Race and Racialization

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  • Race is the categorization of humans based on their genetic and superficial physical differences such as skin colour and hair texture.
  • Social Darwinism is the belief that more advanced societies have a higher chance of survival than simpler societies and the societies that adapt better and faster to changes have a better chance of withstanding distress. Due to this theory, however, people have associated these simpler societies with certain races.
  • A stereotype is an exaggerated and oversimplified idea/trait about certain groups of people. Stereotypes are generalizations, they reduce people to those given ideas and don’t consider an individual’s differences. Stereotypes maintain social and symbolic order as it ostracizes strangers from those familiar with the group. It connects similar individuals together into their own make-believe communities.
  • When the state legislature calls Atticus into an emergency session it left Jem and Scout alone with Calpurnia for two weeks. Calpurnia does not trust Scout and Jem to go to church by themselves due to a past incident, so she asks them to go with her to her African-American church outside of town.
  • What am I gonna do about you all's church on Sunday?
  • For the most part, the people of Calpurnia’s church were very respectful and friendly expect for a woman named Lula. Living in a White supremacist town like Maycomb and for having this be their first time experiencing and seeing racism firsthand, it must have felt unusual for Scout and Jem to be the object of someone else’s discrimination rather it being the other way around.
  • You ain’t got no business bringin‘ white chillun here —they got their church, we got our’n. It is our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal?
  • Jem and Atticus are discussing what is going to happen with Tom once the governor makes his decision. Jem is confused why Tom would be sentenced to death especially since the evidence was lacking. Then Atticus tries to explain to Jem that the law should be free of prejudices but that he must learn to accept the fact that racism is a matter of life especially for their day in age.
  • There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn’t be fair if they tried. In our courts, when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins. They’re ugly, but those are the facts of life.
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