The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Stupid segregation

While reading news on the Internet, I came across a story that nearly made me physically ill.

“What would happen if a black student tried to attend the white prom party with a white date? I hate to think of the problems this would cause.”

In Taylor County Georgia, white students at Taylor County High School have decided to hold a separate, private party for whites only.

Is this legal? Yes, as long as its not school-sponsored.

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The school’s actual prom, however, will be integrated.

Another startling fact is that the school’s first-ever integrated prom was held last year. The school even has a black and a white class president.

Does the school still have separate bathrooms and drinking fountains, too?

Maybe I’m just an ignorant northerner who has no idea about racial tensions. – my high school was nearly 100 percent white.

However, I am not na‹ve enough to believe that segregation was eradicated with school integration. I understand that racial integration is still taking place, and that many people out there in the north and the south are racist and would prefer races remain separate.

Even in my high school, people had the confederate flag plastered all over their Ford and Chevy 4×4 over-sized pick-up trucks. And, as I said, they really didn’t have anyone to be racist against. It was more of a lifestyle choice for those individuals.

However, it is still disturbing to think that 40 years after Martin Luther King Jr., schools are still holding separate proms; and its the students’ choice.

According to the article by the Associated Press, a small group of white students proposed the separate white prom, which will be held on a different date than the integrated prom, so whites can attend both if they so choose.

I find it hard to believe that students wouldn’t want to attend a prom with all the schools’ students. At any school, there are groups of kids that don’t get along – that’s the nature of high school. There must be inter-racial couples and inter-racial groups of friends.

What would happen if a black student tried to attend the white prom party with a white date? I hate to think of the problems this would cause.

The south has been stereotyped as having a problem letting go of racism and segregation, and situations such as this further these stereotypes.

Having these types of events also promotes more racism and segregation. The younger generations see the separate proms and think it’s OK. Therefore, when it’s time for their prom to come, they will think a separate white prom should be offered, too.

The students themselves can’t be blamed; they’re fighting hundreds of years of segregation, and 31 years of segregated proms.

All we can hope for is that these students will mature and understand segregation and racism and teach the younger generations that segregation is not the answer to racial difference.

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