Do You Want A Lebanese Colonization Of Sierra Leone?

By:  Prof Sankara Kamara….

I have listened to the video of a man purporting to be Lebanese, with a message that bemoaned Sierra Leone’s  perceived reluctance to grant citizenship to Lebanese,  living in that West African country. Tinged with an entitlement mentality, the man’s message alleged, or at least implied, that Sierra Leone is statutorily racist against the Lebanese in its midst.

The reactions of some Sierra Leoneans to the video, proved more disturbing than the man’s pomposity.

Some Sierra Leoneans have hailed the video as a fight against injustice. I was stunned by that reaction because the creation of a privileged class by the Lebanese, has victimized the population for so long that Sierra Leoneans have informally become second-class citizens, in their own country.

With its unfortunate history, Sierra Leone has taught me, somewhat painfully,  that a politically molested people could hate themselves. This fact is hedged by the low-inferiority complex which urges some Sierra Leoneans to defend their oppressors.

Those who equate the immigration statuses of Sierra Leoneans in the West, to the privileged rungs occupied by Lebanese in Sierra Leone, are missing a point too conspicuous to be ignored.  Diasporan Sierra Leoneans who hold Canadian, British, American or German citizenship, for example, do NOT have the  POWER  to abuse Westerners.

Besides, Diasporan Sierra Leoneans mostly live in established democracies, where the overriding claims of the law, protect against the kind of cruelties  inflicted  on Sierra Leoneans, in Sierra Leone, by Lebanese.

A decidedly racist settler class,  Lebanese people  see Sierra Leone as usable property, fit only for exploitation.  As a result of that  degrading attitude towards Africans, Lebanese have always treated Sierra Leoneans with  contempt, a replication of the slave-like treatment meted out to BLACK people in the Arab world.

Sierra Leoneans who attain the citizenship of a Western democracy, can only do so after satisfying all the requirements, prescribed by law. Diasporan Sierra Leoneans must, for example, pay taxes to the state and remain crime-free,  before they could become eligible to apply for the citizenship of a Western democracy.

Diasporan Sierra Leoneans are also positive contributors to the countries in which they live. Many Diasporan Sierra Leoneans are lawyers, doctors, mechanics, healthcare workers, teachers and much more. Living as privileged people in a lawless society, the Lebanese in Sierra Leone are, for the most part, above the law.

They can commit tax-evasion, acquire fraudulent contracts,  act as economic saboteurs and treat Sierra Leoneans with undisguised racism, without consequences.  Boundlessly generous, Sierra Leone has always served as a safe haven, for the Lebanese.

During the Lebanese civil war {1975-1990}, for example, many Lebanese came to Sierra Leone, with NOTHING but the clothes on their backs. Like those who came before them, Lebanese refugees took advantage of the unpatriotic political system they found in Sierra Leone, only to become rich and treat Sierra Leoneans with contempt.

Without credible political institutions  or a computerized system, granting citizenship to Lebanese could generate a deluge of fraudulent applications, mostly from Lebanese who may not even qualify for Sierra Leonean citizenship.

Sierra Leone is, to some extent, already in the hands of the Lebanese. When the Lebanese economic stranglehold on the country is backed by the right to hold office, Sierra Leone could, realistically, become a Lebanese colony, in all but name.

Such a spectre will  be particularly unsettling,  because racism and slavery are deeply rooted in Arab culture. The Arabs were the first to enslave Africans, and that racist mentality remains entrenched, among Arabs.

The status of a black man in Lebanon and elsewhere in the Arab world, is synonymous with servitude, a frightening reminder of the dehumanizing relationship that has always existed between Arabs and Africans.

Ruled by an unpatriotic political system and chronically deficient in nationalism, Sierra Leone does NOT know how to protect its population from abuse.

Sierra Leoneans have been politically molested for so long that they have, sadly, become used to injustice, including the predatory activities of foreign exploiters.

Sierra Leone needs to outgrow lawlessness and unpatriotic politics before the nation could think of formally granting citizenship to a privileged class that sees Africans as sub-humans.