Friday, August 27, 2010

It's time to reconstruct Mississippi

Apparently reconstruction didn't quite "take" the first time around. Perhaps it's time we send a few divisions in to reconstruct Mississippi and finish the job this time:
With the election of President Barack Obama, the country heralded the coming of an age in which an African-American could overcome significant historical prejudice to ascend to the presidency. But while the country celebrates this collective step forward, a Nettleton, Mississippi public school is taking a clear step back. According to Nettleton Middle School’s rules, children running for certain class officer posts must meet a specific race requirement: to be president, the child must be white.

A school memo, obtained by MixedandHappy and The Smoking Gun, was passed out to every 6th, 7th, and 8th grader to inform them of the breakdown. The upcoming elections are divided between offices delineated for black and white students. Of the 12 offices for which students can compete, “eight are earmarked for white students, while four are termed ‘black seats.” The presidency is reserved for white students across each grade, but a black student is permitted to be the 8th grade vice-president or reporter, the 7th grade treasurer, or the 6th grade reporter. So, along with a “B” average and “a good disciplinary status and moral character,” a child hoping to represent his or her class must be the right race.
Read the rest of the article with links at Think Progress.

Update: Nettleton School District has backed down and cancelled its racial quota system for class officer elections.

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