Right of reply


Julian Kamau has written a letter to us privileged Kenyans to check our privilege. For clarity, you are privileged if

You have stocked your fridge with food to last you a month during this coronavirus period, you have stocked your pantry with dry foods to last you a week or a month, you are working from home with a laptop, you own a car (s), use a taxi or are picked from home and dropped by the office car, you live in a gated community or have 24-hour security at your home, your biggest worry right now is inconsistent internet or the disrupted power meaning you won’t watch your favorite series on Netflix, Showmax or DSTV.

Why is Julian so irked by this class of Kenyans? She thinks we believe

The Kenyans you see being brutally beaten by the police on the streets are not lazy, ignorant or difficult.

which leaves me asking where did she get this idea from? Is she projecting her feelings on the rest of the privileged class as she calls it? For one, I think our cops and those who lead them need a course on humanness. More importantly, they need mass brain transplants. They collectively as a group have no brains. Or maybe, Nietzsche was right, in mobs, insanity or madness is the norm not the exception. Kenyans know their government is violent. That there is little difference between the colonial and post colonial regimes is evident to anyone who bothers to check. Violence is always an order away. Dialogue is not an option. In fact all the opportunities are closed once an order to use force is issued.

Instead of throwing aspersions at the privileged class, we should question the government’s logic of leaving out taxis, public transport vehicles out of essential service providers? How are people to go home? On the one hand, these buses and vans have to operate at below 60% capacity, how are people to go home? Further, the government asked factories to operate in shifts, how will employees get to work? Employers, why not shorten your work hours so people can go home early and not be afoul of the law?

I respect the non-privileged class so much to believe they can speak for themselves. I also believe they are capable of assessing their situation and deciding how best to proceed. Let’s not make victims of people who don’t consider themselves victims. Our lives are intertwined & a lockdown would affect many of us negatively. I am an architect & my income depends on people being able to invest & construct. So while according to Julian I am a very privileged Kenyan, I am alive to the challenges of the casual worker in a construction site. If I close my sites completely, I consign them to starvation.

So I disagree with Julian where she writes

You must first know that you are privileged then use that position to speak for the less privileged in society or just keep your mouth shut.

because I think even the poor or less privileged can speak for themselves. Why appoint yourself their speaker and push them further away from where they can be heard? In fact, in these times, it is not just the less privileged who need to be heard, but everyone whose livelihood is on the line. That hotel employee, that bar waiter, the hotel owner, airline employee, and anyone else adversely affected by the continued restrictions on movement.

I find this accusation

Unlike you, coronavirus is just one of their problems but it’s the least of their problems. I know this might be too complex for you to comprehend

far fetched and unjustified. Many Kenyans privileged and non privileged alike understand how precocious our stations in life are. One is always a sickness away from poverty. I don’t know about Julian, but many of us belong to extended families with people in different stations or classes that only those blinded by fortune would be unaware of the problems of the lower classes.

But I agree with her that calls for total lockdown are ill advised without a commensurate solution to their daily needs. You cannot tell a person who is paid only on days worked to stay home to look at the roof and not provide for their basic needs. This corrupt government I am almost certain doesn’t have the means, the capacity or even the will to help the urban poor. If an allocation were to be made to help them, their numbers would be inflated & a handful of people will have a windfall.

So maybe, it is Julian who should know that the privileged Kenyan is not stupid. They are aware of what a lockdown would imply to their lives and everyone around them.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

65 thoughts on “Right of reply

  1. john zande says:

    Sharp learning curve for all.

    But regarding class, I’ve always thought you riding a carriage pulled by three-hundred singing peacocks was just a little over-the-top. In these hard times, tame it down a tad, brother.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “This corrupt government I am almost certain doesn’t have the means, the capacity or even the will to help the urban poor.” Our corrupt gov’t, I believe, actually does have the means to do this. They simply choose not to, as the wealthy to them are the only important members of society. Idiots running government is a true world-wide pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Your government, like ours, exist for the rich. If the poor benefit it is by accident

      Liked by 1 person

    • basenjibrian says:

      Well, given the rounds of tax cuts for the already insanely, obscenely wealthy (how could the remaining Koch Brother even spend his billions in profits from coal and other dirty industries anyway?), and our trillion dollar wars, the American government’s “resources” basically means more borrowed money. Have you seen the deficits? Why do Republicans no longer care about deficits when they are in charge? Ironically, often from the Chinese, but that flood will eventually be tapped out, no? But in all cases, the wealthy siphon interest payments from the new debt, so hey, win win, no?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. shelldigger says:

    Well damn, we have some food in the house and we have a car. What to do? I’m privileged! Is there a way to wash it off? What you can’t see is the skint knuckles, great risk of life and limb, and a back barely capable of carrying me around anymore. That is the price of privilege for the working class.

    Our police hide behind a thin blanket of “protect and serve” but in reality they are ready to go full SS in an instant. We are no better off than you Im afriad, we just have concealer to hide the reality, and press to report it. Also cell phones with video…

    I love IBtD1’s comment. He nailed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. basenjibrian says:

    This is the same kind of pompous, self righteous yet masochistic nonsense that the modern American “liberal” press still publishes. This writer could have an amazing career with the New York Times if you all decide you have had enough of him and run him out of town.

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  5. Ron says:

    What the author deems ‘privileged’ was once called prudence. I guess she hasn’t read “The Ant and the Grasshopper”.

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    • Barry says:

      It’s lack of prudence when you have the means to stock your fridge and pantry for a rainy day, but don’t. If you don’t have the means, it really doesn’t matter how prudent you are, you’re still going to have an empty pantry and fridge, assuming you have one and can afford to keep it running. It seems to me that you are ignoring a reality that many “non-privileged” live with. And I think that’s precisely what her message is all about.

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      • Ron says:

        It doesn’t take a genius to notice that the article is dripping with condescension, because it’s become rather fashionable to chastise those of us who’ve had the foresight to plan ahead and save for a rainy day. So the push back is entirely warranted. Use this as a learning opportunity to prepare better for the next time instead of whinging about how ‘privileged’ everyone else is for having taken responsibility for their own lives.

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        • makagutu says:

          While the article is dripping with condescension, I don’t know how a person living from hand to mouth can plan ahead. Unless you have not met such persons

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          • Ron says:

            I have. And the reason they live hand to mouth is because they failed to plan ahead.

            “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”― Benjamin Franklin

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            • makagutu says:

              I assume you are joking. At what point did they fail to plan? When they were born in poor households that could not see them through school? Or when they fell sick & lost work & savings? At what point?

              Liked by 1 person

              • Ron says:

                As I alluded to earlier in my response to Barry, they failed to plan because they assumed others would take responsibility for their lives. History has shown over and over that it’s a tragic mistake to think some self-serving politician or bureaucrat in a far off place will give a damn about you in times of need, yet for some reason people ignore this fact and cross their fingers hoping that things will change for the better under a new government or leader.

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                • makagutu says:

                  This must include airlines and other profitable companies asking for bailouts. They didn’t plan for the sars-cov 2 pandemic?

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                  • Ron says:

                    Indeed, it should. Public corporations are owned by shareholders (i.e., private individuals) who willingly assumed the risks of purchasing shares in companies that could go under, so asking others to pay for their mistakes is wrong.

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                    • basenjibrian says:

                      Ron: You live in some kind of magical, mythical land of make believe. When have the rich never been bailed out by the big bad ebil gubmint? Either directly or through some profitable war of imperial conquest (see War is a Racket, by General Smedley Butler). Given your mystical place of residence, can I have a sparkly flying pony? One large enough to cart a bicycle on?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Ron says:

                      I was asked (in a roundabout way) whether or not corporations should be bailed out (to which I responded “no”) — not whether or not this was a frequent occurrence.

                      So those opposed to corporate bailouts should be pleased as punch by my response. 🙂

                      Like

        • Barry says:

          Perhaps it may not take a genius to notice that the article is dripping with condescension, but I can’t see condescension even if it was poured over my head. However, if there is condescension it’s targeted at you and not at makagutu.

          All the foresight in the world will not allow one to plan ahead if one does not have the means to put anything away for a rainy day. In this country, there are some, but not many who are in that position, and by world standards we’re all privileged. After all, we’re a “first world” nation. In Kenya, it’s possibly a minority who are privileged, but by that very situation are in a position to either be empathetic to the plight of the less fortunate or to ignore their needs. Julian is calling for empathy and what that entails, nothing more.

          You seem to be ignoring the fact that both Julian and I are indeed privileged, and globally, I’d fall into the top 1%. So neither of us are “whinging about how ‘privileged’ everyone else is”. As she points out, in Kenya the majority are not privileged and they will be far more severely affected by a lockdown than people in her position. As she points out in her last paragraph, desperate people do desperate deeds in desperate times.

          Finally, six months ago no one in their right mind could have predicted a time when an entire economy would shut down, leaving only the most essential services running; where we’re not able to see family and friends; where there is no income, and where there is no-one to share the burden with as all your friends, family and neighbours are in the same boat; where this situation might last three to six months.

          That kind if “foresight” belonged to the doomsdayers, those expecting a nuclear holocaust. Can you genuinely claim to be able to survive for the next 6 months relying only what is available in your cupboards/fridge/freezer right now, never leaving your home/bunker?

          Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            The reason most people, even the well to do, went into panic buying is not a lack of foresight but can be explained by uncertainty unto what the future portends

            Like

            • And this brings me to my cure-all for poverty, people not preparing for the future, and the whining, miserable “poor” that suck dry all my patience and energy when listening to them: Gas chambers and crematoriums. Can you honestly give me a good reason as to why ALL of the lazy poor, the lazy elderly, and the lazy disabled people of the world should NOT be gassed and cremated? I thought not. They’re ill-prepared fuckers. They are all lazy. They didn’t plan ahead and now they expect EVERYONE else to pay for their old, poor, and disabled asses as they whine and bitch rather than plan and save. Clearly, these lazy pricks are a bane on society. When I’m elected to the American Senate later this year, I will begin my program of building, not walls, but gas chambers and crematoriums along our southern border in order to shovel immigrants, disabled people, and poor people into them. They make me sick to my stomach with their laziness and lack of being prepared. Fucking assholes. The lot of ’em. Also, I will begin my work of turning America into an Evangelical Christian theocracy and anyone NOT agreeing to this move will also be gassed and cremated. This is what Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ demands, and, with His love and compassion, He will let me win my election so I can bring His will to America as it has always been meant to be.
              Yours in the All-Encompassing, All-loving Arms Of Jesus Christ, The Arm Chair Pontificator, a guy who promises to gas and cremate everyone making below a sensible amount of annual income and every disabled son of a bitch who’s sucking my great country dry with their whining, bitchy needs. $Amen$ (Just think of how wonderful America, and the world, will be when only those who planned ahead are allowed to live!)

              Like

          • Ron says:

            There’s no dispute that the living standards in Kenya are lower than those in fully-developed western nations. Nor is there any dispute that those afflicted with physical or mental infirmities will have more difficulty keeping up. But those handicaps affect only a small proportion of the population. For instance, the U.S. Census bureau reports that poverty rates across the nation in 2018 went from a low of 7% in New Hampshire to a high of 14% in Mississippi. So which is more likely: that the state of New Hampshire has 7% fewer disabled residents? or that other factors come into play? And how do you account for those who have overcome insurmountable obstacles to achieve success through their own efforts? Luck? Divine providence? Privilege? Because after all is said and done, the fact remains that those who fail to plan and take charge of their own destiny will remain forever at the mercy of fate and circumstance.

            And in answer to your question: I grow most of my own herbs and vegetables and my larder is always well stocked with rice, pasta, grains, pulses, condiments, coffees, teas and tinned goods; so I can remain at home for 12 months or longer without running out of food, though I’d definitely miss having imported fresh fruits.

            Like

            • basenjibrian says:

              Do you have lots and lots of guns, Ron? I have joined the Socialist Gun Owners of America, and we will be paying your well-stocked larder a visit. Since I imagine you are well-fed, we also anticipate a nice Long Pig roast coming out of our visit as well!

              (too gross, too over the top, too inspired). But in all seriousness, if civilization collapses to the point I ever needed 12 MONTHS of dried beans and tinned goods, one has to ask the question: why would one want to live in such a world? Does one want to survive among the reeking wreckage of society? Why? Let me be among the first wave of nuclear bomb victims-I want to be vaporized first.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Ron says:

                Odd thing, isn’t it? Those who mock me for being prepared for rainy are often the same ones who complain bitterly that they’re not.

                And the socialist gun owners of America are more than welcome to join the buffet. We have an abundance of hot lead to go around for all and sundry.

                Like

            • makagutu says:

              Luck plays a lot in outcomes. It is never acknowledged but it does. Those who manage to get out of poverty- most times there has been outside help. Only very few manage to overcome.

              Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      What do you call it when they don’t have the means? Lack of prudence?

      Like

      • Ron says:

        Were there’s a will, there’s a way.

        Like

        • Barry says:

          Taken it its logical conclusion isn’t this akin to saying that mind always wins over matter?

          I don’t think there’s any doubt that Hitler had the will to create a national socialist reich that would last for a thousand years. But not only did he not succeed (due to a lack of means), look at the devastation that resulted as a result.

          Those who know me will have no doubt that I have the will not to to be a chronic migraineur, but until I have the means to to do so, that isn’t going to happen.

          80% of autistics face a lifetime of unemployment. Do you really think it is due to a lack of will on their part that they are in that situation?

          The simple fact is that it for some people, the will to survive is about as far as they can go. Surviving consumes all their resources. They cannot look beyond that. To blame them for their situation, to demean them, comes from a position of privilege.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ron says:

            It’s not about mind over matter (though that’s certainly possible) so much as it is about assessing your situation and plotting a course towards a clearly-defined goal. Because it’s impossible to move forward if you’re sitting down and looking backwards. That means looking for positive influences — i.e., those who’ve already taken steps towards achieving that goal — and distancing yourself from negative people who want to pull you back down to their level. In other words, if your goal is to become an entrepeneur you seek out and consult with other entreprenurs — not the drunkards passed out behind the bin in the alleyway.

            I don’t want to go down the WWII rabbit hole, but suffice it to say that Hitler’s failures were largely due to ambitious overreach (fighting on two fronts at once) and strategic errors (engaging Russia before winter) rather than lack of means. He already had most of western Europe under his control and probably could have won the southern portions as well had he not diverted his attention eastward.

            I can sincerely empathize with the pain caused by migraines because I’m personally quite familiar with the excruciating pain caused by cluster headaches. Nonetheless, I’ve soldiered through the pain and refuse to let it prevent me from achieving my goals or derailing my life. As to autism, it affects between 1.1% (UK) to 2.64% (S. Korea) of the population, depending on which surveys you read. Even if we raise that number to 5% and grant that 100% of those with autism are unemployable, it still leaves a huge discrepency between the percentage of those who are living in poverty due to autism and those who are not.

            And in any case, my comments are not directed towards those suffering from physical or mental handicaps over which they have no control, but to the able-bodied who don’t make the effort and offer up a plethora of excuses to account for their laziness.

            Like

            • Barry says:

              This is where I take issue: you write “but to the able-bodied who don’t make the effort and offer up a plethora of excuses to account for their laziness.Z” and in a reply to mak, you wrote “they failed to plan because they assumed others would take responsibility for their lives.“.

              I’m sure there are a few people that would fit into either description, but they are by far a small minority. There’s likewise a proportion among the privileged who also fit that description. The difference between the two groups is largely due to accident of birth – whether you grew up in a deprived or privileged community. In other words, opportunity. Let’s face it, if Trump had been born to a single, poverty stricken African American woman on the ghettos, in all probability, that’s where he’d probably still be.

              I have found that the poor are just as hardworking, resourceful and determined as everyone else. What they lack is education, opportunity, skills and/or resources. To classify them as lazy or irresponsible for their situation is little different from Christians who proclaim a prosperity gospel – God rewards the righteous and punishes the sinner.

              As for autistics, the majority are employable, and where they are employed, they usually excell at the work. The problem is, being socially awkward or “different”, they are either never considered for a position or placed well down the selection list. They are unemployed because of prejudice or ableism, not because they are unemployable.

              If you have read any of my articles about how migraines affect me, you’d have realised that pain is the least of my problems. Cognition is the problem. You can not “soldier on” when memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and “computation”, problem solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language fail you. And I can assure from personal experience, wrong choices are very easy to make during a migraine episode.

              And perhaps because I experience such a huge variation in cognition almost on a daily basis, I can appreciate that the various skills that make up cognition are not evenly distributed within the population. Every decision we make is dependent on our cognitive skills, and that also includes foresight and planning. For me, criticising someone for their inability to climb the socioeconomic ladder or to hoard a year’s supply of food, is no different to criticising a blind person for not being able to hit a target at 100 metres or my wife’s inability to grasp some of the essentials of English grammar.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Barry says:

    Mak, I’m not sure that you and her are not saying the same thing.

    Firstly, she’s addressing her remarks to that section of the privileged community who do actually believe the less fortunate only have themselves to blame for their situation. And if privilege in Kenya is anything like it is in the rest of the world, then there is a significant proportion who do think this way. I see it here every day with calls to reduce benefits for those in need because “benefits encourage people to be lazy” or “paying benefits to single mothers encourages them to get pregnant again” or “if poor people had to pay for medicine, they’d take better care of their health”. The simple fact is that by far, the vast majority on benefits would prefer not to be. Yet invariably all those who are receiving some form of assistance are described as lazy, shirkers, parasites, and worse. There’s even political parties in this nation who promote such ideas.

    Secondly, being able to speak for oneself and being listened to are entirely different matters. Those without privilege are seldom listened to let alone have their concerns considered. My experience as an autistic person has brought home to me how those with privilege (not autistic) often have no idea they have it. And a great many women understand that their goals are hampered by male privilege.

    We see privilege in the supermarkets in the bulk buying of toilet paper, hand sanitiser, flour, rice etc, so that when the poor arrive to purchase the bare minimum, because that’s all they can afford, they find the shelves empty. The poor don’t have the means to empty supermarket shelves, only those with privilege can do that.

    You clearly do comprehend what the less privileged need to do to survive, but I can guarantee that there will be many, especially those with authority and power do not. In fact they are punishing the poor for putting the need for food on the table above containing the pandemic. Hence her reference to police brutality. This is what Julian Kamau has written in a brutal way, hopefully to prick the conscience of some of those the article is directed at. She’s saying don’t judge the less privileged without understanding their predicament.

    Finally by acknowledging the needs of the less privileged, you are actually speaking on their behalf whether you like it or not. Their voice is not being heard, but Julian Kamau’s and yours can be. It’s people with privilege who will be listened to when authorities make decisions affecting the lives of those least listened to.

    Her entire message can be summed up by the last sentence in the fourth paragraph: “You MUST not use your privilege to demean those who can’t access what you have despite working so hard”. She’s not saying you are. She’s saying don’t do it. Your article actually does the opposite of demeaning that sector, but how many with privilege remain silent when the less privileged are demeaned by members of the privileged community?

    Like

    • basenjibrian says:

      Can we, just for this blog, call it the Grand Old Ron(ian) Party (GORP)? Come on, Ron! You can be our next maximum mleader

      You are, as always, very rational and calm, Barry. I can’t argue with a lot of what you say, Maybe we are…tone policing…here? Because I did not have your reaction when I read this. There is an odd hectoring tone kin Julian’s piece that can rub people wrong?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barry says:

        Who’s doing the tone policing? me or mak? From my perspective I found nothing objectionable in what Julian Kamau wrote, although she might be “guilty” of hyperbole, so I was rather surprised by mak’s reaction. It seemed he had taken the article as an attack on him personally. It seemed akin to the reaction of some men when a woman claims “men are misogynists”. I don’t believe I am, but if I remain silent in the face of even subtle misogyny, am I not guilty by omission?

        Perhaps because I’m in a demographic that has an 80% unemployment rate, a life expectancy almost 20 years less than the average and, is over represented statistically when it comes to victimhood, I tend to be over sensitive to overreactions. It seems to me that makagutu and Julian Kamau are actually on the same page regarding the underprivileged.

        I don’t know whether her use of language caused her message to get lost, or whether mak’s reaction to the description of privilege meant he missed the message, but I think this is one example where my autistic brain has an advantage: I don’t see emotive language unless it’s pointed out to me, so my reaction to hyperbole, sarcasm and other emotive language tends to be rather different from the norm.

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        • makagutu says:

          Hahaha Barry. The article by Julian doesn’t advance discourse. She has lampooned a whole segment of society as the problem when only a few in that class have done anything of the kind she claims. In fact, it is those she calls privileged who have come out strongly to condemn police brutality, question the government schemes as not adequate to cushion the very vulnerable, and many more. In my view, it is irresponsible journalism. Putting herself as above the privileged class where she most likely belongs. It is that considering oneself holier than the rest that Brian and I take issue with. Maybe there is no better way to express her point. I don’t know.
          Maybe her message got lost along the way. I think it was possible to call out police brutality, question lockdown, question panic buying without caring about others. I mean the first week the govt announced the first case, i couldn’t get sanitizers which are now available everywhere again!

          Liked by 1 person

      • makagutu says:

        Hahaha. Ron will not be happy. But it reminds me of the class we had not long ago on urban poverty and why sometimes it is difficult to address. There are those who believe the poor are poor because they are not working hard and need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

        Liked by 1 person

        • basenjibrian says:

          At the same time….let us not deny agency. There ARE some cultural attributes to some urban poor communities that make “success” a challenge?

          Like

          • Barry says:

            Just as women are underrepresented in upper management, the boardroom and in legislatures around the globe, and overrepresented in low paying and unskilled work, it’s not necessarily something of their own making. In other words, it’s not necessarily their own culture that is at fault, it’s the other, usually the dominant culture, that limits opportunity.

            Like

    • makagutu says:

      I honestly don’t believe the poor are to blame for their poverty and I hope I have not said anything close to that.

      The poor, the vulnerable must have space at the table to be heard. Speaking on their behalf and deciding what it is they would want reminds me of a government program here called district focus where officials in Nairobi would make decisions about districts they had no idea about.

      I agree with you the poor have no capacity for panic buying. That’s the reserve of the few who can afford.

      The police beating up citizens are some of the lowest paid cadre of workers in government. How is it they don’t empathize with others who they are really not so separate from? Does the uniform take away all sense of humanity from them?

      Like

  7. Barry says:

    In the autistic community, we have a slogan “Nothing about us without us!” We refer to people involved with autism but are not autistic themselves as the autism community, and too often they “help” us, and “treat” us and make decisions about us without involving us in any way, much like it appears that “district focus” has done in Kenya. Tomorrow marks the start of autism awareness month, promoted by the autism community, and their “champion” Autism Speaks – an organisation most of the autistic community loath with a vengeance. Slowly, very slowly, that slogan is beginning to have a small effect. That slogan is also used by many Māori and very slowly and with two steps forward and one step back decision making and involving Māori is being devolved to those who best know how to help themselves – the Māori. Seems like your government has yet to understand that.

    Mak, you’ve made it quite clear that you don’t blame the less fortunate for their situation. Unfortunately, if your nation is anything like ours, there is an influential sector that does blame the disadvantaged for their predicament, which is what Julian Kamau is referring to. The language may be a bit over the top, but sometimes it’s necessary.

    I don’t what know what the situation is in Kenya, but here, more police get injured by the public than do members of the public get injured by police. But the world over, there’s a significant sector of humanity that place following orders above all else, even above any matter of conscience or logic,and accept all that they are told by their superiors as Truth with a capital “T”. We can see that with many impoverished Trump supporters who seem to believe that socialised medicine is an evil or that tax cuts for the rich are a good thing, when in fact the they face a reduction in whatever social services they might get in order to finance those very tax cuts.

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    • makagutu says:

      The government moved away from District focus. We now have devolved governments where it is expected that the masses will take an active role in how their money is spent at the ward, county level through participation in the preparation of county development plans. And while I agree that others may speak for or on behalf of the poor, it is imperative they are invited to the table. They are only poor not dumb. They have ideas on how to get out of poverty and better their lives.
      It is rare a police officer is injured by a member of the public on the other hand, a disproportionate number of people get maimed or even killed by the police. I can never understand the mind of the police. Are they robots? Are they incapable of acting differently?
      Julian seems to me to blame people for having a laptop at home, internet or a fridge. I bet majority of these people find themselves in the same cross-fire with the police. They are as worried about the future as the poor. This is not to deny that a few have asked for lockdown- but given the circumstances, I would think it is more out of fear than disregard for the poor especially when one looks at what happened elsewhere and knowing how ill equipped our health infrastructure is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Barry says:

        I do not see any blame or criticism for having privilege. It seems to me that she is saying don’t abuse that privilege. She herself is privileged, and if not in this particular article, she does acknowledge that. She also sees one of her responsibilities as someone of privilege to ensure the the voice of the underprivileged is heard. Some of the things she warns against:
        a) demeaning those who can’t access what you have
        b) criticising the disadvantaged
        c) not being empathetic to those less fortunate than yourself
        d) pushing for a lockdown when you don’t know how other Kenyans will feed
        e) calling Kenyans ignorant or ‘hard-headed’ for not meeting the curfew

        There is one person commenting here who is the type Julian is targeting. Clue: it’s not makagutu or basenjibrian. People with this type of viewpoint exist in every society.

        Like

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