Straight A student. Soccer team goalie. Plays trumpet in the band. Member of Students Against Destructive Decisions.
Her mom describes her as a “perfect child.”
But the Copiah County School District is refusing to allow her photograph in the yearbook. Because she wore a tuxedo for her senior portrait. The school district sent a letter stating that only boys could wear tuxedos.
This is a perfect example of how it’s not enough to live an “exemplary life.” You’ve heard this argument before, haven’t you?
It’s usually used against people of color, although you hear variations for other groups not in the majority. What you need to do is to live a life that is beyond reproach. Show everybody that you’re not like that. Be good in what you do. Behave yourself and be quiet.
But when has white people’s opinions ever been changed by the behavior of people of color? And why do you have to be quiet in order to be a good little minority? Why, because bringing up racism is racist!
The reality is that you can do everything right, but your status as a person of color/lesbian/disabled adult/whoever will still be used against you. You will be discriminated against. And undoubtedly you will be punished for speaking out or for going against the grain.
So fuck the idea of being the good little minority. Time to make some noise.