The last US election has exhibited the power of immigrant votes. With the slowly changing US demography, and Ethiopians sensing their collective bargaining power, it is time that they deployed it effectively and strategically.
by The Queen of Sheba
Ethiopians, like many immigrants in the United States, overwhelmingly vote democrat. Their votes are simply taken for granted without regard to their interest in the country—and, less so, in their home nation. This must come to change—and immediately.
It should be clear that this dramatic shift must be taken as much for rejecting the democrats as it is courting the republicans. Ethiopians must take a page from other established and successful immigrant communities in the US where votes of such groups are actively sought by both increasingly warring parties.
The last US election has exhibited the power of immigrant votes. With the slowly changing US demography, and Ethiopians sensing their collective bargaining power, it is time that they deployed it effectively and strategically. Because a power base in the United States is a power bank for Ethiopia.
Ethiopians and Ethiopian civic organizations must be active in exploring where their numbers and actions impact most in the elections. The East Coast and the West Coast as well some states in between where Ethiopians and Eritreans have the numbers should work with other immigrant communities to push their collective interest.
The US will be holding its mid-term elections in 2022 when all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested. Thirty-nine state and territorial gubernatorial and numerous other state and local elections will also be contested.
Republicans are vying to take the house—and the senate—which the democrats currently retain a thin majority. To be sure, the Republicans have gained some seats during the 2020 elections when democrats were anticipating a landslide. It may be that the momentum is on their side.
Ethiopians live in a strong as well as precariously thin democratic strong holds with a leverage to sway this political dynamic. Ethiopians should thus work their senators, house of representatives, state councilors, mayors, and others to pursue pro-Ethiopia policy.
Ethiopians and Eritreans in the US and elsewhere need to stand together in their struggle against the blatant injustice committed against them in different times. Collectively, they are a force to reckon with as we witnessed it in the unprecedented public demonstrations in Washington, New York and globally.
It is important that their votes count for something; and if it means propping up an inept republican senator, legislator, counselor or even a president, who takes favorable stance towards the countries, so be it. It is time that the Ethio-Eritrea diaspora play the game in a systematic and organized manner. Organizations such as the Global Ethiopian Advocacy Nexus (GLEAN) and the Ethiopian American Civic Council could play a key role.
Blinken Must Blink
The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confidently, if not dishonestly, reported “credible reports of ethnic cleansing” taking place in Tigray with no corroborating evidence. It is simply disingenuous that the Secretary who has been pressuring the country to give it full access, which she did, was yet to undertake a credible investigation. It is simply tragic that the US administration has already made up its mind about the alleged atrocities as committed by the government forces.
The Secretary deployed the phrase “credible reports” at the recent testimony at the US House of Representatives to the question posed to him by California Representative Karen Bass. It is sad that the US has become a nation of credible reports even without the investigation ever taking place. And yet in utter contradiction, he said he “discussed the importance of an independent, international and credible investigation into reported human rights abuses and violations in Tigray” with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres just yesterday (12 March 2021)!
It is shocking that Blinken totally ignores rebuking the perpetrators of the conflict in the first place when this was officially and promptly condemned by the former secretaries in the earlier administration. He has also contemptuously and blatantly refused to acknowledge the rocket attacks of the cabal on Asmara whose restrain was commended by the former administration. It appears that he fell under the spell of the enablers of the cabal which brutally reigned on Ethiopia for 27 years.
What is tragic is that neither Blinken nor any of the US government officials—who are pressuring the Ethiopian government—even mention the instigators of the war and the massacre in My-Kadra perpetrated by TPLF cabal which Amnesty International grudgingly admitted before it started spewing fabricated stories.
Biden Like Carter: Lest We forget
In mid-1970s, Ethiopia was teetering on the brink with multi-pronged attacks unleashed against it—probably reminiscent to one today. The nation was besieged by both internal and external forces most notably the daring invasion of Somalia which took over most of the eastern part of the country.
At the time, the Ethiopian government purchased arms and paid for it in the United States. As it was importing the arms, the Carter administration prohibited its shipment.
The US abandoned Ethiopia in a worst possible time imaginable as the nation was scrambling to defend itself from invasion. Ethiopia had to turn to the Soviet Union, and eventually join the Eastern bloc with whom the US and its Western allies locked into a Cold War.
In a complete policy turnabout years later, the same United States would recognize the most extreme communist terrorist group, as described by the US itself, called the Tigrayan People Liberation Front, to walk into Addis Ababa subverting the London negotiation under the deceitful direction of former Ambassador Herman Cohen.
De javu! Duplicity, contradiction, and utter arrogance. These continue to be the hallmark of the US diplomacy on Ethiopia. We are witnessing the US attacking Ethiopia in multiple fronts. It has already forced two sessions on Ethiopia in the UN Security Council, capitalizing its position as chair, to squeeze an unfavorable resolution to help it meddle in the country’s affairs unhindered—as it did in Somalia, Libya and others more.
The so-called international community—particularly those who hide under its guise—are facing the indomitable forces of two countries which they typically discount as “belligerent”—a misnomer to “proud”.
To be sure, the cabal is gone forever. If the intention to breathe life on the dead horse, succeeds, by any remote chance, the My-Kadra massacre would be a child play—if at all anyone, honestly, cares.
One of the banners in the recent massive demonstration against the United States read “I regret my vote for Democrats, it only brought back Rice, #1 enemy of Ethiopia!” It was referring to the hysterical—and manic laughter—of Susan Rice in front of the world as she was unabashedly re-affirmed the 100 percent election victory of the TPLF!
With such epic honesty who needs liars.
All justice and democracy pursuing and seeking people of the world should have noticed, but may have already forgotten, this tragicomedy. We shall never.
It is time that the Ethiopian and Eritrean Diaspora show their strength not just in the streets—but also in the ballot box.
The Queen of Sheba may be reached at [email protected] | Twitter: @TheQueenofSheb5