When the Silent Speak
There are always people with progressive ideas that could help propel Ghana forward. Those with such ideas often go against society’s grain. As such, they find their ideas (and their confidence in those ideas) challenged. This is not surprising: change never comes easy.
Some set their ideas aside. Even worse, many more do not bother trying to make them into reality for fear of incurring society’s wrath. The progressive minority cowers before the might of the conservative majority.
At DUST, we suspect that Ghanaians are more progressive than we give ourselves credit for. We just lack the confidence to say so. When our most regular contributor, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, started her blog, ‘Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women’, she believed that it would not be long before “the people” came after her. Nevertheless, she stuck by her belief that women needed a space within which they could speak more freely about sex and sexuality than society seemed to permit. In the end, the pitchforks never came. In fact, adventuresfrom.com is now one of Ghana’s most popular blogs.
Recently, one man took up a microphone and said some controversial things about modern Ghana. His opponents criticized his apparent tribalism. His supporters said that he was simply airing what was really on the mind of “the people”. No?
Across the country and across ethnic and political divisions, people called in to radio stations, wrote letters, and lit up the internet with messages seemingly unified in their condemnation of this one man’s words. Those words – they claimed – did not represent the popular mindset. For once, a majority of Ghanaians – all too often silent – spoke up on both sides of the political divide to slam down those who all too often peddle old, non-progressive ideas.
It is important that we keep doing this.
The more you speak out, the more you will find people of like-mind, whatever your political leanings. It is not a crime for people to hold different beliefs, but while we may disagree on how to move forward, we all want to move forward.
Real progressives know that there are more things that bring us together than there are things that divide us. The more we are brave enough to speak out and say what is really on our minds, the less of an opportunity we give to those who incorrectly claim (whether well intentioned or not) to speak on our collective behalves.