I've decided to put a pause on my usual haranguing of the Nigerian system (and yes, the Black World Order in general) and focus on topical questions - still in my areas of focus such as human/economic development, renewable energy, political/social reform - that can encourage debate and constructive discussion. The one thing that I continually decry in the black community is the slow death of the debate.
This is something I've observed with my friends both in North America and Africa, as well as with the black communities in North America and countries in Africa. Oh, we meet and we talk, but usually we're shouting over one another and most importantly, we aren't listening to other people's points of view and discussing them in a non-threatening while still critical manner. For our societies to take full advantage of the diversity of thought, energy and drive of the young black professional, these are attributes that we must imbibe and display. If nothing else, we can be an example to those generations who've gone ahead of us.
To those who deride debate and discussion as a "waste of time", choosing instead to follow their "action-packed plans", I say to you - action is important and will be part of the overall educational, social and economic emancipation of the black race (be it in Africa, the Caribbean or North America). However, just as the pen is mightier than the sword, so are debate and discussion over rabid action, which is usually designed to do no more than draw attention to a cause. Where debate and discussion fail is when the true aim of a movement is compromised and subsumed for the sake of an individual or group's selfish interest. In the race for economic and social development in Africa, many technocrats abandoned their ideals and people-oriented plans when presented with fat contracts and juicy appointments. In the race for the social and economic advancement of African-Americans, many community leaders abandoned the needs of their constituents for political offers and distinguished posts - most of which came with the price of silence in the face of economic inequality and social injustice. In the Caribbean, the story wasn't much different.
Far be it from me to suggest that we don't play our roles in nation-building and equipping future generations of people of African descent to take their rightful place in the global polity - I just urge that we continue to debate and discuss the issues that will enable us to achieve the real aims, dreams and hopes of all our kith and kin rather than relying solely on the crumbs handed down from the elite whose interests - at best - are to maintain the status quo.