(Professor Haile M. Larebo)

As a historian, I find this letter as the most stupid, despicable and embarrassing. In my view, no intelligent person should dare or think to write this gibberish. Unfortunately it is with immense and profound sadness that among them, I notice the names of one or two individuals, who apparently appear to have a degree in some sort of history and one of them, if he is the same person, has written at least two books on Ethiopian history. In my view, these group do NOT seem to understand one iota of Ethiopian history and reality. 

Actually, they do not have a clue beyond being arm-chair intellectuals. It is amazing these same so-called learned individuals or professionals dare to accuse the Concerned Ethiopians of being disingenuous and one-sided in their interpretation of Ethiopian history, when the very narrative or interpretation they offer as representative of the correct perspective is nothing but their own delicious concoction of lies, fairy tales, makeups and distortions. 

The problem starts with their very claim that they speak on behalf of “the vast majority of the peoples of Ethiopia”, but they provide no evidence or support to their claim beyond, of course, their fanciful imagination. It is paradoxical while the Concerned Ethiopians, who are said to represent only the view of the tiny minority of the country’s population, have 145 signatures, the accusers are actually able to muster in the support of such an important letter a pittance, only 53 signatures. Yet they claim to represent the position of the “vast majority of the Ethiopians.”

I am not here to teach this group Ethiopian history. Genuine students are life-time learners. But the mindset of these group seems already programmed with predisposition to see and understand Ethiopian history only in their own distorted historical lens. Thus, any attempt to offer them a different perspective would be of no use beyond wasting one’s time and patience. However, I would stress a few things especially for those innocent readers who may be willing to learn and educate themselves to spare themselves from being an easy prey for these groups’ sinister propaganda and agenda.

• It is indeed a fact that Ethiopia is the only country in the world to crush the indomitable arrogance of the white man, who until then roamed around the world pontificating about his unsurpassable inherent superiority and invincibility, and describing the black people, including the present 53 signatories and the “very vast majority of the peoples of Ethiopia,” which they claim to represent, as “monkeys,” and “baboons”. Not only Ethiopians are proud of this incredible superhuman achievement, but the whole black world is as well. For it, Ethiopia became synonymous with black pride, power, glory and freedom to the extent that the Africans decided to make Ethiopia’s capital the seat of the African continent and the colors of its flag “pan-African colors.”

• Ethiopia was not an invention by Emperor Menelik II. It is the most ancient nation-state, whose civilization predates almost every modern nation- state in Africa, Europe and Asia. Emperor Menilek simply completed the long process of re-unification that began long before him with Emperors Tewodros, TekleHaimanot, and Yohannes the IV. These rulers weren’t able to restore the entire Ethiopia’s historical domain, having lost considerable part to the European colonial conquerors They did neither conquer or acquire new territory or bring new people to the territory.

• Each of these emperors was supported by admirably able generals, such as Ras Alula from Tegray, Ras Dareso from Gojam, Ras Gobena from Shawa, and Ras Makonnen of Harar.

• Each of these rulers were of multi-ethnic background, so too were their generals.

• Unlike most of the nations of the world, where the core group in the central government forcefully imposed its creed and culture by destroying that of the periphery, Ethiopia, throughout its history, has always been a multi-ethnic, and a multi-religious nation-state with a variety of life-styles, ranging from the Oromo pastoralists to sedentary population, specializing in diverse professions. Contrary to other civilizations, the central government never attempted to impose its worldview, or one specific ethnic identity, or culture. That is the only reason why in one of the oldest nation-states in the world (Ethiopia), there are still even today so many languages, ethnic groups, religions and professions, and the people are the most tolerant in the world until these crypto-ethnicists showed up.

• That Emperor Menilek II expropriated lands during the re-unification process and gave them to the Amharas is a gigantic myth, perpetuated by those who are ignorant of Ethiopian social milieu. These ‘educated’ signatories are solidifying this same myth for their own political interests.

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