Last Updated 31 Jan 2023

Racism in the Past and Today in the Books and Articles

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“In our courts, when it's a white man's word against a black man, the white man always wins” (Lee 252). The book, To Kill a Mockingjay, by Harper Lee, explains a view through a child eye of racism in southern states of the depression era. Sadly, racism can still be found in all aspects of life, like in the areas of neighborhood and criminal justice systems.

In addition, racism is shown throughout the book. The people in Maycomb consider gambling a sin but are content with the lower class gambling in a place of worship when it belongs to Negroes. “Negroes worshipped in it on Sundays and white men gambled in it on weekdays. Church was a place of gambling, they wanted it to be a place of worship but it was a place of gambling for the white men”(Lee, 118). Later on the jury convicts Tom Robinson, the community knows Bob Ewell’s Reputation but Tom is still convicted. “I shut my eyes.

Judge Taylor was polling the jury: Guilty . . . guilty . . . guilty. But in the secret courts of men's hearts, Atticus had no case. Tom was dead a man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed”(Lee, 93). As the testimonies are being told, an understanding of Tom's innocence is shown. Atticus tries to explain to the children that the jury can get away with a decision like this because of racism in the town. “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash” (Lee, 220).

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People in the town of Maycomb are racists even to the children. “‘But I want to play with Walter, Aunty, why can’t I?” She took off her glasses and stared at me. “I’ll tell you why,” she said, “Because- he – is – trash, that’s why you can’t play with him. i'll not have you around him, picking up his habits and learning Lord-knows-what. You're enough of a problem to your father as it is' (Lee, 257). In other words racism is a major problem in this book.

In simulatrity, with the thousands of articles on racism, it's obvious that it's still an issue today. In the article, “Poll: 64 percent of Americans say racism remains a major problem” by Andrew Arenge, Stephanie Perry and Dartunorro Clark, shows the american look and opinions on racism today. “Pluralities of Americans said race relations in the United States are getting worse (45 percent) and think that too little attention is paid to race and racial issues (41 percent)” (Arenge, Perry, and Clark). The percentage of racism raising, it's clear that the human race hasn't learned from the past.

Another quote from this article is when “Three black Airbnb guests in Southern California were detained after a white neighbor called the police. About a week later, a white Yale University student called the police when she found a black student napping in the common room of their dorm”(Arenge, Perry, and Clark). This shows how people doing nothing wrong can still be a victim to racism. So how much racism does a person face everyday? In the article, “How Much Racism Do You Face Every Day?” by Amy Harmon, she does study on 101 black teens. “Collectively, the 101 black teens participating in the study reported more than 5,600 experiences of racial discrimination over two weeks.

That boils down to an average of more than five instances per day for each teenager. That’s more than 70 over two weeks” (Harmon). So why are these kids facing racism? “‘Part of why these types of microaggressions are so insidious is that a lot of times, white people can see them as not real, or not a big deal,’‘ said Devin English, a psychologist at Rutgers University who led the study. “But this is showing us the magnitude of the discrimination faced by black adolescents. It’s happening all the time. And it’s affecting how they feel’” (Harmon). As shown here most people don't think it's a big deal but that is the reasoning on why it's still an issue. With the percentage rise of racism in the first article and the reasoning for some of it in the second article. It's pretty clear that there is still an issue today.

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