In Response To The Call For Cancellation of July 26

By Massa-Amelia Washington

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted July 30, 2003

May I add my two cents worth to this call by some for the cancellation of all events commemorating Liberia's Independence Anniversary on July 26, due to the ongoing crises in Liberia. As a critical thinker, I'm looking at the matter from a different perspective.

Let's agree hypothetically that all events be canceled throughout wherever. Will that stop the killings and pillaging of Liberia by Liberians? Will it stop groups, and individual blood thirsty, power greed Liberians from stalling peace efforts in the projection of their own selfish interests?

How long has this civil war gone on for? How long have Liberians being eliminating each other? How long has that country bled? Equally so, how long have we been grieving, mourning, praying, and supplicating, etc.?

I do not know any group of people who pray more than Liberians. A foreign emissary once visiting Liberia in the 1960's remarked, "that there were more churches in Liberia than homes", which assertion I think should symbolize that Liberia is a God fearing nation. How much of this can we say is the truth in light of all that has happened, and still continues to happen.

Some of us have averred over and over and still maintain that "it is not how much we pray, or how loud or eloquently we shout patriotism. It does not matter how much tears we shed in the public or what float show we make of a real situation, it is what behavior we exhibit, and what we do that will generate the end result we seek. Simply put, "it is our attitudes transformed into actions that will continue to see us destroyed as fools or see us survive as a people".

No amount of wailing in sack cloth and ashes will save us, when our attitude stinks. How can we publicly cry peace, when some of us engage in anti peace activities? Many Liberians sit in the sanctuary that is the United States of America, and thereof, and support war efforts back home. The rebels, including government rebels, all have their supporters here. Many Liberians in this country work double just to earn enough to support their warlords, and factions, to rain terror on their fellow Liberians back home. Even those supporters who are financially incapacitated, give moral and other types of support, some are serving as advisors, promotional agents, recruiters etc.

Some of the very people who are calling for cancellation of July 26 celebrations, and now wanting to "FAST AND PRAY ALL DAY ON JULY 26", are the very people who belong to fighting and other groups, who have suppressed and continue to cause problems for the rest of Liberians. To be deceitful and a hypocrite in general is one thing, but to be deceitful, and hypocritical unto oneself is pathetic. Greek philosopher Socrates said "know thyself", and great English Playwright, William Shakespeare, contributes the adage "unto thine self, be true". Some of the same people who will be PRAYING to God for divine deliverance on July 26, are amongst those who are advancing fanciful arguments as to why the indictment against President Charles Taylor should be dropped.

They are the same people who are against a War Crimes Tribunal for Liberia, so that people who have and continue to wreak havoc on defenseless Liberians, and violate their basic human rights can continue to walk with impunity like they have done for the past 14 years. For example, a discredited individual like George Dweh who has a dark cloud hanging over his head for allegedly murdering scores of Liberians in the early days of the war, is now negotiating in Ghana and making demands, and why not, since he has supporters amongst Liberians also in the States to include so-called peace advocates.

Another example is Mr. Charles Brumskine, who is known for his successful killing of the Abuja Accord which amongst other things, would've seen the Liberian Security Apparatus restructured, and the completion of ECOMOG's mandate. Had that Agreement been carried out to the letter, we would not be having April 6, Part II today. Mr. Brumskine, now wants to be rewarded for the good job he did when he has helped to prolong the Liberian people's suffering. He's dying to be President and Liberians including some in America, are again supporting his efforts. The lists could go on and on.

Disappointingly, Liberians have the tendency to miss the boat by dwelling on the frivolous and conveniently ignoring the pivotal. I personally do not think that celebrating July 26 or not, is magnanimous here. Someone argued that America is watching us and therefore, celebrating July 26 will send out the wrong signal. Well, what good does it do us to put up false pretense in the eyes of the world yet support evil behind close door. This is the height of hypocrisy, it is called being our own worse enemy.

Finally, I understand from many of the organizers of some of these forthcoming July 26 events, that the main idea is to generate funds to help our dying people back home, which I think is a more practical approach in identifying with the sufferings on the grounds. On a last note, I'm not against praying, I'm against people not practicing what they preach.