LIBERIA HAS COME a long way in fighting and staving off racism and xenophobia of any kind.
PRIMARILY BECAUSE the founding fathers of the country were treated as animals by their white counterparts.
THIS CONTINUED WELL over a century when the transatlantic slave was then perhaps the biggest booming business in the world.
FROM CARIBBEAN TO the then the “dark continent” of Africa, colonies sprung up with slaves being transported and transshipped across the world.
WHEN BRITAIN BECAME the first country to abolish the slave trade, other countries followed suit, including the United States of America which abolished the slave trade on January 1, 1808.
THIS PAVED THE way for the formation of the American Colonization Society.
THE ACS WAS A MOVEMENT to resettle free-born African Americans and freed slaves who faced racial discrimination in the form of political disenfranchisement, and the denial of civil, religious and social privileges in the United States.
MOST WHITES AND LATER a small cadre of African American nationalists believed that African Americans would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the U.S.
THE AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY was founded in 1816 in Washington, DC for this purpose, by a group of prominent politicians and slaveholders. But its membership grew to include mostly people who supported abolition of slavery. Slaveholders wanted to get free people of color out of the South, where they were thought to threaten the stability of the slave societies.
A TWO-MAN TEAM led by Samuel J. Mills and Ebenezer Burgess were tasked to finding land for a place that would be called Liberia.
ON JULY 26, 1847, LIBERIA declared her independence following a skirmish known in Liberian history as the little ben affairs. To safeguard the country, integral parts were inserted in the constitution, stating that non Negro cannot own lands and acquire Liberian citizenship.
BUT NEARLY 170 YEARS following the signing of the declaration of independence, some foreign owned businesses, it seems, have carte blanche in its modus operandi towards its treat of Liberians or blacks and whites.
A POPULAR FAST FOOD diner which operates a discotheque on the weekend is one of those said to be treating Liberian differently from the way it treat its white customers.
THERE ARE STORIES OF WOMEN being denied entry on frivolous grounds that they were/are unaccompanied by a male. There are also reports that Liberian men are treated extremely different from white males at that diner.
IF THESE REPORTS ARE ANYTHING to go by, then it’s time for the Liberian government to intervene. Liberia is a black country and as such, no foreigner can have racist policies being instituted by Liberians against Liberians at his/her business.
IF ANY FOREIGNER WANTS to operate a “white only” business, then Liberia is sure not the place for them to operate because we have a history of standing against those vices. We sued South Africa over its occupation of Namibia and racist apartheid policies thereof.
WE MUST NEVER FORGET what happened to Edward Gberie who was choked to death by a foreigner because he swallowed a candy in the supermarket where he worked.
THOSE WHO WERE AROUND then are alive to tell the story of what happened after. Protests, countless of them, rocked the establishment of the True Whig Party, especially as the lawyer of the foreigner who killed the boy, had his father as the Chief Justice and the case went before the courts. The rest is history.
WE NEED NOT NAME those foreign owned businesses but notice ought to be taken.