Human beings are guilty of spreading stereotypes that lead to the development of a single story whether is intentional or not. The single story leads to stereotype and the worst part of it is that these stories are either untrue or incomplete. In her talk, Chimamanda Adichie the novelist tries to pass a warning to people regarding the dangers of a single story. Adichie emphasizes that individuals are one thing, they remain same over and over again, and that explains what they become after a certain period of time. Her talk mainly focuses on educating people by warning them that they risk a vital cultural misunderstanding when they forget to recognize that each one's life, as well as identity, consist of several overlapping stories. Further, the purpose of her talk is to encourage people to broaden the scope of stories they come across concerning the other communities and their cultures. This paper seeks to analyze the thematic presentation of the story about the Afghans by resonating Adichie approach on the dangers of a single story.
In the article, The Economic Plight of The Afghans in Australia, it is stated that the first version of Muslim was introduced in Australia by the Afghans. Their entry to Australia occurred in two phases at different times, for instance, the first Afghans came arrived in the country from 1860 to 1900. This was then followed by the second group which migrated to Australia between 1980 and 2001. The Afghans experienced several economic issues that arise as a result of their economic positions during the colonial period. Various factors contributed to their disadvantaged positions, however, despite the challenges the Afghans played a significant role in the economic growth of Australia. For instance, it stated that they served as camel drivers during the colonial period. This contributed significantly to the country's economic growth since they helped in carrying explorers to the remote and inaccessible areas of Australia such as arid inland regions (Nahid 230).
The first introduction about the Afghans presumably shows that the community of Afghans was living a poor life when they entered Australia. This relates to the introduction made by Adichie in her talk where she starts by her admission concerning the tale about Fide and his family's poverty. She uses actual examples to elaborate the story to provide a stern warning about the dangers of a single story. According to her, people should not use one story to define the lives and culture of others without relating the story to existing facts to establish the truth. Listening to one story over and over again makes people think that it is the only story they believe in; however, this may not be the case because there exit other facts that can be used to justify the truth. This applies to the notion imposed on the Afghans community in Australia. They have branded the most impoverished community because of the economic challenges they encountered while migrating to Australia. The story has been shared from generation to another trying to portray them as marginalized and less fortunate people when they are not. Therefore, the single story does not clearly state the truth about a type of people as portrayed by the media.
The Afghans were considered racially inferior; therefore, they were subjected to numerous restrictions just like other colored people during the colonial period. The White Australians discriminated the Afghans and were forced to provide cheap labor. This was regarded as the worst mistreatment for the human race based on the multicultural period in the country. The level of ethnicity by the host country exposed the Afghans to tremendous suffering which weakened their economic growth. The Afghans are considered the predominant of the Islamic faith, and they are remembered for the establishment of first mosques in Australia to help in spreading the Islamic culture. The activity of setting up more mosques in the regions was a costly venture; as a result, they were forced to collect funds from the local communities that belonged to the Muslim people. This was used for purchasing land and constructing more mosques; however, the raised funds were not enough, and they decided to use other external funding to support the idea of spreading Islamic culture.
Adichie narrates to the audience using ten smaller stories, and this implies that people require diverse perspectives when consuming stories. Similarly, she encourages individuals to focus on telling their own stories that emerge from their own experiences. Stories should be used to empower other people and humanize. At some points, the stories can be used to lower the dignities of other people depending on the level of facts used to narrate their experiences. In relation to the economic plight of the Afghans, the story mentioned shows that they were less privileged during the colonial periods. The host country subjected them to mistreatments, poverty, lack of integration, Islamic culture among other factors that undermined their economic prosperity.
While narrating the stories about stereotypes, Adichie demonstrates that reducing the dignity of a type of people based on the media information does not take away their potentiality. Many communities have been branded negative definitions for the aim of reducing them to nothing; however, such stories end up giving false information and misleading people. It is advisable to analyze enough evidence and facts using existing statistics before consuming any shared story. This helps to provide truthful information that does not mislead or portray others in a bad way (Bell 65).
It is evident from the talk offered by Adichie that single story does not define a type of people. There are other factors that need to be utilized to support the argument and make the story more valid. Hearing the same story over and over again affect a person's judgment about the cultural behaviour of others. To be on the right side of the story, it is recommended for people to use diverse perspectives to reduce the stereotype. Reducing individuals to one does not take away their humanity. In this case, the Afghans community was being reduced to a less important group of people based on their hardships as well as their economics issues does not minimize their levels of humanity. Adichie uses the story of Africans how they portrayed as solely pitiable poverty level and starving victims (Adichie 110).
The White Australians were considered hostile to the Afghan community who were the Muslim group in Australia. They were treated with violence, and especially the camel drivers faced hostility from the horse riders in the region. Apart from the racial and economic challenges, the Afghans were forced to endure the hostile environment from the host. The labor unions formed grievances that were against the Muslim communities which comprised of the Afghans. The entire community of the Afghans had been subjected to stereotyping by the Whites up to date. This has imposed a negative image on the Muslim communities reducing them to one and portraying them as an inferior group. Despite the Afghans being recognized as an Islamic group, the majority of the people perceive them as an "out group" The Whites highly condemned the entry of Afghans refugees into the country, they were perceived as people who are not qualified to integrate with Judeo-Christianity community (Nahid 232).
In conclusion, the speech made by Adichie about the dangers of a single story encourages people to use diverse perspectives as well as tell their own stories based on personal experiences. Hearing single story over and over again to demonstrate the culture and personality of others leads to the creation of stereotypes. The single story does not necessarily define a type of people; instead, it results in massive dangers to a group of people. The Afghan communities faced a lot of stereotypes as a result of the intimidation received from the host. They were considered disadvantaged for various long-term factors such as racisms and ethnicity. From the studies conducted, it is further suggested that worldwide terrorism and militant Islamic operations contributed to the continuous undermining of the Islamic culture in the West (Akalou 57). The Afghan community is a significant group of the Muslims has eventually become victims of the recently enhanced prejudice. The discrimination level showed by the Whites portrayed the presence of stereotypes to diminish the economic and Islamic culture of the Afghans.
Adichie, Chimamanda. "The danger of a single story. TEDGlobal." (2009): 119-136.
Akalou, Wolde-Michael. "ETHIOPIANS AND AFGHANS IN THE UNITED STATES: A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE." Northeast African Studies (1989): 55-73.
Bell, Allan. "The discourse structure of news stories." Approaches to media discourse (1998): 64-104.
Kabir, Nahid A. "The Economic Plight of the Afghans in Australia, 1860-2000." Islamic studies 44.2 (2005): 229-250.
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