Mindless people

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By Alagie Saidy-Barrow

When a group of people have the need to continually keep proving their loyalty to an individual or group, it creates a very combustible situation. That’s because the group of people will keep pushing the limits of ignorance in order to impress their group members or individual leader. Cue the Rwandan genocide! Closer to home, cue your financial Junglers and military Junglers! They all had a strong need to prove their loyalty to the tyrant and both groups helped Jammeh murder Gambians! Mindless loyalty to anything but principles is the bane of those of us trapped in this colonial space.

When you have a group of people whose only sense of belonging in a group revolves around misplaced ethnicity, common hatred for another, herd mentality and opportunism, you have a very volatile milieu.  In this milieu, facts don’t matter, reason jumps out the window and common sense goes out the door. Context, if it’s ever part of their equation, is distorted to suit their mindless mendacity. Within such groups, all that matters is proving one’s loyalty to the group. And for some of the mindless, proving their loyalty means saying and doing anything, even if it leads to perdition. The mindless know no limits in displaying ignorance and  care nothing about what’s right or wrong! They simply go along with the herd and before you know it, these mindless ones become the majority. And the majority are unable to think for themselves.

The mindless ones fight for causes they have zero understanding of or causes that others told them they should fight for. They do not value their own culture or traditions. In fact, they do not care to know their own culture or tradition or history to put any value on them. They go after everyone not part of their in-group because their worldview is limited to “it’s us against them.” Everything is black and white for them. There is no middle ground in their world. Their proudest moment is to be the first to agree with any dominant member of their group. They would prowl around the corridors of social media waiting to see what so and so says about an issue before they piggyback on that opinion and make it theirs. If that dominant member changes their stance on issues, the mindless will simply switch sides and defend their new position to the hilt. Conformism to the herd is their forte. Shame “self-immolated” in the world of the mindless because it got tired of the shamelessness. Misplaced loyalty to the group and or individual leader is far more important to them than the truth and the truth is extremely fluid when it makes an appearance.

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In the world of the mindless, right and wrong depends on who is the subject. Justice for them revolves around who they know and who they despise. And who they know or despise is dictated by the group that they identify with. You dont even have to know any of the mindless people for them to label you an enemy. All that matters is that your position does not align with their group’s position. Friends and people in their group do no wrong in the world of the mindless, it is the “others” that are bad.  Ask them why they assume a certain position and they’ll claim “I hate injustice”, or “I want a better country.” Ask then what is “injustice” or a “better country” and they’ll regurgitate some Western imposed ideal they heard from someone else!

If you look around you, you’ll see a lot of mindless people loitering the colonial space we call Gambia. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are highly educated but profoundly ignorant. Others possess degrees they think make them educated. Because they are supposedly educated, they therefore deserved to be listened to. Some of the mindless are just attention fiends with outsized egos. Other mindless ones don’t even bother to appear educated or sophisticated, they simply romanticize ignorance!

May Daarmanso guide us all so we utilize the minds we are blessed with. May our conscience be our compass and not what we think will make others happy. May we stop disobeying Daarmanso by refusing to think for ourselves and continuing to rely on others to think for us!