Usual Disease Essay

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Hunter Sattler
Ms. Mooney
Pre-AP English C
27 January 2013
Racism: The Great Pestilence
Many vectors transfer the usual disease, some of them being: Ignorance of culture, adherence to code, and the fear of losing power, all of which are blights of civilization. Just as a mosquito feeds off of the blood of the host, and transmits malaria, the scourge of racist points of view settles over the consciences of good honorable people like a nebulous cloud of acid rain. After reconstruction, many bitter grudges were held against the liberal policies of “Them Yankees”. Many southerners still believed that they held the high ground and would not submit to the fact that theirs was the low road. Although some would say that there are traces of racism in every man woman and child, which manifests itself as a sense of self-approbation that should not give one the ability to think any less of any man regardless of race, color, or creed.

While the contagion festers within the body, it spreads by way of ignorance. If one is uneducated about another’s culture and way of life then they will fear them. This becomes evident on page one hundred and thirty six. The children go with Calpurnia to church. When the get there, they encounter a recalcitrant Lula, whose lack of education causes her to hate even the innocent white children, although they have done nothing to promote their racial superiority. This is this same Ignorance that breeds fear and hatred for another person. Up until the Jim Crowe laws were enacted, Negros were treated not as equals but as lesser beings in light of education. Losing sight of what is true versus what has been previously accepted can be very deadly.

Likewise, adherence to code causes the citizens to become subjugated by what is deemed “acceptable” rather than what is truly right and just. Mayella’s fear of becoming isolated caused her to change her story. On page Two hundred and thirty one it reads “she has committed no crime, she has merely...
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