Does this image fill you with righteous indignation? According to the Alabama NAACP, it should. The Azalea Trail Maids began promenading in 1929 in an effort to get people to plant azaleas along the streets of Mobile, AL, but apparently some think their floofy costumes are a throwback to the days of slavery and are trying to get them banned from walking in Barack Obama's inaugural procession. I'm acutely sensitive to issues of discrimination and oppression and think the NAACP is usually an incredibly useful organization, but I don't think anyone ever felt oppressed by a hoop-skirt except the people who've had to wear them.
Considering the fact that the White House and the Capitol building were built by slaves, and that the inauguration event will be kept civil by policemen on horseback and others leading trained attack-dogs, going after the Trail Maids for dressing like Aunt Pittypat is pretty fucking harsh. If you'd like to contact the Washington DC branch of the NAACP and urge them to make a statement appealing to reason, here's the information:
Fax: (202) 463-2953