no reason for us not to try to win, Atticus tells Scout

“Atticus, are we going to win it?”
“No, honey.”
“Then why – ”
“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win,” Atticus said.

– Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 9. Atticus to Scout on why he has decided to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape, in court. He knows the prejudice in Maycomb will most likely lead to a guilty verdict against Tom. But he feels it is important to defend him because he is innocent and it is simply the right thing to do.