Whites Born in Liberia Push for Liberian Citizenship
‘The Face of America in Africa’ Must End Constitutional Racism
Originally posted: 07/30/2012 2:17 pm
Founded in 1822 to free the black slaves of America, the Liberian constitution makes it mandatory for citizens of Liberia to be black
of African descent. I am one of many white children born in Liberia to non-African parents and denied nationality and citizenship rights due to the color of my skin and roots.
But the “face of America in Africa” cannot legalize racism, as it runs contrary to the values of Christianity, liberty, and tolerance that define the heart of Liberia, a nation born from America, its mother. No country in Africa embraces America like Liberia. The Liberians have close kinship ties to America and are inspired by American political figures, particularly President Barack Obama. The Liberian national flag bears a close resemblance to the American flag with just one star, and American culture is very popular, with the Liberian market flooded with bestselling American brands.
Liberia today lies at a crossroads: Either it will continue to live in the past or find more progressive ways to preserve its identity, culture, and roots without alienating its white non-African children.
As it stands, there are no reliable statistics to determine the number of people who are affected by this constitutional discrimination. But Liberia is native home to many Europeans, Americans, and Arabs. Most severely affected are the Lebanese people born in Liberia, and this is a very serious issue for Liberia, given that the economy is largely dominated by Lebanese traders and businessmen who have been in Liberia since the 1960s.