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Failing Your Save Vs. Racism

« June 2013 »


The courts have a concept called "settled law". It means that certain things have been debated and adjudicated enough, so shut the fuck up already. The "shut the fuck up" part is usually hidden in Latin, but it's there. This is not true in politics. "Shut the fuck up" is never, ever hidden in politics.

For example, do you think schools should have separate proms for black students and white students? Of course you don't. You're not a fucking barbarian. There should be no question that proms where all students, regardless of skin color, are welcome to attend are a good thing. You might even think it's such a good thing that you'd be aghast to learn that, until this year, a county in Georgia had segregated proms every single year.

Wilcox County stepped into the brave new world of the 1970s this year, following a student-run effort to fix something that was clearly and obviously broken. So when Better Georgia asked Georgia governor Nathan Deal to come out in support of integrated proms, this was his spokesman's response.

"He wrote, "This is a leftist front group for the state Democratic party and we're not going to lend a hand to their silly publicity stunt."

This, of course, is the wrong answer on two fronts. First, no matter who asks you to do it, saying integrated proms are a good thing should be a political no-brainer. Even in fucking Georgia. And second, if, for some reason, a liberal group is trying to "get" you with a silly publicity stunt, you gave exactly the answer they'd want, dumbass.

This, as you can imagine, did not go over well. So attempt number two was a statement that the governor was focused on important things, and trusted local leaders to make the right call. Even though local leaders had failed to make the right call for generations, and only now were students going around local leaders to make the right call in their stead.

So it was time for attempt three, and if anything, he backslid. ACTUAL THIRD ATTEMPT TIME!

"We don't need things like this being divisive. We think we have put most of those issues behind us. None of us condone things that would send the wrong message about where we are with regard to race relations. But by the same token, I think that people understand that some of these are just local issues and private issues, and not something that the state government needs to have its finger involved in."

I've seen exhibits at the zoo with fewer weasels than this.

First of all, integrating a prom is not divisive. Segregating it is. Second, you "think" you've got "most" of those issues behind you? Maybe, since you're IN CHARGE OF GEORGIA, you'd want to know you've got all of those issues behind you, and not settle for a gentleman's C+ when it comes to racism.

Notice how he doesn't even specify what the "wrong message" is, or where they actually are in regards to race relations? It's almost as if Nathan Deal depends on the votes of people who might not like that being spelled out in any specificity that says SEGREGATION IS WRONG.

And, of course, leaving racism up to a more local jurisdiction was known, at the national level, as "states rights", and used to justify horrible racist policies for decades. Calling it "counties' rights" doesn't make it any less odious.

This wasn't a trick question. This wasn't a difficult question. If you botch it as badly as this, there's either something wrong with you, your constituency, or, as is too often the case, both.

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