According the US Census bureau, the population of America as of October 2016 is 324,707,000 people out of which 223, 553, 265 are whites or Caucasians.
Now imagine how delusional a Caucasian male adult out of this huge number could be if his life and activities are solely devoted to the false and ignorant impression that the political, economic and social woes of the world have everything to do with the way the Islamic Republic of the Gambia, a small West African nation with a population of 1.8 million, is being governed by its popularly elected president, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babilli Mansa. Indeed, this white man called Jeffery Smith thinks committing his resources and energy into ensuring that there is regime change in the Gambia is the only course that could place his name in the good history books of the future. That’s however the only way I can interpret his behavior of trying to influence the political curve of the Gambia.
Jeffery is the only white person, known to most dissidents, if not all, in the USA, who occasionally appear for interviews on the anti-APRC-government radio stations, offering pointers over political strategies germane to removing President Jammeh from office by any means possible. Few weeks ago, I happened to hear him on one of these radios of whose main founder is currently locked up in a US prison for his conspiratorial role in the December 2014 terrorist attack in the Gambia; interestingly, Jeffery revealed in the interview that he is now actively raising funds to support opposition political parties in the Gambia to defeat President Jammeh in the upcoming December 2016 presidential elections. It’s from the same radio station where funds were raised and the incitement campaign that culminated in the so called peaceful demonstration for electoral reform in April by the UDP party and was intended to destabilize the country as a tactic for regime change.
Just before Jeffery came on the air that day the dissident hosting the program was preemptively choreographing another conspiracy for the delegitimization of the Gambia’s election results if President Jammeh wins. It looks like deja vu all over again, troublemakers living abroad, still bent on raising money to incite trouble in peaceful Gambia and hoping that the international community can do something against President Jammeh if his government takes the necessary actions to safeguard the national security of the country. Mere wishful thinking!
Jeffery, for all I can say about his profile is that he is one white man that my late grandmother Anta would have called “Toubab Bu Ghally” with “Toubab” in the Wollof language meaning a white person and “Bu Ghally” hard to precisely translate into English; although I will assume that in the end, readers willfigure out what it means from my emphasis.
So, who is Jeffery Smith the “Toubab Bu Ghally” we need to expose?
This Caucasian American, once working at the US State Department in Washington DC and was fired recently looks like one of those patients suffering from a form of mild neurosis or the kind of clinical prognoses the late French psychiatrist, Frank Fanon,indexed in his book Black Skin White Mask as hidden or misplaced anger.
Indeed, I find his personality based on his activities showing symptoms of such an ailment. For if you see a “Toubab” in this country who finds himself alone out of the whole white population, obsessively and compulsively convinced that the political, economic and social policies in a Third-world country the size of Gambia is a major problem in his life and that of the entire world and can’t remotely attribute any of it to the litany of evidences showingAmerica’s flawed domestic and foreign policies having a lot to do about it,then one finds it easy to agree with Fanon that such a person like Jeffery is a quintessential patient of “misplaced or hidden anger”.
I think Frank Fanon or any shrink today would have looked at Jeffery’s case for a second and immediately prescribe a therapy of getting him a red baseball hat and a sizable placard inscribed with the Donald Trump slogan of “Making America Great Again”and urging him to be regularly joining the crowds at Trump’s political rallies where most American “Toubabs” facing hard times find the ideal venue to vent their frustrations about this country and the world. Perhaps, in that surrounding, he will finally realize that his problems have more to do with his creepy frame of mind and what is wrong in this country than with a president or country located across the Atlantic Ocean.
If, however, that does not work, I think we should encourage Jeffery to take a good look at the evolution and hard facts surrounding America’s and Gambia’s experience with British colonialism and the different path seach country took. You see Jeff, after years of slavery and colonialism in the hands of the British, Gambia unlike America was in 1965 granted a pseudo independence in a dubious manipulationof its political and legal system that simply transformed the country from a colonial to a Neo-colonial nation. In the arrangement, therefore, a puppet thoroughly cultured in British standards and knighted at Buckingham Palace led the country in continuation of the very colonial policies England wanted him to preserve. So, for over thirty years the Western world, including of course the British, ranked Sir Dawda the best democratic leader in Africa while the country was still subjected to the same misrule of being totally dependent to England our former slave masters and colonizers who for over three centuries consistently tried to indoctrinate us into believing that we could not do anything for ourselves. Most of those Gambians howling abroad over President Jammeh being a bad leader are misfits in the new order that now challenges the people to think for ourselves beyond merely protesting for Western human rights standards.
In a just world with a genuine independence, one would have expected on the 19th of February 1965 the day after the declaration of Gambia’s independence that the government of Sir Dawda Jawara will start a litigation against the British Empire for violating UN resolution 1514 (xv) adopted in December 1960 that abolished and criminalized colonialism. Britain as a signatory to that law kept on illegally colonizing the Gambia for five more years and paid no penalties for it, but to leave us Neo-colonized and indirectly ruled the country through a puppet government that had no serious interest of the Gambian people.
This was the kind of government the Gambia lived by that cared little about the country’s welfare and more about how to please Queen Elizabeth and the English aristocrats in London.
Then on July 22nd 1994, President Jammeh broke the chain of enslavement and lifted the burden of colonialism from the hands and shoulders of the retrogressive nation. Most Gambians see the benefit of the change that the majority still prefer to retain so long as Babili Mansa is willing to stay and guide them for a while. Apparently, one could rightly argue that the Gambia got her true independence in 1994 in that historic bloodless revolution that for the first time introduced its people to the true meaning of a government of the people, by the people and for the people as Abraham Lincoln once defined the true meaning of democracy. In short, the Islamic Republic of The Gambia is only 22 years old in her journey as a genuine sovereign nation and is doing very well so far.
That said, let me now for comparison juxtapose the evolutionary reality of America’s 240-year old independence.
In the first place, many people don’t find anything rosy in this “perfect” Caucasian democracy founded in this land after its original owners were virtually exterminated in a genocide well documented by American author Dee Brown in his epic book, Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee. Sparing the readers, the background of what led to Americans revolting against British Colonialism and how France’s intervention against the British forces proved decisive in that victory, I will go straight to what most scholars believe was the hypocritical pronouncement of the establishment of America’s nationhood in 1776. The signed American Independence-Declaration document of July 4, 1776 clearly stated that: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
However, regardless of the indisputable evidence that 5000 African slaves, captives and freed men fought and died side by side with the liberators, records showed that almost all the signatories to that document owned slaves at the time and never considered their right to enjoy that freedom. Instead a hierarchy was created that placed whites at the apex of the pyramid holding the entitlement alone to enjoy the liberty while African Americans and native Indians remained in the bottom with no rights or privileges to enjoy, because they were considered humans of lesser values. In their minds, the right of men had nothing to do with black people.
For over 80 years Jeff, this abominable hierarchy was kept in place with pseudoscientific theories justifying how Caucasian blood or genes naturally make white people more human, intelligent, moral and hardworking. Then in 1861 many Americans, perhaps haunted by the false and inhuman tenet at which the concept of racism was anchored or morally unsustainable, decided to finally acknowledge black people as real human beings and wanted them given their rights to liberty or freedom. What happened next was a stiff resistance by dogmatic white people, especially those from southern states whose economies at the time relied exclusively on owning slaves for free labor but also for the mere sadistic pleasure of just abusing and lynching them for unjustified reasons. Thus, America got into a bloody civil war that killed 620,000 soldiers before black people were given some form of inconsequential freedom. The kind of freedom where white supremacy or the same hierarchy remains a mainstream ideology in American politics and bears huge influence over institutions of major economic, cultural and educational values to this very day.
So, for Jeffery Smith, the “Toubab Bu Ghally” to ignore the unconscionable reality of racial bias in this country and around the world that has always put black people to a disadvantage against white people while he still thinks that Gambia’s president is the only problem in his world, borders on characters, Wollofs identify as “Toubab Bu Ghally”.
If he is as committed as he claims to be in helping the Gambian people improve their “pathetic” lives under Jammeh’s rule, I will suggest that he best shifts his energy and resources to his own backyard where so many black people desperately need the moral assistance he wants to export abroad. For instance, only 13% of the population in this country is black, but it baffles every sincere person that 37% of the convicts in prisons are black people. That is over 2 million black men and women in jail with quite a good number of them unnecessarily arrested and condemned to irredeemable criminal lives. That is more than the population of the Gambia Jeffery who could have used the funds you are raising to help Gambia to instead help them adjust into the society that gives them limited chance of success. Or better still, the hypocrisy aside, how could Jeffery Smith a white man in the USA be so sympathetic to black people living thousands of miles away in The Gambia when he can’t have the same level of sympathy to so many hopeless or homeless black people living right under his nose here? Does “Toubab Bu Ghally” now appear better understood from its Wollof interpretation to English? If not, let’s just settle for Fanon’s taxonomy- “clinical neurosis” in this fellow’s case.
As a black man and a rather sensitive observer, I have lived in this country long enough to recognize the shameless segregation of communities, schools, workplaces and many facilities that still exist in shuttle ways. I still drive in some New York boroughs or certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Stanton Island and in New Jersey towns and cities fearing white police officers picking on me for being black and giving me tickets for traffic violations that never happened but are hard to contest in the courts. Indeed, I have been racially profiled and treated badly in this country because of nothing other than the color of my skin, my religion as Muslim or my national origin as African.
I therefore wonder how this “Toubab Bu Ghally” views the problem created by American militarism recently launched in the Middle east in the name of spreading the gospel of Western democracy but ended up causing unintended calamities threatening world peace with no solution in sight.
From Libya to Yemen, Iraq to Syria, the story remains the same; instead of successfully exporting Western values or democracy we see a pattern of plague-like incidents that spread in the world causing wars, oppression and genocide.
In fact, there is no proof that the democracy benefitting Americans here will benefit the Gambians out there, and I don’t think Jeffery Smith can provide me with an objective scale where I can measure its practical success after being tried anywhere in the world.
Gambia under President Jammeh is one of the best countries in the world, measured by the peacefulness of the nation and its people and their humble ways of living happy and very fulfilled lives! December 1, 2016 the country is holding a free and fair presidential election. If few Gambian troublemakers still want to heed the incitement of dissidents abroad and accept the insignificant money from their fundraising to destabilize the country, please remember that President Jammeh will not stand by and let them get away with such nonsense. Jeffery Smith is just a “Toubab Bu Ghally” hopelessly trying to make a name after realizing that his life is meaningless as a white man of American descent.
Long Live the Islamic Republic of The Gambia!
Long live the Gambian people?
Long live His Excellency Sheikh, Professor, Alhaji Dr. Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babili Mansa, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed and Security Forces.
by Samsudeen Sarr
New York City