Three contributors maintain the heat on Baffoe-Bonnie:
Edward Kissi, replies:
Contributions are accessible at http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa/ads/155.html
[when school resumes, the volume of postings will reduce to let you all focus on other things]
So much has been written about Baffoe-Bonnie's attack on Moses "and his brother Aaron"--- whoever the latter might be. It is this type of contribution that does not advance society. Baffoe-Bonnie's condescending contribution to an elevated discussion of the importance of traditional and indigenous systems to Africa's contemporary problems does not only highlight poverty of substance, but something about Baffoe-Bannie as a person. I am happy to note the negative reaction to his piece.
There are many of Baffoe-Bonnie's kind in my country Ghana, and Africa as a continent. It is those like him who make dictators thrive. He sounds like a paramount chief's hornblower. He called for a civil debate in the most uncivil of tone. He called for "innovative thinkers" and did not show himself to be one. He provided no innovative idea on the debate that he sought to comment on. That means he himself does not have a clue on the subject being discussed except his claim to some knowledge of it by association with a paramount chief. I am not related to a chief, but I have observed how the traditional system works----its merits and demerits. I have put my observations of it in my village before the thousands of readers on the net.
If Baffoe-Bonnie knows another system that differs from what I described, let him put that on the forum. State from where you come to this debate. Which traditional system are you associated with? Tell us about what you know. People on this forum should not assume that you know so much about traditional systems by merely stating that you come from a family of chiefs. Demonstrate that knowledge here. Tell us how those systems worked in your society and the ways in which they differ from what I described. Then all of us would learn something from you. We will learn about the diversity of those systems in Africa. That is what Moses and his brother Aaron are pointing out. If your system is very much like the type I described, then you substantiate my point and the your contribution is nothing more than thrusting yourself into a discussion whose central objective you never really tried to grasp.
It is hero-worshippers and uncritical admirers of archaic traditions in a changing society) that I wrote about in my piece. Baffoe-Bonnie, put your chips on the table and let us assess your knowledge about the traditional systems to which you are associated.
Baffoe-Bonnie's remarks hit a new low in this marathon debate. I also agree that your role is not to "prevent" people form being heard, so long as their words are not criminal (Baffoe-Bonnie hit a low with his "tone" but he said nothing libelous or criminal, so I guess he was entitled to be heard). It all reminds me of the saying: "You can't wish for heavy rains without lightening and thunder."
No. 3: Hakeem Tijani
All of us must remember that the golden rule in historical scholarship (and I hope in all social sciences and the humanities) is: "facts are sacred, opinions differ". All contributors (except a few) are right based on their facts; all contributors are entitled to their interpretation of the facts. That is what scholarship is all about. It is petty, nonsensical, and myopic to ridicule one another for personal glorification, or just to be read. That is not scholarship... that is not academic. Some of the contributors are not making it easy on me and my students... then I have to be selective in what I introduce... not jargons and character assassination or self glorification in the name of cheap popularity (i.e. I'm now in Germany, or I'm in Honolulu here is my piece; or this is an opportunity for me to take side with my mentor etc). It is nonsensical, myopic, and part of the problem of nation building in Africa. If I were to write about the Rockefeller or Ford Foundations today I'll conclude that they meant good for Africa and other postcolonial areas.
This is based on evidence (written in black and white) from the archives... what was written by men and officials at the Foundations over three decades ago concerning economic and political modernization in Africa. What African leaders did instead of the advice from the Foundations. It will revise what the dependency theorists, neocolonialist theorists, and most Afrocentrics have written about postcolonial attempts at economic and political modernization. I will be called a revisionist; probably called names. But the issue is I could have genuinely explained the issues, events, and official positions based on evidence. I was trained to examine both sides of the coins; present the facts; and synthesize and analyze based on the facts; and objectivity should be my hallmark. These I believe should be the guiding principle in this academic forum; this forum is not for the "unknown" to get cheap "popularity".