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27.07.2009 Editorial

Falsehood Stinks And Stings

By Daily Guide
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“It is the love of my country and the desire to bring the sweets of a higher standard of living to my own countrymen which keep me in politics, despite the abuses of stupid people who think that to be stupid and allow oneself to be misled by clever rogues is better than to follow who tells the truth, even when the truth will not make him popular,” Dr. J.B. Danquah.

As a growing kid in Niikrom, a suburb of Nkrankrom, my late daddy always took advantage of the least opportunity to remind us (his children) that telling lies is bad because it stinks and stings. I never understood him then, but now I do.

The story of Joseph and Pharaoh's adulterous wife amply explains the fact that most humans would not hesitate to falsely accuse others in order to save their skin or gain something. Both the Bible and the Qur'an tell us that the woman was the one who made advances at the handsome and attractive Joseph because she couldn't control her unholy desire for him.

But when she was caught 'inflagrante delicto' (right in the act), she swore Heaven and Earth that Joseph was the one who tried raping her. Although the Scriptures say what happened was as 'Onyankopon' decreed, can you imagine the humiliation and psychological trauma Joseph had to go through while in prison?       

Back home in Asomdwekrom, records show that there is one personality who endured all manner of insults and character assassinations before, during and after independence. Even so many years after he had joined his ancestors in the land of the spirits, his soul would not be allowed to rest in peace.

This great son of Asomdwekrom, who has never been given the honour and respect he deserves because of false allegations, is none other than Dr. J.B. Danquah - the man who named this great country.

For instance, in reaction to a forged letter signed in his name and published in the December 7, 1949 edition of the Evening News, Dr. Danquah wrote, “Telling lies to the masses and exhorting them to feel and believe such lies, is to instigate them to act on what they have been misled to believe and feel is true, thereby damaging the peace and goodwill of our body politic.

But as we all know, when a gentleman is confronted with having published or said something wrong against his neighbour, whether such a neighbour is also a gentleman or merely a superior type of person, such as a verandah boy, what is done in the best circles is for the former gentleman to apologise. It is considered bad if he doesn't. So please apologise to me, and set a good example to the masses.”

Although the Evenings News did not apologise but rather continued to propagate falsehood against him, Wofa J.B. did not shirk his responsibility of fighting for the downtrodden, until he died in detention in 1965, after a most remarkable, selfless and noble life.

Those of us who have had the privilege of reading some of his letters and write-ups can attest to the fact that the trauma of the fabricated lies peddled against him contributed as much to his death as the incarceration by Dr. Kwame Okro. No wonder, papa used to say falsehood stinks and stings!

When the King of Pop, Michael Jackson passed away on June 25, 2009, many were those who propounded that his demise was caused by regular intake of powerful prescription drugs. But I beg to differ.

I believe he died from the pangs of the trauma and humiliation of accusations that he was a fag. Indeed, the whole world attests to the fact that in 1993, he paid over 22 million American green leaves to free himself from the shackles of allegations that he had sodomised a 13-year old boy, Evan Shander, and was acquitted by a court on a similar charge a decade later.

Despite the settlement and acquittal, many people still held the belief that he did commit those acts. A US Congressman, Peter King, did not understand why people should grieve the loss of Michael Jackson, 'the child molester'.

Listen to him, “This guy was a pervert, he was a child molester. We're too politically correct so no one wants to stand up and speak the truth.” Even the US leader, Barack Obama alluded to it albeit in a very subtle manner.

However, the recent confession by Evan Shander, now 29 years old, that he didn't mean to lie about Michael sodomising him but was forced to do so, has now cleared all doubts about Michael's innocence.

One music superstar in the US could not help but proclaim, “So the brother didn't do it after all, but was forced to go through such trauma and humiliation for close to 16 years. How much pain can one take? Mike, maybe they would now leave you in peace.” Abusuapanin, do you now comprehend why my late papa used to say falsehood stinks and stings?    

Having now understood how stinky, thorny, and sometimes, deadly falsehood could be, it gives me cause for great concern to observe that our great nation is full of persons who, for parochial interests, do not mind slandering others.

Asomdwekrom has now become a factory which has specialized in churning out all manner of unsubstantiated allegations, with the sole intention of tarnishing the reputation of others.

More worrisome for Asomdwekrom is the fact that persons known to be notoriously engaged in peddling falsehood have been appointed ministers of state. It is shameful, isn't it?

Abusuapanin, you may call me a prophet of doom; but the fact is I do not see any light at the end of the tunnel for this country, if we continue the path we are treading now. Unless we begin to weigh words, whether in print or speech, before believing in them, I'm afraid this country would continue to wallow in the pool of mediocrity.

We should bear in mind that, “When a snake loses its sting, it becomes an object of play for the children.” A word to the wise is in Ogboro's mouth! See you next week, if 'Onyankopon' wills! 

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