To Kill A Mockingbird

In Harper

Lee’s book, To Kill A Mockingbird, there are many

examples of racism. During this time in history racism was

acceptable. Racism is a key theme in her book. Not only

those who were black, but also those who affiliated with

blacks, were considered inferior. Atticus, a lawyer, who

defended blacks in court, was mocked. An example of this

is when Mrs. Dubose said, “Your father’s [Atticus] no

better than the niggers and trash he works for!” Mr. Dolphus

Raymond was also criticized for affiliating with blacks,

especially black females. Example is when Jem said, “He

likes ‘em [blacks] better ‘n he likes us [whites], I reckon.”

Basically, you were black if you “liked” blacks. Blacks,

because they were considered inferior, were expected to do

everything for whites. Everything had to be perfect, without

excuse. Even when Calpurnia, a Finch family friend, did not

make the perfect cup of coffee, she was mocked. Book

excerpt, “She [Calpurnia] poured one tablespoon of coffee

into it and filled the cup to the brim with milk. I [Scout]

thanked her by sticking out my tongue...”. Even when blacks

did do good, they were still mocked. An example is when

Aunt Alexandra said, “Jem’s growing up now and you are

too. We decided that it would be best for you to have some

feminine influence.” Even though Calpurnia was a female,

Aunt Alexandra over-looked this, because of her race.

People were so biased, it didn’t matter how good a job a

black person did. Since there was such strong racism in

Maycomb, there were excuses made for whites. In the

book, it was obvious that Bob Ewell was a mean man. It

was also obvious that he was abusive to his daughter,

Mayella, and he was the one who violated her, not Tom

Robinson, because what the evidence showed. But, the

people of Maycomb over-looked the evidence in favor of

Tom Robinson, just because he was black. In Harper Lee’s

book, To Kill A Mockingbird, there are many examples of

racism. The legal barriers to racial equality have been torn

down, and racial exclusion from the benefits of society and

the rights of citizenship is no longer nearly total, as it once

was. But discrimination still limits the opportunities and stifles

the hopes of many black Americans and other minorities. In

the realms of housing, employment, medical care, education

and the administration of the criminal justice system, we are

still, as the 1968 Kerner Commission Report on civil

disorders warned, “two separate Americas.” At this moment

in our nation’s history, it is critical that we move definitively

forward in remedying the effects of discrimination. But

tragically, the most successful civil rights remedies have

come under attack from conservative politicians and pundits.

Affirmative action, for example, which is to be credited with

the creation of an increasingly diverse workforce, has come

under intense criticism. Voting rights laws, which have begun

to integrate the halls of Congress and state legislatures, are

also under attack. As long as our society is ridden with

race-based problems, we will need race-based remedies.

And while we have come a long way, we still have a long

way to go.

Word Count: 531

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