By Rev. Torli H. Krua, Founder, UHRI
Barely six days from the celebration of Liberia’s 173rd independence, Frontpageafrica published an article on July 20, 2020, captioned “The Great Liberian Referendum-2020.” According to the article, the December 2020 referendum calls on Liberian voters to “turn [the] clock on history” by voting on four politician-favored initiatives; reduction of politicians’ term of office, “President from 6 years to five years; Senators from nine years to seven years; Representatives from six years to five years, allow dual citizenship.”
I call on all Liberian voters to reject and vote NO on all questions within the 2020 referendum because not a single one of the ballot questions aims to address the urgent concerns of citizens such as the root causes of abject poverty, war crimes, endemic corruption, excessive salaries and benefits of politicians.
The omitted citizens’ concerns have reduced our mineral-rich nation to the #1 poorest country on earth. Meanwhile, America that enslaved and colonized Liberia is the richest country on earth. In Liberia’s corrupt system of governance, politicians become instant millionaires. To address citizens’ concerns for the very first time in 200 years, I call on all Liberians to urgently demand a public hearing into the original purpose for which Liberia was founded, the origins of systemic corruption, and 200 years of American Slave Masters’ deception. We have written to all three branches of the Liberian government on this urgent citizens’ concern and await their response as paid public servants.
It’s an uttermost disgrace for Africans in general and Liberians in particular that for 200 years, the first republic in Africa proudly bears the insignia of American Slave Masters as well as the emblems that honor Slave Masters and Liberia’s White Supremacists founding fathers. It’s time to demand a new authentic African nation designed by African citizens to empower the citizens and guarantee equal opportunities for all before worrying about the non-issues of the 2020 Referendum that favors only politicians and foreigners.
The 2020 referendum, like all previous historical ballots, are poison pills designed to empower and enrich politicians and it’s not what the citizens want. The process is controlled by the servants (politicians), not the Masters, the citizens. Like the politician-favored referendum, politicians also set excessive salaries and benefits. Liberian citizens will remain powerless and in bondage if they keep voting the politicians’ agenda.
A public hearing is necessary because our research proves that the Republic of Liberia was designed by foreign slave masters, not citizens. General Robert Goodloe Harper, a white American who supported the removal and colonization of free African Americans in Africa but not freedom for African Americans in America, described free Blacks as “…greater nuisance than even slaves themselves.” Harper coined the deceptive name ‘Liberia’. Harper also suggested the name change of the colonial capital city from Christopolis (city of Christ) to Monrovia (city of Monroe-a white slave owner who never freed his slaves).
If the free African Americans were truly free, why couldn’t they be allowed to name their own country or choose their leaders in ‘Liberia’? The names Liberia, Monrovia, Buchanan, Bushrod Island, Clay-Ashland are all relics of white supremacism that should have been swept away since 1847 if Liberia was truly an independent African country.
Not a single African nationalist, or Black or White American abolitionist’s name (Douglass, Stowe, Garrison, or Sojourner Truth) appears on anything significant in Liberia. Only the Slave Masters and Americans who protected slavery are our heroes. From General Harper in the East to Monroe and Bushrod in the West, Liberia treasures only American Slave Masters, not Africans or abolitionists.
When the winds of change started blowing across Africa, the Gold Coast, named by Europeans for what they most valued, the natural resources, not the people, became independent Ghana. Leopoldville was changed to Kinshasa. Upper Volta became Burkina Faso. Rhodesia became Zimbabwe and Salsbury was changed to Harare. Liberia, on the other hand, remained branded by Slave Masters before and after independence- corrupt, poor and bankrupt economically, morally, culturally, and educationally!
In the words of the American Slave Masters who founded Liberia, “...the colonization of the free people of color will render the slave who remains in America more obedient, more faithful, more honest, and, consequently, more useful to his master, is it proper to regard this happy consequence to both, as the sole object which the Society (ACS) hopes to attain…”
In 2020 Liberia is sinking under skyrocketing unemployment for college graduates, our roads are impassable, our bridges-broken, schools, health delivery systems are broken or nonexistent. Yet the salaries and benefits of Liberian politicians are higher than all American politicians; consistent with the Liberian saying; “99 days for rogues, but one day for the Master.”
To conclude, people, the Floyd Gates have opened. Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” It’s time we demand that the US Congress, the only surviving partner in crimes against humanity with the defunct American Colonization Society (ACS) who initiated, financed, provided security, in sustaining oppression, slavery, and racism in Liberia pays damages for ongoing theft of lands, torture, and atrocities committed in Liberia including ritualistic killings, impassable roads, endemic corruption by Liberian politicians who are also American citizens and American persons with green cards.