How should the honorable Emperor Haile Selassie be honored?
The Society of Ethiopians, Established in Diaspora (SEED), a nonprofitorganization based in Washington DC, has announced that it will honorfive Emperors and one Empress from Ethiopia on May 27, 2018 at theMarriott Hotel in Maryland.The founders of SEED are like thegeneration who were motivated by the communist ideology in the 1960sand 70s. They were into the movement of anti-Haile Selassie, althoughhe had helped their education so that they would be able to helpEthiopia progress to the 21st century, without losing the nation’score values. This has led to the end of the established3,300 year-old Ethiopian monarchy; a monarchy older than many Europeanmonarchies and a monarchy which serves as the pinnacle of Africanpride.Among the honorary list, Emperor Haile Selassie, a victim of thatgeneration, is one of them. Does Haile Selssie’s name and legacy needhonor or forgiveness from that generation?The Emperor was coined “Man of the Year” at least twice by TimesMagazine. He was a leader selected as one of twenty-five influentialworld leaders. He received honorary doctorate degrees in philosophy,administration, and law from the greatest universities on fivecontinents. He was an advocate for collective security; a leader namedFather of Africa, a defender of small nations, and a defender offaith, a world traveler and was openly welcomed by all. For example:in 1963 when he visited the United States, New York gave him a hero’swelcome by throwing ticker tape from skyscrapers. This was never donefor any other foreign leaders. The people of Washington welcomed himby lining their main streets. He was chosen first from four worldleaders to comfort President John. F. Kennedy’s family following thepresident’s assassination. He stood before the coffin of the Kennedywhile one hundred and eleven world leaders were behind him. Above all,he is a King who is worshiped everyday by millions.How could such a person as this NEED honor from SEED? Unless, SEEDseeks to honor itself in honoring Haile Selassie. The program, withoutasking for forgiveness in advance, will be a non-exemplary becausechildren and grandchildren, including the children of the founders ofSEED, have already begun honoring Emperor Haile Selassie long timeago. Too soon, they have become smart; too late they get wise.If the members of SEED would like to honor Emperor Haile Selassiewithout washing away their sins, they ought to give scholarships tostudents in the Emperor’s name in either Ethiopia or America, orassist the institutions that are established to honor him. Some ofthese institutions include: Haile Selassie High School in Zanzibar,Haile Selassie High school in Jamaica, Haile Selassie MemorialAssociation in Addis Ababa, a project for ቀኃሥ ወ መዘክር (Haile SelassieFirst Library and Museum) in Ejersa-Gora, his birth place.Additionally, they could help to republish his autobiography andSelected Speech books (which are out of print).To honor such an Emperor requires more than simply reading hiscountless achievements in a fifty minute reading at a Marriot Hotel.I leave you with this prophetic statement that the Emperor made whilehe was in custody, as told by Ato Assefa, an attendant: “His Majestyupon hearing the wild propaganda against him on the radio remarked,‘እንደገና ሲማሩና ሲያውቁ ወደፊት ለድካማችን ምስጋና አይነፍጉንም,’ which means ‘when theyre-educate themselves and become knowledgeable, they will not deny usthe credit we deserve.’ Haile Selassie, The Conquering Lion of Judah,with broken neck-chains, will prevail on May 27, 2018 in the midst ofadmirers and former arch enemies. It is his second nature to rise andfall and rise again.