Many view America as a land of opportunity, one that preaches freedom and has specific laws to ensure the equality of this pursuit of freedom. Despite the intention of promoting freedom and equality, many American laws transcend these values and mirror the true sentiments of our nation’s constituents. These laws cannot serve to uphold equality if that intention does not come to fruition in their practice and application to societal issues. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson, a black man in a mostly white community, faces accusations and a subsequent trial for the rape of Mayella Ewell, a white girl of the town. As the Southern setting of the novel implies, the racial aspect of this trial consumes the town of Maycomb, Alabama leading to escalating tensions and violence among those with opposing views. The racial components of this case evident outside and inside of the courtroom such as a communal bias, stereotypical arrest, layers language and predisposition of the jury force the reader to ponder the integrity of the Maycomb justice system and the ethnic stigmas that accompany it. However, these biases and racist hindrances of true justice are not unique to the 1930’s South. Tom Robinson’s treatment by the Maycomb justice system reflects a double standard and racial inequality prevalent in the entire American Justice system.
Since the beginning of colonization, America has been controlled by religiously and ethically diverse whites. The most profound cases of racism in the “United” States of America have been felt by Native Americans, Asians, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Muslims. Major racially structured institutions include; slavery, settlement, Indian reservations, segregation, residential schools, and internment camps (Racism in the U.S., 1). Racism has been felt and seen by many in housing, the educational system, places of employment, and the government. Discrimination was largely criminalized in the mid 20th century, and at the same time became socially unacceptable and morally repugnant (Racism in the U.S., 1). Although racism was
The 1920’s and 30’s were some troublesome times for many blacks living in the United States. Even though they were free men, a lot of blacks were still treated like slaves. They were subject to unfair trials, beatings, lynchings, the presumption of guilty before trial, and were also least in priority to whites. Harper Lee also shows these same acts of prejudice in her book To Kill A Mockingbird.
The United States has been dealing with the issue of racism ever since Columbus landed on Plymouth Rock. The Indians were the first to endure harsh racism in this country. Pilgrims moving west ran them off their land wiping out many tribes and destroying many resources in their path. However, when many think of racism today, the issue of blacks and whites is the first to come to mind. African Americans have come a long way in today’s society as compared to the society their ancestors had to overcome. But just as far as we have come, there is still a long way we must go. Harper Lee, author of To Kill A Mockingbird, clearly depicts racism and what it was like in the nineteen-thirties through the trial of Tom Robinson and the only white man that supports him, Atticus Finch. The whole town of Mycomb becomes overwhelmed by a crime that a poor, “white trash” young woman named Mayella Ewell, accuses Tom Robinson, a black field laborer, of committing. This is very similar to the case of the Scottsboro Boys where nine black men were also wrongfully accused of a crime only because of the color of their skin. The fictional story, To Kill A Mockingbird, seems to depict actual events that happened throughout the nineteen-thirties in the south, during a time when whites dominated the legal system and blacks had no rights.
Nelle Harper Lee demonstrates an excellent representation of a harsh time period in her novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, which took place in the South between 1925 and 1935. This period was very important in the construction of the South’s economy, although it proved to be exceptionally challenging for African Americans. They had special laws to abide by, were not given the rights that white people held, and were badly mistreated because of the whites’ resentment that black slaves were now free. One primary example of this mistreatment is the case known as the Scottsboro Trials, in which injustice was served on eight black men for a crime that never happened. The following will include factual and fictitious literature and will utilize them with historical evidence to prove that a black person’s fair trial was improbable in the court system of the young south.
In the early twentieth century, the United States was undergoing a dramatic social change. Slavery had been abolished decades before, but the southern states were still attempting to restrict social interaction among people of different races. In particular, blacks were subject to special Jim Crow laws which restricted their rights and attempted to keep the race inferior to whites. Even beyond these laws, however, blacks were feeling the pressure of prejudice. In the legal system, blacks were not judged by a group of their peers; rather, they were judged by a group of twelve white men. In serious court cases involving capital offenses, the outcome always proved to be a guilty verdict. In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, the plot revolves around a Depression-era court case of a black man accused of raping a white woman. The defendant Tom Robinson is presumed guilty because of one thing alone: the color of his skin.
In To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Lee uses discrimination and injustice to tell us readers that justice should be blind when it comes to gender, race and the way you live life. In the story many people are being discriminated because of their race , gender and even age. During the book we have many examples of discrimination especially in the case with Tom Robinson we have many examples of how many people were and still discriminate African Americans.
Slavery may have been temporary, but the effects it left behind are ingrained in our culture and influences the notion that blacks are less than whites. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee reveals the adverse effects of racial prejudice. This story takes place during the Great Depression in a small Alabama town named Maycomb. In this town, one’s skin color determines his social status. One of the main protagonists, Atticus Finch, is against racism in the South and tries to correct the ways of the community by defending a black man named Tom Robinson in court. The theme that racial prejudice is the root of several wrongdoings is supported by character interactions, the culture of the time period, and numerous conflicts throughout the plot.
Racism Post- During the 1820s, 44% of Mississippi’s population was African Americans, and all but 500 of them were slaves. During the 1820s, the total number of African Americans people increased by almost 100%. By 1860s, the number of slaves in Mississippi outnumbered Caucasians 437,000 to 354,000. At the beginning of the Civil War, African American people made up roughly 55% of Mississippi’s population. Whether on a small farm or a large plantation, most enslaved persons served as agricultural laborers. Landowner’s needed laborers who could work to produce cotton, a crop that promised the greatest profit. The Civil Rights Movement Accomplishments by the 1970s violence against civil rights workers had begun to lessen in the south, and formal segregation was also gone. No governments maintained separate schools for blacks and whites, and separate facilities such as drinking fountains and restrooms had disappeared. Millions of African- Americans who had been disenfranchised could vote, and by the 1990s African- Americans held major public offices in the south, serving as mayors, go...
Institutional Racism in American Society "Racist" and "racism" are provocative words in American society. To some, these words have reached the level of curse words in their offensiveness. Yet, "racist" and "racism" are descriptive words of a reality that cannot be denied. African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans (people-of-color) live daily with the effects of both institutional and individual racism. Race issues are so fundamental in American society that they seem almost an integral component. Some Americans believe that race is the primary determinant of human abilities and capacities. Some Americans behave as if racial differences produce inherent superiority in European Americans (whites). In fact, such individuals respond to people-of-color and whites differently merely because of race (or ethnicity). As a consequence, people of color are injured by judgments or actions that are directly or indirectly racist. Much of the attention of the last 20 years has focused on individual racist behavior. However, just as individuals can act in racist ways, so can institutions. Institutions can behave in ways that are overtly racist (i.e., specifically excluding people-of-color from services) or inherently racist (i.e., adopting policies that while not specifically directed at excluding people-of-color, nevertheless result in their exclusion). Therefore, institutions can respond to people-of-color and ...
Can one say that Americans have become tolerant or is racism alive and thriving in America? In recent news reports in print and televised, intolerance of others has been a hot topic. From the Clippers basketball franchise owner to the brothers that host a show on HGTV (Home and Garden Television). Have we not gotten past the racism that saw people sprayed with high pressure water hoses and attacked by trained dogs or has it become culvert to the point where most feel secure to be who they only to be shocked back to reality by things such as aforementioned?