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.
Scout loses her innocence throughout her realizations of the world. Throughout the book, Scout realizes that Maycomb is a very racist community. First, Scout’s cousin Francis makes fun of Scout’s dad Atticus. “He’s nothin’ but a n*****-lover!” (110) This is very significant because Atticus is Francis’s uncle and Francis shouldn’t be treating an uncle like that. Mrs. Dubose also insults Atticus “Your father’s no better then the n****** and trash he works for!” (135).
This led to a weakened society because of injustice towards each other, as stated in To Kill a Mockingbird, "There's something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn't be fair if they tried. In our courts, when it's a white man's word against a black man's, the white man always wins. They're ugly, but those are the facts of life." (pg. 295).
Racism is wrought within the whole story. For example, even though Calpernia is a female, Aunt Alexandra overlooks her good work because of her race (p. 129). Blacks, because they are considered inferior, are expected to do everything for whites. People are so biased it doesn’t matter how well a job a black person does they are still frowned upon. Furthermore, the jury declares Tom Robinson guilty even though the evidence is clearly in his favor (p.211).
The most glaring example of racism in the novel is when Tom Robinson is convicted of raping Mayella Ewell just because he dared to feel sorry for her. The result of this racial prejudice leads the people of Maycomb to be very hypocritical and have double standards. They say they have sympathy for other races in other countries but then they treat the ethnic minority in their town with great disrespect. The prejudice of the town is produced from fear, historical context and their social conditioning. They are afraid because of ignorance and not being able to understand new and different things.
The benign force of racism has disrupted their lives, especially Scouts, through the old fashioned and discriminative opinions of the younger residents of Maycomb. My attitude to racism has developed in the course of the narrative. Mr Dolphus Raymond continues to elaborate on my feelings while he talks to Scout and Dill during the court case. He is a sinful man according to the community as he is has fathered mixed children. To contemplate this felony he pretended to be a drunk: "Secretly, Miss Finch, I'm not much of a drinker, but you see they could never, never understand that I live like I do because that is the way I want to live.
Atticus starts off by repeating the statement the white community addresses on Negroes, that they are evil in every aspect of life, and therefore they should not be trusted with women and in the community overall. Then, Atticus turns the tables on to the people of the courtroom, telling them that they must have lied or done evil before too, henceforth, making other people of different races evil. The racism toward Tom Robinson makes him feel as if he is guilty for his race. The white community makes Tom’s innocence feel obstructed because he has been accused of a rape as well as being told he is “evil” as well. The whites treat Robinson as if he is the worst sin,
The Theme of Prejudice in To Kill a Mockingbird ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ teaches us about the deceit and prejudice amongst the residents of Maycomb County, all of whom have very contrasting and conflicting views. We are told the story through the eyes of little girl, Scout, and the day-to-day prejudices she faces amongst society. Her father, Atticus, is a white man defending a Negro, even though the town frowns upon such a thing. He is trying to bring order to the socially segregating views, both within the court and out. The most common form of prejudice, which is seen many times throughout the novel, is racism.
Jem and Scout were treated with disrespect by Maycomb citizens everywhere they went because of their father’s decision to defend Tom. When Jem and Scout were on their way to town one afternoon, Mrs.Dubose, a neighbor, shouted at them, “‘Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for niggers!’’’(Lee 135). Mrs.Dubose doesn’t agree with Atticus’s decision to defend Tom because she doesn’t believe African-Americans have the same rights as white folks. Jem and Scout are being judged by people that they know because Atticus isn’t defending someone that is white. Mrs.Dubose wasn’t the only adult to speak badly about the Finch family.
Discrimination is prevalent in the story “To Kill a Mockingbird”, the most obvious being the excessive amount of racism (Lee). Racism is the easiest to see but there are more forms of discrimination (Lee). Boo Radley is ostracized from the community when truly nobody really knows him (Lee). People discriminate Scout for being a tomboy not a lady (Lee). The last one that no one ever thinks about is how reverse racism is seen when people threaten Atticus for defending Tom Robinson in court (Lee).