April 4, 2014

Oromo: Human Rights Activist Reaches Out To Community Through Facebook

Well-known Oromo human rights activist, Jawar Mohammed, addressed his fellow-people through his Facebook page, urging them to stay wise and proud and to focus on their fight for emancipation after Team Oromo fell victim to Oromophobia during the last Ethiopia Games in Bahir Dar. 

Below is an article published by Gadaa

From Ob. Jawar Mohammed’s Facebook Note:

The ugly verbal and physical attacks on Team Oromia at the Bahir Dar Games should not be surprising to anyone who has been following Ahmara politics in the last few years. Anti-Oromo propaganda, fueled by electronic and print media, has become the pillar of Amhara political discourse. Oromophobia is now a household affair. It’s funny to see individuals and media entities, who have been brainwashing Amhara youth into worshiping the savagery of Menelik, now trying to denounce those who followed his footsteps by venting their hatred towards and unleashing violence on Oromo.

How should Oromos deal with this? The answer is simple. Keep rising; keep winning. Do not be dragged to the ugly and dirty discourse. Do not cry; do not curse. Keep smiling; keep moving. Focus on socio-economic and political emancipation. Be a winner. You might be loathed and insulted. But deep down, they will respect you.

Case in point, Team Oromia in Bahir Dar was the subject of ridicule, insult and harassment from the day they had arrived there. But they kept going, winning game after game, amassing medal after medal. At the end, they had the most gold, the most medal. They are NUMBER ONE! Bruised and battered, but they went home with their heads up, and their hearts filled with pride. Remember chauvinistic hatred might fracture skulls and cause emotional wound, but cannot win games. Skill sets, team spirits and commitments do [win games.]

No matter what the course and cost, with victory comes respect. We have lived with perpetual and deliberate humiliation for over a century. No despair now. We can surely take few more years of attacks coming out of desperate and hateful groups. Let’s be winners, no matter what the competition; economy, politics, sports or war. Message to Team Oromia: next time there is such game; do not make the mistake of avenging their violence with violence. Host them with that time-tested Oromo wisdom of honoring a guest with at most respect and care, no matter what his/her behavior has been. But make sure you beat them in the games, again and again, at every match and everywhere. No bitterness, but pride, no violence, but victory should be your guiding principle.

Eyes on the prize, ladies and gentlemen; victory will turn doubters into admirers, and enemies into friends (albeit reluctant ones).

Photo by Flickr © Rod Waddington