“Let He who is Without Sin Cast the First Stone” – Hagere Kibre
Most of us have likely heard on many occasions a version of the saying “those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.” But living in glass houses does not deter us from hurling stones at others. We are merciless and fast at criticizing others but awfully bad and slow at making constructive contribution of our own. The same fingers that stretch out with supersonic speed to accuse others are too weak and slow to pull a $5.00 bill to help the very cause for which we ask others to give their life.
The few Ethiopians who tirelessly work to end Meles’ dictatorship might be justified for being disappointed with those who, true or not, appear to be betraying the fight for justice and freedom. But I wonder where the rest of us find the moral authority to condemn others. For the most part we are mere casual cheerleaders who become active only when things go very well. When Woyane seems to gain strength we stay home complaining that there are no strong opposition as if it is others’ responsibility to create it. When those who confront Meles are locked behind bars or made destitute, we often forget them. Lately we have witnessed few encouraging signs including fundraising events in support of Weizerit Birtukan Midekssa’s family. Yet how many of us have signed petitions? How many of us have visited or sent letters to victims languishing in the notorious Woyane concentration camps? How many of us have contacted our congressmen/women and members of parliament seeking help to secure freedom for political prisoners? If we have not done even these things we have no one but ourselves to blame for the harm Woyane continues to inflict against our people.
It is understandable to be upset with those who have obviously betrayed the people and joined the enemy camp. But even in these cases we should not forget our role in making it attractive for the schmuks like Lidetu and Hailu to run to Meles. If we were united, focused and strong in the struggle to end dictatorship, Meles would not have been around to shelter Lidetu, Ayele, Hailu and others like them. As long as we remain divided and lack focus, hode amelakus will continue to run to Meles.
Let’s, for a change, suspend judging others and ask ourselves “the man or woman in the mirror” ‘have I done enough to defeat Woyane?’ Have we done our dersha? Let’s be angry at ourselves for failing to unite and support the principles and goals we claim to believe in. Let’s exert less effort and resources on attacking those who for all practical purpose are still with us and start supporting causes and groups that we believe in – Andinet, Ginbot 7, and Obang. We will be more effective when we focus on our own actions.
Let’s suspend judgement.