In the pre-modern period of Somalia’s history protracted wars were waged, with the Ethiopians even in modern times, as was the case with the Italo-Ethiopian war’s, in the Ethiopian emperor Menellek II’, time the “Battle of Adowa”, was fought against the Italian invaders.
Image: The emperor Menellek II claims lineage from King Solomon and the queen of Sheba.The images at right are an example of Ethiopian soldiers during Menellek II’, time it was soldiers like these that routed the Italians at the battle of Adowa. Even during the reign of Haile Sellassie, the Ethiopian soldiers were outfitted with weapons and clothing of the type, that the soldiers above are displaying.
Menellek II, was the grandfather of the successor to the throne Lej Iyasu. Lej Iyasu was imprisoned by Haile Sellassie after he was captured, in a battle between his forces and that of Ras Tafari. Lej Iyasu was captured in 1921 and imprisoned. Josef ben Jochannan, claimed that Haile Sellassie poisoned him, in order to usurp the throne. The poisoning of an enemy imprisoned for nearly twelve years seems highly unlikely. There are even more unlikely tales and rumors abounding concerning Haile Sellassie not the least of which was the one concocted by Timothy White in his book Catch a Fire. White is indisputably a great writer, who blends fiction and fact in his book creating an Epic type narrative, to titillate his readership. An example of White’s fiction and fact blending, is page 36 of Catch a Fire, where he claims Lej Iyasu was chained in golden chains and fed opulently enjoying a life in ‘captive luxury”, where he could freely cohabitate with the many concubines that Haile Sellassie had sent to him for his pleasure. Not only is that narrative highly unlikely, it is culturally inaccurate and also most importantly he can cite no source that would verify his claims. Another example of his meanderings and deliberate mythologizing of Haile Sellassie are his claims that an old abbot examing Tafari’s palms upon discovering stigmata” there, fled from Tafari, terrified. The stigmata of the “Roman Catholic Institution” are the so-called nail prints in the palm of Jesus. What purpose could such embellishments serve but to reinforce, the beliefs and sympathies of those White’s book is marketed to? Not Rastafari as such but people open to the type of innuendo and suppositions that are rife throughout White’s book.
I have viewed thousands of hours of video and now DVD footage of Haile Sellassie , read and re-read hundreds of books, replete with pictures of him waving and some with both hands fully exposed, I have yet to see any nail prints in the palm of his hand, and I am yet to find anyone who can credibly prove with documented factual evidence, that such was ever the case, I rest my case (no pun intended).
Menellek II was emperor of Ethiopia; during the attempted invasion of Ethiopia by the Italians, the Italians were routed, in what became known as the battle of Adowa in 1896.
I have not stated my personal opinions here, nor am I attempting to convert anyone or change another person’s point of view, every person has the right to believe whatever they want to, but no one can change facts.
The aim of this book in this section is to furnish facts hereby equipping persons in the African Diaspora, to identify between various aspects of our experience in the Diaspora.
I have laid bare the facts researched by highly skilled professors who have shown, that the actual origins of Rastafari are esoteric and not bible based. The foundation of Rastafari is in tantricism not in the bible as so many erroneously state.
Image: Zaouditou wife of emperor Menellek and mother of Taitu. The title of Empress of Ethiopia or Queen of the Kings of Ityoppia ,was conferred on her in 1917, by the Monophysite Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Shoan nobility.Muslims, led by Iyasu were seeking to subvert three Milennia of Solomonic succession. Iyasu who had been excommunicated by the leaders of the Orthodox Church, upon his conversion to Islam, was Menellek’s chosen successor. The recently named Ras Tafari, prevailed upon Zaouditou to name him as regent, she acquiesced to his request preferring to keep the royal scepter out of the hands of the Muslim apostate Lij Yasu. Zaouditou was empress in name only, even with her immense influence it was the strikingly handsome, Tafari Makonnen with his electrifying magnetic presence and his direct descent from the Shoan imperial dynasty who the common people and increasingly some in the nobility regarded as a potent force, who may one day ascend to the highest office in Ityoppia that of Negusa Nagast, King of the Kings of Ityoppia/Emperor or “Atse”.
Image: This photo is of a young Tafari Makonnen with his father Ras Makonnen. Queer tales circulated about the young Tafari’ ability to communicate with animals, Kapucinski in his book “The Emperor “,stated, that former intimates of Haile Sellassie, told him Sellassie himself was the source of the rumours. Eventhough many Ethiopians claimed to be Christians, they were and still are a deeply superstitious people who still revert to the pre-Christian practices of their ancestors.
Lady Taitu seen at far right of page, embroidered on the front of her garment are the two lions and the crown in the middle. The lions are symbolic for the Lion of Judah which the Ethiopian imperial house identified with as the messiah/savior of the Ethiopian people; this was in keeping with Orthodox teaching.
Haile Sellassie was born on July 23, 1982 an Amhara, this group was the dominant ethnic group, or ruling class at the time.The Oromo fell on the lower stratum of the social hierarchy and were largely Muslim; with the Amhara being predominantly, Coptic Christian, presided over by Abuna’s/Bishops.
Haile Sellassie, s father was a duke, Ras Makonnen, he was related to the emperor Menelik II, his wife lady Yishimabet was the mother of Haile Sellassie. Tafari the pre-coronation name of Haile Sellassie was raised by his father’s Cousin Fitawrari Haile Sellassie Abeynah who was a general.
Born in Ejarsa Gora, raised in the lush Harage province eighteen miles from Harare, his birth name was, Emmanuel later his baptismal name Haile Sellassie Light of the Trinity, to his consternation would be intoned by men thousands of miles away from his birthplace, but the child had no way of knowing, oblivious to all else he clung hungrily to his mother’s breast’s savoring, the velvety smoothness of the life-giving milk, he hungrily satiated himself on. On the day of the child’s birth, his father according to tradition kept a silent vigil like a sentinel outside the round thatched hut, with its conical roof made of wattle-wood.
Image: Ras Makonnen wore a bandolier of cartridges around his waist not unlike the one on the man in the photo above, standing next to a seated Haile Sellassie.
Dressed completely in black, his bombazine tunic, made the haft of his jewelled sheathed sword, stand out against the stark black background. He wore atop his head an Italian-made fedora of the finest suave felt, around his waist was a bandolier of cartridges, tucked in at his waist was a finely carved ivory-handled custom made pistol. The customary gun bearer stood several paces behind his master, maintaining the respectful distance; he cradled the fine rifle, sheathed in fine silk, the color of which was purple. Farther from both men, fanned out, standing at ease, was a large contingent of soldier’s in full ceremonial regalia, each man held a fully loaded carbine. Beyond the massing men a tight semi-circle of peasants knelt, reverently chanting zemas (prayers),their chants filled the pitch black night with, a soul felt reverence that all the devout soldiers present acknowledged, with bowed heads muttering prayers of their own under their breath’s. In the small hut, physicians and servants ministered, to lady Yashimabet watched by priests who held their malwamiyas, reverently since they were consecrated, the prayer sticks were never laid on the ground or used as a walking stick. The baby who would become Tafari Makonnen was washed and anointed, with the finest oils, while his lips were daubed in melted, butter blessed by priests. Hundreds of guns were fired by the soldiers outside, when the father finally emerged from the little hut, intoning with raised voice; “a boy, he is a boy”.
The gunshots from hundreds of rifles rang out in the night, shattering the silence and eclipsing the softly chanted prayers and psalms, the deafening cacophony echo and reverberate endlessly, lightning flashed, once, twice, three times, brightly illuminating the contingent, the men’s spirits are uplifted, filled with joy at their lords’ good providence.
Ras Makonnen knows the child will have to learn the art of state craft from his youth up. The palace intrigues were filled with low deeds in high places, rife with deceit, betrayals and disloyalty at every turn, a Dejazmatch hoping to become a ras needed, to be trained even in the ways of the west, since a broad-ranging knowledge was helpful and useful in enhancing ones skill set’s, thereby increasing ones chances in successful, diplomacy. With his sons future on his mind Makonnen, hired the French Martinican father Vitalien as his son’s tutor. I deliberately related the preceding in story-like prose as a means of conveying the milieu that Haile Sellassie grew up in and was born into. A brilliant young boy, who would grow up to be a seemingly “frail man”, eventually he would be emperor of Ethiopia, the scion of the Shoa dynasty would carry the Solomonic legacy into the 21st century, in the process he would become a “god”, to thousands , only to be deposed in a coup, even in death he is hailed as,“Jah Rastafari” by many, this portion of the book will examine him, and the people that hail him as their, “living” god!
Father Jarousseau the French Roman Catholic, was one of his earliest tutors. It was from Jarousseau, that Tafari learnt the French language, which he was quite fluent in.
In later years when Tafari nearly drowned, it was the French priest who saved his life, the priest drowned in the incident. Above right the young child Lij Tafari (Haile Sellassie) wearing the pectoral cross given to him by Jarousseau.
Left to right Tafari Belew, Tafari Makonnen (Haile Sellassie), middle Beru the children’s attendant and last Imru Haile Sellassie who later became a Ras. At right Tafari or Teferi, at age twelve just months before he was named Dejazmatch, or governor of some of Harage province, by his father.
Dr Joseph Vitalien, a black Catholic physician from Martinique, also tutored Ras Tafari.
Lej Iyasu the crown prince at the time converted to Islam and caused much consternation, when he began firing Christian government appointees and placing Muslims in their stead, he was finally deposed in a military coup.
With the most powerful noble’s and the greater part of the military supporting him Ras Tafari was crowned on November second 1930 along with his wife Empress Mennen.
Menen was of the Gala people and not Amharan like Haile Selassie.
The actual events surrounding the coronation itself are worth recounting herein; in order to establish the significance of the Coptic Church, and specifically the centrality of the Christian faith to the imperial office, and the importance placed on the observance of the Christian faith by the emperor himself.
A significant event that occurred prior to the coronation, was the return of the royal scepter to Ethiopia by the Duke of Gloucester, he came representing his father who was unable to make the trip.
It is a highly paradoxical development that some today, would attempt to divorce Haile Selassie from his openly Christian adherence and his constant veneration of Jesus as his Lord and Savior. It is with that thought in mind that I will attempt to describe what has been described by many authors over the years, which are the actual events and ceremonies surrounding the coronation of Haile Selassie, the recounting of said events herein are to highlight the significance of Christian doctrine to the Ethiopian royal house at that time.
Image: The state coach above was purchased from the Austrian emperor Franz Josef, drawn by a team of spotless white Hapsburg stallions, the coach gleamed resplendently in the sun. The driver was a former employee of Franz Josef hired by Ras Tafari , to drive him and his empress.
In Addis Ababa new roads had to be built to accommodate the large amount of traffic that would abound in November the date of the coronation. Invitations were sent to dignitaries all around the world. In mid-October the dignitaries began streaming into Addis Ababa via Djibouti on the Gulf of Aden, through French-Somaliland and through Ethiopia’s mountainous interior by railway. Amongst the many dignitaries were, the Duke of Gloucester, Isaburo Yoshida a Japanese delegate, Marshal Franchet d’Espercy a Frencman,Rear Admiral Prince Udine an Italian, Muhammad Tawfiq Nasim Pasha an Egyptian. The German President dispatched a private airplane bearing 500 bottles of fine Rhine wine. In a service at the Saint Georgis Cathedral on the eve of the coronation the emperor and his bride took part in an all-night prayer vigil. Ras Tafari and his wife prayed along with, the priest’s and the church deacons, dancing, singing the priest’s and deacon’s held their prayer sticks, swaying in time to the music, of harps , lyres, drums ,tambourines and an assortment of other instruments. The female choir singing, from time to time ululated as is the custom of Ethiopian women at such events.
Sunday November 2, 1930 at 7:00 most of the official guests were seated in the opulently decorated hall at the west side of the cathedral. At 7:30 A.M., the doors of the inner sanctum opened, and hundreds of priest’s made their way out chanting as they went, Haile Sellassie followed them out, as incense filled the cathedral shrouding him in a swirl of smoke, dressed in white silk communion robes Tafari Makonnen made his way slowly to his throne, and sat down.
The emperor was presented with the imperial symbols of his high office: the insignia of royalty, the gold embroidered scarlet robes, a saber encrusted with precious stones, the royal scepter, and the orb, the ring of Solomon, (a ring with a rampant gold lion set in onyx or obsidian), two diamond rings, and two lances.
Then the Abuna anointed his brow and placed the majestic crown fitted with jewels, diamonds and precious stones on his head, the crown of the emperor and empress were valued at one million U.S. dollars, the crowns were fashioned in such a manner that they incorporated the seal of Solomon and the Lion of Judah crest (the hand-delivered crowns were kept by the priest’s according to sacral tradition in order for them to be prayed over by the priest’s for the required 21 days prior to the coronation), the Abuna crowned Ras Tafari: “Haile Sellassie I Power of The Trinity, Two Hundred Twenty fifth Emperor of the Solomonic Dynasty, Elect of God, Lord of Lords King of kings Conquering Lion of The Tribe of Judah”. The Abuna then invoked the following prayer: “That God may make this crown a crown of sanctity and glory. That by the grace and blessings which we have given you may have an unshakeable faith and a pure heart, in order that you may inherit the crown eternal. So be it”. Crown Prince Asfa Wossen knelt before the emperor in a posture of sublime submission; one hundred and one cannons elicited a thunderous salute to H.I.M., outside the sanctuary. Though the peasants and common people were barred from attending the coronation they, nevertheless celebrated the crowning of the emperor.
Haile Selassie broke with tradition and was coronated along with his consort empress Mennen.
In her book The First Rasta, Helen Lee the French female journalist claims that Haile Selassie considered himself to be in her words white, a Caucasian, nothing could be farther from the truth. Selassie claimed an Amharic heritage, which is an African ethnic group.
The word Semite in reference to Amhara Ethiopians is an invention of white racist academicians, culturally, and ethnologically, Haile Selassie was in the strictest sense an African. An example of his African cultural heritage can be seen, on the BBC documentary of Haile Selassie during the Italo Ethiopian war, several warriors can be observed dancing, and chanting , and boasting of their valorous acts before the emperor’s throne, and recounting their valorous deeds, the scene is very African and possesses a decidedly non-European character.
The Semitic connection was introduced into his gene pool through the union of Solomon, and the queen of Sheba or queen Makeda her African name. (authors note: examine the photo of Haile Selassie’ father and his pronounced African features. The arrogance and crassness of certain European scholars when writing about Africans borders on the neurotic. Below emperors Tewodros and Johannes sporting the braided hairstyles so popular amongst blacks in the West and in Africa. Many European scholars identified these men as white, yet their culture, language and ethnic heritage is identical in so many aspects to that of Africans on the continent and elsewhere that the true reason for claiming them as Europeans become apparent. Were the Europeans to acknowledge the African for what he is at the outset they would have had no basis at all for their racist theories and suppositions. Therefore having no basis in fact for them to claim an entire continent and its inhabitants to be their inferior. They had to invent a Caucasian heritage for all outstanding African cultures. therein lay the downfall of Western academia for in teaching and perpetuating fiction as fact they robbed generations of their own people of the true value of factual empirical knowledge and for the most part intellectually crippled them and the descendants of the African in their midst. Scholarship of the type you are reading is an attempt to right the injustice, yet it is a minuscule droplet in a sea of decadence and ignorance.
The above newspaper article contains some examples of the type of stupidity spouted by certain western “scholars”. No doubt Helen Lee was influenced by the innuendo and outright lies of the type shown above. I will include the article dated July 24th 1954 in its entirety here. “Haile’s gold medal awarded to Rogers. NEW YORK- By imperial command of emperor, Haile Sellassie, J.A. Rogers was summoned to the Waldorf Astoria last Thursday, presented with a gold medal and given an order of 128 copies of Rogers’ book, “Worlds Great men of Color, 3000 B.C. to 1946 A.D.” After the presentation Mr Rogers said: “This ought to squelch the belief that he considers himself white and is not interested in colored Americans”. “I first met him at his coronation in 1930”. “At 61 the emperor is in excellent health, he underwent a physical exam at the Harkness Pavillion of the Presbytarian hospital and passed with flying colors”. Mr Rogers revealed he is working on two new books; one of them is a book of amazing facts entitled, “A book of amazing facts about the colored American from 1512 to the present”. Mr Rogers says he has enough important facts to fill several volumes. Commenting on John Gunther’s story in the Readers Digest in which said Gunther, “The Ethiopians consider themselves to be white no matter what their color is”. This is an entirely false interpretation. “Ethiopians do consider themselves the equal of anybody, which is something entirely different”, says Rogers. “I discussed this with many of the Highest Ethiopians they regard themselves as Black people, Africans”. There are many more such articles to be found in Western media with direct quotes from Haile Sellassie himself with regards to his ethnicity; suffice it to say that I am satisfied with the evidence presented in this book thus far on the preceding.
The Ethiopian imperial structure was centralized in the person of the emperor.
The inability of the average West Indian to fully grasp Ethiopian culture, is understandable the complexities of distinguishing between the Amhara, for instance and the Falasha, or the Gala, or any other ethnic group in existence in Ethiopia quite frankly, would be far too staggering for the average high school dropout in the West Indies. It is exactly because of this handicap that men like Howell were able to preach and teach an erroneous doctrine to ignorant persons.
Image: Close examination of the throne will reveal two lion’s heads on the right and the left of the throne on which Haile Sellassie is seated. This picture has been included to show, the pronounced Jewish influenced traditions in the Solomonic dynasty of Haile Sellassie, no one can deny that the Ethiopians had previous contact with Jews.
Before I go any further, I would like to say here for the record that Haile Sellassie confessed Jesus as his personal lord and savior. I esteem his person very highly, I regard him as a great personal influence, and motivation in my own life, with that said I would like to include here a quote from Haile Sellassie himself as pertains to his personal regard for the bible and I quote.
“We in Ethiopia have one of the oldest versions of the bible, but however old the version may be, in whatever language it might be written the word remains one and the same. It transcends all boundaries of empires and all conception of race it is eternal.
No doubt you all remember reading in the Acts of the Apostles how Philip baptized the Ethiopian official. He is the first Ethiopian on record to have followed Christ and from that day onwards the, word of God has continued to grow in the hearts of Ethiopians. Moreover, I might say for myself that from my early childhood, I was taught to appreciate the bible and my love for it increases with the passage of time. All through my troubles, I have found it a cause of infinite comfort (quoting Jesus). “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. Who can resist an invitation so full of compassion?
Because of this personal experience in the goodness of the bible, I was resolved that all my countrymen should also share its great blessing, and that by reading the bible they should find truth for themselves. Therefore, I caused a new translation to be made from our ancient language (Geez) into the language which the old and the young understood and spoke (Amharic).
Today man sees all his hopes and aspirations crumbling before him. He must realize that the bible is his refuge and the rallying point for all humanity. In it man will find the solution of his present difficulties and guidance for his future action.
And unless he accepts with clear conscience the bible and its great message, he cannot hope for salvation. For my part I glory in the bible”.
The name Haile Sellassie is an Amharic word, the Amharic language is classified as a Semitic language in the same language group as Hebrew, which is a fallacious attempt to divorce Ethiopians from their African ethnicity, an impossibility that is still being attempted by certain Caucasian pseudo-scholars.
The name literally means power of the trinity the Hebrew equivalent of the word Selassie is Sh’lee-shee the word means third , Tafari his childhood name prefixed by the title Ras in the Hebrew is Tiph-ah-rah and Tiph-eh-reth in the English transliteration it is rendered Tiferet the word means beauty or glory .
Some attribute messiah ship to Haile Selassie; indeed he did execute the role of a political savior in that he defended the sovereignty of Ethiopia valiantly. It was because of the steadfast faith in God, of the Ethiopian warriors that they were able to defeat the Italian hordes, yet there is no biblical proof nor shred of evidence supporting or promoting any claim that Haile Selassie was God incarnate the Messiah of the ages.
As can be seen from his own account Haile Sellassie considered himself a mere mortal and a subject of Jesus the Messiah.
Haile Selassie is a product of a culture that has co-opted many aspects of Judaism into its Canon, from his triple crown to his kingly scepter and royal globe/orb signifying universal or perpetual ruler ship all these are adaptations of the Hebrew Theocratic way of life.
Which was God ordained kingship Government ruled by God.
The Ethiopians co-opted Judaism which remains to this day a deeply religious society, the fact that, the Ethiopian religious culture bears resemblances to the Hebrew religious culture attests to the fact that the Hebrew’s influence was far flung, and far ranging from it’s infancy until today. Hebrew culture has influenced the earth’s population and will continue to do so.
Tafari Makonnen would later become known by his baptismal name, Haile Sellassie,
This became his regnal appellation upon his coronation as emperor.
Haile Sellassie was the only emperor of the twentieth century who actually fought, in Battle alongside his troops; he operated an Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun during the Italo Ethiopian war.
Haile Sellassie was the only emperor of the twentieth century who actually fought, in Battle alongside his troops; he operated an Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun during the Italo Ethiopian war.
Image: Haile Sellassie marching with his troops into battle. Sellassie is in the front row sixth from right. The Ethiopian soldiers would chant: “Negus, our Negus, only you can save us, our lines in the south have been caught in a rout. And to the north of Makale all our tactics are folly. Negus, our Negus give me shot give me powder.
The October 12 1935, Italian aggression against Ethiopia orchestrated by the fascist Benito Mussolini, was the second attempt by the Italians to conquer Ethiopia.
At Maichew, March 31, 1936, the emperor led his troops on the battlefield.
During the Italo-Ethiopian war poison gas bombs (Mustard gas), were dropped wholesale by the Italians on men, women, children, and animals as well as crops.
The unscrupulous use of Mustard gas by the Italians; in direct contravention of the Geneva Convention of 1907, poisoned the crops on the farmland of the Ethiopian farmers, large tracts of farmland were rendered infertile for generations to come, the resultant starvation that plagued Ethiopia in later years, some historians have attributed to the detrimental ecological effects of Mustard gas. On the issue of Mustard Gas Haile Sellassie in J.A. Rogers’ book World’s Great Men of Color volume I said that: “It was at the time when the operations for the encircling of Makalle were taking place that the Italian command, fearing rout, followed the procedure which it is now my duty to denounce to the world. Special sprayers were installed on board aircraft so that they could vaporize, over vast areas of territory a fine death dealing rain. Groups of nine, fifteen, eighteen aircraft followed one another so that the fog issuing forth from them formed a continuous sheet. It was thus that, as far as the end of January, 1936, soldiers, women , children, cattle, rivers, lakes and pastures were drenched continually with the deadly rain .In order to kill off systematically all living creatures: in order the more surely to poison waters and pastures, the Italian command made its aircraft to pass over and over again. That was its chief method of warfare.
The very refinement of barbarism consisted in carrying ravage and terror into the most densely populated parts of the territory the points farthest removed from the scene of hostilities. The object was to scatter fear and death over a great part of the Ethiopian territory. These Fearful tactics succeeded. Men and animals succumbed. The deadly rain that fell from the aircraft made all those whom it touched fly shrieking with pain. All those who drank the poisoned water or ate the infected food also succumbed in dreadful suffering. In tens of thousands the victims of Italian mustard gas fell. It is in order to denounce to the civilized world the tortures inflicted upon the Ethiopian people that I resolved to come to Geneva.
Above Hitler and his cohort Mussolini.
Image: Oblivious to his own safety Haile Selassie walked on unexploded bombs on his palace grounds and collected some, that he could carry and painstakingly logged information concerning the makeup of the bombs into a logbook that he carried.
Haile Selassie issued a general mobilization proclamation to the Ethiopian people before the war, the proclamation read: “People of my land of Ethiopia. You know that Ethiopia has moved on her way continuously from the time of Menelik the first, and has endured, has been recognized, and respected in her liberty.
Previously, forty years ago, Italy, proud in her skill and in her strength, desired to destroy the liberty of Ethiopia, and to enslave her people and to rule over them: she came into the midst of our land and fought against us.
Our God, who loves not violence, aided us and gave us the victory; but we did not seek to recover that part of our land, which had gone from us.
Pushing forward on the frontiers by Hamasien and Somalia, they took our territory: and you can see with your eyes and hear with your ears how our brothers, in that land they took, have borne the yoke of slavery.
While we grieve at the violence perpetrated against them, we do not seek the territory, which has gone from us.
Now once again they are planning to cast the yoke of slavery upon the people dwelling in the whole of our country.
They brought troops by stealth into Ogaden and killed our men who were seeking no quarrel: they have broken the treaty we concluded with them.
We had already entered the League of Nations, which was established to maintain the peace of the world, therefore we gave notice to the League of Nations, so that the quarrel at Walwal might be looked into by arbitrators according to the law, and the guilty party might be recognized.”
Image: This photo is of Haile Selassie addressing the League of Nations, hoping to avoid war by a policy of non-aggression in 1936. His efforts however were futile, Italian journalists seeking to create a disturbance and diminish the effectiveness of his speech vociferously and rudely heckled him.
Before descending the rostrum, Sellassie uttered these prophetic words, “Today for us tomorrow it will be you,” his words came to fruition in the Italian defeat at the hands of the allies, and the subsequent execution of Benito Mussolini by his own countrymen.
The photo above at right of the page shows Mussolini and some of his cohorts, hanging, upside down, murdered by the “adoring masses”, of Italians who mere months prior hailed them as heroes.
Selassie hoped to appeal to the collective conscience of the League. With quite determination and a steely resolve taking a deep breath steadying his nerves, he knew this was a pivotal moment his countrymen depended on him he was their servant and representative before the largest world body politic, the hypocritical League of Nations what would histories verdict be? he wondered. With his unwavering faith in God the austere monarch began to outline his policy speaking in his native Amharic, the beleaguered Sellassie championed the very values that the league claimed to defend, in 1936.Twenty seven years later Sellassie’s prophetic words had come to pass, he would again go before the world body which was by then the United Nations, vindicated and victorious, Clearing his throat Haile Sellassie uttered the following words before the hypocritical league, on October 1963:
“Twenty-seven years ago, as Emperor of Ethiopia, I mounted the rostrum in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the League of Nations and to appeal for relief from the destruction which had been unleashed against my defenceless nation, by the Fascist invader. I spoke then both to and for the conscience of the world. My words went unheeded, but history testifies to the accuracy of the warning that I gave in 1936.
Today, I stand before the world organization which has succeeded to the mantle discarded by its discredited predecessor. In this body is enshrined the principle of collective security which I unsuccessfully invoked at Geneva. Here, in this Assembly, reposes the best – perhaps the last – hope for the peaceful survival of mankind.
In 1936, I declared that it was not the Covenant of the League that was at stake, but international morality. Undertakings, I said then, are of little worth if the will to keep them is lacking. The Charter of the United Nations expresses the noblest aspirations of man: abjuration of force in the settlement of disputes between states; the assurance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; the safeguarding of international peace and security.
But these, too, as were the phrases of the Covenant, are only words; their value depends wholly on our will to observe and honor them and give them content and meaning. The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man’s basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act – and if necessary, to suffer and die – for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied. These lessons must be learned anew by each succeeding generation, and that generation is fortunate indeed which learns from other than its own bitter experience. This Organization and each of its members bear a crushing and awesome responsibility: to absorb the wisdom of history and to apply it to the problems of the present, in order that future generations may be born, and live, and die, in peace.
The record of the United Nations during the few short years of its life affords mankind a solid basis for encouragement and hope for the future. The United Nations has dared to act, when the League dared not in Palestine, in Korea, in Suez, in the Congo. There is not one among us today who does not conjecture upon the reaction of this body when motives and actions are called into question. The opinion of this Organization today acts as a powerful influence upon the decisions of its members. The spotlight of world opinion, focused by the United Nations upon the transgressions of the renegades of human society, has thus far proved an effective safeguard against unchecked aggression and unrestricted violation of human rights.
The United Nations continues to sense as the forum where nations whose interests clash may lay their cases before world opinion. It still provides the essential escape valve without which the slow build-up of pressures would have long since resulted in catastrophic explosion. Its actions and decisions have speeded the achievement of freedom by many people’s on the continents of Africa and Asia. Its efforts have contributed to the advancement of the standard of living of peoples in all corners of the world.
For this, all men must give thanks. As I stand here today, how faint, how remote are the memories of 1936.How different in 1963 are the attitudes of men. We then existed in an atmosphere of suffocating pessimism. Today, cautious yet buoyant optimism is the prevailing spirit. But each one of us here knows that what has been accomplished is not enough.
The United Nations judgments have been and continue to be subject to frustration, as individual member-states have ignored its pronouncements and disregarded its recommendations. The Organization’s sinews have been weakened, as member-states have shirked their obligations to it. The authority of the Organization has been mocked, as individual member-states have proceeded, in violation of its commands, to pursue their own aims and ends. The troubles which continue to plague us virtually all arise among member states of the Organization, but the Organization remains impotent to enforce acceptable solutions. As the maker and enforcer of the international law, what the United Nations has achieved still falls regrettably short of our goal of an international community of nations.
This does not mean that the United Nations has failed. I have lived too long to cherish many illusions about the essential high-mindedness of men when brought into stark confrontation with the issue of control over their security, and their property interests. Not even now, when so much is at hazard would many nations willingly entrust their destinies to other hands.
Yet, this is the ultimatum presented to us: secure the conditions whereby men will entrust their security to a larger entity, or risk annihilation; persuade men that their salvation rests in the subordination of national and local interests to the interests of humanity, or endanger man’s future. These are the objectives, yesterday unobtainable, today essential, which we must labor to achieve.
Until this is accomplished, mankind’s future remains hazardous and permanent peace a matter for speculation. There is no single magic formula, no one simple step, no words, whether written into the Organization’s Charter or into a treaty between states, which can automatically guarantee to us what we seek. Peace is a day-to-day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgments. Peace is not an “is”, it is a “becoming.” We cannot escape the dreadful possibility of catastrophe by miscalculation. But we can reach the right decisions on the myriad subordinate problems which each new day poses, and we can thereby make our contribution and perhaps the most that can be reasonably expected of us in 1963 to the preservation of peace. It is here that the United Nations has served us – not perfectly, but well. And in enhancing the possibilities that the Organization may serve us better, we serve and bring closer our most cherished goals.
I would mention briefly today two particular issues which are of deep concern to all men: disarmament and the establishment of true equality among men. Disarmament has become the urgent imperative of our time. I do not say this because I equate the absence of arms to peace, or because I believe that bringing an end to the nuclear arms race automatically guarantees the peace, or because the elimination of nuclear warheads from the arsenals of the world will bring in its wake that change in attitude requisite to the peaceful settlement of disputes between nations. Disarmament is vital today, quite simply, because of the immense destructive capacity of which men dispose.
Ethiopia supports the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty as a step towards this goal, even though only a partial step. Nations can still perfect weapons of mass destruction by underground testing. There is no guarantee against the sudden, unannounced resumption of testing in the atmosphere.
The real significance of the treaty is that it admits of a tacit stalemate between the nations which negotiated it, a stalemate which recognizes the blunt, unavoidable fact that none would emerge from the total destruction which would be the lot of all in a nuclear war, a stalemate which affords us and the United Nations a breathing space in which to act.
Here is our opportunity and our challenge. If the nuclear powers are prepared to declare a truce, let us seize the moment to strengthen the institutions and procedures which will serve as the means for the pacific settlement of disputes among men. Conflicts between nations will continue to arise. The real issue is whether they are to be resolved by force, or by resort to peaceful methods and procedures, administered by impartial institutions. This very Organization itself is the greatest such institution, and it is in a more powerful United Nations that we seek, and it is here that we shall find, the assurance of a peaceful future.
Were a real and effective disarmament achieved and the funds now spent in the arms race devoted to the amelioration of man’s state; were we to concentrate only on the peaceful uses of nuclear knowledge, how vastly and in how short a time might we change the conditions of mankind. This should be our goal.
When we talk of the equality of man, we find, also, a challenge and an opportunity; a challenge to breathe new life into the ideals enshrined in the Charter, an opportunity to bring men closer to freedom and true equality and thus, closer to a love of peace.
The goal of the equality of man which we seek is the antithesis of the exploitation of one people by another with which the pages of history and in particular those written of the African and Asian continents, speak at such length. Exploitation, thus viewed, has many faces. But whatever guise it assumes, this evil is to be shunned where it does not exist and crushed where it does. It is the sacred duty of this Organization to ensure that the dream of equality is finally realized for all men to whom it is still denied, to guarantee that exploitation is not reincarnated in other forms in places whence it has already been banished.
As a free Africa has emerged during the past decade, a fresh attack has been launched against exploitation, wherever it still exists. And in that interaction so common to history, this in turn, has stimulated and encouraged the remaining dependent peoples to renewed efforts to throw off the yoke which has oppressed them and its claim as their birth right the twin ideals of liberty and equality. This very struggle is a struggle to establish peace, and until victory is assured, that brotherhood and understanding which nourish and give life to peace can be but partial and incomplete.
In the United States of America, the administration of President Kennedy is leading a vigorous attack to eradicate the remaining vestige of racial discrimination from this country. We know that this conflict will be won and that right will triumph. In this time of trial, these efforts should be encouraged and assisted, and we should lend our sympathy and support to the American Government today.
Last May, in Addis Ababa, I convened a meeting of Heads of African States and Governments. In three days, the thirty-two nations represented at that Conference demonstrated to the world that when the will and the determination exist, nations and peoples of diverse backgrounds can and will work together, in unity, to the achievement of common goals and the assurance of that equality and brotherhood which we desire.
On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson: “That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will; Until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; Until that day, the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil”.
The United Nations has done much, both directly and indirectly to speed the disappearance of discrimination and oppression from the earth. Without the opportunity to focus world opinion on Africa and Asia which this Organization provides, the goal, for many, might still lie ahead, and the struggle would have taken far longer. For this, we are truly grateful.
But more can be done. The basis of racial discrimination and colonialism has been economic, and it is with economic weapons that these evils have been and can be overcome. In pursuance of resolutions adopted at the Addis Ababa Summit Conference, African States have undertaken certain measures in the economic field which, if adopted by all member states of the United Nations, would soon reduce intransigence to reason. I ask, today, for adherence to these measures by every nation represented here which is truly devoted to the principles enunciated in the Charter.
I do not believe that Portugal and South Africa are prepared to commit economic or physical suicide if honorable and reasonable alternatives exist. I believe that such alternatives can be found. But I also know that unless peaceful solutions are devised, counsels of moderation and temperance will avail for naught; and another blow will have been dealt to this Organization which will hamper and weaken still further its usefulness in the struggle to ensure the victory of peace and liberty over the forces of strife and oppression. Here, then, is the opportunity presented to us. We must act while we can, while the occasion exists to exert those legitimate pressures available to us, lest time run out and resort be had to less happy means.
Does this Organization today possess the authority and the will to act? And if it does not, are we prepared to clothe it with the power to create and enforce the rule of law? Or is the Charter a mere collection of words, without content and substance, because the essential spirit is lacking? The time in which to ponder these questions is all too short. The pages of history are full of instances in which the unwanted and the shunned nonetheless occurred because men waited to act until too late. We can brook no such delay.
If we are to survive, this Organization must survive. To survive, it must be strengthened. Its executive must be vested with great authority. The means for the enforcement of its decisions must be fortified, and, if they do not exist, they must be devised. Procedures must be established to protect the small and the weak when threatened by the strong and the mighty. All nations which fulfil the conditions of membership must be admitted and allowed to sit in this assemblage.
Equality of representation must be assured in each of its organs. The possibilities which exist in the United Nations to provide the medium whereby the hungry may be fed, the naked clothed, the ignorant instructed, must be seized on and exploited for the flower of peace is not sustained by poverty and want. To achieve this requires courage and confidence. The courage, I believe, we possess. The confidence must be created, and to create confidence we must act courageously.
The great nations of the world would do well to remember that in the modern age even their own fates are not wholly in their hands. Peace demands the united efforts of us all. Who can foresee what spark might ignite the fuse? It is not only the small and the weak who must scrupulously observe their obligations to the United Nations and to each other. Unless the smaller nations are accorded their proper voice in the settlement of the world’s problems, unless the equality which Africa and Asia have struggled to attain is reflected in expanded membership in the institutions which make up the United Nations, confidence will come just that much harder. Unless the rights of the least of men are as assiduously protected as those of the greatest, the seeds of confidence will fall on barren soil.
The stake of each one of us is identical – life or death. We all wish to live. We all seek a world in which men are freed of the burdens of ignorance, poverty, hunger and disease. And we shall all be hard-pressed to escape the deadly rain of nuclear fall-out should catastrophe overtake us.
When I spoke at Geneva in 1936, there was no precedent for a head of state addressing the League of Nations. I am neither the first, nor will I be the last head of state to address the United Nations, but only I have addressed both the League and this Organization in this capacity. The problems which confront us today are, equally, unprecedented. They have no counterparts in human experience. Men search the pages of history for solutions, for precedents, but there are none. This, then, is the ultimate challenge. Where are we to look for our survival, for the answers to the questions which have never before been posed? We must look, first, to Almighty God, Who has raised man above the animals and endowed him with intelligence and reason. We must put our faith in Him, that He will not desert us or permit us to destroy humanity which He created in His image. And we must look into ourselves, into the depth of our souls. We must become something we have never been and for which our education and experience and environment have ill-prepared us. We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.” Certainly one of his most enlightened speeches, undoubtedly Haile Sellassie, was a visionary far ahead of his time many of the points he conceptualized in his speeches, have yet to see their enactment in our times, on the contrary the use of science in the Western hemisphere, seems to be an impossibility in the present geo-political context. Although I cannot uphold the United Nations as an actual answer to mankind’s myriad malaise, the things that he conceptualized could conceivably be put into practice. The leadership in the world today particularly the western hemisphere, are part of a Global Military Industrial Complex, headed by the United States of America, the economic strength of this global juggernaut lies in Wall Street and London. The Military Industrial Complex is powered by the multi-national corporations which are chiefly owned and operated by Anglo’s largely of a European or American nationality. Increasingly Asian nations, such as India and China are vying to supplant the western militarized industrial complex with their own. The world is being continually divided into spheres of influence, all in direct fulfillment of bible prophecy. That Haile Sellassie saw our future is a testament of his vision and thorough understanding of geo-political affairs, no mere “intellectual”, the spiritual insight that he was endowed with was certainly God given, yet he was astute enough to present a humble exterior, which belied his wisdom. Haile Sellassie in this book is presented as a seminal figure, in the context of his historical import and his cross cultural influences and global impact, regrettably more could not be included in this book pertinent to such an elusive and legendary figure as Haile Sellassie. The actual proclamation was included; as an aid in the general understanding of the reader, into the actual events that took place, and especially, into the temperament of Haile Sellassie at the time that the actual events unfolded.
Famed black history teacher and icon D.R. Joseph Ben Jochannan has gone on record stating, that Haile Selassie was installed as emperor illegally, and that he was a murderer of both queen Zawditu, and Lej Iyasu, through my own studies of the man I have found
Not one shred of evidence to support such a theory, I personally have found Haile Selassie to be a good and godly man.
From left to right Tafari, as Dejazmatch (Dejazmatch literally Keeper of the Door), middle Beru Tafari’s childhood attendant , the smaller man to the left is claimed by many to be Lij Iyasu his childhood name, who became a Moslem, and opposed Tafari militarily, he was captured and imprisoned, he died twelve years later. Iam in serious doubt as to the authenticity of those claims since Iyasu was the emperor Menellek’s grandson, who was next in line for the throne, in the photo above at left, the last man at right in photo, most likely was a servant of Ras Tafari. The photo at right with Ras Tafari and his servant Beru, who was also his childhood attendant i.e. servant. In all pictures except those of Tafari and other high ranking children of the Ethiopian nobility, the nobility are photographed wearing shoes whereas the servants always were shown without shoes. The pictures above only show Ras Tafari wearing shoes while the other men are in their bare feet, denoting their servile status. It is inconceivable that Lij Iyasu would pose in a manner servile to Ras Tafari since he was higher in the imperial hierarchy at that time than Haile Sellassie. The second photo the man next to ras Tafari (Haile Sellassie), is being alleged to be Iyasu he is clearly Beru, since he has been pictured with Haile Sellassie from their youth up and he is quite recognizable to those familiar with photos from the period in question.
Few leaders in the twentieth century displayed the type of love and compassion for his fellowman, as did Haile Selassie; he was a true leader in the fullest sense of the word. Diaspora Christians should carefully study his numerous books and works; in so doing
they will gain, a much needed understanding into the character, and Christian lifestyle of Haile Selassie. His life of prayer and his steadfast faith in God are rarely if ever discussed, yet in his book My Life and Ethiopia’s Progress he begins the book with a prayer to God, the same God that Christians worship, yet some decry Haile Selassie as a murderer and a thief falsely and erroneously. I want to include here an appropriate speech given by Haile Sellassie at Asmara University on August 1st 1971: “There is nothing more worthwhile and rewarding in life than to work for the benefit of others. One can derive more pleasure from giving than from receiving. We believe that each and every one of you who in leaving this institution for his or her respective calling has come to realize that education is seldom prized merely on account of its usefulness to individuals. Nor is it intended to be a mere ornament and a mark of distinction and prominence to the persons who are fortunate to receive it. Those who have had the opportunity to learn should always be at the disposal of those who have not had its benefit. Therefore, it is not only the individual but the community at large which should benefit from the virtues of education. The words of the Holy Bible, “Give and it shall be given unto you,” are worth observing in your daily lives. This momentous event should be a time in which you should reflect and pose to yourselves the questions, “what kind of service are we going to render to our country and what do we intend to accomplish in life?” It is our firm belief that if you forego self-love and self-indulgence and break away from worldly desires that you will be able to make great contributions to your family, community and country…”
Sadly, because of lack of resources and a clear-cut understanding of bible prophecy, many Jamaican Rastafari have spread a false doctrine of the divinity of Haile Selassie, equally guilty as some Christians of defamation of the character of the gentle Haile Selassie. It is the intent of this work to present as much as possible, well researched factual data on the man and his beliefs and value system.
I will like to introduce here some excerpts from the book written by Karl Philpot’s Naphtali in his book “The Testimony of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie defender of the faith.”
Karl Philpot’s is a Rastafari who adheres to the doctrines taught by Vernon Carrington better -known as Prophet Gad.
On page 109 we read that Vernon Carrington prophet of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, stated according to Philpot’s Naphtali that there is no name whereby mankind can be saved but by the name Jesus .
In his book Philpot’s acknowledges Jesus as the savior of mankind through the process of atonement, brought to fruition through the death burial and resurrection of Jesus.