Single Standard, Not Double Standard

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By Togba-Nah Tipoteh

In this Commentary, Single Standard means honesty, practicing what you talk and Double Standard means practicing what you do not talk. Practicing what you talk is at once honest and doing the right thing while practicing what you do not talk is at once dishonest and doing the wrong thing. In Liberia, there is much talk about upholding the Rule of Law but there is upholding of the Rule of Outlaw. Let us look at some of these Double Standards and point out ways to get on the Single Standard.

Starting from a religious institution, the Church, there is the Double Standard example of getting women to cover their heads when going for communion but the men are not required to cover their heads. Then, when the women wear African attires, they are allowed to have their heads covered but the men wearing African attires are not allowed to have their heads covered. In fact, in Liberian culture and other African cultures, respectful attires for men anywhere, including the Church and Mosque, show men to be fully attired from head to toe. But when bereaved men wear western attires at a funeral service in a Church, they are allowed to wear their black hats. One day, I was rushing to a meeting with Former President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and I left my hat matching my Liberian attire at home, for which I apologized. President Sirleaf accepted my apology and told me not to forget it the next time. I appreciated her understanding and acceptance of my apology. At Prayers in Mosques, the women are required to sit in the back while the men sit in the front. India, considered to be the world’s largest democracy practicing country, has a Caste System where a person from the Low Caste is not allowed to marry a person from the High Caste. 

With the prevailing male domination, when the Civil War came, men were seen hiding under some places, as mostly boys, girls and young persons were in the rebel groups. While women were out dodging the bullets to get some food for their families to eat, men were hiding. It is from this struggle of the women to get food that the children made the expression: “Mama na kan”, showing their joy when they saw their Mothers coming back home with some food. Thank God fr Mama. Thank God for children. Let us recall the song “Mama, we thank God for you by the internationally acclaimed Liberian Singer Kanvee Adams.The song recalls a situation where a woman did not want her Mother to be seen by her friends because her  Mother’s face was burned. One day, her mother sat her down and told her the story of how she got burned. As the story goes, she got burned by saving her child, the woman who was ashamed of her, from the fire. Then, the woman cried and begged her mother for forgiveness. The woman became proud and unashamed of her Mother, praising God by saying: Mama, thank God for you. We say Thank God for Mothers and thank God for our Singer Kanvee Adams. Let us not leave out the ungrateful men who went to school from the sweat of their Mothers in farming and selling in the markets, but when these men finished school and get their fancy jobs, they are ashamed of their lappa-wearing Mothers and stopped them from coming to their offices. What a shame!!

Worst of all, we sing of Liberia as Land of Liberty by God’s Command but we practice Liberia as a Land of Poverty by the Devil’s Command. Under this Land of Poverty, we give to foreigners what God has us as seen in the production of raw materials for export with no value addition, as we import products manufactured from Liberia’s raw materials, thereby promoting the system of poverty generation rather than bringing in the system of poverty alleviation. We produce what we do not consume and we consume what we do not produce. Under this system, foreigners in the commercial sector alone have access to at least USD2 million a day and their local partners in poverty generation have access to at least USD1,000 a day while over 80 percent of people of Liberia remain poor, having access to at most less than USD2 a day. How did the local partners, the national decision-makers, get their positions? We the voters put them there!! Remember the expressions: “You kill ma Pa, you kill my Ma, I will vote for you”  and “You know book, you do not know book, I will vote for you”. We voted for the decision-,makers!!  Such a bad situation, such a poverty generating situation will continue until there is Fair Election in Liberia so that good persons can get elected to public offices. Good persons have records of helping the poor to help themselves in their struggle for better living conditions. The awareness-raising process carried out by people who love Liberia has to be stepped up with information about the records of candidates in ways that motivate voters to change the electoral system non-violently, through the Rule of Law, so that good persons can get elected for Justice to prevail to get poverty. alleviation instead of poverty generation. It was this awareness that motivated the voters to remove from the National Legislature most of the Legislators of the 52nd and 53rd  Legislatures who were seeking re-election. For Justice to prevail, this awareness-raising process has to continue so that frustrated voters, whose expectations have been raised by greedy public office seekers and holders, do not vote, as they did recently for Non-Ruling Political Party candidates to get out their frustrations against the Ruling Political Party. Some of these Non-Ruling Political Party newly elected persons have begun to think that voters liked them rather than disliked the Ruling Political Party, and they have begun to make the same mistakes by giving support to corrupt persons who finance their political campaigns.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Tipo, if ”Single Standard means honesty, practicing what you talk and Double Standard means practicing what you do not talk”, THEN you so called progressives since the 70s, 80s, 90s, and the 2000s, now tossed into oblivion, are CULPRITS OF THE LATTER …DOUBLE STANDARD!

    YOU THEN RADICAL NEW COMERS TRUMPETTED ”MASSES MASSES MASSES”, ONLY FOR THE LIBERIAN PEOPLE TO LATER DISCOVER THAT YOU THEN RADICAL NEW COMERS WHO HAD NOW BECOME THE OLD GUARDS (1990 and beyond) ARE ACTUALLY ELITISTS!!!

    HENCE, THE REMNANTS OF THE VERY PEOPLE YOU GUYS DISLODGED (VIA THE BRAVADO OF THE ARMY AND THE GALLANTRY OF THE VERY MASSES), EMBRACED THE MASSES AND THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE. THEREBY, LEAVING YOU GUYS IN THE COLD, AND ULTIMATELY TOSSED INTO OBLIVION.

  2. I would say Liberia, the land of plenty by God’s command, but the land of poverty by the desire of the devil!
    The power to change is indeed in the hands of the people. Let’s continue to open their eyes to this fundamental right and simple reality.

  3. Ecclesiastes 9:11 (King James Version)
    I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet BREAD TO THE WISE, NOR YET RICHES TO MEN OF UNDERSTANDING, NOR YET FAVOR TO MEN OF SKILL; BUT TIME AND CHANCE HAPPENETH TO THEM ALL.

    The Eminent Professor Tipoteh may NOT have known the glory some inane political characters enjoyed in our society, but he’s undoubtedly counted among the educated elites of our Republic.
    Albert Einstein was often described by people in his neighborhood as a retarded child, but his contributions to science are globally unsurpassed.
    The Wright Brothers were often mocked in their many attempts to fly in their crudely built modelled plane, but is today the safest and fastest means of travel with immense contributions to world’s economies.

    Kwame Nkrumah may not have lived to see the unity of Africa becoming a reality, but the concept is making headways amongst Africans.
    Laurent GBAGBO may not have succeeded in obtaining the economic freedom for his country, but his flare for economic planning and independence is being copied and emulated by many African countries.
    The Eminent Professor Tipoteh may not have succeeded in implementing his policy of the “masses” to take Liberians from mat to mattress, his philosophy still lingers on as the catalyst for a happy Liberia with relatively fair distribution of its resources on the children of Liberia and not foreigners.

    What intrigues me about some critiques who are “International Mayors and International Diplomats” (to our young readership, the titles in inverted commas do NOT yet exist, don’t copy or say it anywhere) is that they are not man enough to disclose their identities for Liberians to trace their achievements in the Liberian society. They keep changing workstations for fear of being picked up for identification. They are faceless cowards who have had no positive impact, and who wish to see Liberia remain at the status quo.

    According to Google, “Elitism is the belief or notion that individuals who form an elite—a select group of people perceived as having an INTRINSIC QUALITY, HIGH INTELLECT, WEALTH, SPECIAL SKILLS, or EXPERIENCE—are more likely to be constructive to society as a whole, and therefore deserve influence or authority greater than that of others.

    From the definition above, Dr. Tipoteh is indeed an elitist because of his Intrinsic Quality, High Intellect, Special Skills and Experience.
    Elitism has existed ever since Adam and Eve were driven out of the garden of Eden. Elitism exists in every society in the world. Elitism is part of life, that is why Jesus even admonished HIS disciples that there will always poor people among you when the latter wanted to stop Mary from washing HIS feet with a pint of pure nard, a very expensive perfume.

    I consider my adorable Grand Frere as an elitist because intellectually, he’s stood out among commentators on this blog, though we may have divergent views on a few issues.
    In each classroom, a teacher would love to give all the students a 100% grade, but some get less than 50%, others 70%, a few will obtain 90% while a handful (1 or 2) will actually score 100%. It means every community has stratum. We may work in the same company or same department and not obtain the same salary.
    In a nutshell, ELITISM is a part of life and every economic and political governance, mainly a capitalist system, promotes elitism.

    To become an elite in any society, you must get down to work. In the Ivory Coast, the biggest and richest cocoa farmer, Sansan KOUAO (may his soul rest in peace), became an elite of this country from hard work. His annual production accounts for 3 times Liberia’s annual budget and provides direct and indirect jobs to nearly 1.5 million people.

    We must all strive to become an elite in Liberia. Let’s SEND OUR CHILDREN TO SCHOOL to be good elites. Gangsterism, as we are witnessing in Liberia, cannot make a country to progress.

    Dr. Tipoteh, as usual, it is a pleasure for me to always read your articles. Keep on with your awareness campaign. It is unfortunate that not even 5% of the population get your message, as Liberians do not have the culture of reading to understand. I wish we had a national television that could air you every week to help our people make good decisions in choosing our leaders. However, know that we are your relays. We will tenaciously and patiently talk to our people in the hamlets, villages, towns and cities of Liberia to begin to make good decisions. Our network has been deployed with some good results therefrom. This gone senatorial election is a resounding evidence of our engagement.

    We will get the job done at 40% at the dawn of 2023, the rest will be added unto us therefrom!

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