Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Donald Sterling: the Opprobrium of the NBA and America.

When I heard the comments that 80 year old Mr. Sterling made through the tape below, I said to myself, “We have heard and seen this before.” I am always befuddled by the hypocrisy that bedevils America. Those who are happy that Sterling has been banned for life do not see the bigger picture. There is a gloomier picture than the caricature painted by Donald Sterling. The first is that of a man whose heart is very dark, the second is the untrustworthiness of many, and the third is the culture of racism and prejudice entrenched in America.

It is not the first time that Mr. Sterling has been embroiled in racism issues. It is an open secret that in 2006, the Justice Department sued Mr. Sterling and his wife for discriminating against blacks in which he refused renting his apartments to them. As if to show remorse, he made so many donations to NAACP, and they took them despite knowing well his views on the Dark Skinned people. They were even about to honor him with a lifetime achievement before the story broke out. Mr. Sterling did not like his mixed girlfriend to associate with blacks, worst still take pictures with them. To Sterling, Dark Skinneds are inferior beings as he defended his position with the analogy about the black and white Jews. He admonished his girlfriend to adhere to his principles of discrimination, or he was going to replace her and get someone who will apply his discrimination principles. That would be his undoing. The NBA commissioner is unhappy about the content of the leaked tape, so the NBA Commissioner: Mr. Silver banned Mr. Sterling for life with immediate effect. However, that is not all we learn from this Sterling Saga.

The girl at the center of all of this is 32 year old, Maria Vanessa Perez. She changed her name to V. Stiviano in 2010 and has kept the name until date. What is internecine about her too is that she is dating a married man who is still legally married, and  through her a recorded conversation became public with or without her knowledge. Revenge has no equal to a harridan. Perhaps she has a better defense that Mr. Sterling had asked her to tape him because he always forgot what he said. However, what about making it public too? Did he tell her or her associates to make it public? She says she is saddened. If you don't want vultures to eat you or your beloveds, then neither you nor them should die. By making a private conversation public, the conversation loses its privacy and the onus falls back on her since she was the only one who knew about the tape. Hilarion Nguema once sang that, “Quand la femme se f√Ęche, le secret est dehors.”

It is not only Stiviano that we see with this behavior; it is a common practice amongst Americans, especially women.They are building a society without trust. Linda Tripp did the same thing to Monica Lewinsky and ruined the life of that poor girl for political gain and filthy lucre. Ginger White also revealed a long tryst with Herman Cain that destroyed the latter's presidential hopes. Is Ginger White better than she was when she threw Cain under the bus? Stiviano had a better way of fighting Mr. Sterling than bringing the tape to the public eye because Mr. Sterling’s punishment is now disproportionate to his mae culpa. Stiviano can get another man, and Mr. Sterling was not the most important person in her life. She was dating a married man. Sterling on the other hand had the Clippers as his seul enfant cheri and now it is gone. Where he tapped his lebensfreude is now the source of his schadenfreude. How do you really do this to a man you repeatedly call “honey”? Where did she keep her heart? Where did she keep the good days she had with Sterling? Does she remember all the gifts she received from Sterling? It would have been better for her to leave and let time deal with Sterling. In a hypocritical lachrymosity, she will tell the world that she feels bad for Sterling's demise. V. Stiviano, in the words of Donald Trump is “a girlfriend from hell.” Notwithstanding, this saga is not just about Sterling and Stiviano, it is about the society in which we live. 

In the tape, Sterling is overheard arguing that the friends who used to call him (Sterling) told him what they saw. Here is where the problem actually lies in this excerpt, “Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don't put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games.” While what he said is despicable and unacceptably repugnant, one cannot help but point to those whose schadenfreude prompted them to call Sterling and tell him, “Hey Sterling, what is this we are seeing. Are you now associating with black people? We see black people plastered all over your girl’s Instagram.” It tells you racism is a culture; it is ingrained in the American culture and children were raised up in that culture. Sterling himself confirms it, “When he says that, racism “…is a culture… It’s been that way historically.” It is neither Bundy nor Sterling who are the only racists in America; those who benefit from the windfalls of racism are racist. Those who see racism and acquiesce are racist, and those who actually perpetrate it are much more racist. That culture is very deep-rooted in the dendrites of the American brain.

 The systemic practice of racism in America goes to show that it is a culture that most of the older white males do not want to let go. They believe it has been historically like that, and they want it to continue that way. Until the Americans do not feel uneasy to talk about racism, racism as exhibited by Sterling will continue for a long time.

Nevertheless, I still think that the punishment of banning him for life outweighs his peccadillo. A man should not be punished to that extent for his opinions, no matter how offensive they are. Many feel the same way, act the same way, but they say nothing. They are more dangerous than Mr. Sterling because they catch people by surprise. Many who know and knew Mr. Sterling, knew what he thinks and how he thought that they knew that they had to avoid him if they wanted their peace. Let each and everyone strives to treat every human being right, and the world will be a better place.If the Dark Skinned players in LA Clippers feel that what Mr. Sterling really said was that repugnant, they should quit playing for him, else it is just hullabaloo. Surprisingly, almost everyone wants Sterling's heart, everyone wants him banished, and everyone feels so sanctimonious that they have left no room for forgiveness. Sterling is abandoned in a corner like a rotten apple; not even his friends who cheered him to stay away from black people are coming out for his public defense. What a world we live in! Alone we came into the world, alone we face the future, and alone we will depart from the world.

Until then, I wish Mr. Sterling well.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Papa Manyu.

The doorsteps to Papa Manyu's home.

Dear Uncle Sam,

               I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. It has been a long time that we have neither seen nor spoken. I hope all is well. I am doing well and making giant leaps. I wanted to tell you a story. Do you remember the man who followed me everywhere I went; they called him, Papa Manyu? Perhaps yes or perhaps no but I liked his biography.

He built a house that shared boundaries with four neighbors called Nigeria, Indian, Koupe Manegouba and Lebialem. The path to his house was a little hanging bridge that got muddy every rainy season and dusty every dry season. Everyone knew that he was smart. He had 4 very smart kids too called Upper Bayang, Mamfe Central, Eyumojock and Akwaya, but they lived in disarray with each other. The kids grew up and had their own kids, but they too were not in good terms with each other. They always fought and took one another to court. They planned the death of their brothers and sisters and divided all their houses. Rumors even had it that sometimes they will quarrel to a point where they will be afraid to live in their own house and had to live in neighbors’ homes. Finally, they became laughingstocks to their neighbors. It is not just how they fought each other that was absurd, it was the way they tried to reconcile with each other that was incongruous. Everytime they had schism, they called those who stoke the flames as the peacemakers until one day, I had a dream.

I saw that Hitler was asked to babysit the Jews, and Ariel Castro-a child molester was asked to adopt children. I asked the organizers. Why choose Hitler and Ariel Castro? They told me that Hitler loved the Jews so much so that he killed 6 millions in six years, so they can ask him to babysit them. They also said that Ariel Castor molested two girls for ten years, so he will be asked to babysit the kids of the neighborhood for his love for children. It is a great idea! I just knew that the babysitting will fail. I also had a dream that I bought some fresh, special groundnuts, but I did not want anyone to mess around with them. Consequently, I went and buried them in the ratmole's hole to protect them. That is the best way to preserve your kids and protect your groundnuts. I also saw a man who was always mad because he smoked banga (your children call it weed and the British call it cannabis), so the parents always gave him banga to cure him. The more they gave him banga, the madder he became to a point where they had to shackle him in a loony bin. No one (except them) understood why that was the best treatment,. After all their titles and Phds made them all sages. They always repeated the same solution that gave them bad results; meanwhile, they intended a better outcome that always eluded them

They all still think that nobility is bought in the market. Do you have any titles for sale? My cat too wants one. I am confused which one. Don’t ask me which one because I don’t know. Perhaps between doctor or sesekou. I heard that those titles will convert your puerile behavior to those of a sage. Once you have one of them, you will become an elder in the community. Every born house, baby shower, convention, wedding, or njangi meeting, you will be seated on high table.  Unfortunately, despite his children having those titles, their speeches and actions remained infantile. He that has once dwelled in the swamp can never forget the feel thereof.

Dear Uncle, as you can see, your nephew is getting wiser and wiser everyday, oh. I thank you for always being there in my life, though.

Until then, stay well.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

Thursday, April 10, 2014


Simply put, most Americans are very dysfunctional, preferring a life of pomposity and Carpe diem. A very artificial and synthetic people whose good works are drummed mostly in the face of a camera. Listen to one of them, “As a working mother who has had issues finding child care, my heart goes out to Ms. Taylor.” These people live like the African golden cat which lives and dies alone. It is alleged that Shanesha Taylor was arrested for child endangerment because she left her kids in sweltering heat to attend an interview. Americans are alarmed that she was arrested, and they are raising money to help her. I guess with already $91,000 and more raised to support her, she can now support herself and her kids for the next 2 years. However, what about comrades in suffering who wear her very shoes but are in the media dustbin? Who raises money too for them? This act, albeit benevolent, does not even solve the problem; it merely shows how dysfunctional the society is. This is bad for society, bad for America and bad for the world.

There are bigger issues that Americans must face. Every sane society knows that it takes a village to raise up a child. How abrupt was her interview? Did Shanesha not know a relative, a friend or even a neighbor and no church in which she could drop her kids just for a day or talk less of a few hours? The excuse may be that she is homeless. If she had built a community, she would not have been homeless with two kids. If a man or woman is living like an island, then therein lies the dysfunction. 

Most of these women fight to keep kids mainly for child support, even if they are unable to cater for them. They also know that by keeping the kids, they can qualify for food stamps and other state provided amenities. It is more about themselves than the kids because in countries where there is no child support, mostly the men keep the kids. That is why no one should even ask about the father(s) of the kids. Like Kathleen Sidoniasked, “If she couldn't find a sitter for an interview, what exactly did she plan on doing with her children if she actually obtained the job??” Shanesha is not alone in exhibiting this dysfunction.

In July of 2013, Keri Engholm “left her 7-month-old daughter die after being accidentally left in a minivan while she rushed off to attend meetings.” ABC reported that Earlier that month, “a Southern California foster mother left a 3-year-old girl in a sport utility vehicle for 15 minutes and she died. In May, a Colorado woman left her 13-month-old son strapped in a baby seat while she went to work at a McDonald's. In March, a Texas woman returned to her car after a day at work at a shopping mall to find her 5-month-old son dead.” In January, 2014, Alicia D Brown “left her four-year-old child in a casino parking lot for eight hours.”

If she was a good person, she would not have lacked even a neighbor to keep her kids. Let us say that she did not have relatives around her. Doesn’t she have even a single friend? Doesn’t she have even a single neighbor? In a great society that functions well, a relative, former colleague, a friend, or a neighbor could sit with your kids. Nay, it cannot be because women like Tanesha will not even greet their neighbors. They do not create any platonic relationships. They are the type of women who do not even answer when their neighbors greet them. Nevertheless, the dysfunction does not end with her; it goes beyond.

The passersby who saw the kid crying probably knew that the woman was in one of those offices. In a normal society; I mean where everyone is caring and it takes a village to raise up a child, they will go to the front office and ask them to announce that the person whose kids are in the car should come and attend to them because they are crying. Oh, no, they feel unattached to her pain. Their first reaction is call the police because the monster of a woman has left her child in this scorching heat. These people are even kind enough. Others will take out their cellphones, take pictures and make videos and then place them on YouTube as funny videos of kids crying. Do you see how dysfunctional our society has become?

The police then arrested the mother for her wickedness. In a normal society where it takes a village to raise up a child, the police will look for the mother and then tell her to take the child back home and try to look into her situation. Paul said, “The letter of the law kills, but the spirit vivifies” (2 Cor 3:6). It is not for nothing that the nexus for adjudicating jurisprudence is equity. The police is a civil institution meant to protect society and not terrorize it. Everyone time and again could have a lapse in judgment and could also forget even their most prized possession. God himself acknowledges that even a suckling mother can forget her child (IS 49:15). Notwithstanding, the woman is already arrested.

In a normal society, the facts of the case do not show any negligence; they show a lack of shrewdness. Society should have been to reform and rehabilitate; instead we now live in a time when everyone wants to condemn and maim the other. Shouldn’t the prosecutors instead see how they could help her out of her situation rather than file charges? None of them knows how she feeds those children. Even people who did not care about her homelessness will be showing care because the camera is there. Some may argue that she is on food stamps. How much food stamps could actually help her and her kids? These are questions that a normal society should be asking.

Therefore, the solution to averting opprobrium like that of Shanesha is for people to build solid communities, by first building their families. I just don’t understand why so many Americans do not talk to their families. They spend more time on the internet and social media with fictional friends and families (like those found on Facebook) more than they do with their real families. If her relatives were talking to her, there would have been a solution. I have called people in other countries and other states to give lodging to someone in need because I had a relationship with those people. Americans, listen to me; to build a happy and strong society, we must build better families because a better family will build a better society.

Until then, that is my Pamplemouse for you; you can squeeze and drink or do with it as it pleases you.

St Arrey of Ntenako.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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