The Editor: Kindly publish the below write-up as a response to Samuel P. Jackson’s opinion piece, “U.S. undermines democracy and stability in fragile postwar Liberia.”
The op-ed is a well written “mea culpa” by Samuel Jackson. It sounded more like a remorse for the failure of the Progressives to transform Liberia when they were given the chance to do right by their people. Enough with the rhetoric!
However, I am glad that our History is alive. It is replete with the same old missteps by Liberian leaders and the same old behavior by those who have been chosen to rule Liberia. Here is my take…
1. Liberia’s Educational System is lacking in many aspects (in quality, scope and impact); a situation which continues to perpetuate institutional poverty on our people, who have always been at the mercy of greedy politicians. They continue to sell our natural resources and what do we get, more promises. Liberia needs a better education system that will produce the next generation of God-fearing and patriotic-mined professionals ready to serve.
2. A robust healthcare system will support and complement the education and welfare of the nation.
3. The Liberian Opposition is currently weak and needs to check itself before it becomes obsolete. We do not intend to return to a “One Party” state. They may have stolen 170 years from us, but we can still become a Strong Democratic Nation. A vibrant opposition is needed, like we have in the United States. This will create fear in those in power and provide voters the option to vote out of office non performing government officials.
4. We all want to end corruption. How do you accomplish that? Enforce the rule of law and hold accountability anyone involved in corruption. Some Liberian People can be like Turtle sometimes: “put fire on their backs, and they will walk straight.” Make an example of one “Big Shot” like Alex Tyler for example. After that, I can assure you, everyone will single file and behave.
5. We need Jobs, not slave labor. We need real fair-wage paying jobs for Liberians; on the palm plantations, on rubber plantations, and on diamond and gold mines, where young men toil and waste away, sometimes in vain.
Once we create a favorable economic environment that fosters the well-being of all Liberian citizens, guaranteed equals rights for all, provide security for all, and hold accountability law-breakers, the ordinary Liberian is capable of earning an honest living.
That’s what Liberians need: an Honest Living under the right economic conditions.
Corruption will then die a natural vampire death – scorched and triumphed by the rule of law.
As for the U.S., they will meddle less into our nation’s affairs. We could then consider pushing for reparations for subjecting us to 170 years of human rights violations and economic deprivation.
Tamba D. Aghailas