by Jerry Spinelli
Maniac Magee Prejudice Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
Amanda tried to reason with him. "You can't listen to that old coot. He's goofy. He's always saying stuff like that. You can't go because of something one nutty old coot says.'
Maniac pointed out that it wasn't the nutty old coot who chalked up the front of the house.
Amanda laughed. "That? That's no big deal. It wasn't even paint. If they really meant it, they would've done it in paint." (18.1-3)
Oh, so they only kind of meant it. Well, that's fine, then. Except, not really. It's obvious at this point that Amanda's wrong: the East Enders' prejudice runs deep. (Although at least none of them are building bunkers. We think.)
Russell stops firing long enough to send Maniac a where-have you-been? Look. "Who do ya think?" he sneers. He points the red barrel of the submachine gun toward the bedroom door. Toward the east. The East End." (35.49)
Prejudice doesn't have an age limit—of course, not, because we usually learn it at home. Russell probably doesn't even understand what's going on right now, but it wont' be long until he's just as mean and hateful as his dad and big brother. Unless Maniac steps in, of course.
The cockroach strolling up his pant leg wasn't the only thing making Maniac feel crawly. He shook off the roach. He moved to the center of the kitchen, to surround himself with as much space as possible. "But other people," he said, "I don't hear them talking about revolts. Nobody else wants to make a pillbox." (39.35)
Living with the McNabs is pretty unpleasant, but it does teach Maniac a lot. Like how there isn't only one way to react to something—how prejudice isn't universal, but taught and learned. That means it can be untaught and unlearned too.