Tsegaye R Ararssa's exposé of Yilkal Getnet's diatribe
Are these people serious? Are we 'progressing' backwards?
He doesn't even understand that:
1) No cause, not even state-building, is a justification for genocide.
2) Menelik wasn't even engaged in nation-building even for the north (let alone the South). They like to tell us his act of giving Eritrea away to Italy (and their tolerance of the original Italian occupation of Tigray--even deep into Adowa) is an act of nation-building.
3) His policy of 'ager maqnat' (i.e., colonization by other name, alias 'civilization', the very core concept in European colonial project) is not the same as nation-building. If he was trying to eliminate regional differences among the Amhara regional lords, if he was standardizing the language, or 'purifying' their religion, or defining a uniform culture that defines their Pan-Amhara identity, then he could have been called a nation-builder. What nation was he building when he was destroying nations near and far? What nation was he building when he was eradicating a whole set of population, destroying their culture and identity, erasing them from history, expropriating their property (including land), and assimilating the survivors through clearly articulated state policies? What nation was he building when he demanded every non-Amhara to see himself/herself like a stranger does, when he demands that they step outside of themselves (when they are forced to call themselves by other names, speak in another's voice, profess another's religion, read their own history as the history of the savage, the primitive, and the barbaric pagan)?
4) there is a hell of difference betwen imperialism and nation-building.
5) the estimated number of the population was documented by the time's accounts. That the number of the population is 30 m at the time of the 1974 revolution [which is still not accurate, for the reasons we all know] suggests not the fact that there were less Oromos at the time, but also that there were famines, wars (including the Italian wars which used poison gas to subjugate the mass), and intermittent campaigns of genocide against the Southern peoples of Ethiopia, etc. (It is interesting that the absence of exact number of the people exterminated is used against the people who were destroyed. He doesn't even realize that this is the privilege of the living, not of the dead and the traumatized survivor. [And, by the way, It wasn't an Oromo scholar who said in the 1930s that Amhara and Oromo are both at 6 million each. It was not a Tsegaye Ararssa. It was a one time Minister of Education Tedla Haile himself.]
6) the TPLF is only at the top of the apartheid state machine Menelik and Haileselassie built, and that they scream loud now because there is a change of hand at the top;
7) the prison speaks Afan Oromo is evidence of what the Oromo are doing to resist the oppression today. He misses the point that the reason the Oromo cannot succeed to tople down TPLF's repression is because they are not willing to cooperate (in fact because they are angry at TPLF for not doing more to exterminate the Oromo). We all know that they hate the TPLF: a) because they are jealous that TPLF, not them, dominate the state; and b) because the TPLF uses the diversity rhetoric to delegitimize the old rule. They hate them because the TPLF TALKS the language of equality and diversity. They are so threatened by the idea of having a polity of equal citizens. They hate the possibility of seeing co-equal citizens in Ethiopia. They hate the possibility of democracy because in a democratic Ethiopia, there is no way they will sustain the apartheid state structure they yearn for. In a democratic Ethiopia, there is no way they can rule over the large majority of the people. They are as anti-democratic as TPLF is, if not worse. So, they block democracy, co-equal citizenship, any demand for justice, or for the respect of (Southern) human rights, even as they scream loud about their own human rights. That is why the only human rights they can speak of the freedom to speak (in Amharic), press (in Amharic; bayhonima, OMN temeserete bilew yihe hullu chifera lemn asfelege?), assembly (of their group in the cities) (erecha minaminmaa sibseba aydelelm), and land. Freedom of press means : Eskindir, Rieyot, zone 9, beqa. They don't even realize that it has been over two decades press in other languages/media are suppressed (and their journalists, artists, writers are killed, or incarcerated, or forced into exile).
8) by admitting that there was oppression, he is also admitting that the only way forward is addressing the oppression, rather than denying the whole thing and regretting what was done in order to move away from that atrocious past.
9) saying that Menelik was better than Italy is admitting to Menelik's participation in the infamous 'scramble for Africa'. (That was supposed to shame him as someone who identifies with Menelik.) He doesn't even relize that if you hate the Italians, by the same logic you should hate Menelik. if what the Italians did was wrong by the standards of the time, then what menelik did was wrong by the sme standards of the time. Just as OPDO's oppression of the Oromo is wrong (as he claims) black on black colonilaism, or oppression, or genocide is wrong. Just because Menelik is black (which he denies),one shouldn't say what he did was right. If white colonialism is bad, then so is black colonialism (whatever the name is).
10) Questioning the possibility for these peoples to build their own nations and mocking the possibility itself is far more barbaric than Menelik's actual act of massacre.
But we wish them luck. I mean, really, genuinely! If politics means mocking a people that is demanding justice, then it is only right to wish them luck in their political career.