This was a note I wrote on my FaceBook page.
The advent of social networks have done wonders in bringing people together. Long lost friends, classmates and yes relatives are suddenly a search away. The internet has been around for decades, but the proliferation of social networking sites like this one (Facebook) have up the ante in connecting individuals. I have been blogging for years on blogspot. I have a niche following of political junkies who read my rants and musing on everything from technology to mostly contemporary politics. One issue I have never dealt with is the history of the vilage of my birth, especially its founding. This is a topic I intend to write about in detail on my blog in the very near future.
Why the sudden interest some may asked. That is where the advent of social networks and the power they possess in disseminating messages be they true or in most cases not so true comes into play. I have come across a blog posting on the founding of saba that parroted an old lie that has been perpetrated for eons. Here is a link to the posting in question
Saba wasn’t found by Madiba Singhateh. I know that is a bold statement for some folks born and raise in that village. But the facts will support my suppositions when I lay them out in the blog post I am working on. Opinions are entitlememnts, but no one is entiltle to their own facts. The photos displayed on the blog post I reference above tell a different story. I am not sure if the author is clueless or trying his hands at revisionism. Hint…the first house belongs to someone other than his purported founder. The first Gate sat on land owned by the owner of the first house….you get the drift. Saba, like most African villages has no written history. Most of its history is folklorist and embellished. However there are landmarks that are agreed opon regarding there significance to the founding of the village. This is where fact base analysis come in handy. I am not interested in what your grand mama told you if it is directly contradicting a known fact.
Stay tune folks … the subtle bigotry that has been the norm in Saba will be laid to bare. Yes Bigotry. Saba is a very bigoted community. It is all so subtle, but the under current is brutal.
The photo above is that of Dr. Isatou Touray and Amie Bojang-Sissoho: two honorable ladies, who made a career of fighting for women’s right in a male dominated society. They have until a few days ago been engaging their countrymen to to put a stop to some harmful practices undertaken in that society such female circumcision. Along the way, they have gather some powerful enemies, but they persevere. That is until they were arrested and detained at the Gambia’s notorious mile two prisons on trumped theft charges.
This blog post is made in response to a posting made on Bantaba by Demba Baldeh ...Link
History, they say is prologue. But that doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t learn from it to make adjustments for the better. Opposition supporters have come to terms that a united front is our best shot at competing in any meaningful way against an entrenched dictatorship. What seems to be the sticking point is the modalities needed to bring about such a unity. To come up with the modalities requires acknowledging the differences that bridge the parties. To this end,the points Demba enumerated are germane to the discussion. They are the most thorny issues in this unity quest. We keep mouthing off about unity, but when confronted with the mechanism to achieving such a feat, we get cold feet and withdraw into our corners.
It is my opinion that the parties should form an alliance lead by the largest opposition party with the following understanding between the parties:
1. Formation of a coalition government lasting five years
2. Electoral and constitutional reform during the coalition governments’ term
3. Parties to the alliance maintain their identity and freedom to organize during the term of the coalition
4. Members of the coalition government will not contest subsequent presidential elections
5. Coalition government members can endorse candidates for subsequent presidential elections (free speech and association).
6. Mobilize mass public campaigns to educate the population in their rights and duties as citizens (parties can do this as well).
These are some of the things that could help bridge the gap. I submit that the parties have smarter people in charge of their affairs than yours truly. Furthermore, I am not breaking any new grounds here. I have heard variances of these points made by numerous people. Pragmatism dictates that we give up something to gain some.The Gambia needs her opposition children to be pragmatic for her sake.
I am pressured for time these days, but I read through a lot of mail courtesy of my membership to the two largest Gambian mailing lists. The clarion call from most of the participants is a united opposition ala NADD to contest the 2011 presidential elections. I am not a pessimist, but I will venture a prediction that, the opposition coming together as they did with that NADD formation isn’t going to happen this time around. If this (opposition parties coming together) is their only chance at defeating professor Jammeh, they might as well call it a day. There is very little pragmatism in the opposition leadership to allow for a united front.
Proponents of unity harp endlessly about unity, but are short on specifics. The mechanisms needed to get these guys to come together is always an elusive one. Until folks are willing to look beyond their own biases, a united front will not happen and Jammeh will cruise to victory with all the impending baggage that entails for the nation.
“Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more. But no more for the poor”…Reverend Joseph Lowery uttered those words at Coretta Scott King’s funeral.
What he was decrying then is the scenario unfolding right under our nose. President Obama ordered thousands of troops to descend on Afghanistan to fight a war without any fuss from the deficit hawks. These same folks are putting every procedural road block available to them to stop the passage of a public insurance option that will generally benefit poor and low income people in this country. Where is the outrage of the Liebermans, the Landrieus , Ben nelsons and the blanche Lincolns of the world? Their hypocrisy knows no bound. It is galling to see how they run their mouth about deficits when it comes to health care reform, but they will borrow their way through wars till the cows come home.
Watch the video and see how poignant his observation is to todays crowd in washington.
I have not been posting for the past few months, swamped by work related issues, but I have not stopped following the biggest spectacle that does not have its own television show, “The Public Option Drama Hour”.
The rumors, innuendos, uncited sources, cited sources, blanket statements, vague statements, speeches, the word “public option”, Olympia Snowe, scurred Democratic Senators, fierce House Progressives, The White House and Barack Obama are a daily staple for those of us who follow congress on the health care and other innane issues that govern our lives.
At this point, every political junky following the congress knows which Democrats side with the public option being included in the final bill and which Democrats do not. We know that. My frustration is at the White House and why we need to have Senator Olympia Snowe to sign off on any final health care legislation? I have YET, to hear the White House explain this in reality terms, when the fight is amongst Democrats.
Is the word bipartisan that important to President Obama and the Obama White House? If it is, I have news for them, “One vote from a Republican does not make it bipartisan. It makes it a joke if you try to tout it as such.” Is the Obama White House getting this message? Are the light bulbs on at that joint? I don’t think so.
There are rumors swirling around that the senate leadership will include an opt out public option in their merged bill to be announced sometime this afternoon. If that comes to fruition, progressive advocacy will have something to show for a summer of relentless action.