Testimonial Justice In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Miranda Fricker dissects and examines the problems of testimonial justice and injustice, in her book, Epistemic Injustice, Power and the Ethics of Knowing. By using the characters of Marge Sherwood in The Talented Mr. Ripley and Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird, Fricker draws in her audience and succinctly identifies two critical components to testimonial injustices. After examining her work, I feel her view of testimonial justice is able to be defended because people are not born to be discriminatory. Rather a person’s community and social interactions shape their development of testimonial justice, but there are ways to lessen a person’s testimonial injustice. Fricker’s argues that familiarity with people of different social identities…show more content…
It is society and people that imposed biased views into the young generations that cause adults to be prejudiced. Children are the best examples of this because more times than not, they do not exhibit signs of discrimination despite prejudices in society. Fricker gives Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird as an example of a nondiscriminatory child, in spite of the highly racist community she lived in. Another factor for Scout, and most other children, is how prejudiced their parents are and teach their child to be. A parent who teaches their child to be relatively unprejudiced against all people will then have a child who does not think that discrimination is the norm, despite societal rules. Although children cannot be completely shielded from the unjust influences of society, children themselves do not inherently have testimonial injustice. In my opinion, Miranda Fricker is arguing that a child’s naivety and optimism in society is what leads them to possess testimonial justice. Some might say that people have to get their prejudices from somewhere so how can children be born to have testimonial justice then suddenly become prejudice? I would argue that prejudices were developed hundreds of years ago from a combination of economic, gender, racial, and class inequality. From this, they have become part of society as different qualities of society like the economy or politics have fluctuated. Also, children get these prejudices from their…show more content…
Fricker says that another way a person can have testimonial justice is by becoming familiar with common prejudices. She argues that biases carry less weight when a person is more used to being around them. For example, if a person grows up in a racially diverse neighborhood, like the Bronx, then he or she will be less likely to uphold prejudices against those of a different race. This argument is well-founded because most times people are scared of the unknown. Yet, if a person is familiar with people of a different race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, they might be less demeaning or discriminatory towards them. The closeness to those of a different social identity will decrease the likelihood of prejudices clouding up a person’s views towards another. Some may argue that not everyone can be familiar with those of a different race or religion because of where they live. It is not a person’s choice to be born into a predominantly homogenous neighborhood, but this does invite more prejudices to come in. I would argue that a person can make an effort, even if they live in a sheltered community, to expand oneself and get to know those who have different backgrounds or lives than they do. This could be as simple as talking to a person of the opposite gender about a recent issue

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