Racism is defined as poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race or the belief that some races of people are superior to others. This belief has been instilled in people for centuries. These beliefs have slightly deteriorated due to the civil rights movement. However, racist beliefs have managed to be passed down from generation to generation which is why racism is still quite prevalent today.
Harper Lee thoroughly explains how immoral society was in the 1930’s through “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Jem and Scout’s dad, Atticus, rose to the challenge of defending a black man, named Tom Robinson, that was accused of raping a white woman (Lee). Atticus provided sufficient evidence that Tom had not raped her. In fact, she was the one chasing after him. Atticus proposed that her dad beat her when he found out that she liked Tom. The all white jury voted Tom guilty as charged which was no surprise to Atticus. Tom was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he obviously had no such involvement in. People looked down on Atticus for defending a black man and even referred to him as a “nigger-lover”. His kids even received some flack from classmates because he defended Tom.
Even though Atticus was not racist, his children had been surrounded by enough racist ideas within the town that they had fallen in with the crowd. “Once you have a drop of Negro blood, that makes you all black,” said Jem to scout outside the courthouse. The older generations of the town, parents and grandparents, instilled this sense of superiority of the white race in the children. This is a prime example of how racist beliefs survived from generation to generation. The children learn by example. Since they were surrounded by racism, they had no choice and no chance to develop their own moral system.
This cycle has continued its way into the current generation. One of the most recent and controversial examples of racism is the Trayvon Martin case. George Zimmerman, a thirty one year old college student at Seminole State College, was accused of the manslaughter of a seventeen year old african american, Trayvon Martin (CNN library). Zimmerman served as a neighborhood watch captain at Twin Lakes gated community in Sanford. He found Trayvon to be a suspicious character and proceeded to call 911 and report him. Zimmerman is told not to leave his vehicle, but he disregards these orders and pursues Trayvon on foot. Zimmerman is a mere neighborhood watch man. He has none of the necessary qualifications to chase any suspicious characters and engage in physical contact. He claims to have shot Trayvon in self-defense. However, if he had felt even remotely threatened, then he should not have pursued Trayvon. In one of the 911 recordings, a voice is heard screaming for help. The voice was presumably Trayvon’s considering he was being pursued by a man he had never seen before This simple logic is sufficient evidence that Zimmerman had his own intentions in mind besides...