The states of Oklahoma and Texas have revived one of the beloved traditions of the Civil Rights Movement in the sunny South: the segregation academy.
Back in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's many southern states responded to court integration orders by simply closing the offending institutions. If ordered to integrate their municipal swimming pools they closed the pools so that their beautiful white babies wouldn't have to play and swim with black children. Ordered to integrate their schools, they closed the public schools and established so-called private "academies", colloquially known as seg academies, to skirt the legal effect of the court orders while continuing to deny educational opportunity to their black citizens.
Now we hear, in the wake of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, that some of the southern states are taking a lesson from their segregationist forbears.
Back then the enemy was racial desegregation, this year it's equal treatment for same sex couples.
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma will stop processing all military spouse benefit applications at state-owned National Guard facilities rather than begin accepting the applications from same-sex spouses, Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday.
Fallin went on to recall the principles of "massive resistance" that was the rallying cry of southern racists in years gone by. "The decision reached today allows the National Guard to obey Oklahoma law without violating federal rules or policies. It protects the integrity of our state constitution and sends a message to the federal government that they cannot simply ignore our laws or the will of the people."
Other states in the proud Southern tradition who are refusing to provide same-sex benefits for their National Guard members include Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Georgia.
Since the 2001 terrorist attacks and our military response you can't go a day without seeing one more jingoistic appeal to "support out troops", and this sentiment seems to be strongest in the hyper-militarized Deep South.
One can't help thinking that it's ironic that these are the states that are in the forefront of denying benefits to the troops.