In the South of the United States in the 1930´s, the justice system was very unfair towards colored people. Colored people that were sent to court could not receive a fair trial because of the prejudice and racism from the jury. This happened all the time, especially in Maycomb Alabama. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, a colored man named Tom Robinson was convicted of assaulting a white woman just because of the color of his skin. Tom Robinson should have been found not guilty for many reasons.
12 Angry Men and To Kill a Mockingbird depict trials that expose the flaws of the American judiciary system in the fact that juries are not always consisted of the defendant 's peers, judges and juries both have racist views, and juries are influenced by moral cowardice. Trials held in America at the time of these two productions were never fair to African Americans because of the makeup, views, and general nature of juries. Juries never could fully understand the views and motives of the defendant because they were not consisted of the defendant’s peers. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom Robinson was convicted by a jury made up of middle-aged, white men, so they were unable to understand and view the case from Tom’s point of view. When talking to Scout, Atticus says that most people in Maycomb believe that white people are superior to black people, and that is how it is in court as well.
The author’s description of the court’s ruling was definite and expected because as Atticus explained, society is biased, therefore the court of all white men were always partisan towards voting in favor of a white man without allowing any arguments against him to sway them. Even though Tom Robinson was not guilty and Atticus had strongly proven him as an innocent who was falsely accused of rape, but because discrimination was a factor in the final judgement, the consequences in society’s prejudice consequently led to the suffering of innocent individuals like Tom Robinson who received discriminatory treatment and trial due to their race. Descriptions of southern beliefs during the time period throughout the book develop and clarify the major theme of the
Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird famously said in his closing arguments: "You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some negro men are not to be trusted around women- black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and no particular race of men." (pg 232) What Atticus is trying to convey is a foreign concept to most people in Maycomb county. Atticus is trying to convey a point of equality and no prejudice in a world of social inequality which, as one can imagine, didn 't go over so well. To kill a mockingbird tells a story of a county whose morals are masked by the great depression, a county whose judgment is masked by racism and social stigma.
Racism, or hating another person simply because of the color of their skin, is wrong. It has been a problem in our country a very long time. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Bob Ewell, a white man, accused Tom Robinson, a black man, of raping his daughter. Because Tom was black, and the people in Maycomb, Ala., were racists, Tom did not have a chance of getting a fair trial. I strongly disagree with Bob Ewell and his racist ways.
Handed a case with black man, Tom Robinson, he had to make a choice. To Kill A Mockingbird represents going against the majority by the case of Tom Robinson. Tom was accused of raping and beating a young girl. Atticus took his case, despite him being a black man, and his entire town and family against it. His town hated the fact that an honourble lawyer defend a black man, and his family thought it would ruin the family name by doing so.
Why would Tom Robinson be labeled as a rapist right away without strong proofs of his innocence? The reason why he is accused of rape and considered guilty is because he is an African-American and that instantly labels him as a criminal or a murderer. The people in Maycomb also labels Atticus Finch as a threat to Maycomb town and they call him a “nigger-lover” just because he is defending Tom Robinson and for being his lawyer on the court. Judging people by just seeing them for the first time without knowing the person is just not the right way to criticize a person. It could also be referred to rating a book by judging its cover without reading the inside of a book.
The Right Thing “Sometimes it is better to lose and do the right thing than to win and do the wrong thing.”-Tony Blair. In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch realized this very truth. When someone approached Atticus about defending a black man named Tom Robinson, Atticus had a serious decision to make. MayElla Ewell recently accused Tom of raping her, and Atticus would have to prove otherwise. In this time, white people thought of black people as lower than them and did not treat them fairly.
The whites feared mixing of the race which is the Mongrel Race; because they were afraid the white race would be diluted. So, they did everything keep blacks at the bottom. The Southern states reacted by creating and enforcing Jim Crow laws. The Jim Crow was a system created as a segregation of colored people and white people, but mainly focusing on blacks. These laws existed because of the idea of being superior (Ferris State University, 2012).
The Scottsboro Boys Case and To Kill a Mockingbird were cases of the injustice of black men. Harper Lee was trying to point out that a person 's skin color or race does not justify the actions they done, that anyone who practices prejudice is foolish. That prejudice is an actual reality that a person experiences first hand and hurts others in the process. Like Harper Lee with her father being a lawyer she must’ve experienced it first hand. These stories teach us that you shouldn’t judge a person by their race.
When the jury pronounce Tom guilty, Jem is exasperated and “his hands were white from gripping the balcony rail, and his shoulder jerked as if each ‘guilty’ was a separate stab between them,” (282). Even though “rape is capital offense in Alabama,” (293) meaning the prosecuted will be sentenced to death, the children could not believe the jury has sentenced a guiltless man to death. According to Atticus, it is a sad truth that an accused African-American has never won a court case and “when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins,” (295). Although it is a sad truth, Atticus believes
One more assumption that is made in this novel is that African Americans are to be treated as less than white men. Tom Robinson, for example, is proved guilty in his trial for being accused of raping Mayella Ewell just because he is a black man, even though the evidence clearly shows that he is innocent. In Atticus’s closing summation, he says, “You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. (204)” This quote is saying that black men themselves are not a problem, but that it is the whole human race that should not be trusted.
This is shown by the creation of radical groups such as the Black Panthers who have sworn an oath to take care of their fellow “black” communities, while swearing an oath to hate towards all whites and even doing things such as beating/killing people who are white because of how Africans were treated in the past. Nobody, not even Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. himself, could have expected that after abolishing segregation, and Jim Crow that so much hatred could be released towards each other. The reason that segregation has kept people in poverty, is because due to their attitudes towards other ethnicities, it keeps them from advancing and life and keeping hold onto things that were a mistake and shouldn’t have been done; but they don’t feel like they deserve to be forgiven which is a sad shame for people. Once people are able to forgive each other and can forgive themselves, they will begin to get out of poverty and provide for themselves; and they can begin to get along with others which will lead to the manifestation of a society where people won’t feel hatred towards each other and could escape the deeps grasps of poverty. Also, when people begin to not feel hatred towards each other, this begins the actual dream of world peace, but can’t be achieved because of the indifference between them.
The repercussions of institutionalized prejudice are far too great for any group to overcome. Jim Crow laws repressed many black americans in the 1850s and the repercussions of that are still affecting black society today. Similarly in the 1800s woman were legally restricted from many of the things men were and still are still unfairly treated to in society