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Posts Tagged ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’

“One more thing, gentlemen, before I quit.  Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the Yankees and the distaff side of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us.  There is a tendency in this year of grace, 1935, for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions.  The most ridiculous example I can think of is that the people who run public education promote the stupid and idle along with the industrious —  because all men are created equal, educators will gravely tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of inferiority.  We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe —  some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others —  some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men.
“But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal — there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president.  That institution, gentlemen, is a court.  It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve.  Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.
“I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system — that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality.  Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury.  A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up.  I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family.  In the name of God, do your duty.”
   —  Harper Lee
From her novel: “To Kill A Mockingbird
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On This Day In:
2016 Election + 1 Month
2015 Dance And Sing
2014 A Measuring Stick For Progress
2013 Courtly Love Or Victory Over Habit
2012 Have We Met?
2011 Efficiently Useless

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Atticus reached down and picked up the candy box.  He handed it to Jem.
Jem opened the box.  Inside, surrounded by wads of damp cotton, was a white, waxy, perfect camellia.  It was a Snow-on-the-Mountain.
Jem’s eyes nearly popped out of his head.  “Old hell-devil, old hell-devil!” he screamed, flinging it down.  “Why can’t she leave me alone?”
In a flash Atticus was up and standing over him.  Jem buried his face in Atticus’s shirt front, “Sh-h,” he said.  “I think that was her way of telling you — everything’s all right now, Jem, everything’s all right.  You know, she was a great lady.”
“A lady?” Jem raised his head.  His face was scarlet.  “After all those things she said about you, a lady?”
“She was.  She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine, maybe … son, I told you that if you hadn’t lost your head I’d have made you go read to her.  I wanted you to see something about her — I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.  You rarely win, but sometimes you do.  Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her.  According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody.  She was the bravest person I ever knew.”
Jem picked up the candy box and threw it in the fire.  He picked up the camellia, and when I went off to bed I saw him fingering the wide petals.  Atticus was reading the paper.
   —  Harper Lee
From her novel:  “To Kill A Mockingbird
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On This Day In:
2016 Hoping For The Best Come January
2015 Adaptive Security
2014 Wants
2013 Side Effects
2012 Just Trying To Earn A Living
2011 Productive Worry

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… “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience — Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God, if I didn’t try to help that man.”
“Atticus, you must be wrong….”
“How’s that?”
“Well, most folks seem to think they’re right and you’re wrong….”
“They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,” said Atticus, “but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself.  The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
   —  Harper Lee
From her novel: “To Kill A Mockingbird
.
On This Day In:
2016 Still Looking In Mirrors?
2015 Fear No Evil
2014 And Nothing Can Be As Tragic As…
2013 Your Tax Dollars At Work
2012 Historically Unacceptable
2011 Niners Are NFC West Division Champions!!
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