She is described as a Policy and Communication Analyst at the Akufo-Addo Presidency; and so one expects Dr. Louise Carol Serwaa Donkor to have known far better than to so facilely descend into the gutter, literally speaking, by unwisely presuming to cavalierly disparage the very grassroots members of the New Patriotic Party who made it possible for the locally renowned human rights campaigner to secure her quite cozy and respectable and financially comfortable job at Jubilee House.
The news story carrying the announcement of her 30-day suspension was rather sensationally captioned. The fact of the matter is that a suspension does not really cost one one’s job; it merely threatens the same, however serious such professional sanction may be perceived. It was also not clear to me what kind or degree of suspension had been handed Dr. Donkor by Mrs. Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the Presidential Chief-of-Staff, for allegedly writing on her Facebook Wall or Page that party foot-soldiers were like fanatics who lacked the requisite critical thinking faculties of normal people.
“You shouldn’t reason with them; it’s like tribalists.” I suppose by “tribalists” Dr. Donkor meant “ethnic chauvinists” or “ethnic nationalists.” Anyway, the latter remark is alleged to have been written in response to the Facebook post of another user who had written that: “As a general rule, I don’t engage party foot-soldiers.” It is this sort of class-conscious arrogance which Chairman Jerry John Rawlings was alluding to, when the founding-father of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) spoke about the NDC’s having become as elitist as the pre-Akufo-Addo New Patriotic Party. Dr, Donkor’s contretemps shows that the leadership of the NPP still has quite a long way to go to thoroughly disabuse the minds of the underprivileged masses of Ghanaians that theirs is the party for the ordinary man and woman.
At any rate, the rhetorical context here is highly limited, and so one does not get a full picture or sense of what the full-subject of the alleged Facebook discussion was about. What is clear to me, however, is the glaring fact that Dr. Donkor is a very incompetent communication analyst, much less an expert of the same. Else, she would have readily recalled the advice that I gave Ms. Clara Napaga Tia Sulemana, the 20-something-year-old Presidential Staffer, either late last year or early this year, when Ms. Sulemana reportedly took to her Facebook Wall to bitterly complain about some importunate demands for jobs that some NPP party activists were making on her.
In the main, these supplicants were advised against rudely and impudently pushing their vitas into the hands of an extremely reluctant and downright hostile Ms. Sulemana at public events and gatherings. Then also, a huge storm of protests began to swirl around what was deemed to be Ms. Sulemana’s gross insensitivity. I remember quickly firing off a column warning the scapegoating protesters to steer clear of their intended target of professional elimination. I also admonished the young woman to be mindful of the fact that her youthfulness and all, notwithstanding, her new-found status as a Presidential Staffer enjoined her to maintain a measured sense of reserve, discipline and sensitivity to those who were not as privileged as she was.
Now, it clearly looks as if Dr. Donkor learned absolutely nothing from the Sulemana faux-pas. I also asked about the precise nature of the communication and policy analyst’s suspension, which also entails the writing of a letter of unconditional apology and a commitment to good behavior (I would rather have her receive psychological counseling), because in the approximately 22 years that I have been teaching at my college, I have had the misfortune of being twice suspended, both of them a little over ten years ago, under a disciplinary regime called “Progressive Discipline,” without pay for, in one case, supposedly shilling for then-Candidate Barack Obama, in one of my journalism courses, instead of directly instructing my students from the assigned textbook. Whatever happened to academic freedom?
I had flatly refused to sign both memos declaring my suspension as a way of consenting to the same, but they both ended up in my professional file anyway. I also don’t remember what the second disciplinary sanction was about, except that both suspensions entailed a Justice Taney-like common thread of my bosses at the time not recognizing my status as a bona fide full-faculty member, but instead choosing to recognize me as a Non-Caucasoid Outsider in a decidedly hostile environment that dictated my status as at best A SENIOR STUDENT. I also remember being promised by my then-boss that any chance of me getting promoted beyond my present rank as an Associate Professor was permanently frozen. He would later relent by promising to back me up for promotion, but by then it was too late for me to recover from my trauma and ennui to pick up the proverbial broken pieces.
I write the foregoing primarily for the benefit of those of my critics who have been questioning why I seem to have become stuck at my rank of Associate Professor for more than a decade now. Well, this is the price that I have had to pay for proudly standing up and fighting for the protection of my dignity and honor as a Nigger. At any rate, what Dr. Donkor wrote was inexcusably frivolous and altogether unnecessary. You know, I also have a Facebook Account, but I rarely use it and then only when it is necessary, or when I think and believe that what I have to say has absolutely nothing to do with my contractual obligations as a college professor. I don’t even remember how I managed to pay the mortgage and the maintenance fee on my cooperative apartment.
What is clear from Dr. Donkor’s case is that with pathologically self-centered and morally undisciplined policy and communication analysts like her, it makes quite a lot of sense that the ruling New Patriotic Party has unarguably the weakest communication department or team of any major political party in the country. Some remedy must be found before matters get out of hand.
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