- Post 13 November 2012
- Last Updated on 13 November 2012
- By Ozodi Thomas Osuji
A hypocrite is a person who pretends to be pious when, in fact, his character is as flawed as other human beings characters. To avoid appearing hypocritical one should try to put ones house in order, do the right thing before one talks about the bad things one sees other people doing. The problem with Nigerians is that while individual Nigerians are as corrupt as other Nigerians they talk about how other Nigerians are corrupt. It would serve all well if instead of talking about how corrupt Nigerians are each Nigerian tries to live a life of moral probity, honor and integrity. Igbos were used as a case to make the point of this paper.
I have said this one million times before; apparently, folks have not heard me so let me repeat myself. If you are Igbo please desist from talking about what is wrong with Hausas, Yorubas and other Nigerians. We all have eyes and whatever is the matter with those other groups we can see it (without you telling us about it).
It annoys any human group to hear outsiders talking about their issues; they want to talk about their issues but do not think that it is outsiders right to-do so, especially if critically. Americans criticize their leaders in every which way is possible but they certainly do not like it if foreigners join them and criticize their leaders.
The other day, I watched a reporter ask the British Prime Minister about the American Presidential election. He diplomatically made a bland and innocuous statement without saying something nice or bad about it, for he knows that it is not his business to say something negative about Americans protracted and costly presidential elections.
The point is that folks do not like it if you criticize them. Other Nigerian ethnic groups do not like it if Igbos criticize them; it infuriates them and makes them hate Igbos. How difficult is this reality for Igbos to grasp hence desist from saying nasty things about other Nigerians?
Why do Igbos give themselves the right to criticize other Nigerians and hate it if other Nigerians resent them for doing so? Don’t say bad things about other people; say only bad things about your self and your people, get it?
What we need to remember is that we all see through, as Saint Paul said, glass darkly. That is, each of us comes to the perceptual field with his preconceptions and presuppositions about the nature of reality. We see the present with our past learning and ideas of how things are and ought to be.
In effect, we do not see things as they are but as our past led us to see them. We are all myopic and see with colored lenses.
Because of this reality no one can see other people as they are, in fact. All seeing involves projection (perception is projection). That is, we project ourselves to what we see. As such, we do not know about the nature of what we think that we see. We do not know what anything means. Indeed, we do not even know who we are (our self concepts are ideational; that is, are our ideas based on our learning and thus not necessarily correct).
Therefore, instead of trying to talk about other people’s issues realize that other people’s issues mirror your own issues. Other people are mirrors held for you to see yourself correctly. What you see them do is what you do but may not consciously know that you do so. They give you an enlarged picture of your behavior for you to see your behavior wreath large.
(Reading Igbos arrogant and supercilious sense of superiority to other groups helped me learn that I had a similar trait. Since to feel superior to other people is to be mentally sick, to be deluded, I corrected whatever tendency I had to feeling superior to other persons. That is, I learned from Igbos insanity about my own insanity and healed it by accepting our mutual equality. But instead of healing that insanity in them many Igbos actually want you to reinforce it and tell them that they are superior to other Nigerians! That is, they want you to collude with them and perpetuate their delusion disorder. If you feel superior to other people, since we are all equal your feeling is based on false premise hence deluded.)
The lesson in your transaction with other people is for you to learn from other folks mistakes and then correct those mistakes in you. The idea is not for you to keep on talking about other people’s mistakes while not correcting those mistakes in you.
It is childish to always harp on other people’s issues when you have not corrected your own issues.
Every person with eyes to see can see that many Igbos are thieves; if given the opportunity they would rob you down; if you hire them for a job they would steal from the business (unaware that if they did so the business would close down and they become unemployed). They usually only look at things from the immediate short term self interest, not long run consequences of their behaviors; in pursuit of immediate gratification they engage in criminal behaviors that eventually come to hunt their people.
Here is a secret that most Igbos hide from non-Igbos. The average Igbo, recognizing that Igbos are prone to dishonesty, would not hire their fellow Igbos in jobs where money is handled; they assume that their fellow Igbos are so prone to stealing that they would be robbed! You do not hire your own people because you assume that they are thieves, how sad!
And if you do not hire your people because you see them as potential thieves, why do you complain if other Nigerians do not hire them? Do you want them to hire Igbos to steal from them? Isn’t what is good for the goose supposed to be good for the gander? It is hypocritical for Igbos to shout job discrimination when they discriminate against their own people!
In America, many Igbos are currently robbing American businesses that hired them. They rationalize their anti social behavior by not identifying with Americans. They think that they would get away with their thievery. They forget the law of karma: a natural law that none of us can escape from.
The individual’s behavior has consequences for him and for other people. As we sow we reap and our people reap. If your behavior has negative consequences for other people you earn negative Samsara and you will be reborn on earth to pay off that negative samsara.
Past Africans sold their people into slavery; that behavior was callous and heartless; it was sinful; today’s Africans reincarnated to pay a price for their past heinous sin hence live in incredible poverty and suffer unbelievable diseases and die miserable deaths.
If Igbos steal from Americans, Americans eventually learn that Igbos are thieves and therefore would not hire other Igbos. (Oh, yes, we all engage in stereotyping ethnic groups…Igbos do it when they talk as if there is no individuality in Hausas and Yorubas and talk as if those people are all the same, so they should not complain if other people generalize from the Igbo criminals they encountered and see all Igbos as criminals; we are all ambassadors of our groups; this is why one must strive to represent ones group in a positive manner). That is to say criminal Igbos close doors for their fellow Igbos future employment in America (the Los Angeles county jail and other American county jails are teeming with jailed Igbo criminals!).
Each individual’s behavior has consequences for his people (I know white Americans who have encountered Igbo thieves on the job who swore never to hire Igbos again!).
Therefore, do not steal from Americans and rationalize your criminal behavior with those childish ego defense mechanisms Igbos are known to over utilize to justify their anti social behaviors (such as call working for the Nigerian government “Oru baake”, white man’s work and in so distancing their egos from their work see it as working for white folks hence justify stealing from it and not feeling bad; well, you are stealing from your peoples work and your people will pay the price of underdevelopment from your stealing behavior; working for the Nigerian government is working for all of us, doing our work so you should not steal from it and play the childish ego trick of convincing yourself that you are stealing from white men; you are stealing from Nigerians, from the black man, not from foreigners).
If you call yourself an Igbo Christian, please remember that Jesus said: stop seeing the grain of sand in other people’s eyes and, instead, remove the mountain in your own eyes. That is, correct your perception; correct your anti-social behavior and stop harping on what is wrong with Yorubas and other Nigerians.
It is not for Igbos to correct other Nigerian tribes’ mistakes. It is for Igbos to correct what is wrong with Igbos. Therefore, instead of talking about the problems with Yorubas and Hausas talk about the problem with Igbos (and yourself).
This is what an adult is supposed to do; a fully functioning adult is supposed to learn from his neighbors mistakes and put his own house in order before he tries to talk about his neighbors’ fallen house.
I have made this point one trillion times and do not want to repeat myself, for I am beginning to sound like a broken record. But it breaks my heart seeing Igbos always talking rubbish about non-Igbos when if you come close to them you see them as criminals and run away from them.
Please correct Igbo issues before you talk about other tribes issues. This has been my message to Igbos. If you are emotionally adult you learn from this message but if you are emotionally stuck at petulant adolescent level, as Chinua Achebe, apparently, is you keep pointing two accusatory fingers at other Nigerians and not seeing the three fingers pointing back at you and asking you to take responsibility for your dirty house and sweep it clean.
In sum, I do not want to read where an Igbo writes something negative about Hausas, Yorubas or white folks; I want to read where they write about Igbo issues and show how they could be corrected. This is what I do.
I write about Igbo issues which are my own issues. What I see in Igbos I know are in me, so I am not in denial of my, our issues. I am talking about our Igbo issues; I do not flee from my, our issues and, instead, focus on other folks issues. I want to understand us, me before I feel qualified to want to correct other people’s issues.
The first generation of Africa’s so-called scholars accepted the nonsense written by white liberal scholars that only Europe is responsible for slave trade. They joined the chorus of brain dead white liberals and talked about how Europe underdeveloped Africa (see Walter Rodney’s book of that title). In doing so they overlooked what Africans are doing to under-develop their own people.
Africans always look outside and see other people’s problems; they do not like to look inside them and see the darkness in them. By focusing outside them they do not solve their problems. Instead, they run around masquerading as perfect persons when onlookers could see that they are naked emperors.
To correct your issues you must first acknowledge them and work on them; denial does not solve any problem. The alcoholic who denies that he is an alcoholic is still killing himself with his drug of choice and will die from it, by his choice.
It was Africans who captured and sold their people to Arabs and white folks. Why would you go capture your people and sell them if you are a loving person? Others made you do so, eh? That excuse, rationalization and justification is now jaded!
Only evil persons sell their people; you may deny this fact all you want but facts are facts. In the present African leaders specialize in robbing their people and using the money to live like Oriental despots.
But instead of talking about all these dreadful issues, bleeding hearted, do-gooder white liberals (they baby Africans too much; they tell Africans that they are children who are not responsible for their problems, that white folks are; they understand Africans to death instead of telling them to grow up and take charge of their continent and like adults solve their problems without blaming other people for them) and their equally benighted African scholars talked about what white men did to keep black men down.
The fact is that black men kept themselves down more than white men kept them down. If black men want to stand up they have to do so despite other peoples efforts to keep them down.
Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones (until they rebuild their house with rocks that stones cannot shatter). Stop harping on other folks issues for you have those issues, too; deal with them in you; do not pretend to be able to deal with the issues you see in other people if you have not dealt with them in you.
If you can help other people why haven’t you helped yourself? If Igbos can prevent Nigerians from stealing too much why are Igbos engaging in kidnapping their people, holding them hostage and demanding ransom money? You cannot transform your region into Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) state of nature where every body sticks it to every body else hence life is nasty, brutish and short and folks live in perpetual insecurity and or flee to other parts of Nigeria (or overseas) in search of security and you come to the public square talking as if you are an angel.
Become a perfect person in deed not in mere assumption (if you assume your perfection and do imperfect things you have delusion disorder). One should first heal ones sickness before one asks other people to heal their sickness. Only a phony, sham hypocrite ignores his issues while asking other persons to heal their issues; it is hypocritical Igbos who talk about what is wrong with Nigerians while not trying to heal what is wrong with their own people. Physician heal yourself is an old and applicable adage for Igbos.
Africans and black people should quit talking about the ills of the white man and talk about the ills of Africans. Of course, the white man is not perfect; he has his issues but leave him to grapple with them; Africans cannot solve white men’s issues, they have not even begun solving their African issues! Like the proverbial ostrich they hide their head in sand while talking rubbish about other people’s issues. Unemployment in Nigeria is over 70%, so why would a shameless Nigerian talk about 8% unemployment in America? First, provide Nigerians jobs before you talk about Americans unemployment, fool you!
In South side Chicago and other American cities black folks kill each other like they are flies; in Africa, African leaders let their people starve to death or live like dogs. Despite this shameful state of affairs, black folks have the guts to tell the rest of the world that white folks who, at least, make sure that their children are well fed are evil persons. What hypocrisy!
It is now time for Africans to heal their long standing soul sickness, the sickness that led them to see their people as worthless hence captured and sold them into slavery. Africans must start seeing Africans as valued human beings hence love and care for them. Until they do so they are, in my book, contemptible and despicable people!
Africans should not ask for respect from other people when they act in a disrespectful manner; only those who deserve respect, that is, those who love and care for their people, deserve respect from human beings.
In the meantime, desist from talking about other peoples issues and, instead, talk about your own issues; talk about your people’s issues and learn from other peoples issues and don’t run around like a foolish child thinking that you are different and better than other people. We are all the same and coequal. Live with that reality. Seeking false sense of superiority is living in fantasy land. Come down to earth and deal with the reality of human equality.
All human beings have foibles; you are not different from other persons even if you say that you are different!