Liberia: “Liberians are stupid” – Sam Jackson

Own Correspondent with support from New Dawn Newspaper-Liberia – A former Minister of State for Economic and Financial Affairs, during the regime of ex-President Charles Taylor says ‘Liberians were poor because they are stupid’ and lack the capacity and skills to manage state economy.

Samuel P. Jackson with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Samuel P. Jackson with Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Speaking to students of the University of Liberia (UL) on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, on the theme “Economic successes of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS)”, Mr.  Jackson argued that unlike other neighboring countries like Ghana among others, Liberia’s economy was largely in the hands of foreigners because he said, Liberians are stupid people.

Samuel P. Jackson said the statement was not intended to insult Liberians, but motivate them, adding: “I apologize if you fell hurt”. Mr. Jackson also blamed the high level of poverty on the ill-preparedness of some government officials to render good judgments that have national interests, as well as skill-shortage on the job market. He, however, told the UL students that because foreigners are prevented from entering the public sectors, they use their will, associations, cooperation, among others, to build a super infrastructure above the indigenous.He said these problems are a result of ill-prepared and disloyal people coming from the class room and placed at the nations’ high decisions making posts.

“Our economy is largely in the hands of foreigners because I believe they’re stupid. And, I know I’m harsh, I’m going to get a lot of criticisms, but that’s my belief,” he declared.

The former government official, now a private businessman, claimed that out of ‘stupidity’, Liberians have allowed foreigners to dominate the areas that make the most amounts of monies in the country.

According to him, the importation of goods and services in Liberia, are dominated by foreigners, while in places like Ghana, he said the country’s investment code requires that you must have US$300,000 as capital to be considered as an investor.

He said as a result of Liberia’s lack of investment code, decision-makers and skillful citizens, foreigners are the largest developers of real estates, supermarkets, banks, and own the biggest cars, among others.

Notwithstanding, Mr. Jackson said Liberians dislike each other. He observed that the ill-prepared Liberians often struggle to see the downfall of those that are prepared by preventing them from excelling to higher positions.

“This has been accelerated by the fourteen year of civil war. But the basic facts are that, we as a people have surrendered our wellbeing, our social standing and our entire country to foreigners,” he said.