When I was in high school, there wasn't much to running for class office; you collected 50 signatures and then spent the following month convincing your classmates that you could actually do something about anything in the school. That said, it seems that other school districts have other requirements for entering the election; in Nettleton, Mississippi, for instance, certain offices are restricted to white students and others to black students, as seen in this memo issued by the school:
Black kids who want to represent their fellow students have to settle for vice president or reporter, where they can serve their (presumably) more qualified white superiors, or something.
This is what I mean when I say that we're only 40 years removed from the civil-rights movement. These attitudes took generations to materialize, and while we've come a long way, it's unreasonable to expect that they'll disappear in a few decades. On the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic march on Washington, racism isn't as bad as it was, but it's not an abstraction, and it's not a thing of the past.
-- Jamelle Bouie