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Exiles in Liberian Reconstruction

Moreover, every Liberian has become an exile from the Liberia that should have been, the Liberia of peace, brotherhood, and hope for the future.

Should we then turn away from the exiles? I suggest that we do not. Indeed, we know who we should turn away from. We should and must turn away from those who have dragged Liberia down for a generation.

We know that the leadership of the Americo-Liberian community and the True Whig Party had many shortcomings, and made many mistakes. Presidents Tubman and Tolbert failed to accomplish much that they set out to do. And yes, sometimes they turned from the right path and gave in to pride, ambition, and avarice.

Yet at the same time, let us not forget that they did much good. They built roads, schools, and industries. They trained teachers and health care workers. They worked to bring the tribal communities into full partnership in the Liberian nation. In a time of colonialism, they proudly upheld Liberia as an example of national independence and self-determination in Africa. They made Liberia a respected member of the community of nations. They held elections -- not perfect, sometimes deeply flawed -- yet in the time of Presidents Tubman and Tolman, leadership in Liberia was determined by the processes of the law, not by the gun.

Year by year, from 1944 to 1980, Liberia made progress. Often it did not make enough progress, yet it always made some. Each year the Liberian people had a few more roads, a few more schools, a little more hope for their future and their children's future.

Now, let us compare what those leaders gave to Liberia, and see how it different it was from what the leaders who ruled by the gun for a quarter century have brought to Liberia. We have had a leader whose came to office by butchering his predecessor, and whose first public act was to drag thirteen leading citizens out to a beach, tie them to stakes, and shoot them to death as televisi...

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Exiles in Liberian Reconstruction. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 21:40, September 20, 2017, from
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