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Racial Injustice Compared with a Lesson Before Dying

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Racial injustice has always existed as a terrible issue in our society from the very beginning. Although racism has come a long way from the start, in unfortunately is not fully extinct yet. Being treated differently because of the color of your skin has been such a sensitive issue that has been around a very long time. The Brown v. Board of Education case and the Ku Klux Klan helps explain the seriousness of racial injustice. The book, A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, also explores how racial injustice was very much real.

The Brown v. Board of Education had racial injustice written all over it. In 1951 a suit was filed against the Board of Education in Topeka, Kansas. The suit was filed to reverse the policy of racial segregation. An African American man, Oliver L. Brown, was convinced to join the lawsuit because his daughter was declined enrollment from a more convenient school from their home an had to attend a school a mile away because it was an all black school. Being the skin color that she was, Linda Brown had to go a farther distance than necessary just to get an education. At the end, the Supreme Court ruled that segregation of students violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. This outcome also overturned Plessy v. Ferguson, another racial injustice case where the Supreme Court ruled in the favor of segregation.

Founded in 1866, the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) was not intended for for malicious intent; it was just a secret fraternity club. Though in the beginning this club didn’t mean any harm, the Klu Klux Klan very soon became racially injustice in a harmful way. The Klan mainly murdered political and social leaders that were black. Even though those were the main targets, blacks could be murdered for anything. Men, women, children, elderly and even cripples were treated unjust for just the simple reason of being African American. The Klan was violent and had so much hatred for the black community with no conscience for the actions they took. The Klan’s primary goal was white supremacy and they literally did anything to try to reach it no matter what the circumstances.

In A Lesson Before Dying examples of racial injustice is throughout the story. One of the most important characters, Jefferson, was sentenced to death by execution because he was falsely accused of murder and robbery. There was a lack of evidence to connect him to the crime, the most they had was him being physically there as it was committed and Jefferson was still charged guilty ….. because he was black. The conviction was quick and to the point; no second thinking because Jefferson was African American he had to be guilty. Many other minor things go throughout the story hinting about how real racial injustice was like how Grant, the main character, and his family had to enter through the back of a white person’s home. And also how white people believed a black person was to speak improper and not be as educated as they were.

The Brown v. Board of Education case, the Klu Klux Klan and A Lesson Before Dying all portray the seriousness and realness of racial injustice and the extent that was taken with this sensitive manner. African Americans being treated poorly and unfairly was very much real as you can tell from the examples given. Though it is not as widespread as it used to be, unfortunately racism still does exist and it still should be taken as an important issue.

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