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CommentaryPolitical Hotfire

“Liberty Hijacked” Is a Dangerous Book for Liberia’s Unity and Fragile Peace

By Jones Mallay

Either the book “Liberty Hijacked” is presumably the author’s grand narrative to reinvent the wheels of 1847 history or he wants to simply dismantle sellers’ (Americo-Liberian) historical foundation as portrayed by his deep and undeterred incinerations to distort and undermine pre-history in modern Liberia.

Though the book received countless blessings and enormous auspiciousness by way of unhindered praises from the Ministry of Education through its envoy, the Executive Director for the Center of Excellence for Curriculum Development and Textbooks, Mrs. Julia K. Sandiman-Gbeyai the chief launcher, it was excitingly another business as usual for a book that is poised to divide both indigenous and Americo-Liberians in modern Liberia.

Interestingly, the author may have written from the perspective of an influential rising indigenous leader of change who now portrayed himself as the fearless redeemer of indigenous Liberians from the age-old shackles of settlers’ divisive rules, discrimination, and segregation.

The author revealed strategically that the settlers (Americo-Liberians) robbed indigenous Liberians of their share of “Liberty”. In his views, the denial of Liberty was a terrible weapon of divisiveness and disunity among indigenous Liberians. 

Mr. Kai is also in blatant denial of the essence and the definition of 1847: “Love of Liberty Brought Us Here.” Liberty” meant the right to self-rule, property ownership, and freedom of Liberty, sovereign nation, Free State, and even the political jargon of Liberia that incorporated indigenous as Liberians. How, then, did this divide indigenous Liberians?

Which part of the “Liberty” was, or is divisive and discriminatory to indigenous Liberians in modern Liberia? “Liberty Hijacked” is a hazardous book for modern Liberia. The book has the propensity to undermine Liberia’s unity and fragile peace in multiple ways.

For example, Mr. Kai lamented “A history of how the loss of Liberty divides Liberia here in Monrovia.” The author failed to authenticate the “growing discriminatory policies, suppressive laws, regulations, and bad practices that negatively impacted indigenous Liberians” because of the “Liberty.”  He also said: “Christian churches kept Liberian indigenous divided,” which applauds.

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This attempt is to undermine Christianity from the cradle of Liberia’s inception. Was Liberia built on Christian principles? It was the very indigenous who embraced Christianity. How, then, was Christianity used to divide Indigenous Liberians in Liberia, Mr. Author?

This information is unhealthy for Liberia’s fragile democracy after a 16-year bloody and brutal civil war. The author further insinuated that the settlers inflated substantial historical wounds on native Liberians through the American Colonization Society (ACS), another element of unchecked fallacies and misleading facts.

Liberia has been divided and polarized since the 1980 coup up to the present. The coup ushered in Liberia’s polarization, deep division, and gross indifference between indigenous Liberians and the settlers’ descendants (Americo-Liberians). The coup did witness the vicious killing of 17 settler descendants, drove thousands and thousands into exile, and properties seized/destroyed. In contrast, others remained silenced in their distress for a protracted period. The coup uprooted the historic foundation of the Americo Liberian, destroyed their heritage, and wiped out their entire hegemony in Liberia, which still leaves fresh memories in the minds of Liberians while then publishing such a divisive book.

The 80s coup had a devastating effect on Liberians and then the settler’s 130-year rule combined. The immigrants are on record for economically marginalizing Liberians. Aside from that, they did not kill indigenous Liberians in their mass. They did not destroy Liberia’s physical infrastructure. They did not at any time drive masses of indigenous Liberians into exile, destroy their properties, or seize their wealth.

The coup later accumulated into civil wars of reprisal that took the lives of over 150.000 Liberians, something still fresh on the minds of indigenous and settlers’ descendant Liberians, which made the publication of this, book untimely. The author defines Liberty as a weapon of division, discrimination, and segregation that deprives indigenous of the would-be Liberty, which is contrary to what Liberty truly means.

The book cannot be called a history book. It is more of an indigenous propaganda book intended to put indigenous and Americo-Liberians at loggerheads. The author   discredited past histories and termed them as “propaganda material.” On the contrary, the author’s book will encourage division, segregation, discrimination, and disunity among Liberians at home and abroad. The book could spark a new ethnic, sectarian war between Americo-Liberians and indigenous Liberians.

The book is a mere propaganda tool intended to open new wounds in Liberia that would definitively put indigenous against sellers (Americo-Liberian). In the case of “Liberty hijacked” being taught as a curriculum in schools in Liberia, the book will indoctrinate and poison the minds of indigenous children against settlers’ (Americo-Liberian) children, which will not be healthy.

The book would no doubt breed additional hatred, bitterness, division, and high feelings between and among young Liberians, potentially leading to another revenge war in classrooms among natives and settlers’ descendants across Young Liberians. It will morally corrupt the minds of young Liberians across Liberia. The book should be banned o in Liberia.

What is astonishing is the author’s blatant insensitivity to A’s historical works and enormous initiatives. The author grossly seized the publications of Doris Banks Henries, Joseph Saye Guannu, and J.H McPherson to the dismay of ordinary Liberians.

No part of those history books ever brought about division, segregation, and resentment against indigenous Liberians. Why the author should classify these Liberian historical contributions as “propaganda materials” is appalling, degrading, and self-conflicting in many ways.

Liberian writers should not be rendering vindictive judgment based solely on inherent tribal prejudice, professional sentiment, or political misgivings without any iota of material evidence with historical connotations.

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One Comment

  1. Mallay seems right. For over 100 years the American Colonizaton Society foisted Western-Flavored Africans [“the settlers”] on indigenous populations, scraped them massively of land through bocus land acts, because land, labor, capital remain the holy grill of econonic empowerment, became “lords” of the very indigenous populations, and used institutions like religion and fraternal orders to hold a grip on the indigenous populations.

    Now in time of key enlightenment that should lead to all Liberians reordering important comportment and resolve, nobody, nobody should say a thing!

    Those who are determined to hush up chroniclers of history may be impervious. They may attempt to mute history. But history will remain forever brazen.

    Good character is beckoning. We don’t need priests on the pulpit to convey that social and enduring message. Let that message fo forth.

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