Thursday, March 1, 2007

Its time we open the doors of citizenship to everybody.








I have always said the question of giving citizenship to other people who are not of negro descent is not only the right thing to do, but in terms of material and human development it also the sound thing to do. I consider myself a true Liberian, but this clause in the constitution always bothers me.



Article27



b) In order to preserve, foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character, only persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or by naturalization to be citizens of Liberia.



As Liberians would say, what fish do you have to fry in this oil, the fact that the constitution bans other races, and only allow blacks or people of black descent to be citizens, can in some way be consider racism. i experience first hand the negative impact of that law in my family. my father who is Chinese pay all his taxes but could never own property in the country except through me or my mother. we have to look at this issue because today almost 90 percent of businesses in the country are own and operated by foreigners, one group in particular, the Lebanese, have been in the country for generations, they have children who were born there and consider Liberia home, if they can't buy property to build and invest would they keep their money in the country? these people are law abiding tax paying citizens, it is time we give them a fair shot at citizenship , it is not only the right thing to do, it is the moral thing to do.



5 comments:

elle* said...

Michael, thanks for sharing your personal experience on this issue. I agree wholeheartedly with you: it is time for this discriminatory law to be removed from our books. Imagine the development to follow! And the richness of diversity! Any fears of the new (and richer) citizens taking all our land can perhaps be avoided by some limits and other measures to protect certain areas or tribal lands. I (a Liberian) own a home in the USA, and it is unfair that my husband (an American) cannot own land in my country just because he is not "of Negro descent".

Great blog -- keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

When the USA was created, it was for whites or Europeans decent only. Even the African and other races that were in the country was not considered as American citizen the freed or enslaved. The reasons that American has such a larger White majority is because the government may sure that white would rule by only allowing White or Europeans people to be American citizen. This kind of citizenship went on for decades before the African-American was allowed citizenship and before any other race was allowed Citizenship. Right today this kind of citizenship practice is in place.

My point in saying that was too said that Liberia was not created to be a country of multi Nationality. It was a country created for freed and enslaved Black from Africa, namely the African-Americans. African-Americans should be the ones given citizenship before any other nationalities.

Article27
b) In order to preserve, foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character, only persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or by naturalization to be citizens of Liberia.


Just because 90 percent of businesses in the country are own and operated by foreigners do not mean that they need citizenship. It seems they are doing well without citizenship and during better then the Liberian citizens. Liberians need to ask why they are doing so poorly in their own country and foreigners are doing so well.

Michael said...

i must respectfully disagree with you

Anonymous said...

Michael, that is your right to disgree with me. What part of, if not all of the post you disagree with?

Michael said...

I understand why the law was made in the first place, with all the suffering, these people must have endured, they must have hated the white men, but that was the 19 century we are in the 21st century, things have change,we can not continue to look at the world in black or white, so i disagree with you when you say liberia was only created to be for african american, or blacks,i have seen some of your comments on other liberian blog, and i must admit you are very intelligent, but on this issue my friend i think you are wrong, my mother is from clay ashland Liberia, half americo liberian and half kpelle, my father is chinese, so does that make me less liberian?