My first reaction was simply: Why is this still an issue?
It’s remarkable that, in 2013, teenagers are finding they have to overcome objections of adults to engage in an integrated activity. Societies in which races, ethnicities and languages are allowed or required to operate separately never reach the level of integration and understanding necessary to develop harmony and national continuity.
As a nation, our integration progress has become more sporadic and demographic evidence suggests is even reversing in many areas of the country. We have elected officials of several races who firmly advocate for defining political constituencies and districts based on race. Educators in some states are advocating for ongoing native-language-only instruction for immigrants, neglecting the long-term impacts of creating segregated societies (to be fair, our current immigrant education integration does require help in many communities). The absence of choice in schools prevents many students from seeking education in more integrated environments that might afford them better opportunities. People from some races and ethnicities are attacked for holding and sharing political views outside their racial mainstream. Race should not be allowed to be a defining characteristic of an individual any more than is the attractiveness of any state’s attorney general, as we have heard too much about today.
Perhaps we can all learn from the teens trying to organize the first-ever integrated prom in Wilcox County, Georgia. “We are all friends,” a student told a Macon, Georgia television station. “That’s just kind of not right that we can’t go to prom together.”
If we do it right, we build a society where “we are all friends.” Only then, will we truly be able to govern together.