Posted By: PatriotWarrior In Response To: Questions (Eja)
Date: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, at 7:47 a.m.
In Response To: Questions (Eja)
Thanks Eja for the powerful post, and I enjoyed reading all the replies.
I did not want to involve myself in this very heated discussion, knowing fully well that it’s the type that can never end, (where it’s hard to change your opinion), but I decided to have a brief “go” at it.
Reading through some certain posts, one sees clearly how “differently focused” most of us here are in thought, if at all focused on common cause that makes sense … and IRRESPECTIVE of what or who we believe in, or regardless of whether we call ourselves “Rastafarians”, whether we’re black or not … but ESPECIALLY if we’re black! I would also add that by “black”, I mean anyone who is black; just like by “white”, I would mean anyone who is considered white.
I think there should be no making the mistake of over-romanticizing either Afrika or Ethiopia, as some people seem to do: To the point of even ignoring historical facts and current realities. No! What other “evidence” would one choose to acknowledge? Most of us, (who of course have NEVER even been to Ethiopia before), have no knowledge of what’s actually happening in Ethiopia, seem to forget that Ethiopia -- (the Ethiopia we have on the political map of Afrika, not the one in our heads!!) -- is a political entity like any other, with the same successes and failures and prejudices (such as based on race/colourism/ gender/class) one can find anywhere in the world, and including the wider Afrika itself. It was like that in Ethiopia even before Emperor Haile Selassie ascended to power and it was like that through his reign, despite his being there.
The advent of Rastafarianism has done nothing to change that!
Honestly, I think an issue such as “colorism” would be nothing new to an Ethiopian’s ears, for even Ethiopia is not colour-blind, or doesn’t seem to be. Here, of course what I mean is that the colourism based on social class tied to family lineage can (still) be found in Ethiopia too. I have been to Ethiopia and I was there in August & September this year .… I have interacted with some, but I think MOST Amharic Ethiopians do not even see themselves as “black”, or I may have to correct that by adding that they don’t count themselves as being the same “race” as the darkest people on the planet. They may even be right, because their phenotype tends to point (“more and more …”) to another human genotype. In that sense (at least), no one could ever force them to be “black”.
Some people here are quarrelling about the contradictions of “Semite” and “Ethiopian”/“African”, the meanings of “Black” vis-à-vis “Semite”, but I think the underlying issue here is also about “classification”, categorization, or how the CONCEPT of “Ethiopia” relates to Afrika: the wider, BIGGER AND BLACKER Afrika: the rest of Afrika which itself is known by everyone as unmistakeably black! In that case, I find it fitting to question other people’s conceived or pre-conceived ideas of what that Afrika is or should be, or about WHO constitutes Afrika.
Generally, what makes Afrika “black” or what should differentiate a black Afrikan from an Ethiopian, especially someone from the Amharic tribe?
I think what Brother Eja is saying is that we should just learn to recognise the SIMILARITY between the real Afrika and the one in our dreams.
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