Racism in the Green Mile

Topics: United States, African American, Martin Luther King, Jr. Pages: 2 (518 words) Published: May 29, 2013
Racism has existed since the United States was founded hundreds of years ago. Even during the days of the 13 colonies, the economics of the southern colonies were based off of African American slavery. Since then it has been an ongoing issue in this country. Martin Luther King Jr. took his stand and eventually made this country more civil, however it would be foolish to say that racism doesn’t still exist in our country. In Frank Darabont’s film, “The Green Mile”, racism was clearly the contributing factor in the death of John Coffey.

As citizens of this country, we are told we are innocent until proven guilty. John Coffee was not treated with this same fairness during the film. Coffee was convicted and executed for a crime he never even committed. It was evident that racism was a part of his execution when Paul Edgecomb asked Coffee if there was anything he could do to help change the outcome of his inevitable death. Coffee responded by saying “I’m tired of feeling all the pain in the world. It’s like pieces of glass in my head all the time. Can’t you understand?”. I believe that this quote is referring to the way Coffee feels about being discriminated against on a constant basis.

Another example of how racism contributed to John Coffee’s death was the conviction itself. The movie shows how big of a heart Coffee possesses. John Coffee later found the two girls that were killed in the woods. He was so shocked by what had happened that he held them in his hands and began crying because he couldn’t believe it. He was immediately convicted with no questioning. This is clearly an example of racism. Just because the black man is sitting with the two girls doesn’t mean that he committed the crime. The legal system should never make assumptions based on race, but only off of scientific facts.

Lastly, upon Coffee’s arrival to the jail, he can already sense that people don’t like him because of his race. Before entering the execution room he tells the guards,...
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