An excerpt from a text by Sheikh Anta Diop written in 1979. Very current text that speaks to all those who fight arbitrariness around the world.
The greatest injustice can be clothed in a perfect legal form… All the intellectuals, all the patriots, must understand that the battle we are fighting at this moment is theirs; it is the fight that must be fought tenaciously so that the era of grotesque threats, of fear, of fear in its varied forms, economic, physical, be over. It is the fight for true individual freedom, for dignity.
If Bokassa and Idi Amin Dada could exist in Africa, it is because African intellectuals and executives abdicated their responsibility, preferred to eat bones, instead of taking care of the essentials, that is to say, the protection of the citizens’ imprescriptible rights, thinking that this was less risky.
The intellectuals, all the lucid citizens, must oppose moral resistance to the arbitrary. They must be willing to pay in person for the laws of circumstance to give way to just laws.
For an unpopular regime, it is too tempting to abuse the repressive apparatus to protect itself. One believes then to impress the opponent; pure error. Only just laws that impose moral respect by the serenity of their content could impress us.
The regime fights us with tailor-made laws, which is too easy; we want to defeat it first in hearts and minds; we want it to be clear in the conscience of every honest citizen that we are in our right, that we are right against the regime in this debate.
A regime with a rotten moral foundation is a regime that collapses.
Full text published in Taxaw No 18, November-December 1979.
Source : Coups Francs