"To Kill a Mockingbird" is set in the 1930's in the little rural county of Maycomb where Atticus Finch and his two children, Jem and Scout live, during a time of racial discrimination. As one of the few attorneys in the small, rural hometown, Finch is called upon by the county court to defend Tom Robinson, a black laborer. Robinson is falsely accused of having raped a white man's daughter. A racist, all-white jury convicts the innocent Robinson, despite Finch's heroic and impassioned defense. Harper Lee's message about fairness in To Kill a Mockingbird is that societies views and actions towards a person, are based on their skin color, who they are, and their personal image. This is shown through the characters Tom, Jem, and Scout. .
The theme of fairness in To Kill a Mockingbird broadens to a further extent than just the situation of racial discrimination between the blacks and the whites. Although, the racial discrimination mainly towards the blacks is the most prominent occurrence of injustice at the time, there are other forms of prejudice that portray the unfavorable effects that were endured by innocent characters. These blameless individuals were referred to as mockingbirds, since it was a sin to kill one as said by Atticus, "Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" (Lee 90). Tom Robinson's trial is definitely the biggest point in the book where racial discrimination and fairness are portrayed.
After being accused of rape, most of the people see Tom as an evil man. During the trial when Bob Ewell testifies, he points to Tom and says, "I seen that black n***** yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!" (Lee 173). The evidence Atticus brought to court proved Tom innocent. But because this story takes place in the south where many people are racist he was accused of the crime. Tom had no chance just because of the color of his skin.