Let Us Waste No Time
Teferi Mekonnen 02-27-17
I am for unfettered presses that would honestly present facts as they are, and not they wanted them to be. I am writing this piece having Mr. William Davidson’s and Mr. Graham Pebble’s latest write-ups on Ethiopia’s current affairs at the back of my mind. The former scribbled on The Guardian, on Feb. 12, 2017, under the title: “How long can Ethiopia’s state of emergency keep the lid on anger?” while the later pushed his pen to run two pieces titled “Peaceful Protest to Armed Uprising” (Feb. 17, 2017) and “In Ethiopia, famine stalks the land once again” (The Create Trust Website).
There is a strong belief that responsible writer should unfailingly stem itself from bias and opinion and the aforementioned writers really need a “write-protect” from viruses of bias and laps of mind. But to the dismay of many sober-minded readers the above mentioned writers published articles that reflect extreme cases of biases that successfully failed to maintain the highest standards of integrity in journalism.
Dear compatriots, let us waste no time in sterile litanies with these writers. And here I have no intention to contend the facts and opinions of these writers who willfully distort the realities in Ethiopia.
We know the powerful global communication system, embedded with colonial values, will continue to perpetuate our discomfort by making us into monstrosities. As Jean-Paul Sartre, in the seminal preface he wrote to Frantz Fanon’s book “The Wretched of the Earth,” said, “with the hollow humanism they claim we are at one with the rest of humanity, but their racist methods sets us apart.”
Being very much at our ease, we have learned to listen or read, on daily basis, to the gibberish report that come camouflaged in pseudo-journalism. Theirs is a system which depends on over-simplified representation of our predicament as Africans and they will stick to their nauseating mimicry of the culture of the colonial era that is driven with a “follow the usual suspect” syndrome. Our escape from this conundrum is “literary revolt” expressed in Frantz Fanon’s diction show-cased in his book the “Wretched of the Earth.”
We do not expect anyone from the west to tap Ethiopia as the best economic performer or to designate us as champion of democracy. We are standards unto ourselves. And to the dismay of many western syndicates who would like to assume the honorary patronal position in the post-colonial era of our world, we are the author of our destiny.
Ciao – Ciao Uncle Sam!!
We may be dejected by the slanderous representation of our beloved country Ethiopia, but nevertheless have no interest to engage in slanging match. We know the facts on the ground and never wish to have a western guru or mentor to reassure us in our step along the developmental trajectory we chose to follow. Let the world know that we are the sole author of our destiny.
This time around, the telltale Mr. William Davidson and Mr. Graham Pebble rested their “report” on opinion and are telling their audience fancies that would help to restock the emptied boxes where the old-tattering images of Ethiopia has been kept. They are struggling to take the dying images out of the grave.
And as it appears to me, they make no stone unturned until they make sure that the old image resurrected. They are trying to repaint with false colors. And we know that this stereotype will surely linger for some time, up until our developmental venture manage to get it buried deep into the remotest past corner of their sub-consciousness or flung it to a remotest distance of their heart so much so that it would be difficult to retrieve it readily.
Sure, we are not oblivion of the daunting tasks that is awaiting us on our path we charted and we would engulf them like mad. We are rest assured about our course as the surpassing achievements and accomplishments we have made so far are more than enough to embolden us to take any challenge and come out victorious.
To be honest, in the present Ethiopia we see a vista of a workshop where the past wines and dines with the present. Mr. William Davidson and Mr. Graham Pebble harkening to chanting verses the past to revive and re-vision the old image to give us the Déjà vu.
We are well aware that we are engaged with a daunting venture that could knock-off anyone from the slumbering armchair of complacence. The past is violently reawakening us from the catnap that befallen us setting out us to tackle our challenges and thus reclaim the lost grandeur of our country.
Our journey requires us to armor ourselves with undefeatable courage and stamina. We must keep on treading on our developmental path envisaging the better tomorrow to realize our goal to become a middle-income country in a time space of one generation. We are faced with complex problems that even stun the mind of the genius. But we know that we are doing worthwhile tasks that will reward us in the long run.
We have declared in October last year a state of emergency law to protect this sacred vision of our country. And the moratoriums enlisted in the State of Emergence, which Mr. William Davidson dubbed as “draconian,” would be nasty to those who wanted us to be destabilized and to destruct our vision.
It is all Greek to me why Mr. Davidson and Pebble considered it as gruesome and felt resentful about it for it is only a safety valve that was envisioned by the farmers our constitution to be applied in time of crisis in order to safe guard the constitutional order. And the Ethiopian government presses all the right button, all in good time.
Not so very long ago, Ethiopia had been in bloody civil war that claims the lives of tens of thousands of its people” The Ethiopian people eagerly wished to see a peaceful and democratic Ethiopia that has the chance to work to alleviate its citizens from the abject poverty that has always been endangering the livelihood of millions. It is just only for a quarter of a century that we managed to get a respite from the distressful events engendered by the horrific civil war that had left us in the ramshackle of poverty for centuries.
Now when we began to see a light at the end of the tunnel, there come the “kinglets” of the western media hegemony that has the luxury to go as they please and are all talk, shame from beginning to end, and serve as go-betweens to arm dealers.
The name of this game is rent-seeking.
The truth in Ethiopia stood naked, but these western journalists preferred it with clothe on – clothe that they tailored in the fashion of their veiled interests. These journalists undertook to manufacture an image that suit their fancy and branded any government in the third world as dictator, autocrat or undemocratic, if that naming serve their hidden interest.
They stuffed their own mouth full with high sounding phrases, grand glutinous words that stuck to the teeth. These walking lies had nothing left to say to their audiences in the west, all with a view to disparage the Ethiopian government that has shown no inclination to be subservient to their imperialistic interests; thus their toxic reproach.
We do not doubt that they would not accept our deals, since they accused us of not being faithful to them. “After all, let them bawl their heads off, it relieves their feelings; dogs that bark don bite.” See, a new generation has come on the scene and changing Ethiopia for good. And this generation does not waste time in sterile litanies with these writers.