Daily Archives: May 29, 2016
Tsegaye Ararssa, (27 May at 17:10 )
For some people, the urge to trivialize the Oromo demand for justice makes them “liberation fighters” for the other “others” of Ethiopia. They recklessly mention names of people whose existence they never knew, at the sounds whose names they have endless laughter.
They mention people whose names are otherwise the stuff out of which Amharic comedies are made. They mention these names just so they can talk about them as victims of various Oromo groups.
They talk about the rights of the people they don’t even know in order to disavow responsibility for the injustice they perpetrate on the Oromo they know.
‘Did Menelik II really say he is Caucasian?’: Fragments for the Little chaps, Lest you celebrate Prematurely
There is a renewed frenzy among social media activists in the Ethiopian right, who vow that Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia never claimed to be a Caucasian. They dispute the accuracy of his statement in which he said “I am not a Negro at all; I am a Caucasian.” In their most recent iteration, they claim that, among other things, the invocation of this statement is an attempt by “Some Oromo intellectuals” to trivialize the image of Menelik II and the famous battle of Adwa that supposedly he fought and won for the entire black race. They also claim, wrongly, that these ‘Oromo nationalists’ are doing so motivated by an ideological commitment to vindicate the Oromo right to secession and destroy the Ethiopian state. They insist that there is a sinister motive behind this calculated move to trivialize Adwa because Adwa is not only the symbol of black independence but also the foundational moment of the unity of the Ethiopian people (people in the singular). By undermining the significance of Adwa, their rant goes, ‘some Oromo intellectuals’ in general, and especially I, in particular, seek to undermine the basis of Ethiopian unity. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Tsegaye R Ararssa 26/05/16 ==================================
This is a short memo to the Ethiopian extreme right activists who charge us that we trivialize Menelik II’s persona and his deeds. While we note trivializing of such figures as a mode of critical engagement is legitimate and so doing is long overdue, I like to say that Oromos are not interested in doing so. I like to say that Menelik II is the least and the last of our Oromo worries. Here is why:
Menelik II is the last and least of my worries now.
If you worry about his image, that is fine. Do worry about it.
If you think he put you to shame because he said he is not black, that is your problem.
If he falsified your chants about TIKUR SEW, or if he destabilized the false narrative regarding him as the messiah of the black race, that too is your headache, not mine.