Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Nothing new under the sun

TBA was just packing up for a couple of days in NOLA when NMC posted about what happened to Constance McMillen: the "prom" she was invited to turned out to be a sham, while the real prom was held elsewhere.

The ever-classy parents and students, who apparently thought that Mean Girls was a how-to video, didn't just take the opportunity to exclude their lesbian classmate:
Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. “They had the time of their lives,” McMillen says. “That’s the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom].”
NMC also links to La Figa, which notes that the same trick was used 45 years ago in Birmingham to keep a black student away from the prom.
She spent all Saturday getting ready, fixing her hair, slipping into the pink floral dress her mother finished the week before. Her father, a Baptist preacher, helped pick her date, a respectable young man worthy of escorting his daughter, the first and only black student at Jones Valley High School.

She and her date drove that 1965 night with her father and a retinue of supporters and protectors toward the high school gym. They turned the corner.

The gymnasium was dark, empty.

"They had fooled us," Carolyn Tasmiya King-Miller said. "I remember going home that night in tears. I sat on the sofa in my prom dress, lying on my mother's breast and crying all night...."
I hope some of the Itawamba students grow up to be ashamed of what they participated in, but it's likely too late for their parents.

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