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The tale of two Ethiopian American Women: No More Vs. Yes More fictions and falsehoods

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Hermila Aregawi                            Vs.                       Eleni Gebremedhin

Unexamined life is not worth living’ — Socrates
Teshome Debalke
March 3, 2022

It is indeed a tragedy and a shame a whole nation’s population fall victim for #Yes More fictions-and-falsehoods peddlers not confronted enough by their counterparts to make a difference. Fortunately, meaningful actions  to counter the egregiously, unprofessional and often criminal conducts of falsehoods peddlers is slowly but surely emerging in the recent past.

The conduct two Ethiopian American women explains what went right-and-wrong with contemporary Ethiopian elites in general. In other words, #No More fictions-and-falsehoods on behalf of the people of Ethiopia represented by the Ethiopian America Journalist Hermila Aregawi Vs. #Yes More fictions-and- falsehoods on behalf of foreign sponsors represented by  Ethiopian American Economist Eleni Gebremedhin. That is where the problems of Ethiopians started and the solutions rests.

In recorded history of nation states, every functioning nation, institution, political  party, Media outlets or business enterprise have professional ethical standards based on facts and data to generate products and services worthy of the people or consumers it serves. Unfortunately, it is not the case in Ethiopia.

Therefore, Ethiopians should not go in wild-goose chase and waste valuable time and resources to find out why it took so long to solve the political, social economic problems facing the people of Ethiopia. Simply saying  #No More fictions-and-falsehoods to domestic peddlers of fictions-and-falsehoods will do the trick.

Thus, the ultimate solution is not as complicated as we are misled deliberately to believe either. The maxim attributed to the legendry 15th century Italian  impressionist and the creator of the Mona Lisa Leonardo Da Vinci says, ‘Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Yes, the simple act of saying #No More fictions-and-falsehoods ‘is the ultimate sophistication.’

Americans like to say, ‘if you see something, say something’ Vs. Ethiopians like to say, ‘if you see something say nothing’ so the story goes.  Why Americans are eager to say something while Ethiopians are afraid or willingly say nothing when they see something and how two contrasting behaviors among Ethiopian-Americans in two different setting  evolved  overtimes is better left for professional psychologists and sociologists to investigate.

But for average Ethiopian that pays the ultimate price for unprofessional and often criminal conduct of contemporary elites’ fiction and falsehoods, it is the difference between life-and-death and liberty-and oppression that makes-and-breaks everything – the very reason why #No More fictions-and-falsehoods movement began after centuries of falsehoods-and-fabrications of the truth institutionalized by TPLF ethnic apartheid Junta operatives five decades ago and where the very solution to the problems of the people of Ethiopia, for that matter to the problem of every people in every nation/state is found.

African proverbs recite “the end of a cow is beef. The end of a lie is grief” better yet,  “the worst you can do to truth is to cloth it in lies, you can’t undo it”.

Therefore, the # No More Movement and Ethiopians’ dilemma in general is how to undress the  truth rapped with lies perpetuated by contemporary dysfunctional elites and their sponsors for decades.

# No More fictions-and-falsehoods movement represented by Ethiopian American Journalists Harmala Aregawi to undress the  truth clothed with lies perpetuated by # Yes More fictions-and-falsehoods  movement represented by Ethiopian American economist Dr Eleni Gebremedhin that can’t undo the lies and live to see it rest the solutions of the problem of Ethiopia.

What could make two professional Ethiopian American women with relatively the same upbringing and birthplace chose different paths, except different educational  professions of journalism and economics respectively and work experiences in the chosen fields may explain what went right-and-wrong in contemporary Ethiopian elites in general.

Unfortunately, as  an American author of young adult fiction and novels Sarah L Fogelman better known by her pen name Ally Carter put it, “it is an occupational hazard that anyone who has spent her life learning how to lie eventually becomes bad at telling the truth.”

Occupational hazard?

The American Journalist, and the first female member of and President of the White House Correspondents Association Helen Thomas wrote, “we do not go into Journalism to be popular; it is our job to seek the truth and put constant pressure on our leaders until we get answers”. Indeed, that is and will always be the required professional ethic of every journalist since the Free Press emerged in the Scandinavian nations and spread throughout western Europe in the early 16 century.

For a journalist, seeking the truth no matter where it leads is principled positions that cannot  be compromised to remain a journalist. That is why the renowned 20th century French novelist Marguerite Durras wrote, “Journalism, without moral position is impossible. Every journalist is a moralist. It is absolutely unavoidable.”

Therefore, the role of a journalist is well defined with no ambiguity nor room to play since the standards were set in the early 16th century.

In contrast, the profession of economics is as fluid as political ideology prone for manipulation of information, falsification of data, and the truth itself for political, social, and economic expediency and dominance. In fact, economists without journalists to make them accountable are nothing short of propagandists for the power to be with no constraints to do what are expected of them.

The 19th century American essayist Agnes Repplier put it this way,  “Economics and ethics have little in common”.  Why only  economics take the rap of not having ethical standard is probably better described by the 20th century American mystery, fantasy and fiction writer Jack H. Vance as “the inscrutability [of Economics] is perhaps not unintentional. It gives endless employment to dialecticians who otherwise might become public charges or, at very worst, swindlers and tricksters.”

What relevant the statements of western journalists, novelists, essayists… have to do with contemporary Ethiopian professional elites, more so Ethiopian American elites that benefit from the very opportunity afforded to them in their adapted country without contributing anything to build democratic, economic and Free Press institutions to do right in their adapted nor birth country remained the million-dollar question.

The #No More Falsehood Movement led by journalist Harmela Argawi effort to tell the truth about her birthplace on behalf of the people of Ethiopia Vs. #Yes More Falsehoods Movement  led by Economist Eleni Gebremedhin to skirt the truth on behalf of TPLF Junta and its sponsors speaks for itself.

Yet, the humble Ethiopian American journalists and the most innovative truth teller revered by her Ethiopian compatriots  while her  counterpart revered (more worshiped) by every TPLF junta operatives and non-Ethiopian institutions and Medias personalities from ‘Market Maker’, ‘serial entrepreneur and thought leader’ to 125  Global women of Impact’ and ‘among 100 global influential Africans’  tells you everything you need to know, western institution elevate indigenous elites’ that served them to say #Yes More falsehoods than truth tellers that serves the people of Ethiopia.

The simple fact Harmela Argawi dedicated to telling the whole truth but nothing less as independent journalist is sought out by Ethiopians as innovative truth teller and Eleni Gebremedhin dedicated to telling the whole falsehoods but noting but ‘innovative’ falsehoods as economist is where two Ethiopian Americans path diverges.

After Dr Eleni Gebremedhin was caught conspiring to overthrow PM Abiy Ahamed government, her response is a window of opportunity to her state of mind.  She wrote,

“I want to make it crystal clear that I do not endorse any of the views that were presented at his meeting nor support any agenda other than that of seeking peace for Ethiopia. I fully condemn any illicit actions that undermine the sovereign elected government of Ethiopia, and I do not support an unconstitutional change of government.”

Unfortunately, her Economic ‘Marshal Plan’ pitch for TPLF warlord Berhane Gebre Kirstos after TPLF retake power  in her demented mind is NOT “illicit unconstitutional change of government” worse yet, it is “seeking peace for Ethiopia” — giving constitutional change and peace whole different convenient meanings through innovative falsehoods in what appeared a prerequisite required by her sponsors which landed her a job as UNDP Africa Innovative Officer.

The question is, if an econometrician with a PhD cannot tell fiction from reality no matter what the reason may be who can?

But in all fairness, though the profession of  “Economics and ethics have little in common”, the profession of  journalism is not immune to violation of professional ethics as we witness modern journalist impersonators skirt the truth on behalf of their sponsors and outnumber real journalist that seek the truth on behalf of the people of Ethiopia.

At the end of the day, no matter where you live, in what profession you make a living, who benefit out of your profession and how you may or may not be compromised and by who… the fact remained and the solution rests on what the Austrian professor and author of many books including The Economics of Laws, Order and Action: The Logic of Public Good  Dr. Jakub Bozydar Wisniewski framed as “falsehood is not truth. Evil is not good. Ugliness is not beauty. Fantasies are not reality. And, most of all, certainties are not platitudes”. Thus, why do contemporary dysfunctional Ethiopian professionals represented by Economist Dr Eleni Gebremedhin reject reality and seek out for more innovative falsehoods while others represented by Journalist Harmela Argawi accept the reality and seek the truth?

Could ‘…occupational hazard that anyone who has spent her life learning how to lie eventually becomes bad at telling the truth’, alone explain the behavior? if not, what could?

Regardless, Ethiopians cannot afford  to ‘let bygones be bygones.’ There got to be hefty penalties for telling ‘innovative’ falsehoods. The cost is too high to bare for the people of Ethiopia to ignore.

Have you said # No More fictions-and-falsehoods… to your closest compatriots that paddle falsehoods for political and economic reason?  If not, you are part of the problem not the solution.  After all,  ‘charity begins at home’ and do not look  for others to do what you should to your nearest and dearest peddlers of falsehoods. It is the simplest and the easy way without effort and excuse to solve most of the problems of Ethiopia.  If you are beneficiary of what falsehoods offers — nepotism, racketeering,  and corruption, ‘innovation’ in falsehoods is not going to save you from your predicaments.

One Ethiopian proverb of ‘where there is no shame, there cannot be any honor’  sums up what all self-proclaimed civilized western elites we cited above.  The vast and unexplored wisdom of Ethiopian are yet to be told because well-financed innovative falsehoods peddlers outnumber truth tellers to dominate the airwaves.

 

To be part of #No More Movement does not mean  to be against innovative falsehoods peddlers of TPLF Junta and sponsors per say as we are led to believe, it is because it is a life-or-death situation for the people of Ethiopia.

 

The sad reality, two Ethiopian American professional women are on the opposite sides is where the future of the political, social, and economic right and liberties of the people of Ethiopia will be defined for the better or the worst. That is why our wise people said, ‘where there is no shame, there cannot be any honor’. Mind you, they did not say may be, possibly, could be… but ‘cannot be any honor’.

 

That is why in August of 2020 in article titled ‘Honor Among thieves’ Undermining Reform Again: Costing lives and Liberties of Ethiopians and quoted our wise people saying that summed up everything ‘አካፋን አካፋ  ካላሉት ጭልፋ ነኝ ብሎ ገብቶ ይፈተፍታል.

 

 

4 Comments

  1. The way I see these two ladies is both have the rights to their opinion. They can show or deny support. They can urge Abiy to continue leading or ask for his immediate resignation/dismissal. They both have same rights.

  2. I also concur that individuals should be respected for holding their own positions on Ethiopian politics, and not be criticized for it.

  3. Dr. Eleni Gebre Medhin had close working relationships and connections with the TPLF while the latter was in power. Her participation in the post Abiy Ahmed government plan and discussion which the TPLF organized was not surprising or unexpected. Rather her poor judgment and understanding of the conflict in Ethiopia. When the TPLF arranged and called this meeting, it was confident that it would recapture Addis Ababa and unseat the Abiy government.

  4. Talking about country and people, Economist Eleni got stuck with the old TPLF elite insolvency politics vs Journalist Hermila with an independent mind is a future rising leadership of Pan-Africanism.

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