We need to work harder for freedom

  • Khalid Wasi

    Khalid Wasi


The fight against being oppressed is not the same as fighting for freedom. Every liberation battle does not end with freedom as an automatic consequence.

Liberators and seekers of freedom are often conflated; the very ideas are often conflated. We could say with ease and near certainty that no one wants oppression and yet still be true in saying not everyone wants freedom.

This paradox, in so many episodes, underscores a metaphor with which the world is wrestling.

I wonder why it is that our present generation does not have ideals to which to aspire. I find myself asking the question about the values that we were raised on, which in many cases have all but vanished, even simple ones such as respect for elders.

The question of did we fail to pass the torch on, is superseded with another question of whether we, indeed, had a torch? And if so, what was the fuel igniting that torch.

Was the fuel igniting our torch vengeance, was it a desire to have what the oppressor had, or just a cry for relief from bigotry and suffering? Let’s be clear: there is indeed a moral justification to want an end to and relief from bigotry and suffering, and there is no crime in wanting material success or power. However, it is a higher ideal to want to live in a world of freedom.

A free world cannot happen without effort; it requires mutuality. A free world is a shared effort based on the idea of equality and the agreed right of inclusive participation.

The fight for freedom is different from a fight against being oppressed in that it is a declaration of mutuality and the fundamental, inalienable right of all persons to enjoy liberty.

A fight for freedom is not just a fight against an enemy; it is a fight for the enemy as well. It’s a fight not just to destroy the beast, but to turn the beast into a human.

Too often in human history, we see the saga where the oppressed create a beast to fight the beast, with the unfortunate result of maintaining and legitimising bestiality.

Bestiality becomes not only a means towards an end; it becomes the end.

This impeachment trial is perhaps one of the greatest testimonies to the issue of constitutionality and the principle of standing for truth that we may ever see in our lifetime, with even more significance than a General Election.

The trial pulls more on our instincts for moral courage than a well-orated sermon. The question looms: will a spark falling from this episode light a fire in our conscience or will this be just a great TV documentary.

The world stands before a great precipice, in the words of Shakespeare. “To be or not to be.” America, the great light on the hill, the only real experiment of a democracy in the world, will either descend into monarchy or move towards the freedoms once declared 230 years ago.

Bermuda sits on the outside of that ideal, pulled only so slightly towards that light. I fear, with that light gone, we will sink into complete darkness unless we light a fire of our own.

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Published Jan 31, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Jan 31, 2020 at 12:04 pm)

We need to work harder for freedom

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