I just finished reading Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman and I am impressed at the timing of the release of this book. It begs me to wonder why the family chose to release this book NOW, when our country is in such a state of civil unrest. Or rather, did the family intentionally release it now for just that reason?
There are so many amazing quotes from this book regarding social inequality and justice, picking from them isn't exactly an easy task. One being, "Prejudice, a dirty word, and faith, a clean one, have something in common: they both begin where reason ends."
How does that relate to today's world? Just last week something happened to a young woman in Texas during a routine traffic stop that ended with Sandra Bland dead in a jail cell a few days later. Where is the reason? How will her family find justice?
"The one human being she had ever fully and wholeheartedly trusted had failed her; the only man he had ever known to whom she could point and say with expert knowledge, "He is a gentleman, in his heart he is a gentleman," had betrayed her, publicly, grossly and shamelessly."
Even our own highly renowned Atticus Finch is proven a man not of his word. A man we thought to be our #1 hero according to AFI, is in reality just socially prejudiced against social equality and content with those feelings.
Dear Scout has grown up, moved on, and become a New Yorker, with her own thoughts and doubts about the goings on in the South. Her godlike image of her father is demolished in this novel causing her to see his words were never meant to hurt her but instead meant to make her realize that he is a human, just like everyone else.
"I need a watchman to tell me this is what a man says but this is what he means, to draw a line down the middle and say here is this justice and there is that justice and make me understand the difference."
With all of my being I feel the same way as this quote. I think that if we could all just sit back and look at every side of the current social situation and I mean all of them, draw a line and calmly understand the difference between what is said and after removing emotions being able to see what was actually meant, progress may be able to happen.
My biggest fear is that this book will be shifted off to the wayside the way To Kill a Mockingbird was because it was profane and because of the prejudicial tones. The year I found out the schools had removed the book from their approved reading lists was the year I made my child read it and do a book report for me, at home. This may be a fictional novel, but the facts and history is something we need not forget. This is a book that every person in America needs to read, and genuinely absorb. I know my children will both be reading it and I suggest yours do too.
"Now thenm Scout,' said her uncle. 'Now, at this very minute, a political philosophy foreign to it is being pressed on the South, and the South's not ready for it---we're finding ourselves in the same deep waters. As sure as time, history is repeating itself, and as sure as man is man, history is the last place he'll look for his lessons. I hopt to God it'll be a comparatively bloodless Reconstruction this time."
I think this quote is the most relevant out of the entire read. We as humans need to be ready. It's not just one area of our country that isn't ready, it's our entire nation. We need to reconstruct. Hit the reset button and really look at what we are all doing to each other. Racial issues, social injustice, gender issues, sexual orientation issues all that are covered under our EQUAL RIGHTS. We are one together as humans. This isn't the past. We need to learn from our nation's history and see what did not work. Racism doesn't work. Sexism doesn't work. Hate is a learned behavior that doesn't work.
"The only thing I'm afraid of about this country is that its government will someday become so monstrous that the smallest person in it will be trampled underfoot, and then it wouldn't be worth living in. The only thing in America that is still unique in this tired world is that a man can go as far as his brains will take him or he can go to hell if he wants to, but it won't be that way much longer."
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