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Segregated Hearts and Minds

integrated prom

(ABC News)

Wilcox County High School in Georgia has two Proms and two Homecoming Celebrations each year.  There is one Prom and one Homecoming for students who are white, and one Prom and one Homecoming for students who are black.

If you are wondering how this is still happening in the year 2013, it helps to understand that the school doesn’t pay for these extracurricular activities.  The events are planned, promoted, and hosted by the parent-led “student groups” of teens who attend the school.

“The district hasn’t paid for a prom in 30 years, leaving the planning up to student groups that are free to organize them as they wish, Wilcox County Schools Superintendent Steve Smith told ABC News.”

In the past, black families sponsored the “Black Prom”, and white families sponsored the “White Prom”.  The kids have then historically done what they were “supposed to do”.

This year some kids are saying “enough”.

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Who We Are & Who We Can Be Pt.1

When I was seven I was caught shoplifting

I had been enjoying some unsupervised free-time in the toy department when I decided that I’d help myself to some Star Wars figurines.

This wasn’t the first time I had stolen something.

There wasn’t a high degree of difficulty involved because someone else had already opened the packaging. I simply waited until I was alone in the aisle and then placed three of the toys in pocket of my windbreaker. I walked out the door, got in the car, and headed home to enjoy the results of my inter-galactic crime spree.

I enjoyed them for about 2 hours.

When my mother found me playing with the toys, she asked me where I had gotten them. I knew that I needed to say that I had taken them from the store, but I didn’t tell her that.

I told her that “I found them”.

She didn’t believe me.

I was taken to see my father.

I told him that they were “given to me” by a stranger.

He didn’t believe me.

I was taken to see the retail manager.

I told him that I had stolen them.

He believed me.

If you know me well you’ve heard this story and how it turned me from a life of theft, but I want to point out that it took a significant amount of work by many people to turn the tide of rebelliousness and burglary in my life.

I had a proclivity for theft and no desire to turn from it.

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An Open Letter To The Person Who Just Used The Word “Retarded.”

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Photo: Brigada Creativa

To The Person Who Just Used The Word “Retarded”,

I know you aren’t a jerk, but you just used the word “retarded” regarding the line at Starbucks.

I know you didn’t think twice about it, it probably just rolled out as you described something that you find worthy of ridicule.

If we’re being honest it probably wasn’t the first time you’ve used it that way right?

You’ve probably used it to describe a movie you didn’t like, or a product you found defective. You’ve probably also said it about a person that you were angry with, or a rule that you think is too restrictive.

I’m not guessing when I say that you aren’t alone in using the word this way, because I hear it all the time. Sometimes it gets said by adults, often by kids. It gets used by “regular Joes” as well as the rich and famous.

I know that a lot of people think that it’s really funny. To get laughs they’ll shorten it to “tard” or over pronounce the “Re”.

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