Sunday, July 12, 2015

Harper Lee and her recent novel

Harper Lee and her recent novel

There is nothing in the character of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird to suggest that he was anything other than the average biased Southerner of his time in Depression era America.

People, wanting positive change, put their best foot forward in the Civil Rights movement of the African-Americans in the 1950s and 1960s. Surely ideals and idealic ideas about equality needed an almost magical quality to overturn the mess of Reconstruction following the Civil War, following the collapse of the obscene and obsolete economic system based on slavery. 

To Kill A Mockingbird was such a positive view of life in the recent past that seemed to give insight and impetus to that Civil Rights moment. It was the right book at the right time in American culture. 

Right from the very first, white European indentured servants served seven years of defacto slavery to gain a passage to the New World and future opportunity not afforded in the Old World.

Right from the very first, Africans who did not speak the language got stuck in a white man made hell of profit from the labor of people of a different culture and race - decade after decade after decade and codified into law.

And generation after generation people became trapped in the evil of Capitalism that has no moral rules except that of profit and getting over on the next guy or gal.

There is the Atticus quote now from the second Harper Lee book which was written before Mockingbird. And Atticus is afraid of carloads of coloreds invading the delusional safe white town square of America.

The “carloads” word is metaphor for technology. Putting fears from the past into exponential power intensifies fears of things that should have been adjusted or justly dealt with decades and generations before.

People forget that the Infrastructure Czar Robert Moses who had dictatorial power for decades over New York City and Long Island projects of Housing, Roads and Parks is that many highways being built going and coming into New York City, at this same time period of Atticus in Mockingbird, those highways onto Long Island from NYC had bridges and overpasses intentionally built very low in order to make charter buses full of "coloreds" from going out to Jones Beach etc. And ownership of a car was still a luxury to most of the masses white and black at that time.

That when Atticus Finch talks about the technology of “carloads” of black people, he is no different than the prejudices held in the North, but cleverly camouflaged behinds other technologies. That the South had decades long economic depression following the Civil War in one reason why racial equality and or racial tolerance was an unacceptable in everyday life of the South as displayed in the so called dark side of an aged Atticus Finch. Jobs first for the white natives and not the chattel / property class.

That few see that Atticus defended a black on rape charges with a white woman in Mockingbird, he was no idealist, he was as fair as any trial situation could be considering the circumstances. Better to give a full and adequate defense of the man charged, than have some other idiot and or blathering racist handle the defense.  

In that Atticus was a full and true servant of the law, his profession, in his professionalism that he will be remembered for that and not the green salad novel currently on the NYT’s best seller list.


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