Saturday, May 23, 2009

Hopefully This Puts An End To It

The NY Times has an article about racially segregated proms that endure in some southern towns. HBO is going to air a documentary film about the same subject. It will be interesting to see how many towns are shamed out of the practice by next year's prom season.

I'm surprised that such a blatantly segregationist practice has survived this long, though it is somewhat in keeping with social patterns I've seen in the south. E.g. one time back in the 90s, I was visiting a friend at a small southern college, and was sitting on a bench waiting for him. I had the bench all to myself, although the other bench across the lawn was full of people, which struck me as mildly odd. I asked him later about it, and he explained that I was sitting on the bench where the black students usually hung out, and the crowded one across the way was the bench where the white students hung out. I have no idea whether any black students had come along and decided not to sit there because I was, or if they all just happened to be in class for that half hour. I asked him who decided this rule, and he said it wasn't a rule, but just kind of a traditional thing that everyone seemed comfortable with. Well, here's hoping some traditions die out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they end I hopes its becasue the people is the South decide it is wrong not because it offends the sensibilities of NYT readers

6:59 AM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger QueensGuy said...

Anon, that comment is nonsensical. NYT readers, other than those in the towns in question, have no control over this situation. They get no vote.

7:05 AM, May 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Proms are parties, and you can't stop people from hanging out with the people they like, listening to the music they like. When I went to a college in the North, the black students had their own separate societies and parties and frats and places to sit for lunch. It was segregation by choice. It may not have been pretty, but if it's done by choice, I'm not sure what you can do about it.

10:55 AM, May 23, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually not nonsensible but in response to the language of your post. You connected "shame" with publicity in the NYT (and HBO too sorry) I hope for a world where races are not forced to nor choose to self-segregate but I don't think it will come from a bunch New Yorkers tsk tsking

1:02 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger QueensGuy said...

You still haven't clarified how it would it come from that, anon. Your idea is that southerners changing their behavior after being shamed by how they look to NY liberals would be bad, but why? Presumably not because they still think it's a good idea, but are afraid of our disapproval and so change against their will. So what's this magic power we NY liberals hold? I'm only continuing to push on this because I think this is a recurring, particularly irrational theme in right-wing discourse -- the idea that the NYT and the like can force conservatives to change to more liberal views against their will.

3:59 AM, May 25, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So your saying the New York Times has no influence. Might as well not publish, then.

12:19 PM, May 25, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to back up QueensGuy on this string of comments. Anonymous seems to be one of the multitudes who harbor resentment toward some idea of an all-powerful New York. Set yourself free! Your second-ratedness is all in your own head!

8:36 PM, May 25, 2009  

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