Feb 28, 2011

This tribe, that tribe


Why do tribal issues matter? What’s so special about the particular language group to which a person belongs?
It is one thing to treasure our indigenous languages and cultures, and to ensure they are passed on to future generations AND quite another to use them as a tool to marginalise others.
It shouldn’t matter what province a President comes from or his cabinet ministers for that matter as long as they represent the real interests of the people – all the people. Now if there is evidence of preferential treatment by those in power for specific groups of people based on familial or language ties, then we’ve got a big problem and we need to speak against it.
In the efforts to eradicate poverty we often focus on people’s access to resources and the government’s role in appropriate allocation of said resources. Unequal distribution of resources by those advancing personal and/or tribal interests is extremely harmful and a hindrance to our development.
Even further, such practices foster hatred. When people are routinely treated unjustly, their pain turns into anger, which at some point will reach a boiling point and no prizes for guessing what happens when things erupt.
We need to re-learn the value of human relationships and community; understanding that we are all created equal. Tribalism is a cancer that if left untreated, keeps mutating and eventually consumes the whole being.

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