Nathan Deal, as Jim Galloway put it, put out a “careful” comment on the integrated prom issue in Wilcox county. However, a reading of his statement shows the fundamental problem with Republican “small-government” philosophy.
“I believe that anything that’s associated with a school should not have the distinction or discrimination made based on race or gender or any other separation,” he said. “But it appears to me that the parents and students have worked that out on their own, as they should.”
When asked if there was anything he could do as the state’s top leader to help prevent this issue from surfacing again, here’s what he said:
“Probably stay out of their way. We’ve come a long way in the state of Georgia. We don’t need things like this being divisive. We think we have put most of those issues behind us. None of us condone things that would send the wrong message about where we are with regard to race relations. But by the same token, I think that people understand that some of these are just local issues and private issues, and not something that the state government needs to have its finger involved in.”
Apparently, segregation is a “local” or “private” issue? So it is ok to discriminate against minorities as long as you say “oh hey, this is a local matter?” Nathan Deal has a moral and Constitutional obligation to oversee this state and that its laws are distributed fairly.
This is the fundamental problem with the Republican small-government philosophy. Someone has to be there to ensure the rights and rules will be followed. The Republicans argue against the Voting Rights Act saying that “the state has progressed, we can handle it now.” However, we don’t have a governor with enough courage to actively speak out against these segregated proms. It isn’t like these stories haven’t been reported on before, say in 2009.