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Opinions of Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Columnist: Afi Taylor

I am not a lebanese but...

Jihad Chaaban, Abelemkpe branch manager of Marwako Fast Food Jihad Chaaban, Abelemkpe branch manager of Marwako Fast Food

By Afi Taylor

I have decided not to go beyond a few hundred words in this piece. Not to cloud the thoughts of my readers with too much information. Rather to keep this as crisp and crunchy as possible and I think these few words would adequately drive home my point.

First of all, I have watched, listened, and read carefully how events surrounding one Lebanese employer (emphasis on one) treated his female employee with disdain. When I was asked to give my opinion, I gave the obvious answer “the one who committed this atrocious crime of marinating the lady’s face in grounded pepper must not go unpunished”. (Again, emphasis on one}.

As much as I highly commend the lady for her sheer act of bravery for not keeping mute and soaking in her pain but rather chose to squeeze out the stains in her employer, I condemn some Ghanaians who have upgraded themselves to the high office of the social commentary, whose unguarded comments are either simplistic, or xenophobic.

Sometimes, we are just hypocrites. Many of us purport to be holier than Jesus Christ himself, meanwhile, some Ghanaian employers have treated those under them even worse. So I ask what the difference is. Why can’t we be as peeved at our own people as we are with others when they commit similar offences?

Truth be told, I have seen how the people, whose skin tones are lighter than ours, those we have all lumped together and are pelting stones at, have provided scholarships to hundreds of our own Ghanaian children.

I have also seen how over the years, the very places we want shut down, have been a source of livelihood to our Ghanaian people and more recently, I watched on television how our own people with hearing impairments were given hearing aid devices which cost thousands of Donald Trump’s dollars free of charge.

The point is that there are bad nuts everywhere, so in our attempt to root them out and crucify them, we should be guarded against hasty generalizations. Jihad Chaaban is the culprit, not the hundreds of Lebanese who perhaps do not know or have not heard about him, until this pepper-shoving drama.

As there are good and bad Ghanaians, so are there good and bad Lebanese. I believe his punishment will send the right signal to those employers, Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians alike who think their subordinates are less human.

I await the final verdict.