Wednesday, April 14, 2004

This comment from ValascaX at Savannahnow.com's forum:

"Trust me, I know from having grown up around there that this is the parents' idea, and not just the white parents. It's not what they consider to be racism because it's alright to go to school and work with people of other races, you just don't socialize with and certainly don't date other races. The three proms are the extreme manifestation of this viewpoint. Trying to tell them this is racist behavior doesn't do much good.
The Civil War has little or nothing to do with this mind set. It comes more from day-to-day interactions with people put into positions that stir racial divides through things like Affirmative Action, the school free lunch program and the consequences of integration that started in high school instead of kindergarten.
I say this because I am still trying to unlearn that very mentality. A person, any person, can only watch their classmates drive brand new cars and constantly get new clothes while receiving free lunches so long before questions form which turn to resentment. Take that resentment to college where the minority student is getting tuition paid although her parents make more than yours and don't have two other kids to support, and the resentment grows.
Now just imagine if I were a parent who moved back to my little hometown and encountered a fellow employee who got their position through Affirmative Action, and you have Toombs County. (not where I grew up, by-the-way)
Is it right? No.
Is it understandable? To a point.
Should it continue? Absolutely not, but the solution is a lot more complicated than re-integrating the prom."

I agree with the above, except that I think that the resentment over having lost the Civil War does play a small part in the discriminations, in the sense that "We're going to be who we are, not what you want to make of us," and some sense of vengeance and "The South shall rise again" ethos.

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