As you know, in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird the white and black communities are divided by deep-rooted fear and mistrust. It was poor white people like Bob Ewell who were particularly resentful of black people often seeing them as a threat to their security. An example of this is the bitter hatred expressed by Bob Ewell and also by the lynch mob who set out to kill Tom Robinson. Tom’s trial reveals the depth of the prejudice in the community and that many of the white people saw African -Americans as inferior. Tom is clearly innocent, but he dared to feel sorry for a white woman which the white community would not accept. The more educated and wealthier white families also assumed that African-Americans should keep their place and stay in their own areas. People like Miss Gates complain that the black people are getting above themselves.
The characters that want change and tolerance like Miss Maudie and Atticus are seen as non-conformists, they are not the norm. Heck Tate and Judge Taylor show their commitment to justice and their lack of prejudice but change comes slowly. The black community is very upset by Tom’s trial and death but they have to accept it. The idea that they are inferior has been ingrained into them from day one and it will take years before any real change occurs.