Class of 2013

Class of 2013
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Making a Personal Response

The event that struck me the most deeply was the moment Tom Robinson was convicted of sexually assaulting Mayella Ewell, even after evidence was provided to prove the contrary. The reason being is because during their time period, the jury could not possibly accept a black man’s words against a white man’s words as a result of racial discrimination. Prior to the trial, we were first introduced to the case when John Taylor appointed Atticus to execute the assignment. During the trial, African Americans were segregated and positioned in the upper balcony, Mr. Gilmer, the prosecuting attorney, was acrimonious when questioning Tom Robinson, and the jury’s decision to sentence Tom Robinson to prison all led me to the realization that the jury was willing to deny a black man his freedom as a result of his skin color. This also tells me that prejudice consumes their conscience, preventing them from reasoning logically.

During their time period, prejudice prevailed in the United States as more African Americans entered the area. The thought of African Americans benefiting from society as a result of freedom gained by the Constitution angered white people. During their time period, whites were unable to accept African Americans as human beings. Thomas Jefferson one said that all men are created equal, just as Atticus stated during the trial. Disappointment consumed my heart as the jury condemned Tom Robinson to prison, even after Atticus proved his innocence. I have learned that a man can suffer anguish emotionally as a result of prejudice. I have also learned that during their time period, white men were not tolerable of African Americans and that they were willing to strip a black man of his freedom in order to satisfy their personal desires.

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