Hot Blog: Are Ethiopians Racist?

Photo by Gabriella Muttone

Publisher’s Note:

Steven Ivory has been a music and culture journalist for more than twenty-five years. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Essence, Vibe, and The Source, among other publications. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

This article had been published on the Electronic Urban Report ( and the African-American Village prior to its publication here with the author’s permission in January 2003.

Steven told Tadias that Ethiopians who have read the essay have responded to him with warm words and expressions of regret.

“So many Ethiopian people have written in kindness and apology”, he said. “There is no need for this, I know that the actions of a few don’t speak for a whole race.”

We have selected this piece from our archives with a hope that it might spark a healthy debate on the issue.

My Own Kind
By Steven Ivory

For several years, I’d passed the restaurant while driving through that side of town. It looked like an interesting spot; I said I’d stick my head in there one day.

But when that day finally came, it reminded me of the scene in the movie “48 Hours,” where Eddie Murphy ventures into a bar that happens to be a white country & western joint. My arrival was not nearly as spectacular, but I did elicit my share of curious glances.

A bartender can set the mood for a patron, and the man pouring my drink was pleasant. However, our good-natured chat about the weather and the day’s headlines wasn’t enough to take the chill off this room. I casually looked around the place and couldn’t find one face that appeared to hold much love for a newcomer.

Taking another sip of my beer, I told myself that maybe it was just me. What did I expect, a welcoming committee? I reminded myself that many social establishments often react a little coolly to non-regulars. Maybe what I was feeling didn’t have a damned thing to do with anything but familiarity.

The restaurant was more than half full, but I had the tiny bar all to myself, so I was glad that two men and a woman in the mood for libations joined me. For all the acknowledgment made, though, I might as well have been invisible. When another man moseyed in and took a seat at the end of the bar, he somehow ended up in the trio’s jovial conversation. So they weren’t blind or anti-social, after all. I deduced that it had to be my cologne.

Or, just maybe, it really WAS me. And maybe I really DIDN’T come in here for just a drink and cordial camaraderie. Maybe, deep, deep down inside, I’d come in here to make some kind of point. I certainly was open to conceding as much to myself.

And so, with very little chance of my self-examination being interrupted, I sat there and gave it all serious, honest consideration – and confirmed that I truly did have honorable intentions. I figured I’d come in here, have a drink, dig the atmosphere and thus add it to my list of places to go. For reasons that evaded me, it wasn’t working out that way.

I couldn’t ignore the irony, of course – the very notion that hundreds of years later, there’d be the issue of us getting along. For many years, I’ve heard all the reasons. Inevitably mentioned are issues of culture and the idea that any problems among us are, ultimately, the residual affect of slavery in America. Did that sinister deed, besides everything else, somehow drive a wedge between brothers under God’s sun, a division that, after all these years, still remains?

And who says that we, in particular, must get along, anyway?

But we SHOULD … shouldn’t we?

Once again alone at the bar, I was pondering it all when the bartender spoke.

“My friend, may I ask you a question?”


“Why did you come here tonight?”

I explained that I’d never been here before and I thought it adventurous to try something new.

“Just a drink? Or did you also hope to meet some of our women?”

It all sounds so offensive now, but you had to be there. His words came sincerely – out of curiosity more than anything else and, I suppose, concern. I thought about his question.

Maybe, I replied, I ventured in here hoping, perhaps, to discover some measure of kinship. Or, as corny as it might sound, just a little bit of myself.

“But it’s Friday night, my friend,” he said.

“There are many other places in this city for you to be. Would you not want to be with … your own kind?”

I know – it all could have made for some compelling banter. However, after seeking conversation over the course of two beers, all I wanted to do now was leave. I tried to pay my tab, but the bartender simply smiled.

“It is on the house, my friend,” he said.

Translation: Just leave, my friend. Please.

As a Black man born and raised in America, I’ve dealt with prejudice, racism and mistrust in many configurations. Sometimes it is subtle and other times not so subtle, and you can encounter it anywhere, from anybody. Still, it never occurred to me that I’d face any of those things on a Friday night in an Ethiopian restaurant.

From the tiny bar I gathered up my pride and headed out in search of “my own kind” – and hoped that I’d know them when I saw them.

Related Links and Tadias Stories:

Color, Controversy and DNA

Ethio & Afro American Relations: The Case of Melaku E. Bayen and John Robinson. By Ayele Bekerie


260 Responses to “Hot Blog: Are Ethiopians Racist?”

  1. 1 begudu May 14th, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    Yes it is beleivable, people can be this stupid and racist, and Oh! yes it really hurts. As an Ethiopian who lives and work here in USA I am ashamed of some bad apples for their contribution to the already sour Ethiopian and African American relationship. This ignorance is not only targeted in African Americans I too sometimes find my self waiting to be served until my fellow Ethiopians talk and greet a white customer that made it after me. Which ever way we cut it, this is a problem and it need to be dealt with. Ethiopian community leaders have a responsiblity to speak against this kind of behaviours and we also have to know that African Americans paved the way with years of struggle against slavery and Racism so we can have opportunity to work and propsper in US.


  2. 2 Ralph May 14th, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    I wouldn’t want to generalize either as I have had positive and negative experiences with Abashas – mostly positive. I did have an experience similar to Mr. Ivory’s in DC once where my girlfriend and I were going to be served last because we were “black.” We knew this because the waitress said it aloud not recognizing that my better half was Abasha.

    Given human nature and our propensity to look down on one another, this article leads me to wonder how many Abashas have been treated poorly by African Americans or other Africans?

  3. 3 TG May 14th, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    Please don’t take this comment as the generalization of all Ethiopians.

    It saddens me to say it, but yes, I have experienced racism at the hands of my own people. This is coming from an Ethiopian who happens to have darker skin than what “typical Ethiopians” are supposed to have. I was born and raised in Addis Ababa and have been treated like a second class citizen both there and in the US because so many don‘t recognize that I am Ethiopian. Even when I speak to someone in perfect Amharic, I am still asked, “Wow, were did you learn to speak such good Amharic?” or, “Have you been to Ethiopia before?” I was once asked this by a popular singer that I met backstage who I came to congratulate on their performance. You can imagine the humiliation I felt…

    What troubles me most is that it seems so many of “us” seem to think they’re better than anyone who isn’t Ethiopian, at least in my experience. We also have a color complex that is rarely discussed, which unfortunately most ethnic groups have but that is another topic.

    To me it is extremely disappointing to encounter such behavior in this day and age. The sad part is that my partner is treated more warmly by Abashans (both back home and here) and he is neither European or Ethiopian. I now typically avoid the Ethiopian community, because of my countless, painful experiences.

    Peace to all!!!

  4. 4 Baheilu May 14th, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    Oh my God, I can’t believe this kind of $@#% is happing at this time.

  5. 5 Mimi May 15th, 2007 at 8:56 am

    I have a lot of things to say but i don’t think i find the wright word to express what i feel but to you steven in every community there is a looser like the bartender not all of us like that i hope you will give us another chance the truth is we love to welcoming every body especially brother and sisters

  6. 6 Jerry Malekani May 24th, 2007 at 8:47 am

    I find that Ethiopians treat people of darker color with disdain. To me it seems they have some kind of insecurity complex. Also look at the way the Ethiopian government commits genocide and atrocities against members of darker communities such as the Anuak in the South.

  7. 7 Traveler Jul 24th, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    I have been going to Ethiopian restauratants for many years and I am Black American. I have also had the pleasure of visiting Ethiopia. Ethiopians are the best at customer service and making a stranger feel like a guest. Although the culture (or at least the Ethiopian-American) is conservative, I find that the people are very engaging.

    Ethiopian who live in Ethiopia are 1000 percent more accepting of you as a fellow brother. Sometimes people who come to this country whether they are African or Chinese, tend to forget where they come from.

  8. 8 Ruth Aug 2nd, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    im ethiopian i believe your story. I think im the only ethiopian who’d give you a straight forward answer. I hate the ghetto culture so I assume evry one of you is like that cause majority of ethiopians see the bad pimp black people. I am not racist just dont like black-americans cause of your behavior
    Traveler -your completely wrong its worse over there I really want notihg to do with black-americans over there . And I would slap you if you acted like an ethiopian dont temper with me

  9. 9 Traveler Aug 15th, 2007 at 1:28 am

    Ruth is a liar. Ethiopians love Black Americans in Ethiopia. If you are Black American you will be treated like a king. Ruth is just in self denial.

  10. 10 shibal yebadweld Aug 15th, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    First of all, I am Ethiopian. But now my judgement is that Ethiopian people are not racist, never. But some African Americans with out any proof or evidence, they blame Ethiopians. This is not acceptable. Another point is that why did the author go to an Ethiopian restaurant without any friend? If they don’t know him, then he should not expect people to jump on him talk to him as if they know him. One thing I would like to ask this person, who is blaming Ethiopians of being racist: Do you think Ethiopians would feel safe if they go to an African American club? They might even get punched or some serious damage can be done to them. I know this from personal experience. So to be honest with you Ethiopians are very peacefull people and they give respect to any human being. But some African American feel insecure around Ethiopians just because Ethiopian people have not been colonized by any country or have not been enslaved. Please we are all the same. So let’s love each other and help each other because our DNA blood is the same . Peace!

  11. 11 Ruth Aug 24th, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    treated like a king?more like a SLAVE dont lie to them .

  12. 12 Nicole Aug 25th, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    All of this separation. That is the problem with people of color throughout the world. No one loves the skin we are in!!! If only we would realize WE ARE THE SAME (African, Afro-Latino, Afro-Carribean, etc), we would have GREAT POWER throughout the world. Maybe if we understood this, we would be less likely to be victims of atrocities by other races. When non-blacks see us, they do not separate us and say “Hey he’s better because he is African-American, or she’s better because she is Ethiopian”. We are all BLACK PEOPLE; descendants of greatness. Do not allow racist sterotypes inflicted upon us by non-blacks separate us. Have you ever heard of “Divide and Conquer”? Unfortunately this is what we do to ourselves!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

    Ruth, the ignornace that flows from your lips; reprehensible. I love Ethiopia and Ethiopians, but if it were not for African American’s, you would not enjoy any of the luxuries you find in America. Just 30 years ago you would have been forced into the same “colored” facilities. Subjected to the same Jim Crow laws. Let’s get real, take a trip to the Deep South today, and you are no different from the African Amrican you deplore. There are numerous great African Americans, and our legacy is not just one of slavery. Pick up a book, read, and you will learn.


  13. 13 Thoughts Aug 26th, 2007 at 8:40 pm

    My issue with African Americans is that they always ask or are trying to prove that we Ethiopians or Africans love them. They test us I feel. Why? One man I thought I had befriended at work one day sent a really offensive e-mail regaring Ethiopians just out of the blue. He copied this to many in the company. I have lived here for a very long time, and each year I understand A.Americans even less. I am scared to befriend them now, I am more careful and less in a rush to invite them for injera or introduce them to my family. Some of them pretend to want to make friendship but really underneath it they hate you. African Americans have this culture that if your skin colour matches then you ought to establish kinship, but that is not true, we are widely separated in our clutures and habits. We all need to express patience in understannding that barrier. Life is too short for this nonsense…

  14. 14 KingEzana Aug 27th, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    My deepest sympathy Mr. Ivory, I would like to apologize in behalf of my fellow Habesha who pitched those inconsiderate, ignorant and shallow comments down your lane. However, this is a reflection of a very sad reality we do encounter still to this day. It is not as simple as It sounds, I am sure the fellow that approached you must have been frustrated about the simple fact that our women have generally started to look the other way, for varies reasons that I would rather not say. On the other hand, there is this notion of how African Americans are perceived, with all the negative ideas and beliefs that have been around for centuries and that has been decoded in the minds of my fellow Habeshas. In all matters that are driven from innocence, the lack of education like the Diaspora of our brothers and sisters is misunderstood and misinterpreted.
    Mr. Ivory, I am glad you where brave enough to explore outside of your culture. However your innocent curiosity was met by a well indented ideology planted by the information provided way before the visa that opened the doors. Along with the Shallow minded “GO BACK TO AFRICA” only glorifies these notions of mislead beliefs that divide us from finding a solution to better both our cultures. The concept of divide and rule is at its best these days.

  15. 15 Ewnet Aug 30th, 2007 at 10:50 am

    I read this article and thought to myself, could this really be? Are Ethiopians this rude and inconsiderate to other people’s feelings? And then I read the comments that followed and realized that there are some Ethiopians out there (Ruth) that are showing the nasty side of our beautiful people. So should we be surprised when we hear comments like “go back to Africa”? We have been given the privilege to come to North America and better ourselves through education and this is what we have learned?
    One comment mentioned that African Americans dislike us because we have never been colonized. Did our ancestors fight for your freedom so you can make silly comments? Who do you think you are? There is pride, and there is arrogance.
    As an Ethiopian that grew up in Apartheid South Africa, I know how it feels to be treated like a second class citizen. How the color of your skin is what is judged and not your character. And I know that every Black person has felt this before regardless of where they are from or where they have been. And now we are subjecting our own to this disgusting behavior? Shameful.
    I beg that Mr. Ivory forgive the lost souls who feel that belittling others will raise their own self-worth. Those who think of African Americans as nothing but gangsters or slaves do not realize that they themselves are enslaved by their own stupid mentality.

  16. 16 Tami Aug 31st, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    Wow, the topic of race, never ceases to amaze me. It doesn’t matter if it is in the African American, Dominican or Ethiopian community we all are one people of the Diaspora. I am always saddened to hear that there are people that have bought into what the media has stereotyped our culture to be from any point. Whether it is from an African and I hear someone saying they despise the ghetto culture and hate African Americans or if it is from African Americans saying go back to Africa. Somewhere along the line we have forgotten that we all come from Africa.

    Wake up people, as Spike Lee says…we have been Bamboozled! There is good and bad in every culture, what the media wants is for people of color not to come together. What happens if we start to get along and respect each other? Hmmm…power. We stop fighting. We stop having wars. Famine ends. Genocide. Poverty. HIV. Education increases. Values increase. Family …our power increases. Stop believing what the media shows you.

    Of course there are some bad apples but that is not what the African American community on the whole is about nor is the insensitive and ignorant comments what the Ethiopian community is about. People are people plain and simple. You have to be discerning. Yes, we have our problems but you have to be smart and try to understand how and why? Do you really believe that people want to live in poverty? The answer is the same for Ethiopia as it is for South East DC or Detroit. In the end we all want the same basic things education and a better quality of life for our children and families.

    I get so bent out of shape about the race topic because no one ever knows what I am. I get asked if I am Ethiopian, Somalian, Cuban, Indian, Trinidadian and don’t get me wrong I love my mix (African American, Dominican, Syrian and Jamaican) but wouldn’t it be great if we could all just appreciate each other because we knew we were of the Diaspora? Finally, I’m also in the process of adopting a baby from Ethiopia and will teach her to be proud of her Ethiopian heritage but she will also be proud of being African American.

  17. 17 Hassan Abjad Sep 1st, 2007 at 4:16 am

    I heard that some Ethipoinas refer to their fellow Ethioipians as Bariah? What does this word mean? Slave!

  18. 18 zak Sep 1st, 2007 at 8:38 am

    What a pity that Mr Ivory had to encounter such a rude Ethiopian. Generally, Ethiopians are courteous and welcoming to strangers.

    But truth be told, there is problem beneath the surface. Considering the insecurity of some of our compatriots and the ‘sexual prowess’ of A Americans, the bartender was probablly fearful of the fact that one of the Ethiopian ladies will fall for Mr Ivory. Deja vue! Isn’t why this Country is segregated? The White man trying to protect his women from the advances of sex crazed Blacks! Unfortunately, a siginificant percentage of the Blacks males have fallen for this and are on a rampage to bed and impregnate as many women as possible. Here lies the truth.

    The irresponsiblity of these guys have made them a mockery. The system, back from the slavery days, have made the A American males to think nothing but about women day and night. And a lot of my A American friends and non-Ethiopian blacks tell me about the number of our women which they have slept with. One went as far as telling me their ethnic background.
    The truth really hurts.

  19. 19 Giorgis Sep 4th, 2007 at 1:06 pm

    Two rememberances come to my mind –
    One: I was newly in a graduate program where they had identified the African American students and formed a group of us to be a support for each other. I self identified as African American because, as my parents were Italian and Ethiopian — and I know the history of “one drop,” I am technically black, although I look more middle-eastern. (When growing up in the American South i had to ride on the back of the bus, sit in a separate area of the movie theater…etc).) So I was startled when one of the other students, a brilliant young man from Chicago, said to me, “Ethiopian? Oh, so you are only Black when you want to be!” He had never been subject to the segregation I grew up having to deal with. Yet he was clearly a Spike Lee guy, and I guess I wasn’t black enough for him. It reminded me of the negritude movements of the 1950s — (which were brought to the fore by an Algerian, by-the-way)!

    The second rememberance: A student of mine who was raised in Addis and was from also Italian and Ehtiopian parentage came into my office angry about the racisim of one of her professors who mentioned not wanting to walk at night in a black neighborhood of our (relatively safe) city. Somehow I said something like, “So, you’re not racist at all? What about the Oromo?”
    “Baal,” she said, “Everyone knows that they are lazy…”
    “And the Showa?” I asked?
    “Everyone knows they’ll steal the shirt off your back!” She exclaimed.
    I waited a moment in silence looking at her, and I didn’t have to say –
    “Well everyone knows you shouldn’t walk down that neighborhood at night” for her to quickly grasp that we each operate on our poor understandings of each other. The professor and her (and probably me, too, in my own ways).

    That we can talk about it openly shows so much hope for the future. Thank you Mr. Ivory for opening up this discussion. Let’s keep the lines of communication open between each other.
    Melkom minnyot — literally,

  20. 20 Wanjiru Sep 7th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Mr. Ivory, thank you for bringing up a topic that has been left unsaid. First of, I must say I have had such an experience from some Ethiopians (in Silver Spring, md) . I was just being nice and exploratory like you and thus being Africans like me, I didn’t think it was a big deal to venture in their restaurant but I was welcomed with suspicion, my attempt to smile and be nice was welcomed with stares and made me very uncomfortable. Now I agree that not all Ethiopians behave this way, I have even dated one (another story of not so welcome move for I was warned that the man would never be in a long term relationship or marriage with a non -Ethiopian woman, I didn’t know that..waoh!)

    I find this behaviour appalling because I’m from Kenya, a neighbor and have Ethiopians neighbors back home. Truly it is a shame because I have heard this complaint from other Africans too how Ethiopians regard themselves as better than the rest of African. For all I know I welcome anyone who is black regardless which shade of black ,they are all my brothers and sisters.

  21. 21 Fassil Sep 10th, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    This topic always intrigues me because I am an American born citizen with Ethiopian ancestry. One parent is Ethiopian and the other African American. Growing up as most children do, naively, I didn’t really understand the differences between my parents went past language and food which explained why in general they did not mix with each others friends. As an adult I got it. I can not say that Ethiopians are aware of the prejudiceness but they are generally so proud of themselves, their country men and their history that they put others down. They feel they have the right to feel superior over others. Proudly yelling that they are Ethiopian or even African but quick to stereotype others because they are from a different tribe or of a different nationality. I think that Giorgis comments are so right, it comes from both sides, some times you aren’t black enough, which people normally say when they find out I have Ethiopian heritage and other times you are stereotyped by your own, which happens when Ethiopians find out that I have African American heritage. Why can’t people just judge each human being as the individual that they are? Honestly if anyone has a problem with Americans in general they should have stayed where ever they were at because there is always a cost to freedom. If you were not enjoying all the freedoms and liberties that you enjoy here in the US is it too much to ask that you open your mind and leave your biases at home.

  22. 22 VJ Sep 18th, 2007 at 11:06 am

    I have read the comments within this blog, and as an African-American, I must say I have been treated with respect, dignity and love beyond words by my Ethiopian sisters and brothers.

    This has been my experience in both the United States and Ethiopia. Most of my closest friends are within the Ethiopian community. These are people who have shown me a another concept of “family.” As a result, I feel totally at home when I am with them. The recipe for good relations is respect, humility and a genuine openness to learn and appreciate other cultures.

    To my fellow African-Americans, you must start being more open and appreciative of our sisters and brothers born on the continent of Africa. We need to start being more welcoming to those who are are new to the United States. We must help them navigate this complicated and often daunting place called America. It is not easy coming here, learning a new language, adapting to a new culture and being far away from all that is familiar. Not to mention experiencing the sting of racism in America. For many Ethiopians, this is truly a foreign concept because Ethiopia is the only African nation that has never been colonized. This should be a great source of pride all people of African descent. During my visits to Ethiopia, I was treated very well, and now have an extended family that consists of friends who have warmly embraced me.

    Another point I would like to make is that historically, there have been close ties between the African-American and Ethiopian communities. These close ties date back to the 1800s when Ethiopian merchants traveled to America and discovered the African presence here. During this era black people were not allowed to worship at churches attended by white Americans. In support of African-Americans, the Ethiopian merchants refused to attempt to atend these churches. As a result of this alliance, The Ethiopian and African-Americans worked together to build what is known as the Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York. The Church celebrates it 200th anniversary this year.

    This is simply one example of the many alliance among the two communties.

    Needless to say, my love for Ethiopia runs very deep. Ethiopia is the oldest nation in Africa and the birthplace of mankind. It is the motherland.

  23. 23 munit Sep 22nd, 2007 at 4:21 am

    it is an unfortunate story but it happened so that in itself says a lot… and like others have said, of course it does not represent all of ethiopia — there are apparently 100 million ethiopians in ethiopia now, and thousands outside of ethiopia… and with the numbers of ethnic groups, with the urban rural divides and all that, there is no ONE kind of ethiopian… with ONE kind of attitude about OTHER people…as there is no ONE kind of african american with ONE attitude!

    but as an ethiopian, in ethiopia, i find that there are definitely many complexes in our “non colonized minds” – i DO believe that ethiopians do treat foreigners better here… and that they treat white foreigners better than black foreigners.

    i think it stems from a perception of wealth and what one might be able to get out of the relationship… assuming white means wealth and black means… less wealth or in its worst form, inferiority

    and yes i do think that in the urban centers etc. there is a tremendous amount of superiority and inferiority complexes… not just on black and white relations but a lot of ethiopians treat other ethiopians with contempt and look down upon them… for their culture their language their religion.

    i don’t get why but this is one of the observations i’ve made…along with being good hosts and being courteous and generous etc. .. which i feel when i’m in the smaller towns and villages more than in addis for instance.

    it sucks though… because really we’re all human and as good and as bad as all humans are… so i don’t get why we have to keep trying to lift ourselves above others

    i’m an ethiopian married to a haitian american… many are shocked when they hear that… i think what about love????

    we should all do what we can to make each other feel good… and feel welcome… cause that’s a NICE thing to do!

  24. 24 Demola Sep 28th, 2007 at 5:02 am

    Ha! i’m from west africa and honestly i’d be happy if ethiopians and their like would rather claim not to be black. I can’t stand those people even tho the ones i know we smile and say hi to one another, for me its just to be polite.

  25. 25 Sey03 Oct 2nd, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    My experience has been mixed. In high school I was often asked if I was Abasha and I have been served last by an Ethiopian waitress. I have visited Ethiopia where some people assumed I was from there and welcomed me with open arms while others openly treated me with disdain. My son is Ethiopian and many assume he is my biological child. I just embrace my African American heritage and do my best to respect others. I do not have time to manage peoples’ ignorance. At the end of the day, few will make a distinction if they choose to discriminate against you.

  26. 26 VJ Oct 2nd, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    It seems impossible for Ethiopians to be racist when they are of the same race as other people of African descent.

  27. 27 Abi Oct 15th, 2007 at 12:44 am

    Dear Mr. Ivory

    I can imagine how u felt after experiencing all this. Here is the big picture!! I was born and raised in Ethiopia, and came to the states two years ago. I have never experienced such kind of discrimination we (Ethiopians) as black people have towards another race. Yes, I know I can’t generalize everybody, but i’m speaking to the majority. We often tend to see ourselves in a different way. I’m not being sarcastic here, i have many explanations. I can say for the most part that the kind of behavior that u will adopt in an Ethiopian environment is kinda hard to keep it up outside Ethiopia. Most Ethiopians tend not to take jokes and comments easily, as a result they get angry and start cursin out explicitly. I can say that we Ethiopians have pride within our selves for being a free nation during times, but that is not fair to use it towards other people who had different backgrounds. As a consequences of this “highly glorified pride”, we tend to be too sensitive to minor things. I’m speaking this with personal experiences. I’ve been asked really stupid questions like “What’s the capital city of Africa?”,”Do u drive cars?”. At first i thought it was a joke like most of who would read this would think, but then I was amazed to hear that most of the things they learned about Africa was about Poverty. Even though most African Americans are friendly, they can sometimes discriminate too. Not everybody thinks alike!! Only one-third of the people in this world think like you. (Mind u here that thinking is not necessarily the same as personal behavior), out of the rest; one-third thinks “exactly opposite” than u and the rest differently. So, we shouldn’t expect everybody we come across with to think like us, especially where u have diverse people.
    It’s a fact that we blacks, are the most disunited race. We often tend to fight, discriminate one another and end up in unpleasant situations,let me not try to get to head into another direction. I personally admire your courage to go into the restaurant by yourself and meet new people. That guy who discomforted u is no doubt a “racist”, and i kinda tell that he might had a bad experience which made him generalize all African Americans, especially in regards to women cuz he said “do u hope to meet some of our women?”. I find it hard to believe, but most Ethiopian women tend to date non-Ethiopian men here in America. I wish i knew why? so Ethiopian women please tell me the reason cuz apparently, I’m not the only one asking this question, but a lot of guys too.
    To say that Ethiopians are racist is kinda hard to say, considering the fact that u came across only one racist and shouldn’t generalize everybody based on only one person. I hope you’ll meet other Ethiopians in the future who can explain to u more about this situation.

  28. 28 Ruth Oct 20th, 2007 at 7:28 pm

    w’re not the same race as african-americans wh do you guys have such a hard time accepting that?you think its a coincidence that we look the way we do?the culture is nothing like the african culture our language isnt bantu or african?its not a coincidence and if you guys want to stick us into your race because of our skin color your stupid.The majority of people think we’re from pakistan or yemen when they see us.Haile selasie even went as far to say when someone called him a strong black leader he said im not black im a abyssinian selassie never even confirmed with the black race much like the past kings from ethiopia its too long of a line so take it from me africanamericans reading this learn about us we’re not the same race as you.
    abi-well if your talking about ethiopian youth because their young and ethiopian girls are beautiful and msot get alot of boys of different races in my area particularly they date caucasians and asians but majorly they date other ethiopians.

  29. 29 kkb Oct 22nd, 2007 at 10:09 am

    I would like to appologize for the IGNORANT and AROGANT remarks of “RUTH”. ( w’re not the same race as african-americans). I do not think she knows History at all or if she ever had any type of education. SHE IS THE TYPE OF PERSON WHO GIVE ETHIOPIA AND ETHIOPIANS A BAD NAME.

    Mr. Ivory! please do not think of all Ethiopians to be racist. You will always find some one like the BARTENDER or like RUTH (IGNORANT & AROGANT) people in every group, be it African American, Caucasians, Asians, .. and so on. I am 100% sure that you will love Ethiopians if you you get to know them.

  30. 30 Ruth Oct 30th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    LOL MUNIT YOU MARRIED A HAITIAN?WOWWWWWWW how’d your parents handle that?

    Let me clear something up when ethiopians call themselves black they mean in skin color cause their skin is brown dont get it twisted there not saying they’re negros.AND ETHIOIANS ARE NOT APART OF THE SAME RACE AS OTHER BLACK AFRICANS.

  31. 31 1LOVE Nov 5th, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Ruth, you need to be pointed out by your ignorance time after time. To be corrected once again about Haile Selassie’s words… he has said,

    “That until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes.”

    There is ignorance in all races, more importantly is to be self-aware if it exists in yourself.


  32. 32 Sol Nov 5th, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Wow, please excuse Ruth’s racist tirade. She doesn’t speak for the Ethiopian community. I’d rather not waste my time psychoanalyzing someone with such self-hatred. As for your experience, all I can tell you is that we’re more alike than others would care to admit. A person of colour from the USA is as much a brother to me as my own family member.

  33. 33 Sey03 Nov 7th, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    My family traveled to DC last weekend. I cannot tell you how many people spoke to me in Amharic before switching to English. I was told “Ethiopians know their own. Your eyes, nose, mouth and teeth look like Ethiopians.” I’ve been hearing those comments for 28 years. We had a wonderful time. So I will go with that most recent experience, until someone chooses to ruin it.

  34. 34 Caramel Skin With Coco Eyes Nov 21st, 2007 at 1:33 am

    Well I live in DC, which historically is a Black as in (African American) majority city. There are a few Ethiopian restaurants in my neighborhood but I have little interest in going there. As far as were concerned most Ethiopians are poor Africans that fled their horrible country. One of the reasons that the U.S has become a World Super -Power is because of my peoples ancestors. I love my culture as an African American, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Marcus Garvey, Duke Ellington, Cornell West etc., Why would African Americans want to claim Ethiopians? We are from different cultures. As far as racism… thats funny, how can an Ethiopian think their better than other races lol…African Americans in the U.S. have accomplished SOOOOOOOOOO much in soooooooooo many sectors of society. People from African countries are welcome here because of the Civil Rights Era. Foreigners really need to educate themselves. Lastly, there were MANY Ethiopian slaves in the Middle East…the difference is that slaves in America fought back and WON their freedom/established LAWS to combat discrimination. We built our own universities, started businesses, became government officials etc., We know our own as well. Meagan Good, Gabrielle Union, Ciara, Denzel Washington Morris Chestnut, Common etc., We don’t look anything like Ethiopians. Oh yea and RUTH,, hun your an idiot. “Negros” is a term made up by whites. When we African Americans call ourselves “Black” we are referring to our skintones that range from light to dark. Did you just say don’t get it twisted????????? LOL, why are you using slang terms that African Americans made up, wannabe’s never cease to amaze me LOL…….

  35. 35 dylandcol Nov 26th, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    could a white american walk into a predominantly african american club and not be hassled?beat up?what if he is with an african american woman as his date? wouldn’t that be suicide??
    could a white man walk into an ethiopian club and not be hassled?or would he be welcomed?
    THIS my friend is the difference.
    as for me I don’t care if your are purple with blue hair..its the soul that matters.we may all be rascist.but God is colorblind

  36. 36 Jason Trim Nov 27th, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    ITS VERY SAD BUT TRUE. I’m a Trinidadian living in Washington DC, my whole family is from Trinidad and most people think that I am Ethiopian, the funny thing is that my younger brother is dark skinned and alto we look almost identical most ethiopians that we’ve met will not engage in a conversation with him.

    Most also assume that he is African american and act scared around him (but DC does have alot of crazy ghetto people in it). It’s funny to me because I remember my Father being called racist by African Americans because we tended to stay away from non Trinidadians. Its all crazy tho because we are all Black/African. I think time heals all wounds, especially since my girlfriend is Ethiopian and her family loves me :) ……………

  37. 37 Jason Trim Nov 28th, 2007 at 7:58 am

    Also to the individual (Ruth) that says Ethiopians are not the same race as other Africans, What race are African Americans? Native American, European, Asian, all a of these are present in most African Americans in varying degrees, (Including yours truely Trinidadian). So whats the point? We are all a little different.

    And FYI There is no such thing as race, Scientist have conceded it was a term used to empower Europeans. We are Different people, in general Blacks from Louisiana are genitically different that blacks in California.
    Also just a interesting fact. Out of all the “GROUPS of PEOPLE” (Asians, Africans, Europeans, ect.) Africans and Europeans are the most similar genetically. Its not about how you skin looks, its what in you blood.

  38. 38 Du me Dec 12th, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    I am Ethiopian and I am so confused about the entire race question? I am also confused about the racism in Ethiopia and America. I am 23 and I was born and raised in Ethiopia. I experience racism in Ethiopia cuz people from my tribe were poor and labor worker. In Ethiopia, we don’t talk about race it was all about tribe and clans. We Ethiopians have so many tribes and language, so we all don’t think the same, we don’t see race, class, religion, education…the same way. It is so hard for me to generalize Ethiopian. I find so many proud black Ethiopian; some are so ignorant and stupid. Others are confused about their race.
    So for all of you, I have a good thing to tell u. proud, educated, wealthy, lovers are in Ethiopia. We also got ignorant, uneducated, poor, heaters in Ethiopia. Please don’t generalize all Ethiopians. As a black women, I love black ppl especially African American. They have done so much of us. They are the reason we are here, working and going to school. I got so much love and respect! O fcourse not all Ethiopian think the same way. I also feel the media is giving so many bad images for African American. We need to work together and change that.

    For some reason,the ethiopians in ethiopia and America are not the same.The ethiopians in ethiopia are so welcoming and proud ppl

  39. 39 Different Perspective Dec 14th, 2007 at 2:22 am

    Dear Mr. Ivory,

    First of all, I am sooooo sorry that you went through this unpleasant expereince at an Ethiopian restaurant, strongly advise you to try going to one of the restaurants on 9th street in Washington, DC and I promise that you will not be disapointed!



    ALSO, WHEN ETHIOPIANS SAY I AM ETHIOPIAN AND NOT BLACK OR I AM ETHIOPIAN, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THEY ARE NOT SAYING THIS TO DISASSOCIAE THEMSELVES FROM AFRICAN AMERICANS OR TO BE MORE WHTIE. As far as race classification, Ethiopians are not used to (except the ones in the diaspora and the young Ethiopians who live in city and have access to the media) the western classification of race (black, white, asian, hispanic etc..). In the Ethiopian context, race and color mean two different things. The definition of race is ethnic origin. For example, if you ask a typical Ethiopian (not a westernized one) who lives in a rural part of Ethiopia what his/her race is (zerish mindenew), they’ll respond “I am gurage, amhara, oromo WHICH ARE ALL TRIBES OR ETHNIC GROUPS etc…) and it will not cross their mind to say that they are black OR brown etc… Ethipian racial classification of outsiders is more like, “Italian, Armen (Armenian), Greek, English (IngliZ), Chinese (China), Indian, Ganian (Ganah), Nigerian etc… AND NOT Asian, European, African etc… For example, if you ask an Ethiopian “are the Italians, the Aremenian and the English of the same race?”, they will respond of course not. SO, ETHIOPIAN RACIAL CLASSIFICATION IS BY ETHNIC ORIGIN AND NOT COLOR, AND IN THE ETHIOPIAN CONTEXT, COLOR IS NOT ASSOCIATED WITH RACE!!!!
    THERE are 4 types of colors that are used to describe a person’s complexion: red (key), dark red (key dama), teym (brown or bronzed) and black (tikur). In the western world, the equivalent would be a blond vs a red head or a person with brown hair or an Italian with tanned skin verses an Anglo saxon with pale features.
    IN EHTIOPIA, In the same family, you can find one child who has a lighter complexion (key) than another child who could have teyim or tikur complexion and yet they are of the same family and race. IT MUST BE NOTED THAT there is no racial diversity in Ethiopia AND WHITE IS NOT CONSIDERED A HUMAN COLOR AND IS NOT EVEN FOUND IN THE COLOR CATEGORY LET ALONE TO BE CONSIDERED THE BETTER COLOR. IN FACT, THE ONLY TIME YOU REFER TO SOMEONE AS WHITE (NITIT YALECH DEHA OR AMED MESELISH) IS TO SAY THAT THEY LOOK PALE/ASHY/COLORLESS AND SICK OR THEY ARE SO POOR THAT THEY CAN’T AFFORD TO BUY FACIAL OIL (KIBAT) AND HAVE THIS ASHY/PALE/UNPLEASANT/COLORLESS LOOK. In Ethiopia, the corlor classification KEY, KEY DAMA, TEYIM AND TIKUR is used for pure identification purposes with no RACIAL OR OFFENSIVE implications. When an Ethiopian who is not too familiar with the historical context in which color and race are defined in America comes to the US and is asked what his race is, he will say he’s Ethiopian because to an Ethiopian your race is your ethnic origin. Also, when you ask the same person what his color is he will say whatever he is classified as in the Ethioipan society (key, key dama, teyim or tikur). If he is labeled as key in Ethiopia, he will find it strange to be labeled as tikur (just because he moved to another country).





    It must be noted that Ethiopia remained closed to the outside world (Other Africans, european and asians)until very recently. For thousands of years, Ethiopians learnt Ethiopian history as world history, spoken their own languages, kept the religion of their ancestors (non western Christianity that was brought to Ethiopia by the Ethiopian Enuich mentioned in Acts chapter 8 of the Bible. This was before the existance of the western countires who claim to be teachers of Christianity to Africans)and never bothered to think about or take other nations, peoples or races into consideration (apart from Israel whose had strong ties with ancient Ethiopia).
    Besides, it is only 40 years ago that Ethiopians started migrating to other countries (with the exception of those who went abroad for education and returned home after completion of their education and businessmen). During the communist regime which only collapsed about 16 years ago, Ethiopians were not allowed to leave the country or watCh foreign news or movies. Also, the majority of Ethiopians (the one that live in the rural parts of Ethiopia) do not have acess to TV or radio to even listen to local news let alone foreingN news, movies or anything that brings exposure to the outside world. Even most of the Ethiopians that have been living in the diaspora for the past 40 are constatly experiencing cultural shock (whether black or white, America which has a modern culture is completely different from the ancient Ethiopian culture and ways)and find it easier to associate with other Ethiopians (this is not because they feel special but it is any immigrants’ survival mechanism). THEREFORE, MOST ETHIOPIANS HAVE LITTLE EXPOSURE TO AND UNDERSTANDING OF AMERICAN (WHETHER BLACK OF WHITE) OR ANY OTHER FOREIGN NATIONS’ HISTORY OR CULTURE. THIS CREATES A TENTION AND A MISUNDERSTANDING BETWEEN ETHIOPIANS AND NON ETHIOPIANS.

  40. 40 Mimi Dec 14th, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    First of all I want to apologize on the behalf of Good Ethiopian people for miss treatment you received by bartender from Ethiopian Restaurant. I hope one day you will meet good Ethiopian friend and you will regret what you wrote. I am Ethiopian American lived here over ten years and I have some positive and negative experience with African Americans, but I have never concluded the way you generalize Ethiopian people. People’s behavior depends on their culture, family and social and cultural environment. The person who mistreated you must be raised without discipline from his family or he must be frustrated form his own problem. That is how I see it. So Mr. Ivory don’t generalize! I didn’t! I had worst experience form African American and I never generalize all African American are all the same. I have very good decent African Americans friends that I am proud off. So there is always good and bad in every race, I always like to take good one and try to ignore bad one. So the choice is up to you. Go to other Ethiopian Restaurant and see how they treat you. I know Ethiopians have good sense towards friendship and try to make friend and I guarantee you will not be sorry you did.

  41. 41 jephtha Dec 15th, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    All afri-americans are not the same just like all white americans are not the same. There have always been negative stereotypes about african americans fueled by the media, but hip hop culture has taken fear and hatred for afri-americans to new heights. As an afri-ameri I hate hip-hop culture and dont blames others that feel the same, but the majority of afri-ameri belong to somebody’s church, dont hate, know how to act and would love to have african friends. Africans that dont join or fellowship with afri-ameri churches are going to miss the majority of good that comes from the afri-american community. I refuse to give up on any community but for the most part alot of black people think they are better than afri-americans, but I fear as we continue to gain prominence just 40 yrs. after the civil rights movement african americans may just look at themselves as being americans. Halle salesse came to New york city singing another tune years after WWII but no prominent afri-ameri leaders showed up to meet him.

  42. 42 Frehiwot Dec 16th, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    When I was working with mostly black coworkers, no matter how much I tried to be nice to the black woman they always single me out and Let me know they don’t like me around them or their men. The black men on the other hand, they wouldn’t get enough of my naive and permiscues and flirty and polite and loveing and carying self.

    I think we are all racist (european, american, african, asian, specially middle eastern) when we set a standard in life, when we choose who to be freinds or neighbor with, when we group with same descent, when we prejudge any descent with very little knowledge from media,..we are all racist.

    Look at me talking about my coworkers black this black that who am I to call them black, when my skeen is no differnt than clay. See that’s why black americans think we’re stuckup. We don’t consider ourselves black.

    After all just like others Ethiopians are proven racist. My fellow freinds born and raised in Addis, rememeber how we used offensive words to people who came to Addis from country side. We were ruthless, we’ve done our share of damage. People in Addis still treat outsiders like shit. So don’t you all think you’re an angel.

  43. 43 betty Dec 17th, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    May be the new generation of Ethiopians are better. More knowledgeable and aware of the world around them. I have to pray and hope. As the country grows by leaps and bounds, the mentality of the citizens has to change. As the world gets smaller with globalization, people need to grow and expand their view point. The fact that Ethiopia was not colonized has been a hindrance for the people’s growth. It created a closed and brain washed society who has little knowledge of what is going on around them. We share nothing with our neighboring African countries, in terms of food, language, music, etc. Nobody tried to emulate us. We remained our stuck up self for centuries. And hence the culture shock coming to the west. Instead of retreating to your “own kind”. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  44. 44 LiLi Dec 17th, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    I believe Mr. Ivory walked into that bar with some expectations and when that did not happen and on top of that some bartender makes an inappropriate comment, he decides to write an article about us being racist. No one is obligated to speak to Mr. Ivory or entertain him just because he happened to be at an Ethiopian restaurant or at any other restaurant for that matter. He could’ve just as easily tired to make some small talk instead of waiting for somebody else to approach him.

    Mr. Ivory, before you criticize us take a good look at your own community. I could write pages about the derogatory comments I’ve heard made by African – Americans about Africans.

  45. 45 Mimi Dec 18th, 2007 at 8:46 am

    “Ethiopia was not colonized has been a hindrance for the people’s growth.’’ You are so naïve on this one. Do you know that our ancestors fought for our freedom so that you and I can go to school with out being segregated by the type our skin color in our country. Most of countries colonized are still living under poverty. I think you need to educate yourself before you comment on this subject matter.

  46. 46 kuku Dec 18th, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    i really dont know why we are surprised by this reaction. we all feel it or by miracle dont feel it anymore. instead of covering up with apolozy, we should try to accept the fact that we as a society like to generalize and jump to conclusion about every body and everything…..we CANNOT ACCEPT INDIVIDUALITY AMONG OURSELF LET ALONE TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND AFRICAN AMERICANS.what we can do is try to change our mentality about people instead of blaming on being abesha.

  47. 47 Chi Town Abesha Dec 18th, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Ruth, as an Ethiopian I am very ashamed of your beliefs in your superiority complex.
    Please note, we are enjoying comfortable life in the United States due to
    sacrficies made by great African-Americans. Sacrfices made by such people as Martin Luther King JR.and Malcom X has afforded black people in The United States freedom. This is the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Yes, you were able to come to United States go to school and enjoy an integrated work enviornment(at good companies)dueto their struggle. No matter how light-skinned or race you may belive to be-KKK may have made an axample out of you (by lynching people like you and me in the pre 1930 era). You would have no problem knowing what race you were then. Stop the madness and one LOVE!!!

  48. 48 Genene Dec 20th, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    “I told my friends in Addis Ababa that if you were
    to conduct an opinion poll over who they think are more racist, Ethiopians or
    White South Africans, 70 percent of people anywhere in the world would answer
    that they think Ethiopians are more racist or at least more socially

    Timothy Kalyegira

  49. 49 Mr Mehranie Dec 20th, 2007 at 10:20 pm

    I’m an African American teacher of Math in High School. I’ve been interested in Ethiopians and Ethiopian Americans. What Ruth is saying is that Ethiopians are NOT Blacks as in African American, descendants of West Africans. Most Ethiopians are descendants of the Hemito-Semitic Race. They posses their own written language. The language of the ancient Moabites from Ancient Israel. The Geez and now the Amharic language has changed little from the ancient language. In the olden days, the world identified race by Language.
    Ethiopians have a long and strong history of civilization. This goes to prove why most of our High School Ethiopian Students posses the highest GPA. I wonder if our quest to become like them stems more from lack of in the Rastafarians, seeking identity, claim falsehood,where they do not really belong?? Ethiopians laugh at them behind closed doors.The mere look alike do not make anyone of us B/Sisters. Do NOT confuse a Korean for a Japanese. they won’t speak to you again!! Thus, the facial similarities have nothing to do with being of the same race!! Some East Indians are more black that most of us..but NEVER refer to themselves as Blacks..Leave them alone!! Ruth is CORRECT AND HONEST!! However, I do strongly support the idea of uniting to form Economic independence to ultimately defeat the cause of poverty and ignorance.

  50. 50 Different Perspective Dec 21st, 2007 at 12:17 am

    I keep seeing these the kkk would have made this out of you and whites are treated better than blacks etc… Is anyone paying attention to the point I have made about
    the Ethiopian mindset (view on the whites, their kkks and all the other things that Ethiopians don’t care about), the Ethiopian race & color classification and the historical and cultural structure of Ethiopian society. What do you guys think of it????
    Why can’t we talk about something educational instead of jumping into conclusion and feeling ashamed about us being a terrible, racist and ignorant people. What about the other side of things????

  51. 51 Haile Selassie Dec 21st, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Greeting to the “Family”. Their will always be exceptions to the rule. Never the less in general it must be said, we in Ethiopia do not discriminate on such specious grounds.

  52. 52 Ebony Dec 21st, 2007 at 8:25 pm

    Hello My name is Ebony, and I Moved from California to Seattle washington where there are many Ethiopians and somalians. I was only welcomed by the Ethiopian males, the females, did not speak to me! all they would do is stare. Mind you that I have features similar to an ethiopian but I have courser hair and darker skin. I could not understand why the women would act as if they hate me! its all good because I have encountered some real decent ethiopians as well. Ethiopians are Black People. thank you

  53. 53 Different Perspective Dec 22nd, 2007 at 12:45 am

    Why does not everybody get this? We have been isolated from the rest of the world for almost 3000 years and never learnt how to communicate with other people let alone understand other peoples’ views. It is only recently that theRE has been a mass exodus of Ethiopians. We are a family oriented society where you only get close to, trust and open up to your family and when we leave Ethiopia, if we find people that we know from back home (friends and family), we happliy cling to them. If not, we try to find people who can give us a sense of family (those who speak our language, understand us, those who are respectful, affectionate, not accusitive, warm, and go out of their way to help others etc…). We come to an individualistic culture where you don’t even talk to your neighbour, friendship does not have the same depth, people are not that warm, money and work come before people etc… Therefore, we get home sick and depressed and try to look for other Ethiopian friends with the hope that they think like us and give us the warmth and support that we are used to at home. So, it is not that Ethiopians want to exclude others but we are a homesick and sometimes confused (by our new fast paced environment) people who are trying to find comfort! I think that we are already a people who have borne unspoken sufferings, tremendous stress and a lot of trauma. We need to be comforted and hear something positive and constructive to help us adjust to our new environment. We can’t afford to hear only negative things that are rather distructive. I think that we need a balance. THERE IS A TIME FOR EVERYTHING. THERE IS A TIME FOR CORRECTION AND CONSTRUCTIVE CRITISISM BUT THERE IS ALSO A TIME FOR LOVE, ENCOURAGEMENT AND TALKING ABOUT OUR POSITIVE TRAITS. WE KEEP BEING TOLD (OR RATHER WE KEEP TELLING OURSELVES) THAT WE ARE RACIST, MEAN, IGNORANT ETC… BUT NOTHING TO BALANCE THAT. I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM SOMEONE WHAT OUR POSITIVE TRAITS AND STRENGHTS ARE. DO YOU GUYS (THOSE OF YOU FEEL ASHAMED OF BEING ETHIOPIAN BECAUSE OF YOUR GOOD NATURE AND OTHER ETHIOPIANS’ RACIST AND IGNORANT ATTITUDE) THINK THAT WE ARE ARE EVIL CREATURES WITH NO GOOD SIDE? IF SO, WHY EVEN BOTHER BE ON AN ETHIOPIAN SITE. YOU HAVE GIVEN UP ON US. SO, GO AND TAKE A NATIONALITY OF A PEOPLE THAT ARE AS GOOD HEARTED AS YOU ARE AND FORGET ABOUT THE MEAN US.


  54. 54 Dawit Dec 24th, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Mr. Ivory’s experience is a sad one that should never be allowed to take place. There is no excuse for it. However, we also have to acknowledge that all black people on earth aren’t the same…that the usual misunderstandings and mistreating of each other spurred by ignorance is just as likely between African Americans and Ethiopians.

    1. Yes, there should never be room to accept racism from anyone to anyone else.

    2. The misunderstanding and space between Ethiopians and African Americans shouldn’t surprise anyone. There is a mountain of difference between Ethiopians and African Americans (historical, cultural, social, etc.). True, we both happen to be born in dark skins. However, our histories and cultures are very different. Now which one of us Ethiopians can relate to the harsh historical and social predicament African Americans had to endure in America? The African American experience, all the battles they have had to fight in this country…those things that have helped to define African Americans…can not be passed on to an Ethiopian just because we happen to have dark skin. The equation works both ways. How can an African American intuitively get what it means to be an Ethiopian…just because he is just as dark?

    3. One can never build bridges of understanding between the communities if we don’t understand and acknowledge our similarities and differences. Just simply blanketing all black people in one category misses the point…and doesn’t really help anything. Everyone will sense the differences anyway and continue to pretend.

    4. Personally, I think we owe African Americans a great deal in the U.S…for their fight for equal rights has also meant that we can live in America as free people, a right that doesn’t come easily in our own country.

    - Dawit

  55. 55 ETHIO WOMAN Dec 24th, 2007 at 7:45 pm

    apologies for mr. ivory, its sad to see an innocent guy’s feelings get hurt. as for the ethiopian community whether in ethiopia or here it is undeniable fact that we believe we are somehow better. im fully ethiopian born in and raised in addis, i came here in 2000. being different and/ better is something we all are thought since we were toddlers. Ethiopians are very proud people. proud of their culture, religion, heritage, history and country. as a young student growing up in addis i never knew if there was a better place existed on earth besides ethiopia. Regardless of the poverty and problems of a thirld world country every ethiopian feels that we are entitled to everything thats good. sort of like how the greeks feel about themselves. which can sometimes mayseem ignorance. however, Its part of being an ethiopian, (ethiopianism) i dont think i ever met any tru habesha who doesnt have the “ethio-pride”. its in our blood. as an ethiopian woman We are classy, humble, and welcoming people. we are different from most african american woman simply because of our expectations,values. im not saying one is better than the other, we are just different. most of my african american galfriends are go-getters, out-spoken,and likes to be in control of their relationships. on the other hand, most habesha women are the opposite we are soft-spoken, the traditional way of carrying ourselves as “ladies” is significantly important to us and we prefered to be seeked by our men rather than to seem available. And i believe the first step we all need to take to begin the healing process is to understand the difference, and acknowledge why people are the way they are. then it makes it so much easier to understand why we all can not think and act the same. ACKOWLEDGE OUR DIFFERENCES, tell em why we are the way we are habesha ppl!..history began with us. peace for all
    A proud afro-abbysnian-ethio woman.

  56. 56 Abesha Negna Dec 24th, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    It goes without saying that, it’s hard to judge a company by few bad employees. If we were to discuss how blacks treat Africans or (Ethiopians specifically), i think one’s mind will go crazy.

    I discuss a lot about Abesha people in my blog

  57. 57 martha Dec 25th, 2007 at 2:54 am

    i am an ethiopian girl who used to love A.americans because a lot of african american help me but some times i get ashemed about being black when i see how some african american act. Mr. Ivory`s you should have gone or try more ethiopian resturant before you start juging Ethiopian people. there are also times where some black people make my life hard like my supervisor who fire me for tring eye liner when i was working in cvc .however i did not hate all African American because of her . i thought about all the good black people i known . so do not try to point finger on all ethiopian are racist. i am very pretty girl and i have been told that since i was little girl at least one person a day tell me how pretty i am most of this people who admire me are African american women and men. the point is they know i am black and they appricate a beautiful black girl . that the same thing i do if i see a very pretty tall black gril i am prould of her because she represent all black. the point is let us try to work to gether all black. you do not see a white person talking bad about europen people all they do is how great they are and i tell all the world that i am prould to be black and prould of my ethiopian ansestor who kick all europiean evils out my country. And i do not hate all white because there are some good hearted white people but the majority are jelous and hate full. it so sad that ethiopian are being called as rasist as those evil hate full white people. Mr. Ivory`s you rush to juge ethiopian to soon and it hurt my feeling.

  58. 58 abe Dec 26th, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    oh my god!! I am an ethiopian.I was born and grew up in addis abab(the capital).
    the ethiopian who talk about “”ethiopian are not black” thay are from the country,we from the (the capitl city) we don,t talk like that. they are stupid !! get it right.
    we are black and we always be black!!!!!

  59. 59 Kidane Dec 27th, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    Here we are Ethiopian’s trying to defend what is very true. My brother I’M Ethiopian and we are very raciest. I have to admit to that other wise I would be scrambling hard to trying to justify the position like everyone else. I can tell you why and where it came from. IT HAS COME FROM THE POSITION OF THE BLACK MAN IN THE WORLD TODAY. IF WE BLACKS WERE ON TOP OF THE WORLD. WHAT I MEAN BY THAT IS IF WE WERE IN A POWER POSITION EVERYONE WOULD EMBRACE THEIR BLACKNESS.

  60. 60 mikael Dec 28th, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Mr Ivory, to tell you the truth what the bartender asked was legit since I’ve noticed that
    most African Americans seem to hate anything that comes from Africa except the women.
    Look here boss we are the new comers but how did your community is welcoming our people is not one can look forward. So please before going on a rant about racism you need to examine the inputs. African Americans discriminate against most Africans but the minute it’s about women they’re all over so one might ask the same questions you were asking. Ethiopians are not perfect but up here in the west I know African Americans are the most racist.

  61. 61 Sara Dec 28th, 2007 at 4:20 pm


    No offense but i believe you are ignorant. In my view ignorance is the most dangerous weapon. How dare you speak for Ethiopians. I am an Ethiopian and you don’t speak for me.
    Mr ivory
    i am Ethiopian and I love African Americans. They are very gracious people who are loving, friendly, welcoming and the list goes on. Most of all i am proud of their history even though i am not African American because i believe you don’t have to be one to admire their history. I enjoy reading about the civil rights and the people who were involved. It was just yesterday when people were suffering but now everyone has freedom. Please know that those Ethiopians do not represent the rest of Ethiopians like myself. Thank you.

  62. 62 ETHIO WOMAN Dec 28th, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    Hey DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE guy ..i think you are awesome..loved your writing ..You should create your own blog, i would love to share more of your ideas!! EVERYONE PLS TAKE THE TIME TO READ HIS EXPLANATIONS, KNOW OUR HISTOY AND LETS ENLIGHTEN OURSELVES. PEACE

  63. 63 selam Dec 29th, 2007 at 1:14 pm


    Are you just trying to get people’s reactions or do you actually believe in all that bs? Your ignorance is beyond my comprehension!


    The waiter’s comment was not only racist, but totally insensetive. Honestly, if what you went through was, say, a theory. Like “Would an Ethiopian say or do such a thing?”, I would have said no without a doubt. But since it actually happened, i have no choice but to come to terms with this horrible reality. I am really sorry that you had to go through this ordeal. But as for the question of whether Ethiopians are racists or not, i think the best answer would be that as in every group, there are both good and bad people among Ethiopians. Please try to keep that in mind and hopefully next time you’ll meet someone nice.

  64. 64 LOL Dec 29th, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    Black Americans are not African American. We are Black American. There is no connection to Africa. They have a culture of soul food (Corn bread, Gumbo, Jambalya, Collard Greens, peach cobbler, etc.), family dinners at grandmother’s house on sunday after Baptist Church, Celebrating the birth of Christ on December 25th, Freedom fighters for Equal Opportunity for ALL PEOPLE (Immigrants and all citizens), Style, Fashion, First Black American Political Leaders, College graduates, doctors, engineers, lawyers, athletes, musicans, Oscar Award-winning actors. Not Pimps and gangsters like ignorant people think.

    Ethiopians have a culture of Amharic,injera, bunna ceremony, Fidel, guards, maids (saratena), wedding ceremonies, Eskista dancing, Political leaders, athletes, January 6 Ethiopian Christmas, Style, Fashion, Running the Italians out of Africa, College graduates, doctors, engineers, lawyers, athletes, musicans and MUCH MORE!!! Not a bunch of starving people, like some ignorant people think.

    My culture and family have raised us to be proud, and most importantly respect, and accept other cultures. I have best friends and god children that are Cambodian, Black American, Mien, Spanish (From Spain), Creole, White, Phillipino, Ehtiopian, Puerto Rican, Mexican etc. Some families are racist, and some are not but that does not break the lasting bond I have with my best friends (13 years), My friends are my family. I have been discriminated against by my own people and other people. I know how is feels. It is very sad because most of the people that are racist are very religous. But in my church, My Bible preaches that only God can judge us, and to love thy neighbor. WOW!!! Racist people are amazing!!!!

  65. 65 Saba Jan 1st, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Dear Mr. Ivory,

    As an ethiopian, i consider you as my brother. And the ethiopian people who mistreat black people and/or who act superior towards them, have an issue themselves. It has really nothing to do with you. The same people look also down on some fellow Ethiopians who maybe have a darker skin, or have a different culture than them in Ethiopia.
    In fact some ethiopian people who claim that they are educated can think as ignorant as the man you have encountered. I hope this will not happen again to you or someone else and I hope such ethiopians can widen their viewpoint.



  66. 66 Different Perspective Jan 4th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    Hey Ethiopian Woman!

    Thanks much for taking the time to read what I wrote and comment on it. I was wondering if anybody is reading it. There is so much that we have not discovered about ourselves, which sometimes makes it difficulut for us to see clearly our strenghts and weaknesses, and understand (or help others understand) who we realy are in our entirety.

    If there are enough people that are interested in this type of a discussion, I would love to start a blog that goes into an in depth analysis of our pyscological make up as well how cultural difference (with the American culture) affect our daily lives. For example, the Ethiopian way of being humble and not talking about yourself can be seen as not being confident and not selling yourself enough at an interview (the hardest interview question that an Ethiopian may find is what are your strenghts? In the Ethiopian context saying wonderful things about yourself is considered bragging and showing off even if what you say is true). Also, we Ethiopians grow up with the value that you think more than twice before you say something and words have a lot of weight in Ethiopian culture as they can easly destroy your relationships. We are taught not to show bad temper, anger or be too emotional (except with family members) not to offend others (yilugnta and ere gidelem), which makes us fearful to express what we feel and force us to keep things inside. In the American culture, this can be seen as avoiding conflict and not being able to resolove issues. Our way of keeping inside may be seen as a weakness and give others a false sign to others to walk all over us etc….

  67. 67 abesh2 Jan 7th, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    sara i think you should pay a visit to dr.phil……you are so…..i dont even have a word for it.

  68. 68 Lola Jan 11th, 2008 at 12:48 am

    Really guys there might be an easy explanation on why whites are treated better in resturants than AA’s. WE BLACK folks don’t tip enough. Now, I have friends who are waiterses(not only in ethiopian resturants) that tell me this. They say when they get Indians or Blacks =LESS TIP. This in refrence to why you guys think whites are treated better than AA’s

  69. 69 rastafari Jan 12th, 2008 at 2:29 am

    Are you people followers of Christ? Is the headquaters of the AU in Ithopia? Is the word “Ithiopia” Greek, meaning “black”? Are the oldest remains of mankind found in Africa? oh how good and pleasant it is for brethren and sistren to dwell togeather in unity. Psalm133. He that is without sin cast the first stone. You’ve got the European Union, the United States of America. Isn’t it about time for Africa to unite so we can rid ourselves of all this pain and suffering. Oh what a shame. Long live Bob Marley, long live Marcus Garvey, Peter Tosh, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and all the African prophets.

    Rastafari live. one love. bless.

  70. 70 Abeshite Jan 12th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    I really want to know what you expected to happen in that restaurant. Did you expect everybody to get up welcome you? Start conversation with you? I am an Ethiopian and I don’t expect that to happen whether it an Ethiopian restaurant or whatever restaurant.
    Let me tell you an experience I had when I first moved to this county, 5yrs ago. I was walking, when group of African Americans called out “hey girl” I just ignored them and kept on walking, I don’t what you are supposed to do in that kind of situation in this country, but back home you just pretend and keep walking. SO anyway they must have felt like I did that because of some kind of disrespect on my part, for they called you Ethiopian bitch you think you are better blha blha …. . And that wasn’t the only bad experience I have had.
    Now that experience didn’t not make me hate African American’s or in any way made me form some kind of prejudice. Yes I have to admit there are those bad apples that always give the rest of us bad name. But I also don’t think just because I happen to be black, I have everything in common with another black. Our likeness with you ends with our skin color THAT IS IT… I am an AFRICAN who happens to be in America. I have my own identity, just as you do and I don’t feel I need to treat blacks/whites in America any differently just because I happen to share a skin color with one.
    I wonder though, what kind of experience would you get say, in a Sudanese, Somalia or any other African restaurant for that matter. Would they be more welcoming or more friendly? I highly doubt it. One thing I know once immigrants are out and about (not in the work place) they want to be with their own kind socializing not getting out of their way to be friendly to Americans, be white or black. So basically don’t take it personally alright my friend. I’ll tell you what though … if I do see you in dukem next week I will make sure and give you a big hug and a juicy kiss on your gunch (cheeks) abesha style:

    Never mind Ruth she is probably a BANDA trying to give us bad name.

  71. 71 GashRasMula Jan 15th, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    I & I is thinking farther than some sily stupid brather and sister,
    who don`t know themself!time shows that the new generation is dongit fine thanks
    to the most I who works mysticaly!

  72. 72 Allay Jan 16th, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    man i know exactly where your coming from, i myself am struggling to figure out whether im african or american

  73. 73 Lejetua Jan 18th, 2008 at 6:43 am

    I am really bewildered why this Mr. Ivory incident is not considered as “a man called Ivory was mistreated by a stupid bartender.” It all comes down to that ‘eko’. Can anyone see that?

  74. 74 El Jan 24th, 2008 at 8:25 am

    My wife is half ethiopian and african american and I can conform that a certain amount of racism occurs. Many Ethiopians dont consider her “ethiopian.” This is ridiculus to me, being an African american I cannot understand the self hate. Ethiopians seem to be loving of light skin and hating of black skin. Well, THE TRUE ETHIOPIANS, THE ANCIENT KUSHITES WERE BLACK AS NIGHT. AND SO WERE THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS AND NUBIANS. THESE WERE ALL THE SAME PEOPLE AND TODAY WE ARE ALL THE SAME PEOPLE. THE SYSTEM OF WHITE SUPREMACY IS WHAT SEPERATES. The Amhara seem to have dominated and claim that none of the other 80 ethnic groups are truly Ethiopian, this is racist, but all that said I am trying to move to Ethiopia with my and children (who are 1/4 ethiopian). How will we fare? I see when I get there, I figure white people travel the world in relative safety, why should I be worried among my own people? I’m going home, MARCUS GARVEY STYLE!

  75. 75 Ermiyas Jan 24th, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Dear Steven,
    I am not going to apologies for those ignorant called fellow Ethiopians. I am proud of coming out of Ethiopia and my Ethiopian heritage; I can’t say much about them as I was not there. I do understand on how you felt- there are people who seclude themselves within their own people, not letting in other ethnic or race backgrounds. Instead of having a business mentality they tend to have this tribalism attitude.
    I can tell you that I have suffered it here in the UK when I go outside the rural part of London. It is good you shared it with us and I also suggest you send this article for the attention of the restaurant owner.

  76. 76 mikey Jan 26th, 2008 at 4:06 am

    Mr Ivory! I believe everything you said. The reaction you got is from ignorant ethiopians who mostly uneducated and still slave to the white culture. They are far from basic understanding of co-exisisting even amongst each other…divided in ethinicity. Please understand majority of ethiopians are not that way at all. I am sorry for your experience on behalf of my people!!!

  77. 77 hispanic american Jan 28th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I consider myself fairly open minded and have alot of friends from different races that are like family, including ethiopians. I agree with Ruth that Ethiopians are a part of a different race than the rest of Africa and should never be put in the same category. It is like considering someone from India an asian. I am sorry to see the depth of her ignorance though. I can say sadly, in my experience and interaction with Ethiopians, this seems to be the norm and this article wasn’t too surprising. I too have felt similar vibes. I once was rejected by an Ethiopian woman on the grounds of race alone. They are a very proud culture with a proud history. They have an old-world mentality that is very ethnocentric. Many immigrants from third-world countries that are in the first generation often react the same, so it is not unique to ethiopians. They stick together and really don’t trust ‘outsiders’. The older generation is even more hardlined and most won’t permit their daughters to date or marry anyone who isn’t Ethiopian, much less African or any other race for that matter. They are extremly zealous and conservative. To give credit, this stance has allowed many ethiopians to live in the US and keep their culture strong and not let them ‘sell out’ to the American way of thinking or be corrupted by our culture and ultimately becoming ‘Americanized’.

  78. 78 HISoldier4EVA Jan 28th, 2008 at 6:16 pm

    Ruth__ i definately admire ur truthfulness and heartfelt response!!! —and I do hope and pray that many people come out of ‘the hole’ they are hiding in and express themselves from the heart. “Cuz i truly believe that at the end of the day if u ain’t true to yourself, then u ain’t true to nobody!
    unfortunately it is disgustingly true that many races ‘us’ included have (for the most part) labeled the african american with the face of ‘the-rude-thug-like-ghetto-resident, along with his attitude and disrespectful behaviour,’ but my sister the ghetto means the slum or the dirtier part of town -if I may, and societal circumstances is one of the reasons for one to live in those areas and attain the attitude a ghetto individual has. They did not choose that life—-tell me who chooses to go through a street shooting 13 human-beings in one night, unless nature, your environment and societal forces force u to do so??? Your enviroment is your shape ___ so given a baby born in the ghetto of the ghetto—do u think he has a choice of living in a neighbourood/city he chooses to? We are in 08 my lady. U needs to open de eye and embrace a brother and let him know wuts up if he don’t know wut he goin through(speaking of the ‘lost brother’)! And by the way speaking of Steven, i’ve never heard of the gentleman before(being a VA resident) But do me a favor and google him, he’s a man who’s earned the respect and welcome he should be given (he could have been any other race -i don’t give a damn- but fortunately his one of us). And there are so many other brothers who are extremely successful that we can only start to dream after their influence!! But it’s not about embracing the successfull, or those with material, but the mere fact that he is human.
    I’m a 100% sure the name Steven came from ‘Stephanos’ and hell ya i’ll embrace u as a borther steve, stefano, stevenson, shintaro, Sarafina, Sherry —we all have red blood and that’s all that matters —-I am just sick of being sick n tired of waiting for us to love one another and do ‘da damn thing’ as one. We as humans r still no better than the canibals and barbarians of the ancient world!!!
    On the other hand i believe that we abeshas have such a disgusting level of pride, arrogance, stubborness, and most evil -jealousy——most peeps suffer a disease of jealously n greed so badly that they do not want to see their our own siblings succeed! Not generalizing -but for the most part. And personally i think that is why we as Africans are not as high up the ladder as God has given as the potential to be. I alwayz use the chinese as an example when it comes to teamwork and encouraging one another within your own community! Cuz tell me how often do you see chinese in an american store/ or an african store for that matter? By the same token, how often do u see a chineese bsns composed of an uncle, a cousin and an in-law? Africans—put away with pride, jealousy and greed– cuz its the devil fighting inside of you!!!
    one luv

  79. 79 helen Jan 30th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    What happened to respect and courtesy? I taught, every Ethiopian parent teaches their kids proper manner. Just because we are Ethiopians doesn’t mean we are any better or have the right to disrespect others, when they come to an Ethiopian restaurant in the USA or to Ethiopia. How would any Ethiopian feel, if some one talk to you the way the Ethiopian waitress did to Mr. Ivory, just because you went to a non Ethiopian restaurant. I dought any of us would appreciate any disrespect from anybody, weather they are white, black or any other nationality. This is the United States of America people, everybody has the right to go and experience any culture, food, or anything they desire without being disrespected.

    Lets all remember why we left Ethiopia in the first place. With your reasons in your mind for leaving Ethiopia to be in the USA, let us all respect people in their own land and abroad. Also, know that if it wasn’t for African American paving the way, it would be impossible for any of us to be in the US and have the freedom and success we have in this beautiful country.

    To Ruth, who said Ethiopians are not black. I suggest you pickup a book and read a little bit about your heritage and history. When you get a chance to go to Ethiopia, go visit the south region of Ethiopia, the Gambela, the Banna tribes, and mursi tribes. If you still are having this self denial about being black, speak for your self. Do me a favor; stop calling yourself Ethiopian because no Ethiopian I know would speak with that fealty moth you have got. Most of all grow up; until you do please don’t bring another confused little Ruth to this world.

    Pease and God bless you all!

  80. 80 Chi-town-LiJ Feb 3rd, 2008 at 10:40 am

    The truth is I don’t think the bar tender has the brain to even understand the concept of racism. He is just an idiot. And I guarantee you we have the same idiots in every race that would say and do the same exact thing. Racism is a human weakness period.

  81. 81 Tami Feb 4th, 2008 at 7:28 am

    I find it interesting how we focus on the most negative experience we have had with African Americans and Ethiopians and choose to use that as the defining factor for the whole race. That just seems very silly to me. We both have good and bad in our races, however these people or incidents should not define the race. Things happen everyday and with people if they are Black, White or Asian. I find it hard to believe that anyone has never been disrespected by someone that is White or Asian but why are we choosing to tear each other down?

    Abeshite I can’t tell you how many times African American men have called me a bitch because I didn’t want to stop and talk to them. I just laughed and kept walking. It had nothing to do with you being Ethiopian but more to do with a bruised ego, they just had to have something more to say…they were silly and stupid. I have also been at an Ethiopian party and saw some not so nice behavior by Ethiopian men towards Ethiopian women so this is just a man’s defense mechanisim.

    It was also mentioned that other women have been jealous of Ethiopian women because of their beauty and they get treated poorly. They are women and yes they are probably jealous but this is not because of being Ethiopian this is because of your attractiveness. This is pretty simple, they were insecure and protecting their territory…sorry to say this again…learn to laugh at them, if you don’t you find yourself being unnecessiarily angry. You have something they don’t and just keep it moving. It’s probably their men they don’t trust but they need an escape goat so unfortunately you were it.

    Martha, you say you have been helped by many African Americans/Blacks but ocassionally you have been given hard times by blacks and this makes you embarrassed to be black!? This is crazy. You will be challenged in the workplace by Whites, Asians, Latinos, Blacks or other Ethiopians, whoever your boss is. Again, do not use the acts of a few to define an entire race. There is a book that I suggest you all read: Stupid White Men by Michael Moore (who is white). This will give you a perspective on race from a white man in America.

    Finally, as it has been said many times that we (African-Americans) should be patient with Ethiopians. Okay, this should also be reciprocated when necessary. African-Americans/American Blacks have had a rough yet strong and postive history in the US. It is challenging for some American Blacks to see so many from the Diaspora come to the US and not acknowledge what has taken place yet take advantage of the liberties and freedoms. We all know that we have differences, wouldn’t it be nice if we looked for similarities and common ground instead of the opposite.

  82. 82 Different perspective Feb 7th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    I just don’t understand why people are not reading and responding to the my writing, which deals with the realities and the origin of why there’s a miscommunication, confuiona and misunderstanding of the race concept by Ethiopians.

  83. 83 Tami Feb 10th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Different Perspective- I indeed read your comments and found them to be very enlightening and am in fact commenting on my blog about them so thank you. I do think others are reading your comments and also get what you said but, I think that we find the other comments so much more disturbing/controversial that we forget to comment on the one that educates us. Please continue to provide your perspective because for someone like myself who is not Ethiopian I value your thoughts.

  84. 84 Tsedey Feb 20th, 2008 at 2:27 pm


    Brillinat comments.. we need pple like you. Positive, objective and embracing.. not so opinionated. What’s the name of your blog?

  85. 85 MYTDT Feb 28th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

    In general, immigrants feel comfortable speaking in their native languages when in company of their country folk. That being the case, in the instance the good gentleman recounted, could it be that people did not wish to converse in a foreign language in the presence of their brethren? Not just that people may have felt uneasy speaking in a foreign language ( I am assuming the patrons at the bar were immigrants), but people may have been reluctant, as I used to be during my early days in America, to have their imperfect English heard by friends and kin. Might it also be a genuine curiosity that prompted the bartender to ask what brought the gentleman to his establishment? I can definitely imagine myself asking such a question out of pure curiousity and naivete. The bartender, having perhaps been unused to seeing non-Ethiopian patrons at his establishment, may have been honoured that the gentleman patronized his establishment. It is possible, I suppose. Is it possible that racism was just one of many possible therories that may explain what happened?

    I have had many experiences in which no one bothered to speak to me, or I had a hard time having my questions answered, in establishments owned by an assorted groups of foreign business operators. Did I feel that racism was at play? No, though each time I was miffed, and, on a few occasions, highly annoyed. I harbor no expectation when walking into such establishments, except receiving assistance for what I walked in to get. I expect to be served with respect, as a human being, but nothing else.

    I think Ethiopians in general tend to be, not racist, but sort of clannish, just like many other forgein ethnic groups. Chinese immigrants do tend to stick with their country kin, as do the different Latino groups, Indians……. etc.

    Sure, we have no obligation to be more deferential to our Black American brethren than we are to any human being. But, it is nice to always keep in mind that they, Black Americans, made it possible for us to live in this Land with the degree of comfort that we enjoy. May God bless our Black American brothers and sisters.

  86. 86 Alemnesh Terefe Mar 3rd, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    I agree with Nicole’s comment. Thanks Nicole for puting Ruth in her(his) place. It is becuase of such ignorant people our ever channging world is slowing down. I don’t want to give you that much attention, Ruth, becuase you aren’t worth it.
    It is unfortunate for us Ethiopians who have to defend our intention that we all are not alike. But most ehtiopians are RACIST of other culture especially African Ameriicans, I know it is the sign of ignorance. Since they are not well read, Ethiopians are affected by alu balta easily. The way Ethiopians get their information is gossing by most. Why I said Most Ethiopian? based on my experience. I know I am going to offened some people by saying this, but I didn’t say all, did I?

  87. 87 Mek Mar 9th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Mr. Ivory, what happened to you is really disappointing. We Ethiopians are always misunderstood because of some stupid people who could not see that they have melanin (the beautiful chemical which makes all of us black). I don’t believe we should think about it any more. The people who were deprived of melanin have brought the classification to force us into slavery because they are richer. We should never give in. Let’s work hard, love and respect each other and move forward and show them that our brain is not coloured and is as good as theirs. Only our history, background,nutritional status and enviroment are keeping us inefficient.

    The thing, however, is that you A. american friend can come and visit Ethiopia: I am sure you will be treated better than an Ethiopian for being a guest. We are so humble and welcoming. We are never racist and don’t even understand the concept of race as it has been well described by one of the blogers. I don’t even understand why the Ethiopians out there in US are not called African Americans. That is absurd. I feel like I am 200% black and am upset when Arabs or Mulatos tell me I look like them.

    It’s time to forget that little pig in the bar and get back to work…. Shame on him.


  88. 88 Love Mar 12th, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    I just have one question?

    Why is it that just because I might have the same skin color as you, I have to automatically like you and consider you my “brother”?

    Sorry but the only people I’m going to feel connected to are the ones from my country- Ethiopia.

    Now I’m not saying I won’t respect you or hate you but honestly you are as culturally differnet to me as someone of hispanic or european heritage.

    We have differnt history,food,music,language,dance,clothing ect..

    So we only share one thing- physical and to me just because I look like someone else I won’t feel like they understand me or have some kind of connection with me. Frankly speaking, I look more Indian than African American, so if I were to just go by looks I would be calling Indians my “brothers”.

    Bottom line, I won’t disrespect or outcast anyone just because they are not Ethiopian, but I am also not obligated to treat you any better than I would treat someone who is white, asian, hispanic just because you happened to have a dark skin.
    You can ask someone who is Italian or French if they are the same as white Americans or if they feel some kind of connection to them and they will say no.

    Same thing here, I am Ethiopian but that doesn’t mean I am the same as African Americans or other Africans. We’re all unique and we shouldn’t just be united because of our skin.

  89. 89 ten Mar 12th, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    I believe that that Ethiopian is a nationality, not a race or ethnicity.

    I think that the habesha (semitic speaking people) are NOT black genetically, culturally, and anthropologically). Most of our ancestors our sabaen semites that were kicked out from their homes in southern arabia (yemen) in 1000 BC. Many Ethiopians are black Africans though, but many others are not. these “many others” are the habesha people.

    They are genetically closer to the middle eastern stock. It is proven by artifact findings and genetic tests. So semitic (habesha) ethiopians are not black. Many people say “well many are similar to the cushites, who are indigenous afrians”, well i tell u this: an italian might look like a tunisian, but they are two completely differnt ethnicities. a pakistani might look like a habesha, but are they the same ethnicity. no.

    we are semites, whose home has been africa for only 3000 years. well a huge chunk of eritreans and ethiopians at least

    nonetheless, we should treat our black african neighbors with respect here in america and africa.

  90. 90 alleysha Mar 13th, 2008 at 11:40 am

    I am a foreigner and I have been discriminated against by african americans. Once they hear your accent they begin to dislike you, asking unnecessary questions like why you come here etc. They discriminate against black foreigners and latino ppl. They dont understand some of us cultures. Not all foreigners want to go to their job and talk about their personal affairs. If ethiopians want to stick to themselves thats oks, as a matter of fact they are some of the most peaceful ppl around.

  91. 91 Fellow Hispanic Mar 15th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    In reference to the Hispanic Americana’s comments, I totally agree with and have had the same experience. But never the less, I could only see it as a mistrust of differences in cultures, and have since then tried to change the misconception of both Hispanic and A-American cultures. Yes, there are some bad people in both cultures, but the way in which they are portrayed by media that only emphasize the negative aspects of the cultures, have much to do with the way that we are perceived by other cultures. That if I may say is governed by a predominantly white affluent culture that has no qualms about how they represent any other culture of whom they have already deemed as inferior to there’s. But that is another subject.

    There is also truth in the fact that many of our cultures live in an environment less than conducive to that of a more refined and cultured status as viewed by society. In light of today’s politics or lack there of the hindrances that affected us in the past, I have hope for the future. A future in which the only thing that will set any one person apart from another is there intelligence and not there skin pigmentation.

    For we all have the same brain and therefore the same mental capabilities, regardless of where we come from. Capabilities that will not be hindered upon by racial prejudice and therefore be allowed to shine as bright as he or she may please. And not be seen as a crude and vulgar person because they are held back to living with in there means.

    As for the higher GPA, come on, who are we kidding here? We all have the same chemical make up and are only different by our exteriors. Will some one please understand? The Ethiopian cultures are far more likely to study more and place more en fices on there studies than people that are already part of the American culture. Ethiopians are far more religious and are in general in far better care by parents that have a much higher sense of morality than that of their American counterparts. Whether it is because of the strict religion or the fact that they are far less likely to disobey there parents, Ethiopians have more time to study and far less influences that will cause them to deviate from there norm. For a better prepared student is a higher scoring student and it is as simple as that. I could go on stating the obvious but I would much rather get to the point.

    The fact is that I just can’t stand some Ethiopians because of some of the same misguided reasonings as spoken of by the previous people. But that is just a few and not all are the same. I in-fact am fond of so many more Ethiopians than any other people than I care to say. And it is largely due to the culture and the morals that are placed upon them by there religion, be it Orthodox, Christian, Catholic, or Muslim. They are for the most part an honest and respectful people.

    I think that we are all in some ways different than one another but for the most part very much the same. We bleed, we cry, we laugh, etc… We should make it a point to try to understand each others cultures and accept that they are different. And that not because they are different makes them nessacarily bad. True love…true hope…and true happiness is what we should all be looking for, regardless of the race or skin color given to us by our creator.

    And (Ruth) please lighten up beautiful. Nothing is worth that much hatred unless your are a racist yourself. And I think that you are not!

    PS…God Bless

  92. 92 Shanko Mar 19th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Why is everybody making a big deal out of a simple honest comment a bartender has made? U guys are trying really hard to appear as if you are modern in that u don’t judge ppl. From my experience as an Ethiopian what the bar tender meant by your own ppl is that ppl from other countries thinking that that black guy could be from Nigeria, Ghana or whatever he might possibly be. I don’t personally believe that all black ppl are alike, we have the same skin color but we have different social and cultural background and it is so different from one another. I once attended an African night somewhere and to my amazement the Ethiopian culture was totally different from the other African countries. The other African countries have so many things in common. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying we are better what I am saying is we are different so we don’t want to be generally referred to as Africans or black ppl. We have our own identity that we are proud of and want to be referred as Ethiopians. Why is that difficult for the other black ppl to accept? And how on earth is being proud on your own skin became racist? A continent is just an abstract for me; it is a group of countries which might not have any thing in common connected to each other. SO get real and give the bartender a slack.

  93. 93 Aaron Mar 23rd, 2008 at 3:10 pm


    Don’t get mad at us African-Americans because your country couldn’t
    offer you shit. African leaders claim they care about there people
    but yet, they sell off their natural resources and instead of investing
    in their own people they put the cash in their own pockets. Instead of
    building an agriculture industry or a university or even a modern water
    system they put the cash in a swiss bank account. If you don’t like us
    African-Americans go back to that dying continent called Africa. It is
    a pitiful continent and it leaders are corrupt, theives and liars but
    yet the riches continent on this planet. Africans should have a life
    style of that of the Europeans, North Americans, Australians etc. But,
    here Africans have to leave a continent that huge in order to have a
    life. Africa needs to wake up and realize what it has.

  94. 94 Henock Assefa Mar 24th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Instead of asking Are Ethiopians Racist, shouldn’t we ask Is the World Racist?
    I will be the 1st to admit there’s racism and bigotry in Ethiopia, but it is applicable to any and ALL nations of the world. I grew up in Italy and noticed the clear and blatant racism that occurs there between North and South Italians: When Napoli won the Italian League Soccer Championship a graffitti on a wall in Milan read “Congratulations Napoli, Champion of Africa”.

    Having lived here in the States for a better part of my life, I’ve seen racism and bigotry beyond anyone’s imagination. Spike Lee’s “Do the right thing” illustrated the deep hatred among the ingredients of this so-called melting pot. I also walked into african american establishments and dodged daggers from distrusting patrons.

    And yes, I’m a light-skinned Ethiopian, and while I received “special treatment” by other Ethiopians, let me say that I’ve also been negatively treated by others simply because of my pigmentation! I’ve been accused of not being white, being a “cracker”, being a “nigger”, not being black enough, not speaking spanish, looking like a “spic”, looking like a terrorist, etc…I’ve found refuge in some and utter disdain from others.

    Did we not see the riots in Paris from last summer? Do we not see the turmoil in Tibet? What about the genocide in Darfur, Rwanda, Iraq, and former Yugoslavia? Even in so-called neutral and peaceful countries like Switzerland, Sweden, and Canada there are constant reminders of the bigotry and hatred of mankind. The Japanese look down on the Chinese, the Chinese look down on the Koreans, the Koreans look down on the Vietnamese, and the Vietnamese look down on the Filipinos. Even here in the “land of the free”, northererns look down on Southerners.

    We can pick apart each nation and/or ethnicity and find fault in each, but until we see each other as humans and start dealing with our problems as humans and not as nationals, then, and only then, can we achieve the utopian dream Dr. MLK Jr. preached over 40 years ago. As hard as it is to quote Michael Jackson, but start by looking at the Man in the Mirror.

    Mr. Ivory, you were mistreated in a restaurant. Welcome to life. Life sucks. Deal with it and move on from your sensitivities.

  95. 95 Grum Mar 25th, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    This virtual world (of racism) definitely exists everywhere in the world. In ethiopia there is racism of the key against the teyim, the teyim against the tikur and ad infinitum. Many ethiopians are extremely intelligent and shun this virtual world of racism, they are richer in pockets and the racists are richer in gossips and hates and the marry go round goes on. The proud ethiopian irrespective of his skin colour shuns this illuionary world that tries to tamper on his dignity and when the moment of truth comes and you know who fares well. You love the light colour? smell it and it smells a skin. of course you love it and smell it more of a skin until it gets stupid in the head… that is the virtual world of skin racism and it is real, alive and kicking.. the world of skin smelling ntohing=racism and evry thing.

  96. 96 Facts Mar 27th, 2008 at 5:26 am

    I am an Ethiopian living in America for 25 years. From what I understand there are cultural differences between Ethiopians and African Americans – period. It stems from what African Americans experience in America from white people to this day. Ethiopians did not have the same experience. African Americans are still struggling with racism and poverty, drugs etc. This all stems from psychological as well as actual problems faced in their lives. Ethiopians do not feel like second class citizens in their country. They feel like whites feel in America, i.e., first class citizens. They have identity which has been stripped from African Americans through centuries. I have experienced racism in this country too. There are opportunities here, that is true, but there are also a lot of obstacles. Like drugs for instance being the number one problem for African Americans. Ethiopians in America have strong connections to their country and community. This is natural. When I say cultural differences, I stress on the word “DIFFERNCES” because that is what they are different. Although people are the same everywhere (and you can do some DNA test what have you, that is not important). I am talking about deep inside the heart. So that being said, yes, even Africans (and not just in Ethiopia) have ethnic racism. Racism (for those who need a definition) is without definition. It is a made up word. It is one’s attempt to feel better than another who is just the same as him. So it is a futile attempt to make one better than the other. Which really cannot be done. Racism comes close to the word ignorance and self-doubt.

  97. 97 ethiopian and proud Apr 1st, 2008 at 10:44 am

    I think its not good to generalise all Ethiopians as racist. We should point out that Ethiopians suffer racism from Africans Such as West africans, some black Amercains Carribeans and a majority of caucasions who think we were waiting in line for food rations when we lived in Ethiopia. The fact of matter is I dont care what other people think of me wether you think Im stuck up becuase Im proud of where I come from. At work some guy who is Ghanian asked if I spoke somalian because we are next door neighbours , I replied do you speak nigerian your from Ghana? I then replied so what if we are next door neighbours at te end of the day we are the same even tho they are Somalian soon there will be peace in East Africa there will be no difference between Ethiopia and Somalia your point is?
    That is the best way to shut up these ignorant culturless ignorent people who I could say more but dont want to come across ‘racist’
    I am not ashamed to announce that Im only here for the money and skills I learn I intend to go back and rebuild my country, wish I could say the same to some people who dont even have a wonderful country to go back to!

  98. 98 Micky Apr 1st, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    As an Ethiopian-American male who was born in Ethiopia but grew up in the US as much with an African-American identity as I did with an Ethiopian one. I see this topic over and over and over again and sometimes I find it funny, annoying, intriguing and pointless in the larger scheme of things but find myself replying to it nonetheless.

    I always hear this topic from African-American (AA) men “why don’t Ethiopian women date AA men” and “they’re so stuck up or racist because they don’t date AA men.” I’m sorry but there’s something fundamentally wrong with these questions and labels. They are always associated with racism and prejudice and although there are instances that this is true, the majority of the time it is not. To say that Ethiopians are racist is ludicrous. Racism is a major pretext for black unity. By that I mean as a 26 year-old Ethiopian-American male who’s grown up here in the US, I’m not somehow less discriminated against as another 26 year-old AA male. A person who’s racist towards Blacks isn’t going to somehow be less racist against me because I’m Ethiopian so from that aspect there’s great unity. On the other hand in an America that’s not “static,” as Obama put it, the grips of racism are loosening and because of this there’s greater diversity in the definitions of “blackness.” Just in the same way as whiteness diverts itself to British, Germans, Italians, French, and Irish or Hispanics to Mexican, Colombian, Cuban, and so on, what is wrong with a little distinguishing of our own that shows pride in our heritage? This is not to say that in times of racist attacks and attitudes we cannot come together but that doesn’t mean we have to be exactly alike.

    Again, more often than not, the main group making the “they’re so stuck up because they don’t date us” argument are AA men. I’m sorry but I believe this is due to the fact that 9 times out of 10, the only interest AA men have for anything Ethiopian is the women. I rarely hear the same argument coming from AA women, or Asian women, or white, or Hispanic. If we acted stuck up to towards Asians, Whites, or Hispanics, they’d be like “f**k you.” Even AA women are not bringing up this topic because they actually prefer to date “their” men unless unique circumstances (e.g. they grew up within a culture other than that of African-American) change their preference. So why aren’t AA men as equally proud to date “their” women and why is this “stuck up” argument only coming from AA men? I believe, and this is purely my opinion, but this goes back to somewhat of a “complex” that has been created by white America in Black men. This “complex” makes many of them want to date outside their group. Call it the “Jungle Fever” effect, except instead of white women as it was 15 – 20 years ago it’s now Ethiopian women. There are many other groups who can be perceived as “stuck up” even other Africans, but because by AA men’s definition of beauty, these non-Ethiopian African women don’t appeal to them so they don’t point out this fact in other groups.

    My point is if you’re an AA man who wants to date an Ethiopian woman, there’s nothing wrong with that. But when you come just for the sake of that and that alone, it puts people off and many AA men in the past have done exactly that so the negative vibe you might feel amongst Ethiopians towards you is because of this precedence. Come to learn about Ethiopia and Ethiopians as a whole, learn our history, culture, and people (much the same way as many of us have learned of yours having been here in America). In the process, you might come to appreciate where we come from, where we’ve been, and where we’re going and if it’s a sincere gesture then it might be a stepping stone to finding a nice Ethiopian woman. If not, at least you will have had a better understanding of an unknown part of the world and will have become enriched by a long and proud history and culture.

  99. 99 Ari Apr 3rd, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Mr. Ivory, frankly, you took this thing way to personally. I agree with many of the comments here, and as far as whether Ethiopians are racist? Yes, some of them are! For a variety of reasons — like many people in the world. All of them live in this race-obsessed world! In fact, all humans do. I would have to say that there is probably not a single ethnic, cultural or racial group existing in this world that doesn’t have some bias for or against other people. But this precise situation that you describe doesn’t offer an OUNCE of proof that Ethiopians in general (or even that the people in that particular restaurant/bar) are “racist” as your title strongly suggests. The title to this article is very misleading, offensive, but the article as a whole is a poster-perfect example of BAD JOURNALISM — reporting on what exists only in your mind.
    My suggestions: Get over yourself. Really. Offer kindness to others first, and expect it to be that way. Love starts at home. You certainly are not dishing up what you expect to be served. Go back to that restaurant again and again, then rewrite this “article” sincerely setting your ego aside.

  100. 100 yadeale Apr 4th, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    As an Ethiopian American I can say that I have witnessed racism in the Ethiopian Community towards African Americans.

    My entire 17 years that I have been on this earth, not only is there racism towards African Americans in the Ethiopian community, but there is also racism towards me, an Ethiopian American (or what they like to call an ethiopian trying to “act Black”). From what I have seen growing up in an all Ethiopian family, it is PRIDE.

    Pride can be a good and a bad thing. In this situation, I think its bad. Ethiopians believe they are better, better than any race. They choose to look past all of the struggles African Americans had to overcome in this nation, and choose only see the bad in what is in the African American people (media images – thugs, gangsters ex. stereotypical black).

    I cant even count how many times I’ve been in arguments with my own family. All because they don’t like that I have black friends and choose not to date Ethiopian. From what I’ve seen I think the Ethiopian people are jealous of African Americans and when asked why they don’t like them they choose to say its because of there “barbaric behavior”, but whats sooooo funny to me is that they are the very people who fled there country because of that same behavior. Ethiopia is at its worst genocide is being committed and that is not looked at as barbaric, but a black male with sagging pants and a griill is? the irony in that is crazy. Its sad to say, and most Ethiopians will deny it, but yes Ethiopians are racist!!

  101. 101 Freezer Apr 5th, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Racism is deafening to whom it matters so much for so many reasons and on so many occasions. It is also evasive as to overshadow the definition of ethiopianness. Ethiopians incidentally being creatures of this planet are given to common logic and rationality and a little share of the courage and genious with which god endowed the human being. This racism, racism plus racism blog is a dustbin affair. Ethiopians are ethipians in their innate form as nigerians are nigerians and cubans are cubans. That colour labelling is the creation of the white melancholy, the white super-creature and the black sub-creature, with all the familiarity of inhumanity it possesses. the world is trying to define and redefine all humans with this labelling, futile and evasively inhuman only serves to quench the thirst of a nervuous and neorotic mind that is scattered everwhere on this planet. And it smells a familiar odour. Racism has a bad odour to the sensible human.

  102. 102 Welakaw Apr 10th, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    It is very interesting to see so many comments about Ethiopians. I am a proud Ethiopian. I was born and raised and never experienced racism or prejudice when I was back home. Looking back though, we always have been a discriminatory society. Even though discrimination was not because of color; sometimes was and still is, but of casts, religious affiliation, or ethnicity. I learned and recognized prejudice once I left home and went to India.

    Going back to Mr. Ivory, we, Ethiopians, are not the kind of people who strike a conversation out of the blue with any stranger be it any color. The way we, the ones born and raised back home, were raised is to be timid, away from the crowd, always in the back ground of any conversation, and thought to only speak when you are spoken to. We carried that we us for so long that we never out grew our fear of starting a conversation even though we are exposed to a society that is advances in being vocal, go getter, and an incredible networking place. As for Ethiopian American who were born and raised in the US, it is natural to be vocal and be part of a conversation at any given time with anyone because of the exposure, the learning process in schools, and society in general.

    The general question is “Are we really racists towards African American, Caucasians, or any other race or color?” Some of us are but not all. Being a victim of racism and prejudice makes you think and treat others the same way. Generalizing all Ethiopian as racists is a wrong misconception. We are a humble people where our hospitality, humility, kindness, family values, and respect to all man kind are seen in Ethiopia as well as here in the United States. We tend to confuse ourselves with the meaning of color when we should be looking at all of mankind in general.

    We go through the same prejudice and racist attacks from our own African as well as African American brothers and sisters. We, in my opinion, need to go beyond the colors and look into the souls of mankind and do right by all people. Our country and our community here in the United States are plagued by the same negative misconception. If we get passed the negative, we could build a community stronger here in the Diaspora that involves not only Ethiopians but our African as well as African American brothers and sisters and make our country and continent a better place to live for the next generation. When we look beyond the color barrier that is where we get our strength. History has it that during the Italian invasion and when the Italians were kicked out of Ethiopia, African American brothers and sisters were ready to move and fight along side Ethiopians to get rid of occupation by a foreign invasion, modern day slavery, racism, and fascism.

    That was unity among black people. That is what we need; solidarity among all black people all over the world. Even our flag is a symbol of solidarity, unity, independence. Let us unite and look beyond the color.


  103. 103 Freezer Apr 13th, 2008 at 9:55 am


    what a quotation welakaw. Your comments are appreciable and true. It makes a difference between living in filtered/relative world versus in complete/absolute world. It makes the difference in thinking between the able minded versus the defeated/colonised mind. It takes courage to be human.

  104. 104 LaToya Apr 21st, 2008 at 11:08 am

    I too have had a weird experience. My husband and I visited an Ethiopian restaurant, here in Houston, TX where we reside.
    My husband who is a mixture of Indian and Jamaican( He is from Belize) looks very much Ethiopian, was stared at for coming into the eatery with me.
    Our waitress pretty much looked at him the whole time while taking our orders and serving us. Then while we ate she just stared. It was so uncomfortable.
    I love people of all backgrounds and I feel like we can learn so much from one another.
    Directed to RUTH you make think that we are not directly linked to you in History as African Americans. But I can guarantee you if you go to some places in the US to visit you will be trated as black. On applications they don’t have a spot for Ethipioans they have African American or of African descent.
    I do believe that alot of Etiopians tend to feel as if they are a better race, but so do white,chinese,african…..etc. You just have to look over the ignorance and not let it affect you. Truth is we are all God’s children

  105. 105 african QuEen Apr 22nd, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    OMG i truly feel disgusted to be honest i am ethiopian and i never heard or met somebody who say’s those things to a guest !! how RUDE!! ew so embrassing!!!

  106. 106 Wossenseged Apr 24th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Although what the bartender had said was unnecessary or rather out of a line, however, what he had said was not out of racism or ethno-centrism. The incident if anything shows a cultural gap that existed between this gentleman and the bartender.
    First and for most, when the bartender said, “There are many other places in this city for you to be. Would you not want to be with … your own kind?”… He (the bartender) meant that you (the gentleman) are among people who speak other language and consequently he (the bartender) presumed that the bar must be boring to the gentleman- this thinking rise from the observed communication barriers … I presume in the bar English was not spoken regularly.
    The kind of mentality that is engrained in our ( Ethiopians’) mind is that be it in bar or other activities we hesitate to mix with non-Ethiopians because of language and cultural differences. So the bartender was speaking his own lived experience. We (most of us ) feel that we are not well fit with non-Ethiopians , because of many factors including language and culture. As a result we kind of congregate around our own kind. This does not mean it is racism or otherwise but shows preference for comfort level. Therefore, the bartender used his understanding and projected to this gentleman. so I understand the bartender’s point of view.
    On the other side of this incident, the gentleman may have been too sensitive. To reach to a conclusion by saying the bartender or Ethiopians are racist. therfore,if anything the gentlman’s perception shows hypersensitivity. His sensitivity perhaps indicates the depth of the problem that our black American brothers have gone through. The effect of experiencing deep rooted injustice, discrimination and dehumanization make them (black Americans) to become hyper-sensitive and to even racialise incidents as minor as the experience described in the article.
    The blunt rudeness of the bartender was asking the gentleman by saying to him ‘are you coming here to look for our girls’. This was very rude and stupid, first the bartender doesn’t own Ethiopian girls, and therefore he has no business talking or asking the gentlemen. Second if a gentleman came by himself to a bar does not mean he is single. so his remark tantamount to insult. For this, on his behalf, I ask apology and i am deeply ashemd of it. Simply the bartender was so moron or stupid in this regard.
    In conclusion
    1- The bartender was out of line and stupid too, but what he had said was not necessarily indicative of racism.
    2- The gentleman failed to understand a cultural gap between him and his hosts. Consequently, his ( the bartender) remark was misunderstood
    3- In regard to the bill, the gentleman had also misinterpreted the incident. The bartender said to him “It is on the house, my friend,”. This statement is not indicative of or does not tantamount to “…just leave…”. It was a rather friendly gesture, perhaps a feeling that charging the gentleman in which he seems not enjoying the social gathering was unfair , inparticular or given that it was the first visit to the bar. and perhaps by being nice to the gentleman to the point not making him pay on his first visit it might be or was an attempt to lure him back as regular customer.
    4- Simply, what had played here were cultural gap, stupidity and hypersensitivity but not recisim.

  107. 107 Biskut Apr 30th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Mr ivory
    It seems like you are generalizing and concluding far too early, merely from a short encouter with a bar tender .I really believe you were biased and illinformed before you even went into the bar .The bartender does not represent ethiopians who live in america .let me just “conclude” that this is just a sad encounter with a bartender who happens to be a very bad bussiness man .
    since childhood we are told how the mighty ethiopians drove out the italians who were militarily superior to ethiopians .This victory over white colonialist is the victory of all the opressed ,underestimated and violated people of the world .But,some very few ignorant individuals use this “pride of africa ” to cover up their failures in life and act out in a very disgracefully unethiopian fashion .
    Having said that, i think a lot of ethiopianwomen in america have inflated egos and definitely overrated and they really believe they are gods gift to the black men .
    Mr ivory i hope your next experience will be positive .

  108. 108 Maria May 2nd, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    Ignorance is what makes people have distorted views of others. Ethiopians do think they are better than other Africans, including African Americans. As an African (non-Ethiopian), I know that they don’t consider themselves to be black. Perhaps the education system in Ethiopia does not teach tolerance of others…plus going by the posts, they can barely write proper English! Please learn English if you live in America.

    The advise I have for Ethiopians, whenever they think they are better than others, is to remember how much the world came to their aid when they were starving in the 80′s. Due to the wide coverage of that period, the world still thinks Africa is full of hungry people, with flies all over them! We are the World – no matter what color one is.

  109. 109 tiru May 4th, 2008 at 12:26 am

    Are Ethiopians racist? what a stupid question. One man’s experience in a bar
    does not make it ok to ask that question about my country’s people. We Ethiopians are diverse in culture and language. Therefore, you cannot simply put us in a box like that. Racism is a very complicated topic. It took me over a decade to understand it. The first day I felt racism was in America by a white bus driver when I was 15 yrs old. Then from then on I started noticing how I am treated different becasue I am black. The problem was I only watched out for white racism. Little did I know my own skin colored person would treat me worse than a white racist could ever do. At the age of 25 exactly 10 yrs since I felt my first racism, I experience black on black racism. An African American instructor at my college never gave me good instructions. As time went on I noticed she was treating the white students better than me. I could understand it. How could a Black women treat another Black women who treats her with respect and honor. It got to the point where I had to drop out because I got sick physically and emotionally. But I know African Americans are diverse also just like we Ethiopians are. That single incident with that women does not make me generalize all AA are racist. In fact while I was going through it I knew this was just her personal racist behavior and that it has nothing to do with her being AA. Therefore, the bar worker was just his issues and not that of Ethiopians.

  110. 110 WELAKAW May 6th, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    This is a response to Maria’s comments:

    You call yourself an African but rediculing another African nation is considered being a racist. We, Ethiopians, do consider all colors to be one. One person’s experience does not apply to the majority of us. You talked about the hunger in the ’80′s in Ethiopia. Can you tell me a country in Africa that does not have hunger, disease, poverty? I bet you didn’t want to mention where you are form because some educated Ethiopian would dish out you dirty laundry! We, Ethiopians, are the symbol of freedom to any colored person. We are proud African and black people. Our colors are considered the PAN African colors because they symbolize freedom, independence, integrity, and honor. You say you are an African but you are not one. You must be one who grew up in America who lost her African dignity, brain-washed by the media and stuck in a society that believes in what they see on TV. Propaganda makes everything surreal even the 1980′s hunger in Ethiopia. If you know history, there was drought in American and with the help of Ethiopian corn is where Americans were able to survive. You said the world came to our end, may be they are paying their dues. In 1940, the British government asked the world for help because there was severe damage to the country due to heavy weather. His majesty sent in money to help the British government. We are not racists; we are humble black people who consider everyone as one. We are proud Africans. You said “We are the world” but you just took us out of the world!

  111. 111 Freezer May 7th, 2008 at 3:57 am

    Maria You are a measure of what it takes to be anti ethiopian: bad-mouthed and slanderous. Peace be on you. Healthy discussion is one thing and you are talking something else. What a lack of sanity.

  112. 112 Abram May 7th, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Anyone, whether Ethiopian, African American, White or Asian, who insults or treats others badly for no reason is a preposterous, failed and pathetic human being.

    The author of this article is also wrong to come up with this sort of prejudiced character assassination of Ethiopians. You don’t talk on such sensitive issue, right after carrying out a single short visit to one of the many Ethiopian restaurants that are available over there.

    It’s wrong to give this article such a biased title with a rhetoric accent.

    Ethiopians who live in the USA are different from the ones in Ethiopia – they are Ethiopian Americans – or they belong to the much larger circle of African-Americans. So why did he speak of these people as Ethiopians in the first place? Isn’t it discriminatory from his part to give such an unwelcoming “Those Strangers” sort of name to those who probably were born and raised in the US?

    Dear Mr. Ivory, from the short interaction you had with the bartender, I came to the conclusion that both of you were wrong. You literally acted like Mr. Ivory, instead of Mr. Ebony: you went to that restaurant to observe something, and although you obviously were being treated unfriendly, it sounds like you have had at least an opportunity to lead a conversation with the guy. So, as a journalist, and as a black brother, why didn’t you try to challenge him in order to find out the reason behind this rudeness of his? He probably is a bad person, perhaps he had a bad day, or possibly a bad experience with some other African Americans?

    “It is on the house, my friend,” he said.

    “Translation: Just leave, my friend. Please.” My translation: I was wrong, I am sorry! A racist doesn’t pay for your expenses, he would rather kick you out!

    I think you have been oversensitive – I understand where it comes from – and, at the same time, dangerously quick to judge such a very complicated and sophisticated race called Ethiopians. I call it race because it really is a unique race. You can’t define it as black, white or yellow. It’s a great pride to me if one calls me as Black, Caucasian or Asian. That is our God-given identity. Every nation or the so-called race is of Ethiopian origin. It’ll be a tragedy for an Ethiopian, if one defines herself/himself according to a particular type/quality of a skin color. The artificially designed categories of race are a relatively new phenomenon to Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

    I don’t live in the states like many of you on this Blog, but I am amused, not surprised, that, almost a year since this subject was posted to this blog, none of you has mentioned the most important meaning of being an Ethiopian. Ethiopianess is not about ethnicity or skin color, it’s, first of all, about SPIRITUALITY. All the uniqueness and the long and glorious history of Ethiopia,
    was able to survive all this time – from Adam till current era — thanks to this God-fearing nature of its people.

    The vision of this particular “Ethiopianess” used to reseed into the subconsciousness of Africans and Diaspora of the Americas before WWII. But with the deceptive ‘prosperity’ coupled with deadly socioeconomic confusion of the current populations in North America lost this vision of Ethiopianess. With the new Ethiopian immigrants, many Americans had a very unique opportunity to reactivate this vision. Immigrants might personally get a certain political or economical advantage by being in a free and prosperous region, at the same time those ‘Indigenous Immigrants’ should try to take these new immigrants as a present from the Almighty, and learn how to get valuable lesson from what they bring with them.

    The Rastafarians in the Americas have been able to establish a very deep spiritual connection with Ethiopia for some time. But, in their quest for reaching the Kingdom of God, they can’t show perseverance and righteousness, because they intensively take drugs, and give priorities to earthly pleasures with an exaggerated level of sexual obsession.

    I am afraid this is exactly what is currently happening with many brothers and sisters of ours in the African American community. We, Whether Ethiopians, Afra Americans, other Africans, Caucasians or Asians, we all need to give our priorities to the spiritual power of our Ethiopianess. I know it is a very hard work to maintain that spiritual connection with the Holy land of Ethiopia while being thousands of miles apart from her. That’s why some people prefer to take the shortcut to meditation, in their lazy effort to create a spiritual connection with Ethiopia — by taking drugs or smoking grass and co.

    Repairing the breach or re-newing the way of life is very important.

    Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God!

    May the Almighty, may the “God of Ethiopia” be with you all!

  113. 113 Kolfe May 7th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    What a stupid writing!

    “It is on the house, my friend,” he said.

    “Translation: Just leave, my friend. Please.” My translation: I was wrong, I am sorry! A racist doesn’t pay for your expenses, he would rather kick you out!

    I think you have been oversensitive – I understand where it comes from – and, at the same time, dangerously quick to judge such a very complicated and sophisticated race called Ethiopians.

  114. 114 Fatimata May 7th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    my brother, first of all let me say what you experienced was unfortunate, but in many ways, it is no different than what I or any other person of a different culture would experience walking into a bar/ restaurant we don’t frequent. I have walked into latin restaurants and have been virtually ignored because I am not latina and dont speak spanish. I dont know what you expected when you walked into that place, you were a man, ( alone) and scoping out the bar, who would come up and talk to you.

    The fact that the bartender singled you out and pretty much told you to leave is the only thing i can see that is inflammatory. You of course, had every right to go in there and check it out and be there.

    I have heard things about ethiopians and their arrogance and disdain for us “tiqur” if that is true i don’t know, i have been to ethio restaurants here in NYC, once with my sudani friend and once with white friends, i am not sure, but don’t think i was treated badlyl, but then again i was in the company of friends. by the way i am a young african american woman myself.

    I myself hold myself in esteem, and not so much the accomplishments of my ancestors, even though i thank them for the Hell they have had to endure so that i have what i have. I can certainly understand why Ethios are proud of their culture, past glory etc, i can even see how they may regard many of us as unsavory if they are living in the hood and only see a certain type of black american. Lets face it, people think that black people are degenerates criminals and basically uneducated.

    we all know this is not expressly true. Many of us are making waves in the world and our community and contributing positievely to our society.
    what i hate is that we are not given the “benefit” of the doubt, where as whites are, plenty of white peopole do horrible, unethical things and yet they are not all regarded as trash. So why are we?

    and that is where plain old racism comes in. Even though i have seen basically negative images of ethiopia, famine, child marriage, millions of AIDS orphans, rampant prostitution and most horribly to me, the many many ethiopian women and children who are being exploited in the middle east and europe. I remember in Italy i was surprised to see that many prostitutes were Ethiopian girl sand other Africans.Well do i think that THIS is what Ethiopian culture is? no i dont. I think more of the proud people from the Bible who have rich traditions, foods and most impressively, have never known the yolk of european colonisation.

    I went to Lebanon and was put up by friends, this was years ago, if you could onlny see the number of young wouomen there, asian, ethiopian etc. they are invisible, treated like trash and let me tell you, outside of Ethiopia they are not seen this way. Those of you who look down on us are someone else’s “nigger” overseas. It is all about perspective.

    I have no hard feelings towards this community or any community, i think culture is a beautiful thing, but please do not try and put down others, your culture and history must be something quite special and it can stand on its own without degrading other Blacks, cant it.

  115. 115 Mike May 21st, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    It’s not just Ethiopians. I am Haitian and have found that my fellow haitians have looked down on African Americans… And it’s mostly a culture thing. They feel that AA’s dont make the most of life in the U.S. But I constantly have to explain the factors and conditions that allow this to exist.

    But people seriously.. ALL of us are black and all of us have problems.. Let’s quit discriminating against each other…

  116. 116 Mindful May 22nd, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I really think that all of this is very unfortunate, from the ignorant comments made—most recently Henok’s comments, but others as well—to the events that took place at the restaurant and the reality of racism period. Let me make points, but much more intelligent points, than you did Henok and others who care more to spread the misconceptions, stereotypes, hate, and racism than to enlighten themselves and others and bridge the gaps of misunderstanding. Now, I’m not here to make excuses for anyone, just to inform. Maybe you can learn something because as ignorant as some people are, we are ALL are capable of learning–it’s just a matter of wanting to learn or wanting to remain ignorant. The choice is yours, but I’ll do my part.

    1.) No, not all Ethiopians are racist but yes some of them are…just like there are racist in EVERY GROUP of people on this earth (African, African American, White American, Asian, Latino, East Indian, Canadian, Caribbean, and the list goes on)– any group of people who has ever been exposed in any way to anyone slightly, let alone dramatically, different in language, culture, and/or appearance, than that of their own has a racist(s) somewhere among them in the group…did I say every group? Yes and I do mean EVERY group.

    2.) The good thing about this is that not every individual is a racist in those collective groups of people and that brings about hope and a chance to sustain that hope through understanding and respect for individuals and not so much “a group of people” because even with the fact that Ethiopians are more of a collective society than that of a individualistic society (like America)—not every Ethiopian speaks for the next Ethiopian and this can be said for every race or ethnic group in the world regardless if they are a collective or individualistic society.

    3.) With that being said, I’d like to directly address some comments you made, Henok.
    ((1. Why wouldn’t we be anything without african americans? civil rights? 40 yrs later and there are more rappers and drug dealers than scientists and doctors. 40 yrs later asian, jewish, and other new minorities (east asians mostly) have reaped the benefits of all those marches. Great job!))
    ((((Don’t knock a job. 7-11, taxi drivers, and parking lot attendants at least work for a living. They don’t sell drugs, commit violent crimes, and collect welfare. You should be proud of these people.)))
    Without African Americans and their struggle for civil rights in America, there is absolutely no way– and you can be in self denial and ignorance about this if you’d like but it’s the reality–there is simply no way you or any other black (I’m going to come back to this term “black” for the perpetually confused) person would be able to come to the United States and prosper the way in which you and others do. As for the offspring of those civil rights activist and leaders, there are MANY who are reaping the benefits of our ancestor’s fight for our basic freedoms and rights.
    Undeniably, not ALL African Americans who are not scientist and doctors are drug dealers or rappers and from your statement, that’s what you seem to insinuate seeing that you only put us into four narrow categories (drug dealer, rapper, scientist, doctor). I mean really—what about the lawyers, teachers, engineers, nurses, dentist, and basically every other field of study, you name it—African Americans are there. Compare the African American rappers and drug dealers in number to all of these; there’s no comparison. Every group of people has its “bad apples” and as much as you’d like to think that one group is “better” than the other because the “bad apples” are seemingly more or less, it still doesn’t change the fact that there still remains “bad apples” in every group of people, and undeniably a “bad apple” is still a “bad apple”, it doesn’t matter which tree it fell from— just like there are still “good apples” in every group of people.
    I, as well as many other African Americans I know, and even those that I do not personally know, are living proof of this. I guess since I am 22 and going to medical school, never even seen let alone touched illegal drugs, have no children, am not promiscuous, never been on welfare, have never committed a crime (not even a speeding ticket) and my parents, my parent’s parents and their parents all worked hard for their money and everything thing that they have….my story must be the only story like this of an African American (sarcasm). The fact that my sister is graduating from medical school in August and the many other African Americans who are SUCCESSFUL doctors, scientist, lawyers, nurses, teachers, and once again the list goes on….I guess we truly aren’t African American according to your standards, and also by your ignorant assessment, I guess there aren’t any other minorities that are rappers or—separated/ attached to this– drug dealers.

    4.) Talk about the blind leading the blind, open your eyes so that you may see. Someone mentioned the term “black” as a label (again, I’m going to get to that term very soon). Boy, did Henok and others manage to put a “label” on African Americans by declaring them all sorts of narrow-minded, stereotypical things. Too much of anything, INCLUDING pride, is never a good thing. You can not claim to be humble and very proud at the same time, for they contradict each other on so many levels that it’s more or less the “H” bomb.

    Proverbs 16:18 reminds us: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

    Please, in all your pride and vainness, do not forget about when the world came to the aid of Ethiopia in the 1980s in a time when there was a horrible famine against the land. “We are The World” topped the charts; it was the best-selling single of the year (1985) and the song was created, in the first place, as charity to help with famine relief in Ethiopia; the song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, produced and conducted by Quincy Jones. These are three African Americans. Many other musicians and artist contributed in the song as well and many other individuals (black, white, and other) people and countries all over the world helped Ethiopia make it through the famine.
    Moreover, when Italy invaded Ethiopia, did you know there were African Americans fighting for your cause? There was even one there in Ethiopia fighting right beside your countrymen? Nobody drafted him, nobody paid him, or threatened him into doing this—he simply took it upon himself; he even died in that country. His name? John Robinson; you’ve probably never heard of him. He is credited with founding the Ethiopian Air Force. Look it up, and do your research! I would suggest this article as a good place to start (since this site has validated information sources):

    5) This is flowing quite nicely because what I just mentioned gives weight to what I’m about tell you. Take caution because this may really blow your mind. It simply may have never crossed your mind or your path (out of sight out of mind–right?)
    I understand that it is common ignorance, to generalize any group of people. It’s easier to try and put an entire group of people in a box, of which they do not all properly fit, and declare to yourself that is where they all belong. However, I’d like to remind you that thinking in this way is limiting your intelligence in more ways than I’m sure you realize. Not all Ethiopians are a certain way, not all African Americans are a certain way, not all white Americans are a certain way, not all East Indians are a certain way….get my drift? I’m glad that you do. This is a very simple thing but a very hard thing for most people to catch on to, and it’s only hard because you make it that way. (Kind of like the “white man’s holding me down” analogy— when you’re really holding yourself from it)—and that’s right, you guessed it! Not all African Americans feel the “white man” is holding them down. Leave well enough alone and you’ll see all the kinds of excuses people can come up with when things are not going their way. “People” includes Ethiopians, East Indians, African Americans, white Americans, Latinos …and the

    6.) The bartender in the restaurant was wrong—PERIOD. In America, where he chose to open his business–and he has the right to–when you run a business there is a certain “professionalism” one is suppose to maintain. Also, in America, anyone can go into any restaurant (Henok, this is majorly in part to civil rights activist and leaders) they desire and for any reason (because they were hungry, because they are curious, because they wanted a different environment, because they wanted to look at women or men, or simply JUST BECAUSE) they feel necessary as long as they are not causing harm to themselves or anyone in that place–they have a right to be there. The bartender did not maintain his manner of professionalism by asking the guy why he was there, was it because he wanted “our” women? I wonder if an Ethiopian lady was there who was interested in this African American man and he in her, would she still be part of the bartender’s and all other Ethiopian male’s “women”. He doesn’t own anyone but himself, nobody does—“and you better thank God for that” (India.Arie).
    Furthermore, discrimination was at play by the bartender inquiring why he wasn’t with his “own” people. LOL–that is utterly ridiculous. Imagine, that’s like me going to Ethiopia, starting a business, and looking down on any Ethiopian who comes in my shop–or really all together not wanting them there. I would have suggested filing a compliant because he’s not running a good business if those are the questions he feels he needs to ask anyone who is not Ethiopian or simply any African American, for that matter, who comes through the door. Anyone who runs a successful business (especially a restaurant) with very regular customers and good ratings on their business knows that it is important to always make the customers feel welcomed and well served so that they will want to come back and recommend it to others, therefore maintaining a healthy reputation. Maybe things there have changed—or—maybe not. Simply put, it’s bad business.

    7.) Now, concerning the word “black”. I know–black is associated with so many negative things–so some people want nothing to do with “black” and it’s many negative connotations. To all of you who are denying your blackness, you are denying the essence of who you are….denying yourself. There are so many things in this world that are beautiful and undeniably black. I want to quote something from the bible, give you a little insight, and leave you with a poem.
    The word “Ethiopian” in of itself is a Greek word coming from Aethiop and it means “face burnt with the sun” Look it up and do your research!
    Furthermore, there is a verse in the bible that goes as follows. Look it up! Jeremiah 13:23
    “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” Everyone knows that the spots of a leopard are black, and therefore the comparison is made between the spots of a leopard and the skin color of an Ethiopian—not hard to figure out. You’d have to read Jeremiah in its entirety to fully understand the second part, maybe you’d be able to tell just by this verse or maybe not—but it is sarcasm as to say just like a leopard can not change it’s black spots, Ethiopians can not change their black color. If the latter is possible, then those who are use to doing evil can easily be used to doing good–kind of like saying this will happen when “pigs fly” (That’s right, pigs don’t fly).

    8.) I know about the many petty tribal disputes mostly all African countries (including Ethiopia) face with their respective “stereotypes”, the stereotypes also held by African Americans against Africans and vice versa (Henok and others gave perfect examples of this), and the light skin versus darker skin issue that blacks all over this world struggle with, and so I leave you with a poem. Some of us need to heal some wounds and make some vital connections; love is the healer and God is love.

    Why Did You Make Me Black Lord… Lord Why did you make me black?
    Why did you make someone the world would hold back?
    Black is the color of dirty clothes, of grimy hands and feet…
    Black is the color of darkness, of tired beaten streets…
    Why did you give me thick lips, a broad nose and kinky hair?
    Why did you create someone who receives the hated stare?
    Black is the color of the bruised eye when someone gets hurt…
    Black is the color of darkness, Black is the color of dirt.
    Why is my bone structure so thick, my hips and cheeks so high?
    Why are my eyes brown and not the color of the sky?
    Why do people think I’m useless?
    How come I feel so used?
    Why do people see my skin and think I should be abused?
    Lord, I just don’t understand… What is it about my skin?
    Why is it some people want to hate me and not know the person within?
    Black is what people are “Labeled”
    when others want to keep them away…
    Black is the color of shadows cast… Black is the end of the day.
    Lord you know my own people mistreat me, and you know this just ain’t right…
    They don’t like my hair, they don’t like my skin,
    as they say I’m too dark or too light!
    Lord don’t you think it’s time to make a change?
    Why don’t you redo creation and make everyone the same?
    “GOD”s REPLY”:
    Why did I make you black? Why did I make you black?
    I made you in the color of coal from which Beautiful Diamonds are formed…
    I made you in the color of oil, the Black Gold which keeps people warm.
    Your color is the same as the rich dark soil that grows the food you need…
    Your color is the same as the Black Stallion and panther,
    Oh what majestic creatures indeed!
    All colors of the Heavenly Rainbow can be found throughout Every Nation…
    When all these colors are blended, you become My Greatest Creation!
    Your hair is the texture of lamb’s wool, such a Beautiful creature is he…
    I am the shepherd who watches them, I will ALWAYS watch over thee!
    You are the color of the midnight sky, I put Star glitter in your eyes…
    There’s a beautiful smile hidden behind your pain… That’s why your cheeks are high!
    You are the color of dark clouds from the hurricanes I create in September…
    I made your lips so full and thick, so when you Kiss … they will Remember!
    Your stature is strong, your bone structure thick to withstand the Burden of time…
    The reflection you see in the mirror, that image that looks back, that is MINE!
    So get off your knees, look in the mirror and tell me what you see?
    I didn’t make you the image of darkness…
    I made you the image of me!

  117. 117 Henock Assefa May 24th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    Doc, you wrote so much without really saying anything of substance. Anyone can claim anything in a blog. Just bring facts my friend not credentials.

    My post was in response to what Maria said about Ethiopians, which you failed to address. Well, thanks for making my point – african american musicians helping famine struck Ethiopia. Did you send doctors, veterinarians, or agriculturalists?? You sang and jived and that’s it. Bob Geldof and European singers that took the lead in producing a song “FEED THE WORLD” to help famine-struck Ethiopia. Then, and only then people joined the bandwagon. Bob Geldof and Bono till today attempt to bring awareness to the problem, 20 years later. Michael Jackson, in the meantime, is trying his best to look like a rich white woman and Lionel Richie has converted to Country Music. So, let’s talk about my comments about Civil Rights.

    Here are some facts:
    There’s 1 MILLION african americans in the prison system.
    In 1950, 65% of the prison population was populated by “whites”, 35% by african americans and an iota of other minorities. Today, the opposite is true.
    In 2003, of the 2.6 million degrees conferred in the US, only 9% were assigned to african americans, and mostly thanks to african american women, or I’m positive that number would plummet. Comparatively, 10% of “other” and “non resident aliens” earned their degrees.

    In the Bay Area only 2.9% of physicians are african american. Safe to say that there are more drug dealers and criminals in the city of Oakland. Of the total of 900,000 physicians in the US only 3.5% are african americans. Mind you there are 35 Million african americans in the US. Numbers don’t lie.

    Just recently, a “white” guy enrolled in a historically african american college was valedictorian of his graduating class. Unbelievable! Something tells me this guy couldn’t get in to Wyoming Community College.
    I’m sure MLK and Malcolm would be proud of their achievements.
    Now, I’m not saying there aren’t african americans that are doctors, lawyers, engineers, astronauts, etc…, but you can’t argue that the disproportionate numbers are insane.

    Let’s talk about the bartender. Poor guy. He has received more criticism than Obama. And for what? For speaking his mind? For being inquisitive about someone patronizing his establishment? Let me fill you in on your country’s business practices. When you walk into a service establishment it clearly states on its walls “We have the RIGHT to refuse service to anyone”. Was he served? Yes. Ok, next point. Is there freedom of speech in this country? Yes. Therefore, the owner of the establishment has the RIGHT to ask whatever the hell he wants to ask about his patrons. If you don’t like it, get out and stop whining! Don’t come back and go patronize another establishment. That’s what I do. I’ve been treated wrong by many as I have mentioned plenty of times. Did I whine and cry? No. I’m a grown man. I learned from it and said to myself that I will not spend my money there.

    You know what astonishes me about this, is that african americans are reknowned for machismo and inner strength, and yet, here we have two of the biggest whininers about their hurt feelings and posting poems. Goodness, get a grip, stop being so sensitive.

    I already mentioned this to Maria. Don’t throw stones in a glasshouse. PETTY TRIBAL DISPUTES? Of course you mean the urban turf warfare that goes in your cities over the color of someone’s clothing, right? Oh wait, drug wars are NOT SO PETTY since they involve the death of innocent victims 90% of the time. What’s petty?? Killing someone for some Air Jordans?

    Don’t give me a history lesson on the origins of the word Ethiopia. I can run circles around you any day of the week. Of course thousands of years ago, people communicated in very rudimentary ways, not in the sophisticated fashion we have today.

    Lastly, I stick out among my community because I believe only in the here and now. The notion of god and jesus are infantile at best. I will not delve too much into this but you should watch Zeitgeist the Movie (free on the internet, just google it). And it will give you a good frame of mind of how you are programmed and controlled by what you refer to as THE MAN, which are simply the Western Religious Organizations, The Political Establishment, and The Financial Institutions. So quoting the bible is of little to no value to me. Nature is god, that’s where it ends.

    Good luck with your chiropractor degree.

  118. 118 Tami May 25th, 2008 at 12:57 am

    Wow. The current conversation literally makes me sick to my stomach. I agree that the last few individuals could have gotten their points across without being so nasty. I understand that everyone is passionate about their culture and believes they have a clear understanding of the other’s culture/identity and the challenges within but we know that is not true. Henock you can quote statistics which may have some truth to them but at the same time you should know that yes numbers do lie…it happens all the time. Numbers can be reflected to show whatever you want them to. Furthermore it is much deeper than a number on a piece of paper. You have to ask yourself why? This hateful conversation will get us nowhere and frankly I’m ashamed in us all (African Americans & Ethiopians).

    I am adopting a daughter from Ethiopia this year and I am ashamed by some of the comments that I have read here…not for me, because I am so excited about my daughter, but I am ashamed for her. I will raise my daughter to know her culture just as she will know mine (African American and Caribbean). But I now understand what my mother used to tell me, she can’t shield me from everything just as I can’t shield her. I want my daughter to understand that there is hate everywhere but that does not define her.

    And FYI…the white valedictorian at Morehouse (an HBCU) was offered a full scholarship to Columbia University and chose to go to Morehouse for the diversity. I was also taken aback but after I thought about it I realized it’s like the Presidential election, if you don’t force a shake up from time to time then people go to sleep. The students needed a little diversity and change, there is nothing wrong with that.

  119. 119 Mindful May 26th, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Yes, I agree—you can run circles all day and you have proven that very well being that circles are the same, never ending cycles in which your mind is obviously entrapped so you never truly are able to elevate, which explains the reason why you say a lot of the ignorant things that you do, and from the look of things, you need much more than a history lesson.
    Stating that Lionel Richie converted to country music was all together unintelligent. Instead of recognizing and appreciating the heroic , selfless , and humanitarian acts of all these people who contributed, you’d rather harp on who brought awareness “first” as if that holds more weight than the many lives that were saved. Tell that to the over one million people who actually died in the dual famine; I’m sure they would love to hear you ramble about who was “first”. Without the help of ALL these people INCLUDING that of African Americans I mentioned and others, Ethiopia may simply not have made it. There should have been black doctors, veterinarians, or agriculturists–for someone who insists that they do not “whine”, this is a classic. For the record, what everyone involved in the famine aid of Ethiopia is doing or not doing, in their own personal lives might I add, does not erase or belittle the many lives that by their doing…they saved…and not by your own. Ignorance truly is bliss—especially for you.

    Let me speak your language through selective statistics also:
    The number of black-owned businesses in 2002, up by more than 45% since 1997. An estimated 94,862 such firms had paid employees, with receipts of $69.8 billion or about $735,586 per firm
    38% percent of black-owned firms were in health care and other service industries; health care and retail trade accounted for a fourth of their receipts.
    Black business owners were more likely to hold graduate degrees when they started or acquired ownership in their business (about 1-in-4) than the national average (19 percent).
    In 2006, there were 50,600 black physicians and surgeons; 80,000 postsecondary teachers; 48,300 lawyers; and 53,800 chief executives.
    All this information came from

    3.5% physicians are African American? African Americans only make up 13% of the total population, disproportionate, which plays a big role in how these statistical numbers appear. Is every black person—or a certain percentage of the population by race— supposed to be a doctor? You are ridiculous. There are many commendable professions other than physician that many African Americans are in. You’ve also selectively picked your statistics without regard to correlating studies, which only furthers this bias. In addition, under the judgment of error (not everyone counted, disproportional numbers in groups among other things), statistics are not an accurate means, merely an estimate.
    Since you don’t understand what is meant by numbers can and do lie since they are often biased, usually not accurate, and can be easily manipulated: More African Americans (white Americans and others) that attend universities and colleges in the US graduate than those who are Ethiopian (African American). Does it mean that we are just smarter, better somehow—or could this be in part due to the fact that we gravely out number them (Ethiopians) and they (white Americans) gravely outnumber us (African Americans) in the US? If the playing ground was equal 15,000 African American, 15,000 Ethiopians, 15,000 white Americans, all given the same opportunities to excel in their studies, then your statistics may tell me something important, but this is simply not the case.
    In the 1950s, how many more whites should have been in the prison system but due to racial discrimination in the courts by jury and judge, were acquitted and in many cases, not even tried? Where are those statistics? Where, also, are the statistics of the many African Americans who were tried and convicted falsely due to discrimination among other things in the 1950s until present day? Did your statistics take any of these things into account? No, and this is completely relevant because without those numbers, then the numbers you quoted are simply biased and therefore not accurate. So don’t give me some diluted statistics that are subjected when convenient and not subjected when inconvenient to vital information in an attempt to make something a lot less than one could give credit to as a “point” —sustaining your own ignorance and misleading others.

    Edward A. Bouchet was Yale’s first black valedictorian—Yale—a prestigious “historically white” school. So what? Tami—thanks for clearing up that the guy from Morehouse was offered a free ride at Columbia University but chose Morehouse instead for diversity (Henok, you should do your research and try to make yourself look a little less ignorant)

    It is true; some African Americans have killed people, and sadly it was usually those of their own. This is not UNLIKE that of Africans (including your country) who have killed innocent people, mostly their own. People—white, black, and other—kill innocent people-black, white, and other, everyday. When I said petty tribal disputes, that’s actually what I meant. Due to differences in language and/or beliefs along with other divisive means, beliefs that often fuel violence towards other groups because one thinks they are superior in some way or another, power hungry governments and people who could care less about their country and only care about themselves and money— betraying and fighting each other instead of uniting together. In general, this has been the sad history of black people (African and African American alike) more so than uniting together and seeing the big picture. They fight over land borders because of it, spark wars because of it, murder because of it, conduct GENOCIDES because of it, many INNOCENT die because of it, RAPE women because of it, cut of the breast of women and kill their babies because of it. Many have lost their lives, homes, families, and livelihood due to this and many continue to. If we were united, we could be unstoppable. Unfortunately this is not the reality. People like yourself who have a divisive nature only promote the same unprogressive thinking I just mentioned.

    While you call your self, “filling” me in, let me enlighten you—if that is even possible—- “We have the RIGHT to refuse service to anyone” does not mean on the basis of sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. If it is found on these grounds, then it is discrimination, and he has THE RIGHT to sue. Therefore, no one simply just has the right to deny anyone service simply just “because”. Even though this is beside the point because he was served, since you brought it up, it’s best that you understand that statement in its proper context and the consequences that could follow if not based on the law. You should not present things in an incomplete form because it may seem convenient for you —again sustaining your ignorance and misinforming others; I told you about those circles.

    Furthermore, simply asking someone general questions and being discriminatory against someone in their questioning are completely different from each other, and the bartender was defiantly being discriminatory suggesting that his “patron” should be with his “own” kind. Dude, if you can’t see this, there is no help for you. Even though the bartender has the right to say what he wants, he can potentially hurt his business by not choosing his words wisely. One of the more simple things, but less effective, would be to talk to his manager, if he is not already the manager, and file a compliant. A more effective means would be, depending on the connections this guy has, he could mention the restaurant by name and location, discouraging people from going to that particular restaurant because of racism, through articles like this but with more prominent publishers—believe it or not, these things do hurt businesses because its bad business and nobody wants to deal with people who do not know how to conduct business properly. If you want only a certain group of people to come into your establishment based on race (in this case), go to another country that allows it because in this country, it’s not legal.

    I wonder what you would do if you couldn’t come to America in all of your “blackness” due to what someone else (white) has the right to do and you do not even possess the right of disputing. Someone had to “whine” and complain so that would not be the case and you can be in the position that you are in right now, so don’t bite off your nose to spite your face, son. You wouldn’t even be able to come here, let alone have the option of not spending your money here rather you considered yourself a ”grown man” or little boy in mentality. I’d say the latter considering a lot of the content in your responses.

    Here and now? We are living history AND making it. You sound like someone who was seriously deprived of attention growing up and now craves attention demanding that you “stick out” in your community; this is the last time you’ll get it from me. I merely feel sorry for you and your cynical mindset rather it was by your own doing or someone else’s, but you’ll never get the most out of life with that attitude because the world keeps turning with or without people like you. Those who choose to bridge the gap of misunderstanding, stand for those things that are cohesive and not divisive, is what this world needs more of— not hate driven, insecure, disruptive people like yourself—with Hilter (of whom you seem fond), Diaspora, and the exploitation of many—we’ve had quite enough of that. Peace and love to all.

  120. 120 Abram May 27th, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Mr. Mindful,
    You sound like Mr. Ivory himself… I can understand your outrage. But you need to understand the postition Mr. Henock is trying to defend. He is not an American like you are, and English is not his mother tongue either. I can perfectly understand the current state of many African Americans. But it doesn’t help us all when the reality shows us that the magority from the Black community — including new African immigrants — is still strugling to achieve what others already have achieved. African Americans have been manipulated for a longer time than other blacks, and they have to realize it now by doing something different to see the light. Music or Sport ain’t all! I am grateful, and the whole world too is lucky that Black America gave us Jazz and the likes of Bill Cosby!! I think the following statment of this wonderful person says it all about present Black America:

    “They’re standing on the corner and they can’t speak English. I can’t even talk the way these people talk… ”

    “Why you ain’t

    Where you is

    What he drive

    Where he stay

    Where he work

    Who you be…

    And I blamed the kid until I heard the mother talk. ;

    And then I heard the father talk.

    Everybody knows it’s important to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can’t be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth.

    In fact, you will never get any kind of job making a decent living. People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we’ve got these knuckleheads walking around.

    The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal.

    These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids. $500 sneakers for what??

    And they won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.

    I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit.

    Where were you when he was 2??

    Where were you when he was 12??

    Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn’t know that he had a pistol??
    And where is the father?? Or, who is his father?
    People putting their clothes on backward, isn’t that a sign of something gone wrong?
    People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn’t that a sign of something?
    Or, are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up?
    Isn’t it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up and got all type of needles [piercing] going through her body?
    What part of Africa did this come from??
    We are not Africans. Those people are not Africans. They don’t know a thing about Africa .
    With names like Shaniqua, Taliqua and Mohammed and all of that crap, and all of them are in jail.
    Brown or black versus the Board of Education is no longer the white person’s problem.
    We have got to take the neighborhood back.
    People used to be ashamed. Today, a woman has eight children with eight different ‘husbands’ — or men or whatever you call them now.
    We have millionaire football players who cannot read.
    We have million-dollar basketball players who can’t write two paragraphs.
    We, as black folks have to do a better job. Someone working at Wal- Mart with seven kids… you are hurting us.
    We have to start holding each other to a higher standard.
    We cannot blame the white people any longer.”

    Dr. William Henry ‘Bill’ Cosby, Jr., Ed.D.


  121. 121 britt May 28th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    Bill Cosbey is right in what he says but it doesnt apply to all of black America and it’s really sad that you feel the only thing black America has to offer the world is jazz and Mr. Bill Cosby. I think what mindful said was true also. You talk about the state of black america but u said nothing about the current state of Africa or the fact that this guy was wrong in how he treated Mr.Ivory. Pointing out people’s problems is not giving a soultion. You should take the stick out of your own eye before trying to remove it from someone elses.

  122. 122 Daniel Lessanu May 28th, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    My name is Dan….If anyone should have an opinion on this matter, it is me for so many reasons….Let me describe myself, I’am first generation ethiopian-american, I have only been to Ethiopia twice my whole entire life. My oldest brother is married to an African-American woman, I have two half american half ethiopian nephews, I speak little to no amheric or any of the other native languages of the land. One thing I can say about this issue is that it is very complex. There are problems on both sides. Some issues with ethiopians and others with African-Americans. Why well there are so many reasons! It really comes from two very different but similar cultures, with a rich, proud, harsh, strong, and determined attitudes about one another. But in a melting pot such as America there is no room or excuse for this….This is a land of many different cultures, backgrounds, races and creeds. We both need to move past all the negativity towards one another, and positivity which we can always find with the right prospect in mind. Besides Ethiopians should be able to relate, we are ourselves diverse, many languages, tribes and creeds, living amongst one another for centuries…We wrote the book on getting, along didnt’ we????? Even though we are not perfect no one truely is…….After all we are all gods children.

  123. 123 Paulos Zeryihun May 28th, 2008 at 10:35 pm


    Thank you for sharing your story. You are a pleasant new voice in here. You are indeed the link. Please give this ppl some perspective.

  124. 124 Stagnate May 29th, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Conversation between a friend and I:

    Friend would ask,…
    .. why is it that black clouds always separate, while the white clouds always stick together?
    I: African government is corrupt: nothing we can do.
    Black America is suffering from black on black crime: nothing we can do.
    Friend: Yeah.. it is saddening.
    I: My answer…
    It is because black clouds are passive.

  125. 125 Surafil May 30th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Abram, I am sorry to say, my brother, but it is actually you who sound like Mr. Ivory because you think that everyone included in black America is in the same categotories that Cosby mentioned; just like the title of this article ask if all people Ethiopian are racist. It is the same concept. Some are born into it, some just chose to engage in it, but it is not wise to think all people are one way. Funny enough, I have heard and seen African immigrants- habesha ppl eko-engaging in the same kind of speech Cosby mentioned & this is worse since their parents dont even speak this way-the same $500 sneakers-even the same drugs-the same hip hop culture and everything it embodies…. especially in inner cities where most of these things happen. You have to look at the light of the circumstances in matters such as these. I think it is important to look at people as individuals, no matter what the race or ethnicity. If you don’t, you will find yourself very confused.

  126. 126 Abram May 30th, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Surafil, you said: “it is important to look at people as individuals” good! But why do you have to identify yourself as a black person? Who gave you this skin-color classification? Why do you have to accept that Black, White or Yellow belong to a distinct race? Why don’t you acknowledge the fact that you are first a human, and then an Ethiopian? Those of us who call ourselves Ethiopians should remian Ethiopians with all the positive qualities that have been given to us by God: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?” Look at the post by “Daniel Lessanu”…
    He is confident to say that he perfectly knows and understands the two groups: Ethiopian and Afro-American, at the same time he says: “I speak little to no amheric or any of the other native languages of the land.” If you don’t know your own culture and language, you won’t be able to know yourself, not to mention others. Let’s know ourseleves as individuals and be proud of our identity and hertiage wherever we are. The most unhappy individuals of any society are those who have no particular identity. Language is very important. If you have lost much of your expressive ability in your heritage language, you will have difficulties in knowing yourself or understanding the world around you.

  127. 127 Henock Assefa May 30th, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Stop the censorship Tadias.

  128. 128 Surafil May 30th, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    Abram: I think you become too passionate about it and are not reading things clear. I typed: I think it is important to look at people as individuals-defined as a single, unique human being-, no matter what the race or ethnicity. Does this not acknowledge that we are human before we are anything else,? If some of us really understood that…this article would not be or some comments made. I did not say it is wrong having some pride in who you are and the positive of it, but there is negative and positive in every individual all over the world separate from race or ethnicity. You have chosen a negative and owned it for all of Afro Americans but that is not true for all of them like Mr. Ivory took a negative and asked to own it for all of Ethiopians but we do not all fit there either. That is the reason I said it is not wise to think all people are one way-positive or negative. Like black, yellow, brown is a label… the same is everything else. If you believe in first you are human then an Ethiopian, then you understand this.

  129. 129 Howie May 31st, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Henok, it is probably good that tadias censored u, some things u say are unproductive. Try to be more objective.

    Abram, are u suggesting that Daniel is generally unhappy and does not know himself because he does not know the language well? Are u a god that can tell what ppl are experincing?

    Daniel is proud of who he is …. it is evident in his message, both his Ethio and Afro American heritage. There is nothing wrong with ppl proud of who they are and where they are from, but it stops there.

    U should stop bickering over language. That is one of the problems of habesha ppl. In its simple form, language is just a way of communication, that is all. When ppl realize this, the better ppl are.

  130. 130 Gabriel May 31st, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    To start off with, I’m Ethiopian, but left the country when I was three. My amharic is mediocre and I visit Ethiopia reguarly.

    I agree and disagree with Mr. Ivory that Ethiopian’s are racist. Whenever I go back, I always hear the same thing, “You’ve darkened,” “Oh, you look so black.” Ethiopians nearly always make a remark on skin color, with lighter skins being more favourable than darker skins. However, my skin color does not determine how I’m be treated by Ethiopians whatsoever. In Ethiopia, I have never felt racism for being dark skinned. No one has ever treated me different from a light skinned person. But a word usually used to describe other africans and african-americans has led me to believe that certain Ethiopians, are indeed racists, this word is, “Bahrya”, literally meaning slave. However, I have noticed this racism is not universal among Ethiopians, and only a miniority of people choose to act in such a manner. To break it down the under educated people are the ones who see a difference amongst us blacks, exploit it, and make “different blacks” feel unwelcomed, such were the people at the bar. The other more educated people, see that we are all black people and we should have an amicable relationship with one another.

    Ethiopians are Black!!!

  131. 131 Henock Assefa May 31st, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    My comments are in response to those of people that have chosen to voice their bigoted points of view on my people. If you think that I’m going to sit back and let them attack my proud and respectful people because of 1 lousy incident or any little incidents then you are crazy. And why not censor Tami’s comments? Why not censor Maria’s? She provoked my reaction. SO F.U. I AIN’T TAKING YOUR PHONY BS.
    Ethiopians are racist? Boo hoo hoo. There’s more racism in the african american community than anywhere else. From Sidney Poitier to Ice-T they always date/marry white chicks or the most lightskinned chick possible. What a joke! The blacker the berry the sweeter the juice? HAHAHAHA
    I’m divisive because I don’t want to have anything to do with people that choose to spend their money on materialistic things like 24″ giovanna’s, iced out grills, frozen chains, 200 carat pinky rings, and the equivalent of a college education dangling from their ears. Way to give back to your community!!!
    FUGAZI is what you are.
    Hurricane Katrina hit the african community the worst and there we go again blaming whitey for not sending the handouts. What happened to those megachurchs with the millions of dollars? Why didn’t they shelter those people? Oh hell nah, I need that money to look good when i drive in my bentley said the preacher (rev. dollar HAHAHAHA).

    I speak the truth and you choose to ignore it. Learn from Spike Lee and live like Bill Cosby is trying to preach. And no, he’s not saying all african americans are like that. He’s saying for those that are falling in the vicious cycle of teenage pregnancy, crime, illiteracy, and drugs (and it’s the majority!!) wake up and make some changes in your lives. WAKE UP PEOPLE! Stop blaming whitey, the korean store owner, or the latino that will actually work for a living, and Ethiopians for not wanting to assimilate to your culture, look at yourselves first!!! Because no one cares about you but yourselves.

    Watch ZEITGEIST THE MOVIE (free on google video) and get deprogrammed from mental slavery. You are pawns in the grand scheme.

  132. 132 Amir Jun 1st, 2008 at 9:29 am

    Henock Assefa you have the most bigoted point of view in here. You can’t dismiss what other people say when it is true because it’s something negative of Ethiopians and expect respect. We are not all pure and gold, give me a break. Pride can easily become foolishness. I won’t pat you on the back for acting foolish.

  133. 133 Abram Jun 1st, 2008 at 9:49 am

    Henock, one thing that amazes me reading this blog is, the “Guilty sentiment” that many Ethiopians reflect whenever they are called as racists. They perfectly know it for themselves that they could no way be racists, yet, they unknowingly identify themselves as racists. They are called the poorest people in the world, at the same time, they have this Guilty feeling like the privileged White people. Many Whites are still racists, even if they have this guilty feeling, they know what they did, and they are in a much better position than Ethiopians to get back their self-confidence. But, Ethiopians, you are poor, and they call you racist! With that, they want to destroy your pride and self-confidence. They want to sentence you to death twice!

    I think, one of you guys should write a similar Article about the experience of an Ethiopian in one of the neighborhoods. But this time the title should sound: “Why do they hate Ethiopians?

    I know all blacks aren’t the same. And blacks in America had a unique chance in building ‘probably’ the first pure nation in the world. But it looks like as though they are missing, for several reasons, the opportunity to do that. By now, I would have expect a developed black infrastructure, at least in some parts of ‘black America’. But, for black person to excel at science, business or technology, he or she has to take the opportunities in white-dominated societies than in black-dominated ones. As they have more opportunities there. If you want to have a ‘successful’ material life you have to be married to whites, or accept their protestant ethic, moral or religion. Sometimes I feel a “quiet humiliation” at how far behind (economically, politically and militarily), black societies have become. In the US, although the number of the so-called ‘Black’ population is declining,(one has to know the reason), overtaken by Hispanics as the largest minority – we can see blacks at political, institutional or corporate top positions. We need to appreciate that! In almost all countries of South and Central America you don’t hear similar success stories. Even Brazil and Cuba, countries where we think there couldn’t be any racial segregation, you barely find black political figures. Blacks are always subjugated to the Samba-Rumba Sub-culture. Sometimes I wonder if there is an inherent fault in black people – or are we simply designed for other things, made for other world?

  134. 134 Surafil Jun 1st, 2008 at 10:49 am

    Now that is more forward thinking, Abram. We can talk. I agree it can be disheartening when looking at black progress as a whole. Some people call this lack of progress in black societies a curse, and if it is indeed a curse… I call it a curse on ourselves. Resolution: Black people are not going to get anywhere anytime soon if they do not start learning to work together and not against each other-in the way they think, in the way they interact with each other, in the way they do business, in education, in everything. Not just thinking, but bring forth action in that thought. Look around in all these black societies all over the world, what more proof do you need? Depending on white dominated societies has proven to be slow progress sometimes even an incline, and I’m sure by design. We have to start thinking more about the future and not just the present—all of us-because one group will not be able to do it alone. If one group could accomplish this alone, it would already be done. What honest and good has ever come out of divisiveness? If we can not get past that step, and it is quite a step to get past, I’m afraid there is not really much hope because this is a cycle we have been entangled in for a very long time.

  135. 135 Henock Assefa Jun 1st, 2008 at 11:43 pm

    Amir, the opposite is true as well:
    You can’t dismiss what I say when it is true because it’s something negative of african americans and expect respect.
    So what’s your point?
    Abram, you are absolutely correct. Confrontation is not in our DNA, so we accept blame at face value. I don’t fall in that group. I will not allow anyone to attack me, my people, nor my culture.
    With regards to change in african societies, it can only come from the individual. When someone asked why doesn’t africa have an economic union much like what you see in north america, europe, and south east asia, the african responded, ‘why would poor nations ally? there’s nothing to gain’. Begin with the man in the mirror, person by person, family by family, neighborhood by neighborhood, community by community, etc…Change doesn’t come over night or even over a generation or two. Maybe my great grandchildren will reap the benefits of what I sow today. If you are not part of this plan, then you are the problem. Lead, follow, or get the fuck out of the way.

  136. 136 sidekick Jun 2nd, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Let me begin by acknowledging how strongly everyone feels about the subject of race. The strength of our perceptions and convictions is certainly legitimate and cannot be made light of, or dismissed all together. It is obvious that there is an inherent longing in every human being to belong, or experience a sense of destiny. Racial identity is one of the primary manifestations of this inherent pre-disposition that we all bear. It is therefore important to carefully consider and temper the statements we make in response to what others have said. This thing is much bigger that any individual. It is about humanity. A careful historical consideration will reveal that the struggle with race issues is almost as old as humanity itself? It is an issue that is somehow intwertwined with our existence, and we have no choice but to embrace it and deal with in the best way possible.

    The choices that we make about how we address the issue of race is certain to impact our attitudes and certainly those of the generations that succeed us. The gravity of such responsibility is imposing, and I am compelled to suggest more empathety and foresightedness in regard to the statements that we make in this discourse on race. I certainly think it is an important issue to dialougue about. In fact, we can’t afford not to. As I attempt to offer my contribution to the dialogue, I am attempting to walk a middle path that is reconciliatory, because I am persuaded that the quicker we regroup around some semblence of commonality, the easier it is for us to have a more productive discourse on the issue, and hopefully make progress. I am also careful not to be naive as to suggest that there is a magic bullet that will somehow terminate this mammoth insatntly. No, that is not what I am saying. Rather, I am suggesting that we can collectively make progress by responding to race issues in a manner that quiets many of our private fears and allows subsequent generations to further the progress we have made.

    Are Ethiopians, (or whoever else) racists? This, to me is not even the issue. Whether or not Ethiopians are racist is not as important as whether Mr. Ivory was treated wrong or right (I am deliberately not making a judgement call here). This is a more universal approach that is sensitive and awakened to the humanistic nature of the issue of race, and allows to confront the race issue with an empathetic accomodation of the perspectives of others. Sure we all have attitudes towards other people who may be different from us. Some of them are good, and some may not be so good. And yes, we all have strong arguments, or suggestive evidence to support our attitudes. It is not my objective to endorse any attitutdes to any group of peoples, neither is it a prerogative of anyone. I don’t think any of us is qualified to assume such position. Doing so is likely pretentious, and frankly, sometimes an evidence of underlying personal unresolved issues. But I know we can all be bigger than that, and this is my challenge to all of us (including myself). Why don’t we grow together through this?

    Our collective (and sometimes personal) undesirable experiences with racial issues only underscores our imperfections as humans. In other words, no single group or race of people is perfect. If we are honest, we will all find something to pick about any groups of people. Do we have certain groups of people faring better than others? Most certainly! To deny this would be dissillusionary. But the problem comes when we somehow suggest that a certain group of people must be superior to another because they seem to fair better. This is not accurate because none of us is qualified enough to determine the yardstick. To do so would be pressumptuous and arrogant. Then why is is that other races seem to outperform others in virtually all aspects? I don’t know, neither will I pretend that I do. But what I do know is this; suggestions of racial superiority (or inferiority) is not helpful. It only digs us deeper into this sillyness.

    I applaud every contributor to this discourse for choosing to be engaged on an important issue such as this. I consider it an act of responsibility. We may not be perfect in the way we are going about it, but we are all bound by one commonality: We are obviously wrestling to understand this issue and somehow reconcile it to who we are and the values we espouse (which is ok, nothing really wrong with wrestling with issues). May I suggest that we find the commonalities and focus on addressing those with empathy? I am persuaded that somethings may begin to make sense if we should choose this path.

  137. 137 Amir Jun 2nd, 2008 at 9:59 am

    Man in the mirror? Weren’t you just insulting MJ?
    Henock Assefa, no one has come here pretending that some African Americans do not have issues but you have come here pretending that Ethiopians are pure with no issues. A man of truth would not deny this or ignore it. You can make pride your foolishness but it doesn’t change the fact that we Ethiopians have our own unique set of problems.
    There are things to be proud of our ppl and somethings not to be so proud of. You are pointing out someone elses flaw without acknowledging and resolving your own..why? to take the focus off yourself? It is folly and you get no respect for that. We do have issues as well that need to be addressed and resolved. Putting someone else down in an attempt to lift yourself up is cowardly and there is absolutely no pride in that. That is my point.

  138. 138 Henock Assefa Jun 2nd, 2008 at 1:10 pm

    Did you fail at reading comprehension??? Or logic merely fails you?
    Before tadias censored my comments, i explained MJ’s quote – not going to revisit.
    I made my comments reactively to the comments posted initially by others who have chosen to make spiteful comments about my people.
    Now you can choose to betray your ppl and get all americanized on us, that’s fine. Your prerogative Judas. I fight for my people.
    I never claimed we don’t have issues or we are pure, the whole world has issues!! But don’t start by pointing fingers at my people, because i’ll come at you with guns.
    I’m the one vilified simply because I responded to some of the inflammatory and derogatory comments posted here. I ain’t apologizing to no one for nothing.
    Instead of posting Ivory’s comments, Tadias should have spent its time investigating the matter and heard from the bartender as well so that we have an unbiased and fair portrait of what really occurred.
    But it’s easier to sensationalize a non story and have all the sheep beg for forgiveness.

  139. 139 TruthHurts Jun 2nd, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Hey, don’t try to put Amir down! He has not betrayed anyone, he’s just being real.
    Assefa* you need to wake up and smell the Ethiopian coffee! You are but a stifling noise.
    Amir is right—*Putting someone else down in an attempt to lift yourself up IS cowardly. Ethiopia does have many issues, and I think your diverted attention to other people is to try to camouflage this FACT. By doing this, you are betraying youself; I think you have some internal strife to deal with.
    Nobody’s reading comprehension is off but yours : Who asked you to apologize? LOL… NOBODY. Besides, why would someone want you to apologize for being foolish? You obviously can not help yourself. I saw your reference to MJ, that you hated to quote him but….
    It doesn’t matter…why quote someone that you seem to think so lowly of? You are laughable.

  140. 140 Amir Jun 2nd, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    It’s a relief to know at least all of us haven’t lost our minds. It is appreciated TruthHurts.
    Henok, you make reference to Judas? But, my friend……I thought you said: “The notion of god and jesus are infantile at best.”
    Posted: May 24th, 2008 at 11:23 am

    You just keep showing your ass don’t you?

  141. 141 Henock Assefa Jun 2nd, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Ethiopia has issues, really?
    Wow, I guess I must have missed that news item.
    Thanks for pointing it out black massa, you are so well-informed and all knowing.
    I, on the other hand, I know nothing, because black massa we have black and white tv in Ethiopia, and we starve to death, and have flies buzzing around our dried up snot, while we rub our air bellies. Thank you black massa for letting us in to your country and give us jobs you don’t want. Is that better?

    You are phony and biased. You attack me because I speak the truth and you refuse to accept your own pathetic truth. Stop worrying about my country and get a job instead of waiting on the 1st of the month.

    And FYI, I didn’t divert anything. I defended my country, the comments posted here, beginning from ivory’s ridiculous account, are outrageous and inflammatory. They began this attack and the sheep in here were ready to seek for forgiveness for something they didn’t even commit. You won’t drag me down to your level.

    Next time don’t wait to jump on someone’s bandwagon before you comment, have the balls to comment on your own thoughts – well I take that back. You haven’t shown any sense so what makes me believe you have any rational thought.

  142. 142 Wolde Jun 3rd, 2008 at 12:53 am

    My brother Henock, while I understand your zeal for our country, I regret that your vitriolic utterances, while intended to potray partriotism, do not actually realize their objective. In fact, they are very telling: it is apparent that you are a deeply troubled lad who seems to have lost the slightest sense of normal living. Your instinctive attacks on anyone who offers an opinion that differs from yours remind me of primitive animalistic forms of life (remember Idi Amin?). You have sunk low and seem determined to drag our beloved Habesha with you, all the while thinking that you are upraising our beloved motherland. Hush a little, and hold back your horses. Habesha can hold up on her own.

    I am deeply troubled as I read how you foolishly you dismiss others who have genuinly tried to offer you a broader perspective of things. My brother, your narrow mindedness and sturbonness will impede your best aspirations, and ultimately Habesha’s. You do not have to suffer from this deeply steeped malady and borderline stupidity in solitary. Let down your guard and allow the free flow of alternative perspectives from others. There is nothing to be afraid of. In fact, the freshness that comes with receptiveness to differing perspectives will do good to refresh your otherwise obviously putrified sense of patriotism.
    Long live habesha and all who love her!!!

  143. 143 Henock Assefa Jun 3rd, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Amir – 3rd grade english: symbolism, figure of speech.
    Funny that was all you could come back with.
    Yet another emotional attack.

  144. 144 Amir Jun 3rd, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Symbolizing something that you , yourself, said is rather childish, as a major point of your argument is symbolic within itself of just how childish… you are. It seems you have to desperately try and justify even your “mis speaks” and so you remind of Hillary Clinton’s campaign most notably her attack under Bosnia’s sniper fire. Perhaps, you are the more Americanized, after all . Even when someone actively points out your foolishness, with evidence dangling before your eyes, you sill can not accept it because of your silly, less than creditable ramblings, which can be more accurately characterized by vainness. Emotional attack?
    *If you think that I’m going to sit back and let them attack my proud and respectful people because of 1 lousy incident or any little incidents then you are crazy. And why not censor Tami’s comments? Why not censor Maria’s? She provoked my reaction. SO F.U. I AIN’T TAKING YOUR PHONY BS.
    *I, on the other hand, I know nothing, because black massa we have black and white tv in Ethiopia, and we starve to death, and have flies buzzing around our dried up snot, while we rub our air bellies. Thank you black massa for letting us in to your country and give us jobs you don’t want. Is that better?
    *And FYI, I didn’t divert anything. I defended my country, the comments posted here, beginning from ivory’s ridiculous account, are outrageous and inflammatory
    *Now you can choose to betray your ppl and get all americanized on us, that’s fine. Your prerogative Judas.

    I can just imagine you will try to justify this as well even though they are all obviously emotionally driven. In fact, just about everything you have said has been emotionally driven.
    “Whitey” , as you have referred to them, is seems to actually be your savoir. You fool no one but yourself. Quite a few people here have taken notice of just how foolish you are Henock. Some spoke, others didn’t but I’m sure many have taken notice. Denial is the first step, acceptance is the next. Mr. Mindful is defiantly correct in saying you are stuck in some kind of cycle. I know your type, not hard set off, predictable — a typical hot head, full of hot air. Your response will only confirm what I have just said……

  145. 145 Aida Debakole Jun 3rd, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Have you guys seen this article: Color, Controversy and DNA: A conversation between The Root Editor-in-Chief Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Nobel laureate and DNA pioneer James Watson about race and genetics, Jewish intelligence, blacks and basketball and Watson’s African roots.

    It makes your views about black on black look really silly.

  146. 146 Surafil Jun 3rd, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    James Watson does not speak for me. You all give so much weight to what a this man says. Why?

  147. 147 Henock Assefa Jun 3rd, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    You are right I am stuck in a cycle when everyone repeats the same garbage.
    No one spoke up against those that have attacked my people – only me.
    I am not looking for some time of solution. People need to get a grip of their own lives before they come here posting crap.
    Whatever, you are also a sheep disguised in human clothing.

    Amir you regurgitate everything I say.
    Stop the being so obsessed with me and move on.
    I dont need to justify anything to you.

  148. 148 Aida Debakole Jun 4th, 2008 at 11:31 am


    Here is what James Watson said:

    “I [am appalled by] the fact that that remark was associated with me because I don’t believe it. You can’t tell me that Ethiopians are stupid. Jesus. So they test very low on IQ, but I know enough of them—they’re bright.”

    Well, I mean, based on what I am reading here from some ppl, I am embarrassed to say that the “low IQ” thing for Ethiopians may be true. Look at Henock. For god’s sake, do you think he is bright? Frankly, I think he is learning impaired…most deff LOW IQ.

    To put his comment in context, here is how Watson’s IQ comment came about:

    Henry Louis Gates Jr to Watson: “Well, are you gloomy about the future of Africa?”

    Watson: “Not if we educate them. I think we’ve got to focus on education.”

    Henry Louis Gates Jr: “As soon as you were quoted in The Times, David Duke posted on his Web site. He said, at last, the smartest white man in the world, the man who identified DNA, has confirmed what we’ve known all the time. … ”

    Then comes Watson’s Ethiopian IQ comment….hahaha

    Here comes the big truth…as far as David duke is conecerned, it makes no diffrence if you are Ethiopian or African American. As long as you are black, you have LOW IQ. I hate to side with racists like Duke, but I wonder though if he is not right on point.

  149. 149 Surafil Jun 4th, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    (Tadias, don’t edit this because it simply needs to be said. It is not a crime to refer to someone as “white” and all along and you’ve allowed people in this blog has toss the word “black” around and attached it to people in many different ways along with so many other things that are far worse than calling someone white. I simply want to make a point and the white reference is vital to my point. I know, you don’t want to offend the “white” people–oh no anyone but them!—but don’t be biased)

    As I said, James Watson does not speak for me. I have read the article on the interview and the only thing it tells me is that based on a white man’s standards of intelligence, blacks as a whole are not intelligent. Who sets the standards, why were those standards chosen, why are these standards suppose to be the standards to determine someone’s intelligence? I mean really…James Watson is the ” I’m the expert of what intelligence is” guy? Why are certain standards placed by certain people and all people are suppose to except it as some divine doctrine? If intelligence is only a matter of knowing certain material in a book, certain mathematical calculations, playing around with words and figures….then anyone can pick up the right books, study the right material….and be determined to have a “HIGH IQ”. The fact of the matter is not every school system is the same and therefore do not have the same standards. The other fact is that, unless someone has a mental problem, we all have the same brain capacity and therefore the same capabilities, but I am just a bit concerned about the wanting or need to meet other people’s standards as if given as some divine doctrine. This really concerns me.

  150. 150 Henock Assefa Jun 4th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    You guys just love to bring Ethiopians down don’t you? You so wish you were like us.
    You go ahead and side with Duke, you obviously confirm without any rejection your low IQ.
    Good for you, you are a brainwashed sheep and will remain as such.
    That’s the thing about Pride and Honor – We don’t wish to be like anyone else.
    You on the other hand have low self esteem.
    You say I try to make Ethiopia look better by bringing others down.
    When this last comment clearly satisfies an inner desire to bring Ethiopia down even at the behest of the person commenting. Misery loves company, doesn’t it?
    You are inferior because you have no spine.
    You are inferior because you have no background.
    You are inferior because you have no sense.
    In spite of what you all say, you don’t see a problem with the title of this blog ARE ETHIOPIANS RACIST. Not some, not a few, or ‘is there racism in Ethiopia’. NO. It clearly implies ALL ETHIOPIANS. That’s not a problem for you. You are ok with that. You are ok with generalizing and stereotyping others. It’s not your people, and it gives you more reason to hate us. Hate us, waste your energy and time finding people to envy.
    So, when I start commenting in the same fashion, you get appalled and angry. See how that feels – the stereotypical point of view you so calmly cast on others?
    African Americans think they have the patent on racism. No one else could feel prejudice as much as African Americans. Slavery happened before your lifetime and racism exists today. Racism afflicts all, much like love and hate and good and bad it exists for all.
    So, as the bartender asked ivory, I ask you….”with so many websites you could visit, wouldn’t you rather be with your own kind?”
    Or are you here to meet some of our beautiful people?

  151. 151 Amir Jun 4th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    You’ve just confirmed what I said. I knew it would come- predictable as usual.

  152. 152 habesha Jun 5th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Different perspective oh wow u took the words right outta my mouth.seriously they dont really get how we feel and ya ur right abt the whites it really does amaze me to see them think theyr a better race it’s just funny cuz theyr not.Any ways on behalf of my ppl id like to say sorry for ur experiance in my country Mr Ivory but we are caring and loving ppl and may be u’ll see the other side of us if u ever consider coming back.oh btw i’m not a racist against whites but some of their mentality really does annoy me.

  153. 153 Abram Jun 6th, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Henock, you are doing a good job in defending your identity!

    A true Ethiopian can never be a racist. A true Ethiopian is someone who fights for his people and vanquishes evil with his/her extraordinary abilities to bring love, peace and justice. A true Ethiopian is wise, noble, brave and courageous. A true Ethiopian loves his country and people unconditionally. A true Ethiopian fights not only an external battle against evils and demons but also an internal battle against pride, greed, betrayal, cowardice, self-concern and fake copy-cat personality.

    An Ethiopian is neither a coward nor greedy. A true Ethiopian doesn’t compromise his/her identity, is never a conformist. A true Ethiopian is always honest, kind, and shares the things he has with an open heart.

    A true Ethiopian is not willing to sell his dignity for money, fame or power, He/She has an ability to put his/her people’s welfare before his/her own.

    A true Ethiopian is never afraid to die: Life doesn’t cost him/her a thought! Unlike those who feel like God in a couple of years after being able to boost their ‘wealth’ powered confidence, unlike those ignorants who seem to be sure of knowing what could happen after they die, a true Ethiopian, on the contrary, is always modest and humble — and even with the enormous amount of confidence He/She possesses, He/She understands that fate will work its magic no matter what — and he will die at any point in life. Therefore, the pride, courage, and strength of a true Ethiopian will never actually harm other people. A true Ethiopian is a true example to the wider World.

  154. 154 Amir Jun 6th, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Abram: Grand speech! But..
    I would have to doubt that as being representative of a “true” Ethiopian. If one is Ethiopian then they are Ethiopian….with or without out those qualities. Henock is a great example. Don’t try to paint a pretty picture that doesn’t depict reality and as a “true” Ethiopian, you would be honest with yourself; that is living in a fantasy–in regards to Henock…if you are again, honest– there is absolutely nothing humble about him, nothing that brings love, peace, and justice in his nature. He does not fight an internal battle against pride, cowardice, and self-concern. All of this is evident in everything he has written; he has simply made pride his foolishness.

    Beyond this point….all the things you said are good qualities that a lot of people have NOT just Ethiopians, and not all Ethiopian possess these qualities yet they still Ethiopian. Unfortunately …..your embellishments do not make or break this by charactering it as true or false.

  155. 155 Wolde Jun 6th, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    My brother Abram, I have to becry the statement you made that apparently “epitomises” the “true Ethiopian.” It is obvious that both you and Henock have a propensity for high levels of lunacy and Phsychofancy that is readily unleashed at a whim’s notice without the slightest consideration of basic sensiblity. You painfully remind me of the typical African politician who confuses fanatism for loyalty, and gallantly employs acrobatics in their speeches to butress their position in the minds of unsuspecting citizens. It is regretable that your poetic oration about the epitome Ethiopian is just that; a gallant attempt at poetry. That I recognize and high-five you! Beyond this, there is nothing worth taking seriously about what you said.
    As fellow Ethiopian, I challenge you to justify who qualifies you to determine who a “true Ethiopin” is, and if all the glorious attributes of a “true Ethiopian” are a domain of Ethiopians.
    I wish both of you better sense and normal growth.

  156. 156 Surafil Jun 6th, 2008 at 5:51 pm

    Wolde, it is probably the same person who qualified James Watson the expert of intelligence. Abram, the expert on the embodiment of an Ethiopian and Watson, the expert of intelligence. It just doesn’t get any better than this folks.

  157. 157 Aida Debakole Jun 6th, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Dear Surafil,

    Relax, buddy, I am not Watson pretending to be 29-year old Ethiopian with mixed African heritage. Unlike Watson, I am a proud Ethiopian, African, African American, and yes, most importantly, a proud human.

    I just brought up Watson to make the point that as far as David Duke and others are concerned, as long as you are African , you have low IQ. Besides Henok’s empty posturing and attempt on poetry, which borders either on lunacy or low IQ, I utterly despise Watson and David Duke.


  158. 158 Henock Assefa Jun 10th, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Aida, you have no point and no reference. You simply put a non-sequitor in a comment box in a feeble attempt to chime in. You despise Duke but you are willing to give him credit? Who does that? And for what purpose? Oh yeah, you are a sheep and you have no purpose.
    Even worse you claim to be a proud Ethiopian. Oh please, you are obviously very ashamed of where you come from. Your post implies it as is. I bet you are Ethiopian when it is only convenient for you and then American when not. Let me guess, you don’t date habesha either, huh? Going once, going twice, SOOOOOOOOOLD to the highest nidder.

  159. 159 Surafil Jun 10th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Henock please…
    You really have no room to talk; most of the things you say are useless-including this. Do yourself a favor and expand your horizons then come back and type something worth reading.

  160. 160 Henock Assefa Jun 10th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Thanks for the patronizing and condescending comment.
    You are obviously all-knowing and your inflexible opinion is all that matters.
    Interestingly, in reading your blabber about white people – could anything make less sense? – I am not even sure what to make of your comment.
    Yet, another person that feels the need to chime in without making a single valid point.
    Try reading what you write next time, it makes you look less moronic.
    Instead of 5th grade name calling you can try replying to the comments posted.

  161. 161 Betty Negusse Jun 10th, 2008 at 8:41 pm


    Oh, okay, so it’s all about your ego…

    you are just afraid that we might date outside of our race.

    Well, let me break it to you. There are many, many, handsome, smart, successful Ethiopian brothers out there and yes, may I add very sexy. Of course the same applies to African American brothers, Africans and Caribbeans, and Yes, White men too.

    So my brother it is not about color any more, its about character. If you are having difficulty finding an Ethiopian woman to date you, it is not because African Americans are taking them away from you, it is most likely because you lack what we need…of course, I can only speak for myself.

    And just for the record, I have many African American friends that date Ethiopian men. Should I mention that the ladies are more than satisfied in their romantic lives and proud of their educated, handsome and handsomely-paid men? I am not jealous…

    So, Henock, get a grip.


  162. 162 Joy Jun 11th, 2008 at 9:08 am

    Betty is correct. I am AA and yene mar (my honey) is habesha and we have been together for a year and 1/2 now. I appreciate him for who he is as a person, beyond his ethnicity and he appreciates me in the same. People date and marry who they want to date a marry and there is zero that you -Henock or anyone else for that matter-can do or say to change that reality so just accept those things, much like this, that you can not alter. Stop confusing pride for ignorance, arrogance, and narrow-mindedness. Your post are in the literal sense- awfully simple, self indulging, and less valid than you would like to believe—being that they are mostly emotional and I’d dare say dim-witted at times.

    Oddly enough, there is beauty even in the most unappealing of things–this includes Henock…

    Life is beautifully inspired so live an inspired life! :-)

    -Seattle, WA

  163. 163 Henock Assefa Jun 11th, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Uhhh…I’m proudly married to a habesha woman, but thanks for asking (or offering?).
    Can you all stop reading comments without actually understanding them in their context?
    I honestly don’t care who or what anyone dates. It doesn’t affect me in the least. I’ve been an equal opportunity dater, but I remain true to who I am, so that doesn’t even have any relevance to my point.
    My comment has more to do with the fact that there are many habesha who are truly embarrassed and will “sell out” to the american/european cultures just in order to assimilate and will then conveniently camouflage themselves into the habesha community when the situation demands it. These are the people that will exclusively date americans and europeans because they want to westernize themselves. These are SHEEP! I’m proud of my country, my people, and my heritage.

  164. 164 Nathaniel Jun 11th, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    There are Idiots in any group of people that you will encounter. My wife is Jamaican and I’m Trinidadian. Her brother didn’t like the Idea of a Trini dating his Sister because of my nationality.

    Taking it even deeper, in any country where colonialism existed or any sort of European intervention existed the people are almost always colour conscious, feature conscious, or xenophobic.

    Rwanda is a sad example of the effect European medaling has on the psyche of a nation.

    I’m fair skinned and Dougla (visible Indian and African decent) and I’ve noticed “when I was single” that Ethiopian women were very attracted to me vs some of my friends that were brown or dark-skinned, but I’ve been told that I look Ethiopian, that could also be the reason.

    Even among Eastern Africans, some Ethiopians don’t like other Ethiopians dating Somalians or Eritrean. So don’t be sad. Enjoy life and ignore the foolishness. Either don’t go back to that restaurant or complain to the management just as you would any establishment. That bartender is costing the owners money. Fire his ass!! LOL.

  165. 165 the hurt behind my brown n blue eyes Jun 14th, 2008 at 1:16 am

    I’m 16 years old and African American, and my boyfriend is Eritrean and Filipino mix. the school i attend is really diverse there’s a large amount of whites, Latinos , African and black. Now I’ve been with my boyfriend for 8 months and i can say I’m honestly in love with him.

    When we first met i thought he was a light skinned African American but he later told me he was African and Asian ((eventually i told him that my family is from the Caribbean and from my fathers side I’m portorican)).

    I have met some of his family members (he has cousins who go to our school…they are really nice. Earlier though i have come into contact with some racist Africans, including Ethiopians and Eritrean)) on our school bus they were talking about me and didn’t even realize it…that day on the bus one of them placed a comb on my seat. i heard one them talkin about some girl who needed to comb her nappy a** nigga hair, i didn’t think nothing of it cuz since i’m biracial so my hair is thick and curly just like the african girls. i felt really hurt by that situation.

    I know racism isn’t gone, but i thought for some reason i wouldnt see racism from Africans… that me hurt a lot. even today they still talk about me. my boyfriend says that’s the way they are and they just talkin. i see it differently though. Do they think they are better bcuz they are African and not black?or bcuz I’m not African, so I not good enough to be with my boyfriend? I hope to have a future with him, but i hope the rest of his African family will accept me for who I am. I don’t want to be rejected for my cultural background.Those African gurls have opened my eyes to a different type of racism.

  166. 166 Nathaniel Jun 17th, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Re:the hurt behind my brown n blue eyes

    I feel for you. I know what it is like to feel prejudiced from people you consider to be similar to you.

    But there is one thing you must understand about racism. It is here and it is not going anywhere for a long time because it so deep we don’t even notice it.

    Look at this link: Its the black doll study, it shows that even 5 year old kids know that being black is a bad thing in our society:

    Ethiopia, Eritrea is not that different either. Officially Ethiopia was never conquered, however they were highly influenced by Europeans. Any contact with colonialism lead to some form of colorism or self-hate. Don’t get me wrong not all Ethiopians are this way. Some are overly into their own culture, some love and accept their brothers and sisters in African and in the African Diaspora (all people of African decent). Some try to assimilate into white society as much as possible. Some are in love with Jamaican culture. Some are just regular average people.

    But there is definitely a negative influence somewhere. The following is a quote that I read on another blog written by a self-righteous Ethiopian person.

    “When God was making man he first undercooked the clay and he was a white man, then he overcooked it and this was the African. The third time it was us. Be proud of being God’s children, The Ethiopian people.”

    It my guess that the girl making fun of you are jealous of you especially if your lighter than them and especially if you have light eyes. Forget about those losers, if their so insecure they have to pick on you they will be pregnant by the a blond blue eyed jock before they finish school.

    Stay strong and love yourself. One love.

  167. 167 Truth Jun 18th, 2008 at 1:00 am

    We all need to wake up and smell the coffee. Yes, we black people are culturally different, but we need each other to survive racism. We can only be strong if we embrace each other. I came from Ethiopia 10 yrs ago. I have been going to school and living in general thought me to be self conscious of my blackness. In Ethiopia color was never an issue. But here in a majority white nation we are treated very harshly. The truth is in a white society we need to throw away our cultural differences. I am speaking from my own experience. For example in College we black students are few in the classroom. We help each other because we go through so much that our white counterpart never go through. I don’t think I would have made it this far if i didn’t have my African American friends, Ethiopian friends, Nigerian friends, Kenyan friends,Jamaican friends,etc etc etc, along the way helping me. There were so many times i wanted to give up due to racism but my black friends picked me up when i fell. Now i am strong woman, and I know this would never have been possible if I was racist against my own color. I don’t know where i would be if it wasn’t for so many fellow blacks from so many background holding my hand along the way. To that i am so thankful.

  168. 168 Henock Assefa Jun 18th, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    16yr old – you’re way too young to understand true love, but enjoy the ride for now.
    Racism afflicts all, don’t get it twisted. There’s no different type of racism, because racism = hate. and all races hate. more importantly don’t let that affect how you feel about this guy. also, disregard anything Truth said about why they are “racist” towards you. kids of your age don’t even understand racism to be racists. they are simply bullies and will tease you no matter what color skin you have. ok that’s it for my dear abby moment

    Nat – I don’t even know what the black doll study determines. also, about your comment “even 5yr old kids KNOW THAT BEING BLACK IS A BAD THING”: self-hate anyone? The term itself may be offensive in the context of categorizing people, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be “black” in the context of not being white.

    Truth – you inherently hate anyone that doesn’t have an african background. this makes you a racist or at the least a bigot. do you even associate with anyone of asian or hispanic decent? wake up and smell the coffee yourself and learn to accept people of all backgrounds as either good or bad in their own right.


  169. 169 James Jun 21st, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    I was in Bar None (A Bar in NYC) and met this Ethiopian Jewish girl that I was dancing with… Unfortunately I had to go and did not get a chance to get her number..

    I, now have this new fascination for them.. Is there a place that Ethiopian Jewish Girl hang out in NYC?

    I would love to frequent these places and hopefully see, if I can run into this girl again..

    And P.S. I’m from Cuba… (Black Skin)

  170. 170 JARAlove07 Jun 21st, 2008 at 10:44 pm

    Let me tell you straight truth what our problem as of most Ethiopians. We as most Ethiopians don’t even like to consider ourselves as black or African plus we have this culture that we are superior than any race; what we didn’t realize is that we all are brothers and sisters. It is very rare for you to see an Ethiopian person engaging unless otherwise a person who is an Ethiopian American. I am really sorry that you have to go through this.

  171. 171 Henock Assefa Jun 22nd, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Jara = sheep
    Don’t we consider ourselves superior to all races?
    We are own people. There’s no one in the world like us!
    Forget about forcing a retreat by a european nation! We established a written language and advanced hierarchical societies when Europe and the Asia were run by barbarians!
    Then again, every country has its own accounts or even anecdotes of historical “greatness”
    However, somehow someway ONLY WE consider ourselves superior. Every other nationality or race thinks it’s inferior or equal to others. Stop the phony hype it’s getting old.

  172. 172 Lulu Jun 23rd, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    I am really sadened by some people’s negative comments towards ethiopians. I am a typical ethiopian who was born and raised in ethiopia and spent most of my life Europe and and N. America. By historains, intelectuals, organizations, countries, individauls we are classfied as the most disciplined people around the world. I do not mean to suggest that bad people do not exist in Ethiopia. But, the majority are good, well mannered, disciplined, and respectful. For this reason, we have world wide reputation, not only by peoples’ behavior but by our precious unique culutre, religion, tradition and history.

    Coming to america, I have encountered a lot of problems. One of the problems, I face is , associating with african americans. I vigorously attempt to create relationship with them, but my attempt was in vain. They are fast talkers, often includes ugly words like (f…) in their conservation..etc,. I do not get along with them. But I have a lot of friends from all over the world except them. I am very sociable, and easily associate with chinese, africans, russians, spanish etc. This is not a color issue, but a morale issue. Not only me, or other ethiopians, but a lot of foreigners compaining about african american because of not their color but they are not well mannered. Believe it or not that is true. They are few good people. But, the majority are not well mannered. Prior to complaining about my etiopians fellow, you african americans please provide criticizism for your mind. We Ethiopians often do not say we are not blacks. But, we always appreciate our root of culture and tradition, religion and history. Because, that is the backbone and the faundation that lead us to be one of the most disciplined, wonderful people around the world.

  173. 173 Nate Jun 24th, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    If you “vigrously” tried to befriend African Americans, as you say..I’m sure you would have found at least one by now…..maybe you have been around the wrong circle of African Americans. I have had many bad encounters with Ethiopians because there are “wrong circles” of them too…but I still have Ethiopian friends along with a host of others including African Americans who are indeed well mannered, decent, nice people. Everyone is diff. and there is good and bad in every group of people; keep an open mind.

  174. 174 woche good Jun 25th, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Even after such a bad experience, Steven Ivory maintained the decency of not identifying the restaurant name in his article. He could have, but the decent man he is, he decide not to ruin the reputatiion of the establishment because of the idiocy of one employee. Had Steven let us know which restaurant is in question, we would perhaps have been able to boycott it. The owner should let go of any employee that brings shame to his business and reputation of Ethiopians in general.
    Not the variance in the shade of our colours but what we do make us superioir to one another.

  175. 175 Lulu Jun 25th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Every society has its own strength or wea and also contains members of well mannered peple or undisciplined. I am denying that ‘ well mannered people do not exist in your community. There are but a quite a few. If I attempt to have one or friendship, yes of course, I will have. But to find such kind of people in your community, for me it is time consuming, and a tidious process, like providing a project to a couple of hundreds of students to determine which one bears a successful reslut on that particular project. The chance of meeting these people probably will range one out of ten or more.
    I am not willing to dedicate my precious time to it, the main reason to this is, I still have another alternative to build relatioship with other africans, asians, Latinos, etc, or remain intact with my beloved community.
    It is not statistically proven that the majority of your community are not will mannered, because it is discrimination or innapropriate to provide such a thing. However, you can prove that from peoples’ experience, how other communities negatively or positively react to your community. I bet you the reslult would match to my opinion.
    Moreover, I need to remind you that whether you give a brief a comment or how much you have negative attitude towards our community, regrading this matter or other issues,( let you brodacast it to the media ) our world wide reputation will remain untauchable. It will never be damaged, as a bit of a fraction, nor spoiled, except that bloosoming everyday like a spring flower. It has been told or written in numerous articles since a century that ” Ethiopian people are well mannered, disciplined,and have preicious culture, tradition, religion and history. Once agian, prior to complaining about our community, please provide self criticism for your mind.

  176. 176 Henock Assefa Jun 25th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Lulu in a crazy bizarre way you make a point…still don’t know if it’s valid or sound for that matter. But I will go as far as saying that the last part is the most compelling part of your argument: Prior to complaining about our community, please provide self-criticism. I agree completely (maybe not grammatically).

    Woche Good = Sheep

  177. 177 Nate Jun 26th, 2008 at 9:31 am

    ZEITGEIST THE MOVIE? I think YOU are brainwashed.

    Free yourself brothers and sisters.

  178. 178 Lulu Jun 26th, 2008 at 10:02 am

    This is reply to Mr H…..

    I am neither linguistic nor english is my profession. I am certain of this. This is not a place to taste somebody’s writing skill. This is not classical literature class, either. This is a brief column, in which any body can participate, express his own felling or comments towards the issue. Correct me if I am wrong.
    Are you disagree or agree to my comments? did you understand the content of my opinion. That all matters. Other than this, all are frivalous. Are you trying to be an actor on an empty stage? I don’t think so. Be matured my brother. I believe you owe me an apology, as far this is concerned. I even do not have time to spend 10 or 15 minutes every day to your reply. I am packed with my own schedule.
    Let me highlight again my point of view. Select rondomly a group of people from each community or a group of people ( with out awaring them the purpose of taking the data), record the result how each elment of the group or the community, feels to AA community.
    Get back to me when you did that.

  179. 179 Voiceout Jun 26th, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Mr Steven Ivory,

    I disagree with some of your statments. We Ethiopians in general are not rascist but like everywher else and every culture there could be individuals who may act rascisticaly with intention or without.
    The inccident you experienced at the restaurant is not rascism, it was simply curiosty on the bartender’s part as you said it in your own words:- “out of curiosity more than anything else and, I suppose, concern.” by leting the drink be on the house, he was most probably being hospitable to you knowing that you were new around there. Also because the other people didnt invite you to join them in a coversation, you may have misunderstood this for racisim. If i were to walk in alone in that restaurant or any other Ethiopian restaurant for the first time i would be siting by myself too. I woudnt expect to be given everybody’s attention in the room. Try to go to that restaurant more often and you will get a warm welcome when they get familiarized with you. So what you experienced is cultural misunderstanding on your part. Put that place on your to go list.

  180. 180 Truth Jun 27th, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Wow. I must respond to the BS written by Hennock. Don’t try to mix up Asian and Hispanic into this mix. This topic is about a black man being prejudged by people like you. People like you with a black face but somehow want to distance themselves from their true black identity. I stand firm in my pride of being a black woman from Ethiopia. I am in love with my people that doesn’t make me a racist. Look up what racism is in the dictionary.

  181. 181 Henock Assefa Jun 27th, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    Nate – read the link you provided. the first line is racist in itself. and you have the nerve to call me brainwashed. did you bother watching zeitgeist?

    Lulu – it is painfully clear that english is not your forte. but more importantly your reading comprehension is just as poor as your english written communication skills. please reread what i wrote. no apologies from me.

    Truth – why not mix other races? oh yeah that’s right, african americans own the patent on racism. the topic should be about everyone being afflicted by racism, oddly enough even caucasians, asians, hispanics, and oh no dare i say it ETHIOPIANS too.
    You are a sheep.

  182. 182 Naga Jun 27th, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Ethiopiennes is a dubious concept, even geographically. It can be as wide as wide as Sudan to the west, Kenja in the south, the Indian ocean to the south east and beyond the Red Sea to Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It can also be as narrow as the Gojjame Amaras think any body who came crossing the Nile is a foreigner. Even people from Ensaro are seen as aliens and a trait. The Gojjame had no King recognized by the rest of Amaras let alone Ethiopians. It is common sense to find Wollo sefer,{Zone} Dorze, Gojama, etc Where people migrate to when they reach Addis Ababa. As the Afro Americans in Chicago, New york, Los angeles, when they first come from Mississippi, Arkansan, Jamaica, West Africa and East Africa. ‘Birds of a feather fly together.’ However, no matter from where ever one comes blackness and belongingness, solidarity and unites us to feel the pain of one another from others hostility. The Black Caucus, NAACP and the Urban League are a necessary evil, than the middle class and the ghetto gulf.

    Ethiopians may know God and may have heard about Israel, Greek, Rome, {Italy} and Egypt, but does not know where his Muslim neighbor or the Arab and Armenian shop keeper came from. Later he learned the existence of Ferenjes[from French} a designation to all white people other than Arabs, before he knew the existence of Somalia, Sudan or Kenya. When the radio came he learned about Great Britain, America, before West or south Africa and it was a great joy to hear there are black people in the Western Hemisphere and in America.

    It is difficult to admit but, there are concentric circles that are mutually exclusive, Unity Sets, and Intersections among the circles. It is a human nature of territorial, and physical belongingness, family, neighbour, lineage, clan, ethnic, race, apes, and other animals. That is why we cannibalise those that are others, very few animals or men could eat their own let alone their babies. When the foot ball team from Argentina that crashed in the Andes mountains and four or five of them were found alive for a long time without food they found that they the called preserved the dead from decaying and they chose to eat that flesh than day of starvation to the disgust of the victims families and all man kind.

    There is Kosher in every society, it is strict or lenient according to custom and religion. An Ethiopian will not be found eating, Turkey, pig, or shrimp while his in his environment. Never heard of the existence of people who eat dogs, donkeys and never considers as human some one who eats rats and snakes or any other slimy creatures, snakes or slimmy creatures. He will kill a cannibalised in an instance. A christian can’t swallow the flesh of identical goats or sheep if it is bothered with the knife of a Muslim or vise verse. There is no intermarriage between religion and was dogmatically enforced among ethnicity and class. Until very recently it was a taboo for an Ethiopian girl to be seen with a white man or any man at all that she is not married or related in blood. Only the royal families intermarry but no insces is tolerated. No body heard of the existence of real homosexuals it is told as a myth. There is xenophobia and homophobia but it is less liberal in Ethiopia than other societies. But we are not alone, it is human and animal nature to be territorial, cultural, and moral. Very few animals except man kills other than for food some may do it for sex, territory or disciplinary accident. Never get you a tigress or lioness playing with her cubs.?

    Blacks identify with a black boxer against White when they bloody themselves in a ring against Whites, Asian or Latin. In America there was lynching of innocent blacks for a victory in the ring of a black boxer against white. It is the relativity factor. An Eritrean, shows disdain against a Tigra who speaks the same language and goes to the same church. The Amara wants to destroy the house than be under the Tigre rule, thou they both were well served by the mythology of descent from Solomon to rule intermittently. The Kenyans we saw killing each other until they come close to Rwanda, are a team when they ran long distance races against any Ethiopian but better bitten by an Ethiopian than a Nigerian or Sudan. A long distance race champion is the pride of Oromo and a hero to Ethiopian, Eritrean, African and blacks every where and the toughness of the competition makes him so to all people. When the Apollo Eleven Landed on the Moon all man kind felt the victory, may be a Muslim or a Communist may be less happy for religious reason. Afro-Americans of New York are some times hostile to those in Los Angeles; east coast west coast thing. Fighting Irish of Notre dame fans extend beyond Indiana, and a small city like Milwaukee has great professional teams because of its German identity. North Dakota, has one German and one Norwegian Senator. Though they are closer to Minnesota, best friends don’t see eye to eye when the Packers and Vikings play one another.

    It is inhuman to not appreciate beauty, hence in all societies a less Negroid feature no matter how much dark the skin color is presentable, and usually successful at the same time. The same is true in Ethiopia unless one is of different ethnicity, class and religion in descending magnitude. This is also visible in the Afro-American flight to the suburbs from the ghetto by light skinned and less discriminated and more educated population, at the detriment of the moral, entrepreneur and economical fabric of black peoples.

    Ethiopians are not only conservative, but also have a negative cultural inculcation that makes them to shy away from socializing, it may be more to females than males. Most Ethiopians are melancholics by nature, they are also handicapped by the culture, not to show fear or commit error in front of a stranger, it is better to shut up than show your ignorance to strangers trying to communicate and make grammatical error. They neither know that there is freedom of speech or don’t believe tens of millions of white Americans don’t understand what they here on CNN, ABC and NBC.

    An Ethiopian chooses silence than make grammatical error in front of strangers. It is committing the unpardonable sin to find himself saying

    I DOES
    I has

  183. 183 lekun Jun 27th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    This is interesting stuff guys. This must be discussed.
    It all boils down to ignorance. The more uneducated, the more likely one gets to think that way. Also little knowledge is dangerous, there are quite a few in the Ethiopian community who actually think that they’re better than African Americans. A good example would be Ruth from above.

  184. 184 Henock Jun 27th, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    ha ha,,, am pretty sure that 95 percent of the people who are leavin their commments here arent tellin truth…Cmn, i’m ethiopian and most of my friends arent too, so i know how i feel about it and my friends too, i wouldnt want my sister dating a black guy. thats just the truth. i dont think she’d want to.

  185. 185 Lulu Jun 28th, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Henok – Unlucky enough, We haven’t get a chance to present our selves for a discussion. But, from the very distance, I can penetrate you brain and identify who you are- you are stuborn. Your personal attack doesn’t have and will never nave any impact to me in any way, in any manner, what so ever.
    Inspite of your personal attack, I gave you a credit, for your patriotism. I respect you a lot for that matter. Let’s us leave our differences on the side, firmly stand to defend our beloved community.

  186. 186 John K. Holland Jun 29th, 2008 at 6:45 am

    Thursday, June 26, 2008
    We are one

    A few years ago I had the privilege to watch a documentary (I love them) entitled Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey this was carried on PBS. The host of this fascinating examination of man’s genetic and geographic history was a man named Dr. Spencer Wells of Stanford University out in Cali. Dr. Wells clearly illustrated the genetic connection between all of us and at the same time refuting the myth of race.

    The Stanford professor showed me that we are all one. We do not however have the same experiences, some of us have it better than others because of the false concept of race. The word race always conjured up images of alien beings in my head, like the ones we used to see on Lost in Space. Somehow within the concept of race we used the genetic/racial identity to explain behaviors/proclivities/beliefs. He or she can’t help it they are black,white,red. That is how they be! The information below is from Wikipedia on the concept of Race.

    The 19th century saw attempts to change race from a taxonomic to a biological concept. In the 19th century a number of natural scientists wrote on race: Georges Cuvier, Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, Francis Galton, James Cowles Pritchard, Louis Agassiz, Charles Pickering, and Johann Friedrich Blumenbach. As the science of anthropology took shape in the 19th century, European and American scientists increasingly sought explanations for the behavioral and cultural differences they attributed to groups (Stanton 1960).

    For example, using anthropometrics, invented by Francis Galton and Alphonse Bertillon, they measured the shapes and sizes of skulls and related the results to group differences in intelligence or other attributes (Lieberman 2001). These scientists made three claims about race: first, that races are objective, naturally occurring divisions of humanity; second, that there is a strong relationship between biological races and other human phenomena (such as forms of activity and interpersonal relations and culture, and by extension the relative material success of cultures), thus biologizing the notion of “race”, as Foucault demonstrated in his historical analysis; third, that race is therefore a valid scientific category that can be used to explain and predict individual and group behavior.

    Races were distinguished by skin color, facial type, cranial profile and size, texture and color of hair. Moreover, races were almost universally considered to reflect group differences in moral character and intelligence. The eugenics movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, inspired by Arthur Gobineau’s An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853-1855) and Vacher de Lapouge’s “anthroposociology”, asserted as self-evident the biological inferiority of particular groups (Kevles 1985). In many parts of the world, the idea of race became a way of rigidly dividing groups by culture as well as by physical appearances (Hannaford 1996). Campaigns of oppression and genocide were often motivated by supposed racial differences (Horowitz 2001).

    The documentary I made reference to destroys this concept. I am Nubian so are you no matter your color! Check out the video from the documentary below. brightmoments!

    Posted by NuNubian at Thursday, June 26, 2008
    Post a Comment

    Thanks for the honest conversation. I hope you will go to the blog to see the clip. Be Blessed! p.s. I love all my people!

  187. 187 Henock Assefa Jun 29th, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Naga – very well written. couple of discrepancies, but right on the money.

    Lulu – i appreciate your solidarity and will stand by you to defend and uphold our heritage, our people, and our country. i didnt necessarily disagree with you, even said you made a point.

  188. 188 Henock Assefa Jun 29th, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    John – thanks for the update, now i know we all bleed red, use our mouths to speak, ears to listen, eyes to see, blah blah blah…
    We are humans, but we don’t necessarily share backgrounds, experiences, diets, sociological make up etc… It’s no different than the animal kingdom: there are lions and there are sheep; there’s a lot of the latter in these pastures.
    Take a time to read Naga’s comment.

  189. 189 Lulu Jun 30th, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    This is in response to Mr. Ivory, the writer of this article.
    …………………………GRIM REMINDERS……………………………………

    I am late arrival to this issue. Any way, when ever I got a chance to access this column, the hanging pictures of yours on the top of the column, beneath your complaint to ethiopians, reminded me to say something, pertinent to this matter.
    One sunday morning, so long ago, I went to ” Abysinian baptist church”, with one of my Ethiopian intimate friend. My friend approached a group of prayers, consists of youngsters and adults.
    Do you know what does the word ” abyssinian represents ?”, he asked one of them.
    The girl nodded, and giggled, without saying a word.
    He asked the rest of them, the same way, but no one couldn’t provide a genuine answer to it.
    ” who cares, why you asked me in the first place, It is Just a name, why do you think it is, etc…” some of the replies we heared from them.
    Except quite a few, no body paid attention, for his reply” Abysinia is the ancient name of Ethiopia”.
    Most surprisingly, some of them even didn’t know ” Ethiopia ” as a country. It is a shame.
    When we were kids or teenagers, in Ethiopia, we either thought in class, read articles, books, or heard from some one, about the prominent and reputable poletical leader, such as Dr, king, who dedicated his life for the emanicipation of your community. Some others too. We knew more or less the history of your original ancestors, how they ended to N.America from africa, and suffered by white people,etc..
    The bottom line is, who cares about your community, if you do not have a gut to know about our selves. Should we complain? or write an article about it? as you did to our community? necessarily not.

    Who else pledged money or other resources to our nation, when Ethiopia was striked by the most severe hunger? Where there any benefactories from the A,A community? Those multi-millioners hollywood actors, musicians, comedians, surely none of them.
    More over………..
    - How many times, I saw light skin female A.As dated light skin male A,As? of couse, “plenty of times.”
    - How many times, I met A,As who attempted to distant themslelves from the rest of their community, claiming that they have a blood from acausains, Indians, or Arabs.” A couple of times.”
    - How many times, I have neglected by A,As, either I am foreigner, or have an accent, or both. ” I can say,it is numerous times.”
    What do you think all of these incidents constitute ? All these complexities, in one way or another, have racial intent.

    Your incident or confrontation, while you were in Ethiopian restaurant,may or may not contains racial intent. why? the viewers or readers like us do not get a chance to observe the other side of the story, in this instances, the waiter. Any compliant, without a proof, is frivalous. We count as everything is on the air. If you stick with your compliant, still do not be surprise. The bottom line is, sometimes though, not very often, such sorts of incidents, may be visible in our community, as do in yours, and continue existing in any ones.
    …..To me all these are GRM REMINDERS, which neither can be eradicated nor evaporated from my mind ………………………

  190. 190 Samson Jul 2nd, 2008 at 1:47 am

    You both sound like saddist–Lulu and henok. It looks like both of you are doing most of the complaining; get over yourselves; no one cares

  191. 191 Henock Assefa Jul 2nd, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Saddist? No clue what the hell that means.
    You obviously care enough to have commented.
    Yet, another sheep with no point but wants to chime in.

  192. 192 Lulu Jul 3rd, 2008 at 11:18 am

    This is in response to Naga’s comment, written on June, 27, 2008
    “Know yourselves better”
    Compare your self to other Africans-with the same features and appearances. They come America with a lot of ambitions. Either through hard work or education- succeeded in their lives achieved a lot. They support themselves, their families, and their parents back home. Some of them even purchase house, instead of renting apartment. They face even harsh discrimination than A, Americans -triple discrimination- they are discriminated because of their color skin, they are being foreigner, and have an accent. But, they have challenged it through high self esteem, great self discipline, and good morale.
    You were born and raised in a country, where there are lots of opportunities, English is your primary language, but failed to succeed. In everyday basis, I see a lot of A. As, receiving public assistants, welfare checks from the government, and living from hand to mouth. How many of them are without college degree or High school diploma? Plenty of them.
    Whom do you blame the most for your failure? Take a moment to ask yourselves. Your Government? The Caucasians? Or yourselves? Primarily yourselves, of course.
    It is impossible to imagine any single black individual to exist, with out affected by discrimination, and while residing in white dominated country. One way or another, to higher or less degree, all black people, experienced Racism, and Discrimination. That is obvious. Avoid relating to discrimination, any incidents occurring to you. That is the most part of your weakness. Do not wish a loaf from the sky. Success is the result of a long time effort.
    I heard a lot of complaints, from these African people, stating that, A, As look them as a disdain, as if they come from poor countries, the most least developed continent. Know better your selves. The less interest you have to appreciate other African countries’ culture, religion, etc.., where your ancestors originated from, the less likely to gain support, strength and solidarities from the people of these countries, the more likely to be vulnerable to discrimination, the consequences is, the less likely to fight Racism and Discrimination. In this context, Ethiopians are Ethiopians, African Americans are African Americans, others are others, with out the interest of one another, all can not feed on the same table.
    We Ethiopians, originated from the poor nation. Most importantly, we have something in common, distinct character that exists in our blood, and identify ourselves. Regardless of where we reside, and each of us economical status, and ethnicity, we are highly proud of being Ethiopians. We have precious unique culture, tradition, history and religion that are non exchangeable, non tradable, non perishable, but transferred from generation to generation.
    The content of my point of view in this regard is, be aware of, and know yourselves better. Lack of this, will expose any one of you to sharp criticism.

  193. 193 Finding happiness Jul 9th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    I’m a 24 year old Ethiopian girl living in Nothern VA (make sure you read the last paragraph!)…..and as you may already know everyone is different. So we can’t really expect a “yes” or “no” answer to the question “Are Ethiopians racist”? It’s same as asking “Are african americans racist” or “Are white people racist?” Well, it depends on which ethiopian, african american, or white person we are referring to. We can’t easily generalize one race’s perspective.

    I think that best way is to try NOT TO LABEL or STEREOTYPE a race or ethnic background and you, yourself should have a positive attitude towards others. Your experience with one is not gonna be the same with another one from the same background of people. Don’t let how YOU think others view you as bother you. Believe in yourself and just regard that INDIVIDUAL as being ignorant and he or she probably does not know any better…

    We live in a free country and I think it’s a waste of time to anyalyze people’s way of thinking. We have more problems to deal with like feeding the needy, and kids with no homes and nobody to care for them. How about trying to help others that appreciate our time and energy?

    Ignorant people are just wasting OUR time. I heard some parts of Ethiopia have not been getting enough rain and the harvest was NOT good this year. PLEASE help the needy by visiting the website YOU HELP would be MUCH appreciated.. You can really help feed someone. Thanks!! ..

  194. 194 LECTURER Jul 11th, 2008 at 12:51 am



































    whatever you want to call yourself brown, bronze, caramel,chocolate, black. YOU BLACK PEOPLE NEED TO unite

  195. 195 LECTURER Jul 11th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    I am hereby making inquiries regarding my comments last night. it appeared briefly before it was deleted. I therefore request you to redress this “technical” error. I believe my critical contribution is productive in understanding the debate at hand.

    Thank you

  196. 196 Dorsey Jul 11th, 2008 at 8:31 pm


    Please keep your comments lower case, no need to shout. Either way, we will read it…don’t worry.

  197. 197 Kristi Jul 12th, 2008 at 2:06 pm


    You made very valid points…especially UK and European success because of unity. Excellent review…. I’d dare say the most insightful comment yet.

  198. 198 Freezer Jul 18th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    What a business! ethiopia exists above your cheap stereotype. Is she driving you crazy?

  199. 199 Henock Assefa Jul 19th, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    A highly irresponsible commentary on bigotry, prejudices, and stereotypes to put it mildly. For each hateful relationship you depict the inverse is true as well. Amhara’s hate Oromo’s; Oromo’s hate Amhara’s. Also, oppression occurs when a group ceases power (e.g. Iraq, Rwanda/Burundi, Former Yugoslavia, etc…). So during your lifetime there have been two groups of people that were in power. But for centuries prior to where other dynamics that you don’t account for.
    So, after spewing all of that your point is what? That Ethiopians are racist, but you somehow some way have been enlightened and do not, in any way shape or form, have any adverse feeling or notions of a group of people you are not directly related to.
    Let me pose this scenario: If a white NYPD officer shoved his stick up your butt while 3 other white colleagues stood and watched or participated in your civil rights abuse, you would have no hatred or at the very least ill will towards white people in general? Simply based on historical data you would be inclined to believe that white people are the single most violent and abusive people on earth (from the wars in china for opium, to the colonization of africa and southeast asia, the extinction and incarceration of american indians, slaves in n. and s. america,thru the animal kingdom as a whole, all the way down to a power junkie, ripped fuel pill popper white cop). You must have some formed judgment.
    Well, the same can be applied to all ethnicities, races, creeds, nationalities, cities, towns, villages, regions, states, provinces, and neighborhoods. That’s the obvious! We are flawed. We have feelings of love and hate intertwined. One directly affects the other and consequently enforces the other.
    Those are instincts. We don’t learn them; they occur as soon as we leave the womb. The mother’s care (breastfeeding, touch, voice, smell) makes us feel loved. We just know that the second we are born. So we stop crying if given love. However, if we are not paid attention to we cry. Why do we have these feelings? Who knows. But they exist and they are the true essence of who we are. Ying and Yang. Badda and Bing (for those from Long Island). Can we unlearn something that’s not learned? Can we change our instinct and not hate? That’s a better question than Are Ethiopians Racist?

  200. 200 Truth Jul 19th, 2008 at 11:28 pm

    The stupid Ethiopian restaurant owners are catering only to white customers. They forgot it was the poor Ethiopians who helped to build their business. Now they act like they don’t care for us Blacks wherever we come from. MR. Ivory and myself have been discriminated. I am a woman from Ethiopia and i was also discriminated by my own people. I saw them catering to White customers. For me i got upset because i said to myself i wasted about 50 bucks and the whites spent the same amount as me. Why am i being treated without any dignity. My advice to Mr. Ivory is to never go to Ethiopian restaurant again. I swore to myself i will never set a foot in Ethiopian restaurant again. Let them have all the whites they want. They will not get my money with their attitudes. I don’t care.

  201. 201 Henock Assefa Jul 22nd, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Well the “truth” comes out finally!
    You are such a joke.
    This is your beef with Ethiopian restaurateurs:
    “I saw them catering to White customers”
    WHAT A CRIME!! How are they even able to operate in today’s society with such brutish attitudes! The gall to cater to white customers! That’s just plain distasteful!
    But more importantly, why tell Ivory only not to step in an Ethiopian restaurant. You should warn him not to ever associate with any Ethiopian altogether.
    You are a lousy sheep. You should be denaturalized from Ethiopia.

  202. 202 The Hammer (Ato Temachu) Jul 23rd, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    What are you talking about ” the truth “? It looks like you forgot you came out from an Ethiopian mother’s womb. Frankly speaking, I am harshly meltreated and discriminated by African Americans as equally as their white counterparts. There is no ground reason for that. Just I am a foreigner, all of the sudden that became the number one cause for the harassment. Don’t throw an assumption, as if I am rigid and rough. I am easy going and flexible. But, I do not come to the conclusion to isolate myself from these two main dominant citizens, except that deciding to be exteremly curious to associate them not to expose my self for the same situation again.
    I read a couple of your previous comments regarding this matter. You once cited ” Race is not the issue back home” There fore why you worry about for this? One person, or group of people do not represent the majority of Ethiopians. Period. The issue is very minimal. Just leave it behind as if it doesn’t exist at all.
    We shouldn’t raise this issue initially, since there are a lot of other burning issues in Ethiopia. Let’s prepare ourselves to fight the draught ( as happiness findings mentioned ), contribute some money and materials to feed our hungry people back home. That matters a lot rather wasting our valuable time for this argument.

  203. 203 Betty Negusse Jul 23rd, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    The Hammer (Ato Temachu),

    Wise cat once said: Ethiopians lived for “thousands of years, forgetful of the world by whom they were forgotten”.

    Time has changed. We now live in the Global Village, so it is important we confront our demons. Yes, Ethiopians are racist. At least we have serious issues with race and ethnicity that needs to be addressed. So, please don’t ask as to sweep it under the carpet. No, no more. On top of that we are immigrants in one of the most diverse societies in History. So the sooner we clear our heads of this basic confusion, the better for all of us.

    One Love!

  204. 204 Henock Assefa Jul 23rd, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Lovely colonized name you chose, BETTY!
    Your contrived western assimilation process has forced you to focus on all that’s negative about your country. You are spineless and a sheep.
    Ato Temachu has not in any way shape or form asked you to sweep anything under any rug. As a matter of fact, he’s asking that you focus on putting food on the table for people back home instead of spending your time and money getting westernized!
    Also, everyone is a goddamn immigrant in the US, what’s your point?!? Every ethnic group had to endure the same growing pains of adjustment, why single us out?
    Lastly, the wise cat was not so wise, in retrospect, Ethiopia would be a much better place if we had remained untouched by western civilization. Well, maybe not for your corporate acronym infested (MTV, CNN, GAP, TMZ, ABC, DKNY, FUBU, D&G, AOL, etc…) and brainwashed self. Another one that needs to be denaturalized.

  205. 205 Lulu Jul 25th, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Betty and Truth:
    In the absence of anything, you just made a subjective view. As a matter of fact, discrimination is very complex issue. Discrimination in its every form can be found with in any society (Ukraine, Azerbaijan or any of the people from the former descendents of the Soviet Union hate Russians. The Tamils have a conflict with the other Indians tribes in sirilanka. The Turkish and the Germans dislike each other. Here in America Caucasians against blacks, Americans citizens against foreigners, Christians against Moslems or vice versa. Many examples can be cited).
    Our world contains several countries, divided by several tribes and sub tribes, which have a conflict among them. Racial, socioeconomic status and anatomical and sexual and other subtle differences between men and women pave the way for discrimination. Women have equal rights as men. But, there are still biological differences between men and women. Women can produce offspring’s and nurture them. There are still job sectors men capable of doing but women cannot do. Women are linguistic and men are articulate. In some countries women are still dominated by men and deprived of their rights and freedom involving in economical, social and political activities as their men counterparts do.
    Racial and ethnic and socioeconomic status is the most prominent types of intergroup relationships that reflect types of social inequality in any society. Where social inequalities exist, discrimination is a key feature of intergroup relationships. Discrimination can serve to reinforce the symbolic boundaries that separate the social groups from each other. Exposure to discrimination based on race and ethnicity is the most dominant one. As long as Racial (Discrimination based on Religion, country of origin, ethnicity, skin color etc), Socio economic status, and biological and other subtle differences between men and women exist, Discrimination will never cease to appear. We like or it or not it continues to exist.
    Religion, Education, peoples’ consciousness (peoples’ exposure to critical thinking and fair judgment), forming good government that keeps the interest of the majority of the people, may help to reduce the level of discrimination, but none of them will bear radical change. Neither of them will abolish the problem permanently.
    Regarding this matter, the writer’s (Mr. Ivory’s) complaint to Ethiopian’s community has no foundation. Even if the incident contains racial intent, there is nothing to surprise. Many of Ethiopians including me exposed to discrimination Either by AA’s or Caucasians or both in one way or another. To full fill his job requirement as a journalist or to earn something for his living, the writer has no restriction writing an article about what he fells. The writer probably stepped his foot to the Ethiopian restaurant, not to feed or to acquaint with Ethiopian culture, but to absorb the positive or negative reaction of waiters to the customers, to deliberately write an article about it. But, it shouldn’t be presented to other Ethiopians for debate, argument or to take any other similar action to it, since we have other critical issues back home. Nothing is important than to save the lives of million of Ethiopians who stretched their hands for assistance, dying of hunger in everyday basis, or struggling for existence. That is why I say myself Bravo for the “Hammer,” Bravo for “happiness findings” as far as this is concerned.

    Nothing is valuable than retaining our heritage, too. I am not involved to any political movement, even though I believe that political solution may help to reduce many of the problems we face. But when it comes to Ethiopian culture, tradition, history and religion in general, I will fight those who are trying to imitate, depict, shape, and contaminate our heritage in any way in any form. Our country’s glorious past history, culture filled with richness in Art and language, religions ( both Christianity and Islam ) and its old civilization, the fact that it has been the cradle of Christianity for about 1500 years and the fact that the earlier ancestors of modern humans originated from Ethiopian and migrated to the rest of the world, the fact that Ethiopia is one of the two countries in Africa that has never been colonized and people take pride in their struggle to keep their independence, all those should be taken primarily. Without its heritage, Ethiopia is just a country shown in a single map. Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest and least developed nations, in nowadays. But, its oldest civilization, culture, religion never been forgotten . Those are the only elements that bring her to the top of other countries. Once Ethiopian called the bread basket of Africans.

    I met a few of ignorant people who have little or no knowledge about Ethiopia. They view Ethiopia as a poor country and its inhabitants are dying of hunger and are disease infected. I met also several people who appreciate our heritage. This does not surprise me, at all. What matters to me is to see or to know some Ethiopians who are compelled to accept western culture and neglect totally their heritage. This is the out come of cultural subjugation, low self- esteem and identity crisis. To over come this crisis and embaracing situation, we each Ethiopians have great responsibilities to retain our culture we inherited from our ancestors by preventing these individuals from introducing a new western culture totally or forming a hybrid ones by modifying the old ones by the new ones. For the sake of our generation, and the generation to follow, we should unite to firmly challenge this crisis. We should propose fresh thinking that draws from the values of classical Ethiopian personality: respect for tradition, tenacity, resistance and culture pride. Such an action should be taken the soonest.

    I initially heard and later confirmed the information that a group of Ethiopian intellectuals are preparing to form a non profit organization that helps our heritage to exist. So far they received positive responses from a lot of Ethiopians who wants to pledge money and other resources and awaiting similar responses from other foreign donors. We should also engage or participate in such kind of or similar activities that can benefit our society. These are the kind of kind of burning issues that should be presented for conversation: what should be done to keep our heritage as it is without fading or disintegrating? What should be done to our society? Etc…. In this regards, I myself gave a credit primarily for “ Henok” and also other Ethiopians who provide comments, defending our heritage.

  206. 206 Freezer Jul 26th, 2008 at 12:46 am

    This business of “ethio-bashing” is created by the western white world who failed to break ethiopia’s back with weapon. Now their motto is: you could not break it with weapons but you might try it with psychological war. I happen to meet a european few months ago ( from the netherlands) he opened his big mouth and kept on blabbering that ethiopians feel a lot of pride in them. I told him that afterall he has worn a warped goggle, that ethiopians live their life, many are poor and destitute, fighting for their survival and do not deserve his sterotypical remarks. I asked him why they (the whites) turn away from a black face. It turned him off and he sprinted away from me. What they have done to the black race elsewhere is despicable and terrible. They even claim overtly that they have molded africans out from barbarism via colonialism and to justify this claim they have to destroy ethiopia which always poses a danger of giving a contrasting image. The idea of an independent minded black nation that never embraced soul destroying colonialism still existing always irritates them. As a way of justifying the superiority of the white race they keep on hammering the point that colonialism was wonderful. And to claim that they do not hold the patent of biological racism they paint racism of africans amongst africans or african americans. They really want to see blacks quarrel for eternity. They will lough endlessly about it. Or they get respite in their living since life is short and they too die but they live a better life than others. The white world never embraces equality of races unless it is imposed on it by the reality of life. They in fact work hard gainst equality. And to the point of ethio-bashing. these people are either the true friends of the racist white race: be it african american, eritrean or another african or people who are forced to develop inferirity complex because of the heirachial place they are given in the world as defined by the white world (example: the white racists profess that whites are better than asian, asians are better than egyptians, egyptioans are better than ethiopians, ethiopians are better than kenyans and ad infinitum). Such heirachial racism breaks people soul and the gentle man, an african american who visited the bar might be looking for some way of justifying the stereotype that has been imposed on him (poor lad!) by the white world. My advice to him is to stay away from this world of heirachial racism, make some soul searching, redfine himself and get clean of all this would be attitudes.

  207. 207 Betty Negusse Jul 26th, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Freezer, I am not sure if you saw his photo or the article, Steven Ivory is African American not white. Just in case, I thought I should point that out.

    Henok, I understand if you disagree with my point of view, perfectly fine, but please do not be offensive and abusive to those of us who are here to learn and engage. Educate me, yes, but please don’t insult me. Thank you.

  208. 208 Henock Assefa Jul 27th, 2008 at 8:49 am

    Accept my apologies my sister, Bethelehem.

  209. 209 Freezer Jul 28th, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Betty: the problem is the other way round: i am not sure if you have read my article!

  210. 210 3 Birds Jul 28th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    What a perfect opp. for Ethiopians to exhibit their hubris nature, and create a deeper divide amongst themselves and other people all the while doing nothing worth talking about. Killing three birds with one stone…

    Great job you guys. You make work for me, much easier. Thanks!

  211. 211 Henock Assefa Jul 29th, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    The irony of your statement is the arrogant prick is you sitting on your perch judging.

  212. 212 3 Birds Jul 31st, 2008 at 10:53 am

    To much the same…I do not deny my arrogance but it is much deserved–you’re doing my work for me– so there is no irony in this in only that you are helping to tear yourselves down like animals — the typical African way. Do you own sheep? You seem to be obsessed with the word, thought, visual…. zoophilia? It appears you’ve had too much, perhaps an overdose, of the bucolic life. So much for the “you don’t have to be a product of your environment” argument. Ha!

    The laughter tears are still falling from that last bit.

    More importantly, please, by all means…continue; I am assured that you will–your hubris nature will not allow otherwise. Besides, kid, this perch is pretty lofty.

  213. 213 Bethlehem Solomon Jul 31st, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    First of all to Mr. Ivory, I am sincerely sorry about what happened to you.

    When Mengistu Haliemariam was president in Ethiopia. People were DYING. How? Because people were cruel and they would kill you for money or because they had nothing to do.

    Now Melese Zenawi is president and people are still DYING from hunger and poverty, and murder and homelessness and diseases and aids, etc

    Lights and water come and go, and people are usually home by 6 because there is no street lights.

    And there is a new bull S….t rule that if you are Ethiopian and were born in Ethiopia you cannot carry more than $50.

    This is how shitty politics is and this is the main reason why people are like this cause they are sick of life and peoples attitudes.

    Thanks for reading

  214. 214 Carlos Aug 10th, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Ethiopians are Racist. He is my story I’m from Panama and I’m Black man. I just finish cooking school and was trailing (working a for free to get more experience) at Marcus Samuelsson restaurant. At the same time white guy from Panama was also just finish cooking school and was Trailing at the same time. Both of us started on the same day. Marcus Samuelsson never spoke a word to me the entire time, but he came and spoke to the white guy and wanted to know about him. Ethiopians are the worst.

    A luta continua

  215. 215 Mussowerki Aug 12th, 2008 at 11:00 am

    The real intent of the majority of the discussants is clear: Ethio bashing.

    Tool used: waffling and scum talks. nothing useful. end objective: smear and smear .. and smear and smear.

  216. 216 Mama Africa Aug 12th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    I’ll tell you this Carlos…it is because he feels pleased/honored/respectable that a white man is trailing him. That’s the only thing I can gather considering he didn’t give you the same interest as he gave the white guy–and you were both on the same level. Color had everything to do with it.

    Many nonwhites place the value of themselves ultimately in their comparability/competitiveness/admiration of whites. To some–almost everything “white” seems so much better, especially compared to those things “black”.

    Many of the people I know who are from “back home” (Africa) really adore white people and Ethiopian are no exception. Many in the states would, in a heart beat, marry white, not necessarily for love but for status and this is again mostly a socio-economic move most of the time. There are numerous persons I know who have done this and they are so proud of themselves, not necessarily because they are married/in a relationship but because they have a white girlfriend/husband/boyfriend/wife–they’ve said it themselves.

    That’s one racist Ethiopian, perhaps, but not all are that way. I guess reading some of the responses on this blog don’t help that argument much considering some of the ignorant and racist comments made by some Ethiopians here. Remember, to each his/her own.

  217. 217 Mussowerki Aug 14th, 2008 at 4:35 am

    Still the intent is filth and smear but encapsulated in the word “africa”.

  218. 218 Mama Africa Aug 14th, 2008 at 9:08 am


    It’s humorous you should say that yet add nothing productive to this discussion yourself, with no proof or merit to discredit anything that was said. It is really simple, actually. It’s because you can’t. We all have different experiences, some things like this are considered taboo and not readily accepted to discuss. Anything someone else says that is not particularly positive about another group of people is “bashing” even if what they said is true? Leave your pride at the door because this is much bigger than that. You need to reevaluate those ideas, if you think ignoring what’s real and promoting a lie is productive. You are smearing hopelessly each time you refuse to acknowledge truth.

  219. 219 Seriously Aug 14th, 2008 at 11:59 am

    I just returned from Ethiopia I still have the jet lag to prove it and I must say that my experience with Ethiopians at home is quite different than those in America. Not all but many A.Americans are attracted to Africa as a whole as a means of cultural identification. In Ethiopia I was treated far better than Ethiopian Americans treat me here. TO be honest I wasn’t expecting it. they don’t owe me anything I don’t expect to be showered with adoration or attention… But guess what.. I was shown so much love, in the baggage claims a little Ethiopian woman comes up to me open arms and says welcome home It is good you returned. On the plane leaving I sat next to an elderly Ethiopian woman, I took care of her like she was my own Grandmother and when she left she told her family to tell me that I was a good daughter as she kissed my cheeks. When I was in Ethiopia most of the bad vibes came from those that were very western looking in style and attitude those pretending to be something they are not. They are the ones that feel as if they have something to prove. Me I am just on this earth reclaiming my entire history as an African decendant. As for American Ethiopians that have their heads stuck up their butts NOT ALL AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE A GHETTO MENTALITY I hate that mess just as much as any forward thinking person would. Just remember though, they are the way there are as a direct result of an oppressive society one which their parents and grandparents fought against so that you Ethiopian African Americans could come to this country and work freely and build a comfortable life here. Would not be possible for you without us. To white people you are another African just like us. Maybe a bit more exotic, but if they had things their way you would have been up for auction too.

  220. 220 Mussowerki Aug 14th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    You have no truth to tell except saying blacks are white lovers that includes Ethiopians, There is nothing more racist than that when you dare put all blacks in one colour even the topic of talking to a white is not an important topic because you want to use it for the “bashing business”. I do not know what difference you want to make out. First remove your hate and the difference will vapour out. Some body talked with whites and then follows the mega theory, the generalisations, the philosophising, the character assassination, the nation harassing and the bashing, blablablabla. It is constructed with care and elegant language in away that is meant to convey ill conceived hate. To me you and adolf hiltler are the same: you think in terms of: hair, colour and border. The only difference is you are spared the weapon that hitler had.

  221. 221 Henock Assefa Aug 14th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Well I guess then I will talk to you Tadias.

    Do you find it necessary to censor comments much like they do in communist countries?

    Censor me all you want, my job here is done. People have and will read my comments.
    The ideas will linger forever and that you cant take back. My people are mentally strong and they don’t waver.

  222. 222 Mama Africa Aug 15th, 2008 at 9:31 am


    “Many” does not mean “all”.

    Africa is composed of many countries; therefore, those countries are lumped on ONE continent.

    Many of the people I know who are from “back home” (Africa) really adore white people and Ethiopians are no exception.

    Furthermore, there is no hate in TRUTH, only people who HATE you for speaking the TRUTH.

    I’m merely telling the truth as I have seen it and as it pertains to Carlos. I’m suppose to be the “good little African” and pretend like these things do not exist? Africans (not all of them but a lot and I have indeed met a lot of them as I am one myself) tend to love and treat white people as if they are gods or something. They are just people like you and I, no super human powers, they may or may not have money and|or power and even if they did, is that what life is all about? I’ve seen it too many times to deny it. I’m not interested in trying to “pretend” things don’t exist, as you do. Again, you have nothing to discredit anything I said. You’re just babbling.

    Me, racist? I could call it “hate” or “racism” if someone from back home or any person, discriminated against me because I am black and readily accepted someone else with no other basis other than their skin being white. It leaves one to wonder just how similar you are to the people who’ve dominated and colonized you that you would hate or ignore your brothers or sisters to more or less continue the cycle.

    I know, this is like a taboo subject to talk about, but I’m not interested in anything but reality and truth, everything else is yours to keep. If my honesty makes me Hilter (as insane as the concept is considering Hilter was a mass murderer and racist to his core) then what does your denial make you?

  223. 223 Carlos Aug 21st, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    I just wanted to add one more thing to discussion “NOT ALL AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE A GHETTO MENTALITY” African American mentality create the most advance
    of African culture on the planet. African American were slaves only 420 years ago.
    They have overcame being obstacle the African could never image. They build own Universities, have higher standard of living than any of Africans, and lives longer than their brothers in Africa or Latin American. They create their society after being sold into slaves by our brothers and sisters in Africa. I believe Ethiopia was never colonizes. If Ethiopians feel the have a better mentality than African American then why is Ethiopia on the bottom of development of Africa? Why do Ethiopians come to American to receive the rights and privileges that African American fought so hard to get? Again I from Central American (African Latino) I am so proud of African American Mentality and when I go home I will bring that Mentality to my country. And maybe we in Latin American who are black could make progress just like our brothers up north.

    A luta continua

  224. 224 Ethiopian_girl Aug 23rd, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I am Ethiopian woman and I love African Americans. I think African Americans are the smartest, kindest, most caring and wonderful people I have seen in my whole life. Ethiopians who think you are better than African Americans get your acts together, because you can’t judge people without knowing them. At least learn about African Americans history and their culture , they have a wonderful history.

  225. 225 Mathias Aug 26th, 2008 at 12:46 pm


    That’s a good outlook in life. We need to love one another. But, how can you love others while hating yourself?

  226. 226 Dereje Mokonzi Sep 17th, 2008 at 9:57 am

    I’m speaking from personal experience. I had the privilege to extensively travel and live in many parts of Africa.

    Hypocrites we are – Ethiopians. Yes we are! We are racists. We are racist towards Africans (especially the dark ones – don’t matter where they come from). We are racist towards all and all. Unless a person is from where we come from – we discriminate. Period!

    Stop pretending to be who you are not. Say it as it is and work to change to be a better person…

  227. 227 materman Oct 8th, 2008 at 10:03 am

    I am born and am living in ethiopia but for one second i have never considered myself as an ethiopian. This is because i have a dark skin (oftern referred to in ethiopia as bariya – meaning slave). People in ethiopia have an extreme aversion against dark skinned people. It is not that they resort to physical assualt but rather that they consider them as devils. When i entered the orthodox christian church mnay people feel extremely uncomfortable at the site of a dark skinned man praying by the side of them and because of this i stopped going to the church and i pray at home. An ethiopian girl that dares dating a black ethiopian is considered one of the following: either she must be crazy, or she is a prostitute, or she is rejected by all non-dark skinned in ethiopian and have no where to go, or she is blatant money lover willing to risk social rejection. A dark skinned ethiopian is socially ostracized. For example if his is sucessful in academics people often gossip that he is stealing exams or he is simply cramming things. if a dark skinned ethiopian becomes a manager of an organisation, nearly every employee will start demonising him saying he has a devil character, that he is bad, he is incapable and so on. This cultural system is a way of putting away dark skinned ethiopians from having any kind of socialisation or sucess in the society. This system is not overt but it is firmly entrenched and sort of national chaacter. If a dark skinned ethiopian goes to acourt there is every chance that he will be judged against. Although the ethiopian constitution states equality of all races or skin colours this is rarely practiced in actual life. The same is true if a dark skinne dperson falls in the hands of a police because of some incident, there is chance that he might be grossly mistreated. The best for such people is to leave that country and setle somewhere else. Asa dark skinned ethiopian i have never for one day felt ethiopian and i always thank god so far i have not been physically assaulted i always pray to god this wil not happen to me. However, i have been subjected to other psychological harrasment. However, it helped me a lot in being strong in completely rejecting being an ethiopian.

  228. 228 Mekonnen Yimam Oct 12th, 2008 at 7:29 am

    I have read almost every message posted here. as i am Ethiopian,let me tell u the truth,i don’t have any knowledge to share you about Ethiopians living in USA,but here in Ethiopia,i have no enough words to express our full feeling interest to treat people coming from any corner of the world as sisters and brothers. “To see is to believe”.
    About people living in USA,i think they will not do such things.May be the way u are thinking and the way an Ethiopian in USA behaving is different in a different situation in your interaction.But this doesn’t imply what you are saying here.In every thing any one should consider himself/herself in every interaction with people before blaming others,how s/he is behaving and s/he finds him/herself which is wrong if you think very carefully.
    or else without such considerations don’t criticize ethiopian people as awhole

  229. 229 W. Beyene Oct 26th, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    As an Ethiopian- American who had lived and worked in NJ area and moved to GA recently, the article about Ethiopian being racist is a two way street. I have never experienced prejudice as much as I have experienced it in GA from African Americans and white alike.

    Looking at the cultural back ground of Ethiopia revels that Ethiopia has been considered different from the other sub-Saharan Africans for various reasons and the major emphasis has always been our look. How about digging deeper into the culture and looking at the gap that has been created by the language barrier.

    As much as you felt discriminated by Ethiopians on your visit to one of the restaurants I face it daily at my job. The rejection is from African-Americans and white alike. Can you see the flip side of the Penny???

  230. 230 mimi Nov 27th, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Wow, such strong feelings. I will try to add to this by listing some of the experiences I have had. I am an Ethiopian, born in dire dewa but grew up in canada. I have heard for some time now that a lot of Africans(non-Ethiopians) think that Ethiopians are proud and dislike other Africans. For this reason or maybe another, I have had many experiences of “black women” giving me very nasty looks. I’m not sure how to describe the look in a black woman’s eyes when she is staring you up and down and rolling her eyes and letting you know what she thinks by her expression….I’m sure many of you have experienced it and wondered what did I do, I’m just walking by.
    With regards to Ethiopians sticking to their own people, I dont think it is really b/c they are racist. It is just so much easier to be with your own kind. There are so many unspoken parts of our culture that would be lost in a marriage that involved a non-Ethiopian. Besides no one should look at an Ethiopian and assume that b/c they are black they should get along with A. Americans. The culture is completely different. We have so many rules with regards to interacting with eachother and the do’s and dont’s of social interactions…it’s too much to explain but that is how it is. Look beyond the race and you will understand. Also, you might be surprised to realize but Ehtiopians don’t really spend that much time thinking about other ‘black people’. I don’t mean this in a negative way, it’s just that we are so caught up in our communities that there is no time to look or think outside that.
    I’m sorry for the hard feelings but from what I understand from the article published above the bartender did not mean any harm. This is another example of our behavior being mis-interpreted. The bartender offering to pay for your drink was actually a way to be polite and make you feel comfortable. Ethiopians often feel obligated to do this for eachother(paying for drinks, meals,…) let alone strangers.

  231. 231 steve Dec 9th, 2008 at 3:44 am

    why do you try to defend the bar tender? Is this not the kind of racism ethiopians show towards others. Not all ethiopians are rational.

  232. 232 Abeba Jan 1st, 2009 at 6:58 am

    I have to say that i was shocked when i read this article. But when I think about it, actually this could be true. I am 100% Ethiopian but i was born in the us but when I go to Ethiopia I often see discrimination. Darker people are not treated the same as lighter people which is strange because there are a lot of darker people in Ethiopia. I think it’s because we Ethiopians are so proud! We are too proud of everything that associates with Ethiopia (like our teyim skin colour)
    I don’t know, I just think its stupid!

  233. 233 Tom Jan 7th, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    I have to make a comment concerning Ethiopian women. I work in Bahrain where many Ethiopian women work and have found them to be cunning and cheap. Their main aim is to bag a white man to gain a western passport. My co/workers have experienced many occasions where these women have duped them, those in Bahrain certainly have no pride or shame in how they behave .

  234. 234 safudangna Feb 14th, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Dear all,

    Yes, Ethiopians are truly racist and no black man will go out and come back without being insulted. the sad thing is that lots of African and African Americans do not understand Amharic language to understand what is directed towards them, but the unlucky black population in southern regions know the language and every time they are insulted and dehumanized. Just read recent article from Mr Obang Metho, who is from Gambela and happen to be good human rights campaigner. He has gathered his own and those many Ethiopian black people’s experience in his article. Should we ignore it and live in silence? no. racism must be confronted head on by all Africans and whites like. If a white man said to a black man a ”Negro”, he will be condemned in Western Europe or America. But if an Ethiopian says to a black man a ”Baria” equivalent to Negro or literally means Slave, then he walks away unashamed, even feeling good and superior. Few others will join to laugh at the poor person and destroy his self-esteem. Could this be allowed to happen? Should the law protect them from this degrading insults and humiliation? yes but the people in the power are promoters of this and how can they enforce the law. All blacks should unite and claim their right now. My friends experience is not a light weight thing and is real.If you have ever suffered an insult in Ethiopia and living in silence then contact me, we can do something about it. I am ready to deal with it head on. Join me please. Do not be onlookers while others suffer. Please find an article entitled ”Is there racism in Ethiopia?” by googling and read it. It gives a gives a good summary of it all.

    with regards

  235. 235 madangelkay Mar 3rd, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Dear mr. ivory first lets start with the question, “are Ethiopians racist” first of all i think that is a very broad subject second of all i don’t think that its very fair its like asking if all whites are racist or are all blacks are racist so one and so forth, very stereotypical. and there are some people that answered that question with a yes or a no. they are all taking sides. but the truth is that just like in every country in the world some Ethiopians ARE racist i mean you cant really expect a country to be perfect and exepting of everyone. although i do admit that, how you were treated was very wrong but you have to face the facts that this is human behavior and racism is never going to stop. ethiopians are very proud of their customs and cultures, i was thought up to not care about peoples races but some people were brought up with a sence of superiority over others. and i am ashamed to admit that some lighter complextion Ethiopians are racist against other darker ethiopians which even though i was born in ethiopia to this day i dont get, at all. i’ve seen this pointed many times before that all ethiopians are racist which as you can see are very false but look even here in america some lighter african americans have a sence of superiority over darker african americans. and i dont think that anybody could say otherwise but the fact of the matter is that you went into that resturant with pure luck maybe if you had gone to another resurant they would have welcomed you. and another thing that might explain some things for you. you see in ethiopia we are thought to rescpect our culutre and when going to america not to be americanized. and when ethiopians come here and watch the tv shows and see the news it shows african americans in a darker light and some ethiopians are even afraid to befriend african americans (although this should be no excuse about the way you were treated) and in turn some african americans think that we are racist which like i said in every country some are but most arent. i sincerely hope that this helped.

  236. 236 ET Mar 7th, 2009 at 3:13 am

    It is shame in the 21st century we stack on color issues. We all are human beings that have a lot in common. I am an Ethiopian women married for 15 years to an African American wonderful man and have two kids. I encountered similar problems from some of my own habeshas telling me how on earth I will be seen in public with a black man for not acknowledging that he is my beloved husband and a good father of my beautiful children, especially the disrespect and frowning we encountered in Ethiopian restaurants are unbearable.

    If you ask me my experience with my husbands family. They love me and respect me, they never treated me as a different race or group. I always feel I am home like with my own family. It has nothing to do with color or race, the way certain people act toward others has a lot to do with ones upbringing and family moral values.

  237. 237 Moi Mar 16th, 2009 at 1:47 am

    I think Steven Ivory first wrote this piece and then went to the Ethiopian restaurant to play it. I believe he went in there with the intent to provoke the bartender to play his script . Look at Steven Ivory’s picture, a perfect provocateur. It appears he needed his 15 minutes exposure through this piece blaming 104 million people of racism just because by his own design one bartender refused to take his crap.

  238. 238 Mooje Apr 4th, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Hello all,

    I am from Somalia (East Africa). The most racist people in Africa are:

    1- Ethiopia
    2- Somalia

    I don’t why-


  239. 239 Mary Apr 7th, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    From my experiences living in Texas & DC, there is a great wedge between people from East Africa & West Africa (& their descendants). One thing that Ethiopians (amongst other nationalities) pride themselves in is the fact that they’ve never been colonized by Europeans. However, the mentality (aside from the normal pride and wanting to embrace your own people that all humans can relate to)sometimes says otherwise, when skin color, hair texture and body type all become a way of distinction and superiority. As an African-American who is often confused for being E. African, the responses I get range from surprise to disdain when I explain that “No, I am not Habesha, and neither are my ancestors”. One of my close childhood friends was Ethiopian, and one of my best friends now is Eritrean. I would never generalize an entire group of people, because that has happened so often to people with my ethnicity – and I would never want to be a hypocrite. However, it saddens me when, like this author, I am reminded that we (African Americans) are not of the same “kind” and cannot share a certain kinship; despite cultural similarities. I feel that I have every right to enjoy Sundays with fresh coffee and injera, just as I enjoy my mother’s fresh tea and Creole gumbo. After all, in America, we are looked at as “all the same” despite our diverse backgrounds; even though none of us really are, including my fellow American brothers and sisters.

  240. 240 Mathias Apr 12th, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Well, it seems completely unfair what the bartender said to you. However, you should realize the following points.

    You are not an Ethiopian.You are an African American.You are not one of us,and I am not one of yours.I guess looking back,I probably was mistreated by African Americans while I was working as a customer service provider in some drug store.I never blogged about it,nor did I cry for foul about it.I never bothered to even discuss these issues with my friends.You know why? Because,I understand that humanbeings are different and all of us have different origins,reason for doing things we do,and etc.I have always managed to just let it go,ignore it.I have also been somehow mistreated by caucasian Americans,but I have learned to let things go,not to complain about them.
    But you Sir, you feel so entitled that you have to blog about it.Why is that?Why don’t you have a thicker skin than what you seem to have?Why haven’t you leaned in life to let go of things?
    Let me say few things about African Americans that really bother me.
    1. Learn that life is not always fair.When life is not fair,what you should do is not always cry foul,sometimes you should learn to let things go.More importantly,if possible,try to change them.Crying foul has definately helped African Americans during the past,but these days,the destiny of African Americans is left at their hand.
    2.Stop …Stop….Stop…Stop being obsessed about other people,whether they are Caucasians,South Americans,or Ethiopians.Try to mind your own bussiness.Sometimes,I think African Americans are too obssesed with other people that they don’t see themselves;they don’t see their beauty,strength,and weakneses.To start with,try to do these:
    - stop dating other women whether they are caucasians or Ethiopians,and date only your women.Make your women feel like they are the most beautiful creatures in the world.
    - Stop minding other people’s actions;just focus on yourself.I know it is hard,but try to be as much as race unconscious as possible about things.Even when you are judged by your skin color,learn to let it go.You don’t have to cry for a foul all the time.Try to have a thicker skin,more dignity.Crying for a foul all the time makes you look weak and uncontrol of your life.
    …..A message from an Ethiopian to fellow African American brothers.

  241. 241 Meron Sep 7th, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Ruth:- Your racist comments should really stop. I can assure all the readers and all my American friends that Ruth’s words do not represent us Ethiopians.

    With that said, I find that Ethiopians do feel that they are better than everybody else if the shade of their skin is a slightly lighter than their friends. Each time that I am around Ethiopian, I always get reminded that I do not deserve my long, curly hair because I am darker than most Ethiopians. It is upsetting and I have no way to control the situation. Unfortunately, I am to the point that I particularly care less to the culture and the people (well, except my family).

    Meron Demissie

  242. 242 laljoe Oct 2nd, 2009 at 7:10 am

    these days things are blown out of proportion, always!! what’s the big deal here? if you try to look at the situation, the ethiopian guy is not welcoming the writer because it is friday. he wants the place to be all ethiopian. and he also mentioned his frustration about ethiopian women, and with the things that are being seen on the net, although this is another example of things being blown out of proportion, i understand him. come on people, nowadays racism is used to express things ranging from xenophobia to cultural identity. if a person:
    - is seen loving his cultural identity and not giving a second look about others, it is called racism
    - is making friends with group of people he identifies himself more with, it is called racism.
    - is speaking his own language with his country men in the presence of others, it is called racism.

    For the writer of this essay: Please try to experience things more before making any judgements as the root cause of racism is quick generalization!!

    For Ethiopians (for most of you who wrote here): please try to identify what the situation is before jumping into pittying the writer. Pittying is one major sign of looking down on others.

  243. 243 Yardena Kahen Oct 6th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    It’s true Ethiopians have been racist for quite a while now. Some convince others that racism goes away once they accept a specific faith or religion but the truth is it doesn’t go away. I know parents who tried to break up a couple a night before their wedding at our house, making us a witness, because the bride’s parents are from a certain two tribes in ethiopia that don’t approve of the groom because he was eritrean. Then the next day they attended the wedding but her relatives didn’t. My great-great grandfather’s first child was a girl and she fell in love with one of his slaves and ended up pregnant and they ran away and she died, because he(my evil great great grand dad) cursed her ( well he cursed all of us to be eternally damned…some lunatic high-priest). Anyways, her son ended up living in the city of Gonder and his cousin ( my grand mother) refused to see him for quite a while and also her siblings because he was supposedly “barya” , but then again that’s also my family that hates the Jewish part of us and denies it. Me and my parents and the rest of my family that didn’t deny being what ever race G-d made us, were the only ones that went to his funeral. G-d rest his soul and I hope he judges at my devil possessed, close-minded and feudalistic family. My point is I never knew racism existed outside of our own ethiopian bubble. But then I know even at malls and public areas when my niece and her friends are out, habeshas glare at her for being with whites. It’s funny when you think of it, if an ethiopian girl or guy marries a white or black guy, it’s his/her responsibility to make the foreigner feel welcome at social gatherings and leave her/his friends to translate and make them feel at home. If you do that vise versa at the white or black folks home, because english is the language spoken, the habeshas won’t feel that much excluded (depending whether they were raised in a western country since grade school or not). And no matter how racist they are they still suck it up and accept the Ethiopian guy/girl that their son/daughter is married/dating or w/e. And as for Mr.Ivory, I’m sorry that you had to go through that, I have nothing else to say about the situation that yes we are racist, and sadly we will always be.

  244. 244 EmpressI Dec 30th, 2009 at 2:20 am


    I am so proud of my heritage as an African woman, borned in Jamaica. Ethiopia is my pride and joy a shining light to my path. When I think of my ancesters, it never mattered whether they were directly from Africa or by way of another place. I love all my African people and because of that I can love other races and all the creater made. Africans everywhere have been affected by white culture and it has torn us apart. For me, there’s nothing one brother or sister could do or say that could let me discredit my race. I am too conscious of our oneness and the depth of the roots and vines. As a people we must turn our backs to self hatred and embrace the genius of each other so that our children may live…history taught us that.

    Jah, Rastafari.

  245. 245 TATA Jan 27th, 2010 at 2:44 am

    ethiopia is the only country on earth where if you go to buy something…they ‘chamari’ you…that is, they cheat you because you are not an ethiopian…it is expected…and the worst of all, if you live in ethiopia, you pay 10 times more for everything including electricity than your next door neighbor…somewhere in the ethiopian mindset, they believe they can beg and cheat their way out of poverty…and their victims are mostly the aid workers that litter their landscape…

  246. 246 MD girl Mar 1st, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    ignorance is a desease, most ethiopians look down on other black people, be it african american or any other black people in Africa or the islands. if u r black but not ethiopian be sure to face some level of discrimination. its the thruth. yes it is easier to be with your own people given that you share so much in common, language, culture etc.. and you wont have to compromise or try to explain how things work blah blah; but i think it goes a little further than just “ease”.
    when it comes to A.Americans its even worse because of the image portrayed in America which is to some extent true. no offense, i’ve dated, lived, friended A.A and some definetly lived up to the stereotype of the lazy black person not trying to better their lives some wanting to be rapers and nothing else. anyway, stereotype or no stereotype, ETs do discriminate. I’d also like to point out that African Americans are also racist, so dont try and say ETs are the only ones discriminating, yeah A.A will friend you, date you but they’ll also be the first ones to make fun of your accent, remind you that you are a foreigner no matter how long you’ve known them or been in the US. They ‘ll make fun of you if you tell them you are from Africa and treat you like you come from a hut surrounded by a safari full of lions and elephants. So, the point here is not to point finger, it’s to raise awareness about love. love has no boundaries, no colors. he only way u can get rid of ignorance is true education, not college education but throu enlightment of what love is all about and what God expects from us human beings, not us ETs or A.As but just palin human beings.

  247. 247 Belete Mar 20th, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Tell The Truth and the truth shall set you Free. We Ethiopians are racist. If we see any dark skinned person we call him “Baria” which means Slave. Please don’t lie to my fellow African Americans. They are our bloods! Don’t lie to them deal with the problem instead of hiding it. I am dark skinned Ethiopian and they call me “Baria.” Even after I told my friends repeatedly not to use the word around me, they use it anyway . That hurts. I am glad my brothers (African Americans) went to Ethiopian restaurant and experienced this. A tall dark skinned Sudanese once told me that because we Ethiopians are recist,
    he will never go back to Ethiopia. So many times in Addis people called him Baria! Shame!Shame! Shame!

  248. 248 Tana Apr 9th, 2010 at 2:22 am

    Sadly, racist people were/are and still will be in this world. It is part of living in a fallen world with a lack of secure world-view and even identity. It would be wrong to say this country is not racist and that country is racist for it is impossible to measure this concept the pop. as a whole–it comes down to individual’s characteristics. Some have the opportunity to be exposed to different cultures and mindsets. Eventually or at least hopefully, they will find themselves thinking that all mankinds are closely linked underneath the external environment, regardless where we were born/our skin shade etc.

    yes, one can argue that the way our environment portray us will reflect/impact our internal being and i think this is way we should fight against this issue, but im hopeless. Ps. im Ethiopian if this fact means anything to anyone.

  249. 249 ercgg Apr 13th, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Ethiopians are racists…. I too had a similar experience in an ethiopian restaurant.

    But ethiopians should know that ” what goes around comes around ” – Whatever you dish out will be returned to you some way or the other. Karma.


    Mulugeta Seraw was bludgeoned to death by racist Skinheads on a darkened street in Portland, Ore. Seraw, a hard-working Ethiopian immigrant, and two companions were brutally beaten in the early morning hours of Nov. 13, 1988, by three members of East Side White Pride: Kyle Brewster, Kenneth Mieske and Steve Strasser.

    “Kill him! Kill him!” shouted one or more of the assailants’ Skinhead girlfriends as Brewster pounded Seraw moments before Meiske smashed his skull with a baseball bat. Then, as Seraw tried to crawl away, Strasser stomped him viciously and Mieske delivered the fatal blow.

    The crime sparked national headlines and local revulsion as well as a vigorous police investigation that led to a series of guilty pleas and stiff prison sentences. Mieske, 23, the death-obsessed lead singer of a heavy metal rock band, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and received 30 years to life. Kyle Brewster, 19, a former high school homecoming king, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and assault and received 20 years with a 10-year minimum. And Steve Strasser, 20, pleaded guilty to similar charges and was given a 20-year sentence with a nine-year minimum.

  250. 250 ercgg Apr 13th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Ethiopians discriminate against other africans, african americans and their own dark skinned ethiopians – many of them do not consider themselves black…but this behavior arises out of ignorance.

    The funny thing is ethiopians face discrimination in Israel, Asia, europe, america, etc., because of their (skin color).

    Many ethiopians and eritrians have a racial identity crisis – it is true that many years ago ethiopians intermarried with greeks, arabs, yemenis indians, etc. Indians and ethiopians have many similar customs…but ethiopian dna is mostly african and surprisingly ethiopians also carry west african genes.

    According to The American Journal of Human Genetics: In addition to the predominant sub-Saharan African genes, the Ethiopian gene pool also embraces a considerable component indicative of admixture with populations of Arabian and/or Near Eastern origin (Cavalli-Sforza 1997; Passarino et al.

  251. 251 Konjit Apr 13th, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    People say “ignorance is a bliss.” But, in this case, I would argue that ignorance is the enemy. I would like to apologize to Mr. Ivory on behalf of my ignorant Abehsa people. Unfortunately, ignorance is a disease that exits in all cultures and countries.

    Can’t we just get along? Please?

  252. 252 honeycaramel Apr 25th, 2010 at 5:26 am

    HornAfricans (Somalis, Ethios and Eris) have an identity crisis. Because of their ancestors, who were south arabians, and subsahran africans, they don’t know which race they belong to.

    Foreigners (blacks and whites alike) don’t understand this ethnic issue and I think the general problem in America is that the people say you have to be black or you have to be white/asian/arab, etc. if you’re mixed, u have to decide which race u are. This thinking is so unnecessary.

    It doesn’t matter if someone is yellow, brown, black, mixed, white or etc. The character of the person is more important than his or her color.

    I am Eritrean and Ethiopian and I see myself and other Hornafricans as mixed people- black&arab. Our culture shows more similarities to middle eastern culture, that’s my personal opinion. But I know I’m still black and if someone like the user Ruth says somehting dumb and racist against black people,i don’t have 2 accept that.

    But the people should be fair and don’t keep saying : I’m 100% black, etc. (specially those africanamericanized ones) They should respect their other side too.

    I love both sides of our culture, our mentality and our race.

  253. 253 Dula May 18th, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    I love all human-beings!

  254. 254 CECE May 29th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Well I have met some friends and family of my boyfriend after our 2 yr relationship and they made me feel like I was some unknown mutant from not earth I would say hello and they act as if I was not there at all..Very sad now I can’t say all are racist but some of them are. I won’t allow it to keep me from loving him. In fact some parents tell them to only date there own but we all can make our own choices.

  255. 255 Chuchu Jun 18th, 2010 at 2:38 am

    Jesus died for all human beings regardless of the color, country, tribe,… diffrences. Every body is made wonderfully by the almighty God. You people of the earth please avoid unnecessary complexes. If you don’t love eachother, how dare you say u love God????

  256. 256 abebe Dec 19th, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Ethiopia’s history of independence has been that of self preservation quite deservedly as humans with dignity. I uphold it and appeciates it. However, racism is a kind of implicit culture in ethiopia. It is not overt but is some thing of a taboo culture.

  257. 257 woletteselassie Mar 12th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Many of you generalize the term “racist” and spread it far accross the spectrum relating it to both Ethipoians and African-Americans”, however, those of us who do not fit into that category and a have Pan-African views.

  258. 258 Tariku Hussein Jun 26th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Why is the author so sure that racism was the problem??? Lots of African Americans are received with open arms in Ethiopia, just like we show hospitality to orientals and “ferenji” (white) people. The difference between Ethiopia and most other black nations is we were never subjected to slavery and colonialism, so we do not have any scars, we do not have that thin skin of our African and African-American brothers whose parents and grandparents, if not themselves, suffered humiliation. Some African Americans and Africans are taking out their own understandable insecurity and obsession with race on Ethiopians, whose innocense in this field they simply misunderstand and confuse with the kind of racism they have experienced from (some) white people and learned a lot about at home. Ethiopians are definitely not “racist” against African Americans, but Ethiopians simply DO NOT buy into the idea of skin colour as a primary marker of identity, we see ourselves as ETHIOPIANS, yes, black is our skin colour, but not really a key part of our identity, just like the Irish identify as “Irish” and not particularly as “white”. This is not directed against any race, it is just plain common sense and the way the whole world is moving into the postracial era.

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