Racism in America
To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about bravery and courage in a small town. Racism is present and is the main theme throughout the story. Everyone in Maycomb County is consumed by the hatred and impurities of prejudice, everyone but the main character, Atticus Finch. He was a lawyer in the small Alabama community who helped defend a black man, Tom Robinson, who was accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Atticus goes through some tough times as this trial is going on, as well as his kids, Scout and Jem. They are all called nigger-lovers and such. Harper Lee wrote this particular story with determination and perseverence in mind. She wanted people to realize that racism is real and it does no good at all, only harm. She was well acknowledged for writing the book, To Kill A Mockingbird. It won a number of awards and was then made into a movie which was a box-office smash. To Kill a Mockingbird was a book about realistic issues; such as racism and the troubles and hardships of growing up.
...Everybody jumped on him, beat the hell out of him....Everyone was hitting him or kicking him. One guy was hitting on the side of his face....He was unconscious. He was bleeding. Everyone had blood on their forearms. We ran back up the hill laughing...He should have died....He lost so much blood he turned white. He got what he deserved (Dave 71).
The skinheads who performed this act of racial violence in 1990, had no reason to
brutally beat their victim other the fact that he was black.
Racism is objectively defined as any practice of ethnic discrimination or segregation. Fortunately, racial violence is steadily declining as the turn of the century
approaches. Now a new form of racism, covert racism, has recently sprung from the
pressures of political correctness. This new form of racism, although slowly declining, still shows signs of strong support (Dietch 6). Covert racism assumes a form of civil disobedience against politically correct thought and speech. Essentially, covert racism is a hidden racism, or a racism not easily detected (Dietch 7). Racism is still strongly prevalent in today's society (Newquist 404).
There are three different basic forms of racism: violent racism, open racism, and covert racism. They are similar because they all share the expressed forms of hatred towards distinct ethnic groups. These basic forms of racism, although different in form, all have the same main purpose: to promote racism. Open racism expresses freedom of racial thought and speech. Open racists promote their views through strictly persuasionary tactics. This form of racism is allowed in out society because of the First Amendment. Open racism is currently almost nonexistent and steadily declining, because it is considered politically incorrect and socially unacceptable. Violent racism promotes racism through violence, fear, and persuasionary tactics (Billington 110-111). This form of racism is not protected by the First Amendment because it promotes violence, and therefore these groups are protected by the First Amendment because not enough
sufficient evidence exists to prove their violent intent (Billington 111).
Covert racism expresses ideas of racism in disguised forms: sometimes the covert racist is not even aware of the fact that he is a racist. Racism, it is asserted, is no longer blatant; people nowadays are reluctant to express openly their dislike of and contempt for
minorities, indeed are not prepared to express publicly a sentiment that could be interpreted as a racist (Erisman 127). Racism, it is said, is subtle: it is disguised, kept out of sight. The suggestion that there is a new racism--a racism that has a new strength precisely because it doesn't appear to be racism--deserves serious consideration. Avoiding minorities on the street and denial of a public benefit to a minority which would be awarded to a white are examples of covert racism. Since it is no longer politically correct to openly express one's racist views, people therefore favor disguised, indirect ways to express their bigotry (Cash). Covert racism is the most abundant form of racism in our society today.
What causes racism? Unfortunately, the answer is much longer and detailed than the question. The three main causes for racism are: racism has become part of our heritage, right-wing radical and political