African Americans in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird are treated as second-class citizens in numerous ways, including the following:
- Many white citizens of Maycomb think that blacks are not entitled to competent defense when they are accused of crimes.
- Even lower-class “white trash” feel entitled to look down on black people.
- Any white persons (such as Dolphus Raymond) who associate intimately with black persons are likely to suffer from discrimination themselves. One of the most common terms of abuse in the book is “n*****-lover.”
- Even the slightest bit of African-American genetic heritage is enough to cause a person to be classified as entirely an African American. As Jem puts it,
“once you have a drop of Negro blood, that makes you all black.”
In short, practically every white person in Maycomb, whatever his or her own flaws, feels entitled to look down on blacks, abuse them, accuse them, and even kill them if so inclined. Blacks have almost no protections against...
(The entire section contains 555 words.)