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A Rejoinder To Art Doe and Carpet Crossing

Statement of Recognition and Support in favor of

Hon. Anthony V. Kesselly

President of ULAA

By Art Weah Doe

A Rejoinder

By Dennis Jah


When I read the first few paragraphs of Mr. Doe’s lecture on militancy and fights against tyranny, I was tempted to retort “say that to someone else” but I held my peace to get to the crux of what Mr. Doe had to tell us. The talks about trenches and defying guns and all those “normal days” rhetorics were refreshing especially for some of us who had one ear at our this-and-that and another ear at palava hut politics. It is quite a replay of those scenes which were very hard to stay away from and now a recommended movie to watch!

Through my mind’s ears, I could hear the South African battle cries greeting the sounds of what sounded to me like an old drum:

“We braved the storms in hard times ... against tyrants and their draconic governments. We did all these for … the emancipation of our suffering brothers and sisters…”

Mr. Doe must be feeling nostalgic about his teenage years, I thought to myself. And understandably so, he must be feeling darn good about himself too. From our high school days and early freshman years, those were the marks of academia or as we coveted their intelligence, “the brother is informed.”

But one thing that concerns me is the significance of Mr. Doe’s press release of carpet crossing at a time when it is so late in the game. What impact will his long range shot have on the outcome of the match with the shot clock unplugged? He could rather save his energy for the next match or if throwing the last Hail Mary just for the sake of it is the ultimate goal, then I wish him well.

Let be clear that I have no problem with Mr. Doe’s recognition of as they say “Honorable” Anthony V. Kesselly or his switch from one ULAA to the other ULAA. I wouldn’t try to “fight Mr. Kesselly’s luck” because by virtue of their ongoing legitimacy/relevanc y fight, picking one ULAA over the other is a big deal. The fact that such recognition came from a big name like the ALOA (Association of Liberian Organizations in the Americas) founder and boss makes the action even more worthy of our attention. That should call for jubilation and feasting on fufu and soup, washed down with ginger ale and Black Boy.

I have nothing against the gains of Mr. Kesselly’s ULAA and don’t wish to ruin such celebration. Like Mr. Doe, I too believe Mr. Kessely is an extraordinary political leader who has been in the business so long now and has many trophies under his belt. I would rather fall where my pieces can be gathered than take him on in any fight. So unfortunate that he must be serving at a time of a factional ULAA. I can't really tell who or what has put sand in his gari. But he would make a good president in a stable environment, I suppose.

What I have problem with is the big show Mr. Doe is making out of what suppose to be insignificant and pointless because time has run out on the stale argument of which ULAA is more legitimate than the other. Such prolonged fight over legitimacy has distracted each faction from the work ULAA was organized to do and as a consequence, both ULAAs have unfortunately expended all their energies in out talking the other and romancing recognition from all over the place. Two years have gone by since ULAA had gone to sleep on her mission and vision while craving recognition from every nook and cranny of our political troposphere. If it will take Mr. Doe two years and change to RECOGNIZE one faction of ULAA over the other because of the size of territory aka chapters it controls, how long will it take him and other “militants” to charge ULAA with the actual work it suppose to be doing? Believe me, we are not talking about support or applause for its initiatives or appreciation for its work from Mr. Doe; we are talking RECOGNITION! Yes, Mr. Kesselly’s ULAA has been “recognized.”

What is really going on here? It sounds so odd to hear at a time when we suppose to be talking about the next ULAA elections,

I want to seize this opportunity to recognize Comrade Militant Hon. Anthony V. Kesselly, as the Legitimate President of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas.”

Truth be told, when all the reasons Mr. Doe gave for switching sides are genuine and worth the ink, he should have done so long ago when there was still enough time on the clock. My assumption could go wild as I try to understand the rationale behind this yellow hour recognition pronouncement. Does that bother me? Not by sight; just not sure what Mr. Doe is trying to accomplish as we all attempt to put this Humpty Dumpty together again.

Doesn’t it confound Mr. Doe that ULAA has lost sight of its role? And that simply changing lanes, just as Mr. Doe has done, has no effect if not make a bad situation worse? This is the first time in ULAA’s history (correct me when I am wrong) that what suppose to be an umbrella advocacy group has become completely tongue-tied on the many injustices, thievery and abuse of power that have attended Liberians both at home and abroad. Who would have predicted that ULAA would have no position on the PRS, Threshold bill, TRS recommendation, corruption with impunity, war crime court for Liberia, April 22 memorial day, Lofa crisis, ritualistic killings in Maryland Couunty, wasteful GOL Diaspora town hall meetings … except for dual citizenship talk and cup of rice project? First in the history of the ULAA we have all come to know that even the Government of Liberia (GOL) with all its bad policies is playing hard-to-get with what suppose to be our watch dog.

Maybe it is time to let the two ULAAs go instead of jumping from one side to the other to make political statements. These carpet crossing releases don’t help us; they just prolong a useless fight.

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