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© Bernard W. Saunders
Iture-Elmina Ghana
September 16, 2014

(Titta, now an honored Ancestor,  once a revered elder, and  though  illiterate,  a wise mentor of my Caribbean bred wife; use to say that “politics bite harder than cattle ticks”.  Abused and victimized under British colonial rule she refused to attend anglicized church or sing the British National anthem).

                                    Politricks (c) 

                                    Here we go again

the politricksters

Are befuddling us.

9 billion USA dollars

loaded on pallets and flown to Iraq.

No accountability.

Ghana flies 3 million


Brazil for a soccer team.

No accountability.

We elect the tricksters

and they do just that.



I Am befuddled.

Where am I?

I sit on my rented porch in Nature’s classroom continuing to marvel at the lessons learned by observation. I’ve noticed over a couple of weeks that a funnel-like hole had opened in the ground. There was a mound of dirt around the rim. From time to time I thought I detected movement, but it was so slow and stealth like that I could not be sure. If I lost my focus or concentration, became distracted by one thing or another I would lose sight of it.

As the hole is almost directly in my line of sight as I sit in nature’s classroom, I began to notice pinkish/red movement within the cone, in contrast to the khaki colored sand. Aha! Then I noticed that the pink and red was in multiples. Another aha moment. This slow motion frame by frame revelation had taken days. When the legs revealed themselves at the rim top under a gray colored shell, I knew I was on to something, but not sure what.

A friend of mine, a long term resident of Ghana, like me a refugee out of Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn New York USA,  cleared it up for me when I pointed out the hole in the ground.

“That’s a sand crab” he said in response to my question about what he thought it was.

With that information I continued my daily observation of the stealth crab. It would draw my attention as I was doing my exercise soon after sunrise to the accompaniment of the birds singing, the crowing of roosters and the ocean pounding the continental shelf.

I stretch and sway with the almond, coconut and morenga trees;  the grass, some of which is tall enough to obscure a person of average height, that surrounds my property and that of a neighbor under cultivation  moves with the morning breeze coming off the ocean. I pray and chant.

It is in moments like these, and like the one happening as I write this with the sun high in the bright blue sky, laced with cotton ball clouds that I realize how blessed I am. Blessed to be alive. Blessed to be living without the racial dispersions of the USA.

Even as I sit outside with no running water in my rental; with the “lights out” (electricity cut by power company allegedly a conservation measure), depriving me of access to the internet; the hum of the traffic on the major roadway doesn’t drown out the calming sound of the ocean; nor the soothing breeze.

I came to Ghana in search of healing at 77 years of age from the trauma of living in the United States with my ancestry, traditions, heritage and humanity being constantly denigrated for my lifetime. Having written in the past of my being disillusioned with the difference between the mythical (all men created equal) USA and the reality of living in the (racialist) USA I feel no need to elaborate further.

Paradoxically, I have found in my second year of living here in Ghana that I have lost truth. For here too, Ghana’s mythical past, with its own traditions and heritage, has succumbed to the reality of living in 21st century Ghana, dominated by western culture and systems.

In my youth in the USA I was introduced to Africa through movies about Tarzan and Jungle Jim, that largely showed ignorant Africans living in poverty and a state of pagan barbarism being led to civilization by European males, many of whom were missionaries.

Those same theaters showed my indigenous maternal forebears as savage Native Americans being subdued and rescued from their lives of barbarism by yes once again, European males, many of whom again were missionaries.

The mental engineering I underwent was so successful that I wanted to be the cowboy at play and never the Indian or despised “redskins”.

I was again introduced to Africa, the historic, mythical Africa under the guidance of some of the great African scholars of the 20th century, through such organizations as the African Heritage Studies Association. That accelerated the re-engineering to self identification.

Much like the reality of living in the USA; the reality of living in Ghana, with its class, almost caste-like traditions; and what some have described as a theocracy, due to the government’s support of religious based education; displaced the myth. Ghana and the USA share a common colonizer with England’s legacy of judicial, education, political and religious systems; systemically attempting to at the least weaken and if possible destroy the indigenous culture.

The  loss of Africa’s culture in the long term as it is European/Americanized outweighs the short term devastation of the extraction of Ghana’s natural resources in importance in the long term. African culture serves, served as a bulwark against the ongoing colonization of the African mind to paraphrase John Henrik Clarke.

To come to Ghana then, to find the descendants of the European/Arab power structure which  enslaved Africans,  being genuflected to by today’s African elite and populace; who continue to go hat in hand, on bended knee to the system which created the conditions succor is being sought from is, to an ascendant such as myself of the diaspora created as a result of the Atlantic slave trade to be disconcerting is to say the least and ludicrous at its best.

None of which negates my feelings of being blessed by the opportunity to live here, despite the challenges, and all of the propaganda to the contrary. Sometimes the realization of my blessings comes through what I call “the portal” at 3 A.M.  When I lie abed fully awake, listening and feelings. That is when understanding comes that humanity’s truth is relative; universal truth is constant.

It was while in the “portal” that I realized that it is the children who are at fault for dying today as they have for eons. Yes the children, for having chosen to be born to parents on the wrong side of whatever line: racial, ethnic, religious, cultural, geographic, political.

This came in response to an e-mail another refugee had forwarded me from the USA about the death of children in one of the myriad wars soaking the earth with the blood of innocents.

The end result is that the children are at fault according to the politricksters for having the temerity to be born to parents who very often either have something the tricksters want or even worse are unwanted, thus being classified as expendable.

Having been classified as expendable at different phases of my life by politicians and their minions, I have concluded that is not the case, that such classifications are not acceptable. All life is sacred.

The sand crab helped me to realize how “Politricksters” was applicable to all political systems that I have knowledge of.  I don’t have to speak or understand the language to understand the results.

From the shenanigans at my local intro-community level through the national to the international: language, culture, religion, ethnicity, race are markers; when the results are overlaid the sand crab makes it clear: It is the end result that are telling.

Politricksters are politricksters no matter where they are located. It is the mind-set that is the imperative.  The chattel enslavement of Africans; Titta’s experience under colonialism; the creation of the United States, out of the destruction of the indigenous population, with its wealth constructed on the back and blood of enslaved Africans; the current governance of Ghana and much of Africa, are the spawns of the same mind-set.

I was recently privileged to listen to a regional chief visiting his local constituents bemoan the fact that the village had been without a chief for decades; impeding progress due to differences among the leadership. Within a week he summoned the opposing sides to his palace and gave them a deadline to resolve their issues or he would impose sanctions.

I do not speak the language, but I understood him to say at the village meeting that if leadership failed they should be replaced. It was not clear to me if that was confined to the local level.

What was clear to me, was that a similar failure of leadership has occurred within my own community; with opposing factions failing to resolve their differences for the good of the community.

In both the case of the village and my own community there were not only two factions that failed; there was also a failure on the part of a third segment: The communities-for failure to demand leadership-lead-and to hold leadership accountable-that is the responsibility of the community.

That is certainly applicable on the national and international level as well.

I have come to visualize the two opposing factions as two sides of a triangle resting on the base, the foundation, that is the larger community or populace. It is from this base that power flows upwards.

The politricksters have inverted the power flow by convincing the populace that power flows down. That is not the case.

The populace, the leadership and the sand crab have much common. We dig a hole, periodically stick our heads up, look around, then drag whatever we find back into the hole with us. Sadly with humanity it is often the children.

One recent indication of why I know I am blessed is that I was having lunch outside at a friend’s restaurant, that some  have deemed a “peace garden”, when a black and yellow butterfly landed on my plate. One came very close to resting on me.

I know that despite the lessons of the sand crab and the politricksters, if I remain still enough internally, that the blessing of the butterfly landing will manifest.

The sand crab hole was covered with a mound of dirt/sand. I am not sure if the sand crab did it, or one of its natural predators, or by humans (Humans are the primary predators of all forms life on this planet).  As I did not see it dug, I did not see it covered. It went as it came.  It is open again.

The newly selected chief was placed on his stool, with all the cultural pomp and ceremony befitting the occasion; seating him on the seat of power the people expect him to lead from.

Titta you were  so right. 

(For a fortnight African centered analysis of Ghana, from a current Ghanian viewpoint, I recommend  Nana Kobina Nketsia V book: “African Culture in Governance and Development…….”; University of Cape Coast, Nov. 2013).


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