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Reverse Racism is Still Racism

Derek Jiang

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses Atticus as a manifestation of her


views on racism. Atticus is a man of humility and justice, and through the trial of
Tom Robinson, he is shown to fight for the ideals that he upholds, even if its a
losing battle. Racism is simply prejudice against a person of another place of origin,
or the singling out of people based on ethnicity. The articles Law to Segregate
Omaha Schools Divides Nebraska by Sam Dillon and Reverse Racism, or How the
Post Got to Call the Kettle Black by Stanley Fish oppose the ideals of Harper Lee;
instead of trying to promote equality, the ideals of the articles only promote more
racism. The first article talks about Ernie Chambers, a man who supports
resegregation, and the second article talks about the idea of reverse racism. Both
articles talk of fixing mistakes of the past, by reiterating them. As George Santayana
said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
In "Law to Segregate Omaha Schools Divides Nebraska," Ernie Chambers is
trying to promote resegregation, because he believes it will give blacks a fair
learning oppourtunity, but instead it will only create racial tension and promote
even more racism. By resegregating the schools, Ernie will reverse 100 years of
progress. Isolation from other races means more ignorance and prejudice, leading to
more and more hatred. As Rosa Parks stated, Racism is still with us. But it is up to
us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall
overcome. Lee would strongly oppose Ernie Chambers, as she did not just believe
that blacks were to be treated the same, but everyone should be treated equal, and
no one should be discriminated by colour.
In Reverse Racism, or How the Post Got to Call the Kettle Black, Stanley Fish
argues that the privileges that the blacks get from affirmative action are not as bad
as the privileges that the whites got back in the 1900s. Fish states that, "the playing
field is already tilted in favor of those by whom and for whom it was constructed in
the first place." Fish uses the example of the SAT, where whites and Asians who got
higher scores were not let in, while blacks who got lowers scores were admitted.
The SAT does not measure ones intelligence, but rather their socio-economic
background. Those who were sent to an SAT prep school will obviously do better
than a person who did not. Lee would argue that instead of trying to make up for
the disadvantages, we should instead make sure that the disadvantages arent
there at all. Instead of piling more fixes on top of the stack, perhaps we should
remove them outright.
Resegregation and affirmative action both attempt to fix a problem by
repeating the problem again. Harper Lee would state that instead of fixing the
problem, they would in fact make it much worse. Reverse racism is still racism, and
to fix a problem by stacking more problems onto it will not help. But Lees ideals are
perhaps idealistic, and not everyone will be an Atticus, a man of justice, but
perhaps we can use him as a guide, and seek for equality rather than revenge. As
Harper Lee herself stated in her book, The one place where a man ought to get a

Reverse Racism is Still Racism

Derek Jiang

square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a
way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box (295).