Should Kenyans cheer as the US and other European powers dress down our government and tell it what to do?
If we don’t, our politicians will continue in their culture of impunity. And set us up for Armageddon in 2012. If we do, then we empower other nations to treat us with disdain – yes they say all they really want to do is help the common Kenyan, but you try and visit one of their embassies and you’ll see the real view that they have of this common Kenyan!
A little story: We had a fire expert come to the office to teach fire management skills to our staff. He was of British descent but has lived in Kenya for the last 30 years. His presentation was quite helpful. But during the entire time, he kept making disparaging remarks about City Hall, the way things work in Kenya etc. You could tell he didn’t mean to offend. He’s probably made these comments before to other Kenyans and they laughed and agreed with him. And so he felt safe repeating them to the thirty of us.
In retrospect, I should have taken him up on it. Maybe I still will.
You see, I may be fully aware that my family has issues. But when an outsider comes in and starts to tear them down because of said issues, then I take offense. All they said may be true, but that’s for me to say, not them! And shouldn’t there be a quid-pro-quo? An opportunity to point out their dirty laundry?
Anyone feeling me?
So is there a different way? Maybe the reason outsiders can comment so casually about our affairs is because we don’t do so ourselves. We foster impunity by doing nothing about it. Whether its matatu passengers not speaking out when the driver picks up too many passengers or cuts traffic. Whether it’s not standing on principle when a cop asks for a bribe. Whether it’s not speaking out when a close friend makes a disparaging remark about people from another ethnic group. Whether it’s shrugging our shoulders when those in leadership act without integrity.
Impunity is all around us. We are all responsible for it.
Maybe we need to stand up and be counted.
Ideas & thoughts for or against welcome; from Kenyans and non-Kenyans alike!