The unfair treatment that Crooks endures comes at the experience of being a person of color. Crooks feels that the racial separation that he must endure is where the unfair treatment lies. Crooks is living in the reality of American segregation. His quarters are separated from the others, and he must live apart from others as a result of segregation. For Crooks, his unfair treatment exists on dealing with the reality of being African- American in a White person's setting: “’Cause I’m black. They play cards in there, but I can’t play because I’m black. They say I stink. Well, I tell you, you all of you stink to me.” The sense of unfairness is evident in the lack of equality of opportunity. As Crooks continues to talk to Lennie, it becomes evident that he feels unfairness at being alone and isolated from others. It becomes a human need for connection that causes Crooks to feel that he is treated unfairly for he is denied this:
I was talkin’ about myself. A guy sets alone out here at night, maybe readin’ books or thinkin’ or stuff like that. Sometimes he gets thinkin’, an’ he got nothing to tell him what’s so an’ what ain’t so. Maybe if he sees somethin’, he don’t know whether it’s right or not. He can’t turn to some other guy and ast him if he sees it too. He can’t tell. He got nothing to measure by. I seen things out here. I wasn’t drunk. I don’t know if I was asleep. If some guy was with me, he could tell me I was asleep, an’ then it would be all right. But I jus’ don’t know.
Crooks feels that the isolation and loneliness that is prompted upon him because of the reality of segregation is the root of his unfair treatment. This unfairness is what eats away at him for he "can't tirn to some other guy." The condition of loneliness is where his pain lies. Crooks sees this as unfair and the reason why his consciousness is one rooted in a lack of contentment.