Mikael Wossen, PhD.
In 1896, Atse Menelik scared and scandalized the racist European mindset – by maintaining the freedom of Ethiopians from European colonial plunder and slavery. He was called a barbarian by the Crispi leadership. His people, the Amaras, were incorrectly labeled as colonial “oppressors” by the Europeans, for heroically resisting and defeating a European power. Fear and racism combined, helped to create this warped consciousness.
Hence too, the lasting “Amaraophobia” embedded in the local “fifth column” ethnic politicos, whose parentage descends from Askaris. The latter were natives hired by the Italians for servitude and for military service against their own compatriots. These forces were organized as the TPLf, OLF & EPLF. The Askari-Banda crimes against humanity are still being committed, under a false pretext that Amharas are colonialists. In real colonies, all Caucasians were privileged by virtue of their race, not so with Amaras. Euro-Americans turned indifferent to the ongoing Amara genocide, and forgot the “never again” pledge. In fact, they support the genociders. Also, they are whining about Russia’s alleged “crimes against humanity” in Ukraine. Clearly, not all genocides are equal. Adorno rightly believed that propaganda consists in the “rational manipulation of what is irrational” and constitutes the “prerogative” of the totalitarians, and their native collaborators, we might add.
This manipulation of the white man by propaganda simmered like a volcano for decades, if not for centuries. The alleged inferiority of Africans was elaborated on and justified in great detail. It was said that the Africans were childish, and could not govern themselves. They had no history. Building a state was said to be beyond the capacity of tribal Africans. In 1936, after being declared persona non grata by Ethiopia, the Austrian Nazi Prochazka in his opus Abyssinia, The Powder Barrel- misleadingly wrote that there is no such thing as a united Ethiopia. Actually “the numerous peoples and tribes who inhabit the territory of the Ethiopian state and which differ in race, language, culture, and religion from the ruling minority proper, would long have thrown the Abyssinian yoke if they had been given the right to self-determination. Instead, they are being forcibly kept from European influences and the advantages that progressive colonialism could confer upon the country (trans. by Aleme Eshete, 2008).This shameless white supremacist labeled the enslaving, exploitative, and neck/hand-chopping European colonialism as a “progressive” force. This progressive opportunity was allegedly denied to Ethiopians, because of the evil Menelik and Amharas.
Prochazka’s paranoia and lies were extreme. He was worried that Ethiopia’s victory and independence will influence other colonial Africans to unchain themselves from colonialism. For instance, the Kenyan neighbors would no longer refer to whites as Bwana (Master). He was of the opinion that the white and “civilized” West had to immediately abort Ethiopians’ deleterious influence on Africans. Together with Japan, he wrote, Ethiopia was engaged in a “life and death” struggle against the white European powers.
He argued that the degree of hatred and contempt Amhara’s exhibit towards whites must be curbed by any means and before it spreads to the neighboring regions. As long as Ethiopians remained independent, free, and united, the future of the white man in Africa was in danger.
The first word, he claimed, that white foreigners hear in Ethiopia is “dirty” (or koshasha). Whiteness is a word of insult among pride-filled Amaras. Foreigners are seen as koshasha ferenji, and as “white dogs.” Ethiopians actually see themselves as superior to whites, and perceive themselves as being the only masters of their land, and believe in maitre chez nous. They are adept at exploiting and humiliating the foreigners who came to work in Ethiopia, he wrote. An Ethiopian with dirty and tattered clothing is given priority in services and respect. He urged that we cannot afford to wait until fellow whites are massacred mercilessly once and for all. White Europe cannot indulge these savages and include them amongst the civilized nations of the world. Europe’s “laisser faire, laissier passer” policy must seize. He suggested that for the safety and security of whites, Ethiopia needs to be conquered and placed under British suzerainty. His book was translated into all foreign languages and served as an instruction manual for European embassies, and their foreign ministries.
Amaras were demonized and de-Africanized instantly after Adwa. Because they had decisively defeated a white army, they were said to be closer to the so-called Caucasian race. The whites could not accept being defeated by an African army, hence the racial re-engineering of Amaras. Prochazka alleged that Ethiopia’s two-tiered law favors natives, and is punitive towards whites. He mentions a bar in Ethiopia, where whites are welcomed as “pigs” and regularly abused by Ethiopians. He heaps tons of false allegations against Ethiopians.
To get to the irrationality and original misdiagnosis of the problem of this alleged Amhara’s original sin, certain analytical distinctions are in order.
As the CIA psych op. and prominent “Ethiopianist” the late Paul Henze (Layers of Time, 2000) pointed out “Shoan predominance and Amhara domination” are different matters, or “not the same thing.” As such, they need to be decoupled from each other. This is crucial to understanding Prochazka’s misdiagnosis. Namely, Shoan-Amara domination was effectively crushed by the Mengistu regime in 1974. An ardent TPLF supporter and godfather, Henze also acknowledges that “in actuality the core Amhara regions-Gojjam, Begemeder and Wollo… were at least as neglected as Tigrai in the allocation of developmental resources during the entire period.” (Henze, 2000) The ” entire period” refers to the century misleadingly characterized as a period of Amhara dominance and even “colonialism,” by hostile whites and Bandas.
Yet, in the period of what was Shoan-Solomonic predominance, the Amara population of Ethiopia had no preferential privileges whatsoever. It fared no better politically or materially than its Tigrean or Oromo compatriots. During the pre-revolutionary days of Shoan supremacy, the great majority of the Amhara population has always been as deprived and as poor, if not poorer than its Tigrean-Oromo compatriots. Condemning these impoverished farmers as “colonials” is part of a long-standing irrational foreign (European) doctrine to dissolve Ethiopia, and to rule the divided and tribalized population as European colonials.
After Adwa’s thrashing, Ethiopians were hated and demonized for having, militarily and politically, defeated the European-Askari army, thereby snuffing out imperial-colonial ambitions. Their victory fired up the logocentric imagination and anti-colonial indignation of the darker people worldwide.
Just as Europe questioned the blackness of Amaras, it also questioned the Caucasianess of Italians, who could not even defeat an African army. This ignited fascist Mussolini’s rage and framed his attempt at chemically conquering Ethiopia. He ordered his fascist soldiers to kill Amaras indiscriminately, and labeled them as “dogs’ ‘ in his leaflets, addressed to Tigreans (Parlesak,1989). He ordered them not to feed hungry and wounded Amhara-Arbegna soldiers, but to murder them ruthlessly. Butcher Graziani instructed his commanders to pitilessly and speedily exterminate “Amhara chiefs, great and small” (I. Campbell, 296, 2010) to avoid further trouble. He also ordered the elimination of the Tewahido clergy and monks. Fascism and Catholicism joined hands to conquer Ethiopia.
In the end, the criminal fascists lost Italy’s war again, and were kicked out unceremoniously. In time, the African continent was alight with liberation wars that aimed to throw out the colonialists. Both, Prochazka’s fears and Menelik’s vision, were thus realized to a certain extent. In time, Ethiopia began to be ruled by Italy’s native servants. These native Bandas (Meles & Co.) put in practice (constitutionalized) their masters Amarophobic and tribalization ambitions. Prochazka and Mussolini became history, while their irrational and hate-filled ideas remained to bedevil Ethiopians. Only the leadership of the EPLF has lately disavowed this mistaken Amarophobic position. A brutal and murderous movement towards Oromuma ethno-fascism and Pentecostalism is currently in progress, and is led by the voluntarily colonized.
Atse Menelik remains Ethiopia’s Eternal Emperor!
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