Imagine that your living in the 1930s, you’re a white woman, and you had just gotten “raped” by a black man or group of black men. This exact scenario happened in the critically acclaimed book To Kill a Mockingbird and in the real-life court case deemed the Scottsboro trial. Which in both the book and the court case, the characters, and people were shaped and influenced by society to become victims and accusers. This paper is going compare and contrast how the fictional character Mayella and the non-fictional plaintiff Victoria Price and Ruby Bates as painted victims and accusers by society.
Assurance in equal justice remains as an overwhelming political principle of American culture. Yet withstanding unbelief exists among numerous racial and ethnic minorities. Their doubt comes as no surprise, given a past filled with differential treatment in the arrangement of criminal equity, an issue particularly clear in police misconduct. Researchers have investigated police responses to racial and ethnic minorities for quite some time, offering sufficient confirmation of minority burden on account of police. These examinations raise doubt about different police techniques of coercive control, maybe none more so than police brutality. Its use exemplifies the pressures between police and minorities that exist in America today.
Being just in the American criminal justice system is a topic that is highly debated. Some believe the system is just, while others believe it is a flawed. The truth however, is that humans are not always right. God is the only who can practice justice in complete perfection, because humans are not perfect. Although many people in the American criminal justice system have good intentions, sadly that does not necessarily mean they are always just. The American criminal justice system tries to be truly just and has been before, but humans are not perfect and cannot always be truly just.
The author, Chris Crowe, wrote a historical fiction novel titled, Mississippi Trial 1955, which took place in Greenwood, MISS. In the story, Hiram Hilburn goes to spend summer vacation with his Grandfather in Greenwood, Mississippi. The main story of the book is the murder of Emmett Till, and the trial that occurs after.
The New York Times Bestseller book, Just Mercy, entails true accounts of a young African- American lawyer, Bryan Stevenson, about the unjust criminal justice system of the United States. Stevenson embarks on sharing his first- hand encounters of racial prejudice and corruption against death row inmates and himself. Thus, giving vivid images of how race and social class can play a big part in the fates of people in America. After reading Just Mercy, it has given me a validation of what I’ve already known about the justice system against African-Americans especially in the South, with prior knowledge of accounts about black Americans and the deep bigotry against them. In which, my race plays an immense part of cruelly punishing black Americans without further consideration of the circumstances that led to the crime
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the famous father named Atticus says “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it (Judith 2). This quote is said during a time of intense racism. “Not long after Obama took office, the National Urban League released its 2009 State of Black America report. The findings showed that racial inequities continued in employment, housing, health care, education, criminal justice, and other areas” (Buckley 1). This essay will primarily focus on the criminal justice area of this when discussing the Scottsboro trials and comparing the trials to the famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird. In some schools, To Kill a Mockingbird is mandatory for students to read (“Harper Lee dies at 89: A quiet life, a lasting legacy-- see the photos” 2) however, in others it is banned. Jon Stewart said there is a “gaping racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend doesn’t exist” (Judith 2). There are similarities between the famous Scottsboro Trials and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
Many People think of racial profiling as relatively recent phenomena that manifested in the 1980s, as the news of Blacks being pulled over for “driving while black” began making national headlines. Racial Profiling is a new term for actions against black people that, dates back 300 years and is a not a recent manifestation of discriminatory conduct by police and the criminal justice system but dates back to the 1700s in the United States for people of African descent.
There are many external and internal factors that shape and form our identity, which is knowing who we are or who someone else is. In the book Mississippi Trial, 1955, the main character Hiram Hillburn goes through many ups and downs in order to figure out who he actually is. Achieving this takes time and many changes in people’s characteristics. Intertwining this to the book, identities are formed and shaped by parents, personal experiences, and independent decisions. Hiram exemplifies these changes throughout the book by guidance from certain adults such as his father, making very salient decisions, and past incidents.
Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness Alexander (2012) examines the Jim Crow practices post slavery and the correlation to the mass incarceration of African-American. The creation of Jim Crows laws were used as a tool to promote segregation among the minorities and white Americans. Alexander (2012) takes a look at Jim Crow laws and policies that were put into place to block the social progression of African-Americans from post-slavery to the civil rights movement. Fast-forward to 2008 the election of Barack Obama certified the myth that African-Americans are no longer viewed as second-class citizens instead African-Americans are now considered equal to their white counterparts.
Since the 1930’s, milestones have been reached as to racial equality and equal rights in America, but there are still issues between black and white. Today, racism is an existing part of society. News headlines of “Police Brutality” flash across the television screen from time to time. Racial stereotypes are a common mindset for some people. Back in the 1930’s however, racism and segregation was everywhere. In To Kill a Mockingbird, racism was a substantial cause of many problems throughout the story, including the main conflict. There were laws specifically designed to mistreat and persecute African-Americans. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, showed how racism affected society back then. Racism affected the way people lived in the 1930’s,
In the eyes of Martin Luther King Jr., Justice within a society is achieved through the implementation of just laws. Furthermore, “just laws are regulations that have been created by man that follow the laws of God for man” (“Clergymen’s Letter”). Any law that does not correspond with the ideals of God and morality are considered to be unjust or a form of injustice. King identifies that injustice is clearly evident within the justice system. This injustice can truly be seen through the misconduct imposed toward the African American community. Michelle Alexander, similarly, points out the same truth that African American men are targeted substantially by the criminal justice system due to the long history leading to racial bias and mass incarceration within her text “The New Jim Crow”. Both Martin Luther King Jr.’s and Michelle Alexander’s text exhibit the brutality and social injustice that the African American community experiences, which ultimately expedites the mass incarceration of African American men, reflecting the current flawed prison system in the U.S.
The revolutionary Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr, once described discrimination as “a hellbound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them.” His point being that African Americans face racial discrimination on a daily basis. Brent Staples, being an African American living in America, expresses his view on the subject in his essay “Just Walk on By”, where he conveys the message of how fear is influenced by society's stereotypical and discriminating views of certain groups of people; his point is made clear through his sympathetic persona, descriptive diction, depressing tone, and many analogies.
To Kill a Mockingbird and the beating, trial, and riots of Rodney King show that racism has always existed, and it’s the people that control the court. Evidence can be provided to prove the innocent and guilty, however the people can decide and fight for who “deserves justice.” We the people in which we can stand up and bring
“I think Jim Crow law should have never happened”, says Mitchell Drumright of my class. I agree with him. Just because Jim Crow is long gone,does not mean that laws of segregation don’t affect us today. Jim Crow’s laws still affect us in the forms of racism, systematic racism, and stereotyping. Though we try to deny it, everyone is affected by systematic racism. Jim Crow either influenced, or started everything in this essay. I hope that you have gotten the gist of the valuable things in this
Harper Lee’s infamous novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, is one that has been revered for decades for its exploration into the world of racial tension and has commonly been used as a juxtaposition to modern society. It is common nature to compare oneself to another, and it is interesting to see how far a society has come from their origins. However, is today’s society really that different from “To Kill a Mockingbird” times? Words such as “racism”, “police brutality”, and “injustice” flood common news stations and social media each and every day.