The Past Is Present

ETA: My best friend, who taught at our old high school, and my sister corrected me. The school did eventually sponsor off-campus proms, however, “tradition” meant that students quickly left (usually after taking pictures) to gather for their own separate (in terms of race) functions.

Dear Mississippians,

I find it amazing the type of symbolism with which y’all manage to imbue high school rituals like prom. I mean, some of you held on to racially segregated proms well into the 21st century—although some progress has been made there.*

Now I hear others of you would rather cancel prom than allow a lesbian couple to attend. This, just a few months after your execution of a flawless southern swoon at the idea of a high school senior challenging the norms reinforced by gendered clothing.

I don’t know if it’s nostalgia for the good ol’ school days. I don’t know if you're scared that Anita Bryant's predictions have come true and proponents of the radical homosexual agenda™, have infiltrated the schools and are recruiting your children.

But, really, stop. Time will not stand still. You cannot re-create your youth or what you envision as the glorious past through your children.

Your fellow southerner,

*My own Louisiana high school did not have integrated proms and, only shortly before its closing, did it stop the practice of having a homecoming court with one white and one black representative from each grade.

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