By Samuel Berhanu
I saw this statesman bellow in Amharic few days back but I wanted to take my time and think about how to go about and respond to it. The statement was baffling to me because of how the person tried to define Ethiopianism. I’m convinced that the statement must have been written either as a results of Jawar’s statement on Al’ Jazeera, “I’m Oromo First” or the recent boycott against Teddi’s “Journey of Love concert” which got canceled. With that said, let’s go right to the statement in Amharic bellow which I tried to translate to English to the best of my knowledge. “The only way one can truly consider her/himself as an Ethiopian’ is if only she/he is free of identifying/affiliating oneself as….” well you fill the blank.
Does this mean one must not acknowledge his/her own heritage? In my case, I’m an Oromo Ethiopian and would that make me Zeranya/Racist because I defined myself as such? You are claiming that one must denounce oneself and take on yours to be considered an Ethiopian. Let’s be honest, the current Ethiopia’s culture is a reflection of the Amahara/Habeshas’ culture. Don’t label me Zeranya because of your preposterous definition of Zeranyinet.
I believe this type of thought is totally pure ignorance, egotistical and dangerous. Why is that you act as if you have the only right to define what/who I’m and I’m not? Who gave you that RIGHT and in contrary, who didn’t give ME the RIGHT to define myself? How do you guys feel, if it is the other way around? What is appalling to me regarding this matter is that, this pathetic ideology is practice by few. The truth of the matter is that from what I hear, the majorities of Amaharas, 70%-90% of the population are poor and live in the country side- innocent and hard working people just like other ethnic groups in Ethiopia. They have no stake in this issue; It is the once who are so called The Elites of Amaharas, who are by the way suppose to be educated and know better. This notion that one must disown her/himself and basically adhere to the Amahara/Habesha culture to be an Ethiopian is egotistical, foolish, damaging to our common good and would not get us anywhere. Your forefathers have tried to destroy, and change our culture, but wasn’t successful. Stop living in delusion and misguiding the majority of your people for your own self righteous agenda. People in general are good, want the same thing out of life: live in harmony with others, work hard and support their family….
Let us stop being selfish and think for once, what kind of world do we want to leave our kids/fellow human kind behind with. I would hope we can agree on better than what we have had. I do not mind being called an Ethiopian, but first that Ethiopia needs to represent me as an Oromo, exercise my God given right to the fullest . I love and Respect my multi-ethnic friends and family from Ethiopia, I am not a hater or Zeranya. I am just a person who is trying to exercise his God give right.
“ As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” ― Nelson Mandela
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