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Humanity is slowly moving away from prejudices, brutalities.

By PHILIP OCHIENGMany Kenyans and other human beings the whole world over believe that, over the years, official Kenya has committed terrible political injustices against Raila Odinga, a son of independent Kenya's first vice-president. Equally terribly unfortunate, however, is the fact that even such a belief is almost wholly tribe-based.

Yet, in the very first place, completely negative tribalism remains topmost among the factors that terribly fetter Kenya's development not only in material terms but also, equally importantly, even in terms of intellectual thought and personal camaraderie. That fact, it seems to me, should be clear for all and sundry to see.

Whenever the elites of two of a country's most numerous and most highly educated ethnic groups remain at daggers-drawn against each other as Kenya's Kikuyu and Luo have been since before independence -- there, you have created an effective recipe against development in all such other crucial areas as the economy and the national intellectual unity needed to spur material development.In the political arena, nevertheless, two wrongs do not always make a right.

NATIONAL RESPECTIf Mr Odinga allows himself to be "crowned as the president of Kenya" in any manner that thwarts the very same laws that are supposed to govern our republic, the veteran oppositionist will have committed such a wrong number two and lost all national respect and support.For instance, it might plunge the whole country into what a European philosopher once called a "war of all against all" from which no single ethnic group can emerge unscathed.

Mr Odinga will have disappointed many of his own supporters among non-Luo communities countrywide namely, all of the very Kenyans who respect the law.Even among the Luo one of Kenya's ethnic communities most numerous, most highly educated, most sharply skilled and most outspoken in political terms it will have dug a rift valley as profound and as divisive as the one by which mother nature has long ago separated the Kalenjin from other ethnic communities in our country.

THIRD WORLD SOCIETIESThat statement objectively describes the terribly contradictory situation in which Kenya and other Third World societies have lived for so many decades since those societies snatched independence for themselves from centuries of terrible race-based injustices perpetrated by a terribly benighted class of Western Europeans over non-Caucasian human beings the whole world over.That is a terrible comment to make about the most educated and most sharply skilled race of the earth's most highly developed mammal species.

If Europe had never been held so terribly backwards by its own surprisingly primitive assumptions about its own racial "specialness" and racial "superiority", the European elite would at once have seen its duty to put its own techno-scientific lead to use to help unite the human species against all of nature's negative forces all over our planet.BRUTALITIESImagine what horrible inter-racial and inter-national tragedies it would have spared the human world if the European elite had not assumed, so embarrassingly falsely, that Europe's brilliant lead recently in such fields as science and technology had been due only to the Caucasian's stringy hair, thin lip and allegedly "white" skin.

Quite clearly, however, if such a lead had been taken by a black African society, our own ancestors, even here in Kenya, might have been tempted to assert that black skin and kinky hair were the acme of animal evolution, brilliance and beauty. And we might have been tempted to perpetrate the same animal brutalities as Europe has perpetrated against humanity in such degrading activities as the slave trade and colonialism.

Even if appallingly slowly, humanity appears to be systematically rejecting and dropping some of the most degrading intra-specific prejudices and brutalities that have recently characterised the human world.
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Publication:Daily Nation, Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya)
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Jan 20, 2018
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