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Action in Georgia could harm us

Add another nail to the coffin that says Georgia is helping hold Alabama back. With Georgia coming out smelling like the sweet scent of a yellow rose in the "water wars" deal that was cut with Alabama and Florida, Alabama stands to lose one of it's most precious assets - an abundant source of water to power its hydroelectric plants along the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers and the recreational activities they bring.

But, let's forget about that for now and focus on the fact that one Georgia high school will be holding a whites-only prom.

Taylor County High School, only 150 miles south of Atlanta, and very near the Columbus, Ga.-Phenix City, Ala. metropolitan area; will hold two proms. One, an all-inclusive traditional prom, sponsored by the juniors, and another, "whites-only prom" held 50 miles away in Columbus.

This prom is private. It was decided by a minority of white juniors to hold their own private prom for whites.

Private. That may be the key word. In actuality, the "prom" is a party - and no one has ever said that you can't invite just the people you want to your own party.

But, when the organizers decided to add the word "prom" to the event, well, that changes things. A prom is supposed to be a highlight of a student's junior and senior year.

How can it be, if everyone isn't included?

Neither prom is sponsored by the school, and the history of a black prom and a white prom dates back several years at this particular school.

Last year, was the first-ever integrated prom at Taylor County High School. School officials did not sponsor the prior proms due to concerns about interracial dating. Instead, parents and students organized separate proms for blacks and whites.

This year, things have reverted back to the old ways, and that's bad for Alabama.

Why?

Well, so many people look to Georgia as the epitome of Southern living.

Georgia is always in the national spotlight - often setting the standard for the rest of the South.

Once the story about the "whites-only prom" is picked up by national media, we have no doubt there will be stories that deal with the racial problems of the past in the South, and the images of Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma will again be plastered across television screens nationwide.

Alabama - with all of the advancements it has made in racial healing - will again be lumped into a category generalizing the South with Georgia.

And the struggle to overcome the past will continue with yet another setback at the hands of our neighbors to the east.

Alabama, we must work even harder now to make sure our image and progress isn't tarnished by one group of narrow-minded individuals one state over.