In class, Miss Gates said, “That’s the difference between America [. . .] We are a democracy [. . . .] prejudiced.” What does this tell us about Miss Gates?

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In chapter 26, Scout 's third-grade teacher, Miss Gates, reveals her hypocritical nature and ignorance during a Current Events activity by telling the class that there is no such thing as prejudice in America. Scout immediately recognizes Miss Gates's incorrect assertion because she understands that black people are discriminated...

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In chapter 26, Scout's third-grade teacher, Miss Gates, reveals her hypocritical nature and ignorance during a Current Events activity by telling the class that there is no such thing as prejudice in America. Scout immediately recognizes Miss Gates's incorrect assertion because she understands that black people are discriminated against every day and suffer from racial prejudice in her hometown of Maycomb, Alabama. Later that night, Scout attempts to discuss Miss Gates's hypocrisy with her brother and tells Jem that she overheard her teacher making racist comments while leaving the courthouse following the Tom Robinson trial. Scout tells Jem,

. . . she [Miss Gates] was talking with Miss Stephanie Crawford. I heard her say it’s time somebody taught ’em a lesson, they were gettin‘ way above themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can do is marry us. (Lee, 250)

Miss Gates's comments contradict her statement regarding the absence of prejudice in the United States, which illustrates her hypocrisy and ignorance. Miss Gates is evidently blind to the fact that she lives in a prejudiced society and harbors racial bias towards black people in her community.

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What this tells us is that Miss Gates is blind to her own faults and to those of the society around her.  Either that or she is a major hypocrite.

In the part you are talking about, she tells the children that the difference between the US and Nazi Germany is that the US is a democracy and has no prejudices the way the Nazis are prejudiced against Jews.  She is, of course, right about the first part.  As for the second part, the US is not nearly as bad to its blacks as Germany is to its Jews, but it seems totally blind to stand there after the Robinson trial and say there is no prejudice.

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