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Opinions of Monday, 1 June 2020

Columnist: Frank Annoh-Dompreh

In condemnation of the killing of unarmed blacks in the US

MP for Nsawam Adoagiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh MP for Nsawam Adoagiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh

I have watched the events have occurred, I have heard the cries of the people, I have felt in ways that I hoped I never will at a time like this in the growth of humanity.

In the midst of these undesirable events I have only found solace in focusing on my responsibility to the people to develop a solution to one of the most fundamental issues that have contributed to the agony of generations of people in all parts of the world. The injustice.

Today, I issue this statement to define a position on this global issue of racism as well as any form of marginalization from individuals, institutions and systems in society which claims the lives of innocent people, and causes several more to live in fear and despair.

As we are still processing COVID-19 cases and deaths, it is devastating to watch a person lose his life in full glare of the public, at the hands officers of the law who are called to protect and serve. All of this leading to violence in some cities across the US, endangering more lives.

Shops have been looted, cars burned and buildings as well. Riot police have used tear gas and rubber bullets, and I condemn with no reservations the avoidable acts that have accounted for this turmoil.

The narrative has often been; authorities trying to provide reason for heavy handed policing and completely shifting blame to ethnic propensities of a people, basically avoiding the path of proper justice. Acts like the inhuman knee-pinning of George Floyd in Minneapolis by police officer, Derek Chauvin, who we hear is now being charged with “third degree murder” must be aggressively extirpated from society.

Violence and looting can equally not be supported but we should not refuse to place ourselves in the shoes of those who experience the over 200-year pattern of police brutalities against blacks in US and witness every single heart-breaking murder go unpunished.

We remember the famous Martin Luther King Junior’s quote, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Yet somehow, while enduring slavery, breeding farms, systemic rape and torture, denial of basic dignity, disenfranchisement, poverty, police harassment, violence, murder-after-murder and throughout all these, our brothers and sisters in the diaspora seem to have heeded to Martin Luther King’s words of not returning hate for hate. They have offered such unconditional forgiveness for White violence and presumed hatred. Yet again, the problem persists and has led the people to riot.

According to key findings from the website the police in America killed at least 104 unarmed black people in 2015, nearly twice each week. The report further states that nearly 1 in 3 black people killed by police in 2015 were unarmed.

We should be cognizant of the fact that the people demonstrating and feigning outrage today feigned the same outrage when Colin Kaepernick quietly took a knee. They feigned outrage at the expression of “Blacks Lives Matters.” They feigned outrage when many of their unarmed colleagues were killed and yet, never received the expected justice.

I condemn; one, the killing of blacks; two, the violence that has erupted and lastly, the looting and burning of properties because it destroys society as a whole. I also speak out and endeavour to act in an ethical and responsible way for peace to prevail through no other means but by seeking to fix the system of justice which must protect the social contract enabling people to live in peace.

In condemning the inhumane death and subsequent violence, I hope that the White moderates would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose, they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.

As citizens, who are bold to defend forever, the cause of freedom and of right to all persons, I call on us to take relevant cues from these tragic events and use them to reinforce Ghana’s strive to maintain our own social contract, in which justice prevails, as well as the institutions responsible for its swift delivery.

In our endeavor to ensure that all issues relating to foreign affairs with respect to Ghana, are effectively addressed, through the collective execution of our roles as leaders both in the Executive and the Legislature, I am assured that our shared values on humanity enable us to condemn the acts of police brutality, and primarily the injustice people around the world suffer, even to the point of losing their lives.

Thank you.