“LEADERS WILL HAVE TO GIVE clear and decisive leadership towards a world of tolerance and respect for difference, and an uncompromising commitment to peaceful solutions of conflicts and disputes,” Nelson Mandela.
“THE CHALLENGE FOR EACH one of you is to take up these ideals of tolerance and respect for others and put them to practical use in your schools, your communities and throughout your lives,” Nelson Mandela.
“A MAN DIES WHEN he refuses to stand up for that which is right. A man dies when he refuses to stand up for justice. A man dies when he refuses to take a stand for that which is true,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
WHY DID WE BEGIN TODAY’S EDITORIAL with those powerful quotes from two of the world’s great sons?
FOR THE VERY YOUNG GENERATION of our citizens, the men quoted above endured and received some of the harshest treatments from the hands of their fellow men but yet lived to forgive and TOLERATE them. In spite of one dying while staying advocating for him and others’ rights to be respected, he still tolerated those who hated him when he was alive.
STATESMAN MANDELA AND Civil Right Activist King, Jr. were leaders of their various communities across both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. They had hundreds of followers, including men, who listened to them and were ready to carry out whatever would have been passed down to them: whether hate message or one of tolerance.
FORMER SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT MANDELA, despite him being put in jail for nearly 30 years of his life, when he walked from behind bars and shook those chains off his hands, many South Africans, especially Whites felt that he would not have tolerated their views and would have viciously gone after all of those who had wronged him before he became President.
He tolerated the views of everyone, including his critics as he built a very vibrant democracy in his South Africa so that every South African can live side by side.
THIS IS THE KIND OF DEMOCRACY that we envisage for our dear Liberia. A country where everyone can live happily with the mind that he/she would not be chased after because he/she has a different view to the people who wield the power in their hands.
SO, WHAT HAPPENED TO Mr. Henry Pedro Costa on Tuesday, October 24, should be condemned in every strong term. We don’t know which particular group of people was involved in such barbaric act of violence. No one should be attacked because of their views against yours. We should be civilized enough to tolerate the views of all Liberians as long as those views are not inimical to the peace of the general society.
IF THE GROUP, WHICH ATTACKED Mr. Costa on Tuesday, has got a leader, that leader must now stand up and condemn his/her people’s action.
HISTORY IS REPLETE WITH COUNTLESS pieces of evidence that when leaders didn’t tolerate dissents and tried to suppress those views, the oppressed rose and stood up to fight for their rights—civil wars and struggle for freedom erupted.
WE ALL KNOW OUR OWN HISTORY, a few years ago, some of our leaders ran their fellow citizens out of this country because they didn’t agree to tolerate their views. We all know what happened and how this country is still very badly scarred till today!
PLEASE TOLERATE my views as I tolerate yours so that we live in a very peaceful Liberia.