The Sociomata

By Abdul Wahid Topie Tamaa. Abdul, 25, lives in Ghana. He currently works as a nurse. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

Dr. King in Birmingham jail, way back in 1963, said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of maturity, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly”. If we understood what he truly meant the world will rise up vigorously against every iota of injustice in our societies and forge a way to implement justice in every sphere of life. Injustice, according to Barry S, is the denial, or violation of economic, sociocultural, political, civil, or human rights of an individual, specific population or a group in a society based on the perception of their inferiority by those with more power or influence.

What Dr. King means is that nobody should conceive of themselves as distinct from all the other people in the universe. As King says, he cannot sit in Atlanta and think that things in Birmingham do not affect him. Instead, he says we have to understand that we are all connected to other people around the world. This is true because we are all part of the same “garment of destiny”. Beyond an economic or fiscal reason, there is a certain morality that Dr. King implies here. The devaluation of humanity in one part of the world subsequently devalues humanity as a whole. This is true because Dr. King believes that we all share a common dignity as human beings and hurting that will eventually hurt us all.

Let us take a lesson from an educative African tale:

Once there lived a King and his beautiful wife in an isolated village in Northern Ghana. In the compound of their palace there lived peacefully a donkey and a cock. Meanwhile, a cat and a mouse lived together inside the Queen’s room. There was complete harmony and cordiality in the house until injustice befell the palace on day. The cat that was very friendly became abusive and oppressive against the vulnerable mouse. This unjust cat will not allow the helpless and innocent mouse to have a moment of tranquility. The mouse complained several times to the donkey and the cock, asking them to help liberate him from the abusive cat. But they unanimously said “everyone one his own, God for us all.”

This abuse persisted until one day the violent cat was chasing the helpless mouse and they crashed into something, causing a terrible accident that fractured the Queen’s leg. Immediately, the King ordered his guard to use the donkey and rush to the next village to bring a fetish priest. The fetish priest cast his spells and prescribed donkey’s liver and cock’s head for the Queen’s recovery. Without hesitation, the only donkey and cock in the palace was killed and the requested parts used for the treatment. The abusive cat was imprisoned and then exiled.

Now, we must ask ourselves, does the injustice in the Queen’s room affect the justice and peace the donkey and the cock were enjoying in the compound? Of course it does. When the donkey and the cock felt it did not concern them and paid no attention, the justice and peace they had enjoyed for so long was taken away and they even lose their lives as a result. This is precisely how injustice in society spreads and why Dr. King said “whatever affects one directly, affects the other indirectly.”

Even though the above is a tale, we have lots of injustices all around us and we cast a blind eye to them. The human mind is quite comfortable when there is some level of peace in their immediate surroundings. We have knowingly or unknowingly forgotten we all came from one single pair and are thus connected to one another. The human physiology portrays unity to the greatest effect. When there is trouble with one part, the immune system respond by sending antibodies and other chemical messengers to fight and bring back stability. And, until the trouble is removed, the entire body will remain restless. This interconnectedness of organs in every person is what ensures healthiness. The world as a global village is actually a giant, single organism whose survival depends on every human being. The interrelatedness of human beings is as strong as that of the organs of the body, and so whatever affects one person or community indirectly affects all.

You may still argue about the practicality of human interconnectedness and how injustice of one place affects justice of another. But, look at it this way, an uncontrolled injustice presents misunderstanding which later results into civil wars and generate refugees who settle in peacefulcountries all around the world and who compete with the local citizens for already limited resources, such as land, water, housing, food and medical services. According to UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) the Syrian civil war alone has generated over five million refugees who are registered and now reside in different countries. Beside these numerous effects, these refugees often traumatic effects from their experiences.

Injustice is the bane of the society, cancerous in the way it can recur even after it has been removed. In South Africa, Nelson Mandela spent twenty-seven years in jail to free the country from the disease of racial injustice. “I fought against white dominance and I fought against black dominance”. He stood against injustice of any kind until he freed the nation from racial injustice. Sadly, we still see xenophobic attacks and political injustices popping up in recent times. Mandela stated categorically that “as long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest.”

Desmond Tutu said it all, “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” In this modern times where communication, travel and people interconnected far more than before, no one can really be free from the injustice that another person is going through. The brotherhood of man is not confined within a narrow, limited circle of selected people. Like Gandhi, King supported the practice of non-violent civil disobedience or passively resisting laws that are unjust.

Human diversity might appear to depict injustice as a natural phenomenon as some people would argue. Skin color, race, ethnicity, economic status, origin or any other human difference exist to make society much more interesting and add variety to life. Just imagine if you have the same product in a mega shopping mall or better still, the same animal in a zoo. Exploring would be so boring that you will not choose that mall or zoo next time. That is precisely how society would have been if human beings were the same in every aspect. So, human multifariousness should not be the basis of injustice anywhere in the world, rather it should create love, understanding and humility.

The Way Forward

We all get inspired by the stories of the legends that bravely rose up and fought against injustice occurring at their time. George Washington, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks and many others who recognized injustice as a cancer which was destroying their society and subjected it to the best of treatment according to their abilities. Injustice is not black, white, man or woman, it is every human’s duty to regard it as a foe and fight it like these legends did. I am optimistic of the future and trust that if we can focus our energies in extending education, reducing poverty and enhancing our political systems, injustice will be a thing of the past. A well-structured and effective democracy is nevertheless the key to justice. Rule of law where everyone is equal and getting rid of corruption is the way to go as far as justice is concern. With these remedies in addition to our willingness to stand against injustice of any kind, I think we will succeed and the world will experience a transformation far greater than what we have seen. Let us give recognition to injustices of the past by building a future based on equality and social justice.

70 comments on “The Sociomata

  1. Stephen Boadi on

    Excellent write – up. I enjoyed reading your article. Is completely true, human multifariousness should not be the bases for injustice anywhere in the world.

  2. Birago Georgina on

    The story truly justifies Dr. King’s quote. It is time for every human being to rise up against injustice of any kind. Beautiful write – up. Good luck!

  3. Sungumo Abdul Wahab on

    I feel sad when I think about South Africa and the recent emergence of social injustices. I like that paragraph and wish this could be publish in South Africa. It is every human responsibility to stop injustice in the world. I suggest your article must be published beyond here. Nice article.

  4. Duma Martina on

    Interesting write-up. It is absolutely true that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Your article has indeed justified it. Thanks so much.

  5. Kwateng Augustine on

    Mind blowing write – up. It has given me a lot of understanding about Martin Luther King Jr famous quote. But I think we can’t do away with injustice entirely from our societies. What do you have to say about that?

    • Topie Tamaa Abdul Wahid on

      With effective education and understanding of how far injustice is destroying our societies, we can stop it bit by bit. We can not do it at ones but gradually we can. Thanks so much for your comment.

  6. Issahaku Rasheed on

    Good. I love your conclusion part: let us give recognition to injustice of the past by building a future based on equality and social justice. That is very very true

  7. Dumah Baalugiwiisi Faith on

    I was so excited when I read your article. No justice no peace. The peace of this world depend on every individual to stand against injustice. I totally agree to all your views on Dr. King’s quote. Good luck.

  8. Mambonye Michael on

    Nice article. I love the comparison you made between the physiological aspect of human being with the interconnectedness of society. We are all connected to one another and everyone survival depend on another. Beautiful my friend.

  9. Doma Jonas on

    It baffles my mind when I still see injustices occurring in the world in the 21st century when technology is at the door step of every body. Am so pleased with your article and all the research that goes into it. Great work.

  10. Amina Abu on

    The one particular thing I love about your great write – up is you referring readers to the legends who stood against injustice at their time. Brave people like Nelson Mandela, George Washington, Rosa Parks and ofcause Martin Luther King Jr can not be forgotten as far as the topic of injustice is concern. That very idea has made your article unique and lovely to read and read and read……..

  11. Delle Christiana on

    Yes, injustice is not black, White, man, woman but is everyone responsibility to regard it as a foe and fight it according to your ability. I like that particular sentence. A lot of people has misunderstood injustice and mostly limit it to some group of people. However, everyone is involved. lovely article

  12. Ana konadu on

    True talk, I pray this write up goes far to bring injustice to a halt, for justice to prevail every where in our society… 👍 dear…

  13. Kudus Moomim on

    Desmon Tutu have said it all. We are always neutral in situations of injustice. I like the story you narrated in the article. It clearly justifies the quote of Dr. king. Is a very good lesson we can all learn to enable us fight injustice in our families, communities, countries and the world as a whole. Thanks so much by great brother.

  14. Kwakye on

    “I fought against White dominance and I fought against black dominance” by Nelson Mandela. When we are talking about injustice, this great man must be maintained. That is the very reason why I like your write – up. Is a very good article. Keep it up.

    • Bashiru Osman on

      This is highly philosophical. If the world is inhabited by many of these upcoming intellectuals like you are,it wound have been an awesome place for all caliber of people.God bless you Mr man

  15. Topie Tamaa Abdul Wahid on

    Am so much pleased with all your comments. I will take note of all your suggestions in my future write – up. Am sure you are all going to implement the great lessons you have learned from this article so that we can unanimously strive to remove this cancer that is robbing the peace and stability of society. Thank you very much.

  16. Danaa Abdul Aziz on

    Very good write-up I wish this should be publish in south African newspapers in order to remind them of the vision of their hero, Mandela, a man who nerver gave room for xenophobic attacks.

  17. Mohammed Saadatu on

    I equally share the same thought with you. I believe injustice is a malignant tumor of society capable of metastasizing to every part of the universe. Your article has made me more brave to fight injustice where ever i see it. Thank you for your wisdom.

  18. Mohammed Hawa on

    I strongly agree with you. Human beings for some reasons feel injustice is a necessity. However, injustice is a threat to the total survival and peace of every individual in the world. Interesting article.

  19. Latif on

    Indeed, we all share the same garment of destiny, hurting one hurt us all. One great fact about the fight against injustice is that, anybody that tries to fight it even with the most little effort is always popular and celebrated by every one else. Look at the likes of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Abraham Linkon and a lot of great men and women who step their foot on the face of this Earth. Many people look at injustice so big and far away that they fail to see it right in front of them. We are sleeping, walking, talking and dinning with injustice. Please, in full support with the writer of this article, let us all recognize injustice and subject it to the most agressive treatment so that we can enjoy completely what this good Earth have to offer. Thank you my great friend for your insightful article.


    Nice write up.
    You gave a good recommendations on the way forward.
    However, you could have develop a cause and effect methodology. That is, indicating the major sources or causes of injustice in the contemporary African society rather than putting more emphasis on the effect, knowing the root cause of injustice will be a major stakeholder in the fight against injustice. Give a good accounts of injustice in our modern day Democratic environment by stating some unjust practices and situation in our dichotomous socioeconomic and political environments rather than personifying it.

    But all in all you’ve done a marvelous work on that. Well done man. I think this is what our so called civil societies ought to stand for.

    • Topie Tamaa Abdul Wahid on

      I appreciate your comment. I have surely taken note of your recommendations and I will apply it in my future attempts. Thank you very much.

  21. Ibrahim Abubakari on

    Extremely impressive piece. Indeed injustice should not have any space in our societies. More grease to your elbows my bro.

  22. phaith Duma on

    beautiful and very educative write up, i actually love “whatever affects one directly, affects the other indirectly “.👍👍brother. but please, in your next writing try to give some causes of injustice in the African society.

  23. Rufai Abdul-Gafar Olade on

    Inspirational and very very educative if we should abide by the education that you’re given us I hope this global village would not have been in this mess that we are seeing today due to injustice the weak once are been oppressed day in day out.thanks for your education we pray for guidance and protection from Almighty keep it up sky will be your limit .

  24. Musah mohammed on

    Very educative piece. Hope to apply the recommendations u gave in future. Injustice has really caused us a lot. Thanks for this nice piece

  25. Michele on

    Your reminder of the Syrian War refugee situation (or ‘fill in the blank’ sadly) in nations beyond the refugee homeland due to injustices forcing them to flee their country of birth, very apt.

    • Topie Tamaa Abdul Wahid on

      Hmm, my brother, a war might last a day but it’s consequences will last forever. What is the future of these great people, now termed refugess. Justice and peace are having a special relationship. Peace will not be at a place where justice is not. So, no justice no Peace. Thank you for your comment.


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