Interview with Toni Johnson-Chavis
QUESTION 12
JACKIE SHEARER:

Now, when someone--




JACKIE SHEARER:

So, OK, When someone labels affirmative action as reverse discrimination, what do you say?

TONI JOHNSON-CHAVIS:

The same response. If someone labels affirmative action as reverse discrimination, I don't agree with that. I have very strong feelings, ah, against that. I think that anybody who does that is doing that for a certain, ah, purpose and I would say that it's, it's still racial in context. There's a lot of racism that exists because of that. I think that, ah, it's not reverse discrimination. I think the selective gradients should occur. Certainly there has been differences in how people were treated in the United States, and there are certainly differences in how people are treated right now. There are a lot of class differences, socioeconomic differences that occur. We've got a lot of people who are poor, below the poverty line. There are big differences in educational acquisition that occur here. That- there's selection that occurs throughout the gamut. We don't have, um, a state or a country where everyone is exposed to the same educational type of system and that that is guaranteed. That's a farce. There is major differences in that. Um, kids are not all guaranteed adequate nutrition. In the last fifteen years, we've had a real inroads in stopping all programs in terms of public health programs, in terms of programs for mothers for children. And mothers. Um, mothers don't even have the same quality of care when it comes to prenatal care, so that we have selective gradients when against certain people in-utero. So it becomes a farce to say that we have reverse discrimination when you start talking about educational things later on. It's been pro a certain class of people for the whole time. And certainly those people need to be represented it- and represented in occupations such as medicine. So I think that it's incumbent upon people to, to look at those type of things. And it does not mean that you select people who are not qualified, um, but it does mean that you must have a humanistic approach to that selection. So that I, I don't agree with the, ah, term reverse discrimination.