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History’s Malevolence: an Excerpt from Serendipity’s Trace

History’s Malevolence

The middle ground is treacherous
Preaching unity to all sides dangerous
I mean trying to find a universal language
Creating consensus out of chaos
Is often laden with insults—profoundly onerous
It’s easier rebuilding the tower of Babel

But lend me an ear brethren and sisters
What if I told you history was malevolent
Facts rewritten by victors and conquerors
In order to split the masses into opponents
Propagating propaganda to prolong injustice

What if I told you that the Civil War
For example to pick one of many instances
Was not truly about slavery
It was about the economy
Forcing one ideology over another
The powerful versus the feeble
A clash of aristocrats and the prosperous
Who duped the powerless to fight each other
Most “white folk” in the south
Were struggling as indentured servants
Deteriorating in barrenness

Now the powerful spread lies
Fracturing society into encampments
Pains of the subjugated
Being used to hide intentions of a system
In the process pitting one against the other
Racism is about power
But they deceive you into thinking
That fellow victims are racists
To obfuscate the true malevolence of bigotry
Hiding the hands of those who bleed society

What if I told you
That poor “white” folk in Antebellum
Had more in common with “slaves”
Than they did with nefarious “slave” owners
And only a fraction of society, the wealthy aristocracy
On both sides of the war irrespective of location
Thrived in the midst of hardship

The multitudes on both sides
Living in destitution and squalor
As they teach that Lincoln was the “Great Emancipator”
Educating us to elevate a president
To the status of God for “black people”
Maybe you should read Lincoln’s speech
“A House Divided”
And you would realize that history
Is full of utter bullshit
Injustice only prospers
When the people are splintered
And feed into the propaganda of the system

Did you get mad, think of me as a sellout
As if I was dismissing the horrors of slavery
Or diminishing the pains of its legacy
Do you think I am trying to erase Jim Crow
Will you accuse me of negating
The terrors of Reconstruction
Or do you understand
That the ancestors of “black” and “white”
The children of the masses
Irrespective of color
Are besieged in poverty and squalor
At this precise exact moment
For the Civil War is still raging
As they pit races against each other
Trying to instigate strife and friction
As they manipulate society
To rupture into racial warfare and hostility

Think about this for a moment
Who shares the burdens of the broken
Of “black folk” who shiver in Chicago?
Is it the bourgeoisie Congressional Black Caucus in D.C.
Is it the “first black president”
And the jive talkers like Sharpton
And his ilk who live in Manhattan partying in the Hamptons
Attending soirées in Martha’s Vineyard chalets
Or do poor “black” folk in the cities
Have more in common with their brethren
The impoverished “white people” in the Appalachians?

It’s always easier to speak to individual grievances
To impassion flames instead of spreading light
Insults follow the ones who preach universal justice
Applause given to those who demagogue incessantly
See history is meant to cleave people
To teach that others are dissimilar
But in truth the lives of most are unbearable
Slavery has taken on a new concept
Where debt has become the new bondage
And poverty is the new shackle
Most of us are ensnared in irrespective of identity
More and more falling into this depraved captivity

When it comes to historical injustices
The sins of a diabolic few
Cannot be blamed on the masses
I mean Mussolini’s army not too long ago
Terrorized my native land Ethiopia
As mothers and children
Innocent civilians
Perished by the hundreds of thousands
Charred up by chemical weapons
A holocaust visited upon my ancestors
But I can’t blame Italians
For the horror of a murderous cabal
For there are masses in Italy
Suffering just like the masses in my country

This same message I preach to my fellow Ethiopians
Those who are blinded by tribalism
As they insult their countrymen
Letting animosity overcome their emotions
This is the reason Ethiopia is shattering
And why tyrants rule with iron fists
Injustice making us forget our common heritage
Making us disregard that we are one people
United by one common struggle
It’s always easier for the powerful
To pilfer the citizenry and fleece us blindly
As long as we are distracted by differences

To “white people”
This message I reiterate
So called “minorities” have identical struggles
The same burdens that you go through
So why get mad at the meager means
Of those who are broken by poverty
The pittance given to those caught in bleakness
Instead of being outraged
By the thievery being undertaken by the few
The billionaire class who we worship
As they swindle our life savings

History is mendacious
Truth subverted into propaganda
Instead of dwelling on past pains
And residing in separable grievances
Why don’t we unite as one people
If you want to end injustice
Stop monopolizing pain
And understand one thing

We are all in this together
Or we will suffer forever fractured
This is why I keep using quote marks
Around the words “white” and “black”
Because these labels are pernicious
They prevent us from realizing our cohesion
For we are more than labels
We are humans united by the same purpose
History is full of lies and divisiveness
It’s in our hearts we find humanity’s oneness

~ Excerpt from Serendipity’s Trace, a book of our common struggles and connective hopes. Click HERE or the picture below to find out more about Serendipity’s Trace. If you are digging this poem and want others to hear of it, share this article on social media using #SerendipitysTrace ~ 


Let me admit to some conflict that I went through before I decided,with a firm vote of confidence from the co-editor of this publication, to publish this article. The reason for the deliberation was because there was a discomfort I felt that promoting a book as part of this article is shading on infomercial territory and thus potentially inducing a conflict of interest. There is a reason we do not take ad revenues here at the Ghion Journal, we take seriously our quest to honor the profession of journalism instead of using journalism as a cash cow. We are sticking true to our core mission of being a website that will be empowered by the people not by the powerful (read Empower US).

I decided in the end to move forward for two reasons. First, the revenues raised from Serendipity’s Trace are reinvested in the Ghion Journal in order to keep this publication a going concern. Second, the poem above, one that I wrote during my time of extreme hardship where I saw first hand how poverty comes for all, is one which is very relevant to the times that are before us. The poem, it is our hope, will shed a light of how we are being manipulated to act against each other instead of uniting together. I pray that we all wake up to the game that is being played and that we refuse to succumb to the playbook of divide and conquer which is being loosened upon us.

Teodrose Fikremariam
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Teodrose Fikremariam

Writer at Ghion Journal
Teodrose Fikremariam is the co-founder and former editor of the Ghion Journal.
Teodrose Fikremariam
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