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Say It Loud



AVA ATE TOO MUCH RICE IN GHANA, Final Segment

Author:
IMPATRIATE
Date:
2003-01-01 14:29:43


The last topic that the old lady discussed with the Ava women was TRIBALISM. Tribalism, offered the old lady, is a trivia question to which the people are still searching an answer. Tribes are like the parts of a person's body. Some persons have certain parts or features that others perceive to be nicer or more beautiful than others' features. No matter how beautiful one's features, those features do not determine the survival of the ones with less beautiful features. Nature, she said, made life so thart we ill all differ in many ways. Those differences were never intended to be used against each other. They were rather intended to be shared and celebrated by all. Be proud of your tribe, but do not use your tribal affinity to deprive others of opportunities; to put down other tribes; to destroy others because of them belonging to a different tribe; to deprive others of their lives or livelihood; to insult others when they express opposing views; or to think that one's tribe is better than the other.

Green grapes aree not better than red grapes or black grapes. What matters with these grapes is how the farmer or vintner chooses to use the grapes, either for wine making or direct consumption. Let the grape farmer or vintner misuse the grapes or abuse them, and his/her profits will be gone with the wind. Tribal affinition should be used to bring those whoo belong to that tribe together for some communal activities and customary activities, and to let others celebrate their rich culture when carried forward positively. Human beings keep talking about their ability to think, yet daily people are seen refusing to take a step back and think about how they hurl tribal epithets at each other.

No group in Ghana, she said, is spared of this shortcoming. some may be worse than others in this behavior, but it is still a calamity that needs to be addressed quickly and prudently. Strange, she continued, that the very ones who decry white racism themselves do not hesitate to employ tribalism where they see it as a short cut insurance policy to aid their cause.Everyone is supposed to use their ability to think to find solutions, not to self-destruct. In Ghana, there are various political parties. Any time a person of one tribe criticizes a political party of another person, and that other person happens to belong to a different tribe, immediately the one sees it as affront on tribe instead of the party. This, unfortunately, is sometimes true where attacks or criticisms are based on tribal lines, but in most cases, that is not the case. Tell your kings and chiefs to take a strong public stand against tribalism. For if they are leaders, then they can expect their subjects to listen. Tell your politician husbands that they have to come out and and take a strong stand against tribalism. Many people, from leaders to followers, have been guilty of practicing tribalism, but the time has come for Ghanaians to stand up together and realize that they need each other, each tribe, and more, if their young democracy is to survive.

One of the Ava women brought up the subject of Say It Loud, and the old replied that she follows it, with keen interest. The web, she said, is a golden opportunity for Ghanaians and everyone else to meet and exchange ideas and opinions without having to travel any distance. When some posts a topic critical of a political party, that person will most likely get shot down by someone else who comes out brandishing the tribal sword. Often, the views expressed are important for discussing and beneficial to the country as a whole, but discussion quickly turns to TRIBE, and soon reasonable discourse is lost, and of course the loser is the country. How can you care about your country and then carry on in this fashion? You can use your meetings on SIL to cultivate meaningful relationships and friendships to will open you to more meaningful and indepth discussions. Many who would have liked to participate in these meaningful topics that you all post everyday shun to doing so for fear of being branded as pro tis tribe or pro that political party.

Grains, when planted in the ground, need water, sunlight, darkness, the soil and other nutrients to grow into harvestable crop. Your ideas may be great, and along comes someone who posts a response that may sound silly, but within that response may lie one statement that may be worth gold. Just as one sifts through chaff for whest, so should you do with others responses. Take out what you may need to store in your head, and discard the rest. This is precisely why the other posters are not sitting where you are. They have no idea what you are digesting and what you are discarding, so they wqill not be offended in any way. If you cannot get into a meaningful discussion here on SIL, then multiply it by a thousand times and you can understand why the country cannot move forward. Many people who come on this website may have personally suffered tribal injustice; they may have lost educational opportunities because of tribalism; and others may have seen the worst, loss of their loved one s lives due to tribalism. It is very likely that some will vent out their anger in their postings in a negative manner. This is where those who may know the person personally ought to contact him/her and advise them to tone down or give them guidance or comfort.

Tribalism, when one looks at it, is no different from racism. Both are FLAWED and UNJUSTIFIABLE under any circumstances. Tribalism is FOGGED VISION. Just imagine trying to drive 100 miles in a heavy downpour with no widshield wipers on your car. Good luck if you can make it pass 100 yards let alone 100 miles. Each time a person engagess in tribalism, they are fogging their vision. Tribalism can be a cancer in the ribs of a nation. The government can help heal wounds by its actions, and prosecuting all crimes carried out by some against others. Be cautious about what you say in the presence of your children, for they develop certain tribal views based on what they hear from their parents. Have compassion and understanding for each other, she said. Pointing at me, she told the Ava women that she has to take leave and talk to this young man who has sat here patiently. And to their homes their Ava women went.

I appologize for the length of this posting. I did not want to divide it into 2 since it dealt with the same topic, and I did not wish to anger the old lady. Have a wonderful time on SIL, everybody. I came to SIL this summer, and have enjoyed exchanging ideas with all. I have to leave room for others to carry on. I'm Ghanaian, but I pride myself of belonging to the human race, as one lady once said. Lets have respect for all and appreciate the participation of those who are not Ghanaians. They are here because of their interest in your country. Even though I will not participate, I shall maintain my annual membership, ad encourage everyone to maintain theirs too. SIL is a powerful tool, and it must used used as such. Wish all of you a satisfactory and fullfilling 2003. Thanks. IMPATRIATE.

[This is an authentic posting from (Registered User)]
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