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Middle School Only Allows Whites To Be Class President [Updated]

If we still have segregated proms in the American South, including in Mississippi, why not segregated middle school elections? Welcome to Nettleton Middle School, where not only are class elections segregated, but the president slots are designated for white students.

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But even segregated proms have an apparent black equivalent. In this middle school class officers election, there's no pretense of separate but equal: The highest a black student can aspire to is vice president of just one of the classes. Because it's not like a black person can be president or anything!

Illustration for article titled Middle School Only Allows Whites To Be Class President [Updated]
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Mixed And Happy, an online community for mixed-race families, first got wind of the situation from a parent at the school, who also found out that there are segregated prom and homecoming kings and queens. Among the many things that are wrong with this scenario is the fact that multiracial students, or those who are neither black or white, are erased. As the mother, Brandy, wrote Mixed And Happy,

"My son and daughter that go to this middle school are Native American and Italian. But, we also have 3- and 6- year olds that are African American and Italian. I would like to know which category they would lump them in. I have always taught my children not to see race. This is so disgusting to me."

Brandy's daughter had wanted to be class 'reporter," but because her mother is white and her father is black, she wasn't eligible for the black-designated position. When Brandy complained to the School Board, "They told me that they 'Go by the mother's race b/c with minorities the father isn't generally in the home.' They also told me that 'a city court order is the reason why it is this way.'"

Late last night, the principal of the school posted a statement on its website:

"Student elections have not yet been held at Nettleton Middle School for the 2010-2011 school term. The processes and procedures for student elections are under review. We are reviewing the origin of these processes, historical applications, compliance issues, as well as current implications and ramifications. A statement will be released when review of these processes is complete."

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Apparently it's just come to their attention that they're systematically racist! Thanks, Internet.

Update: More details on the school, including its handbook-mandated homecoming segregation and black principal, as well as further comments from the mother who first complained.

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: Second Update: The school has reversed its policy, saying it was a rotation put into place 30 years ago to ensure diversity.

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Class President? Must Be White To Apply At This Mississippi School! [Mixed And Happy]
Class Officers Segregated By Race [TSG]
Earlier: Morgan Freeman Brings Integrated Prom To Mississippi School
When Tradition Destroys Progress

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DISCUSSION

magimpalor-is-a-god-damn-spy--old
MagImpalor is a god damn spy.

I just want to say something about the common "Ugh. The south is so racist!" comments. This isn’t just in reference to Jezebel, obviously. I hear this all the time, because I’m from a northern city.

"Can’t we just let the South go?"

"Ugh, the South is so backwards."

It seems like whenever someone says that, it’s a way of disassociating the racist act or atmosphere from themselves. It’s defensive. It’s along the same lines of logic as "Well not all white people are racist!" It stops the person from looking at the individual act’s implications on American society as a whole by segregating the incident to an isolated geographic area. So if it’s "just the south" then they can feel comfortable that their community is not racist, and by proxy, they are not racist.

I’ve only spent a little time in the South. I am ignorant to most Southern culture, but I know that I’ve seen racism in Chicago. I’ve seen racism in Boston. It’s not isolated and there’s no reason for white people to be defensive.

Just recognize the reality that you are part of a fucked up society, and then actively work against that bigotry continuing.

In short - don’t immediately start trying to distance yourself because you may feel guilty. It helps no one.