Editor’s Note: The ‘Danger of Single Story’. Written by LTR Onikosi


New article I wrote after Facebook deleted my account 2 days ago, over the heated debate on the blurry thin line between antisemitism and anti-Zionism. I argued that vehement and adamant demand by the Zionist and pro Zionist that we must universalize our view and unit behind a ‘single story’ in the discourse ‘on the Jewish question’. This is a major travesty in the world history and posterity wont judge us kindly, if we, intellectuals and dialectians of the world, seen by the wider society as the gate keeper of world history, tolerate this.

As, colonized African, I can ironically see a direct correlation between the Zionists and Pro Zionists push for a single story with how the Western empire, in the age of slavery, whom spread dehumanizing propaganda about Africa and the black people that live on the continent. John Locke for instance, despite is theory on the ‘law of nature’ and ‘state of nature’, by extension, the west ascribed to him the ‘father of liberalism’ which actually was the principle the United State’s founding father, based the founding of America upon. The reality was that, John Locke libertarian theory is out-rightly utilitarianism.

This is because among those who are not entitled to benefit from his ‘the law of nature’ and ‘state of nature’, hence, liberalism, are Africans, who he described as beast with the head on the chest. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie expalined in her TedTalk, ‘The danger of a single story’ posted Oct 2009;

‘this single story of Africa ultimately comes, I think, from Western literature. Now, here is a quote from the writing of a London merchant called John Locke, who sailed to west Africa in 1561 and kept a fascinating account of his voyage. After referring to the black Africans as “beasts who have no houses,” he writes, “They are also people without heads, having their mouth and eyes in their breasts…Now, I’ve laughed every time I’ve read this. And one must admire the imagination of John Locke. But what is important about his writing is that it represents the beginning of a tradition of telling African stories in the West: A tradition of Sub-Saharan Africa as a place of negatives, of difference, of darkness, of people who, in the words of the wonderful poet Rudyard Kipling, are “half devil, half child.’

For me this is clearly example of the travesty and danger of single story of liberalism, that justify slavery that had gone unchallenged, which John Locke thought that only the White Europeans and European descends had only the birth right claim to it. And after more than 400 years slavery and systematic extermination of hundreds of millions of African peoples in the time colonialism in the region of Africa like Belgian Congo and Namibia, which combined genocide of the Africans dwarfed the deaths during the Holocaust. This, many Africans and African descents, who have revisited the African histories, now historians referred to as the first and second holocausts. And, yet still, when those descendants of the slaves in the Americas, the were brutally repressed and here social theory of John Locke and found a way in to the parody of biological and anatomical basis in Eugenist.

The zionists and pro zionist must realized that there is no one universal truth and one way of knowing. Therefore we must engage in a tolerant, hospitable, peaceful, agreeable, amiable, cordial and affable debate to clarify the increasingly blurry line between antisemitism and antizionism.

Please leave a comment (s). I will like to hear what the public thinks.

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Published by: Hear Alkebulan* Institute

Luqman Temitayo Onikosi is an Non EU International Post Graduate student at the University of Sussex who faces deportation to Nigeria and likely death from hepatitis if deported. Onikosi co founded the Hear Afrika Society in 2008 (Now Hear Alkebulan* ). Due to his chronic illness condition caused by Hepatitis B, Luqman set up the Hepatitis B Foundation - Brighton to raise awareness and to dispel the myths and stereotype about about Hepatitis virus and the illness. Onikosi also a co-founder of the Decolonizing Education: Towards Academic Freedom In Pluriversality (DETAFIP) think tank based at the university.