Racial Injustice

             A world without stereotypes would mean a world without injustice. Yet, there is a long way to go until the world is rid of its injustices; for injustice has always been a part of society and will be for many years to come. Injustice, the unfair treatment of people through actions and words based on stereotypes, which ignorance and fear have fueled, has been prevalent throughout the ages. The prevalence of this injustice from the period of the 1930's in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is shown through the unfair treatment of people based on racial, societal, and gender stereotypes.

             Racial injustice, the unfair treatment of people based on their race, is a frequent occurrence in To Kill a Mockingbird. Tom Robinson is an excellent example of this. The entire trial, from the accusations of him raping Mayella, to the guilty verdict, were all racially biased. .

             The entire town formed the opinion that it was typical black man behavior, and that Tom was guilty. The court gasped when he commented about his pity for Mayella, because for a black person to feel sorry for a white person was unacceptable; it was to be the reverse. The verdict of the all-white jury came right down to the color of his skin, even though Atticus had more than proved Tom's innocence. The "Old Sarum" mob played a part in this injustice as well, when they came to harm Tom and instill fear in Atticus so that he would decline from defending him. However, it was not only the black community that endured this injustice. Dolphus Raymond was white, yet was discriminated against just as much because he lived with his black mistress. This was wrong in the eyes of the people of Maycomb. His mixed children suffered from this as well. In the words of Jem, "They don't belong anywhere. Colored people won't have 'em because they're half white; white folks won't have 'em 'cause they're colored . . . "(pg. 161). Just as he said, in the town of Maycomb, they don't belong, they are only small children, but because of their skin color the town has already formed a negative opinion of them.

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