"Praxis - Actions Not Words"

By Rev. Coker A. J. George, Jr.

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

April 10, 2002

Twenty-two (22) years have quickly passed by when the letters “PRC” became household language in Liberia. It stood for: "PEOPLE'S REDEMPTION COUNCIL". What is the legacy of the PRC? - Redemption, Replacement, Corruption, Suppression, abuse of human rights, and/or disappointment? Upon coming to power, the PRC charged the leadership of the former government of Liberia with: rampant corruption, misused of public office, and abuse of human rights. That leadership was extinguished by a "firing squad" after a "mocked trial". Since then, other names have emerged on the Liberian revolutionary scene: NPFL, INPFL, LPC, LDC, ULIMO-K, ULIMO-J and now, LURD. These acronyms all have powerful denotations, but deceptive connotations. There have also been slogans that gave the people false hope, for example: "Anybody who steals government money will not live to tell the story". Interestingly, several persons in leadership positions who exploited the Liberian coffers have not lived to tell the story. Whereas, many have exhausted the resources extorted from the Liberian people. Their stories should be lessons for others. Remember, "Naked you came from your mother's womb, and naked you will return".

The make-ups of the above acronyms are powerful and should not be taken lightly: Redemption; Patriotic; United-Liberation; Peace; and now United-Reconciliation-Democracy. Their denotative meanings should attract the interest and concern of any group of oppressed people. Look at the words of liberation and redemption pronounced by the greatest of all liberators, Jesus the "Redeemer" found in Luke 4:18, and their connotative implications and demonstrations:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me, to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at Liberty them that are bruised.

Yes indeed, the "hungry were fed; blind received sight; lamed walked; deaf heard; dead raised; women and children freed; the prisoners freed; and the poor and widows embraced". What a contrast to the "Liberian Experience"! We have become displaced and captives by our "so-called" liberators, and can not even sing the "Lord's Song In Our Own Land" (Psalm 137).

Fellow Liberians, the days of revolutionary words and false promises are over. It is time for "PRAXIS - ACTIONS not WORDS"; for our leadership in Liberia over the past 22 years has fallen victims to the social evils of our time, and forgotten the purpose of their mission: "To improve the standard of living of the Liberian people". Coming to the hem of leadership, they may have had good intentions, but time has revealed otherwise. They have placed self over service to the people. Notwithstanding, biblical and contemporary history provides hope. All is not lost. The Patriarch David, King of Israel, admitted to his weakness when confronted by the Prophet Nathan. He confessed and sought divine forgiveness (Psalm 51). The Tax Collector, Zacchaeus renounced his wealth, given them to the poor. And was prepared to restore four times anything he had wrongfully acquired from anyone. Aren't these examples of sincere humility and reconciliation that can be emulated by our present leadership?

To the led and oppressed, let us no longer be fooled, and open our doors, embracing ideologies and self-proclaimed liberators. Remember, "that all that glitters is not gold". Further, we should know that, "the guns that liberate can not rule; for these are the same guns the liberators use to keep themselves in power, and suppress the people. We call on the government, and LURD to halt all hostilities in order to reduce the sufferings of the displaced and the poor. We also call on the government to take the necessary steps in preparing for ELECTIONS 2003: reconstruction of a national integrated military, and paramilitary security; reconstitution of a neutral ELECTION COMMISSION; conduction of census, etc. If this is unlikely, let us "go back to the drawing board"; set up another interim that will lead us into elections, and establishing an authenticate government in keeping with the Constitution of Liberia. Let us as Liberians work towards creating a Liberia in a peaceful, reconciliatory, and democratic manner for ourselves, our children, and children's children. May God bless Liberia!

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