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From a Donkey to an Elephant: A Reluctant Political Shift of Diaspora Ethio-Eritrean Americans

Image source : The Conversation

The Queen of Sheba

In a piece I wrote under a heading Ethiopian Democrats: Time to Vote Republican? in March 2021 I observed:

“One of the banners in the recent massive demonstration against the United States read “I regret my vote for Democrats, it only brought back Rice, #1 enemy of Ethiopia!” It was referring to the hysterical—and manic laughter—of Susan Rice in front of the world as she was unabashedly re-affirmed the 100 percent election victory of the TPLF! With such epic honesty who needs liars. All justice and democracy pursuing and seeking people of the world should have noticed, but may have already forgotten, this tragicomedy. We shall never. It is time that the Ethiopian and Eritrean Diaspora show their strength not just in the streets—but also in the ballot box.”

I went on to argue: 

“Ethiopians and Eritreans in the US and elsewhere need to stand together in their struggle against the blatant injustice committed against them in different times. Collectively, they are a force to reckon with as we witnessed it in the unprecedented public demonstrations in Washington, New York and globally. It is important that their votes count for something; and if it means propping up an inept republican senator, legislator, counselor or even a president, who takes favorable stance towards the countries, so be it. It is time that the Ethio-Eritrea diaspora play the game in a systematic and organized manner. Organizations such as the Global Ethiopian Advocacy Nexus (GLEAN) and the Ethiopian American Civic Council could play a key role.”

Raw Emotions

Such was the raw emotions of some African Americans, one in response retorted at length aggressively:

“I usually gloss over your column because I find it to be nothing but gloss. That is to say, the babblings of a person desperately attempting to be taken seriously; to be considered a shaper of opinions. Generally, I have no objection to such pretentious self-deception. Whatever floats your boat. However, the recent insurrection in the US of the very moronic, cowardly and racist Republican party you have the audacity to recommend to Ethiopian voters is a subject apart. You have identified yourself, little do you know, with the other ‘Black Republicans’ who, because they pretend to have been “taken for granted”, meaning they have not been invited to discussions in what they consider High Places, run to the other side for the comfort of having their indignant feathers smoothed. That is, to be invited to sit with ‘white folks’. Permit me to be blunt, at the risk of seeming discourteous: You understand nothing of American politics. Further, I believe that in recommending the Republican Party as an alternative to the Democrats, you have destroyed the very little credibility as an analyst you had. You might want to thoroughly acquaint yourself with the history of the Republican Party. Before you are approached to join their ranks. If you have not already been approached. Have you?” 

He went on another follow up offense:

“The history of African peoples is rife, even today, with those of us (with apologies) who, like Republicans, think themselves a ‘cut above the rest’. Those were the ones who collaborated with the whites in de-populating the African continent of its peoples for, at least, 400 years of slavery all over the western hemisphere. And who, even now, continue to do so. The only difference being that today it is called ‘foreign domestic labor’.” 

The same person did not spare other such African descendants either as he described: 

“Susan Rice is one of the wanna-be-whites we have become accustomed to and she carries no weight among non-Republican Black Folk. And she never will. Just like that other rice, Condoleeza.”

Crossing the Aisle

Such folks as this one may not readily comprehend the painful taboo of crossing over the aisle of political allegiance. But for the Ethiopians and Eritreans, their homelands, as mismanaged and mangled by the incompetent democratic leadership, crossing that aisle is, simply a fair play. For such groups, the allegiance to homeland is much greater than the issue of race.  

Today marks the beating of a democrat in the Virginia gubernatorial election. The other one in New Jersey is in a virtual tie. Ethiopians and Eritreans are reported to have voted overwhelmingly—with vengeance—crossing the aisle, in a strong reaction to the dazingly disastrous, but consequential, policy of the Biden administration. 

In a congratulatory remark to the victorious Republican candidate the American-Ethiopian Public Affairs Committee (AEPAC) wrote: 

“Ethiopian-Americans feel desperately let down by the President and Democratic Members of Congress. They have shown sympathy towards an insurgency determined to undermine Ethiopia’s democratic and economic progress and have failed to constructively engage the Ethiopian Government. Instead, this administration has opted for a misguided and contradictory approach with aggressive rhetoric and sanctions that will hurt ordinary Ethiopians.” More of the message here.

Today is a historic—but ominous—day for Ethiopia as it marks the first anniversary of the slaughtering of its National Defence Forces by the TPLF cabal terrorists—while in their sleep. More on this in a piece entitled The Last Supper: The Slaughter Camp

Ethiopians have been deeply grieving by the reprehensible policies of the Biden administration and the democratic party ever since the unprovoked and “thunderous” attack while unabashedly siding with the terrorists. 

On this very day, we also witnessed the disastrous defeat of the democrats with a warning shot for the mid-term election. 

In Conclusion

The message now is pretty clear. Ethiopians and Eritreans in states and communities where they live in large numbers are emerging as a strong voting bloc(s) in the process becoming an important force in advancing their national—as well as homeland—interests. 

And the question mark in this heading of the March piece “Ethiopian Democrats: Time to Vote Republican?” is now out of place.

The Ethiopian and Eritrean Diaspora votes should be taken for granted—no more. Yes, both animals—donkey, representing democrats, and elephant, representing republicans—are simply mammals when the matter comes to an issue of a homeland.

The Queen of Sheba may be reached at | @TheQueenofSheb5 (This Twitter account has been suspended for months now after joining—and making a few tweets and retweets on the TPLF cabal.)

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  1. The result of this election in Virginia may make many among us feel good. That was it. We will see if the ban from AGOA will be reversed on January 20, 2022 or even 2023 if the republicans take control of either one or both houses of Congress. At this point and if the recent polls continues in their current tracks, I don’t know how Biden is gonna win again, then el-Sisi will be proposed to ‘blow up’ the GERD. By then Ethiopia has already descended into utter disarray open for just a single commando unit to come in and help itself in whatsoever it wants to do. Our crying and moaning will go on as long as we continue to blame others for our own faults. It also worries me that elections here being more and more influenced by interest groups. As a result innocent candidates may be victimized. There are democrats who oppose the ban from AGOA and there are also republicans who also oppose the same ban. Who knows we may elect a QAnon candidate into office because he/she might have said something about the old country to make us feel good. If this comment finds me wrong or too skeptic either in January 2022 or 2023 hit me for it. I am a big boy enough to accept deserved criticism and apologize.

  2. This war has now become a necessary evil. Amharas were suffering in the hands of OLF long before this war started. you can only imagine how bad other nationalities will be treated in Oromia if the OLF and TPLF should win this battle. TPLF wants to destroy the country before they declare succession. Eritreans are also waiting for a possible invasion of their country should TPLF win their advances in Addis. Eritreans and the rest of Ethiopia have no option to stand and fight to defend their country. This is a holy war for Ethiopia to defend their God given country. Viva Ethiopia Viva Eritrea.

  3. There is news that Mr. Feltman is in Addis/Finfine as the final effort by the US government to stop the senseless bloodshed there. Such effort by a US official should be encouraged. The rebels are only about 200 miles from the capital. The government there does not seem to have the capabilities to take back the areas under Debre’s forces now. What so far to be a sign of relief for me is the rebels have not carried out a massive shooting of civilians. I have read news of about 100 youths summarily executed in the city south of Dessie but it was reported by the government. Advancing to the capital by Debre’s forces may lead to a drawn out battle for the city. It will be turned into foxholes and trenches both sides digging in. The capital is home to more than 5 million residents. Just a few hours ago the US and UK governments have advised their citizens and non-essential embassy employees to leave the country now. This is the mother of all calamities in the offing I have had a nightmare about for quite some time now. If the capital turns into a major battle zone then the entire country will turn into a battle zone. I hope Mr. Feltman shall succeed in his assignment. Let’s all temper our emotions and give peace mongers a chance. Let’s not make their efforts difficult. It is difficult as it is. Debre’s forces will not turn back to a region already in shambles and gripped, as reported, with acute food shortage. Wow! What a nightmare I’m having now for those unfortunate people. All of us should be prepared to hear everyone of our relatives crying out for help. Let’s be ready to hear news of their demise one by one. I’m pleading to both Abiy and Debre to gain back their senses and do the right thing to avert this pending calamity peacefully. Enough with pointing fingers at each other. Sit down and talk.

  4. Ittu Aba Farda are you writing this comment at starbucks where you orgnized a mourning event for ethiopia ? Ittu Aba Farda is political advisor for abiy and he insist on pushin,g Abiy to continue with his genoicidal move. Ittu Aba Farda , and Rezene , including prof almariam to ICC

    justice for amhara , wollo

  5. I congratulate Ethiopian Americans and Eritrean Americans for casting their decisive votes last Tuesday to elect Republican candidates for the positions of Governor, Deputy Governor (daughter of immigrants from Jamaica), and Attorney General (Spanish origin). That would the first chapter in removing President Biden and Democrats. The second step would the coming mid-term election in November of 2022, to be followed by the third step of Presidential election in 2024. The more the Biden administration stabs Ethiopia on her back, the more determined we would be do everything we to remove him and his and his democratic cohorts from state and federal offices.

    Now to the propaganda campaign against Ethiopia, which I believe is choreographed by the US through linked tentacles. Cancelling Ethiopia from preferential trade access to prohibiting arms sales from the US, just one day from visit by a purported “special representative” of the US to East Africa, is the latest campaign. Just on the first day of visit to Ethiopia by that “special representative’, the Embassy in Addis Ababa announced staff and dependents to leave Ethiopia if they wish. It is all geared to give the impression that Ethiopia is in chaos, that living conditions are uncomfortable, etc. All indirect way of providing support to the terrorist junta, as happened when food donations meant to feed the people of Tigrai were instead used by the TPLF fighters with the tacit approval of USAID and other cohorts.

    Difficult times like these could be harbinger of good things to come for Ethiopia. I would hope Ethiopia would henceforth be determined not to pretend to have ‘historical friends” like the USA but rather cultivate alternative international relationships. There are no permanent friends in foreign relations but only permanent friends. Also Ethiopia should abandon dependency on foreign loans and donations, but rather develop using her own material, financial, and human resources. Foreign loans and ‘aid’ never left permanent and sustainable marks on Ethiopia.


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