What Happened to Red Rooster When a Visitor Came is a parody about the dangers of inflated self-importance. […]
Released on Nov. 18 to fanfare in the United States, the ProPublica/Frontline investigative documentary ‘Firestone and the Warlord’ is nevertheless steeped in stereotypes, overly hyped and unappealing. Having intently studied and written about Firestone’s exploits in Liberia, I believe the film’s producers simply did not dig deep enough.
Although there are some merits to the documentary—particularly revelations from declassified court documents, US State Department cables, Firestone corporate records, correspondences, and video footage—it conceals more than it reveals the true nature of Firestone’s asymmetrical relationship with Liberia.
The duration of the passage and the dangers associated with it had prepared us for the worst, but the first few days of azure skies and blazing sun dispelled our fears. We sat on deck at sunset to while away the time, hardly ever sleeping for our excitement, and sometimes we sang and evoked life on the plantations until dawn. I would lean against the rail to relish the pleasant sea breeze and to gaze at the gleaming waters stretching endlessly around us. Occasionally, the sound of the waves lashing against the ship would reach me like a song from far across the ocean, soothing my nerves.
Meanwhile the ship edged on, tearing through the churning waters, moving further away from America and heading steadily toward our destination. There were days when I would chose to keep to myself, refusing to join Reverend Barclay and others for prayer.
In a 2012 article published by The Atlantic, Nigerian writer Teju Cole exposed the white saviour industrial complex for what it is: a pathology of white privilege.
According to Cole, white saviours fundamentally believe they are indispensable to the very existence of those on the receiving end of their “interventions”. Like some potted plants, they tend to bloom in “exotic” environments far removed from their natural habitats.
At the height of Ebola, the myth of the white saviour has resurfaced again and again, framing Africans as infantile objects of external interventions. The white saviour complex has placed a premium on foreign expertise, while negating domestic capabilities.
An All Star lineup of Liberian Artists team up to share a message of Hope and information in […]
“She refused to smile because she was called in from playing to receive the packet. All the nudgings, teasings didn’t work. But, I sense a tiny smile in there. Can you see it?” ~Brenda Brewer Moore, Founder of Kids Educational Engagement Project, which provides children with educational kits while schools are closed.
On the Ebola ride,
paranoia is the driver.
It takes you on a high
leaving your senses hanging in the wild.
Fear is its deputy,
and panic, the conductor.
Cartoon by Chase Walker.
Liberia has become the bio-terrorist of the new modern age, a sort of North Korea with personalized, microscopic nukes. And this state of mind, which holds that Liberians are proliferators of deadly agents, is far more destructive than the EBOLA virus which has lamentably claimed 5,000 lives in three countries. Coupled with our own ignorance and fear in Liberia and the continuing loss of our compatriots, the internationalized STIGMA of our people and country has far reaching and deleterious effects in every sphere of our society and economy. The loathing, suspicion and mistreatment of Liberians gallop into a surreal career of its own, creating a brand, a “STIGMA” which nobody wants.
All that we have known and practiced are being questioned, challenged as part of prevention measures. How can you attempt to change decades, centuries of cultural practices in a few days or weeks? How can you change an entire society’s way of life? Understandably so, we resist some of these changes. In as much as we understand the reasons for the change, we find it hard to embrace it even at the risk of our lives and that of our loved ones.