​Performing Patronage: The mindless propaganda of the Ethiopian right

Dr. Tsegaye Ararssa


These folks seem to be performing their usual ‘politics of the homeless’ with a renewed zest these days. True to character, they draw the blood line of some political figures to tell us who is born of whom. (Never mind their tribalist mentality that looks for biological roots irrespective of their oft-rehearsed motto of ‘humanity before ethnicity’ [and that, in Amharic, with tricolor flag hanging over it!]. Never mind their consequent disdain for anyone who, biologically, belongs to  any of the ‘other’ peoples of Ethiopia. Never mind also their disavowal of ethno-national identity in the public sphere.)
By tracing who is (and who is not) born of an Oromo from among the officials of the Imperial and the Derg regimes, they argue that these regimes (and by extension, they) were/are the more inclusive (and so the better ‘guardians’) of the Oromo than TPLF is. They demonstrate that their regime(s)  is/are the more protective (or the more appeasing) patron of the Oromo. 
They don’t even realize that, the very fact that these two Abyssinian rivals are competing for patronage of the Oromo (and the other ‘others’) is the very problem the Oromo protest is trying to resolve (and dissolve) in that country. They don’t realize that the question of Abbaa biyyummaa is also a quest for reclaiming the Oromo subjectivity and full title as citizens in their country. 
How more tribalist, how more condescending, how more reactionary, and how more mindless can one be in the presence of the other? I have never been more ashamed of sharing a country with these folks. When will they wake up to the depth and breadth of the unfolding crisis? When will they stop comparing their rule with the TPLF (while bashing the TPLF for comparing itself with the Derg)? If the best they could offer is nothing but a poor caricature of TPLF, what is the point of engaging with the TPLF regime critically? (of course, for us and the wider south, there has never been any point as they are both the distorted reflection of each other.)
I look forward to listening to /watching many more episodes of such lame attacks against the Oromo. And I wish them luck in their endeavors.
#Ethiopia #Oromoo #AbbaBiyyummaa