Liberia: Abusive Language Is Erosive Language


One of the main reasons why the violence-oriented poverty continues to exist is that persons with useful knowledge, like myself, still lack adequate ways to communicate with the people, especially the voters, to motivate them to change their living conditions for the better. Some knowledgeable persons get so begity that they go around saying: “Do what I tell you to do” and “do you know who I am?” These people are into the selfish mode rather than the selfless mode, making it impossible for them to communicate well with the people.

By Togba-Nah Tipoteh, [email protected]

In the selfish mode, persons use abusive language to try to communicate with people. They use abusive language like “f… you, can’t you understand?” They also say “s… mehn, I am talking to you but you are so stupid that you can’t understand what I am saying to you”. Abusive language is erosive language because it ls bad language and it diminishes the user and it shows that the user has nothing good to offer. The persons using the abusive language think that they are making the listeners look bad, but the users of the abusive language are the ones who look bad. Instead of motivating people to change their conditions for the better, the users of abusive language motivate people to change their conditions for the worse. Therefore, abusive language is erosive language, as it breaks society into pieces instead of putting the pieces of society together to get Peace.

As this Commentary is written and published to try to make people look good, it is most important to show the bad results of the use of abusive language. In showing the bad results of the use of abusive language, the main evidence is in the fact that the listeners do not understand well what the bad language users are saying. This lack of adequate understanding leads to the worsening of the people’s living conditions, not because the people do not want to learn but because the communicators are not communicating well.There is no Walk The Talk in the attitude of the communicators to show respect and honesty.

Starting with myself, I have to show respect and honesty. Through the practice of the Walk The Talk mode, I convince myself, as a communicator, that the use of respectful language is not abusive and results in helping the listeners to change their conditions for the better. In changing their conditions for the better, the listeners are doing the right thing. Through self criticism, if I were to solve my portion of the societal problem, then the societal problem would become less difficult to solve. Through self criticism, I get to learn about my mistakes and Walk The Talk so that I can do the right thing.

As the late great Journalist Albert Porte said: “The Constitution of Liberia is good but the implementation of the Constitution of Liberia is bad”. In effect, the great Albert Porte was referring to Chapter 1 Article 1 of the Constitution of Liberia that calls for citizens of Liberia to be treated as equals having the same fundamental human rights. But in the implementation of the Constitution of Liberia, unfairness and inequality set in under the rule of State managers or the powers that be, no matter their places of origin. From the 1950s, reliable data on Liberia indicate that although Liberia exhibited the second highest economic growth rate in the world, less than one per cent of the people of Liberia accounted for over sixty per cent of Liberia’s income and wealth (Robert Clower, et al, Northwestern University, 1966).

Presently, Legislators of the National Legislature of Liberia have access to at least USD1,000 a day and their foreign partners, in the commercial sector alone, have access to at least USD2 million a day while over 80 per cent of the people of Liberia have access to at most less than USD2 a day (Annual Reports of CBL, LISGIS, MFDP, MCI, WB, IMF, ADB and UNDP). Furthermore, the people of Liberia, experiencing this violation of the Constitution of Liberia, have concluded that Liberia is heading in the wrong direction (Afrobarometer, 2020).

What can be done to place Liberia in the right direction? What can be done is the sharing of knowledge to raise awarenes among the people of Liberia in ways that they can understand and become motivated to work together to transform the UNFAIR electoral system to the FAIR electoral system. As it is impossible for good persons to be elected under an UNFAIR electoral system, this transformation is needed. This is why your Humble Servant went to the Supreme Court of Liberia in the Tipoteh versus Korkoya Case to show that the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia, the supervisory body for elections, was operating in violation of the Constitution of  Liberia because Mr. Jerome Korkoya, Chairperson of NEC, at the time, is a citizen of the United States of America (USA). As expected under a democracy, any  change can come in the Constitution provided that it is approved by the majority of the people. The Constitution of Liberia calls for single citizenship: Liberian! Up to now, after two years, the Supreme Court of Liberia says that it is not prepared to give a ruling on the Tipoteh versus Korkoya Case. Not a single national religious, political, government or business leader has given support to the Case!.

The movement from the UNFAIR electoral system to the FAIR electoral system is the step in the right direction. This step has to be taken through the Rule of Law because this is the only viable non-violent way forward for the better. Having exerienced the violence of coup d’etat and civil war, the people of Liberia say: We Want Peace! No More War! Some people say that the Courts are corrupt and it makes no sense to go to the Courts. But going to the Courts makes sense because Journalists at the Courts pass on the rulings of the Courts in local and social media coverages, raising awareness of the people to do the right thing.