Mrs. Madiaba Sanoe of MN
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Is Democracy An Affront To Our African Culture Our The reverse?
By: Saliho A. Donzo
18 January, 2012
Let take a bit of introspection to some historical backgrounds of the term democracy. Modern democracy might have started with the a popular rebellion against the monarchy in England (1642), which was brought to a climax/highlight by the execution of King Charles I…
Later an inspiration led and guided largely by political philosophers, notably the French philosopher Montesquieu and Jean Jacques Rousseau, and the American statesmen Thomas Jefferson and James Madison played pivotal/key role in the fight to establish modern democracy . Before the end of the 19th century, every important Western European monarchy had adopted a constitution limiting the power of the Crown and giving a considerable share of political power to the people. They held the view that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, having its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness..(Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009).
On the other hand, most scholars believed that African moral values and principles derive from religion, implying that African morality is, thus, a religious morality (Opoku, 1978: 152), Danquah (1944: 3), Sarpong (1972: 41), Busia (1967: 16), Parrinder (1969: 28–9), Idowu (1962: 146). The claim implies in turn that the moral beliefs and principles of the African people derive from those of religion, that religion provides the necessary justification for moral values and beliefs, and that moral concepts, such as good, bad, right and wrong, are defined (or, must be defined) in terms of religious prescriptions or commands…
This piece of work is seriously concern with recent effort anticipated by some Liberian to support the issue of Gay Right, and relentless/harsh statements made by the western leaders in defense of “Homosexuality/Gay Right”. Especially the statement ‘No gay right, no aid’ (technically addressed to Africa).
Have we as Africans, mortgaged/loaned our moral values ?
Maybe I can conjecture/guess a bit and say yes, that we have sold our values for international aids, and ways of life making our own culture to lingered in an everlasting lag/delay.
Somebody somewhere will like to wonder over the expression “everlasting lag or endless delay.” In the first place we embarrassed our culture by allowing the westerners to intrude, and manifest a system that will determine our destiny in a way that they want it to be, we saw it and accepted it, only few went against it, and majority of those few who went against it, most often meet their untimely death orchestrated by them, and implemented by our own people.(see the death of Gaddafi, also read online Mary Kimani article “the pursuit of justice or western plot? www.africarenewal.com) this is an extract of the article “The ICC “has been put in place only for African countries, only for poor countries,” Rwandan President Paul Kagame told reporters. “Every year that passes, I am proved right.… Rwanda cannot be part of colonialism, slavery and imperialism.” Jean Ping, the president of the AU Commission, told the French radio network RFI that the “ICC always targets … Africans. Does it mean that you have nothing on Gaza? Does it mean you have nothing [on the] Caucasus? Does it mean that you have nothing on the militants in Colombia? There is nothing on Iraq? We are raising this type of question because we don’t want a double standard.”/ From Africa Renewal, October 2009, page 12 ).
Yes! we sold our values for democracy , in exchange for foreign aid, this was clearly noticeable when recent statements imitating from the U.S. and the UK, calling on all to approve gay rights, in the name of democracy, because that is their life and their own happiness , so nobody should reduce them to insult or assault , they should be given equal rights and protections under the law, because this is embedded in the values of democracy. You cannot accept one portion of democracy and reject the other. when it is time to remove your president whom you regard as despot/tyrant you agree and appreciate democracy, because it is in your favor(see the Arab spring case study northern Africa), but when it is not in your favor , then you denounce/condemn democratic values. So it would have been better for you/Africans not to entrapped yourselves in this game of the west.
WHERE DOES AFRICAN STANDS ON THE ISSUE OF GAY RIGHT?
Most of us Africans will say NO to this gay right thing, because it contravenes/violates our cultural values, but minority would say “as long as it is to satisfies certain individuals right base on their own mutual consent, then it is right or legal under democratic values…
What should we do ?
Now that we have engendered ourselves to be victim of this game over the past more or less 50 years, the question that is being asked by many is that “are there ways out for us ?”
Emphatically, I will say yes, but the price is going to be huge and it takes our collective actions as people from a single continent; because the west is using simply what they have to get what they need. The notion of most of our brethren is that, we need the west more than they need us, but I can ardently say No! this notion is fake/false! but instead they have created a system that make us look more dependent on them, and we have fallen preyed to this system, but we can prove it wrong. Other great nations today have done it, and today they are some of the greatest and respectful nations , remember again, the price will surely be costly, we need to be decisive as Africans and non-sectarian in our approach towards this end if we want to engage the process . Maybe we could use China, Saudi Arabia, and the creation of CELAC as a case study.
HOW DID CHINA REGAIN HER RESPECTS?
China is now the world's second biggest economy and the largest exporter of goods, with 9.6% of the global share, followed by Germany, the United States and Japan. China has an income per capita of $4,400 in current dollars and is well established as a high-middle income country. China's foreign reserves, which now exceed $3 trillion, are the largest in the world (www.bbc.com/business).
Behind this rise, there has been a dramatic structural transformation entailing rapid industrialization, a massive movement out of agriculture, and an impressive stretch of trade-related growth. This status is not a gift from nature to China, but instead the Chinese decided to ‘cross their Rubicon.’ Taking a decisive step and not turning back.
At a certain point in history ,the international community chose Taiwan to be the sole representative of the Chinese people instead of Chairman Mao’s China. It took 26 years, when on October 1971, for the UN to pass resolution 2758 . China was admitted and on its terms it refused to be a member if it didn’t have a vote right. When the demand was met and the resolution tabled, it still took a year for the Chinese foreign minister to respond in writing to the UN Secretary General on 29 September 1972, a letter which didn’t say yes or thank you, but spelt out guarantees required for China’s dignity to be respected. During this 26 years the Chinese focused more on making them selves self dependent and more productive than ever before , making maximum use of what ever they had in order to regain international respect , This was how china came on the spot light. china did this regardless of their huge population and today she is enjoying this international privilege.
Saudi Arabia Case:
The second scenario was explained by Donald Neff (a journalist for more than forty years. He spent 16 years in service for Time Magazine and is a regular contributor to Middle East International and the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.) and John Perkins in his book “the confession of an economic hit man “ said that members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC (consisting of the Arab members of OPEC, plus Egypt, Syria and Tunisia) proclaimed an oil embargo. This was "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military worth about 2,2 billion". By January 18, 1974, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had negotiated for an Israeli troop withdrawal from parts of the Sinai.
The promise of a negotiated settlement between Israel and Syria was sufficient to convince Arab oil producers to lift the embargo in March 1974. By May, Israel agreed to withdraw from some parts of the Golan Heights. The action caused an economic earthquake around the world, according to many, this embargo increased the unemployment and contributed to the deepest recession that America have had in the postwar World War II period." After embargo, the U.S. then, recognized the important of Saudi Arabic. In an attempt for such oil crisis not to repeat, the U.S. swiftly made a contract with the Royal House of Saudi, protecting the family rule, as long as the country can guarantee being a major supply hub of oil to the U.S. Besides, the U.S. agreed to build infrastructures and other basic services for the people of Saudi Arabia, respecting their religion and cultural values. This agreement, based on the protection of mutual interest , has enormously contributed to the present role the Saudis are playing in regional and International Politics.
The case with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).
Similarly, I strongly hold the view that the historic founding of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Caracas, Venezuela on Friday Dec 2 and Saturday Dec 3, 2011. Is aimed that doing just what those nations listed supra did. That which Africa is afraid to do. I drew this view from a statement made by the Venezuelans president during the creation of ( CELAC), when he said “For how long are we going to be the backwards periphery, exploited and denigrated/belittled? Enough! Here we are putting down the fundamental building block for South American unity, independence and development. If we hesitate, we are lost!” said Venezuelan president and official host of the inauguration Hugo Chávez.
This move by them, further remind me of a statement issued by Dr. H. Boimah Fahmulai when he said “The African people are their own liberator” when he appeared before the Liberian (Truth and Reconciliation Commission ) TRC. I wholly agreed with him, because during the time of oppression, when the oppressed do not speak out his mind, the oppressor will always continue his tyrannical act. So it is time for Africans to show to the world that we are a group of independent nations, and by the virtues of this fact, our decisions are not going to be influence by our so call international partners, who are only friendly with us just because they simply want to protect their interest at our detriment.
We need to speak against western instruction on our continent , we need more Ahmed Sekou Toure, More N’kromanist, more Leoperd Sida Sagors and more of those young Africans who believe in the Gaddafic Vision of an African Solidarity. Until then, the white men will always come on our continent with beautiful ideas and fake economic forecasting and realistic solutions to them. They will always come as humanitarians organizations helping the downtrodden masses, building infrastructures and so on, but I want you to remember that those infrastructures are going to be build by their own engineers so that the capital that they brought in your country will go back to their country in the form of salaries to the contractors, but nevertheless the physical feature of those developments will be present on your land. Now the open secret is that, those infrastructures are traps , in order to gain your vote as a less developed country( LDC) in time of their need. In a case they want to build a military base on your continent you will be the fist to accept it, because you have their infrastructures helping the masses of your people. For this reason we as Africans are always second to any motion emanating from them.
Our representation as a continent with a permanent seat in the U.N. Should be a necessity. Because if this happens The U.K, USA, France, etc will not easily ride on us to accept what is a best practice by them. We as African have our own ways of life which is completely different from the western styles. Yes! we accept democracy, which gives us the courage to change with changing time, and hold firm to unchanging principles… in most of our African cultures , it is an abomination (an outrageous act , an indignation or a disgrace) to us, as a group to give Gays and Lesbians recognitions which the USA and the UK are vehemently campaigning for, accompanying by words of treats to stop their supports to nations refusing.
But I can say, let no African nation be carry away by this gambit/strategy, they need you more then you think you need them. If they can stop aid to Africa, trust me this will be the beginning of our freedom… The persistent/unrelenting messages from the west to the world especially Africa to give Gays and Lesbians rights, contravenes the tenet/principles of the same democratic value. Remember “….That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it….“
Their unrelenting messages will reduce most aid dependent African Leaders in accepting this message without the consent of the governed. And this, trust me, will be a fine recipe for the majority to abolish many regimes on our already fragile continent . from this point , I think it is undemocratic for the minority will to supersede the will of the masses because of western influences…
What is disgusting is that, nations that claimed to be a Christian nations, and from where Christianity is claimed to have originated, before reaching our continent are blindly supporting such an abomination…
NOW ! TO ALL LIBERIANS, SAY “NO!”, TO GAYS RIGHT.
Saliho A. Donzo
Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia