opinionBy Kuir ë Garang
The capitalist tsars in the West want to maintain the way things are. And that is, they want the poor to remain [poor] and the rich to continue to get rich. They employ the lower classes who work 40-60 hours a week to make the capitalists wealthy. Still, these poor workers are called lazy!
Yet still, we look towards Europe and America for guidance and goodwill. Then we wonder why Africa is still mired in the indescribable. Our poverty and political mess only help them remain wealthy.
How about Jubers! Nea! The hopeless me better not say!
I know all of us have been or are now being schooled in eurostandardized world. Our thoughts, our view of ourselves and our ideas are such that they have to be in line with what Europe has already standardized. This is required in some cases, however, there are cases where following this dug snare and ditch becomes our political and economic stagnation. Am I supposed to be optimistic?
I recently published a book: Is 'Black' Really Beautiful? This book looks at Race, Color and Racism from an African perspective you can't find in our contemporary euro-literature and scholarship. However, from the subject of the book, it's very easy to see why such ideas are not addressed in the manner in which they are supposed to be handled. Most of us think "Black is Beautiful?" However, many of us don't actually see the fatuitous insinuation in the proposition. So buckle up!
People scratch their heads when I ask them what you call a person who is proud of his or her race! They don't have the answer! Why? Because Europe has decontextualized and instrumentalized the appropriate word.
I maintain in the book that the color (black) that has been used by the Europeans to describe the Africans wasn't meant to be a presented glory for the Africans. However, the color has become so dear to the African person and the person of African descent to the point that they've owned the color per se. The African person has been so much lost in the ontic of this loosely descriptive, and begrudging color that she sees no difference between this describing color and her own skin and humanity. Black becomes her skin and her skin becomes black.
Okay, let's get silly! Black President! Black Market! Black Friday! Black Man! Black Panther! Black Magic! Black Days! Point out your choicest pick! What a miasmatic state of affair for the scions of the colonized and the enslaved.
So, to be proud of oneself, one has to be proud of the color [black]. But does the color black describe the skin of the African? Does it describe the skin of the person of African descent? No, obviously! However, the color has been accepted with near divine essence that black as a color and the African are seen as one and the same.
The question one would ask me is: if we are not black then what are we? You are black only because someone says you are. We have no name that stems from our own ingenuities. We are what Europe says we were... what we are now, and what we'll be in the Future.
Blackness is a description used by the Europeans to degrade the African person. And the poor African embraced it wholeheartedly! What else can she do anyway! The magnificent Europe calls herself white. Who dare ask the ridiculous?
So what is happening in South Sudan? This same 'looking outside' for the solution to our problems has crippled South Sudan and it will take it to its economic and political grave.
What is lacking in South Sudan is not creation of ideas strictly speaking, but the methods through which these ideas can be implemented. If corruption has to be dealt with comprehensively, then it has to be dealt with at all levels. Laws and regulations don't implement themselves. There has to be across-the-board systemic instruments to deter every civil servant and politician from putting his hand into the cookie jar. And if that person is so callous as to put his hands into the jar, then these systemic methods can cause this civil servant's hand to be caught inside then cookie jar.
If the Vice President, Riek Machar, calls for peace and reconciliation, he has to draft a comprehensive strategy and plan on how this peace and reconciliation can be achieved. Ideas and goodwill without any methods of efficacious implementation are just as good as the fancy ideas of that perennially drunken old fellow around the corner.
President Kiir calls for the police and the security agents to respect the average citizen. Without any systemic and institutional methods devised by the government to check the daily operations of these people and to hold them accountable, these people will continue to kill at will.
We need day-to-day instruments that can check daily operations of people in public offices. If some people slip through these instruments, then they can now be held accountable through instituted regulations and laws.
Let's stop looking outside; at America and Europe for ideas that'd help us prosper. The poorer we are the wealthier the capitalists (who drive politicians like cars) in the west get. So don't expect Europe and America to give us ideas that are helpful... in essence.
Let's harvest our internal powers. Let's be ingenious and come up with economic and political ideas relevant to our realities. And let's not forget the methods to implement them; because implementation is the KEY! Let's stop quoting the ideas of Dave, John and McDonalds from Harvard, Oxford and Stanford etc... etc. Okay, so you went to those universities! Why are you still talking about their ideas? Where are your own ideas?
Why do I even blame South Sudanese leaders when 90% percent of Africans and people of African descent answer 'YES' to this question: Is 'Black' Really Beautiful?
Without strong innovative ideas and feasible ways to implement them then we are off the cliff! How long will we continue to look towards Europe for Salvation? And you expect me to be optimistic!
Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese poet, author and publisher living in Canada.