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What Price for a Reconciled Ethiopia?

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02/24/09

  05:55:42 pm, by admin, 4182 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, AJC

What Price for a Reconciled Ethiopia?

What Price for a Reconciled Ethiopia?

By Obang Metho

Published on February 24, 2009

The responses we received to the last article put out by the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), “AigaForum versus Obang Metho: Is there Racism in Ethiopia?,” were overwhelming and it has become clear that this issue of racism is something that must continue to be addressed. The purpose of this article is to give the public information on the responses we received and to offer suggestions to help us to productively move forward in this discussion. One of our main goal is the reconciliation of Ethiopians.

This is one of the reasons that we created the Solidarity Movement, for reconciliation is the backbone of a New Ethiopia. It is based on acknowledging what was done to us and what we have done to others. Anything less than that will hold us back. Ethiopia is infected and dying and the only way to revive it is through truth, God’s truth about respecting God’s creation—each of us. This is the basis for confronting the issue of racism today, but tomorrow it will definitely be something else that must be addressed in order to have a healthy society.

Let the discussions begin!

In the many hundreds of responses we received to the above-mentioned article, no one denied what was said about the existence of racism in Ethiopia. Instead, many of those responding said that the labeling of our people by skin-color is as serious of an issue as our country’s tribally-based ethnic problems even though it has never been talked about before. A number of responders said that they did not think anyone would have courage to bring up this sensitive topic, but my response to that was; if we want a better Ethiopia, we must! It is only through getting the truth out that we can be reconciled across all divides and it is only through reconciliation that Ethiopia will be healed. If we avoid a topic that is driving a wedge between us, we condemn the future of our country with insincere words of chameleon unity. I do not want to be part of that.

The existence of racism in Ethiopia is really what led racist Aiga Forum to try to exploit it among Ethiopians in order to accomplish their own purposes, but now, people tell me they want this dialogue to continue. In the past, some were afraid to bring up the topic of racism because it was embarrassing for some to openly admit to others outside of Ethiopia the depth of our problem; however, the truth is, many outsiders, like many western policy-makers, African Americans and Africans, already know about how some Ethiopians treat the dark-skinned members of their society. Copying or “cc:ing” the article to Michael Steele, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee and to the NAACP, has simply forced some Ethiopians to look at what has been going on through the eyes of outsiders, even though many already knew it. However, I do not think the impact of the article would have been the same if it had been kept “for insiders only!”
Unintentionally, racist Aiga Forum has triggered an open discussion of racism that they chose to push beyond Ethiopians into American politics. Even though they may now want to escape from the consequences of that, they may not find it so easy to retreat. They should continue to be held accountable for what they did until they formally come forward and apologize to those maligned parties. That is what Chairman Steele’s office and we in the SMNE intend to do. We have already identified more of the people who are behind this racist Aiga Forum article and picture. Some of these racist individuals are Aiga editor Esayas ATsbaha- an X-EPRP fighter, located in San Jose, California and Zeru Hagos,

We really want to thank those Ethiopians who responded and took this issue very seriously because, if we want a better Ethiopia, we have to go for the truth, even if it hurts both sides. We also want to thank those Ethiopian websites, which posted it. They understand that even though this is a sensitive issue, it will never be resolved unless it is first acknowledged that it exists. We are urging those websites who did not post it, yet who are pro-democracy, to think about how important it is in any effective democracy, to be able to represent different perspectives so the public can debate it with civility and mutual respect, sometimes agreeing to disagree.

There were a number of Ethiopians who suggested to me that we should strongly challenge some of the websites about their failure to post the article, but my response is that I want an Ethiopia where even when we disagree with others, we still can embrace each other. For example, some of the websites who did not post this article have posted many others in the past and have contributed greatly to keeping Ethiopians informed. If we always had to agree with each other to stay in relationships with other people, we would end up alone.

We must have some basic unconditional acceptance of each other because I hope others who disagree with me will talk to me about it rather than simply going the other way. This part of our Ethiopian culture that rejects others and cuts them off based on disagreement will only hinder our progress as a country. Let us not be afraid of either listening to what others believe or stating our own beliefs. We can all learn from each other.
What Ethiopians are saying:
We have received responses from a variety of Ethiopians, from the mainstream, from minority groups, from people within both groups of varying skin color, from white westerners and from Africans. Here are a few comments:

• Mr. Achame, a man from the Southern Nations, told me that the reason he has not participated in Ethiopian political discussions and groups is because of the racism and marginalization that he has experienced when he has gone. He is a talented man, an activist and a very good thinker who could contribute much to Ethiopia, but such attitudes are limiting others from gaining from his expertise.

• Mr. Andargachew Tsege, a well-known leader from CUDP and now Ginbot 7 said, and gave permission to use his comments, “Some of us are so ashamed of the prevalence of such attitude [racism] in our society, we pretend that it does not exist. This will not take us anywhere except leading the oppressed and the injured into a quagmire of bitterness and resentment that will ultimately ruin all of us, including the oppressor. I am grateful to Obang that he has taken it up and forcing all of us to confront ourselves. My belief is that as long as tyranny prevails in our country it will be impossible to cleanse our society from such bigotry and prejudice. Our dream to create a just, free and democratic society cannot be realized without a major confrontation of the issues Obang raised.

  • An Ethiopian man from Israel told me about the discrimination he and other Ethiopians were experiencing in that country—even making it hard to find an apartment to rent because of they are black.
  • Ato Legesse, an Ethiopian taxi driver, living in Washington DC, said that after reading the article, he tried to put himself in the shoes of those who were called racial names based on their skin color and felt it was wrong and had to be one of the people to stop it. He said he began by talking to other taxi drivers at Dukem, an Ethiopian restaurant, many of whom would commonly make racial insults to others thinking “it was not a big deal;” however, after considering the effect it was having on others, he talked with these other taxi drivers about stopping this and helping to confront others who were doing it. He said that people were taking it very seriously and it was making a difference.
  • An Ethiopian man living in Dallas, a darker-skinned Amhara, told me how glad he was that we now have to talk about these issues.
  • Ato Ayalew, an Ethiopian man told me that these racial names are something we say “all the time” and we say it is not a big deal; but now, when someone like you is speaking up for “our human rights” and is saying that this kind of talk is hurting him, we should take it seriously and be concerned about it. He said that no Ethiopian in the West who has been called “nigger” would say it was not a big deal to them so it should be exactly the same to Ethiopians calling another person a baria.
  • Ato Assegued, an Ethiopian man told me that his sister had married a dark-skinned man from Jamaica and that he and others in the family had been calling their brother-in-law a nickname for “baria,” but after he read the article, he told his sister that it really touched him and promised that he would never say it again and would not tolerate others doing it around him either.

What price are we willing to pay for a New Ethiopia where “humanity comes before ethnicity” and where we take seriously the challenge that “no one is free until we all are free?” If we want a better society for ourselves and for our children, are we each willing to take a penetratingly honest look at ourselves? All of these people I have mentioned above, plus many others that I cannot include, have already done this and are doing their share in reaching out to others to convince them to do the same.
This is how to make a break with our past dysfunctional thinking.

Some of these people were not aware of how their words were affecting other people, but now have become people who will help make real our hopes and dreams for a New Ethiopia. This is what I am asking all Ethiopians to do—one by one. The principles of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia are spread in this simple way and can prevent the destruction and disintegration of our country.

If we, one by one, make Ethiopia a place where some other Ethiopian wants to stay, the collective impact of many of us doing this will ripple through Ethiopian society like a refreshing rain that sends new streams of water to dry places. Keep in mind that there are those opponents, some inside Ethiopia and some external players outside our country, whose greatest hope and wish is to hold us back from becoming one, strong, united and powerful nation.

They believe their self-interests will only be realized through keeping us weak or seeing us disintegrate into many pieces. To avoid this, it will require much from us as people. We must reconstruct our identity to be people who do not only ask for justice, truth, freedom, equality, respect and opportunity for ourselves, but more so, be people who give it to others. This is the kind of society I long to have and to pass on to my children.

Some Ethiopians are asking, “Why is Obang raising this issue now?” They tend to think this issue does not matter to me or is secondary, but the truth of the matter is that it does matter and that it is hurting me. If these same people want to ignore or hide the truth, does this mean that they do not really care about my pain or the pain of others like me? Maybe so which makes it all the more important to face it.
Put yourselves in my or other darker-skinned Ethiopian peoples’ shoes and do not say it is not a big deal. The truth is, I expect a great deal from Ethiopians and believe we are all capable of improving our attitudes and actions towards others, just like the people I mentioned earlier.

As I have said before, I am committed to this struggle for a NEW ETHIOPIA as someone who is seeking justice, truth, equality and respect for one another. For this reason, if I see something that will interfere with that, it is my duty to say it out loud because I love my fellow Ethiopians and I love my country. I cannot stay silent—even if some do not want to hear it. If something is seriously wrong, which will lead to worsening the misery, alienation, hate and destruction of our people, it must not be covered up or we become part of the problem.

Some have warned that saying the truth will lead to division. I say that not saying the truth leads to division. The unity I seek is not a unity based on pretending that everything is right when in fact it is not. The unity I seek is based on ideology—the fact that God has created every one of us in His image and that each of us is equally valuable. Any other kind of unity will not help our nation survive. I must state what I believe to be the truth, not to please any people or to win votes for any political office, but to hopefully free people to a new way of thinking to the benefit of all in Ethiopian society.

My desire is to see Ethiopia revived. I have great expectations of Ethiopians because I am convinced that you all are more than capable, with God’s help, of becoming a transformed people who can be reconciled to each another and who can learn to respect and cooperate in building a more peaceful and harmonious society.

I know what it is like to grow up poor, marginalized and excluded. As a young person, I knew that those governments from the past could have laid the groundwork for a better future for those of us in Gambella, but instead, only left a legacy of continued exploitation and neglect. Then I experienced the horror of the Gambellan massacre. I remember the numbing shock I felt when I first opened the email attachment I received from Gambella naming hundreds of those I knew that were victims of the December 13th killing. Again, I knew that it was not only the fault of our present government, but that previous governments could have helped avert such a disaster by addressing our societal problems by valuing all of us. Can we learn from these past failures so we can leave a better legacy for those coming after us? That is my hope for our country.

We can no longer do anything about those who have died or who have lost opportunities, but we can do something to build a new and better Ethiopia. For me, I have chosen to contribute to that future even though I could have easily chosen a different kind of life than the life I am living today. Even some in my own family do not understand why I am doing what I am doing when I could be working to live the “American—or Canadian—dream.”

I could have forgotten about this struggle for justice and equality in Ethiopia and about the hardship in Africa; but instead, I have chosen to remain invested in building a better future by calling people to love one another, to accept one another, to forgive one another and to embrace one another. Some may resist this message or find it threatening, but I am not afraid to go forward because I believe God has called me to this.

Until today, nothing has changed for many of our people, so my mission has not yet been accomplished. I am not like those who say our goal is only to overcome Meles because simply replacing him, with no concrete change, is not accomplishing my mission. Any who think this way, have a very different agenda than do I.
I came into this struggle, not for politics, but as a free man and I must be true to God and myself before I can be true to anyone else. If my goal is to please the public, to get their support or to be liked, I may flatter you with what you want to hear rather than to warn you about impending danger.

My conscience directs me to seek justice for those who died—both Anuak and other Ethiopians—who brought me to this work in the first place—for it is such justice that will empower justice in the future. Because that is my goal, what I have to say may not always be welcomed, but I would rather be isolated for the truth than be crowned or cheered for advancing what is destructive and false.

Confronting Injustice Wherever it is Found
If we want a healthy society, we should not be so worried about our image because our image is worth less than the suffering and pain of other people. If we want a new Ethiopia, those structures that are flawed must be redesigned or we will have the same old Ethiopia that devalues minorities.

Part of our “unsound” societal structure is built not only on the exclusionary or inclusionary use of skin-color in deciding who gets through the front door, but also on the belief that “my group,” whatever it is, must be in charge and take everything, while pushing everyone else aside. On the other hand, those who are excluded can also become angry and hateful towards an entire ethnicity of people who they see as “collective oppressors” rather than as individuals, with varying degrees of responsibility. This is also wrong.

Contrary to what some think, the topic of racism based on skin-color is not the only needed discussion we must have in Ethiopia for today the topic might be racism, but tomorrow it will be something else—like the bitterness against all Tigrayan Ethiopians as a group by some other Ethiopians, the labeling of Amharas as oppressors when in fact, it is not the truth, the labeling of the Ogadenis as terrorists when they are fighting for their lives, or the labeling of all Oromo as OLF or separatists when in fact what they all want is freedom and equality like everyone else, the abusive treatment of many of our women, sometimes treating them only as sex objects, the way our young are sexually exploited through prostitution or sexual trafficking or the way some of our indigenous minorities are used to attract tourists rather than to help them develop as a people, still walking naked in the 21st century. The list can go on!

How can we become an inclusive society where humanity comes before ethnicity if we do not address the critical issues that threaten the survival of Ethiopia as a people? Our past leaders have not addressed these critical issues and many still do not want to do so as if magically, they will just disappear.

For example, as I mentioned earlier, some have been afraid to post the recent article on racism, believing it will divide the people because it has struck a nerve; yet, two years ago when I confronted the Oromo about their separatist positions, encouraging them to know they are just as “Ethiopian” as everyone else, it made the headlines.

Many Oromo now understand that no one should have to be asked for the key to their own home. In the same light, what broken relationships could begin healing today if there was a public admission that racist attitudes are wrong and must be corrected?

For those who want to “cover their ears” to this truth, it may be provocative, but to those who have been crying out for respect, it is liberating. We cannot be afraid to address this for it may prevent our country from breaking into pieces that might otherwise happen due to some feeling a lack of acceptance, value and belonging.

It is avoiding and denying the problem that causes many to want to leave the country in anger and bitterness. Until such genuine discussions enter the mainstream of dialogue, we are in trouble. I hope those who have blocked such efforts will join others who believe this is the way to bring reconciliation and healing to Ethiopia by 1) listening to others, 2) openly admitting where we have failed, 3) apologizing, 4) sharing one’s own hurts and wounds, 5) forgiving each other, and finally, 6) embracing one another as equal partners and members of Ethiopian society.

We must start by talking—but not only about surface issues. Ethiopia is known to others as “mysterious” but this is just a “nice” word for a culture known to “hide and cover up” that which is going on beneath the surface. In our case, it is infecting us and it must be exposed.

If anyone is convinced with the principles of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, come join and be part of it. The SMNE is the solidarity of people-to-people, friend-to-friend, family-to-family, community-to-community, church-to-church, mosque-to-mosque, ethnic group-to-ethnic group and political group-to-political group. This is what we are standing for and the kind of reconciliation we desire.

Societies are made up of individuals and unless we deal with the hurt feelings and emotional pain of individual people, we will not go anywhere. That is why the chameleon unity of the past, which is still the unity some are offering to us, must be discarded. It never worked before and will only continue to bring dysfunction to Ethiopia. Genuine unity will only be achieved through healthy relationships, which right now are broken in many places. There are many signs.

Has not Ethiopia become a country where we have not valued truth, justice, mercy and compassion towards one another? Have we not become a country that is so dangerous or inhospitable to life that our people, for many years, have been leaving or wanting to separate into their own countries? Are we not a country that is so harsh, uncaring and oppressive, especially to our more vulnerable people that millions are in jeopardy of dying? Have not our current and past regimes passed on a legacy that has devalued and excluded others so much that it is on the verge of collapse and disintegration? What are the possible reasons for this and the solutions?
Come to your own conclusions as you read the following Biblical passage about similar hardship faced by another people at another time and determine for yourself if any of this might apply to us now:

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’

“But they refused to pay attention, stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was very angry.

“‘When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.’” (Zechariah 7:9-14)

When someone is in pain, you can tell, because it triggers changes shown on the faces of the hurting. What does the face of Ethiopia look like right now? Most of us would admit that it is filled with pain. The question is whether there are solutions for that pain. Is it possible that showing “true justice, mercy and compassion” could be the answer?

I am convinced that we are bearing the fruits of our rebellion against these principles God established regarding how we should treat others and how we should not hold evil in our hearts towards each other. Let us seek God’s help in transforming our attitudes and actions so that we can live in “a pleasant land” where we can feed and take care of our own.

May God give those in pain, new and stronger voices and may He help each of us to be more caring and attentive listeners. May God also help us have the courage to pay the price to accept the truth, the humility to admit our failures, the strength to change our actions and the heart to be reconciled with each other as a society that truly embraces its people.

Please do not hesitate to email me if you have comments to: Obang@anuakjustice.org,
Obang Metho, Executive Member of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia

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39 comments

Comment from: Ahadu [Visitor]
Ahadu

Halleluja

I say halleluja ,finally you wake up brother.The issue you have raised rightly so will touch nerves in many quarters so much so you will be levelled as “woyane", why ? actually that is the issue they don’t want to be raised, if it is raised at all they think it is the offing of the current administration.In fact the many groupings of the political parties;divisions,infighting,intolerance emanates from the very issue you have raised ,but they want to avoid it at all costs.They are ridding the train of denial on the verge of derailing.keep it on, open the discussion and in the way you will discover some shockings and surprises.

02/25/09 @ 00:14
Comment from: challenger [Member]
challenger

Woyanne, experimenting with the slippery slopes of ethnic politics, has officially opened a can of worms. Now that the genie is out of the bottle, no turning back to the days of victim-lessness. What we hated about the North and South in Sudan has come to Ethiopia. Mr Zenawi, your chickens of division politics are coming home to roost.

02/25/09 @ 01:29
Comment from: Voiceout [Visitor]
Voiceout

Mr Obang Metho, Thanks for this amazingly
compiled article. I share your idea,i coudnt help to get choked up reading this. Its exactly what Ethiopia needs to move forward.
We all the people of Ethiopia need to
imediately practice social awarness of our interactions with one another. The only way we can have a lasting PEACE in our nation is, if only we make an effort towards discussing issues openly without being offensive and offended.Let us begin on a clean slate with fresh thinking and attitude for a better social life.

02/25/09 @ 02:15
Comment from: omo [Visitor]
omo

It is outrageous and beyond any logical explanation that an Ethiopian should beg for his Ethiopiawinet. We hear people say and write that Ethiopia is diverse and beauitful, while at the same time there are some Ethiopians who have formed a very strict criteria of how an Ethiopian should be, depending mainly on the colour of the skin.
Should we hide behind our false imaginations and delusions or should we ask ourselves the BIG question?
WHO IS AN ETHIOPIAN? Is he/she the person who has brown skin, thin lips and narrow nose? Is he/she the highlander who was born and grew at more than 2000 metres, on the Ethiopian plateau, at a cooler climate? Or does it include the low-landers with darker skin, people who were born and grew in a warmer climate? Are Ethiopians christians, moslems, negroids and those who are mixtures of Arabs and negroids, and all the rest? Is Ethiopia a melting pot or a country inhabited by pure blood extraterrestrials? Which one is the gold and which one is the bronze? The one who kills Ethiopia or the one who dies for Ethiopia? How many of those whom some Ethiopians do not accept as equal Ethiopians have died defending their motherland Ethiopia? And how many have run away to save their skins at times when Ethiopia was in danger and today try to doubt the Ethiopiawinet of our brothers and sisters with darker skin?
“Be-inkirt lay jorodegif”. We are known for poverty, famine, backwardness, aid-dependancy, ignorance, ethnicism and tribalism. Should we also be known for racism, too? Should we be a people who multiply our weaknesses instead of being a people who work day and night to improve our place in the human society, in this 21st century, in the age of genetic miracles, explosion of information and knowledge with the help of the internet and in this age when distant planets are in the reach of human beings?
We are a people who live in delusion. We are people with culture that is disdainful and envious of a hard working individual and with a racist view against people of a darker skin. We are narcissists and ego-centric. We luck self-knowledge. These are some of the reasons why we remain a backward people.
Ethiopians are all those people who are born within the boarders of Ethiopia. Even if he/she is a white individual born in Ethiopia, as long as he/she wants to be an Ethiopian, he/she will be called an Ethiopian, let alone an Ethiopian ethnic group. Ethiopians are equal before the law and our citizens are stakeholders in all affairs that concern our country. Ethiopia belongs to Anuaks and to any Ethiopian individual who comes from the smallest tribe, as it belongs to Amharas, Oromos and Tigres etc.
This stereotype of how an Ethiopian should look like is anachronistic, backward and not appropriate for people who want to be called citizens of the 21st century. Ignorance is a disease that can be cured!

02/25/09 @ 02:36
Comment from: c´moi senait [Visitor]  
c´moi senait

Racisem and prostitusiem goes hand in hand. They are the oldest diry human GEN that God had forgoten to cure. There is no cure for both of them. As long us you breath the air the is raciesem where ever you are and go.

02/25/09 @ 02:54
Comment from: Constructive [Visitor]
Constructive

WOW!!!

This is the issue what many people have been longing to be raised. Yes, this should not last here, it should keep on. Just reading the article is enough to release how others could feel. specially, in the many universities in Ethiopia, the issues is clearly obvious. Lets not mentioned what our ancestors in the name of Baria and Geta because , But on today.
Hey, Thank you so much!!!!!
I am so proud seeing such great Ethiopians

02/25/09 @ 07:50
Comment from: gurage [Visitor]
gurage

Thanx to EPRDF, this man named Obang from Gambela is finally regarded as human like the Amara in Ethiopa.

02/25/09 @ 08:49
Comment from: Nicole [Visitor]
Nicole

Mr. Obang

Great article. I hope we all take it seriously and avoid degrading remarks like BARIA etc. Sometimes it is used only for a joke but nevertheless we should avoid using it for ever. There are many words which should be banned by a civilized society and BARIA to be the first one. But I don’t understand why you should single out only Aiga, that is not fair. Aiga is a good website run by decent individuals who never uses such terms. I haven’t read one so far. Accusing people as a racist with out any proof is shamefull too.

Mr. Obang you have told us not to use dgrading terms and I advice you on my part to temper your rehetoric and should realize that you don’t have a licence to insult others too.

02/25/09 @ 09:06
Comment from: Sami1 [Visitor]
Sami1

WOW!
Man, this is what I have said the minute EPDRF took in charge. We do not need to be divided to know we are not discriminated instead we need one and only one thing that is UNITY and leadership of it from above saying who ever puts anyone down for thier looks, for their ethnic back ground, for their language barrier, or for the color of thier skin will be arrested and sentence for long time. In stead of than Mr. Meles wanted no attention paid to him so told all have a rigion protect it be register as “BEHER” and so on… This is what did it!

I like your comment…
“I am committed to this struggle for a NEW ETHIOPIA as someone who is seeking justice, truth, equality and respect for one another.”

All Ethiopians are EQUAL!

02/25/09 @ 12:10
Comment from: Bolale [Visitor]
Bolale

here you go. Dear Obang you are smart to start heat about this. i really appreciate that. i have a massage for those who are thinking that they have light skin or YEGETAZER and calling Others BARIAWU or any thing you name it,they have Name some were ealse…. any way guys!!!!! Look if you respect every one as humanbeing that will be appreciabel. Love Bolale

02/25/09 @ 12:20
Comment from: yoni [Visitor]
yoni

“It is based on acknowledging what was done to us and what we have done to others. Anything less than that will hold us back. Ethiopia is infected and dying and the only way to revive it is through truth,..”

Although i admire your effort to dialogue…i think one of the problem why we can’t dialogue is that YOU THINK ETHIOPIA IS DYING AND I THINK MY CURRENT ETHIOPIA IS A MUCH BETTER PLACE THAN MY PARENT’S ETHIOPIA.

Dialogue isn’t just admitting what we did to each other…it is also agknowledging the progress mader, be part of the solution and forward…

02/25/09 @ 13:32
Comment from: ensmama [Visitor]
ensmama

Issue of race, religion and origin has always been with us since mankind. Even animals of the same kinds fight among each other over their territories.
But God has given us wisdoms and minds to make choices and be able to live with one another with respect and integrity. In underdeveloped countries we hear everyday people engage in tribal or religious or territorial war in every sector of the world. Differences will always remain with us, but we can only minimize them whatever they are.
Having said this, In Ethiopia we have all kinds of issues and one of them is what the writer mentioned, A race issue. But, I do not think race has that greater impact anymore in our society more so than tribal or religion. Hence, why the writer is introducing this new divisive idea at this point of time, it is beyond my belief.
If there is anyone in Ethiopian who could not succeed in work place, or attend school, because of his color, we want to know and where it happened other than that just because some one called a name, can not be a national issue. I am sorry.
You cannot generalize because you approached few individuals and listened to their unsubstantial claims.

02/25/09 @ 13:44
Comment from: Target [Visitor]
Target

Mr Obang Metho you are the man
Mr Obang Metho 4 Ethiopian PM

02/25/09 @ 14:06
Comment from: dani [Visitor]
dani

great job obang mato i used to call for dark skin clour bariya when i was my country now im in us they call me nigger or bariya now i rializ the feeling of ather peiopl keep doing ur thing forget about aigoform websit they are not ethiopian they try to divide ethiopian peiopl they working for weyana and for tigry peiopl
???????????this is for aifofourm wibsite u are working 4 tigray peiople ur not represent ethiopian
please all weyana tigray peiole can u get ur indepandency frome ethiopia like eritrea did it you fight for ur peiople not for ethiopia you are diveloping ur country tigriy so pleas get indipandency frome ethiopia we don’t need u :no: im not shem on u u don’t have aney nationality feeling
god bless ethiopia
god job obang

02/25/09 @ 14:41
Comment from: dani [Visitor]
dani

great job obang mato i used to call for dark skin clour bariya when i was my country now im in us they call me nigger or bariya now i rializ the feeling of ather peiopl keep doing ur thing forget about aigoform websit they are not ethiopian they try to divide ethiopian peiopl they working for weyana and for tigry peiopl
???????????this is for aifofourm wibsite u are working 4 tigray peiople ur not represent ethiopian
please all weyana tigray peiole can u get ur indepandency frome ethiopia like eritrea did it you fight for ur peiople not for ethiopia you are diveloping ur country tigriy so pleas get indipandency frome ethiopia we don’t need u :no: im not shem on u u don’t have aney nationality feeling
god bless ethiopia
god job obang

02/25/09 @ 14:42
Comment from: Andrew Shiloh Selassie [Visitor]
Andrew Shiloh Selassie

Yes through the love of god we will find true unity in Ethiopia. This can only be achieved through the kebra negast and the constitutional monarchy which keeps the church as the head of Ethiopia and safeguards the human rights of all Ethiopians. “The difference in colour is a notion that has no significance, the futility of asserting such a difference has now become obvious.” the King of Kings Lord of Lords conquering lion of the tribe of Judah elect of God and light of this world, the root of David Christus Jesus Amanuel Haile Selassie

02/25/09 @ 15:14
Comment from: Birendo [Visitor]
Birendo

Mr Obang Metho, This is way too far!!! because of some bad apples,I dont think it is fair to bring such dangerous issue for a society at large. It is understandable, it is some bad people in woyane website who make you mad but you should also must understand their evil intenshions as well.we already got more than enough time bomds planted by woyane, shabia and other hate groups to dismentle our country. I think you are highly educated person to understand the big picture and keep on teaching Gods words about love and peace. some bad words are used by many people to hurt the feelings of people but this is all due to ignorance and lack of education. I strongly believe that society will change and give up some bad behaviors, attitudes,name callings, insults etc through posative teachings. lets more focus on education and posative things. God save Ethiopia from evil people, Amen !

02/25/09 @ 16:58
Comment from: Safu [Visitor]
Safu

All,

The problem is that we the so-called true Ethiopians believe that racism often refers to what we call as chauvinism and was directed towards black coloured people of Ethiopia alone and should be ignored. The truth is that racist bullying does not end on colour in Ethiopia. It extends its tentacle to ethnic origin, class, language, culture, even physique, and region of origin. That is why we saw an ethnic defined bounders and administration system in Ethiopia; because they were not respected as, Ethiopians and they were subjected to denigrating insults and neglect by the authorities and their politicised communities. That is why we saw the Mecha Tuluma organisation emerged in Ethiopia during 1960’s. That is why TPLF was created and that is why many other liberation fronts emerged in Ethiopia. As many other countries in the world, we liked or not, Ethiopia is a multi-racial-faith country and everyone has the right to have their culture, religion and their existence as black persons respected by others.
Nobody has the right to call you or me names or to treat you or me badly because of your or my colour, race or religion. It is illegal and it can be stopped. As I said above, you do not have to be a different colour to suffer racist bullying. You might have come from Oromia, Tigray, Shekacho, Kaffa, sidama, Murse, Gambella, Kambata, wollayta or even an Amhara. Neither is racist bullying confined to colour of skin. There is a difference between racial discrimination and racism. Racial discrimination means being treated differently to someone else because of your race, perhaps by being told you cannot entertain yourself in a bar or restaurant because you are black, Oromo, Amhara, Tigre, Wolamo, hidatan, Baria, Manja, Faki, or you are Gondere, Gojame, Sheawa Amhara, Shritam Somali, urgi, burgi, kotu gala and so on. These all are racist bullying symptoms that segregate people. As a result, no one is conformable to interact with other. This is a value practiced by the so-called Ethiopia lovers and churches. Just look at the u tube of the African Man who went in Ethiopia to report on documentaries of living with hunger in Ethiopia. What does racism mean? Unless you have experienced, you may not recognise the symptoms of racism. Racism means you are subjected to abuse and harassment because of your race, colour or beliefs. Often in Ethiopia and Ethiopian communities around the world, people of different colour, ethnic origin and religion are left out when giving opportunities such as government post, scholarships, rewards and praises. We see ghettos of one ethnic group in Ethiopia i.e. Tigre person only mixes with Tigre, Oromo person enjoys only with Oromo persons and so on. Unless this attitude change and brother hood and respect to each other are restored, Ethiopia will disintegrate. The later will come if we all recognised the mistake made and condemn loud all forms of Racism in Ethiopia. Lasting unity will not come from chameleon unity as Obang puts it. All Ethiopians must play a full role and rip the reward from it. In obangs and my new Ethiopia the priority is all people’s wellbeing. Without its people, Ethiopia is nothing.
In new Ethiopia, If one is being bullied, he or she must speak out. That is what Obang is advocating here. He is encouraging that we bring our complaints on various form of racist bullying from different ethnic groups, colures and religious groups so that it is stamped out of our country. He says, that if you see someone being racially bullied and if you do not do anything to help him or her, then you are helping the bully! I personally buy this idea. People who are being bullied can feel their lives are such a misery that they want to die. Often other people in Ethiopian communities do not realise the effect that bullying has when it goes on day in day out.
In developed countries, bullying makes people so upset that they often need to see a doctor. They might even try to kill themselves, or they self harm or perhaps suffer an eating disorder, particularly if they are called names about their weight or appearance and colour. Unless we see all political groups and community, leaders as well as religious leaders should come out and condemn all this racist activities of some Ethiopians. If not we know that they are condoning it. It was nice to hear what Mr Endargachew Tsige and other said, that is a kind of response I want to hear, so we can join hand in hand in building the new Ethiopia we all cherish. I admire his dynamism and honesty. Now we know who the true Ethiopian is. The enemies of Ethiopia will do everything to divide us. I respect Obang and I do not like the people who try to tarnish his name. I have seen all political parties come and go, I have seen lots of political leaders come and go, but without achieving nothing for last 30 years. This is because of racist attitudes that were established in our politicised communities. We do not trust each other and suspect each other. This can only be avoided, if we all embraced what Obang stands for and listened to him. There is no meaning if we organise poltical or social events and we ended up seeing the same people who started the event, not have wider support. Why should we deceive ourselves? Listen and support the right person so we all can see the promised land to all.

I am speaking about the way I see things. Just give a serious look at each
Ethiopian political groups both outside inside the country, community groups, events they organise. All are ghettos; it is homogenous and does not reflect the natural Ethiopian diversity. Why is this? It is because we are biased, racist and bully of others, we see others as outsiders and denigrating them for nothing. We Ethiopians never had non-partisan and all-inclusive institutions, political and social groups. As a group, we are too politicised community, supporting those we think are from our community or look like our ethnic group member and rejecting others. A country is measured, by how it treats its minorities, the weak and the vulnerable. If we are racist and bully, and think that is ok, by say this has been for centuries and we cannot do nothing, then that is wrong. Even in America or Europe where there is a clear racial line, there is a law that protects the racial groups and minorities, therefore as such everyone is safe to coexist and work as a country sharing political and social organisations. They are free to be elected and electing others. In those countries, if one was found to be making racially abusive statements he/she is often punished. All these countries have equal opportunity policies and system of monitoring.

Almost all-Ethiopian recorded history shows derogatory statements against minority groups and glorifies the governing group. That is why we are divided and that is why Obang is working to create an institution in Ethiopia, that will be non-partisan and protects all of its citizens from racists and bullies.Some may think this ethnic hate and racist attitude came with EPDRF or TPLF, it has been there since Emperors period through to Mengistu’s time. EPDRF exploited the existing ethnicity issues to gain power in Ethiopia and EPDRF itself is a result of this racist bullying. I remember how persons of Tigre origin were segregating themselves and did not mix with others during 1980’s. It is different now —-.

I condemn racsism in all it forms and it is not my value practice racism or associate with racist person or groups. I play my part to stamp our racism from our country.

Peace

Safu

02/25/09 @ 17:43
Comment from: Balageru [Visitor]
Balageru

Omo, if i was a president you be my vice lol. i like logical people rather than emotional. i admire Obang’s courage wonderful person! why people can’t see behind the mirror?? i think we need cultural revolution.

02/25/09 @ 20:47
Comment from: Dnqrn 3 [Visitor]
Dnqrn 3

Dear Melesas:
I would like to tell you one truth_Just shut up and save your dirty behinds. This issue won’t help you.
Mr. Obang! I don’t think that you belive there is structurally developed racism in that country.As far as I know racism is based on the color of the peoples skins.
I know people born in big towns/cities discriminating others simply because they are born in small towns/cities.Is it racism?
Indivudual incidents don’t represent or define a term such as like racism.
Let’s assume a welleo Oromo calls Jimma orom gaarba abbaketi(baria).Or a gondere calls gojame baria.Does that mean he/s is a racist?
All ethiopians from different nationalities/tribes were oppressed and exploited by the previous rullers and current rule of the country. Yes groups and individuals of this or that nationalty/tribe have been and are beneficiaries & protected. But when we see the big picture all of us are equally ineed of democracy & the rule of law.
Mr Obang. You wrote: “…we condemn the future of our country with insincere words of chameleon unity….”
I hated this phrase. Because the people of Ethiopia have fought and kept the unity of the country for their own benefit.
Yes,there was force to bring to the unity more lands. History doesn’t know a country built without force.Nececity has created countries……
The backward cultures and viws of people cannot be changed overnight. That’s why we fight for democracy, the rule of law, socio economic development of the country .
Don’t we have to scrutinize issues to be handdle according to the weight of the necessity to handdle them?
I hope I missunderstood Obangs article & I’m ready to take any consequence,since I expect a lot from pepople like him.

02/25/09 @ 23:02
Comment from: Halafi Mengedi [Visitor]
Halafi Mengedi

Challenger,

Why are people calling PRDF ethnic politics? What EPRDF has done was unite people with their own people. The previous regimes divided one ethnic group in to so many provinces in order to rule and weakened people. Take Oromo, Afar, Agew, Kunama, Saho and others are being divided in to pieces instead of live and administer in their own one region.

The question is WHO IS THE MOTHER OF ETHNIC DIVIDER IN ETHIOPIA, THE OLD RULERS OR EPRDF?

To me the previous rulers were ethnic dividers and EPRDF is ethnic unitor

02/25/09 @ 23:36
Comment from: Halafi Mengedi [Visitor]
Halafi Mengedi

Safu,

Nice post.

I think the problem about racism is not mainly skin but tradition, religion, language, culture, lack of transportation, communication, Television played big role all Ethiopians not to integrate.

In Tigray we did not mixed up each other until Woyane started. Every district used to marry from their district. I do not now but Tigrians do not want to mix with any other ethnic groups at all the same is true for Eritreans. The Eritrean Tigrigna speaking people do not marry with other Eritrean ethnic groups. Of course both Tigre from Eritrea and Tigray they get married not too many though.

02/26/09 @ 00:15
Comment from: hirad [Visitor]
hirad

dear Obango,from the beloved people of Gambella iI salute you first you article touches alot of issue,sometimes dangerous to tell other foreighn countries what the ruling elite has done to the people of collective ethiopia ,including the on going massacre,starvation,rapping and killing of innocent people of gambelle and the attrocities right now going in ogaden -somali state region .you article is really honest straight forward to the truth that insults like “BARIA and

02/26/09 @ 00:19
Comment from: hirad [Visitor]
hirad

“BARIA"Translated to english will be “Negro"but in the eyes of god all people are born equal your day will come and in english they say every dog has a day look America e miracle happen after 60 years when Marthin Lther King was assasinated ,look today whois the president of America,may be one day you will be the prime minister of Gambella and even better the president of Ethiopia.

02/26/09 @ 00:26
Comment from: Guta [Visitor]
Guta

Its good idea that Mr Obang raised the issue for discussion. However, we need to be very cautious when we call it `racisim` and try to compare it with what we hear and (experience) while in exile.

I have been called and am still being called `bariaw` by my close friends. I never took it seriously and will never do so. This is because unlike the racism that existed and is still manifested in USA and elsewhere (in Israel for example), there is no bad intention associated with calling me so. I have never heard an Ethiopian in Ethiopia denied a school because one is darker skinned; I have never heard an Ethiopian in Ethiopia denied of services in any sector because one looked darker, I have never heard an Ethiopian in Ethiopia being denied of job opportunity because of skin color or `unfamiliar` name (at least before TPLF came to power).

02/26/09 @ 02:01
Comment from: marwa [Visitor]
marwa

good idea keep up on it dont let your self dawn

02/26/09 @ 06:06
Comment from: king [Visitor]
king

Let’s not see our country’s social and political problems through the lense of other countries.

the racism there was and is in America is differernt from the racism in our country.
i understand obangs concern. that there is name calling and insult among different ethnic groups,color, and charactein our country. But in ethiopia for many hundred years,powerfull individuals have rose and failed. No regard is given to color and ethnicity as long as the the person has accomplished great things. Many powerfull visionary and smart women also have emerged as big players in politics. Saying the word Baria , Keyo and the like… is common in ethiopia. people call others they love as “Baricho"and Keyo” All the time. the problem arises when people try to give these names some negative conotation.

In western countries the color black is given many negative conotations as for the color white, many positive.
when people use words to insult others thats unacceptable. words are nothing without meaning. we should be concerned about meaning not words. for example, if someone call another “Baria” to mean ugly, that someone should punched in the face. But if someone calls another “Baricho” in a positive and friendy way, that is not bad. All is beautiful in ethiopia. obviously there are some sick people that want to exploit this issue for their own gains. i strongly believe that most ethiopians don’t buy that. when i first started reading the article many things went to my mind. we should talk about any issues that concern others. if anything concerns , a fellow ethiopian or one ethnic group, it should concern all of us.

our cultural diversity and differnces are our beauty.

Our enemies laugh when we dwell on shit thats not worthwhile.
Peace.

02/26/09 @ 07:35
Comment from: Dawit [Visitor]
Dawit

Surely in the past 15-20 years people have become more aware of there ethnicity which is OK as long as they accept other ethnic groups as equals.
To come out and say there is racism in Ethiopia to me is baseless. People are trying hard to associate experiences in other countries to the Ethiopian experience, perhaps for lack of better topics to write on.
Ethiopia’s worst enemy is poverty. We get rid of poverty and we will be rid of every other problem in the country. There is class division in Ethiopia for sure and purely economic but I refuse to believe there is a race division. At least that is my experience.

02/26/09 @ 09:56
Comment from: Ras Antar [Visitor]
Ras Antar

Racism can’t be practiced by an individual. Racism is a power structure. One individual does not have the ability to hold back another race. This may seem like trivial sematics; but, it is very important and is indicative of the power and influence of true racism. What we are really talking about is European Cultural domination. African scholars have defined racism as a power structure that requires the power to hold back another race.However, many both black and white because of racist education have not read these African scholars. The word racism should not be used casually. A dark skinned person can not be racist toward a lighter skinned person and vice vesa. They are both classified in the same race and neither has the global power to hold back the other. Ethnic and tribal discrimination and the like is another thing. It is because of European cultural domination that lighter skinned persons around the world think they are superior to dark skinned persons. It is basic genetics that darker skin is a dominant trait and that lighter skin is recessive. Thus, if a lighter skinned person is brainwashed to think he or she is superior, they are victims of European Cultural Domination and/or denial. A minority of Europeans have spread this disease around the world. Some of them think they need this lie for the sake of they own social wellbeing. They have tricked some to believe that straight hair is better than thick/curly hair. They have even, some how, convinced some that a flat buttock is better than a big and round one. However, the scientific proof exists that proves these original African traits to be dominant. Although I am light skinned, I accept these truths. The truth is the way to reconciliation, freedom, and peace.

02/26/09 @ 11:31
Comment from: temesgen [Member]  
temesgen

Mr. Obang I realy admired you when you cried and testified in the US congress about the atrocities committed by weyane in Gambela, Addis Abeba during the elction and other areas. Do you know that andargachew tsige is weyane? Since that time you were hijacked by him, it is sad to see that you are spending your precious time on such petty issues as “racism in Ethiopia". If you really believe in democratic values it is high time for you and all concerned Ethiopians to support AEUP. andargachew tsige is a weyane agent who tried to destroy CUDP from within but he failed, andargachew tsige and the other weyane berhane mewa are now replaced by patriotic Ethiopians. ginbot 7 is a fake weyane party which has already joined the new weyane “medrek” just as birtukans udj recently did. Mr. Obang liberate yourself from the likes of andargachew tsige suport real opposition party led by Engineer Hailu. andargachew was a high ranking weyane official in the 1990s he is also linked to weyane by marriage, to associate yourself with such a character will put you in a bad light in the eyes of many Ethiopians. I also heard that you were in Gambela at the time of weyanes atrocity and you got picked up by an American helicopter that was in Djibouti. What were you doing there at that time? Do you really oppose weyane?

02/26/09 @ 12:17
Comment from: Ben [Visitor]
Ben

Ras Antar, Talk for ur self.

because of European cultural domination that lighter skinned persons around the world think they are superior to dark skinned persons.

This may be the other way around.

How is it to be cofortable with ur own skin.

02/26/09 @ 12:24
Comment from: Guta [Visitor]
Guta

Following my previous comment…

I think we need not be emotional and agrandise what seems to be not so big an issue. Worst yet trying to compare being called `shankila` or `barya` with what black Americans have gone through. This, to the least, is, belittling and undermining black American History.

My bottom line is, lets not call it racism, because its not, as the racism we know in US and elsewhere. Oromos have been called `Gal…`, Amharas have been called `Neft…`, Tigres have been called `Agam…`…(I am sory for using these words in here). Using such words may be inapproprate and I fully agree that they should be abandoned.

We better focus our attention on bigger and meaningful ideas such as working together for common goal-eradicating poverity. That must be the line of the discussion, I think, not racism which is non existent in Ethiopia; I think, we rather need to appreciate the skills of our foreafthers who managed to coexist with diversity…. Mr. Obang, it may not be your intention but I feel anger and retaliation in your writing. Its understandable that you get angry at those TPLF thugs who work day and night at Aiga to divide Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Fight them back…I hope you are not trying to score political point by coining a new `problem` among Ethiopians. There is no racism in Ethiopia!

02/26/09 @ 12:33
Comment from: Gennet [Visitor]
Gennet

Mr. Obang,

I feel that you hurt too much. I am so sorry !!! There is no need to elaborate, explain etc… why discrimination based on ethnic origion, belief etc.. happens in Ethiopia. There is/was discrimination in the ethiopian society based on all the aboce. Period. I have a very high regard for you to speak up on this matter. You are a strong personality, so keep up, but please do not mingle the whole thing with politics. This is a deep rooted historical, traditional and cultural problem.

I feel so ashamed of Ethiopians who call their brother/sister ‘Baria’. This term in the Ethiopian contest does not only mean dark skinned, but also slave, without any whatsoever inherent human rights.

Mr.Obang, Please tell me whatever I can contribute to fight this degrading behavour. I am more than willing to do so.

Sincerely

02/26/09 @ 13:18
Comment from: Elsa [Visitor]
Elsa

Dawit said:

” There is a class division in Ethiopia for sure and purely economic but i refuse to believe there is a race division. At least that is my experience”

Dawit,
How could you feel the burnt of Weyane racist policy? After all you are one of the sons of the Werqamaw hizb ( Aryans) in the northern part of Ethiopia.
Your midget leader boasted in the past that he is proud of ” Werki Hizbi” of his people- Tigrians not Ethiopians.
The midget Prime minister of Tigray doesn’t represent Ethiopia, he is represents the ” Golden” people of Tigray.

02/26/09 @ 14:02
Comment from: king [Visitor]
king

Dani, Check ur spelling first, before you tell people what they need to do.

02/26/09 @ 15:18
Comment from: Safu [Visitor]
Safu

Guta,

Please, please read Obang’s original article and the comments and experiences people shared with Obang on his articles. Also, read comments made by Ato endargachew Tsige and others. These are just accounts from those who can write and read in English. If you go to Benishangule, Gambella, most southern regions and even in central part of Ethiopia, you will find people who have been denied education, promotion. Dark coloured people are often ridiculed and subordinated by those political communities in power. I personally know persons who have been discouraged and held back from their Education. Do not go far, during the Ethiopia and Eritrea war of 1998, dead black Ethiopian solders were left to rot, and when asked, the Ethiopians and Eritrean solders both said that they are not buried because they are black. Just read Obang’s paper and feel what it means to be minority and Black in Ethiopia? For those who say this is trivial and should not be a priority, just imagine. Imagine a person who is from ethnic minority say from Gambella running for highest office in Ethiopia, how would he / she be viewed? Just imagine! He or she beeing called Baria, belittled and denigrated. Angry and upset, not able to do what they set out to do. Unless this issue is discussed and our people are educated, we will be preventing the use of talent and gifts of people like Ato Obang. It will be a suicide for him to go into political platform and join the mainstream politics in Ethiopia without properly established controls and checks in place. That is why Obang and other like-minded people have taken up this issue head on. The denial for the existence of racism in Ethiopia is just a pretext to keep the status quo for continued domination at the expense of Black people. Speak to all African diplomats and their families posted in Ethiopia, they all will tell you, that they were called Baria, insulted, laughed at and mocked in the streets of Addis Ababa. They did not like that. Once Ethiopia was regard as a beckon of free Black Country, often representing black might and example, but now she turned out to be an abuser. What is asked of us here is change, and educating our people of human values for care and compassion. This is an era where care and compassion is given even to animal welfare, let alone humans. How long until we recognise this?

Peace

02/26/09 @ 16:48
Comment from: Shewarega [Visitor]
Shewarega

Obang is a good person, whether he does right or wrong it all comes out of good intentions. I leave it there. For me, all Ethiopians are citizens of our nation, by a simple fact, their birth. Other than that, I could care less who is administering or leading that nation, as long as he is Ethiopian, and cares for the nation first rather than his town, village, province etc. I sure hope to see one day before I die, that Ethiopians will truely be reconcilied and capable of bringing and removing their leaders without any molestation. If they are equal under the law, if they have the capacity to choose and hold the leaders they want (at least the majority), I think most of our current problems can be removed, from secession to poverty, to ethnic hatred. Other than that racism and name calling comes in various ways. We have a good dosage of it here at Nazret where people constantly do their best to outdo their opponents. One of our enlightened participants, thou he is kinda new, just the other day used the word “Baria” to describe the Emperor Menelik, even thou he brags night and day how he brought equality to Ethiopians in the past twenty two and half days he has showed his ugly ass in here. Therefore, this is not a matter of one group doing a b c to another, its a two way street. Let me recap, the only thing that will stop it is when the people get true visionaries as their leaders, people usually follow what they see in those who administer them.

02/26/09 @ 23:14
Comment from: challenger [Member]
challenger

Even though I personally don’t consider what we have in Ethiopia is racism – because I think we all are BLACK – the supremacists who perpetrate the act or hold the attitude actually do it not just in the name of ethnic supremacy but racial grounds as well. So I understand where Obang is coming from. Hey, who am I to tell him and others whether to interpret the actions and attitudes of others based on what they, the perpetrators, are or what the perpetrators think they are? One thing I know is you can’t and shouldn’t even attempt to sanction people’s thought. That would be a grave mistake. For example, many girls, Ethiopian and white alike, think I’m cute. Who am I to argue with that? I have no choice but to accept that I’m irresistible. &#59;D

02/27/09 @ 01:00
Comment from: Ras Antar [Visitor]
Ras Antar

Although I tried to distinguish between Racism and what is really a form of Self hatred in my last response, I in no way was trying to say the problems that Mr. Obang brought out are not important. In fact, these problems help to stimulate poverty. I know that Mr. Obang is telling the truth. A friend of mine went to Jamaica as a Peace Corp member and was shocked when she arrived at the Peace Corp office and found Jamaican girls waiting for white males. She said that the Jamaican girls said that they wanted the white men so that they could have a pretty baby. In America we are still fighting against this method of divide and rule. In fact, if people are interested in studying further, Google the Willie Lynch Letter. He was a Slave Master that used skin color as a way of dividing his “slaves". This form of White Supremacy is global. I was just reminded of this when I noticed because of the popularity of ‘Slum Dog Millionaire” that India is plagued with a serious cast system. The Indians living in the slums are basically black or darker skinned. In America there are African American social clubs that still use what is called the brown paper bag test to determine membership. If you are not lighter than a brown paper bag you can not enter. What these people don’t understand is that they are demonstrating self hatred. If you do not love yourself, how can you love another? The African Americans that are lighter than a brown paper bag act as if they don’t know that their ancestors were raped and/or physically forced or psychologically forced into relationships because of slavery. This subject is so serious that it should be addressed at the World Conference on Racism or maybe a conference can be organized in Africa. This problem exists all over Africa and where ever people of color are.

02/27/09 @ 09:33

rebtel

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