Alagi Yorro Jallow
Fatoumatta: Mark Twain is credited with that sterling quote that “If you do not read the paper, you will be uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed”. I think Mark Twain was speaking for the Gambia. In our emergent democracy, some people should not be allowed to speak publicly or write about politics as George Carlin, who is famously attributed to this quote, said, “never underestimate the power of fools and stupid people in a large group” they are dangerous and a threat to society.
Fatoumatta: My rumination on the extent of the political and religious as well the ideological polarization in the Gambia recently appears to what Marx’s referred respectively “from tragedy into farce.”
Fatoumatta: Football and political supporters are the same. They cannot argue logic and commonsense with particular individuals because they are inured in emotionalism. Moreover, once they are overtaken by emotion, reason takes flight. What matters to them is for their team or party/candidates, respectively to win, fair or by foul means. That is why we see those sets of people taking some shocking and stupid positions that defy logic, facts, and commonsense and rationalize the most egregious and asinine position, and they marvel. They are wired that way.
Fatoumatta: Manipulating feelings to get enough attention to reinforce an idea is a branding and communication precept. It is abused and sadly used by demagogues and intellectual pimps to reinforce their prejudices against specific individuals they have contempt and hate as well as ideological differences.
Fatoumatta: As the public becomes more aware of deceptive and misleading practices among specific information sources, the attack on people, or political opponents, we all see the trend of conspiracy theory becoming conspiracy fact. Historians, journalists, and certain people need to speak out and defend the reputation and integrity of certain people, individuals who have been in the front line of fighting dictatorship in The Gambia when no other civil society groups and activists dare to challenge the dictator.
Fatoumatta: Honesty in politics is the result of strength; hypocrisy is the result of weakness, and political hypocrisy is the true sister of evil, intolerance, and cruelty. Every veil secretly desires to be lifted, except for the veil of political hypocrisy. In our New Gambia, ordinary hypocrites pretend to be doves, political and literary hypocrites pretend to be Eagles. However, do not be disconcerted by their aquiline appearance, they are not Eagles, but cats and rats.
Fatoumatta: In the new Gambia, this is a time of collective reflection to unite and continue the fight rather than the blame game. One thing we can see at this point in our democracy, some people prize symbolism over substance, they let emotion and innuendo out rank reason and facts, they see identity politics rather than what is best for the country and talk about the power of magical thinking (conspiracist index). There is no time for the politics of hypocrisy at this crucial time.