WAKE UP! ‘They’re Not ‘Us’ Anymore: A Emmanuel Kwame Donkor Op-Ed

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If these words were on paper, the ink would be blurred and awash with my own tears.

Tears from hearing the calls for help, and wondering if the people being called out to, are the same people, we call our people.

Tears from the things I’ve seen. Kids drinking from water not even kosher for fishes. Tears from wondering if my mom were to have had me in a without bed, would I have turned out this way.

Fix the country campaign message in Ghana

Tears from wondering if my friend, younger than me, beaming with excitement that his admission to the university means he has one leg in the door to success.

They’re no longer part of us. They’re not us. They are not our people and we’re not theirs.

Yes they may have the blood of our fore-fathers, look like them, even talk like them with the same pride and promise for a better tomorrow, the truth I’ve come to realize is they’re not them.

They would like us to think because they look like us, and they are not shooting us in the streets, or kneeling on our necks with trying to put us in cuffs, with permission and reverence to George Floyd’s family, that we are not being targeted and subjugated.

Think about it, you can’t breathe too, because you realized rather harshly, that going to the university was not a fair shot at a well-paying job.

You couldn’t breathe too when you realized that your child didn’t have to die, that he or she could have lived with a half decent medical care.

Without enough beds, patients sleep on cold unclean floor in hospital

While they flew to utopian places made by mere mortals like them without shame and a hint of conscience, your loved one died because they were denied same standard of care.

The land our fore-fathers spilled their blood for, resisting oppressors rule, tending scars from whips at their backs in shackles, they are giving it away for chicken change, only to them, it worth more than us and it buys them comfort.

Now you see why they’re not us? Ask yourself if they were, why do they not want to give your kids the best of education?

Why are they giving them an even much more inferior education than they gave you, and even with yours, you had claw your nails out for something close to a decent job?

We’re are a minority. We’re the oppressed, only this time our oppressors are not Caucasians, they’re Negro.

If Sergeant Adjetey and his gunned down comrades saw the Gold Coast they lost their lives for today, they’d weep, just as I am.

My people, make no mistake, we have new oppressors.

What a once clear safe river Pra in Ghana now looks like

Unknowingly and ironically, unlike the oppressors of our fore-bearers, we gave these oppressors the chains for our feet and the shackles for our hands with a vote.

They feed on your love for your identity as Akan, Ewe, Fante, Ga, Hausa, and inflame your sense of community to hand them the keys to your chains.

The call it sportsmanship among themselves. You and I are the pawns in with strings attached, and they always pull the right strings.

They know with better education, you would eventually know better so they won’t give you better education, not if you will wake up and see the ruse.

I mean, even with your poor education you sometimes get the sense to say, “Enough, we are suffering, fix the country”.

You make it loud to the extent it trends, but it’s only on your phone, and that they can ignore.

We need to change tact, my people. I know it’s hard, especially since now, but we have to.

They know leaving your jobs, and defaulting your hours will come at such a cost, so much cost that you would only sigh and do nothing because you can’t afford to.

Long winding queues for water in Ghana

I want to remind you that, it is not the first time you’ve been oppressed. Our for-fathers were, they, and even though it came at an enormous cost, they freed themselves.

They sacrificed themselves because they knew, we, you and I deserved better, and believe me when I say, this is not the better they had in mind.

They knew your lands were rich in gold, gold you could use for yourselves, but because you lived on that land, you would mine it safely and sustainably.

They knew your soil could grow all kinds of crops, and your timber would shield you from the sun, which could be unforgiving at times.

They knew, you waters, seas, lakes, and rivers were abound, and you’d never thirst for water, but today you do.

That is why, you have to, just like they did, rise up and demand from your oppressors, to stop systematically killing you with hunger, illness, depression, thirst, filth, and greed.

I know, believe me I do, it’s hard to imagine they’re not us, especially when we share so many physical similarities.

I do not like the idea of divide. Personally when I reflect, I tell myself, the world has not learnt the biggest lesson from this coronavirus pandemic.

Basic school kids eating food provided by state as part of School Feeding Program.

The lesson that, we might be of different skin colour, race, ethnicity, creed, blood type, end even gen, but at the core, when it matters most, we are all humans and not different at all.

This, the most important lesson, is one we’ve not learnt, if we had, Israel and Palestine won’t be at each other’s throat.

If we had, Africa won’t be scraping to get COVID-19 vaccines, when in other parts of the same world, vaccines are being thrown away or freezing beyond time.

If we had, in my own Ghana, Muslims and Christians won’t be disagreeing on people wanting to starve themselves willingly in the name of religion, not when there is freedom of religion.

A kid supposed to be in school experiencing what Senior High School is like, won’t be in the court demanding his freedom of association, life, religion, movement etc. be respected.

If we had, they won’t be looking on as we starve, thirst, lose our lands and water bodies to mining gold we don’t even get to see.

If we had, we won’t be assaulting championing the people’s right to information, to know, to work, to live without fear or intimidation.

They’ve already stolen and infringed on many of our rights and freedoms, let’s not allow them to infringe on our most sacred and God-given right, our right to be Ghanaians.

Let it resonate, wake up, they’re not us anymore. If not now, when? If not you, who?

By Emmanuel Kwame Donkor, just another fed-up Ghanaian without a job.

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