From the book Rastafari and its Shamanist Origins.
The Dirge was a committee of low ranked, officers and enlisted men that was established, to investigate the military’s demands, for higher wages etc. The troops of the Dirge confronted H.I.M. in his office in the Jubilee Palace (the same office shown previously in this book). What follows is quoted from Harold G. Marcus’ A History of Ethiopia : ‘The next day, with Addis Ababa cut off from the world and under curfew, a small group of officers went to the palace and, at 6:00 A.M ., summoned Haile Sellassie. He appeared in full uniform and, with great dignity, stood proud and erect while a nervous officer read out a proclamation of deposition. The old man declared his acceptance, if it were for the good of the people, and he was escorted outside, where an awaiting vehicle and small escort took him to Fourth Division Headquarters. Within the hour, Radio Addis Abeba reported that Ethiopia had been freed from Haile Sellassie’s oppression by a Provisional Military, Administration Council (PMAC)—the descendants of the Coordinating Committee, that had abolished parliament and suspended the constitution’. Kapuscinski gave a vivid account as told to him by Sellassie’s manservant worthy of re-enactment here: ‘At the end of August, the military proclaimed the nationalization of all the Emperor’s Palaces. There were fifteen of them. His private enterprises met the same fate, among them the Saint George Brewery, the Addis Ababa metropolitan bus company, the mineral-water factory in Ambo. The exact sum of the Emperor’s accounts will probably never be known. The propaganda bulletins spoke of four billion dollars. At daybreak, the soldiers came for H.I.M: “His Imperial Majesty will please follow us. Where to? H.S. asked, to a safe place, explained the major. Everybody left the Palace, in the driveway stood a green Volkswagen. You cannot be serious the Emperor bridled I am supposed to go like this? However, he presently fell silent and sat down in the back seat of the car. The Volkswagen set off followed by a jeep full of armed soldiers. I want to reconstruct the socio-political and highlight some geo-political events that led to the fall, arrest, and subsequent death of Haile Sellassie I. Here I will begin from the interim of the Italian slaughter on the Ethiopians in Addis Ababa and its outlying villages (The Graziani Massacre), By 1937 it was increasingly clear that the terrorist tactics and policies of the Italian governments vis a vis Ethiopians, only worked to harden the resolve of Ethiopians against Italian occupation, delayed development and settlement projects, and raised the costs of Italian security within Ethiopia. Resultantly Italy recalled Graziani, replacing him with the Duke of Aosta, a civilian in 1942. In southern and eastern Ethiopia, Aosta implemented the well-worn strategy of divide and conquer, favored by European colonial-imperialist powers, dividing the Christian insurgents battling Italian occupation, from the Muslim population in the area.
The enmity between the varying ethnic groups in Ethiopia was lit aflame when the Italians, reorganized their stolen territories (colonies) in east Africa, Tigray in Eritrea, Italy then placed Ogaden in Somalia, then went on to divide the rest of the country into Galla and Sidama, Hater, Shoa, and Amara. Thereby attempting to eliminate the historical and cultural links of the people. In September 1939, world war II was underway, this was a boon for the Ethiopians, changing the geopolitical reality in favour of the Ethiopians. The Ethiopian insurgents and patriots increased their attacks on Italians and their interests in Ethiopia. One famous Ethiopian freedom fighter and a masterful tactician was, Dejazmatch Abebe Aregai, who was once the police chief of Addis Ababa. On June 10, 1940, Italy declared war on the allied powers, Haile Sellassie’s continuous appeals for assistance were finally heeded, by Britain. On 12 July 1940, London acquiesced and officially declared, Ethiopia (Haile Sellassie), as an ally. Two weeks later Haile Sellassie, was in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the Sudanese army comprising roughly 2500 men, was no match for the 250,000 Italian troops and 200 warplanes. The British began training an Ethiopian force, to invade Gojam from Sudan ultimately joining up with the Ethiopian freedom fighters inside the country. The commander of the Ethiopian fighters was, Major Charles Wingate who trained the Ethiopian forces, thereby aiding them in becoming a highly disciplined well-trained unit.
The Ethiopian fighting force consisted of Ethiopian exiles, some European mercenaries, and Sudanese soldiers, the unit was called Gideon Force. Haile Sellassie along with his fighters and Wingate entered Gojam on 20 January 1941. Upon seeing the fighters of Gideon force, the Italians who vastly outnumbered them fled for their lives, seeking shelter in their fortresses. The victorious Ethiopian soldiers from Gideon force rendezvoused, with the remnants of the Ethiopian freedom fighters, already there, atse (Emperor) Haile Sellassie II was thunderously welcomed by the freedom fighters in Gojam. On 5 May 1941, Haile Sellassie returned triumphantly to Addis Ababa, five years after the arrival of Badoglio, restoring Ethiopia’s freedom. H.I.M immediately moved to mitigate and eventually remove British influence by, acquiring non-British advisers, ending London’s control over Ethiopia’s finances and customs, and bringing to a close the British military monopoly in Dire Dawa, Ogaden, and along the national railway line. The prescient Sellassie, being a voracious student of history, foresaw that America then ascendant would become a global superpower, therefore he strategically aligned himself with the Americans.
The American consul in Eritrea, where the Americans had seized various Italian bases as, assembly points and distribution centers for lend-lease in the Middle East, aided Sellassie in his struggle to remove British political and economic hegemony from his nation. At Washington’s behest, Ethiopia became a member state of the fledgling United Nations, re-opening its embassy in Addis Ababa in 1943, gave arms and ammunition to Ethiopia, and sent a technical and advisory team, to report back to Washington on Ethiopia’s needs. Haile Sellassie I, recreated the pre-war economy and political structure, staffing the top positions with bureaucrats. In 1944, the corporation turned a profit of 1.2 million and 1.8 million pounds respectively, double the standard margin for the majority of businesses in Ethiopia at the time. Haile Sellassie’s huge popularity amongst black western populations was also reflected in the enthusiastic support he received amongst African Americans, this support translated to the large number of African Americans enlisting in the US Army, to fight alongside the allies, this also meant they would get an opportunity to fight against Mussolini’s forces who were seen as devils incarnate. The US State Department chaired a meeting on 13 February 1945, between Haile Sellassie I and Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Egypt. The program that Haile Selassie I presented to Roosevelt contained Ethiopia’s foreign policy goals at the time. And are as follows Ethiopian ownership over the railway to Djibouti, free and unimpeded access to the sea, recovery of Eritrea, reparations from Italy, assistance in developing a modern army, US investments in development.
At the same time London wanted to retain Ogaden as part of Greater Somalia, the Ethiopians recognized that such a move was detrimental to their interest’s and vociferously made their objections known to the British. Meanwhile the nationalist Somalia Youth League (SYL), was agitating for uniting all Somalians in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti into one ethnic state. By 1947, most Somalian policemen, soldiers, and officials were members of the (SYL), the Ogaden was being run by the afore mentioned at the behest of the British. Ethiopia determined to regain Ogaden, used the exploratory drilling of the American Sinclair Oil Company as a pretext to regain control of Ogaden. Ethiopia granted the American personnel of the company Sinclair Oil, one-year visas to work in Ogaden. Resultantly the Jijiga (SYL), condemned the move denouncing Ethiopia as illegitimate, claiming Ethiopia had no right to rule in Ogaden. When an international commission arrived in Mogadishu (1948), ostensibly to seek advice on Somalia’s post war disposition, (SYL) activist’s claimed Sinclair, was in Somalia illegally, (SYL) members then assaulted a Sinclair drilling team. The British commanding officer responsible for the gendarmerie was powerless, to intervene since the gendarmerie consisted of SYL members. On 17 March 1948, the Ethiopians announced that British troops would shortly be withdrawn from Jijiga. The Ethiopian government thereafter established a new administration for, Ogaden which went into effect at the end of September. Haile Sellassie then turned his attention to, restoring Eritrea as part of Ethiopia. Eritrea then was governed by a British military administration, Haile Sellassie I argued that Eritrea prior to being colonized was a part of Ethiopia.
The seminal event that led to the fall of the regime of Haile Sellassie, was the famine that killed tens of thousands, in north-eastern Ethiopia mainly in the Wollo province and Tigray. A 1973 production by ITV entitled; ‘The Unknown Famine’ later reworked and retitled The Hidden Hunger by a group of army officers, who were plotting to seize power. The film juxtaposed footage of Haile Sellassie eating at a banquet in one of his palaces, with those of starving Ethiopians, the film portrayed a disproportionate image of massive death and untold misery. Although there were many deaths from starvation, the propagandist’s inflated the numbers. The famine, high oil prices, military mutinies all were contributing factors in the destabilization of the regime of Haile Sellassie. Edmund J. Keller in his book ‘Ethiopia: Revolution, Class and the National Question’, published by African Affairs (1981): wrote the following; ‘Peasants and pastoralists living on the margins of subsistence have had to cope with such phenomena from time immemorial. As a result of the process of modernization and the centralization efforts of the state, however, the lives of poor rural inhabitants had been unalterably changed. More and more of their surplus production has either been demanded by landlords and the state or been translated into cars in order [sic] to meet tax obligations. Conservatives and Liberal Reforms, 1960–1974 113 their freedom of movement and their access to land was also now inhibited by state regulation or by a complex and aggressive burgeoning market economy. Traditional survival mechanisms were either gravely weakened or completely inoperable. Rural people unwittingly had become extremely dependent on the state. For its part, the state was more concerned with economic growth and political survival than it was with meeting its inherited social responsibilities’.
The preceding ably gives the reader an understanding of some of the actual causes, why the peasants who were in the majority in Ethiopia and lived mainly in rural areas, were mobilized by those opposed to Haile Sellassie, to rise up against the government. The regions of Wolle and Tigray which supplied 40 percent of Ethiopia’s total food production at the time, were estimated to have lost about 20 percent of their human populations and 90 percent of their animals. Students and various citizen groups began food distribution campaigns. In 1973, students at the Haile Sellassie I University began a series of student protests on campus, that led to the arrests and subsequent deaths of some students. The protests were sparked by the famine in northern Ethiopia and in the low-lying areas (lowlands), of Harerge, Bale, Sidamo, and Gamo Gofa. In 1973, the peasants unable to sustain themselves, sold off their grain to purchase food, with some eating seed grain. Starving, many of them made their way to the towns, hoping to receive government aid. The provincial administrators underreported the true proportions of the crisis, in Addis Ababa officials at the outset denied the existence of the famine, not even bothering to report the existence of the crisis to Haile Selassie I. Intellectuals and students criticized the regime. The government promptly reacted, by banning all news of the famine, the official government stance was denial, till May 1973. The government was forced to admit the existence of the famine, when an ad hoc committee of professors from the Haile Sellassie I University professors traveled to Welo in 1973, returning with photos backed by a devastating report describing the horrendous reality of the residents, who were dying of starvation.
In response to the criticism, the government established an emergency committee, which tried maintaining the crisis by internal resource mobilization. The Ethiopian government relief efforts were thwarted by a multiplicity of causes some of which were, nepotism, corruption, profiteering, the refusal of local and provincial governments to waive taxes and the inability to divert grain exports to relief agencies. International reporting painting an accurate picture of the debilitating famine in Ethiopia, the agonizing images of starving, dying babies with distended stomachs, flies on their bodies with their parents lying next to them, shocked the world. Those horrific images spurred a relief effort led by wealthy western nations’ governments, the effort eventually included relief organizations, NGOs, churches, students, universities, and academics mainly in the western hemisphere. In 1974 two related economic crises wreaked havoc on the global economy, particularly in developing countries, Ethiopia was amongst the worst hit, the primary crisis stemmed from the high cost of petroleum products caused by the closure of the Suez Canal, secondly, the high cost of finished goods and food, which rose by 20 and 80 percent respectively. Due to the massive unrest caused by students stoning vehicles in the streets and other riotous behavior, the military was authorized to quell the rebellion.
On February 23, Haile Sellassie toured the marketplace in Addis Ababa, speaking with people urging them to remain calm, meeting with the common people and vendors, in this manner Sellassie was able to diffuse the growing tension. He appeared on Ethiopian television that evening again urging calm, he announced that the military would, deal severely with cases of civil disturbance. On Monday 25 1974, Addis Ababa, experienced a scene of calm, which only presaged the coming storm of military unrest, that led to the overthrew of the Haile Sellassie I monarchial government. The Ethiopian Herald carried this brief message on August 28, 1975: ‘Yesterday Haile Sellassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia, died. The cause of death was circulatory failure’. The continued existence of Ethiopia as a unified nation-state is threatened, by the intra-ethnic and ethnic, strife that has characterized Ethiopia for thousands of years. Where will the Rastafari of the west, fit into the Ethiopia of the future? Even in Haile Sellassie’s Ethiopia ethnic strife was commonplace, as I have shown in this work, the pro-Amhara Sellassie regime killed other ethnic groups, like Ethiopian regimes past and present. Can Ethiopia transcend its, self-destructive ethnic divide? The future prognosis on Ethiopian ethnic unity is dismal indeed. Ethiopia’s political history is replete with examples, of ethnically motivated dissent. At the center of the dissent in Ethiopia, the Oromo are often, the most severely affected group. The recent murder of Hachalu Hundesa 34, an Oromo musician known for his anti-government pro-Oromo music, and his support for the Oromia liberation movement. Hachalu was shot on Monday 29, June 2020, in an Addis Ababa suburb, he succumbed in a hospital, later of gunshot wounds. Later that same day, in Adama a town situated in the Oromia region, several people were killed during protests. The Ethiopian government has repeatedly denied, allegations by, local human rights groups and international organizations of torture, mass incarcerations, and extra-judicial killings.
In 1991, the Marxist government of Mengistu Haile Mariam was defeated by the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), the succeeding political framework was and still is that of a, a federation of nine ethnically diverse states. Meles Zenawi the leader of the TPLF, became the President of Ethiopia, the now-deceased Zenawi (2012), was succeeded by Haile Mariam Desalegn, after 21 years as leader. Opposition figures accused Zenawi of being an authoritarian leader, Zenawi’s TPLF, became Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Ethiopia’s governance system is fraught with many challenges, foremost of them being its pseudo-democratic system, which often sees one party and its allies winning all the 547 parliamentary seats, not because of any overwhelming support, since the varying ethnic groups in Ethiopia would never all support one party. The mere fact that anyone party would win all 547 seats in ethnically diverse Ethiopia, points to the endemic corruption at the state level in Ethiopia. The EPRDF also controls the state security apparatus, the police, military, and all intelligence-gathering units, all are staffed and dominated by Tigrayans. The government’s bogus anti-terrorism laws are another tool used as a pretext to arrest anyone opposed to the regime, such as bloggers, journalists, opposition figures, human rights groups, and environmental activists.
A report published in 2009, by AHR, Advocates for Human Rights, documented systemic abuse, by three successive Ethiopian governments against the Oromo, those governments are the following, the Haile Sellassie regime, the Marxist government led by Haile Mengistu, and the present EPRDF government first led by the now-deceased Meles Zenawi (Tigrayan), then led by his chosen successor Haile Desalegn, and now led by Abiy Ahmed. The report by the AHR comprising 166 pages, documented that between 2011 and 2014 at least 5000 ‘based on their actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government’. Dissenters both actual and suspected had been ‘detained without charge or trial and killed by security services during protests, arrests and in detention’. In the Ogaden the situation is even more deplorable, comprising mainly ethnic Somalis the Ogaden, is an underdeveloped expanse of land containing rich oil and gas deposits, those living there have consistently accused the Ethiopian government of systemic abuses such as forced displacements from ancestral lands, forced removal of large groups to camps, starvations and massacres of civilians, the persons in the camps dependent on the Ethiopian government for food and water, are routinely starved with some dying from food and water deprivation. Rape and intimidation are routinely used by security forces as means of keeping, civilians in line, whose land was taken away by the Ethiopian government and given to Chinese consortiums who own gas and oil projects in the region. The Anuak in the Gambella (a resource-rich region in the west of Ethiopia bordering Sudan), also accused the Ethiopian government of crimes against them such as forced removal from their lands and massacres by the highlanders. The people assert that they do not benefit from, the oil and agricultural projects the government has leased to foreign interests. The Anuak a dark-hued African people, who have been treated as inferiors by the dominant Tigrayan and Amhara groups, since ancient times are discriminated against based on their ethnicity. The convulsive ethnic strife’s, which cause enormous societal rifts and eruptions, threatens the very existence of Ethiopia as a heterogeneous nation-state, as the Ethiopian historical and contemporaneous accounts have shown, throughout this work, if state actors in Ethiopia, do not cease from ruling from an approach of repression, nepotism, genocidal policies, and ethnic favoritism, it is only a matter of time before what occurred in Rwanda repeats itself in Ethiopia. The total dehumanization and wanton killing of the African that was justifiable by law in the above countries mentioned was unparalleled in their scope and their ability to allow mass mayhem to be perpetrated on the Africans who were in many cases utterly defenceless in the face of their own extinction. The task then of any honest scholar claiming to be a scholar of conscience or merit must of necessity be to construct a historical narrative that leads to a reconciliatory spirit between the past and present generations of Africans in continental Africa and their descendants.
Excerpted from Rastafari and its Shamanist Origins by Wade A. Bailey.
Ethiopia’s bedrock belongs to the earth’s first continent, a continent called Gondwanaland by geologists, of which Africa forms the last intact remnant. The structures of this 600-million-year-old land made up of hard, massive folded pre-Cambrian crystalline rock, have been covered over throughout most of Ethiopia by recent formations. Ethiopia is called the cradle of mankind, by some geologist’s and anthropologists. The Bible records in Genesis 2:8-14 that: ‘And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from thence it was parted into four heads. 11 The name of the first is Pison, that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good there is Bedellium and the Onyx stone. 13 And the name of the second is Gihon (Blue Nile) the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria and the fourth river is Euphrates. As per the biblical description Eden was a huge land mass and the river that flowed out of it, straddled more than one country, Ethiopia is one that was specifically named as being completely surrounded by one of the rivers namely Gihon (Blue Nile), judging from the biblical description the Garden of Eden is placed on the African continent, interestingly said placement is in agreement with ,scientific, archaeological, historical references and evidence.
Here we have a visual map aide showing the proximity of Arab countries to Africa, it is from those countries, that Cannabis was introduced into the continent. Ethiopia is located in the northeast region of Africa, the ‘Horn’, of Africa so called because of the horn shaped tip of the continent, that demarcates the Red Sea from the Indian Ocean. Ethiopia is bordered by Sudan on its western border Somalia to the southeast, Kenya to the south, Djibouti to the east, and Eritrea
to the north and northeast. Ethiopia consists of four major river systems the first system consists of the Takaze also known as the Atbara, the Abbay or the Blue Nile, lastly the Baro originating in Sudan, then flowing westward into the Nile.
According to the officially available figures Ethiopia’s population is about 76 million people, it is the third most populous nation in Africa. The varying ethnicities that comprise Ethiopia’s populace is diverse and are grouped as follows, the Amhara and Tigrinya 32 percent, the Oromo 40 percent, Sidamo 9 percent, Somali’s 6 percent, Shankella 6 percent, Gurage 2 percent, Afar 4 percent. There are hundreds of languages spoken in Ethiopia that fall into four major categories. Three of which have a common ancestry that is called proto-Afroasiatic by linguists (Afro-Asiatic is Hamitic-Semetic). The three are known as Cushitic, Omotic and Semitic. Harold G. Marcus wrote in his seminal work; A History of Ethiopia published by University of California, that: ‘Evidence is strong that the Afro-Asiatic (Hamitic-Semitic) group of languages developed and fissured in the Sudan-Ethiopian borderlands. There Proto-Cushitic. and Proto-Semitic began their evolution. In Ethiopia, the Semitic branch grew into a northern group, today echoed in Tigrinya, and a southern group, best heard in Amharic. It simultaneously spread to the Middle East, whence, millennia later, it returned in a written form to enrich its cousins several times removed’. Cushitic includes the Agaw, the Somali, the Afar, the Saho, the Hadiya, the Kambata, the Oromo and the Gedeo. Omotic, the term Omotic is derived from the fact that the people thus designated traditionally lived on both sides of the Omo river. The following nationalities comprise the Omotic, the Dorze, Janjaro, Maji, Kafa, Waylata and the Dizi. The last category is the Semetic Geez is the oldest Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia, it is largely confined to the religious sphere i.e. sacral literature and theology. Other Semetic languages are, Amharic, Tegra, Harari and Gurage. There is the Nilo-Saharan language groups, which are not connected to the Cushitic, Omotic and Semetic language groups previously cited, they are as follows the Anuak, the Nuer, the Kunama southwestern Eritrea, the Gumuz in western Gojam and the Manjanjir. Linguistic and archeological evidence point to a prehistoric genesis for Ethiopian culture. Early evidence of human existence has been found in the varied array of stone tools, found in many parts of Ethiopia. Village farming was developed in Ethiopia during the Neolithic period. There is empirical evidence that Stone Age culture endured in Ethiopia, during different epochs. The Watta of Ethiopia were related to the hunting groups of northeastern and eastern Africa. The Agau are an early population who still exist today in Ethiopia. The Agau discovered new strains of plants, the domestication of the donkey and mule breeding regionally. The plateau peoples are grouped into three groups, linguistically and anthropologically, they are referred to as the Central Agau, and western and eastern Cushite’s. During the second Millennium the population increased dramatically, resultantly the Cushitic population who lived in the southern fringes expanded into Uganda, Kenya, and Tanganyika. The migrations of the Bantu’s into Ethiopia changed the population dynamics in Ethiopia and all other southern African societies. Along with the afore mentioned and the erection of the phallic stones in southern Ethiopia, the basis for the development of states in Ethiopia were established. The development of city states in Ethiopia were spurned by various socio-religious dynamics and the intra-personal relationships of the various people groups vis a vis their counterparts. One of the ethnicities in Ethiopia credited with helping advance the proto-city state, to the contemporary city state are the Oromo. The Oromo, lived in the Ethiopian highlands in areas like Bali, the borders of what is now the Republic of Somalia. They claim to have emerged from the Borana region of southwestern Ethiopia. By the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, powerful Abyssinian kings by force of arms, made the Oromo move west and southwest into the barely habitable, saltpans, lava fields and toward the boulder and sand deserts near Lake Rudolph. Some Oromo groups over time developed powerful monarchial states. The Oromo are notable for their martial feats specifically as cavalry (mounted soldiers), ancient Ethiopian literature is replete with mention of or praises to the Oromo for their exploits on the battlefield. In 1776 civil war ushered in the era of the ‘age of princes’, the war and political intrigues persisted till 1855. The civil war ultimately resulted in the proto provincialism that is prevalent even today, resultantly the various provinces competed for territory and resources against the other provinces in a struggle for ultimate hegemony. The period saw the ascendency of various provincial dynasties, each province was demarcated along ethnic and national lines, the loyalty of the people was not to Ethiopia, but to their provinces and their kings who ruled over them. The Gondar monarchy’s decline led to an increase in the influence of the Galla. Gondar was once Ethiopia’s largest city, and a hub of religion and art. Gondar was Ethiopia’s defacto capital from 1635-1867. By this time, the Solomonic dynasty and ethos extant for hundreds of years was well established. Since the Galla at the time were a well-established and powerful ethnic group, the royal family forged strong ties with the Galla through marriage. The Ethiopian imperial monarchy was diluted because of the majority of Galla being Muslims, the throne then was not a legitimate manifestation of Christian power but was an instrument of power wielded by Muslims. One dynasty that laid claim to the Solomonic heritage, as well as being a mainly Christian polity in its hierarchical structure, was Shoa. Shoa an alternate spelling is Shewa, free of the rampant civil strife sweeping the rest of Ethiopia, was able to create a largely coherent bureaucracy that was characterized by a heterogenous coexistence, among the varying ethnic and religious groups. The unification of Shoa was solidified under a Christian dynastic monarchy, which waged wars of hegemony till the end of the 18th century. In the reign of Sahle Sellassie (1813-1847) an Amhara Negus, he had many childrenone of them being Haile Melekot, the father of Menellek II. When his father was murdered Sahle Sellassie, seized the throne although he had older male siblings. Sahle moved swiftly to consolidate power with the help of his mother’s kinsmen, he marched from the monastery at Sehla Dingay, where he was enrolled as a student, to his father’s capital at Qundi and claimed the succession, he was proclaimed Ras of Showa. Some of his male siblings reached Qundi, at a later date and were promptly imprisoned. Shortly after his proclamation a Ras, he proclaimed himself Negus of Shewa. In 1829, Shewa was hit with a debilitating famine, shortly thereafter a cholera epidemic struck, killing two thirds of the stricken. Again, misfortune struck, when one of the Negus’ generals rebelled, Medoko, several of the elite Matchlockmen (infantry with guns) deserted with him and they joined with the Oromo. Together they burned Angolalla, and waged battles against Shewa. When Sahle Sellassie was able to put down the rebellion (1835), another catastrophe struck, Shewa was afflicted by a drought which decimated crops and livestock, bringing famine to the province. Sahle Sellassie responded to the famine by opening up the royal storehouses to the people, this act greatly enhanced his status with many viewing him as a wise, loving and generous king. Sahle Sellassie was a great reformer, some of his notable reforms are as follows, he limited executions to murder, treason and sacrilege, executions required the consent of the Negus. He further ceased the practices (torture) of his predecessors, such as brandings with hot irons, executions, and severance of limbs of accused persons and criminals. Many death sentences were reduced to life imprisonment or property forfeiture. Blood money was paid to a murder victim’s relatives, instead of handing them over to the relatives of the victims’ family (an ancient tradition in Ethiopia still practiced at the time). He instituted tax reforms and greatly increased the store of firearms available to the state at the time. He signed friendship treaties with both France and England and even encouraged foreigners to settle in Shoa.In the following, I will highlight Ethiopian Orthodoxy, Ethiopian history, iconography, music, art, and culture. Ethiopian artists have produced an enormous amount of work particularly, the artwork of the Tewahedo Church, murals, manuscripts, ceremonial furniture, including their unique crosses and panel paintings on wood. Ethiopian iconography depicts a wide variety of sacred imagery used for a variety of reasons both devotional and apotropaic objects (amulets), i.e. having the power to ward off evil or bad luck. The national dress of Ethiopia is the Shamma, a rectangular shawl of three feet in width, hand woven from cotton. Men wear jodhpurs, which fit tightly from knee to ankles. Women wear blouses with full skirts of ankle length. Men and women wrap barnos, around their shoulders (especially in the highlands), when the weather cools or is breezy. The national dish of Ethiopia is called injera, a locally made sour, fermented flat bread with a spongelike texture, and wat ot zegeni, which is a type of curried stew made of beef, mutton or chicken, hardboiled eggs are added, and are seasoned in the Ethiopian manner with, red pepper (berbere) and other spices. It is at times served with tedj, a honey mead fermented drink, or tall an Ethiopian beer. Names and naming ceremonies in Ethiopia, like most Middle Eastern and African countries are of paramount importance. Asfa Wossen Asserate, the great grandson of Haile Sellassie, wrote in his book; ‘King of Kings: The Triumph and Tragedy of Emperor Haile Sellassie’, the following: ‘Ethiopian naming conventions have no concept of the division into Christian name and surname that us usual in Europe. People have a single given name. This is often followed by the fathers’ name, thus Tafari Makonnen is Tafari the son of Makonne’. If a child dies, and another is born, the newborn child’s name oftentimes is Kassa, meaning restitution. Common male names are Hagos (joy), Desta (pleasure), Tesfaye (my hope). Some common names for females in Ethiopia are Ababa (flower), Zewditu (crown), Terunesh (you are pure) and a host of others, but these are commonly recognizable even in this work since the famous etege Zewditu Menellek’s daughter’s name is one of the most common female names, in Ethiopia. Common Christian or baptismal male names are, names compounded with for instance Gebre (servant of) an example is Gebre Yesus (servant of Jesus), Walda (son of), Haile (power of), and Habte (gift of). Well known female baptismal names are, often compounded with the following Amete (maid of), like Amete Maryam maid of Mary, or Walatta (daughter of) for example Walatta Sion (daughter of Zion).
The following is taken from my book Rastafari and its Shamanist Origins. The post concerns Somalia a neighbour of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the main focal points of the book, Somalia played a crucial part at times vis a vis Ethiopia, as a result, it was included. Those who read this blog know that I went into some depth on the Ethiopian Haile Sellassie, on this blog here is the link to that https://soualigayouth.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/atseemperor-haile-sellassie/.
More posts like this will follow since I often post short or sometimes lengthy excerpts from the book previously mentioned.
Due to its arid climate, Somalia is a very infertile country with few natural resources.
Animal husbandry is the most important economic sector.
The war of 1991 virtually crippled the economy and it has yet to recover.
The bungling of the Americans in the armed conflict, in the early part of the 90s only worsened the Somali problem. The many clans and sub-clans vying for power in Somalia, all adhere to Islam Sunni Islam is the religion practiced by ninety-eight percent of the Somali population, the U.S. Army nor any other occupying force can resolve the conflict in Somalia, the conflict is of an ethnic and religious nature.
The Somali people themselves are the only persons remotely qualified to intervene in the highly complex social-political and social religious milieu that is Somalia.
Few western writers and journalists ever dare cross the line and accuse their governments outright of the crimes, and atrocious acts that they’ve committed in Somalia, I read an interesting piece recently which highlights such in my opinion quite succinctly, I’ll quote some excerpts from that piece here, from Johann Hari, The Independent April 15th, 2009. Hari exposed how the lack of a government in Somalia in 1991 created a lawless society teetering on the brink of starvation, that vacuum was exploited by unscrupulous western nations disposing of toxic waste. “As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken”. He narrated how the coastal population and their children suffered from, strange rashes, nausea, and malformed babies. Following the 2005 Tsunami hundreds of leaking barrels washed up onshore. People suffered from radiation sickness and more than 300 died. Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia confirmed the presence of nuclear waste in Somalia: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, which seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.” Abdi Samatar said the following of the situation in Somalia: “The Ethiopian invasion, which was sanctioned by the US government, has destroyed virtually all the life-sustaining economic systems which the population has built for the last fifteen years.” Abdi Samatar, professor of Global Studies at the University of Minnesota, (Democracy Now).
The Ethiopians and Somalians have historically engaged in bloody protracted wars since Ethiopia is 48% Coptic Christian and about 41% Muslim with the remaining 11% of the population practicing indigenous animist beliefs. “At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our fish stocks by over-exploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m worth of tuna, shrimp, lobster, and other sea-life is being stolen every year by vast trawlers illegally sailing into Somalia’s unprotected seas.”. The local fishermen have suddenly lost their livelihoods, and they are starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”
Out of the preceding scenario, the “pirates”, arose from Somalia, it is a well-documented fact that Somalian fishermen, in an attempt to stymie, the flow of trawlers and dumpers destroying their livelihood, attempted to impose a “tax”, on foreigners fishing and dumping waste in their waters. The Somali catastrophe that saw American troops in Somalia in the 1990s was exacerbated in 2006 during the Bush administration. In 2006 the Bush regime bolstered an alliance of Somali warlords calling themselves the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). The TFG established a base of operations in the western city of Baidoa, with the help of the Ethiopian army, the US Navy warships, AC-130 gunships, and western mercenaries, the TFG captured Mogadishu with the help of the aforementioned forcing the Islamic Courts Union (ICU), out of Mogadishu. Presently the resistance has re-captured most of Somalia, in the wake of the foregoing, Al-Shabaab has emerged seemingly “out of nowhere”, with a clear anti-western agenda, given Somalia’s recent history Al-Shabaab (the youth) is a reaction to the many modern western incursions into Somalia. The latest round of fighting in Somalia has created a humanitarian disaster rendering more than 1.3 million people homeless, continued instability, drought, high food prices, and the local currency’s collapse have served to worsen the dilemma. Paul Salopek wrote in the Chicago Tribune that: “(Somalia) is a covert war in which the CIA has recruited gangs of unsavory warlords to hunt down and kidnap Islamic militants…and secretly imprison them offshore, aboard U.S. warships. The British civil-rights group Reprieve contended that as many as 17 U.S. warships may have doubled as floating prisons since the Sept, 11 terrorist attacks”.
“Somalia is one of the great unrecognized U.S. foreign policy failures since 9/11,” said Ken Menkhaus, a leading Somalia scholar at Davidson College in North Carolina. “By any rational metric, what we’ve ended up with there today is the opposite of what we wanted.” (Paul Salopek, “US Appears to be Losing in Somalia”: Chicago Tribune). Presently Al-Shabaab is receiving aid from Al-Qaida in Libya and the LIFG, Somalia is a haven and breeding ground for militant Islamists, bent on jihad. The US interventions in the Islamic world have all been monumental disasters, this is the reason I opined that only the Somali’s are remotely capable of handling their affairs. 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.
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.