Herman Cohen, I Accept Your Apology Though It Comes More Than Two Months Late!

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By Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam

More than two months after Herman Cohen made his unprovoked, depravedly hateful and  arrogantly insulting comments about the Amhara people, he has finally issued a twitter  apology “about the pain and discomfort he caused in the Amhara community”.

On June 26. 2019, I wrote  a commentary entitled “Herman (Harm Man) Cohen’s Second “Coup” in Ethiopia? We Demand an Apology!”

In that commentary I  lambasted Cohen for his insensitive and downright hateful comments about Amharas in Ethiopia.

In concluding my commentary I observed:

The teachable moment for Herman Cohen is this: Should he continue in his defamation, demonization and persecution campaign against Amharas or any Ethiopians, I am ready, willing and able to defend and wage a vigorous and unrelenting anti-defamation campaign against him and his ilk. We demand an apology from Herman Cohen for his defamation of Amhara people. Apology not forthcoming, NOTICE SERVED.

To me, what Herman Cohen tweeted in June was pure and simple hate speech.

He demonized an entire group as ethnic hegemons in exactly the same way others have demonized Jews over the centuries.

If Cohen had said what he said about Amharas about a religious or ethnic group in the United States, there would have been hell to pay.

But Cohen undeterred, expanded on his comments in a BBC interview.

Over two months later, Cohen now issues an apology.

Is that a “crocodile apology” or a genuine act of contrition?

In my June commentary, I noted, “Herman Cohen will be held accountable in the court of world public opinion!”

Cohen may be willfully ignorant but there is a massive anti-Cohen grassroots movement coalescing among Ethiopians globally to hold him accountable.

To be perfectly frank,  I  do not know if Cohen is apologizing now out of genuine remorse or because he sees a global gathering storm of grassroots campaign to hold him accountable and  expose him as a racist and a bigot.

I understand some Ethiopians have even taken their protest to his office door in Washington, DC.

Is it true contrition or damage control that has impelled Cohen to issue his apology?

Following my commentary in June,  Cohen was unrepentant. He ignored much of the outcry against his outrageous remarks.

Even when Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Demeke Mekonen condemned his remarks publicly, Cohen remained tone deaf, dismissive and defiant.

What brought about the sudden change of heart?

Regardless, Cohen has apologized and as the first Ethiopian to respond to him following his outrageous remarks and demand an apology, I accept his words of contrition in good faith.

One of the most important lessons I have learned from observing H.E. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in action over the past year is the fact that we must forgive even in the absence of apology.

We must forgive because it is in our self-interest.

I do not want to carry with me anger and antipathy every time Herman Cohen’s name is mentioned. I don’t want to preface his name with a few choice expletives every time someone mentions his name.

That would be giving Cohen enormous power over my mental state.

Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

I am one strong Ethiopian.

By accepting his apology unconditionally, Herman Cohen to me becomes a figment of my imagination.

In other words, Cohen becomes one of those brain dead windbags and empty barrels in my book. I treat such people with my long standing policy of mind over matter. I don’t mind and they don’t matter.

I have buried the hatchet with respect to Cohen and have moved on to more important things.

But I offer Cohen free advice.

In the movie Magnum Force, Harry Callahan says, “A good man’s got to know his limitations.”

So should an 87 year-old man.

I urge all who have been offended by Herman Cohen to follow my policy of mind over matter.



  1. The other so-called scholar has been writing books about the old country with his latest book depicting everything coming down from the highland is/was a scourge for everyone to the south. North is no more one of the four corners we were taught in our elementary classes but rather where all sheik al bahrs and qutrubs are/were originating. Evil has been descending from the highlands. On aggregate this claim makes many of my Itu clans in the Chercher Highlands and everyone from the Arsi Mountains are evils too. That book has been on the top seller list in Minnesota and the Flint, Michigan areas and I don’t understand why Obama did not include it in his summer reading list. People were spending their minimum wage earning to buy such poisonous books. These unrepentant commies will be at it in their destructive missions until that gem of the colored is broken up into a thousand Kiir’s and the other ones you know who I am alluding to. I wish they leave us alone. The old country is not a country of don’t-know-better illiterates. We have enough intellectual horse power to sort it all out. Out of my sight!!! Leave us alone!!!!

  2. This week, there is one thing that give me a big smile out loud. The amhara administered Church has exposed the personal life and background of Kesis Belay, the patriotic oromo Church leader.

    However, who is innocent in the church, bishops or archpriests ?? hahahhaha !enormous laughter!

    Let me tell you amhara is wellexperienced in defaming,degrading its counterparts and devising fake story and producing fradulent archives to mislead generations for the past millineium and it continues until it exisit on earth.

    Most of amhara clergymen, bishops were appointed by bribing the socalled holy synod excutive secretary and teh patriach . Many of them have enormous wealth and property, hotels and private enterprise selling cars which they robbed from the church.

    What is anormal with Kesis Belay who is working to liberate Oromos from amhara hegemony rooted in the church. Church was used to numb the subjects by amharan empereors who claim they are chosen by God. These emperors were killing many innocent people by being an extreme narcissist.

    The other thing that makes me to brust out laughing is one amhara lay man was saying why are you insulting as “”adgi=donkey” Jesus chose to sat on her?

    How many donkeys we have here in this planety God donot chose every adgi , donkey, . Doneky was a symbol not a donkey is chosen to serve God.let alone donkey we humanbeeings are of various deeds and characterstics. Among us we have damn killers , like amhara and blessed ones; Not all of us are chosen. We are speaking about the donkey braying all the time , nop action no change except introducing superstition, metet, tinkola , division, nepotism, suppressing other tribes and committing genocide.

    Corruption was introduced by amhara who claim that Jesus was also offered Gold, frank incense and Myrrh by Magicians, three kings.

    Amahra has a ridiculous story that he or she devised to justify his her actions .

    Amharaic should be banned in the church and all ethnics and nationalities should pray and conduct church services using thier own language if not in Geez.

    Amaharic has no its own alphabet !!!!

    Amahar is now marching and working actively allnight long to restore and maintain its hegemony using its fake historians and Tv figures spreading lies and propaganda.

    There is alogic in philosophy that politicians and businessmen use all the time: repititon, appeal to authority which implies the fact that if one famous artists, politician or bishop speak up about a certain thing it should be accepted as truth which is not true. Taye bogale or Tamegn beyene or Daniel kibret are not the mouthpiece of God rather fradulent and fake personality who became renowned in the media because of thier amahara blind supporters.

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