Well you just knew the state that banned baggy pants was destined to make the fashion headlines, amiright?
We start with the story of Texanna Edwards of Dyer, TN. After being warned two months before her senior prom not to wear that dress, Edwards decided fuck ‘em if they can’t take a racist joke, and showed up for prom in this custom-made get-up:
The school principal said there had been race-related incidents in recent years and the school was trying to avoid another one. As a result Edwards was not allowed to enter the prom draped in the Confederate flag. However, she was told she could attend if she changed out of her controversial dress. Instead, she chose to whine to every Fox News affiliate in West Tennessee about how unfair everyone was being.
For our next story we head to Spring Hill, TN, a suburb of Nashville, where student Jeff Shott decided to dress as Jesus for his school’s Fictional Character Day. Ha ha.
Worried that teachers and fellow students wouldn’t get the joke, school principals warned Shott he’d have to remove his costume if there were any complaints. Instead of trying to poke a stick in a hornet’s nest, Shott removed his costume before classes. He did tell his story to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which awarded him a $1,000 scholarship.
So, what have we learned here, people?
Those of you eager to point out that these two scenarios are not exactly analogous, let me say: I agree. One story concerns a symbol of institutional oppression by the powerful against the powerless that Southerners still pretend is just a “symbol of the South.” Um, yeah. If you mean a symbol of enslavement which the Southern states went to war to defend, you’re correct.
In the other story we have the symbol of the dominant religion of the country called out as fictional by a member of a minority group: atheists. We used to burn atheists at the stake, so I consider it progress that Jeff Shott got a scholarship, not a whipping.
But both students wore clothing which authorities viewed as problematic for their schools, for completely different reasons and of a completely different scale. Racial issues escalate in a way that Christians having their fee-fees hurt do not. But I’m interested in how these young people handled themselves. It looks to me like one decided to martyr herself on her choice of costume while the other brought his plight to the attention of a like-minded group and was rewarded with a scholarship.
Seems like one kid was a little more productive with his message than the other.