The Prejudice of Race In "To Kill A Mockingbird"

Categories: To Kill A Mockingbird

Racism, the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races. What exactly makes a race more superior than another? Can the colour of a person determine what kind of person they are? From birth, the world forced feed’s us labels and eventually we all swallow them and digest and accept those labels never ever doubting them but there are one problem labels are not you or me their just labels.

In the novel “ To Kill A Mockingbird” is set in 1940 around the time slavery was abolished but there were still tensions between the whites and the black. Black people and white people lived their own separate ways. White people had their own churches, banks, schools, water fountains etc. What many failed to realize is “ what made a certain skin tone more acceptable in society than another”. The beauty of having a 6-year-old as the narrator is that scout( the narrator of TKAM) is blinded to all the prejudice of race taking place in the novel, more importantly, Injustice, Partisanship, Racial profiling and Systematic-racism.

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She just seems not to understand why people would do such a thing. With the help of her father Atticus Finch, he teaches both scout and Jem that the colour of your skin defines what kind of person you are.

'It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived.

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' -Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Ch. 11

Partisanship is when a person tends to favour one group or views or opinion over the other we notice just that in Chapter 23 of the Novel TKAM( To Kill A Mockingbird).

'As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.'.. 'There's nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who'll take advantage of a Negro's ignorance. Don't fool yourselves—it's all adding up and one of these days we're going to pay the bill for it. I hope it's not in your children's time.' (23.40)

After the trial was over ( Chapter 23 TKAM) Atticus sat down both of his children Jem and Scout. He explained to them both that just because you see a white man cheating a black man and the white man doesn't get caught it still doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. No matter who you are or how rich you are you have no right to cheat another because you are better than them.

This time of prejudice is still present in society today. On March 14th, 2019 Dyma Loving and her friend Adri Green were walking around their neighbourhood when their 50-year-old neighbour verbally harassed the two. Dyma Loving responded by throwing one of his potted plants into his yard. The 50-year-old man then grabbed a gun and swore he would 'shoot my burnt black-ass face off my neck,'. As any civilian would do is she dialled 911 what she never accepted is the result of it. When the Miami-Dade police department arrived at the scene instead of coming to Dyma aid they interrogated her as if she was the one who had the gun. She asked multiple if she could go back home to talk to her kids but was denied. The police asked if she needed to be taken to a mental hospital which made dyma very angry and reacts the way she did in the video. She was then forced into handcuffs and assaulted by police officers and was charged with resist arrest.

It has been a deception that only black people are the ones who are bad and it's sad to say it Atticus Finch was right! Racial Profiling Judging someone purely on race or ethnicity as a reason to suspect someone has committed an offence.

'Which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie as black as Tom Robinson's skin, a lie I do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.' (20.47-48)

Not are all black people are bad some are good and some are bad same goes for white people. To just say one race is better than another giving no real justification is bigotry. Why as a black individual are you not, given a chance to explain yourself while the white person is? Why is a person judged based on who they are on their appearance? No one ever judges you for the car you have a car can't justified what kind of person you are same can your skin tone. Our skin thinks of it like a car that instead of a human inside it's our soul. Our souls control our body why is that the colour of your skin people judges on that. In the novel to kill a Mockingbird, Atticus proves that in the courtroom. He told 'To take thirty years of my life and not give me one dime, that’s not right. That’s not justice. I would like to ask the world, where is my justice?” the judge everything about Tom Robinson not even hiding a single bit of detail. He also told the jury that he had been sent to Jail before because of an altercation that happened between him and another black man since he wasn't able to pay the fines he had to spend 30 days in prison. Tom Robinson is a kind-hearted man Who only wanted to help Mayella Ewell fix er chifferobe but when he tried to explain that to Mayella lawyer he seemly laughed.

'I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more’n the rest of ‘em—' (Lee, 201).

The Jury and all the witnessed began to laugh as it was some sort of joke but, it wasn't it was only the young children who witnessed what was really going on. Discrimination Corrupts the minds of the older generation leaving the younger kids to sit their puzzle.

On August 4th,2017 Anthony Ray Hinton is asking the state if Alabama for some money after he spent 30 years in jail and sent to death row for conviction of a murder he never committed. He was initially supposed to receive 1.5 million but, they never came around to give him the cash.

'To take thirty years of my life and not give me one dime, that’s not right. That’s not justice. I would like to ask the world, where is my justice?”

The accused Hinton of Killing two Birmingham-area fast-food managers, John Davidson and Thomas Wayne Vason and then robbing from the store. There were no witnesses and no fingerprints that were provided that showed Hinton did it. He was randomly selected by a fast-food employee and was convicted of killing the two with a .388 calibre revolver taken from his mother’s home. Hinton stands firm that he did not kill the two and it was solely a race issue.

Systematic-racism can be seen when Tom Robinson died trying to run to escape prison many didn't feel pity to them. They think it something normal that all black people do no matter how good you are black people are all the same troubled folks.

Systematic-racism is a form of racism the abbreviation Institutional racism which means is a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions. It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power and education, among other factors. To put matters in another way, The phrase 'systemic racism' is used to speak of all policies and practices embedded in institutions that harm certain racial groups and help others.

Maycomb, Tom's death was typical. Typical of a nigger to cut and run. Typical of a nigger's mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw. Funny thing, Atticus Finch might've got him off scot-free, but wait-? Hell no. You know how they are. Easy come, easy go. Just shows you, that Robinson boy was legally married, they say he kept himself clean, went to church and all that, but when it comes down to the line the veneer's mighty thin. Nigger always comes out in 'em. (25.25)

When Ms. Maudie said “Just shows you, that Robinson boy was legally married, they say he kept himself clean, went to church and all that, but when it comes down to the line the veneer's mighty thin. Nigger always comes out in 'em”. It actively illustrates that the systematic belief’s white people had towards black people no matter how good they are they all have the same belief which is to never think about the consequence that's why the white folks in Maycomb county don't feel pity for him.

Not only was Systematic-racism an issue of the past it also an issue we face in today's society.

On March 22, 2018, a young man named Kerwin Clarke was pulled over with his young daughter by Montreal Police for the most absurd reason. Kerwin thought to himself why did he get pulled over for?

“I was thinking, maybe I did something wrong. Did I stop at the last stop sign properly, completely? What did I do wrong? Did I check my phone?” he asked.

When the officers pulled him over their first response was “ we need to check if the car was stolen” Kerwin Clarke was driving a 2017 GMC Yukon.“I feel it was just squarely because I fit a profile they were looking for, being a younger-looking black male driving a nicer car,” Clarke, a criminal defence lawyer, told Global News. This is a key example of systematic racism that is sadly present in the society we live in.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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The Prejudice of Race In "To Kill A Mockingbird". (2021, Feb 12). Retrieved from

The Prejudice of Race In "To Kill A Mockingbird" essay
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