Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird By:joshua heningburg

“The negro needs the white man to free him from his man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the negro to free him from his guilt.” This quote stated famously from Martin Luther King Jr. explains how racism takes control over a certain type of person and he wants the whites to free the blacks from his guilt. I will use NBC news , To Kill a Mockingbird book, and Britannica online to convey the themes of racism and how these three resources help to show how racism negatively impacted humans. In the three texts, they relate to the theme of racism of historical times to modern and how it negatively impacts people.

MLK historic memorial in Washington D.C

In the Britannica school article, the white supremacy, or kkk, relates to the historical theme of racism. A quote from TKAM shows how a racist mob group relates to historic groups that performs acts of racism, it states,”’He in there Mr. Finch’ a man said,’He is’, we heard Atticus answer,’and he’s asleep, don’t wake him.’ ‘You know what we want , get aside from the door Mr.Finch.(Lee pg 149)’” This shows how as a mob like group the white people show their hate and rudeness toward the black people. This quote from the book similarly relates to the historical racist hate group that also showed their hate towards blacks. This quote states,”white supremacy, beliefs and ideas purporting natural superiority of the lighter skin or ‘white’ human races over other racial groups.(Britannica)”This shows how the white supremacy hated against black people and feel how they are superior to the black race. Both of these quotes relate to the theme of racism and how in forms of groups the white people will be more stronger against the blacks and they will do mostly anything to make themselves feel superior to the minority race.

KKK march

In modern times, the theme of racism also occurs and is affected in modern day crimes. In the book To Kill a mockingbird, Tom is falsely convicted of a crime that he didn’t act upon or do. This compares to the modern day case of Treyvon Martin in which a young boy is shot by a white man because he looked like that he would commit a crime because of his black skin.A quote from TKAM that explains Tom’s case states,”Which, gentlemen , we know is in itself a lie as a black as Tom Robinson's skin, a lie i do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, and the truth is this: so negroes lie, some negro men are not to be trusted -black or white- but this is a truth that applies to the human race and no particular race other.(Lee pg 206)” This shows that the white men knew that Tom wasn’t guilty but still falsely accused him because of the color of his skin. The quote stated about the theme of racism also compares to modern day cases like the famous Treyvon Martin case. A quote from NBC News online states,”Stanford police chief Bill Lee says that Zimmerman has not been charged because there are no grounds to dispute his story of events.(Lee NBC)” This quote shows that Treyvon Martin was falsely accused because the white man had no counter evidence which automatically gives him the word to say anything he wants and he will be told he is correct. It also shows the comparison of the theme of racism for both TKAM and the modern Treyvon Martin case and how both Tom and Treyvon were falsely accused because of their race.

Scene from the Tim Robinson Case

In conclusion, modern and Historical forms of racism are not only shown through real life, but in the book To Kill a Mockingbird too. Think about how racism can impact somebody and if you can think of something or a certain event that can tie into the theme of racism.

Works Cited

Bloom, Harold. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1999. Print.

Lee, Trymaine. "Analysis: Trayvon Martin's Death Still Fuels a Movement 5 Years Later." NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, 26 Feb. 2017. Web. 28 Mar. 2017. <http://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/analysis-trayvon-martin-s-death-still-fuels-movement-five-years-n725646>.

"White supremacy." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 23 Nov. 2016. school.eb.com/levels/high/article/white-supremacy/384444#. Accessed 28 Mar. 2017.


Created with images by gurdonark - "northern mockingbird" • gunthersimmermacher - "martin luther king washington monument" • Roberto Latxaga - "Gaiteros"

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