The White Male Juries By Tom Robinson

1417 Words6 Pages
Without question, Tom Robinson would be better off today.
He would be able to vote. He would have access to all public accommodations. He could win a seat in Congress, be appointed to the Supreme Court, he could even be President.
In fact, Tom Robinson could live a life completely unimaginable and unrecognizable to the characters in Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”. No lynching’s. No all white male juries. No presumption of guilt based on skin color. No state-sanctioned discrimination.
Yet, Tom would realize a sad, but undeniable truth — that racism is still alive and all too well in this country, America. He would know it in the economic injustice that has left twenty-five percent of African-Americans living in poverty. He
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Instructive words now.
Like Alabama in the 1930s, Texas in the 1950s was a place where separate never meant equal. It was a place where "colored" water fountains did not spout brightly colored water as a child might expect, but stood as symbols of racism, which meant indignity, shame, and humiliation for some and indifference, false pride, and hate for others.
At my old school, my teachers carefully avoided any mention of race, class, or gender. Like Scout, I learned those lessons from my family. When Scout comes to her father with questions about human behavior, he doesn 't give her advice on what to say or do. Instead, he tells her that the "trick" to understanding another person is to consider things from his or her point of view. For nearly 15 years, that has been a hard thing to conquer. We trust each other to wrestle with complex choices in the past and present so that they will better understand the social mores of our time. We encourage them to think critically and independently in much the way Atticus, Scout 's father, engages his children.
Like some people, Scout 's teacher misses an opportunity to trust her students with the complexities of history and human behavior. Each week at Scout 's school, there is a current events period where each student clips an item from a newspaper and shares the contents with the class. In one lesson, a child, Cecil, shares his current event: "Old Adolf Hitler has been
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