Liberia Should be an United States Territory / by kevin murray

Liberia became a sovereign nation in 1847 and since that time has been in charge of its own destiny, however, Liberia also has a special history with the United States, as this African country was founded by the American Colonization Society in 1824, by freed blacks from America, that were sponsored by the United States government, as well as repatriated slaves taken from the trans-Atlantic slave trade and brought to the shores of Liberia.  Liberia's capital city of Monrovia, is named after our President James Monroe, who was an active supporter of a homeland for freed Africans, in a time when it wasn't clear that Africans in America, would ever be in a position to be properly assimilated or truly free in America.  While the founding of Liberia was controversial and not universally supported by either white or black in America, its founding was considered at the time to be progressive for Africans.  Additionally, when Liberia was founded it displaced native peoples from that land, to which some native peoples of Liberia subsequently rose up and took exception to the Americano-Liberians who ruled the country and rebelled against them, to the effect of two devastating civil wars within the last forty years, the result of tribal tensions and unease, for this country which is the African continent's first Republic.


The above would perhaps imply that the Liberian people as a whole have no interest in being part of the United States as a territory, but that isn't necessarily the case as there are massive advantages that are recognized as being beneficial to having "Uncle Sam" providing aid for this nation, which encompasses such things as education, health, military, and economic aid.  As long as the conditions were such as to provide autonomy for the people of Liberia, the people of Liberia would probably have a great interest in seeing that this opportunity was offered to them since a rising tide lifts all boats.  Consequently, America should take the steps today in conjunction with Liberia, to allow Liberia to vote upon this very issue, and thereby to decide their future fate.


The great advantage to Liberians if they were to become a United States territory is the advantage of being afforded the opportunity to have the same sort of rights as United States citizens, including the right for safe passage to and from the United States.  In a country of over four million peoples, Liberia has a per capita income of less than $500, if they were instead to be a United States territory, their incomes, health, and opportunities would rise significantly.  This would also provide the opportunity for American corporations to invest much more money, material, and knowhow into Liberia than has been done in recent times and subsequently would thereby provide vibrant opportunity for native Liberians to be gainfully employed in private enterprise. 


Liberia is in a unique position to have a special and more consequential relationship with the United States, on formal terms, to their benefit as well as ours, if both parties put their heads together to present this historic opportunity in the best possible light.  President Obama is the right leader, as well as being in his second and final term of office, so there is no better time to do so than now.