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Justice here is Revenge there?

Do you hear what I hear? I keep hearing that families of those who lost their lives in the 911 attacks are demanding justice. What, can one do that without being repudiated as revengeful and hateful? Some of them were flown to the American Military- Guantanamo base to witness such trials! This could not be Liberia. With a new President Obama, they are still “demanding” justice for their loved ones who were murdered in the Twin Towers and elsewhere on September 11, 2001. Yes 2001 and now 2009, it has been over seven years since but they have not forgotten!

I also heard about some other murders currently under investigations. There are some murders that are unsolved; and for others, no arrests have been made although fingers are pointing here and there. For some either the wrong people are in custody or the trials just drag on and on. But to my surprise, those whom they have left behind are all panting for one thing and that is justice. Justice? You can do that? I felt back in my worn out recliner and began to ponder.

Haven’t these people heard about reconciliation? Why can’t they forget the past and move forward? Why not forgive and reconcile for the sake of peace? Prosecuting those responsible for those deaths will not bring their relations and loved ones back to life. Can’t they forgive so that they too can have their sins forgiven? Haven’t they heard that bygones should be bygones? Why are they revenging? They are full of hatred.

Then I heard a voice say loud and strong:

This is not Liberia. Here we punish crimes and render justice
Here, we don’t hold the whole population responsible for another person’s wickedness
Instead, we pursue criminals no matter where they are; that is the law and not revenge
In office or out of office; inner cycle or outer cycle, no one is above the law
We protect all our citizens and treat them equally; that is fair-play not rebellion
We don’t prosecute one killer and reward another killer; that is justice not hatred
Revenge there is justice here; bygones there, injustice here; troublemakers there
are rights advocates here; here murderers are not heroes, Garands are not role models
Criticism, politicking, innovation, different opinions, competition… all welcome here

Those words were piercing my heart and I became defensive. I felt that I had enough so I shut my ears and eyes. Nonetheless, the voice became even louder, sharply contrasting Liberia from the place referred to as “here.” I could not take it anymore that our beliefs and practices were so upside down. I was embarrassed. The truth really hurts! It was hitting my chest like a giant baton. So I began shouting back and screaming just to save face but that did not work. I heard myself spewing vulgar to resist the truth. But those actions did not give me any piece of mind or diminish the lone voice so I had no choice but to swallow all its pains. I felt the weight of telling others what I have heard like a 300 pound on sitting on my chest. I resolved to move quickly in changing the way we reconcile with criminals and reward injustice because that country is all that I have. I must not leave it to chance or allow depraved minds and thoughtless desires have a leeway in the place that I love because “there is no place like home.” And when I gathered my thoughts, I heard myself speak those same words “there is no place like home.” As a consequence, I became resolute more than ever before to work harder to positively change the perception of many Liberians and some of the B.S. we have grown to knowingly or unknowingly accept as norms.

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