The Honorable Marcus Garvey criticized Haile Selaissie for his conduct in the Ethiopia’s war with Italy. He said Haile Selaissie didn't take a more vengeful approach to the Italian-Ethiopian war like every Garveyites and Africanists. When the fascist Europeans brought war to Abyssinia, Haile Selassie fled to Europe and he constrained Black defense in the hope to release pent up white altruism. Marcus Garvey himself claimed that the Emperor took on the role of a cowardly lion. I personally did not say things like that, the Hon. Marcus Garvey did.
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“ Most significantly, Garvey lost credibility in the eyes of a large number of followers when he criticized Haile Selassie's performance during the Italo-Ethiopian war and its aftermath. Garvey attacked the Ethiopian emperor at a time when he had become an icon of black resistance, when the Ethiopian cause was galvanizing black communities throughout the West to an unprecedented level of international response, and when Rastafarianism was emerging as a key social movement in Garvey's homeland. Garvey was initially supportive of Haile Selassie, praising him when he was first crowned emperor in November 1930 and during the early months of the Italian invasion in 1935. His view changed with the collapse of the Ethiopian army and the emperor's decision to flee his country in order to continue the struggle from exile. Garvey interpreted the decision to flee as an act of cowardice. Blaming Haile Selassie for a weak defense and a naive faith in intervention by the League of Nations, Garvey was further incensed when the Ethiopian leader spurned a delegation of black Pan-Africanists (including Garvey) who had gathered to greet him upon his arrival in exile in England in 1936. “
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