Sunday, July 12, 2015

In which I talk about the unofficial sequel to "To Kill a Mockingbird" and laugh at SJW outrage

Almost everyone has heard of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, but for those who haven't, here's the basics:

A lawyer named Atticus Finch has to defend a black man accused of rape in the pre-Civil Rights South, and despite all the pressure on him to do the wrong thing and sell out his own client, he still tries to defend the man against an obviously corrupt and false charge, loses, but does so anyway despite the spite of his peers and the cultural values of his time. And we see all this through the eyes of his daughter.

It's a classic work of literature, and I still consider it a great book.

Recently, an unofficial followup that was never released was found and was tidied up for publication called "Go Set a Watchman", and while calling it a sequel is a stretch since some of it's plot points contradict the original text of TKAM, what has SJWs crying foul is the fact a grown up version of Finch's daughter discovers her father, who she saw as a hero, had been a bigot himself during the time of TKAM, and learns his morally correct deed was an aberration for his time, despite the fact he taught her to see such moral action such as the one he took for his client as normal and just.

Me, I don't see why they are so upset.

Let's say Atticus Finch really had been a bigot who thought less of black people during TKAM. Let's say the heroism seen through the eyes of a child was the exception and not the rule. Does that make him any LESS of a heroic figure?

No, and here's why.

In TKAM, Atticus was under a lot of pressure to do the wrong thing and sell out his client despite the obvious fact his client was innocent. The jury was biased, the accuser was full of shit but liked by the jury due to their racism, and if we take GSAW's characterization of Atticus at face value, his own personal biases heavily slanted against him doing the right thing.

However, Atticus took a stand. He defied his peers, who wanted a black man to suffer for a crime he did not commit simply because he was black. He defied a jury that wanted their prejudice confirmed by calling them out on wanting him to make it easy on them and let them screw over an innocent man without pointing out their hypocrisy. He put his integrity as a lawyer on a higher pedestal than his respect amongst others to do what was morally and legally just, and if we take GSAW at face value, he even defied his own personal bigotry to better honor his oath to defend his client to the best of his abilities and to take a stand for honesty despite all the reasons he could have not done so and not suffered for it.

Even if Atticus Finch wasn't the fictional paragon of virtue TKAM made him out to be and GSAW revealed he was imperfect, he still made a decision that required moral integrity despite his culture and his own personal beliefs militating against it and still took a stand for truth.

And for those reasons, Atticus Finch is even MORE a paragon of moral heroism, assuming GSAW's retroactive characterization has any truth to it, because it adds one more reason why his actions in TKAM are still worthy of praise.

And if SJWs are mad because GSAW tarnishes their idealized portrait of their fictional paragon, they can shove it, because in reality, no one human is ever that perfect, but for a fictional hero, Atticus Finch did the right thing where he had every reason not to, and the fact he refused to sell out morality and honor to a mob he may have very well sympathized with still makes him a hero in my book.

And my only wish is that the SJW crowd takes notes and follows his example.

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