To the official Tebbaboch who don’t even know it!
They don’t speak my language. In fact, they don’t speak any other Ethiopian language. I do. And I speak it better than most of them do. And yet, they call me a tebbab to mean a narrow nationalist. I smile, because…it’s obvious who is!
They disdain the idea of imagining the very existence of my language. In fact, they openly express hatred for any language other than Amharic. I not only embrace, enrich, and beautify their language, but I write, read, and speak their language to reach out to them (hoping to build bridges between us). But they call me a hater. Even nature knows just who the hater is. And yet, when I hear them say that we are haters, I smile and shrug it off.
My people never went to their land nor did they occupy a thing. They never insisted on having a special right there. Never. My people live in their own lands–until they are displaced by their soldiers, bandits, and and looters. In contrast, they do flock to my people’s land. And that is okay. But they deny my people the right to exist in their own land. They have the audacity to claim a special right while denying the people the very basic rights they deserve. They wish my people away from the land they are a guest of. They displace the natives, they destroy the forest, they vandalize the land, they change the cultural life of the area, they rename the places, they rewrite the histories of the places and of their people’s, they exploit the labor,and, in short, they generate an unnecessary suffering–yet they turn around and lament that they are denied “their rights” in their own land. Again, we smile and wonder if they are aware of the place where they stand.
They spend their days trying to defend their undeserved privileges. That’s expected, although it’s not okay. But they do more. They spend their lives to regain the power to publicly disparage, insult, dehumanize, and humiliate the Oromo. And when you resist their prejudices, they call you divisive. Again, you smile.
Even worse, they say that you have “inferiority complex”, as if they even know what that means.
One day, smile won’t be enough. One day, rage will hit back. And when it does, they won’t even have time for regrets
By: Tsegaye Ararssa
Via Yaya Beshir