26 January 2007

Close to home

I want to tell you a story.

I grew up in a small town in Georgia. The highschool
in this town has a black prom and a white prom. It
has a black homecoming queen and a white homecoming
queen as well as homecoming court.

No one socialized with the latin migrant workers
who came through at periodic times of the year. Their
children did not speak English and were still placed
in the same classrooms as the rest of us, to sit and
learn nothing. They would leave a few weeks later.

My class started out with over 100 students and I
graduated with only 62 other people. At least eight
of them were pregnant. Two, that I can remember,
dropped out due to the pressures of having more than
one child before they were seventeen years old.

These facts alone are not what scares me.

I graduated from high school in 2000. 25 years old is
not old enough to have had the experience of
segregated proms. My mother should not have had
to listen what people were calling me for arguing for
gay rights and special education for ESL students. My
best friend's three year old son should not
automatically be the son of a whore simply because he
can claim two races.

That scares me.

We are only as strong as our weakest communities.
And South Georgia is not the only haven for racism,
high drop-out rates, teen pregnancy, non-existant
health care, and ignorance.

It's a silent epidemic that can't be relegated to the
most unseen corners of the south. So, people in
Tennessee can take some measure of comfort in knowing
that they are not alone in their societal problems.

Ok, now it's time to stop commiserating, stop
justifying, and start DOING SOMETHING.

3 comments:

Randy said...

WOW!

James said...

This is your brother speaking.

Great job. Blogging is in these days.

Our class tried to get a single prom, but angry parents would not allow their white and black children to mix with each other.

In the end, several of us decided to forgo the prom experience.

nograysunflowers said...

My class tried the same thing. And by class I mean me and Anna. At least you had more than two people on your side. I knew you were the enlightened one : )