You can never tell where the next great hero will come from, but today, it comes from NYU’s Cultures and Context: Caribbean class, where sophomore Jack Shooty took a stand against prejudice by writing the phrase, “Racism is Bad” 335 times on his essay, and turning it in on time.
“I just think that racism, if I had to describe it, is definitely something other than good. Then it hit me. Bad. Racism is bad,” commented Shooty when we asked how he arrived at his groundbreaking thesis. “First I looked at a scale of things that are good and bad. Potato chips — good. Rotten Oysters — bad. Then it up was just was as simple as thinking which one racism was closer to: potato chips or rotten oysters. The rest is history. Literally.”
“To truly get an idea of how monumental this piece of scholarship is, you have to look in between the lines and really digest the messages here,” explained Professor Rayna Robbins, who has taught this class for 35 years. “First, let’s look at the word count. 335 x 3 = 1005, which is roughly how many people in the world are being racist every second. Wow. But what about the capitalization? Why is every world capitalized? Well that’s because this is a very important message. If it were all lower case, this might stand to be a message about not stepping on grass or which way the restrooms are, but racism requires a more immediate concern than that. It requires three capital letters, written 335 times. Truly outstanding.”
“I wasn’t trying to be a hero, I was just trying to let my professor know that I know that racism is not a thing that is good, or even okay. It is a bad thing, and I believe that has been reflected in my paper” finished Stooty, before he left us to go write his economics essay, entitled: “Don’t Be Greedy.”