Letter: Colonial nationalism, in Israel or anywhere, is always anti-Black

letter to the editor

Nationalism, not nations, will always be anti-Black as colonialism is rooted in the rejection of African ways of knowing: ontologies, episteme and hierarchies. Both Palestine, and especially Israel contend with anti-Blackness. To label it, some Jews adamantly refute African Jewish existences, thus I am positive that migratism -- prejudice based solely on migration -- will exist even as they allow Jewish nationals. Similarly, to some of my Arab friends: tell me about the Algerian/afroarabs and your ideals about Black skin, and how they materially translate. 

Second, Islam is also an Abrahamic religion, and the Palestinian erasure project has relied on dehumanizing Muslims through tropes of barbarism, because no one can truly refute their history and power. 

Nationalism, not nations, is the impetus for the world's worst and most destructive atrocities, including the Holocaust, and we can no longer resort to primitive models for transnational liberation. 

How, then, can we imagine Indigenous epistemology (ways of knowing) as integral to this discourse? 

We have gotten to a point where we must consider what is most essential for all life by redefining what is considered "civilized" to begin with. In looking to heal the past and promote greater movement toward a "modern" world without destroying the planet, we must acknowledge and respect Indigenous ways of knowing, not to necessarily always apply them, but to push our radical imagination. 

We need to move forward without relying on tactics that modify, strengthen and recreate inequality. We need to move forward without the binary, and we need to move quickly towards unity. 

Remember now that nationalism is historically demonic. 

If you want a Jewish state, then let's talk about the borders in neo-colonial Africa where Jews also reside, which rip apart communities and incite difference where there was only unity (even in discord). Your violence does not value or promote life. Our civilizations and ontologies did, and that informed our hierarches of respect. 

Let's talk about migration and movement: who gets to move validly and without worry and who will get to be considered a national. Then your anti-Blackness must show, and we are back at the beginning. 

The only people that remember the voice of the god are those who were already chosen and heard it in the beginning when we were tasked to name and protect our future humanities. Our languages, values, water and traditions. You follow? Y'all seek to erase our memory by force, and though all may not recall the voice in its exact glory, and some may even wield your weapons against their own families based off your brutal replacements, we definitely know what THE VOICE OF GOD is not by looking at the colonial project that is still alive and fresh. Give it up, you are not the chosen. 

We, who are Indigenous, were, and that is irrefutable; look around. 

James Mbuthia Ndung'u is a Trinity senior and 2021 Chron15 Pioneer. 


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