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Ezekiel Gebissa, special to Addis Standard

 

In his book, The Dictator’s Learning Curve, William J. Dobson argues that old-school dictators like Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao and Idi Amin ruled with unrestrained violence before the advent of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media networks known for instantaneous communication. Contemporary dictators cannot keep their evil deeds secret even when those deeds are committed in the remotest corners of the earth. Dobson observes: “If you order a violent crackdown — even on a Himalayan mountain pass — you now know it will likely be captured on an iPhone and broadcast around the world. The costs of tyranny have never been this high.” [1]

 

Hailegabriel Gedecho

 

My starting point for this short reflection is my discomfort with friends and acquaintances who question (and dismiss) the morality of supporting (to use their pejorative expression ‘mafafam’) Oromo Protests from overseas. As most of these critiques reside in Ethiopia (where public display of solidarity with Oromo Protests is meant risking torture, incarceration, and of course one’s life), the claim of immorality of Ethiopian diaspora showing solidarity with Oromo protesters may be interpreted as either a fear of tyranny or a disguised yearning for an Ethiopia where public display of resistance does not cost one’s freedom or life.