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To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird


by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 20 Quotes

How we cite the quotes:

Atticus Finch

Quote 7

"You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire." (20.48)

Racism logic fail: Tom is black, black is bad, therefore Tom is bad. Atticus tries to transform it into, "Tom is a man, some men are bad, some men are good, and now listen to the evidence and decide which group Tom belongs to." Convicting Tom because he is black, Atticus argues, would be as silly as convicting him because he is a human being.

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