Man Racism Isn't an Inborn Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

There are costs to bearing and believing in such a secret.

These costs are manifested in many ways. There are the psychosomatic costs Jesse endures, his impotence, his weakness around the black boy in the jail, his tremors at the thought of Otis, "Now the thought of Otis made him sick. He began to shiver." There are also the psychological costs that Jesse is plagued by, the self-delusion associated with believing racism is moral, the mental anguish, and the constant struggle over whether he can trust his coconspirators, "They were forced to depend on each other more and, at the same time, to trust each other less" (Baldwin). What Baldwin is underscoring with these psychological and psychosomatic burdens is that the path Jesse has followed, a path of racism and discrimination, has led him to a very troubled existence.

Baldwin wants the reader to understand that proponents for a Jim Crow America (it's not coincidental that he uses "Big Jim C" as a character) had racism embedded into their psyche. They grew up in a cultural milieu where the maltreatment of black people was an accepted practice, where it was considered okay to lynch a "nigger." But as the public become more conscious and conscientious, as the civil rights activists and desegregationists raised the public's awareness, it became harder and harder to tell oneself that what he/she were doing was right. There was a palpable sense of guilt - "They were soldiers fighting a war, but their relationship to each other was that of accomplices in a crime" - one that could only be assuaged by more hate, more abuse, and more deluded thoughts of self-righteousness (Baldwin).

In the end, justice and morality won out, defeating the Jim Crow agenda. However, racism is still taught in America and people like Jesse still exist, but thankfully they're not as prevalent as they once were. Moving forward, we must continue to safeguard our children from racism and educate them as to how people like Jesse…

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