As readers pointed out, I was too sanguine in my assumption that corporal punishment was not that prevalent these days in the US, and that the practice is still widespread. Another area in which I may have underestimated the level of progress is in the elimination of formal segregation between races.
Racism is, of course, still alive and well but it is usually covert or done by private clubs and organizations. But then I come across this news report that says that a community in Georgia still has a segregated high school prom. The high school does not organize a prom and this year’s event is a whites-only one run by some parents and students. Apparently segregated proms are not that unusual in the state of Georgia.
Now some student groups are planning to have an integrated prom and this has created a controversy. The high school issued a statement in support of the integrated prom and are thinking of organizing an official one in 2014. But what created more controversy is that the Republican governor of the state, when asked to speak out on the issue, criticized the move as a ‘silly publicity stunt’ and that he “expects and trusts that local leaders will find a long-term solution that protects the equal rights of all students regardless of race or ethnic background.”
No one is asking him to order people to have an integrated prom. But it would seem like that this would have been a good opportunity for him to talk about the need to get past old racial attitudes.