Wednesday, September 17, 2014
LET'S BLAME OURSELVES BEFORE WE BLAME EAST AFRICANS!!!
Those of us who lived in Kenya know very well how Kenyans and Ugandans treated us during the years of our liberation struggle: Bad and Good! But before we rush to blame them regarding their negative reaction to that 'unpatriotic circular', we need to be humble enough and accept what is our fault and what we have the right to say and do as South Sudanese regardless of how others take it.
First of all, South Sudan has every right to make sure that employment of nationals takes priority unless there are no qualified South Sudanese. In every country in the world, including Canada where I live, citizens and permanent residents are considered first before foreigners. No argument there! I addressed this in October of 2012 in an article: "The Parliament: Presidential Approval Machine or the Voice of the People?"
However, in the case of the circular released by the Ministry of Public Service, we have to admit: it was an ill-conceived and insensitively written circular which is against our national security interest and the economic interest of South Sudan. Saying that "all the aliens working ... in all the positions" is both irresponsible and destructive for South Sudan. Why do we blame Kenyans and Ugandan for the very words we wrote?
Some of us have been so blinded by our support for the government that we can't even correct the government against dangers that might destroy the very government we purport to support. When we are wrong we are wrong!!
The message should have been thoroughly reviewed before being released. That circular is a national security threat and people who wrote it should be disciplined.
Mawien of foreign affairs has done a good job rationalizing the incident, however, the damage has already been done because the statement was a WRITTEN OFFICIAL CIRCULAR.
It's the duty of the citizens to tell the government where it goes wrong! I guess South Sudanese see that as bad, even the educated!
TOLERANCE & INCLUSION
While it is possible for us to racially discriminate or judge people we know, the chances of judging people we know diminish significantly the more we know them. An easy example of the importance of understanding others is the attitude people develop when they want to harm others or when they want to deny them something valuable. Essentially, before you fight someone, you insult them. Insults are attempts at diminishing the value of people, an attempt at estranging them, as Toni Morrison argued in The Origin of Others. It is easy to discriminate against strangers or make others strangers or dehumanized in order to discriminate against them.