By Gambian Outsider
Why is it that when Gambians in the diaspora accused the kingdom of Gambia for violating the constitutional rights and liberties of Gambians, the kingdom’s praise singers counter such accusations by giving a laundry list of “all” the developments by the Despot? The issue is not and has never been about “developments” but about violations of constitutional rights and liberties in the Kingdom.
A person can have a name because he or she is named after somebody or something, or he or she may have a name because it is derived from his or her conduct or as a titleholder. So, what is in a name? I answer that a lot if you are Mr. Missionary, “Spin Doctor” as some have used, or flip flopper or Waffler. I stick to Mr. Missionary because it has a nice ring to it!
The Missionary, Sam Sarr, wrote an article in which he tried to belittle Mr. Gaye. There is valid logic and invalid logic. Invalid logic produces fallacious arguments. One form of a fallacious argument is ad hominem. (I have used this term before). The Missionary is engaged in the logical fallacy called ad hominem. That is, where a person instead of refuting what another said or wrote, he or she retorts to attacking the person, i.e., his or her character or his or her looks and the likes.. What Mr. Gaye wrote in his article “Spin Doctor” is a catalogue of what the Missionary wrote about the kingdom of the Gambian since his arrival in the United States. If Mr. Gaye said something about the Missionary that is false, the Missionary can correct the record. But instead, Mr. Missionary acts like a psychologist, a seer, a diviner, and even a marriage counselor, and from looking at Mr. Gaye’s picture drew unwarranted inferences. It does not follow that from looking at another’s picture, like Mr. Gaye, the inferences Mr. Missionary drew would follow. That is not how the rules of logic work. If Mr. Missionary wishes to use anyone’s writings and make inferences from those writings, he certainly can do so and that would be valid. But looking at a person’s picture without ever having met that person. Come on Mr. Missionary, you are not omniscient. Mr. Missionary did try to pull back a little bit, but towards the end of his article, he went back to where he began. Interesting indeed! Based on Mr. Missionary’s argument and how he went about it, it is clear that he is trying to score as many points as he could even if his argument is fallacious. Readers have seen this from Mr. Missionary before. Nothing is new here!
The issue is a simple one: Are there abuses of the rights and liberties of Gambians in The Gambia? If Mr. Missionary wants to say there are none, then he can say so. All this so-called comparison is beside the point. Here is why Mr. Missionary’s argument and the basis he used to support it is absurd. He made analogy between the United States and The Gambia and left out a fundamental point. If there are civil rights abuses in the United States, they are not done by the U.S federal government against United States citizens. Can the same be said about the kingdom of Gambia? Police officers in the United States may violate the civil rights of certain persons motivated by racism or whatever, but there are constitutional implications. That is the reason why Mr. Missionary and I know about such abuses, because these things are reported in the news. Mr. Missionary should research what Section 1983 of the U.S Code stands for.
Are the abuses of the NIA and other government authorities reported in the news in the Gambia? Are people arrested in the United States without legal representation? Is this the case in the Gambia? The Gambian Despot and all despots for that matter have this in common, they all sponsor and order atrocities against their own people to suppressed dissent. Whether Thompson, Thomson, Thomas or Thamas, Tomos, or whoever wrote that report about human rights abuses in the Gambia makes no difference if the report is true. What did Mr. Missionary do, he went to his favorite, and attacked the person of the writer and not stick to refuting the report. What would Mr. Missionary have to say, if he were confronted by all those people who have been arrested over the years without due process, tortured, and, or, disappeared? May be in Mr. Missionary’s world, all those people would be faking it.
People are allowed to have a change of heart whatever their reasons may be. Since Mr. Missionary has a change of heart, he should openly return all the proceeds he received from his book in which he disparaged the Despot. Why, because the Despot called him a liar about what he wrote about him and he never contradicted the Despot’s assertion that he lied about him in his book. Or may be Mr. Missionary’s change of heart is selective. The other issue about Mr. Missionary’s change of heart is this, what has so changed in the Gambia that led him to now support the Despot? Has all the things Mr. Missionary wrote about the Despot over the years suddenly changed? That would be a miracle! And if there are changes, what are they Mr. Missionary? Again, the issue is not about “development” but constitutional rights and liberties being violated everyday. Mr. Missionary used to attack those so-called “developments” that he now praises. That’s ok! He also used to attack the abuses of Gambians’ constitutional rights and liberties, and now he keeps quiet when the very same questions he used to raise are asked. Interesting indeed.
Here is another place where Mr. Missionary missed the mark. Mr. Missionary quoted Voltaire “ Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is absurd.” Is certainty in God absurd? Is 2 + 2 = 4 not a certainty? Is it not certain that “All men are mortal?” How about the syllogism: All men are mortal; Mr. Missionary is a man, therefore Mr. Missionary is mortal. Is the conclusion to the syllogism not certain? By that I mean, can you accept that “All men are mortal,” and that “Mr. Missionary is man,” and not arrive at the conclusion that “Mr. Missionary is mortal.” Mr. Missionary, do the know what is “Dictum di Omni et nullo?” Is it not a certain principle? Google it! Is it not certain that the sun is always hot? Is it not certain that it does not snow in The Gambia? Without the existence of certainty doubt is useless. We doubt because we think there could be something certain, and by doubting, we look for certainty. What you do you think Mr. Missionary, about Plato’s ideas? I could suggest a few reading materials, but what do I know? Please go and read the biography of Voltaire and some of what he wrote. You will find a brilliant man, but because he was motivated by hate towards a certain institution, he missed the mark by far. Look it up and then your quotation of him will be in context!
Your tribalism argument is absurd. I am not a member of any of the tribes you considered elitist or whatever. Gambians are against the Despot because he is a despot. Why don’t you just accept this simple fact? Since your change of heart, you have never made a logical argument that demonstrates that Jammeh is not a despot. The facts are incontrovertible. It is common knowledge that Jammeh is a despot, which is why people are puzzled by your position. Because you cannot make a logical argument to support your position, you retort to attacking how a person looks or the fanciful argument that the despot is not liked because of tribalism. What nonsense! When it comes to the Despot, the truth is not complicated. There is more than twenty years of history to go by.
Your change of heart or shall I say, your 180 degrees turn is plausible only if:
Your position that there are no violations of rights and liberties in the Gambia is true;
That there is due process of law in the Gambian as stated in the Gambian constitution;
That the government has nothing whatsoever to do with all the tortures and disappearances that have taken place in the last twenty years.
That some of the things you said about the U.S, if you were in the Gambia and said similar things about the Gambian government you will be at liberty as you currently are in the United States;
That you have already or you are willing to return all proceeds you have received from your book because it was all a bunch of hooey!
Isn’t liberty wonderful? America gives you liberty and you are using that liberty to attack America. There is nothing wrong with that, but it is curious that the country that in the past denied you your liberties, now you are defending with might and main and not of that country’s liberties but of America’s. Why should not Gambians’ liberties be protected in the Gambia so that they can say similar things as you do here in the States? Is this too much to ask? Why don’t you want for your fellow Gambians what you enjoy here in the States? We are not demanding supernatural liberties or special liberties. We just want the liberties of Gambians as stated in the Gambian constitution be respected and not violated. As you can see, the matter is not complicated. It makes sense. It is logical. And it is true.
Your position and that of most Gambians in the diaspora are diametrically opposite. We believe that your answers to the four points above are dead wrong. Since no one has asked you these questions pointedly, we go by your conduct. Hence, I suspect, why Mr. Gaye came up with “Spin Doctor.” We believe that there are violations of rights and liberties of Gambians and you think there are no violations whatsoever. If you believe there are some violations, you have not said anything about them. Oh! I forgot, you did say so a few years ago on many occasions, but since joining the Despot, those violations all of a sudden have disappeared into thin air. Interesting! We believe there is no due process of law in the Gambia, and you think there is due process, even though you have no clue how the Gambian legal system operates. We believe that the kingdom is involved in the tortures and disappearances of Gambians and you think not. We believe that some of the things you said about America, if you said similar things about Gambia while in the Gambia, you may not see the sun for a very long, and you think not. We believe you should do the honorable and return all the proceeds you have received from your book, because you admitted to having lied about what you wrote therein, and you think not. If you think any of these questions are false, show us why they are so. Because you are close to the kingdom, you should be able to get data to refute our positions. Instead of writing and attacking people, who dare question your king and despot, prove us wrong. Do you think if such data existed it would not be out by now?
I chose not to have my picture posted, because I am one of those miserable, nervous or whatever name to want to you use to fill in the blank!