Hopefully readers of TKAM will recognize the progress that has been made since the 1930s, when a black man could be taken out and lynched; when segregation meant different standards for different races; and how a white man's word was always taken over the word of a black man. Though racism is still with us, and probably always will be to some extent, the lives of African Americans are certainly far better than during Scout's time. Both women and African Americans now serve on juries, and laws are present to prosecute hate crimes and to protect the rights of women. Neighborhoods and schools are integrated, blacks and whites and men and women compete for the same jobs, and the races and sexes are considered equal under the law. Laws are also in place to protect the mentally disturbed, and men like Boo Radley no longer have to hide inside their homes for fear of the outside world.