Want to know how a few can enslave millions? It’s as simple as it is wicked; you have to incite tribalism into the populace and convince fellow strugglers that their plight is different than their neighbors. This is how the continent that was once called Ethiopia and subsequently rebranded to Africa by colonizers was subdued; soulless slave traders and godless mercenaries created borders where none existed and fostered ethnic animosity among the citizenry. They divided us; we conquered ourselves.
The only nation that escaped the clutches of colonization was my native land Ethiopia. My forefathers refused to succumb to tribalism and united in order to smash would-be occupiers at the Battle of Adwa in 1896. Where capital oppressors could not defeat us on the battlefield, they turned to subterfuge and fractured Ethiopia by loosening a more subtle form of separatism called ethnic federalism. They convinced Ethiopians that the way to freedom was through tribal politics and democracy laced with the toxins of animosity and indifference. Within 27 years, Ethiopia went from being the crown jewel of “Africa” to a country on the brink of civil war.
What I failed to recognized all these years I was studying colonialism is that these same globalists who decimated “Africa” also loosened the virus of sectionalism right here in America. The tribes here are a lot more veiled yet equally insidious; the establishment splinter us based on race, gender, political affiliation, religion and a never ending list of manufactured labels. The name of the shell game is identity politics; demagogues are embraced by the debased (I refuse to call them elites) and these identity hustlers are unleashed like Ebola upon Americans.
They have been playing us for suckers for more than two centuries and at the foundation of this hoodwink is race. What most people fail to realize is that racial terms like “black” and “white” are social constructs that are used to fuel and further America’s caste system. There is a reason I reject the libelous term black out of hand and refuse to call anyone white; I will not change my God given name and submit to a social construct invented by slave traders in order to Balkanize humanity and keep us perpetually at war with each other. Sadly, we are so conditioned to accept these insulting and dehumanizing categories that we proudly wear labels concocted by racists without questioning them.
This is how the race flimflam works: the debased impose a social order based on skin color, the outgroups are called “people of color”, minorities or any array of exclusionary social brands and the elevated group are called “white”. The trick is to convince the elevated group that they are better than the outgroups and in turn convince the outgroups that the elevated group is the reason they suffer. Tension is thus manufactured among the general public as everyone rushes to defend their tribe and in the process overlook the fact that all of them are being pillaged by the establishment. This bamboozle has worked so well over the years that every wannabe despot turns to this playbook of splinter and subdue in order to gain and maintain power.
“White” people were conned into fighting for the Civil War based on this exact ruse; the overwhelming number of people who fought for the South were poor sharecroppers who were breaking their backs and working for the very plantations that enslaved capital prisoners. Some Civil War soldiers caught on to this deception shortly after the war started; in fact combatants on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line used to say “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight”. Alas, too many “white” people were OK being pilfered by the aristocracy as long as they maintained their status of being the elevated tribe. Most people are fine being abused as long as they can point to someone else who is battered more than them.
They key to keeping people repressed is to create friction among the citizenry and convince them to bicker with each other instead of uniting to defend their common interests. To each side a demagogue is propagated by the establishment, their voices are amplified by mainstream media and their message of anger and grievance is pushed to the forefront. Here is a way you can identify the frauds from the authentic change agents, if they only speak half-truths to power and present injustice through identities or ideologies, discount them as agents of the status quo whose job it is to keep their “base” on the plantation of social constructs. America has imposed a soft-Apartheid and it’s we the people—the victims of racism, sexism and classism—who are the ones perpetuating this scam.
Fast forward 150 years and this same diabolical swindle is still bamboozling Americans left and right. This afternoon, CNN noted that Kamala Harris is the leading candidate on the issue of race relations. Never mind that Kamala was acting every part a neo-overseer during her career as San Francisco’s District Attorney and California’s Attorney General. This is the same woman who refused to prosecute Steve Mnuchin after he criminally foreclosed countless number of Californians’ homes while he was the CEO of OneWest Bank. She let Mnuchin get away Scott free only to turn around gladly accept his donations to her Senate campaign.
Velvet glove treatment for the rich but a hammer for the poor, Kamala refused to punish white collar criminals yet locked up brown and “black” folks in record numbers. Her office once argued against early parole on the grounds that it would hurt the free labor pool (read slavery) of for-profit prisons—talk about chains you can believe in. This same woman is now being heralded by the bankrupt mainstream media as an alternative to Joe Biden who spends his spare time invading the personal spaces of women and young children. My God America, we are allowing these public serpents to lead us from Babylon to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Democrats and Republicans are the twin evils who are tasked with inciting their loyalists and keeping America firmly entrenched in the ghetto of identity politics. They both do an astounding job of pretending to be fighting for “their side” when all along they are colluding behind closed doors to implement policies and enact legislation that pilfer all of us. Democrats kept their mouths shut for eight years as Obama, our First Bank President, was deporting Mexicans at a rate that made Bush seem like Mother Theresa, now all the sudden they find their “courage” once they are out power. Trump likewise made his fortunes by refusing to pay his debtors and declaring bankruptcies with impunity only to turn around and promise to “make America great again”. What is sad is that Americans keep falling for this utter bullshit and line up year over year to ask for more lashes from their political gods. Seriously, how many times will Lucy have to pull the football before we stop kicking ourselves in the ass?
There is a reason I exited journalism a couple of months ago, I realized that banging away at the hypocrisy of the status quo was actually doing the job of the establishment. The more we allow ourselves to be deranged by the manufactured outrage of the media-politico complex, the more we get distracted from seeking the solutions to the problems that confound us. I am dedicating myself to restoring the Ethiopian crown for a reason; you can’t fight institutions as an individual. I hope to revive a constitutional monarchy in Ethiopia that actually speaks for the people instead of being a tool of the oligarchy.
Though I’m no longer a journalist, once in a while I am prodded by the sheer malignancy of the debased in the media-politico complex to pick up my pen and write against malicious media narratives. I hope and pray that Americans, Africans and my fellow Ethiopians back home stop and reflect, don’t let political operatives and social actorvists dupe you into bickering with others who are struggling just like you. The only weakness of the status quo is unity. If you give your hand to tribalism, the next step is giving your feet to the shackles of politicians, pundits and the plutocrats they serve loyally. #RaceBamboozle Click To Tweet
“The rich rob the poor, and the poor rob one another.” ~ Sojourner Truth
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Lij Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Lij Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
Latest posts by Lij Teodrose Fikremariam (see all)
- Ethiopia’s Choice: Poverty through Grievance or Prosperity through Unity - September 9, 2019
- Bloody 60s: the Decade that Aborted Leadership in America - August 22, 2019
- A Matter of Life or Death: We Cannot Afford to Ignore Mental Illnesses Any Longer - August 17, 2019