ARTICLE UPDATED BY THE AUTHOR – July 12, 2013
By Fayyis Oromia*
The Oromo nationalists seem to be legitimately so quick to accuse and judge certain fellow Oromo individuals, who seem to work with the Abyssinians, as being politically on the wrong side and to be possibly guilty of commission. We sometimes denounce such fellow Oromo as being collaborators, betrayers of our objective and even paint them as criminals, who did atrocities against the Oromo nation. Then, all who are denounced like this usually be denied the recognition regarding their talents, which we would have respected irrespective of the fact to whom service they applied their talents. Who were/are actually the targets of such judgement of ours? Let’s look at our history and our status quo in short for this may help us to act correctly in order to achieve our desired future destiny.
Before proceeding in my writing, let me operationally define two important words (innocence and guilt) to be used in this essay. Innocence is a term used to indicate a general lack of guilt, with respect to any kind of crime, sin or wrongdoing. In a legal context, innocence refers to the lack of legal guilt of an individual, with respect to a crime. Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes – whether justified or not – that he or she has violated a legal or moral standard, and is responsible for that violation. There can be a situation where a person can be found guilty by others, including the justice institution, but the person may not feel it emotionally or accept it cognitively.
Regarding our history, we tried to accuse and vilify some of the prominent Oromo individuals like. Here, to make my position clear, I am not the supporter or fan of these Oromo individuals, but I just would like to recommend that we better recognize and accept some of them, specially the non-criminals, at least as strong and talented Oromo nationals, who only played their game in the wrong club. It is not my intention to declare that they are either innocent or guilty because of their actions, but I do appeal to all Oromo at least to recognize their ability and talent. Let’s look at the soccer professional as a good metaphor. I personally know two national players in Germany, who are originally from Poland, their names being Klose and Podolski. Few years back (I don’t remember whether it was in European or World competition), German national club played against Poland, and it was Podolski who made his historic goal to make Germany a winner against Poland. After that, there was a discussion among Polish politicians on the question: who is wrong for the fact that this talented man from Poland could play for Germany instead of for his mother- or fatherland? Was it the fault of the player? Was it the fault of Polish politicians? Was it the fault of his parents? Was it the economy that was stu*pid? … etc. Fault-finding after fault-finding took place, but with no avail to correct the loss for Poland.
Who ever did the fault, the fact was that the talented Polish citizens played against Poland for the advantage of Germany. This is a classical example to be used to explain the reason for condemning the talented Oromo individuals who played a political game in the club of the Habesha against the Oromo. It is fact, which we can not deny, that these Oromo individuals were/are talented, but they played/are still playing in the wrong club. So, the above mentioned politically talented Oromo and a lot of others in history also played for the Habesha against the Oromo. We know the main motive of the soccer players is the money they do earn, but what was and is the motive of the Oromo individuals in the wrong political club? The temporary financial gain or some other life advantages? If so, then it can be simply put as an opportunism. Otherwise, who was responsible for their choice of the club for whom to play? Was it only the political conviction and the understanding they had, for some did not know the viability of Oromia and might have thought their only country was Ethiopia? Well, the previous politicians in history might have thought so, what about those serving Habesha today? Is it, maybe, for they are the mentally enslaved part of the Oromo national body as a result of the subjugation we endured in the last about 150 years? Or, who really did the fault so that our talents could serve the Habesha political club instead of the Oromo club? Mind you, there were/are also a lot of Oromo talents serving Habesha club in other fields like language, arts and sport.
I think the politics of the empire in the last 300 years, till the Woyane took power in 1991, was seemingly under the domination of some Oromo, including the Amharinya-speaking Oromo. The main crime or mistake these Oromo elites did seem to be their action of promoting and using Amharinya as a national language, neglecting or even oppressing Afan Oromo. Why did they do that? Maybe, was it similar to the action of the German royal family, which used to speak French rather than the German language, giving more value to a foreign language in order to show their own status of power or “better human quality” in comparison to the ordinary citizens? I do have my own thesis: some Oromo groups seem to have accepted and developed Amharinya since 1270 in relation to their acceptance of the Holy Book which has been written in Ge-ez; so they fostered Amharinya as the new language out of Ge-ez and Afan Oromo; then, it was given a moral upper-hand being the language of both the clergy and the royalty; the Oromo elite, who accepted the religion and such royalty, revered Amharinya at the cost of Afan Oromo. Many Amaarinya-speaking Oromo seem to be the products of such process; being the carriers of this moral upper-hand, Amharinya-speaking Oromo groups started to feel superior to others and then tried to “civilize” their Afan Oromo-speaking siblings south to them.
It is historically recorded that very few soldiers from Tigrai or Semien came to invade Oromia, but mainly the “gallant” Oromo (both Amharinya-speakers and Afan Oromo-speakers) being led by Minilik II and Gobana Daacee did the invasion. They promoted Amharinya and Orthodox religion at the cost of Afan Oromo and Waaqeffannaa. Simply put, they promoted Amhara club. Amharas and Tigreans, being the semetized nations of the Kush peoples, are then called to be Habesha (Abyssinians). Language rather than biological heritage being the main part of a national identity, this made the above mentioned Oromo nationals in history to be considered as those who played in the wrong political club (for the Habesha against the Oromo). Now, we can see that based on the different languages they do speak (not necessarily based on their biological origin), there is a development of different national groups (e.g. Amhara nation, Tigrean nation and Oromo nation). Accordingly, not only in history, we also see today that there are a lot of talented Oromo playing in the Habesha political club against Oromo’s national interest. Nowadays, the Habesha forces fighting against the right of the Oromo to self-determination are divided into two: the Amhara domination forces and the Tigrean hegemonist forces. Related to this, we also see a lot of talented Oromo politicians playing their political game in either the Amhara club or the Tigrean club.
I personally think these are talented Oromo playing in wrong clubs; but the difficult question yet to be answered is that, are they automatically guilty for playing in the wrong club? Or, do we need to trace the specific crime they committed against the Oromo people and the Oromo national liberation movement? Should we condemn them as guilty personalities or should we denounce their works? As far as those in history are concerned, I would like to suggest that only the professional and the unbiased historians can look at the political life of these talented Oromo individuals, who played for the Habesha clubs and then tell us whether they were really guilty or not regarding the political life of their own people – the Oromo. Concerning those who are now active in the Habesha clubs, we can currently record the crimes they may do against their people and we can bring it to judgement in due time. But, as a principle, we just need to accept that, in general the talented Oromo who politically played their part in the Habesha clubs both in history and in status quo need to be seen as innocent till proven guilty respective to the Oromo’s national rights and regarding the Oromo national liberation movement.
What is the moral of this approach for our future destiny? It shows clearly that Oromo nationals need to know for which political club we have to play and to remember that such political game is not necessarily equivalent to a political crime. Secondly, Oromo should try to comprehend the question, why do only the Oromo talents play in Habesha club and why do we see almost no Habesha playing in the Oromo political club? Here, the answer is that unlike soccer clubs, where only money and advantage do play a big role as sources of motivation, in politics, only either the subconsciously-enslaved mind or the deliberate-betrayers of once own nation can play in the others’ club. This was the fact in almost all political areas of the globe, where collaboration is common, and it is also true in the empire we do live in. There are a lot of enslaved Oromo, Tigrean, Gurage, Wolayita, Sidama, Hadiya, Somali, Afar, Kambata, Harari, etc minds, who played for and who are still playing in the Amhara political club, being falsely designated as “an Ethiopian cause.” There are again nowadays, since 1991, a lot of people from almost all nations, who are playing for the Tigrean aka Woyane club, again being masked as an “Ethiopian club.” But, not surprisingly, we find almost no Habesha or from the other nations, who did serve or who is now serving Oromo political club, because of the fact that none of the nations listed above was enslaved by the Oromo.
Beside mental slavery and the deliberate betrayal, there are some people who have been additionally deceived by the mask (package) called “Ethiopia,” in which different contents can be packed. Oromo nationals in the wrong club think that they do serve only Ethiopia, but in reality they do serve either Amhara club or Tigrean club. Greeks packed all blacks into this name (mask); Jews packed all Kush nations into it; Tigreans try to pack either Axum empire or Woyane government in to the packet; and of course, the Amharas do want to fill the packet with either the old empire, which existed till 1991 or with the identity of being Amhara. So, whenever we hear and read the name Ethiopia, we have to try to discern which content it means. Specially, we have to know that in all the pro-Amhara websites, the name Ethiopia nowadays can be replaced by Amhara nation, and in the pro-Woyane websites, the name Ethiopia means simply the present regime. It is only the Oromo people and our politicians who did not try to use this packet by filling it with Oromo content. Whether such move is beneficial or not, it is recommendable for Oromo politicians to consider the option of testing and using it.
Anyways, our modern approach towards our Oromo collaborators should be to identify and know the enslaved, but talented part of our body (Oromo), who just served the Habesha camp without doing any crime against the Oromo people in contrast to the deliberate betrayers, who did a concrete crime. We should just examine exactly whether they have done a crime against the Oromo national liberation movement or whether they only have been enslaved and served the other camp without committing a specific crime. Yet, we may still ask: isn’t serving the Habesha camps by itself a crime? If we mean they are Oromo talents, who have been programmed since their childhood by the Habesha software, and accordingly, served the Habesha cause, as far as I am concerned they are not necessarily criminals, but surely, they were and/or are slaves. If we mean they are criminals, we need to give a convincing evidence for the fact that they did any specific crime to accuse and judge them as such. Otherwise, they are simply only innocent slaves of the Habesha till they are proven guilty of any criminal act against the Oromo national interest. Leaving the history for historians, regarding the future, it is up to every Oromo individual to choose between being a criminal Oromo, an enslaved Oromo or a free and innocent Oromo; may Rabbi/Waaqa help us!
* Fayyis Oromia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.