Alagi Saidy-Barrow: Some Bitter Pills To Swallow

Alagie Saidy-Barrow

Ummm, here are some bitter pills to swallow

Pill One:

We are not all the same and we are not one people. Many parrot that nonsense because it is convenient to say even if it is devoid of any substance. We are not all brothers and sisters as we delude ourselves into always regurgitating. Some people think their tribe is better than others and will do everything and anything to see that those they consider their tribesman prevail and control everything. Some don’t even think they should share this colonial space we call Gambia with some other tribes. They base their notion on misplaced autochthony anchored on colonial miseducation.

Pill Two
We are not one nation; we just happened to be trapped in this colonial space we call Gambia and hence our approach to nation-building: Fankung fankung. Hell, some of us think that because others don’t share our religion, they are going to hell. They are bad and we are good. How can we possibly claim to be the same as those condemned to hell? I am certainly not the same as you know who and he certainly aint my brother. And yes, like many, some of us are as vindictive and evil as Yaya Jammeh’s Mama Kandeh the recalcitrant loser who is hypocritically calling for peace!

Pill Three
Our notion of peace is limited in that it is often a day late and a Dalasi short by the time we start parroting “let peace prevail.” We are not as peaceful as we have managed to delude ourselves into believing. Like many things, we are opportunistic with our peace whatever the heck it means. I mean we hail the battle of Badr and claim the crusaders are heroes. Both events were violent and many of us accept them without reservation. We selectively embrace violence because many of us have no principles and rather march to the drum of convenience. Some of us are wife-beaters and others cannot wait to use force even where it is not necessary. And by the way, unlike many of you, I wholeheartedly embrace violence if it means standing up for what I believe in and to defend myself and my honor. You on the other hand would have made a good slave because you will obey all laws no matter how egregious they are to you. Your types were the slaves that parroted “let the slave laws prevail.”

Pill Four
Our notion of rule of law is as discriminatory and self-serving as the laws are to the elite and powerful who make them. When was the last time you saw the law going after those with power in The Gambia? It is not that the elite and powerful do not break the law, it is that they are protected by the law. Trying going after the fisheries minister and see how far you get. Or better yet, sue the Tourism folks for corruption and see how far you get. We think that a lack of evidence means innocence!

Pill Five
Our freedom is mostly a mirage. You are only as free as your level of perceived threat to the powerful. The lower they rank your perceived threat, the higher your so-called freedom. You won’t realize how unfree you are until the day those who control you have an interest in something you are not willing to give up! Or the day they perceive you as a threat to their power. Only those with power are really free. The rest of us are forced to uphold their freedom to lord over us. We call that politics.

Pill Six
Our politics is about riding on the backs of the people while making yourself and those around you as rich as you possibly can. Check out the political prostitution we celebrate with no iota of shame. You will soon see the political prostitutes start jumping from one political bed to another. And of course the reason will be for the betterment of the nation. Ditto the attention junkies.

Pill Seven
Now take a chill pill and allow me to say the meaningless cliche we love to parrot: I am entitled to my opinion and it is my opinion that until you realistically diagnose what ails your colonial space by acknowledging the difficult truth, your solutions will be palliative at best and the cancers of misplaced tribalism, Political opportunism, civil society hustlers, individualism, miseducation, greed, hypocrisy, self-serving idiocy, attention junkies, misplaced priorities and whatnot, will continue to ail you. And if you choose to generalize this post, then samaafu. Now take a freaking chill pill.

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