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DEBATE

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Years ago, in one of the toilet doors at my old university, I had the chance to read a very detailed debate. Both sides had their point to make - and each did it well. One day, however, after a most pointed series of exchanges that by then had taken almost the entire door, the debaters were identified as a freshman and a sophomore. At which point, and before the entire space had been completely occupied, this question appeared in a different handwriting: VERY WELL, NOW THAT WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE. WHO THE HELL IS GOING TO PAY FOR A NEW DOOR? (Signed) The Cleaning Crew.

I have just been reminded of that incident after reading all the discussions on LusaWeb as to who did more for the benefit of all of us offshoots of yesterday's Portuguese: The Celtiberians, the Romans, the Visigoths, the Moors, or - throughout the entire mess - the Jews? Who cares? Frankly, I hope all of them did something - anything -. I'd hate to be pure. Not too long ago, millions of innocent people were having their lives sacrificed for not belonging to Hitler's definition of race.
Recently similar stupidity reared its ugly head in Rwanda, with results similar to those of Germany of the Late 30s and Early 40s. Not too long ago, in a land where "men are created equal", millions of its inhabitants of non European background were being condemned to slavery, or to reservations where they would not have a right at managing their destinies. How ironic... We have what we have, we are what we are because we are here today - at this moment. To everyone who came before us we owe an infinitesimal part of our being. If we were to dig deeply enough, we'd probably discover that many of us, although having come from different backgrounds, are actually related - and that happened because a "naughty boy" released his sperm at the right time and in the right place. A shot in the dark, really. Oh, we may argue about it all we want. We may quote this researcher, or that historian all we want. We may look in the mirror and see the complexion of our skin all we want. Yet, for all conclusions, for all our knowledge, for all our facts, one question stands: AND WHO THE HELL IS GOING TO PAY...?

Well we are, for we are the only ones that really matter.

Manuel L. Ponte
St. Louis, Missouri
 
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