Constance McMillen and her lawyers appeared in federal court today to fight for the prom to be reinstated at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi. So did the school board, and oh my god. For those of you who don’t live in the Third World nation of Mississippi, here’s a taste of what these dumb bigots are really like, from Dan Savage’s interview with ACLU attorney Kristy Bennett:

What’s your case based on?

There is case law that says Constance has a right to attend prom with a same-sex date, Fricke v. Lynch back in 1980. It was a Rhode Island district court case. This is a 1st Amendment issue, a freedom-of-expressoin issue. By attending prom with a same-sex date, or in a tuxedo, Constance is making a statement about her sexual and political views. The main issue the judge is looking at now is whether he has the authority to issue an order to the school forcing them to host a prom. That’ the issue the judge has to grapple with.

People have been talking about cases during the Civil Rights era, when courts ordered cities in the South to integrate public swimming pools and cities closed them—destroyed them, filling them with dirt or concrete—rather than integrating them. Did you cite those cases during the hearing?

No, we didn’t. The defense did. They cited cases where cities had closed pools and courts said back then that they didn’t have the authority to force the re-opening of pools. Courts had issued rulings that found a violation, that people’ rights had been violated, but they weren’t going to order the pools back open.

So the school board’s lawyers went to court and compared the school board’s actions to those of government officials that closed pools to block integration? They compared themselves racist segregationists in the 1960s?

Now that you say it, yeah, they did compare themselves with governments that were closing pools.

Was I kidding in the post title?

No, I was not. These birdbrains are still fighting the Civil War in their heads, and they still think they wuz robbed. They teach their children that the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, and that besides, hey, the slaves that lived in the house had it pretty good, you know, I mean, Gone With The Wind, y’all, right? Did Magnolia leave Miss Scarlett? Hell no, she didn’t! Dammit, she was happy!

(No, really. This is what many Southerners teach their children. And not just in the sticks, either. I heard it right there in the upper middle-class Republican [white white white white white white] suburbs.)

They’re still pissed off about desegregation, they’re still pissed off that black people can vote, they’re racist as hell, and they’re really too stupid to realize what is coming out of their mouths.

And they’d like to repeat their storied track record on racial issues with gays.

Welcome to Mississippi.

It’s pathetic that this country still has pockets of such grotesque ignorance, but such is reality. Aren’t you glad your liberal tax dollars support that wingnut welfare state’s existence?

Keep e-mailing those school board members, and also, drop Allstate a line, since board member Eddie Hood has been propagating pig ignorant nonsense using his Allstate e-mail (he’s an agent) as his public communication. Allstate is not happy, by the way.