“Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet; declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not forsake the ordinance of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments, they delight to draw near to God. ‘Why have we fasted, and thou seest it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and thou takest no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, Here I am.
“If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.
The s**thole statement accredited to Mr. Trump has received enormous attention, and rightly so. Till date, he has refuted using the alleged words.
This is not quite my concern here. My concern is more of this crazy, unfortunately popular, idea of lumping of nations in Africa and referring to them as a continent when in essence what is often meant is some disparate or few nations. It is almost as if the unbelievable ignorance which Neanderthals would surely have grown out from, were they to survive, continues to fester. Or maybe they did!
I mean it is simply ignorant of any individual worth a name, popular or not, to lump nations of a whole continent together when describing, especially in negative terms, the situation of a country or at best some few countries. This unlearned attitude has also being popularized by the media, the supposed fourth estate which is actually supposed to know better. You begin to wonder if this attitude is therefore a deliberate attempt, changing the discourse from mere ignorance to culpable ignorance and mischief.
In any case, it is never too often to repeat, even if for the umpteenth time, that Africa consists of 55 nations (with the recent inclusion of Morocco), independent countries with clear sovereignty. It is mere foolery to cover a whole continent with an unjust blanket name when actually one is just referring to a few. Nobody would accuse Asia of being the hotbed of terrorism when intending to refer to a specific country, Afghanistan for instance! That would be stupid ignorance of the highest order, right? I thought as much.
Again, if it did not matter, perhaps President Trump himself would not have singled out Norway as a “desireable” country for immigration to the United States. He could easily have said “why don’t we have people from Europe come over here!” Rather he is alleged to have desired citizens of Norway. Specific name, specific country. Why is is to difficult to know such specificity runs across board?
Ignorance is a disease, a chronic one too. Let us not let it fester. When next anyone speaks of a country in Africa, be specific and talk of the particular nation. Unless you are talking of a phenomenon that is proven to include every single 55 nations of Africa, do not be caught in the ignorance of over-generalization.
It is evil enough to speak of people with such derisive language. It is unpardonably ignorant to speak of a continent as if it were a nation. If we have gone to school, let us show we have and not display intellectual and moral darkness while describing an entire continent with dark, ignorant perjoratives.
It is amazing to think of the story,
the human story of toils and gory,
and to see the joys, often paltry,
in the midst of all and sundry.
But when I see the Cross’ glory,
in spite of being heavy and burly,
I simply wonder if I, so burdened,
can enjoy the its’ similar story.
Then I see he who hangs on the Cross,
by whom even the thief is restored,
and I breath with some confidence assured,
that all will be well even if now obscure.
“Then he told them, “That is why every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom from heaven is like the master of a household who brings both new and old things out of his treasure chest.” Matthew 13:52
Problem is he never stops going back to that store 🙂
It is interesting to take a step back and have a look at the boisterous nationalism that is unraveling itself worldwide right before our eyes, even at the dawn of 2017.
Now it is no longer some mirage: for those who still found the idea incredible, Donald Trump has indeed just been sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America. His clarion call to the country had been the need to “make America great again”. For many, this is some sort of euphemism for a reclaim of America to its supposed original ideals, the ousting of illegal immigrants whom Trump indeed referred to as “aliens” at his inauguration, and the upholding of the interest of the United States of America as the sovereign factor at all times.
Theresa May is ushering in a new beginning in Britain after its breathtaking Brexit. There is a rising pulse of Nationalism and a retaking of the country and its sovereignty particularly in trade and immigration.
In Austria, Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party lost the election by some slight margin. His mantra had been “change” and “make Austria great again!”, akin to his now successful counterpart in the United State.
In the meantime National Front’s Marine Le Pen of France also looks forward to a favourable election in May this year. Her views and those of her party are well known and have indicated the hope for restoration of the usual ideals of far right politicians and a promotion of absolute nationalism.
Your guess is as good as mine that the world order is going to witness some huge change and policy tilt in the year 2017. This is as obvious as the difference between light and day. For instance, even from this very first day of Trump’s inauguration, the official White House website has already done away with all mention of global warming: very true to the new President’s denial of this claim, as he well indicated during his campaign.
In all these we look on and await if the world would indeed prove itself to have grown and embrace globalism, with all the experiences it has gone through for thousands of years. Or if it is still fixated in its cocoon of immediate parochial needs. Whereas wisdom teaches us that the interest of the world should be the interest of all. If any part of the body is in pain, no matter how great others parts are doing, all the body is in some serious jeopardy. The brutal wars and confusion in the Middle East and their attendant birth of acute refugee crisis speak volumes about this.
May we, as the great Michael Jackson would preach, “heal the world”, the entire world.
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In all things we give thanks!
As 2016 draws a curtain on another phase of our life, one can not but look back at the course of yet another fast year in the hustle and bustle of human life. It’s worth recalling a few facts, too many to recall of course. These are just some random few.
1. Trump was elected President! Obviously the most eyebrow-raising in 2016 for many
2. Having a leap year in 2016, we’ll have the next three Februaries with 28 days
3. A new saint in the Church! Mother Theresa was canonized a saint on September 4th, 2016!
4. Newest Paris global climate agreement: the US and China, together responsible for 40% of the world’s carbon emissions, both ratify the Paris global climate agreement!
5. Kind of scary: but Brexit happened! Might seem like a simple referendum, but the fate of so many was in the balance.
So ends its mortal life, 2016. Because and in spite of all these, depending from what angle we are looking at it, we give thanks for another year shriveling into oblivion and another blossoming in its awesome freshness.