Opinion

Promoting hate and ethnocentrism in Sierra Leone

3 February 2009 at 05:04 | 779 views

By Joseph Sherman, “The New Rising Sun”, Washington,DC.

Today, Sierra Leoneans face a tyranny built upon contemporary practices that devalue personal and communal responsibility as well as participating in the political discussions and process. Propaganda based on ethnocentrism, deceit, hate and egoism is what the opposition SLPP is relying on to prove its case of political failure to the people of Sierra Leone.

The opposition SLPP is in a state of oblivion and illusion so much that their politicians have resorted to dirty politics. This life-and-death political propaganda has the propensity of deceiving the ignorant and investors into believing that nothing good is in Sierra Leone. The campaign to mislead rather than lead has overwhelmed the entire camp of the SLPP who believe power is more important than the well being of the nation.

One thing that makes me sad though is ethnocentrism. I am saddened and deeply troubled when I read writings and opinions of the self-styled New People online newspaper against the APC government and its officials. Not only are the opinions and writings perfidious to the cause of a prosperous Sierra Leone but they are obstacles to a fledgling democracy. I respect ethnic cultures and anything with regards to ethnic traditions but I do not stand for those associations or gangs who profess to represent our people when they are inimical to their progress and development. Isn’t it paradoxical to call for unity when you are an obstacle to unity yourself? How can the New People newspaper use ethnic undertones to label the Defense Minister, Pallo Conteh, as making appointments based on his ethnic affiliation when ethnci groups of all kinds are represented in various sectors of government? Democracy does not create division; instead it should blur the dividing line.

The issue of ethnocentrism which the SLPP embraced for decades there has been so much triviality that, instead of Sierra Leoneans celebrating our diversity, we have reduced ourselves to vampires, with each group baying for the blood of others because of selfishness.

As true sons and daughters of Sierra Leone with good intentions to see our country develop politically, socially and economically, we are supposed to put the interest of our nation first rather than serving our individual interests. How reliance on manipulative advertising leads to deceit and public dialogue has become a monologue of self-interest.

The failure to address issues of common interest and the of politics of imputing has taken over the minds of the opposition SLPP to the extent that they are blinded by reality and will do everything within their power to propagate make-believe lies to satisfy their whims and caprices. How can we say we are educated and intelligent, when we cannot reason as to what is best for the country? Can political maneuvering and false propaganda bring
development and stability in the country? One thing SLPP politicians failed to realize is that the more you use coercive power to gain popularity the more you accumulate enemies.

Since 1961, when Sierra Leone gained independence, politics has been the order of the day. 49 years has elapsed without country progressing instead it is retrogressing in a state of oblivion-all in the name of politics. The so-called SLPP intelligentsia and political pundits are engaged in political mudslinging whenever a government comes to power, until they have become a toothless bulldog.

Unlike previous governments, the government in power (APC) was democratically elected; as such it is incumbent upon all patriotic Sierra Leoneans to come together for the common good of the country. We cannot all be politicians; rather with our individual talents we can collectively contribute our quota to development of the country.

Democracy and freedom of expression cannot survive if continue with politics of deceit. Nothing short of a revolution in the way we practice politics in Sierra Leone will keep freedom and democracy from disappearing behind the two-way-mirror of selfish, vain, and impoverished political habits. The politics of deceit will open eyes of Sierra Leoneans to the ways they are being manipulated and thereby know the truth.

With all that said, I call upon the people of Sierra Leone to fight ethnocentrism at any level. I also call on the APC government to recognize ethnocentrism as a problem and pass appropriate legislation to combat this horrendous crime in our society. If we reduce ourselves to ethnic entities who can remain to safeguard our national identity?

For complete democracy to take place, we need to bury our ethnic tendencies and destroy our ethnic hideouts to enable us to match majestically to freedom and self determination.

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