In the trial chapters we see that racism and prejudice of the townspeople come violently and shockingly into the open.
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Jem is being both optimistic and realistic. It was apparent that Jem, his father, and other white members of the community did see the unjust actions taking place arounf them. The town's roots were steeped in prejudice, but that didn't mean it touched every life.... that there weren't those who knew Tom was innocent and dared to believe justice would be served.