“A study published last year found that African Americans are almost three times more likely than white people to be killed by the police’s use of force.” (independent.co.uk, 2017)
The ’To Kill a Mockingbird’ ban is absolutely absurd. In 2017, schools in the Biloxi School district banned Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird,’ only giving the reason that it ‘makes people uncomfortable,’ however; this is the purpose of the novel. The intention of Harper Lee’s novel is to expose readers to the harsh reality of the past in order to make a change in society. The novel directly deals with a sensitive issue and attempts to question the reader’s motives. It is without a doubt one of the most influential books in history. Through reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ students are given the opportunity to learn many valuable lessons, all of which are still relevant in today’s society.
‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is set in a fictional town in Alabama named Maycomb in the 1930s when racial discrimination is at it’s peak. The story follows the adventures of a 9-year-old girl named Scout. In the book, Scout’s father Atticus defends an innocent black manin a court against white men. There is so much evidence to prove that the black man was innocent, yet in Maycomb’s heavily racist community he is still convicted against. It is important for students to recognise that what is happening is inhumane and wrong so that they do not repeat it. ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,’ -George Santayana. In today’s society when there is still huge amounts of racial injustice, it is important for younger generations to acknowledge the 1930s so they can learn how it is wrong to treat people differently just because of their race. ‘The first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging it.’ -Will Mcavoy. If readers are comfortable while reading a book about injustice they will not feel like they need to do anything to fix it. This is why the book making people feel uncomfortable is extremely important. Through displaying racism so openly in her novel, Lee is challenging society’s intents and making a change to society’s motives. Because of this, it would be detrimental to ban ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ from the education system.
Through reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ students are also given the opportunity to learn lessons from Atticus’ teachings to Scout. An important lesson Atticus teaches Scout is when he tells her “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Scout considers this while trying to understand her classmates, and her neighbour Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley. Through Scout finally viewing things from Arthur’s perspective at the end of the book, students can recognise that they can apply this lesson to their own lives. Everyone in their lives will go through a time when their views are challenged by another, and only by looking from the outside in, can people really understand their reasoning. By giving students a new perspective on how to view things, Harper Lee teaches them a lesson that can be carried with them for the rest of their lives. How terrible would it be if educators took this away from the students?
In conclusion, Through reading Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ students are given the opportunity to learn many life lessons about racial injustice. If To Kill a Mockingbird was banned from the education system, students would be robbed from these opportunities. To ban such an influential book would be ridiculous, as it is very important and is still relevant in today’s society.