From the Media Capital, to the Global Ethiopian Community
Tuesday September 21st 2021

The Futility of Ethnic Exceptionalism

Author, Teddy Fikre

by Teddy Fikre, As an Ethiopian, and a person of the African Diaspora in general, it saddens me to see my people–our people–keep routing for our individual differences instead of coming together for our collective enrichment. I don’t know about you, but hollering about my culture, trying to earn distinction as a child of a Gondere and a Menze, or bragging about being Ethiopian has not earned me one break in life. I work like everyone else to make it, if I missed a secret club that offers benefits of being of a “special” ethnicity or culture, please someone let me know. Assuming that there is no such club, why then do we constantly go out of our way to elevate our egos at the expense of another group?

While the unfortunate many are living in an impoverished state in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, etc., the blessed minority of us–whether in the United States or elsewhere–obsess about our ethnic individualism instead of coming together to revive our respective countries. We have been blessed with the gifts of intellect and ambition necessary to advance our cause; instead we use these gifts to attack each other. Trust me, you are not helping out the average Ethiopian, Eritrean, or Somali by constantly disparaging your supposed enemy; the only thing you are doing is enabling the “ruling class” who use these differences to enrich themselves at the cost of the people.

It’s easy to attack someone in the abstract, to denigrate an intangible individual, but next time you feel like uttering a word of hatred–regardless of your nationality or ethnicity–look at the Eritrean woman in the store with two kids who did nothing to you–your words are aimed at her the same as they are at your supposed enemy. Look at the Ethiopian man who is working the midnight shift, trying to put his children in college–your words of ill will are affixed at him the same way they are affixed to your abstract foe. Look at the Somali child who is trying hard to attain the American dream–your word of derision target her as much as it targets some amorphous adversary… Read More

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