What commentary was Dolphus Raymond making about the town and its values in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Dolphus Raymond is a true rarity in Maycomb: a white man who prefers the company of Negroes. Raymond is a true eccentric, and this makes him an outcast among the white population of the town. A wealthy man, Raymond has a black mistress, and when he comes to town, he deliberately weaves about while drinking from a straw that extends to a bottle hidden in a paper bag. Naturally, the townspeople assume it is whiskey--just as Raymond hopes. However, he divulges his secret--the bottle contains only Coca-Cola--to Dill and Scout outside the courthouse. He knows he can trust his young friends to keep his secret, and he also realizes they have not yet been consumed by "Maycomb's usual disease": racism. Raymond knows that the rest of the town will never be able to understand why he chooses to live as he does. He lives apart from the rest of Maycomb's white population, in part, because of the hatred they display toward others simply because of the color of their skin. Raymond laments about the hatred directed at blacks, and how he will

"Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think that they're people, too."

He refuses to attend the trial; like Atticus, he knows what the outcome will be. He recognizes that Scout has not seen the evil side of the town yet--she is too young--but

"... all you gotta do is step back inside the courthouse."

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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