuck in a Twilight episode, where we say we want to move past bigotry and racism but where we are now swinging so far the other way that we are telling people they can’t be sensitive at being pigeon holed as a racist. Has anyone ever come right out and called me a racist. No, in fact the only time I feel like someone is doing such a thing is here on this board. On one hand they say well you didn’t say anything racist but you feeling like it is wrong to be considered racist makes you one. When we tell people that they can no longer have their feelings something has gone quite wrong, IMHO.

    It’s funny I always see the well here we go, they pull out the one black friend they have to try and prove they aren’t racist. Have you ever looked at the words written on this board, the words that make people feel like they have to put examples on not being racist. It’s like some loop, talk about race, someone says that is horrid. Go on to post how if anyone doesn’t get being black and has experienced what someone black has that they really haven’t experienced it. They are not black therefore they cannot fully understand or experience in the same way a black person does. Then comment that it is ridiculous to tell people that because they aren’t black they can’t have crappy experiences too and that they feel it is unfair to tell people that if they are white they just don’t get it. Then tell said person they have issues because if they can’t see that there is an underlying racist foundation for them feeling that it is unfair that they can’t be white and feel as they feel. END Begin loop again.

    I’ve been trying to really understand why this loop keeps happening. I think it is because we are supposed to stop after acknowledging that racism is still alive and well and that as a white person we are never going to be able to understand exactly what a black person experiences. That is where we are supposed to stop. I’m not sure how we move into a world were racism doesn’t keep occurring everyday if we stifle discussion, but hey what do I know.

    Oh…and because you asked. Yes I think it is wrong that there are segregated proms. I am happy that some students are taking action and saying we don’t want segregated proms anymore. Do I think that it is a slap in the face to every black person knowing that the reason the proms are segregated is because of racism? Yes. Again I find it insulting that I even have to answer that question, in my world that is a given. But I understand that to some it is not and I also understand that for saying it makes me feel insulted can be construed somehow as to that I am making this all about the poor me white girl instead of where it belongs focused on the black kids who this affects. See to me saying that I find this insulting is the same as saying that segregating their proms is so offense that having to even ask me that question is like saying that I must be ok with it happening.Report

    • Avatar DRS in reply to Just Me
      Ignored
      says:

      …that as a white person we are never going to be able to understand exactly what a black person experiences.

      But JM, you are experiencing what a black person experiences. You’ve just explained how annoying it is to have to constantly affirm your lack of prejudice and your good intentions. How do you think a black person feels constantly having to affirm that they are not drug dealers, that they are not criminals, that they are not planning for a lifetime on welfare, that they have middle-class aspirations like everyone else, that just because they’re an unfamiliar face doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to walk down the street? Breakthrough!!!!!Report

      • Avatar Just Me in reply to DRS
        Ignored
        says:

        How do you consider it a breakthrough? I consider it to be a step back. Maybe that is really the difference. I see that instead of changing people’s perceptions of black or any other minority for that matter, we are trying to take the bad experiences these minorities have experienced and make it so that white privileged ones experience them too. If that make sense. It all just feels like so much collective punishment.

        I don’t know if I am abnormal that I really don’t think there is a difference between a white person and a black person. I know that my significant other and I grew up having completely different life experiences. Do I have to experience his life experiences in order to be able to love him or to respect him? No. I don’t think I do. His experiences made him who he is and mine made me who I am.

        Ok, this is gonna sound a little crazy but when has that ever stopped me before. My best friend in the Air Force was half black and half Japanese. She married a white man. She was ridiculed by her black friends for stepping outside her race. Before she married a white man she dated a dark skinned black man. She was ridiculed for dating someone who was too dark. Here friends wanted her to hook up with someone who matched closer to her skin color. Not exactly mind you, but not too dark and definitely not white.

        I told her to marry whomever she loved. She was K first, she was the sweetest, most loving and sensitive individual I ever knew. Here skin color should not determine who she loves. Her skin color did not give the right for others to dictate to her who she could be with. Should I have not told her these things? I mean I am white how could I know really what experiences she had as a half black, half Japanese girl growing up in Alaska. Was it fair that I presumed to treat her just like my friend? Was it okay that I told her to follow her heart, to not worry about what others said? Should I have said well I am white, I can’t really relate to your experiences, your other friends are black so you should listen to them?

        I tend to be very literal, so to me saying that I as a white women can not pretend to relate to a black women let alone a black man is no different than saying that I should have told my friend those many years ago that I couldn’t talk to her or be there for her. I couldn’t let her cry on my shoulder and tell her to follow her heart, that it doesn’t matter what anyone else says, it just matters what she thinks and feels.Report

        • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me
          Ignored
          says:

          *hugs*
          I do not know. I come with open hands, but I am not a very empathetic person.
          I do not know what it is like to live in a neighborhood without hope.
          I do not know what it is like to have your friends turn on you, when they realize you’re from “the projects”.
          I do not know what it’s like to have your parents sell you into slavery.

          There are a great many things that it is hard to know.

          I do not know what it is like to live in a place where even the white liberals say “I hope my kid doesn’t marry a black guy.”

          But I try to keep my ears open, and occasionally stuff seeps into even my thick skull.Report

        • Avatar DRS in reply to Just Me
          Ignored
          says:

          I see that instead of changing people’s perceptions of black or any other minority for that matter, we are trying to take the bad experiences these minorities have experienced and make it so that white privileged ones experience them too. If that make sense. It all just feels like so much collective punishment.

          You can’t change people’s perceptions unless you first understand why the perceptions are wrong. Yes, when “white privileged ones experience them too” they can say “Oh, now I get it! I don’t like being judged in advance and being forced to constantly watch what I say and worry about how someone else is perceiving me! I’ll stop doing that and just chillax around fellow Americans who happen to be black.”

          Seriously, JM, just how difficult is this for you to get? Or do you think black people like playing some kind of game where they get to call people racist?Report

          • Avatar Just Me in reply to DRS
            Ignored
            says:

            Actually I don’t think it is the black people who are playing the game. In my experience it is the whites who play the game. In fact I have never had this discussion in person with a black person in my life. But I have had it with white people more than once. To make this perfectly clear I think that there are some white people who feel the need to shout that others are racist in order to affirm to the rest of the world that they themselves are not racist.Report

            • Avatar DRS in reply to Just Me
              Ignored
              says:

              To make this perfectly clear I think that there are some white people who feel the need to shout that others are racist in order to affirm to the rest of the world that they themselves are not racist.

              Which is what you’re doing. Thanks for confirming it.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to DRS
                Ignored
                says:

                Heh.

                JM: if what you say is right, then when conservatives say “Liberals are the real racists!” they’re merely signalling to others that they aren’t. Is that a fair assessment?Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I’d always thought that kind of obvious?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Really? I thought there was an actual argument justifying that conclusion. Liberals are the real racists because yaddayaddathisandthat.

                Maybe you’re right tho, and I’ve been giving conservatives too much credit.Report

              • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh, I think sometimes they are making an ideological point. I usually read it as an effort of exculpation. Of course I often read liberals that way, too. I tend to try to respond assuming earnestness, but sometimes that’s harder than other times. I’m really not a fan of the “liberals are the real racists” argument, even when it’s in advocacy of something I agree with.Report

              • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                And yes, Liberals have done as much to perpetuate the Race Line as any other political species. I’ve said it before, I grew up in Africa and to me, with some rare exceptions such as I’ve seen in the Gullah/Geechee culture and some rural parts of Louisiana, American black people don’t look black enough to be African. So I guess I’m a racist, too, or an African-ist or what have you, slap whatever label you want onto this sorting-out of people by race.

                I can look at someone and instantly tell if he’s Hausa. I’ll instinctively address him in Hausa. Invariably, he freaks out, though I’m hardly the only White Man to speak Hausa. I’ll see a Fulani or a Tamashek, I’ll size him up and we’ll probably end up speaking Hausa.

                The fact is, while we continue to sort out people by race, we’re all racists. It’s pointless trying to deny it. Insofar as we don’t consider one race superior to another, it’s a Mostly Harmless delusion, rather like religion, if you think about it. Take away the pejorative connotations: if you have a racial identity, you’re buying into the concept of race, ergo racist.

                Want to know a little dark secret? I used to maintain certain unpleasant stereotypes about the tribes the Hausa hate. We buy into this shit, almost unconsciously, though we know better. Liberals, Conservatives, Christians, Muslims, Hausa, White, we’re all tribalists and racists and bigots of one sort or another — well, I admit as much about myself. To transcend any of it, we must transcend all of it. We must reject all these Race Lines and Religion Lines and Tribal Lines. It’s the only route to sanity and brotherhood in the world. Every enlightened sage and politician has told us so. We just won’t believe them.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to trumwill mobile
                Ignored
                says:

                Or this: if conservatives are merely signalling, then the truth or falsity of the claim is irrelevant, right? I’ve always supposed that conservatives (some of them anyway) believed that when they say “liberals are racist” or “liberals are the real racists!” they were expressing a view that they thought was true.

                Have I been wrong all this time?Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Hmmm…good question. You mean like when they say well Liberals just want to keep the black people down by keeping them on welfare, they are the real racists? I don’t think they are merely doing anything. I think they are doing so for a myriad of reasons. One I feel is because they are trying to say fine you call me a racist you are the real racist. The other is because they are trying to say they aren’t racist. Maybe some even believe that somewhere there are Liberals who are trying to keep blacks down. I don’t know. Having lived with a delusional parent for many years I would not dismiss the idea that some really do believe that to be the case.

                Personally, saying someone is racist, especially as a group is poor thinking in my opinion. I believe individuals can be racist but I reject that all of any group is racist. I don’t know maybe my idea of what is racism isn’t correct.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Just Me
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t know maybe my idea of what is racism isn’t correct.

                I wouldn’t conclude that. The term is used in all sorts of ways which include all sorts of behaviors, beliefs and intentions, no? A discussion of whether X is racist requires getting pretty dern clear on a definition of racism before any discussion will be useful.Report

              • Avatar Just Me in reply to DRS
                Ignored
                says:

                Now that didn’t make sense. I will just agree that I am not sure what you mean and let it go with that. I think you are right, I have talked too much and now it is time to go back to doing homework.Report

            • Avatar Qub in reply to Just Me
              Ignored
              says:

              I have never had this discussion in person with a black person in my life. But I have had it with white people more than once.

              Base rate fallacy warning.Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Just Me
      Ignored
      says:

      I’m glad that you’re talking. Your voice is needed here.Report

      • Avatar Just Me in reply to Kimmi
        Ignored
        says:

        Thanks, Kimmi. I never feel like I have the writing chops to write here. I usually just sit in the background and read what everyone else has to say. There are some amazing writers here. I usually only pop on when I don’t really feel my “side” or viewpoint is being expressed. I wonder sometimes if others don’t share my viewpoint or if like me they are just “afraid” to express it. Afraid that it’s not going to come out the way the mean and just turn into a cluster of badness.Report

  21. Avatar DRS
    Ignored
    says:

    I think Just Me has done enough thread-jacking on this post. It’s becoming all about his willful refusal to listen to what other people are writing, and it’s becoming tedious. Personally, I’m going to ignore him from now on.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DRS
      Ignored
      says:

      For the record, I’m pretty sure Just Me has identified herself as female. Of course, if I’m wrong, please correct me!Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to DRS
      Ignored
      says:

      Stick your fingers in your ears and pretend she doesn’t have a point about the Segregated Prom that is America, and all the excuses being given for that segregation by various and sundry hereabouts, for all the good it will do you. All this weak-tea flapjaw defending the Race Line as if there were any good reasons for the Race Line is grimly amusing to me, personally.Report

  22. Avatar Recovered Republican
    Ignored
    says:

    A lot of people in the South are like the rest of us. A lot of people in the South aren’t. More aren’t than are. We keep hoping that will change but I doubt it ever will.Report

  23. Avatar Brett
    Ignored
    says:

    What is funny here is that the Northeast is by far the most segregated region of the United States and Southeast along with the West Coast is the least.Report

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