i’ve been doing research on liberia for an encyclopedia entry (yeah, i’m taking this writing thing seriously — it’s almost overwhelming me).*
as i read, i find out things that confirm my memories and other things that make my head spin. i lived in such corruption, under its nose. i was sheltered just enough to know that stuff was going down but i didn’t get the full story. nevertheless, it’s in my head, in my blood.
now i read about what we really lived under, the leadership that could have killed us, the rebellion that could have ripped apart our family like it did to others.
i write an encyclopedia entry with all the caution in the world. don’t say native, say indigenous. don’t say tribe, say ethnic group.
it’s a load of you know what! i want to tell it like it is. i want to tell it like i’m from there. i want to talk about the people as if i can still touch the soil. they’re real and yes, they call their tribe a tribe!
and then there’s this whole thing about united states involvement. i wrote down that it didn’t get too involved during the civil war due to the corrupt state of the liberian government. what i really wanted to say was that it didn’t get involved because it’s corrupt too and it couldn’t afford to take on too much more corruption unless there was oil involved. all liberia had was iron ore — not as much $$ as oil.
sorry guys. we’ll aid you in 2005, now that stuff has died down. now that 200,000 (and counting) are dead, here’s 5 million for ya. now get your act together. build up your country. fix those roads. get those schools in tact. remember, no child should be left behind. all those rifle carrying 8-yr-olds need to be in school. educate them so they can run the country. and in the meantime, we’ll supply you with humanitarian aid, just enough to keep you alive, not enough to fix you. that’s your job. you can do it. pull up those bootstraps. remember what we taught your ancestors on the plantations? where there’s a will there’s a way!
and there’s also a bit more drama coming your way, oh most powerful country of the world. it’s the end of time folks. we ain’t seen nothin yet.
but those who live by the sword shall die by the sword…and the bomb, and the outbreak, and the problem we all have…stupidity…
*You can purchase the encyclopedia here. Unfortunately, I get no royalties…i’m not even sure this was a paid job.