Wednesday

Band of thieves and purveyors of ineptitude.....

"BARBARIANS AT THE GATE"
CC™ Viewpoint 
By Boyejo A. Coker - Editor-in-Chief

It actually does not matter what aisle of the 'political' spectrum you belong to, this rudderless leadership has failed Nigerians, more-so even worse, since the inception of the 4th Republic in May, 1999.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held sway for fifteen mostly inglorious years (1999-2015) under the stewardship of the following:

a) Rtd. General Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007)

b) The late Umaru Musa Yar'Adua (2007-2010)

c) Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (2010-2015).

For at least 12 of those first 15 years of the 4th Republic, corruption, by and large, became the norm while the climate created by avaricious greed, further engendered a general state of lawlessness.

Kidnappings and killing orgies became commonplace and have continued unabated, till today.

While some may say that there was a certain degree of accountability, with the accompanying restoration of some semblance of sanity during Yar'Adua's brief reign, the truth remains that his vision of a better Nigeria was never going to see the light of day, given the scavengers and marauders he was surrounded by.

For this piece, we will absolve Umaru Yar'Adua of some of the PDP misrule when one considers that he was never in charge, as the cabal (whose stranglehold on the proverbial throat of Nigeria has never been in doubt) led by the one Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo et al essentially pulled his strings. When he (Yar'Adua) then dared to think for himself, he was murdered by the demonic powers behind the Nigerian throne of oppression.

Then came Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo again, as in his quest to maintain his inordinate hold and that of his fellow 'barbarians at the gate' on the destiny of Nigeria, he ensured that the next Nigerian leader would come from his "political family tree' (unfortunately, nothing good has ever come from any Obasanjo tree including his biological family tree). Thus, the dysfunctional reign of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, an absolute and utter misfit for any public office, was visited upon Nigerians.

It remains telling that only Goodluck Ebele Jonathan could have made an ethnic and religious bigot attractive to the same Nigerians that had rejected him (Muhammadu Buhari) a resounding three times (2003, 2007 and 2011) prior to his resounding victory in the 2015 general elections.

In case some have forgotten how we got here, this was the "scorecard" of the PDP misrule, particularly under Jonathan:

a) Coffers-to-personal account accountability (or lack-there-of) where public funds were used for personal gain including the extravagant wedding of GEJ's daughter http://www.myjoyonline.com/…/goodluck-jonathans-daughter-re….

b) An aviation industry (once led by Femi Fani-Kayode and then later by the certificate forging Stella Oduah) that was nothing short of a death trap. I should know as I lost a close relative, Deji Falae (Ondo State Commisioner for Culture and Tourism at the time) to one of those unfortunate but far-too-common air crashes under the PDP misrule.

c) Fabricated economic numbers embellished masterfully by sycophants in the Finance and Economic Ministries to obfuscate the fact that the average Nigerian could not afford the most basic amenities under the Jonathan misrule.

d) Religious over-reach where Jonathan consistently employed openly the advise and services of so-called Christian Pastors and even embarrassed the country by taking his whole cabinet to Israel to "pray". Can you imagine the outcry from the same hypocritical CAN (Christian Association of Nigeria) and their egunje leadership if PMB had gone to Saudi Arabia with his whole cabinet to pray?

e) Under Jonathan, the bigotry and balkanization of Nigeria was effectively set in motion as Jonathan was essentially committed to the disintegration of Nigeria; and this was made even more apparent with the systematic decimation of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Jonathan, in an act of subterfuge against the Nigerian state, then employed foreign mercenaries (former South African soldiers under the apartheid racist regime) to fight Boko Haram at the end of his unfortunate misrule. 

f) Do Nigerians also forget that Jonathan attempted to scuttle the democratic process during this period of shame and disgrace to the Nigerian nation by postponing the elections?

g) The use of the DSS to terrorize, intimidate and kill (thousands of people disappeared without trace) Nigerians in the North, the SE and the SW (in particular) with Femi Fani-Kayode, Ayo Fayose and Musiliu Obanikoro leading the assault on political opponents in the SW with the firm support of the DSS, much like the days of Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, that weaponization of a State Security apparatus against the citizenry has continued under the autocratic administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

h) Nigeria became a pariah state under Jonathan and effectively lost its voice both on the African continent and globally. Anyone who underestimates the forces that are against this current administration with its stated desire to sanitize the nation must be truly misinformed. The forces are both spiritual and physical and I will caution Nigerians that those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.  

And the circus has continued under the rudderless and despotic rulership (note I didn’t use the term leadership) of Muhammadu Buhari, who has proven himself to be just as incompetent a leader as he was as a soldier. Sadly, the teeming masses of hardworking and highly industrious Nigerians remain saddled with an unbecoming band of brigands and marauders as so-called leaders.

Nigerians need to realize that they are merely pawns in the game of high stakes chess being played by a corrupt and morally bankrupt political class. The truth is they (the political class) even intermarry and are not bothered by ethnic or religious so-called differences, while at the same time fanning the embers of ethnic and religious warfare among the desperately poor who just would like to have a fair shake in life, for once. 

As the late Sunny Okosun said in his famous song from almost three decades ago, "Which way Nigeria. Which way to go?" The answer lies squarely in the hands of the Nigerian people and the sooner they realize how much power they have to make a change, the sooner that change will come.  

Heaven, as they say, helps those who help themselves. 

Friday

Tuesday

Super Eagles of Nigeria: The Symbol of Excellence and Nigerian (Black) Exceptionalism

CC™ VideoSpective

In April 1994, the Super Eagles of Nigeria were ranked 5th in the FIFA World ranking, the highest FIFA ranking position ever achieved by an African football team to this day.

HISTORYVILLE

Wednesday

Flashback: The Smoking Cellphone: A Fulani jihadist killer's phone has numbers of Nigerian police and Army arms dealers

This cell phone had the numbers of Nigeria Police/Army contacts 

CC™ Breaking News 

Witnesses said more than 100 attackers rampaged through the village, shouting “Allahu akbar” as they shot people and burned homes.

The phone was left behind after more than 100 jihadists terrorized a predominantly Christian village in Angwan Magaji, located in the center of Nigeria’s badlands.

“My house was one of the first to be reached by the Fulani terrorists Sunday around 6 p.m. when about 160 of them charged from all sides of the village firing their rifles,” said Ezekiel Isa, a 27-year old farmer, who leads a group of young men loosely called vigilantes. “They came to my community mainly to kill us and burn our houses.”

“The attackers were all Muslims. They were shouting ‘Allahu Akbar,’” Isa said.  “They were speaking Fulani language, which we don’t know, but we could understand their words in our Hausa language, and they were saying ‘kill 150, kill 150, they are infidels, kill them!’ This is not the first time we faced attacks by the Fulani terrorists. They had killed many of our village last year.”

The Fulani, who practice Islam, although one of Nigeria’s minority ethnic groups, have become very powerful and influential over the decades by virtue of their clout in business, politics and government, the military in particular. While many are nomads, a number of prominent Nigerians—including President Muhammadu Buhari—are Fulani.

Isa said he rushed through the village telling women and children to run into the bush as fast as they could. He then retrieved his hidden shotgun and rallied the vigilante youth to return fire.

The Fulani attackers used rifles and machetes while the handful of vigilantes fired mostly primitive shotguns. “Our youth hid behind houses and stayed close to the ground to avoid being hit,” Isa said.

Although calls were made to the Nigerian army, no soldiers arrived to help, according to the villagers.

“The district police officer of Kamaru came on Monday around 5 p.m. together with the Honorable Shuaibu Goma, chairman of the local government, to consult with us over the killings,” Isa said. “The chairman said to us that he will bring relief materials for us but due to the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, it may take some time before he will come back again.”

The Fulani terrorists went from house to house, setting each on fire, until they had torched more than 50 houses in the hamlet holding approximately 600 residents. Vigilantes and terrorists exchanged shots for approximately 2 hours.

“Last year my father was killed, now they killed my mother” said Talatu Joseph, 35 as she broke into tears in front of her torched house. “My mother was telling me to go and hide, so I didn’t see their faces, I just ran save my life, and as I did my mother was killed.”

“The Fulani terrorists killed four people from my community,” Isa said. “Three were killed as a result of gun shots while one elderly man died of shock. Three older women were killed running to escape. They were the first to fall, but my vigilante group with vigilantes from neighboring communities killed one of the Fulani and injured some with shot.”

Jerry Adi, a 15-year-old vigilante, said he is the youngest on the defense team. “I am the youngest vigilante in my village, I am not afraid of Fulani herdsmen, I am ready to fight them, I have never killed any Fulani terrorists, but I will defend my community when there is no police support from the government.”

The cell phone found after the Fulani raid was not unique. A cell phone was recovered at an Irigwe village massacre in Plateau State in 2018 and was turned over to police. No arrests or prosecution followed, according to barrister Yakubu Bawa.

A series of terrorist attacks have been launched against several villages in the rural area in far western Plateau State since 2002, according to Kyle Abts, director of the International Committee on Nigeria, which tracks terrorist incidents.

“This is the fourth straight week of attacks in the area,” said Abts. “It is not a fight between ethnic groups, nor a pastoralist versus herder conflict. It is a coordinated and premeditated onslaught that has implications for government ineptitude, cover-up or involvement.”

Yet none of these attacks, taking hundreds of lives, were followed by prosecutions by Nigerian authorities, Bawa said.

Word of the killings in Kaduna State drew comment from Nigerian clergy of churches with majority expatriate members. “It is hard not to believe that the Nigerian government isn’t colluding with these attacks,” said the Rev. Sunday Bwanhot, a pastor of the Evangelical Church, Winning All. “We are pleading that the U.S. government will step into this situation to bring this colossal human abuse situation to control.”

Human rights observers called the attack evidence of an ongoing genocide. “The size of this attack by an organized, heavily armed Fulani militia numbering over 100 attackers is proof that these attacks are not “isolated incidents,” said Dr. Gregory H. Stanton, founding president of Genocide Watch, a human rights watchdog. “The attacks are not simply due to “traditional” herder-farmer ‘conflict.’  They are one-sided genocidal massacres.”

Tina Ramirez, president of Hardwired, a human rights organization with offices in Jos, agreed. “The recent attack on Christians in Bassa, Plateau State and the newly reported massacre in Ungwan Magaji in Kaduna State expose the grave failure of Nigeria’s government to protect its citizens—and the urgent need for officials to ease gun laws and allow communities to protect themselves and their families,” she said. “The glaring trend of violent attacks on Christian communities in the north cannot be ignored, and the government must be held accountable for failing to protect its citizens and leaving them defenseless against attacks.”

Source: Zenger News

Tuesday

Greatness Has A Price

CC™ VideoSpective

Monday

Be Legendary: No Excuses!

CC™ VideoSpective

Sunday

Flashback: Neo-Colonialism as the golden shackle: IMF declares 40% of African countries buried in debt..... Rich continent, poor masses

CC™ Global News

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, says 40 per cent of African countries are in debt distress. 

She described Africa as a continent of opportunities and one with many troubles, noting that the focus was to help countries have sound macro-economic policies, improve the investment climate and show it to the rest of the world.

"Africa is a continent of opportunities and what we are looking for is for this opportunity to be harnessed to the maximum. It is also a continent with many troubles; so, we have to be mindful of these risks especially security risks," she said.

Commenting on the debt levels of countries, the newly appointed IMF MD said, "Are we worried about debt levels in Africa? Yes, because 40 per cent of the countries have gone into debt distress levels.

"In some cases, we are concerned about that but in other cases, we see that investment is going to pay off over time.

"Take the case of Kenya, we advise Kenya to be more cautious in building debt but we have seen good macroeconomic policy in Kenya.

"In cases where debt is dangerous like Zambia, we do say you need to get a handle on your debt. In Ethiopia, we say you need to renegotiate some of your debts because it is non-concessional for things that should be on a concessional basis.

"One has to remember that debt on its own is not bad. It is bad when it goes with the wrong things and when it goes with the speed that the economy cannot handle."

Georgieva said countries that were experiencing higher growth rate had done so by borrowing for investments that could generate growth and eliminating red tape for local and foreign investors.

She said the IMF would hold a 'concentrated' meeting with African leaders in December to discuss debt sustainability.

Source: The Cable

Wednesday

Still on Constitutionalism: A wake-up call

Late Nigerian Dictator Sani Abacha

CC™ Nigeriaworld

By Abdulrazaq Magaji

Over the past several months, the restructuring debate has understandably been pushed to the front burner with opinions on the issue being as impassioned as they are divided. Expectedly, every Nigerian appears to have an idea on how, when and what to restructure.

That is the way it should be! But, with popular opinion in support of preserving the continued existence of Nigeria as one, united country, attention should be focused on restructuring to strengthen political structures. It is good that the ninth Senate has activated a nationwide debate on securing a people-oriented constitution.

It might not have been top on the agenda when then Head of State, General Sani Abacha, convoked the National Constitutional Conference in 1994, but, little did he know that he had surreptitiously set the country on the path of restructuring.  Had death not abridged General Abacha’s plans, it is safe to say that all the hot air over marginalization, more imagined than real, and some of the ills we are grappling with, would have been consigned to history.

Reference here is to stillborn report of the 1994/95 National Constitutional Conference. A review of salient provisions of the report shows that, had it seen the light of day, Nigeria would have transformed from a country of contending ethnic nationalities into a modern nation-state in a matter of thirty years! In a manner of speaking, the Abacha draft is the best effort at constitutionalism since independence in 1960.

Sadly, General Abacha died suddenly after holding the country together for five impossible years. Imperatively, survival instincts demanded that General Abacha be disowned by those who succeeded him. The national emergency then was to heal wounds and woo the aggrieved South-west geo-political zone back into the fold. It was, therefore, expedient for his stopgap successor, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, to distance himself as much as possible. The biggest casualty was the report of Confab ’94.

One of the committees hurriedly assembled by the new administration to explore the way forward was led by an eminent jurist, late Justice Niki Tobi. The Committee appeared to be in a haste to deliver; after all, it had its briefs well spelt out. The Committee took one hasty look at the Abacha Report and dismissed it offhanded as ‘anti-people’. Remarkably, the eminent jurist rationalized the decision to throw away the Abacha document by claiming it was the ‘product of a disputed legitimacy’. In its place, the 1979 constitution was lazily window-dressed and closed shop!

As things stand today, Nigeria continues to grope partly due to the lethargy with which the Abacha document was handled. The nation’s official six geo-political zones remains an enduring legacy of General Abacha. In any case, the zones were meant to be the building blocks for the fundamental changes envisaged by the 1995 draft constitution which made provision for the offices of president, vice president, senate president, house speaker as well as the position of prime minister and deputy prime minister. A five-year single-term for political offices. Public office holders were restricted to a five-year single-term tenure.

The ‘Abacha document’ had something for everybody. Had political exigencies not prevailed on General Abubakar into literally throwing away the baby with the bathwater, Nigeria would, by now, have experimented with the Abacha formula for twenty-two   of the ‘thirty-year transition period’ which aim was to ‘promote national cohesion and integration’, after which merit and competence would replace rotation in determining who gets what.

In strict adherence to the principle of rotation envisaged by the Abacha document, at no point in time would any of the six geo-political zones have cause to complain of marginalization since there was always going to be one ‘juicy’ office to be vied for by each of the zones every five years. What this means is that, in 2018, the fifth of the six zones would have produced a president for the country and, by 2023, all six key political offices would have gone round the six geopolitical zones on rotational basis.

Of equal importance is that the unique provision eliminates the incumbency factor and its attendant abuses. Since the draft envisaged its replication at state levels, the president and other principal officers as well as state governors and stand disqualified from standing election for the same office during their five-year single term incumbency!

More than two decades after ‘throwing away the baby with the bath water’, Nigerians are still playing the ostrich instead of sobering up and still living in denial.  overgrowing the prejudices of the Abacha era. As a matter of fact, the Abacha document was so comprehensive to have anticipated the untenable and wrong-headed agitations across the country and the hollow talk of marginalization that comes with it. Now, can and, should Nigerians continue to play the ostrich and allow lawlessness to dominate the political scene? Are we to allow a rambunctious few to continue to stampede us and dominate national discourse in the face of quick-fix solutions?

Of course, the talk of dissolving Nigeria is hot air that lacks substance. Yes, there is need to restructure and this should not be mistaken for a breakup as some have been programmed to believe. We need to restructure in a way every section of the country will, at all times, be appropriately represented in governance. The ‘Abacha document’ took care of these and more. The document suggested a five-year single-term for elective posts. To restructure in a way that lawmaking will be inexpensive and effective, the draft made provision for part-time lawmaking!

Of course, Nigeria should restructure in a way that treasury looters will not get dubious clean bills from regular courts or be shielded from prosecution. It may interest Nigerians and their elected representatives that there is no proclamation for the much-abused immunity clause for any public office holder in the Abacha draft for the president and vice president as well as governors and their deputies. The pestiferous eighth Assembly that canvassed for a dubious immunity for its principal officers was not expected to look at the document; it didn’t!

Nigerians should give the thumbs-up to the leadership of the current Senate for taking the bull by the horn. To achieve desired results, Nigerians must begin to look beyond General Abacha and ditch the prejudices that characterized his days. The task ahead may seem insuperable but it is not invincible. 

The task will be made easier if we tinker with report of Confab ’95. 

Tuesday

Flashback: White Evangelicals Made a Deal With the Devil. Now What?

Donald Trump holds a Bible outside St John's Church in Washington DC. Credits: Getty Images
CC™  Viewpoint

By Sarah Jones

In the end, white Christian America stood by its man. The exit polls present an imperfect but definitive picture. At least three-quarters of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in November, a figure largely unchanged from 2016. Evangelicals didn’t win Trump another four years in power, but not for lack of effort. While most of America tired of the president’s impieties, the born-again found in themselves a higher tolerance for sin.

And the sins are legion, lest we forget. He tear-gassed protesters so he could walk to a D.C. church and hold a Bible upside-down in front of it without interference. He lied and cheated, and smeared women who accused him of sexual assault. He separated migrant children from their parents and staffed his administration with white nationalists. Over a quarter of a million Americans died of coronavirus, while he railed against doctors and scientists trying to save lives. Not even a plague turned evangelicals from their earthly lord. For Trump, the consequences are political and legal. For evangelicals, the fallout has a more spiritual quality. What does it profit a faith to gain a whole country and then lose it, along with its own soul?

Evangelicals had more to lose than Republicans, for reasons I learned in church as a child. You can’t evangelize anyone if your testimony is poor. If you disobey your parents, or wear a skirt that falls above your knees, how can anyone believe you’re saved? Another Sunday School lesson, conveniently forgotten? Be sure that your sin will find you out. Evangelicals bought power, and the bill is coming due. The price is their Christian witness, the credibility of their redemption by God. Evangelicalism won’t disappear after Trump, but its alliance with an unpopular and brutal president could alienate all but the most zealous. 

To be evangelical in the 1990s was to learn fear. The world was so dangerous, and our status in it so fragile. The fossil record was a lie, and scientists knew it. You could not watch the Teletubbies because Jerry Falwell thought the purple one was gay. No Disney, either, and not because Walt had been a fascist; Disneyworld allowed a gay pride day, and in one scene of The Lion King, you could see the stars spell out “sex.” You were lucky to even be alive, to have escaped the abortion mill. The predominantly white evangelical world in which I was raised had created its own shadow universe, a buffer between it and the hostile world. Our parents could put us in Christian schools or homeschool us; if they did risk public school, we could take shelter with groups like YoungLife and the Fellowship Christian of Athletes, which would tell we to make the most of this chance to save souls. We had alternatives for everything; our own pop music, our own kids’ shows, our own versions of biology and U.S. history, and an ecosystem of colleges and universities to train us up in the way we should go: toward the Republican Party, and away from the left, with no equivocation.

Whatever the cause, whatever the rumor, the fear was always the same. It was about power, and what would happen if we lost it. Certain facts, like the whiteness of our congregations and the maleness of our pulpits and the shortcomings of our leaders, were not worth mentioning. You were fighting for God, and God was not racist or sexist; He was only true. The unsaved hated this, it made them angry, and that was proof you were doing the right thing. If “owning the libs” has a discernible origin point, it’s here, in the white evangelical church.

While I was in college and Trump was still a reality show star, evangelicals faced a crisis in the pews. Young people were leaving the church, and they weren’t coming back. The first signs arrived in 2007, in the last hopeful months before the Great Recession. A pair of Christian researchers released a study with troubling implications for the future of the church. Young people aged 16 to 29 were skeptical of Christianity and of evangelicalism in particular, concluded Dave Kinnaman of the Barna Group and Gabe Lyons of the Fermi Group. “Half of young churchgoers said they perceive Christianity to be judgmental, hypocritical, and too political,” they wrote. Among the unchurched, attitudes were even more negative. A mere 3 percent said they had positive views of evangelicalism, a precipitous decline from previous generations.

I interviewed Lyons about his research while I was a student journalist at Cedarville University, a conservative Baptist school in Ohio. By the time I graduated, I’d become one of his statistics, an atheist with a minor in Bible. Trump was not even a glimmer in Steve Bannon’s eye, but the evangelical tradition had already asked me to tolerate many sins. There was George W. Bush and his catastrophic invasion of Iraq; welfare policies that starved the poor; the dehumanization of immigrants, of LGBT people, of women who do not wish to stay pregnant, and my own, non-negotiable submission to men. At some point I realized that I had traveled some distance in my mind, and I could not go back the way I came. I was over it, I was through.

The years after my personal exodus brought with them more proof that the church was in trouble. Partisanship did not entirely explain why. Membership declined fastest in mainline congregations, even though they tend to be more liberal than the independent churches of my youth. Social media has expanded the philosophical marketplace; all Christian traditions face competition from new ideologies for the hearts and minds of the young. But conservative denominations are suffering, too. The Southern Baptist Convention said this June it had experienced its thirteenth consecutive year of membership decline. By age 22, two-thirds of adults who attend Protestant services as teenagers have dropped out of church for at least a year, LifeWay Research found last year, and a quarter cited political disagreements as the reason. An alliance with a president the young largely hated might not lure new generations to the fold.

Years of attrition have taken a toll on white evangelicals, said Robert Jones, the author of White Christian America and the founder of the Public Religion Research Institute. “If you go back a couple of election cycles ago, into Barack Obama’s first election, they were 21 percent of the population, and today they are 15 percent of the population,” he told me. The share of Black evangelicals has remained relatively stable, he added, while the numbers of Latino evangelicals have grown. And while these groups ostensibly share a religious label, politically they are far apart.

“If I take the religious landscape, and I sort religious groups by their support for one candidate or the other, what inevitably happens is that there are no two groups further away from each other in that sorting than white evangelical Protestants and African-American Protestants,” Jones said, adding that Latino evangelicals are “a little more divided.” (Indeed, Trump won significant support from this group in 2020.)

But white evangelicals are still outliers overall: They’re more conservative than other Protestants, more conservative than Catholics, more conservative, in fact, than any other demographic in the country. The implicit claim of the Moral Majority — that it embodied mainstream opinion — always lacked evidence, but it’s become even less true over time. By the time Trump applied Richard Nixon’s label of a “silent majority” to his own coalition, it barely made sense at all. A bloc that can only take the White House through the electoral college, and not the popular vote, only to lose it outright four years later, has no claim to majority status. They are a remnant within a remnant, a nation within a nation.

There are still dissenters. Last year, the outgoing editor of Christianity Today, Mark Galli, called for Trump’s removal from office. Galli wrote the typical approach for his magazine was to “stay above the fray,” and “allow Christians with different political convictions to make their arguments in the public square, to encourage all to pursue justice according to their convictions and treat their political opposition as charitably as possible,” he wrote. But Trump had abused the power of his office and revealed a “grossly deficient moral character.” Galli has since converted to Catholicism, a decision he explained to Religion News Services as being more personal than political.

Others stay. But they can experience a painful friction between their spiritual convictions and political independence. My parents, both pro-life evangelicals, have now voted against Trump twice. I spoke to another by Skype, not long before the election.

I know Marlena Proper Graves from my days at that Baptist university, when I was an upstart college feminist, and she was a resident director and the spouse of a professor. Now the author of two books on faith and a doctoral candidate at Bowling Green State University, Graves worries about the influence of Trump, and Trump’s party, on her beloved church. The word “evangelical,” she noted, had always referred to a constellation of beliefs. “You have a relationship with God, God cares about you, God cares about all people, and Christ is central,” she said, ticking them off. “But now it seems to be something of a culture.” That culture is an exclusionary one. “I’ve been disinvited from events because of my views and activism for immigrants, because it’s controversial,” she said.

When Proper was young, she told me, she listened to Christian radio all the time, just like I did. Preachers and commentators like James Dobson, a famed radio personality and the founder of Focus on the Family, would opine on the issues of the day, on morality, and virtue. “All these people would talk about character,” she said. “How you can’t vote for Bill Clinton in particular because of Monica Lewinsky, because he had affairs.” Then came Trump. “People said, first, that they didn’t think he would win. Then it was all about abortion and judges. I felt like I was being punked,” she remembered. But many evangelicals are in on the joke. Faced with popular rejection and the humiliation of Trump, they declare themselves persecuted, and identify numerous enemies. The mission remains the same: Purify the nation, and pacify the barbarians.

Beyond the usual celebrity preacher scandals, the faith’s place in the broader Christian right required it to make moral compromises it never tolerated among the rank-and-file members of the flock. Our definition of morality narrowed the further up the pyramid you climbed. For the politicians we backed, it shrank to a pinprick point: Ronald Reagan was divorced. What mattered instead to the Moral Majority was his opposition to abortion, his hippie-bashing, his ability to trade in euphemisms about “states’ rights.” Two Bush presidents later, thrice-married Trump gave evangelicals the conservative Supreme Court of their dreams.

As hypocritical as white evangelical support for Trump may look from the outside, the president actually understood his base quite well. Eight years of a Black, liberal president threatened their hegemony. So had the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Sarah Posner, an investigative journalist and the author of Unholy: Why White Evangelicals Worship at the Altar of Donald Trump, told me that Trump managed to tap into two key evangelical tendencies. “Those two things were the racial grievances of the white base of the Republican Party, and how televangelism had changed evangelicalism from the 1970s onward,” she said.

Galli, the former Christianity Today editor, believes Trump also appealed to an entrenched evangelical sense of marginalization. By the time same-sex marriage was legalized, public opinion on LGBT rights had already liberalized; the gap between white evangelicals, and everyone else, on matters of sexuality is now wider than it’s ever been. “Here comes Donald Trump, saying it’s OK to be Christian, it’s OK to have your values, it’s OK to practice your values in the public square. And he does this in a very authoritative manner,” Galli explained. Trump didn’t know his Scripture, but he knew there was a war on, and that was enough. The nation’s culture warriors had found their general.

Evangelicals, Galli added, “are deeply suspicious of human authority,” but only to a point. What they may fear, really, is authority they don’t control. “Paradoxically,” he continued, “they are a group that’s attracted to authoritarian leaders, whether that person be a pastor of a megachurch or a dictator.” Those tendencies existed before Trump. With the help of the far-right press, social media, and alternative institutions, they will survive Trump, too.

“I think that the thing that we have to keep our eye on is the ways in which the infrastructure that they built gives them an advantage beyond what their numbers would tell you,” Posner said. Conservative evangelicals already know that they’re no longer the Moral Majority, and they’ve found a way to make it work for them. “They’ll recognize, for example, that they may be in the minority on LGBTQ rights, but in their view, that’s all the more reason that they should be protected by either the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or the First Amendment, in having the right to discriminate against LGBTQ people.”

That infrastructure still churns out new acolytes, who embrace the worst elements of the tradition we all used to share. The same movement that produced me also spawned Madison Cawthorn, a Republican elected to Congress last month. He was born the year the Southern Baptist Convention first apologized for slavery, and he will be the youngest member of Congress when he takes office in January. He’ll also be one of furthest-right Republicans in office, with a personal life that once again tests the bounds of evangelical toleration for sin. Women from his Christian homeschooling community in North Carolina and women who studied with him at the conservative Patrick Henry College have accused him repeatedly of sexual harassment and misconduct. A racist website linked to his campaign criticized a local journalist for leaving academia to “work for non-white males” like Senator Cory Booker, “who aims to ruin white males.” After he won, he celebrated with a tweet. “Cry more, lib,” he wrote.

There’s time for Cawthorn to self-immolate on a pyre of his own sins before he’s old enough to run for president. But there will be other Cawthorns, other white evangelical candidates who will try to master Trumpism-without-Trump. They might not need an army to win, either. The GOP already knows it doesn’t have to be popular to stay in power. They need a radical remnant, and a lot of dirty tricks. Republicans can get what they want by suppressing the vote, or by undermining our confidence in elections. They can protect themselves through the subtle tyranny of inequality, which empowers the wealthy while alienating the most under-represented among us. A party out of step with most voters must either reform, or it must cheat. This, too, is something the modern GOP has in common with the Christian right. Democracy is the enemy. People can’t be trusted with their own souls. Leave them to their own devices, and they make the wrong choices, take the easy way out, threaten everything holy. They need a savior, whether they like it or not.

INTELLIGENCER

Sunday

The art of managing people

Editor-in-Chief 

Organizations struggle everyday with the germane issue of what the effective management of people, an organization's most prized asset, actually entails. The effective management of people within an organization requires a thorough understanding of the following: 
  
  • Motivation - Whether intrinsic or extrinsic and the importance of positive triggers....
  • Job design and environment....
  • Company's rewards system and how it is structured and also possibly layered....
  • Group influence as a function of Group-think and other allegiances....
Motivation
Human beings are creatures of habit and by that, I mean it is natural to expect that individuals will have different triggers within their genetic and socio-cultural make-up, that ultimately control what their motivations are, where they originate from or worse still, whether or not they have any at all.
Of course, as a business owner or a leader, you would hope you haven't hired someone or lead a group of people on the bottom rung of the Motivation Trigger Index™ (MTI).
Usually, one finds that most people with intrinsic motivation tend to have a higher MTI. They are the high achievers and are usually not driven to succeed or excel necessarily as a result of positive external triggers, but do so because it is just in their make-up. It is however important to note that for these group, the Positive External Triggers (PETs) only serve to further elevate their MTI scores. As for those, whose Motivational Intelligence (MI) require external triggers, they tend to be either in the middle or the lower rung of the Motivation Trigger Index™. People in this category tend to require an appreciable amount of Positive External Triggers (PETs) and ironically, if they have quite a bit of this, they are bound to excel at their tasks, in some cases, even with distinction. However, unlike the first group, their MTI scores tend to vacillate between just above average to poor, as a function of the amount of PETs they are exposed to in their work and related environment.
Job Design and Environment
Over the years, scientific management has sought to strip workers of their initiative, thus ridding the work environment of key intangibles such as skill set diversity, autonomy and most important of all, feedback, constructive or otherwise.
A perfect example of empowering employees and creating an environment that engenders optimum productivity and creativity is to seek input from your employees, even when you, as a leader, know what the solution to a problem is. They may even suggest the solution you have in mind and you can give them credit for it.
Rewards System
The rewards system must be one that does not give rise to suspicion or insinuations of favoritism. While majority of organizations, big or small, insist on building a "team atmosphere", it is imperative that top performers, particularly those that most closely espouse the company's core principles within the framework of its corporate culture, are duly rewarded and recognized as such.
This process should however be carefully monitored and managed, so as to ensure that everyone (including the non-monetary contributors) feels a sense of belonging to the organization, through their own respective contributions.
It is a well-known fact that the successful execution of a company's business strategy must involve everyone on the ship.
Group Influence
This can either be a "good thing" or a "bad thing", but it depends on how you look at it. Now, while it can create a negative work environment due to its potentially divisive and mostly political nature, it is an unavoidable phenomenon.
Most organizations have learned to not only exist but also flourish with just the "right amount" of group-think, as it actually may engender a spirit of collaboration towards reaching the ultimate objectives of the organization.
The overriding attitude becomes one where the conclusion is that if the company wins, then everyone wins. 

© 2024 2CG MEDIA. Coker Confidential™

Saturday

Yes, racism is still very much alive and will always be here.....

CC™ Editor's VideoSpective


This ABC experiment on racial prejudice is quite revealing and speaks not only to the prejudices carried by the "majority", but those unfortunately imbibed by the recipients, as a result of centuries of a sense of diminished self-worth, resulting from institutional and related racial prejudice.

Watch and learn.....