September 17, 2013
Racism: Black vs. White
During the 1930s in Maycomb County, everyone treated each other differently. People judged traits other people based on their skin color. White people thought that all black people were not smart. Blacks did not want whites in their social circles. Both groups kept each other at a distance, mostly due to ignorance, each not willing to understand the other as a real person. Atticus Finch was an exception in his defense of Tom Robinson. He treated him as a man, not a black man. During the trial he made the jury look beyond the color of Tom’s skin. Throughout the novel, readers can see various forms of discrimination in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
Blacks who are not willing to understand or socialize with whites is portrayed by Lula’s comment to Clapurnia: “You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillun here – they got their church, we got our’n. It is our church, ain’t Miss Cal?” (158) When Scout heard Lula’s statement, she sensed that the people did not want her Ferro 2
and Jem there. Scout assumed that they were not welcome until Zeebo, the garbage collector, tells them that everyone is glad to have them, and not to worry about Lula. During this time period in the South, the expectation was that whites did not like blacks, but whites never expected that the reverse was true. Scout also wonders why Calpurnia speaks differently to the black members of the church than she does to Whites in their neighborhood. Calpurnia said that if she spoke the same way she did to white people in a black church, the church would think she believes herself better than them, in the same way that if she spoke to the white people the way she speaks to the black members, they would most likely ridicule her and treat her poorly. This is a prime example of racial discrimination.
Another form of discrimination demonstrated in the book is Atticus’ case with Tom Robinson. Tom is...
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