Offensive Language In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird remains one of the most banned and challenged books today because of its content; the latest ban being in an eighth-grade classroom in Mississippi of October 2017. It’s commonly regarded as using offensive language that causes students, or rather parents to be uncomfortable. School districts have stated that the same themes can be taught through use of other literary methods that do not contain offensive language such as when Lee uses “nigger.” Due to the current race relations, the themes of racism and prejudice used in To Kill a Mockingbird are topics that stand relevant. Inspecting race relations through a sociological perspective continues the conversation about the challenges that black people still …show more content…
Just as racial-ethnic identity shapes blacks, it has an impact on whites in the same way. Grossman defines the difference between racial centrality and ideology. Racial centrality is the extent to which an individual identifies race as an important part of their identity, and racial ideology is the meaning individuals assign to their racial identity. Studies of white college age students show that they do not consider race as an important part of their identity. Grossman (2009) recognizes this as using whiteness as the standard. “Many White people do not make connections between their structural advantages and opportunities in life and their racial background.” (Lipsitz, 1998, as cited in Grossman, 2009) The rejection of white privilege is commonly used with the colorblind humanism argument. This excuse is used to spare whites the discomfort of understanding their unearned advantages for simply being white. This disconnect is what allows whites to lack in their own self-awareness. Grossman (2009) also concluded that there was a link between whiteness and privilege that showed whites from lower socioeconomic statuses understood more wholly what their whiteness …show more content…
As DeFreece, Jr. addressed in his works, race talk is disregarded and tossed to the side regarded as racism itself. He offers insight to the important role socialization plays in identity development of racial-ethnic minority. Lee through use of the themes in To Kill a Mockingbird highlights this understanding of race and starts the conversation of “race talk” and similarities can be made from the era of Jim Crow, when the book was written, to present day. Grossman explores white racial identity and how it contributes to the understanding, or lack thereof, of white privilege. It is important for whites to understand their own role in the reinforcement of racism. Randle offers the comparison to the era of Jim Crow in terms of the law. She focuses on the lack of protection afforded to blacks, and the way it shows the absent progression made systematically. Spector focuses on the capitalist driven purpose of reinforcing the very intertwined system of racism. Overall, each author shows the importance of race education. Through books like To Kill a Mockingbird, education and exposure to race relations in history can serve the purpose of understanding one’s own identity. Learning the history of America’s race relations can lead to further research that can help students understand why race relations exist the way they do in the present day. It’s easy to see that Lee’s story,

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