Hate rules the world.
No, I'm not being cynical or feeling hopelessly discouraged, on the contrary I'm bringing up an issue that has the potential to one day destroy our country. In my travels, I've come to realize that wherever I go, hate is always a very powerful force or emotion. I've traveled to parts of the United States where I sat in a Holiday Inn lobby watching news and suddenly the TV was turned off. When I asked why it was being turned off, here is the reply I got. "I'm turning it off because nobody is watching it." You get the point? I am a nobody because of my skin color.
Then I think about Tutsis because of simmering tribal animosity. If you've had a chance to watch Hotel Rwanda, Don Cheadle starring, what you've witnessed is how cruel and cannibalistic man can be. The hate that's projected in that movie is enough to make one wonder whether there is any redemptive quality in man. Yes, there's Mandela and Mahatma and Abraham Lincoln, men who fought hard to turn back the tide of hate in their communities, but for each of them, there were hundreds of others who fought hard to preserve the legacy of hate that they inherited from their forefathers.. This is where more than one million Hutus killed the
And recently I was talking to a Mexican friend of mine. She has watched the immigration debate in America and Europe. What this good professor sees is hate, pure and simple. Why, for example, do the Australians find it necessary to put asylum seekers in detention centers...with their wives and children? Would they still detain them if the immigrants were predominantly from a Western nation with a Judeo-Christian background? And why does Europe continue to enact immigration laws that are clearly meant to keep black and brown people out? They say they want to control the flow of immigrants into their shores and plan their future effectively. I agree with that. But when you look at the punitive nature of these new laws and the fact that they are enforced by the great grandchildren of men and women who enslaved our great grandfathers and grandmothers, don't you begin to wonder about fairness? So when you see so many Africans turned back from Europe, you know what's at play here.
And before I turn my attention to Israel. Over there, a number of people managed to get out of the boiling , tiptoed into and through Egypt, then crossed and landed in Israel. When word of their presence reached the Israeli authorities, they were promptly rounded up and sent back to Darfur. To the boiling pot. The minister responsible said beaten down Sudanese were economic refugees! Can you believe this? Had the Israelis never heard of Darfur?, I want to remind us of what happened in
Closer home, I look at the ongoing tribal animosity with increasing fear. Since the sixties, we've practiced the politics of tribe. First it was the GEMA and the Luo community coming together. This was an alliance that sustained a Kenyatta presidency. The other thing it did was to keep smaller Kenyan tribes on the periphery of power. Then there was the KAMATUSA. This alliance sustained the Moi administration. The other thing it did was to turn Kenya into a Kalenjin Kingdom. Now there is the Kibaki administration. This is one of the most cynical administrations to ever rule Kenya. Before the coalition government was put in place, it had literally turned Kenya into a Kikuyu Kingdom. The downside to this kind of politics has been to tribalize Kenya in a way that if not checked, could lead us down a path to a revolution. Why? Because alliances inevitably create an US verses THEM complex. These alliances create hate. Is it any wonder that our brothers and sisters in Central Province felt left out in the Western Alliance of Raila, Ruto and Mudavadi? And is it any wonder that Kenyans have felt left out in the grab grab grab mentality that's characterized the Kibaki leadership? When will we start practicing the politics of ideas? When will we go with issue-driven campaigns? Policy-guided leadership?
I fear hate.
When the Hutus called the Tustsi cockroaches, they went all out to exterminate them. When the Nazis called the Jews rats, they went all out to destroy them. And now, I see a Kenya where Kikuyus are called thieves, the Luos are called dirty and AIDS carriers, the Luhyas are called watchmen and ugali-eaters and theare called dumb and militaristic. This is the language of hate. It must have no place in a modernizing Kenya. We must all work towards a Kenya where our children will embrace all of the nation's children as brothers and sisters. Where genuine admiration will exist for the for their liberation of our nation from colonial bondage, where accolades will be extended to the Kalenjin for turning over power peacefully when Moi's Kenyatta was beaten at the polls, where the Luo will be respected for producing some of the nation's best brains, where the varied tribes of our nation will be celebrated for their strengths...strengths that together form the beautiful stretch of land that we all adoringly call our motherland.
Fellow Kenyans, let hate give way to forgiveness. We've all done things that have oiled the path to hatred. The first step is to look deep inside and see where our actions may have abetted this vice. We don't have to announce to the world what a self-examination reveals about our hateful ways, but we can all begin by forgiving ourselves and making a promise, to ourselves...individually, that we'll work hard to advance harmony rather than project hate.
I know that it's not easy to let our prejudices go, but I also know that we must start the process of letting Kenya emerge as a cohesive, loving nation.
Folks, the world out here is. We must work hard to create a place where our children can grow up without experiencing the bitter hate that rules the world. It would be nice if one day all of the Kenyans of the Diaspora will come back to a nation unified in love and purpose, a place where they will come back to rest after battling the fears and indignities of living in a thoughtless, cold world.
I know we can detribalize Kenya.
Let's start now!
For Love of Country,