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BS: The Progress Never Stops ??

JohnInKansas 29 Apr 13 - 05:24 PM
Bill D 29 Apr 13 - 09:00 PM
Les in Chorlton 30 Apr 13 - 02:43 AM
Richard Bridge 30 Apr 13 - 03:19 AM
Megan L 30 Apr 13 - 03:38 AM
JohnInKansas 30 Apr 13 - 03:52 AM
GUEST,Musket sans reality check 30 Apr 13 - 05:29 AM
GUEST,gillymor 30 Apr 13 - 07:23 AM
Bill D 01 May 13 - 01:34 PM
GUEST 02 May 13 - 06:13 AM
Pete Jennings 02 May 13 - 07:29 AM
GUEST,sciencegeek 02 May 13 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Lavengro 02 May 13 - 05:40 PM
Bill D 02 May 13 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Lavengro 03 May 13 - 09:22 AM
Greg F. 03 May 13 - 10:02 AM
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Subject: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 05:24 PM

Students hold Georgia school's 1st racially integrated prom

Students at Georgia high school celebrate their first racially integrated prom.

By John Newland, Staff Writer, NBC News

Almost half a century after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed racial discrimination in schools and other public places, black and white students in Georgia's rural Wilcox County danced together for the first time at prom over the weekend.

"I feel like we are living Martin Luther King's dream," NBC station WMGT 41 quoted student Alexis Miller as saying. Miller, who is white, attended Saturday's event with her black boyfriend.

WMGT reported:
"Racially segregated proms have been held in Wilcox County almost every year since the schools integrated in the 1970s. In a long-standing tradition, parents raised money to host separate dances, the community referred to one as the "black prom" and the other as the "white prom." Traditionally, most students were welcome to the "black prom" but an unwritten rule kept students of different races from attending the "white prom." "

Wilcox County High School was quick to point out on its website that it hasn't organized or hosted the segregated proms that have been traditional. It called the events "private parties" over which it "has no influence."

Additionally, the school hosts an integrated dance called the Military Ball and says it will discuss making next year's prom an inclusive, official school event.

However, the NAACP has put the onus on Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, starting a petition calling on him to "put an end to segregated proms, homecomings, and other school related social events."

Georgia NAACP joins call for integrated prom after students plan their own dance.

But perhaps nothing had as much impact as a Facebook page started by the small group of students who organized the integrated prom.
As of Monday, with the prom finished, the page, carrying the banner "Love Has No Color" had almost 30,000 "likes."

So many donors came forward – from as far away as Australia -- that the students say they have money left over to help local families in need. And the publicity brought in DJs from Atlanta and Texas to provide the music.

The students' appeal was simple and from the heart:
"We live in rural south Georgia, where not too many things change," the page says. "Well, as a group of adamant high school seniors, we want to make a difference in our community. For the first time in the history of our county, we plan to have an integrated prom."

On its website, Wilcox County Schools praised the efforts of the student organizers, saying they were seeking "to right the wrongs of the past."

[I'm not sure what I can say about this. I guess it was in Georgia, after all.]

John


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 09:00 PM

I lived in Wichita in the 50s& 60s where, at North High, Lonnie James--popular black football player,was elected Homecoming King (in '56, I think) There was GREAT worry & consternation....about whether he would *gasp* KISS the white Homecoming Queen.

Lonnie was smart.... he didn't. That was one small step.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 02:43 AM

"Lonnie was smart.... he didn't. That was one small step."

Gasp


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 03:19 AM

Also gasp.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: Megan L
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 03:38 AM

There is a time for everything. A wise man chooses his battles and where possible removes amunition from the reach of the enemy(even if he does not think of them as an enemy)In the 1950's Lonnie James proved himself a wise man, better a small step forward than a dead hero and two steps back.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 03:52 AM

By an accidental consequence from how the population was distributed there were no blacks at West Hi in the early years after it opened, and those of us there probably were less aware of racial issues than those elsewhere, but I believe it was '55 when the track teams pooled up to rent a bus for North and West teams to get to a meet. (I think it was in Emporia?)

On the way back to Wichita one of the North Hi sprinters (a hurdler whose name might have been McClintoch or something like that?) was complaining about pulling a muscle and said something about being cold, so I tossed him a blanket I had along.

He folded it up and handed it back when we got to Wichita, but as we were getting off the bus some smart-ass (I think he was one of the North Hi guys?) said something like "Ya better burn that."

It sort of puzzled me so I checked it out pretty carefully and informed him "Doesn't look to me like he crapped in it. It'll be okay."

It took me a couple of days to figure out he thought I should toss the blanket because it had been used by a black person.

I guess I just wasn't very aware of what was going on around town ... although I started to catch on a little better in the next couple of years. There were some pretty significant "events" there around that time.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: GUEST,Musket sans reality check
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 05:29 AM

I was in The USA on business not too long ago and in Tenessee with a guy visiting rural areas. He told me at which point to run. When you hear the banjos. ....

Keep banging the rocks together.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 07:23 AM

I always run towards the banjos(and guitars, fiddles etc.).

This is hardly a post-racial society, especially down here in the south, but in my lifetime I've seen a seismic shift in race relations, for the better. The recent easing of antipathy toward LGBTs gives me hope that we are still crawling forward, with the occasinal spurt, in spite of the best efforts of the mossbacks and fundamentalists.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: Bill D
Date: 01 May 13 - 01:34 PM

Gasp? Maybe I didn't convey the point clearly. Lonnie knew that being elected WAS a significant step. Kissing the girl at that time & place would have not been a good idea. In the 1950s, Wichita was one of the most segregated cites in housing... even though many schools were integrated after 6th grade. (Not that it was desired, it was just necessary in areas where there were not enough schools to divide along racial grounds.)

some background as to why I cared or followed these events:

I suspect that hurdler JiK mentioned might have been Curtis McClinton, who also played football and was 2 years ahead of me in school. IF that is the case, he later became vice-mayor of Washington, DC... and his father, Curtis McClinton Sr. became the first black state senator in Kansas in 1960. I know this because *I* ran in the Democratic primary in 1964, hoping to elect my good friend Andy Hicks by splitting the white vote to keep segregationist Lloyd Andrews from being elected. (A friend of mine recruited me to do this... I had no particular political asperations).We did not know Curtis McClinton Sr. was going to run again. He did, and I had the 'interesting' experience of debating Hicks, McClinton Sr., and Andrews on local TV. Senator McClinton approached me after the debate and told me I had made a good presentation! (He no doubt wondered who I was and why I was bothering.)
In any case, McClinton Sr won... and my 700+ votes allowed him to beat Andrews by about 300-400. We had quite a celebration, even though Andy Hicks came in 3rd. After the general election in Nov., I made my 2nd trip to Mississippi as part of the civil rights efforts, and later was active in the NAACP at Wichita State Univ.


(funny thing after the primary election: the guy who talked me into doing the primary race came up to me at the university and was exuberantly thanking me and laughingly said, "By golly Bill, you did great. Why, by the time I'm through with you, you'll either be governor or you'll be sick of me!"
"Hmmm..," I said, "David... what if I'm both?"
The look on his face was priceless!)


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 13 - 06:13 AM

Bill D... GREAT story!


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: Pete Jennings
Date: 02 May 13 - 07:29 AM

Any progress on integration is good.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 02 May 13 - 01:45 PM

"Lonnie was smart.... he didn't. That was one small step."

Gasp

Just before the civil rights riots started in the later "60's, I was in junior high in New York state... eastern end of Long Island and remember when our one & only black student transfered in. It wasn't until years later that I finally figured out why he was so skittish when I invited him to join me at one of the empty lunch tables... and practically raced away to an empty table.

Then in my senior year in college (1973) my roommate's best friend... who happened to be a really nice black gal from Long Island... was sadly informed that she and her white boyfriend wouldn't be able to come along on a trip down to Florida because it might provoke a nasty incident.

Amazing what we seem to be able to find something to hate ... me- I think I'll hate bigotry & prejudice.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: GUEST,Lavengro
Date: 02 May 13 - 05:40 PM

Gotta be honest stuff like this is so incongruous it absolutely baffles me?

The US has a president who is a black second generation immigrant from a single parent family (we are sooooo far away from anything like that in the UK, where we are governed by out of touch public schoolboys and even the opposition leaders are carved from the same log!), and then there are ongoing situations where segregation on the grounds of ethnicity are apparently allowed to pass unchallenged for decades. I can't grasp it at all?


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: Bill D
Date: 02 May 13 - 06:06 PM

The answer is fairly simple.. although the details can be quite complex.

First, the US is so much larger and diverse. People of different backgrounds settled different places. With several thousand years of history and until recently 'rulers', it may be hard for you to comprehend a 'new' nation made up of settlers trying to invent a common relationship.

Second, when we officially became independent, the various states were far apart and had only a little awareness of what the others were like... so "states rights" was written into the Constitution, giving a huge amount of discretion to each one as to how they were governed. The South was largely rural, and became dependent on slavery to do the farming, etc.
Then, as railroads and telegraph brought the states 'closer', slavery became an issue and we fought that long Civil War over whether there should BE a 'union'. The south lost, but many never quite got over either losing or having to accept former slaves as equals. Thus, attitudes of racism, while seen everywhere, were more pervasive in the south. (You in the UK are not immune to the basic issues of racism.. you just don't have laws which implicitly support it in different areas.)

Entire books have been written trying to explain all the changes and sociologists debate endlessly why racial stuff persists. Short answer... we are dealing with humans in a very complex demographic situation...and we have Mexico on our southern border, which further complicates the current situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: GUEST,Lavengro
Date: 03 May 13 - 09:22 AM

Hi Bill,

I have been fortunate to travel around a bit in the US and I do (as much as an outsider can?) appreciate what you are driving at.

I guess my point is that some things are important enough to have laws at a national level taking precedence over State Law (IMO). I just think that anything that devalues your fellow human beings (racism, child labour laws, domestic violence etc.) should have no hiding place in the US because of a locally applied law, and was voicing my surprise that it did. I was aware of local law covering things like alcohol, helmet laws and concealed weapons etc. but didn't realise until I read your post that it extended to issues like equality and race.

"You in the UK are not immune to the basic issues of racism"

No argument there (I live with it on a daily basis), hence my comment about the UK (IMO) being some distance away from an elected black leader.


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Subject: RE: BS: The Progress Never Stops ??
From: Greg F.
Date: 03 May 13 - 10:02 AM

So I asked them why they spent their time
With segregation on their minds.
They said "If you don't like to live this way,
Get out of here! Go back to the U.S.A.
Live with all them Russians.... & New York folksingers."

Some say they've passed their darkest hour
Those moderates are back in power.
Oh, they listen close with open ears
They'll help us out in a couple of hundred years.
But don't push 'em- whatever you do
Or else you'll get those extremists back in.

Phil Ochs
Talking Birmingham Jam.


Yup. The "New South". A couple of hundred years......


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