States are Willing to Forgo Billions to Discriminate Against Trans Students

Updates to Title IX provoke multi-state lawsuit against the Department of Education

Rand Bishop
Prism & Pen

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Presumably straight, definitely White legislators in Tennessee propose rejecting $1.8B in federal education dough. photo: Marta W. Aldrich

In her book The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, historian Heather McGhee illustrates her main point by recounting an anecdote about Fairground Parks pool in St. Louis. Upon its opening in 1919, Fairground Parks became the largest public pool in the country which, understandably, was a point of civic pride.

And, like many public pools, particularly in the South, Fairground Parks had always been reserved for Whites only. When anti-segregation laws came into effect, rather than permitting Black residents to use their prized pool, the powers that be chose to drain it and, eventually, to pave it over.

It wasn’t as though the facility would have been exclusively for Blacks, nor would White swimmers have been forced to share the pool with their Black neighbors. Everyone would still have had the option to use the pool or not, based upon each individual’s level of comfort. But, to prevent Blacks from bathing in the same water as Whites, the city decided that everyone, including St. Louis’ White residents, would have to make the sacrifice and go without.

Sometimes, it seems…

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Rand Bishop
Prism & Pen

Bishop's latest book, the semi-autobiographical novel, Long Way Out, is available in e- and print editions through most major online booksellers.