Hate Speech Essay, Research Paper
Wherever one goes, prejudice is most likely to tag along. In the book To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, one of the most apparent themes is that of prejudice. Throughout the book, the main characters, Scout and Jem, experience the effects of prejudice in their society through multiple scenarios. In turn prejudice is viewed in its paramount form: racism. From various examples of prejudice in the book, it seems true that prejudice is everywhere. In society, a few people who aren’t of the norm have to deal with prejudice and racism exuded from those who are ignorant and misconstrue people beyond their outward appearance.
One mysterious character in To Kill A Mockingbird is Arthur Radley. Because of Arthur s background, Scout and Jem are apprehensive of him. At one point Arthur had committed a crime and was sentenced for punishment. However, Mr. Radley did not want his son to go to correctional school and locked Arthur up in the basement for many days. Later on, Arthur stabbed his parents with scissors and whittled away the furniture. Scout and Jem do not know if Arthur Radley exists, but are extremely afraid of the Radleys because of what they have heard. In result to Scout and Jem s prejudice towards Arthur, they nickname him Boo and reenact plays about him. However, as the story reveals, Boo is not a monster, but a caring human being. Boo secretly gives the children gifts and, in the end, saves their lives. The reason why the children are prejudice to Boo is because they do not know a lot about him. Boo is a mysterious figure with many rumors circulating around him.
Later in the book, the children encounter Mr. Raymond, a man well hated by his peers because he fathers mixed raced children. As Scout and Jem find out, Mr. Raymond is not a bad man. There are many rumors that Mr. Raymond carries a bag containing alcohol, but that is not true as the children find out. Mr. Raymond tells Scout and Jem about the simple hell people give other people without even stopping to think that they re people, too (pg. 201). People are prejudice to each other without recognizing the common similarities. Everyone is a Homo Sapien and that will never change. To Kill A Mockingbird takes place during the Great Depression, a time when blacks were still fighting for civil right. During the depression, black people were treated differently than white people because of their differences. Black people were supposed to be slaves, but now they were trying to gain power and the white people didn t like that. Half of this is tradition and half of it is about power. Farmers needed slaves; they didn t like black people any other way. Other people wanted to have power and control; they disliked the fact that black people were equal to themselves. And so the white people were racist to the black folk to restore their status. Although white people were racist toward black folk , so were the black people toward the white trash . When Scout and Jem visit a black church, some people don t welcome them. Why you bringing white chillun to nigger church? (p.119). It strikes someone as sad to see that prejudice follows into the house of the Lord. White and black may be different colors, but they have the same God.
An impacting idea of prejudice is wrapped within a trial consisting of Tom Robinson, a black man, and long with Bob & Mayella Ewell, the white trash . Tom is convicted of raping the daughter of Bob Ewell. His attorney, Atticus, tries to prove that Tom is innocent. In the end, it is Tom s word against Bob s, but there is more evidence on Tom s side. Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are equal, Atticus says, We know all men are not create equal in the sense some people would have us believe but there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein that institution is the court. In our courts all men are created equal. (p. 205) Atticus knows that the jury is racist to black people; however, he tries to remind the jury that the court is supposed to be unbiased, that the law is the unbent law. Sadly, even through the evidence is favoring Tom, the jury unanimously votes him as guilty. Prejudice is in the court system. I ain t ever seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man (Reverend Sykes, p. 208).
Prejudice is everywhere. It s on the streets, between the church walls, and in the court system. Over the years, black citizens have won the dignity they deserve, but other issues have also risen. When people don t understand each other, they make stereotypes and rumors. Sexism, racism, and discrimination all exist because of differences. Thus when differences are not brought about into the open, hatred, anger and misconceptions are all formed.