Why COVID-19 is Killing Black People Disproportionately?

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America has the worst income inequality among the developed world because it has failed to honestly and boldly address its legacy of slavery. Since the Civil War, America managed to make cosmetic changes to absolve itself from its shameful history of enslaving millions of Africans.  COVID-19 brought to the front that legacy that many Americans hoped to forget, but never sought to address.

Now many Americans including Anthony Cararamuchi, former Trump White House Communication Director and managing partner of investment firm Skybridge, Ray Dialo, largest hedge manager in the U.S., want it acknowledged and addressed.

 Research shows this tragic legacy is harmful to the U. S. economy and has become a stain to the American reputation.

The passing of the CARES Act to soften the economic blow from the pandemic was necessary, as was the case in U.S. rescue of Europe after World War 2,  and the rescue of banks during the Great Recession, albeit a controversial one.

The current pandemic disproportionately hit minorities, especially blacks who remain in the bottom of the economic ladder. The pandemic also exposed the economic disparity that translates to inadequate access to education and healthcare.

Ray Dialo added, “Widening income inequality and under-investment in public education pose an existential risk for the U.S.” and “leaving so many children in poverty and not educating them well is the equivalent of child abuse”  

 Larry English, Special to the Times said, inequality is a disease that passes down through generations and now partnered with COVID-19   became a toxic brew killing the old and weak.  

Income inequality is also hurting America’s ability to grow its economy and utilize its citizens gainfully and productively. Recent research by McKinsey found this economic disparity has other consequences. It has a dampening effect on consumption and investment costing the US economy between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion in the next ten years. This is equivalent to 4 to 6 percent of the projected GDP in 2028. Closing the racial economic gap is a win for African-Americans and for the economy.

Anthony Cararamuchi thinks the coronavirus crisis could be an opportunity to close the economic gaps in our society. He also thinks this should be “a wake-up call” for policymakers, politicians, macro-economists, the very wealthy, and the Forbes 400 to do something about it, as the pandemic exposed the gap between the haves and have-nots.

COVID’s disproportionate killing of African-Americans is not a coincidence. It only shows their economic standing and vulnerability in this society. McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm found that African-American’s net worth is one-tenth of white people.

Many countries, and businesses under duress often get subsidies or relief from the U.S. government.  The majority of Blacks in America have been under duress and in jeopardy under the current system, facing abject poverty and injustice just to name a few.

Since the beginning of this great nation justice and economic parity for Black people has yet to come despite its great motto “justice for all and under God”

A bill for the rescue of the poor and blacks from their current predicament is a moral and economic imperative. It does not have to include handouts. How would the rescue program be handled? It will include funding Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), distressed schools, and establishing vocational and STEM centers in minority districts.

Nonprofits like Appropriate Development Technology, Inc., promote and encourage underprivileged children to gravitate towards STEM-education so that they can become future engineers and scientists in order to break the cycle of poverty that is prevalent in the African-American community.  Many nonprofits have a problem of scaling such program for lack of funding. Increasing minority presence in STEM to 12-15% from 3% where stands now can have a dramatic effect. The absence of African-American in STEM is a factor exacerbating income disparity and a barrier to bridging income inequality.

The rescue plan is not a handout, but for a lasting solution, where underprivileged adults are given a chance for vocational training, and children to immerse in STEM education to improve their economic standing. This will reduce welfare, unemployment, and the prison population.  

Some kind of intervention is overdue because it’s a moral and economic imperative. The African-American community needs a rescue plan because it’s in jeopardy and under duress.

When a member of a family is under duress, the whole family is under duress. Blacks are a member of the American family whether we like it or not, when they are under duress the whole country is under duress.

The fact that COVID is killing more blacks is no coincidence, but it means they remain vulnerable to any economic and health shocks. Poor education, poor health services, and living in high crime area are contributing factors.  It is simply their economic standing that made them vulnerable to COVID. It may be now or never for President Biden and Congress to consider a rescue or a CARES Act for African-Americans. It will be a sad moment and a great moral failure if this opportunity is missed.

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Trump Declares War on Ethiopia: Ethiopia at a crosshair!

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Ethiopia and Egypt may go to war thanks to Donald Trump. On Friday, October 23, 2020 at news conference, he encouraged and goaded Egypt to bomb the Abay Dam, the largest dam in Africa.

Former Secretary Tillerson described Donald Trump as a moron, now I believe he is not just a moron, but a reckless one too, otherwise, he would not be saying something crazy like encouraging Egypt to bomb the Abay Dam.  Instead of using the U.S. diplomatic channels to find a peaceful solution, he opted to act as a lackey for his favorite dictator probably as a payback for the illegal $10M donation in 2016.

If Egypt heeds his advice, it is likely Ethiopia will blow up the Aswan Dam, and it will be more costly to Egypt (no electricity and millions will perish). Furthermore, Ethiopia has so many unemployed engineers, it can build so many irrigation dams in all tributaries and along the Abay River, there will be no or little water flowing to Egypt.

This may also entail a war between Black Africa and the Arabs, and it will be a continental war, U.S. and Egypt versus Black Africa and the rest of the world.

Ethiopia is only asking an equitable share of the Nile, no more or less. Egypt is not losing any water now or in the future except there might be a chance during the filling period. At that time, Egypt has enough reservoir or water stored on the Aswan Dam to compensate during that period. So there is no ground for war unless Donald Trump sparks it to win an election or payback for the loan in such dangerous fashion.

Ethiopia had many wars with Egypt, some of them lead by  Confederat American generals, but Ethiopia always prevailed. It will prevail again, but Egypt will forever lose it goodwill with Ethiopia and potential any water, as Ethiopia may put many small to medium irrigation dams instead of huge electric dams. If Egypt opts to invade, it will lose and it has to pay to build the dam if they want any water again.

Ethiopia is the origin of humanity, center of great civilization, and one of the longest and independent surviving Black nations, and it will continue despite machination by Egypt, Donald Trump, and others.

At the behest of Egypt, and indirectly Saudi Arabia, the U.S enticed Ethiopia to enter into a discussion on the Great Renaissance Dam that Ethiopia is building on the Abay (Nile) River. Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, and Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law were assigned to engage in foreign policy, an expertise belonging to the State Department. It looked very suspicious and odd for the two gentlemen to engage in water conflicts and African diplomacy.

Why did Trump choose Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner instead of seasoned diplomats from the State Department to solve a diplomatic and water dispute? Both have no qualifications whatsoever in the technology of building dams, colonial history of Africa, or water conflicts.

Kushner, Trump and Mnuchin are allies of Saudi Arabia and friends of President Sisi. Was the verdict written by Egypt before the arbitration started, as it was announced without an agreement and in the absence of Ethiopia? It smells like the old justice system in Dixie where blacks were picked randomly as murder suspects and thrown into a death row cell before trial or a verdict.

Egypt outwitted Ethiopia, especially Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who has just been in power for less than two years to engage the U.S. without fully understanding the influence of Saudi Arabia and Egypt on the Trump administration. Both can get away with murder as long as Donald Trump is in the White House, like Saudi Arabia did with the murder of journalist Jamall Kashoggi and Egypt with thousands of Egyptian lives.

Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner presented an agreement without consulting Ethiopia that stated any infringement on Egypt’s water consumption from the Nile River is unacceptable. The Arab League followed suit and stated that any infringement against Egypt water quota is a declaration of war on the whole Arab world. Now Ethiopia is facing a confrontation with Egypt backed by the United States and the Arab World.

Now embolden by U.S. and the Arab world, Egypt wants to dictate every aspect of the operation of the dam, otherwise threatening to destroy it and even declare war on Ethiopia. Furthermore, instead of creating a diplomatic and an economic solution to the problem, Egypt is going for a diplomatic and military knockout by isolating Ethiopia.

British colonial treaty signed in 1929 excluded Ethiopia and gave virtual control over the river to Egypt, even though Ethiopia is supply 85% of the water. Another British treaty in 1959 between Sudan and Egypt assigned 55.5 billion cubic meters of the river flow to Egypt and 18.5 to Sudan, but none to Ethiopia or other downstream nations.

It is highly disturbing why Steven Mnuchin or Jared Kushner were engaging in water conflicts or diplomatic issues involving Africa. Most of all Steven Mnuchin or Jared Kushner are not a student of history or colonialism that Egypt is relying to preserve its share of the water coming from Ethiopia. Britain set the ground rule on the usage of the Nile River without consulting any of the upstream countries in favor of Egypt, which was a British colony. Egypt is flexing its political and military power to keep a one sided colonial treaty in force.

Unfortunately, Egypt’s arrogant stand emanates because it has the military and diplomatic advantage over Ethiopia and because of a strong relationship between President Sisi, Donald Trump and support from Saudi Arabia.

Donald Trump’s failure to be a neutral arbitrator may end up causing a big war. Egypt may be tempted to strike the dam with American weapons. Egypt is the largest recipient of America’s aid in Africa despite being a dictatorship. On the other hand, Dr. Abiy is a Nobel Laurette that introduced democracy, free press,   free market, and made peace with Eritrea.

Now his ambitious plan to transition Ethiopia into a democracy will be short lived if he were to engage in war with Egypt because of Donald Trump’s abdication to serve as a neutral arbitrator instead of a hired gun.

This unprecedented involvement of Donald Trump in diplomatic affairs in Africa may lead to a war between Africa and the Arab World.  A war unfortunately none of them can afford.

If the task of arbitration was given to someone versed in diplomacy and history of colonialism in Africa, it could have been avoided. Both Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner are real estate gurus not diplomats. Mnuchin got notoriety as “Foreclosure King” during the Great Recession for foreclosing on U.S. homeowners mostly minorities, often profiting on their misfortunes to make millions.

Ethiopia is a very a poor and proud country trying to address urgent economic and energy needs of its growing population, standing around 110 million. It has faced many invasions in the past from Europeans and two major ones from Egypt. If Egypt bombs the dam and make it inoperable, Ethiopia can retaliate. This opens the possibility for Ethiopia to destroy the Aswan dam, as well as divert water using tributaries of the Blue Nile, especially during the summer months. This may force Egypt to invade Ethiopia. As in the past, Egypt will lose the war and the result could be devastating economically to both countries; however, Egypt will lose forever any leverage or ability to dictate to Ethiopia with uncompromising demands.

It will be smart for Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to open their borders and promote economic integration instead of looking to the West and the Middle East for their survival, which has not paid off so far besides making them client and dependent states.

There is no love lost between Egypt and Ethiopia. For years, Egypt has consistently tried to keep Ethiopia in turmoil and underdeveloped by supporting secessionist groups, supplying arms to invaders such as Somalia during 1977-78 war. In 1993, Egypt orchestrated to make Ethiopia landlocked by supporting the secession of Eritrea with the help of then UN Secretary Boutros-Boutros Ghali, an Egyptian in contravention of U.N Chapter 1 and article 2 that demands respect for the territorial integrity of all of its members. Eritrea’s secession was finalized in six month, while Somaliland, Western Sahara and others have been waiting for decades because of Egypt’s and Boutros Ghali’s desire to harm Ethiopia.

On the other hand, the people of Ethiopia and Egypt have many common bonds. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Egyptian Orthodox Church are both Coptic and follow similar rituals. Many Ethiopian Muslims admired Gamal Abdel Nasser as a great leader of Africa and a champion of the Muslim cause.

The State Department or the Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Tibor Nagy was not present or invited to the mediation of the three African countries.  It was a fait accompli. The cards were stacked against Ethiopia, which has only wanted to build a dam still supplying 85% of the water for Egypt.

The mediation by the U.S. was a charade primarily aimed at pleasing Egypt and Saudi Arabia.  This is unfortunately a recent pattern of U.S. diplomacy sacrificing one ally to please another with a stronger influence or deeper pockets. A similar scenario was played in conflicts between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Russia and Ukraine and numerous others. Everything is transactional, not grounded on principle or diplomatic norms.

Sadly, Egypt and other Arab governments still maintain a colonial mentality like the Europeans when it comes sub-Sahara Africa. They want to dominate and have a superiority complex. Even now, their pejorative term for all Black people is abd, slave.

Instead of assigning the task to an impartial and honest broker, Donald Trump showed his true transactional spirit and sacrificed Ethiopia to appease friends with deep pockets. This, of course, did not come as a surprise to anyone who had been paying attention to the Trump administration’s policies and alliances in the Middle East. Ethiopia is less valuable in Donald Trump’s transactional world, so it is worthy throwing to the dogs.

According to Tom Campbell, professor of economics at Chapman University, Ethiopia successfully managed to keep outside interference in the negotiation between the parties. It only accepted U.S. mediation thinking that the U.S. was a neutral party and a friend of Ethiopia. What a disappointment?

Approximately 65 percent of Ethiopians do not have reliable electricity. Without electricity, Ethiopia cannot grow its economy and end its recurring famine and abject poverty.

Unless the U.S. changes it blind support for Egypt, this will lead to a war between the Arab world and Sub-Sahara Africa; and Donald Trump will have blood on his hands.

Ethnic Federalism (Killil) is the Real Problem in Ethiopia

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Ethiopia is the origin of humanity, center of great civilization, and one of the longest and independent surviving nations and it will continue despite machination by Egypt, other foreign and domestic enemies.

While the heinous murder of Hachalu Hundessa, Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen and others are tragic and sad, the perpetrator(s) of this criminal act should be brought to justice; however, the conflagration is due to Killil (segregation of people by ethnicity). TPLF, divide and rule system, Ethiopians are transformed into ethnic monsters instead of human beings.

Oromos without a doubt have historical grievances; Oromos like many other ethnic groups were discriminated and oppressed. Now the Oromos are in control of every echelon of government. So, what’s the problem? The problem is some Oromo leaders like Jawar want to be in charge, and they are using the Oromo youth to mastermind a violent change instead of using the ballot, where they are incapable of articulating any sensible solution to alleviate the economic and political problem facing the youth and people in general, except trying to make Ethiopia a slaughterhouse for Oromos and others. Often, they tantalize them to help them become another S. Sudan or Eritrea. Good luck in case it happens. Whatever the driving force, killing innocent people is a high crime in any religion and jurisprudence. The genesis of such behavior among Ethiopians was planted by TPLF in order to marginalize Oromos and others. Unfortunately, some Oromo, Amhara and other leaders conveniently want to forget this fact in order to grab power.

I also stated in the past that “Ethiopia cannot survive as a viable and peaceful nation under a Killil system. It will face more violence and disruption if the system is continued.”

One of the reasons for the current mayhem in Tigre, especially in major cities and towns is primarily due to Killil that made it possible for ethnic militia, and policing.

TPLF was able to build a strong army legally because of the ethnic federalism. Furthermore, the duty of a police officer is public safety irrespective of once religion or ethnicity. The police in in every ethnic enclaves think lives of other Ethiopians don’t matter. Ethiopians are being killed and burned alive for no apparent reason rather than being a different ethnic group. This is simply ethnic cleansing and the police, the police chief, and the mayor should be charged as such, as enablers and collaborators.

Despite being a product of Woyane indoctrination, the people should listen to the voices around the world that say, “Black Lives Matter”, and “All Lives Matter.”  Unfortunately, ethno-nationalist is preaching that other Ethiopian lives don’t matter. Vigilantes roaming around town are able to destroy property, kill and burn innocent people because they are given a free pass, often welcomed or aided and abetted by the local police force.

While we are deeply saddened by the untimely death of Hachalu, Dr. Mekonnen, General Tsige and others, the killers could be from any ethnic group or foreign enemy like Egypt that has been plotting to undertake similar action to thwart the building of the GERD. Unfortunately, any incident can spark an ethnic warfare. Any country or any group can spark such a conflict and destroy Ethiopia.  There is no reason to kill more innocent Oromos, Amhara or others. Thus, there has to be law and order in Ethiopia. If not, enemies of Ethiopia or ethnic agitators can start an ethnic war by simply killing any famous person. Ethiopians should not fall for such bait and get innocent people killed or burned alive by these angry mobs.

Dr. Abiy was warned about this ethnic inferno built by Woyanes and fanned by the likes of ethnonationalists from various sources that can implode anytime.

The ethnic system has to be dismantled and abandoned immediately. A merit system has to take its place. Nobody should be given a preferential treatment because of his or her ethnicity. It has been a major sore point during Meles, even during Haile Selassie.

Tigres, Amharas, Oromos or any group should be able to compete without any preferential treatment. Any preferential treatment for being born an Oromo, Tigre or Amhara should be eliminated. Such a system is anachronistic, unfair, and dangerous.

In the meantime, start training a police force that is professional and diverse, and representing all Ethiopians. Professionally trained Oromos, Amharas, Somalis, and other police officers should be able to work anywhere in Ethiopia. If they are lacking language, they should learn the local language and Amharic.

Dr. Abiy should bite the bullet and bring an end to chaos and Killil that displaced millions and resulted in the loss of so many innocent lives. Otherwise, it will continue to spread further like wildfire with devastating results.

Dr. Abiy inherited this evil and dangerous system; however, failing to take drastic action is an abdication of leadership and courage. Again, time is the essence for him to act decisively if he wants to save Ethiopia and his government.

Furthermore, it might be advisable to create a more economically integrated regional boundaries without any consideration to ethnicity or revert back to the old provincial system. The U.S. and other countries have states or provinces, and they seem to be working fine. Ethiopia should not be an exception to the rule for the wrong reason. In the long run, moving the capital city to a neutral location should be considered to provide better security, better planning, and the potential to reduce congestion.

Tribal based media and parties should be discouraged or banned, or there should be strict guidelines not to incite or promote tribalism, hate, and violence. Instead, they should focus on hard and factual news, besides promoting peace and economic advancement of all Ethiopians. The safest course would be to discourage even make it illegal to form a political party or media based on ethnicity because of their potential to incite further division and bloodshed like they did in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burma and other places.

I like the theme of “no more apartheid in Ethiopia” it means no more Killel or ethnic enclaves where minorities are suppressed and their human, civil and voting rights are denied. Without destroying Killel, you can’t save and create a peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia.

To kill ethnic divide, a good start could be a move back to provincial designation or to form economically integrated regions where go​verners are elected by the people based on issues where ethnic mongering or playing ethnic politics is prohibited or secondary to other important issues of commonality, Ethiopianism and peace. Furthermore, cities like Adam​a, Dire Dawa, Harrar and others, a mayor elected by the people run it or administer the city on behalf of the residents rather than tribal chief siting anywhere in the world.

Last but not least, federalize the militia immediately after the war. If Abiy can’t do these, he can’t be taken as a serious leader for Ethiopia. ​The indomitable, Hermela Aregawi is promoting Pan-Africanism with the #nomore movement and other venues, it will be unimaginable for Ethiopia to stay in a tribal and apartheid system and still promote Pan-Africanism. It will be a great contradiction and Abiy will be a laughingstock once people find out that he is running a tribal system or Killil , akin to Apartheid if not worse, while espousing pan-Africanism.

As a leader, Dr. Abiy is accountable to the current and future bloodshed despite the fact that he inherited the system from TPLF but failing to take drastic action will eventually erode his leadership and eventually his regime. In a previous blog entitled “Kill Killil” I said “time is the essence to act decisively and immediately to end the impending cloud of anarchy. Act today, as tomorrow may be too late to save lives and the whole country from imploding.” I hope he listens this time, as any time wasted can be catastrophic.

Ethiopia: Expose architects of Hachalu’s Death

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There are certain events that require adequate and prompt explanations because the very future of the country depends on it. There was nothing more pressing, more important and burning issue than the need to adequately explain the death of Hachalu Hundessa in particular who orchestrated the killing and why.

In June, 2019, the handling or lack of prompt and adequate explanation of the murder of Amhara regional president Ambachew Mekonnen and General Asaminew Tsige has alienated many Amharas from the Abiy government. In June, 2020, the same thing is going with Oromos. By failing to fully expose the architects of Hachalu’s killers, Dr. Abiy has angered and alienating many Oromos. The enemies of Ethiopia who orchestrated these tragedies every year including the attempted assassination of Dr. Abiy are eroding his base of support, winning the PR game, and destabilizing the country. Unfortunately, the government of Ethiopia has gone AWOL in its responsibility to apprehend the culprits before the act or refute and to debunk accusations of complicity and hanging it squarely on the necks of OLF and TPLF.

In June, 2018 anti-reform forces tried to assassinate Dr. Abiy, in June, 2019 assassinated General Seare Mekonnen,Chief of General Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense, and in June, 2020, they assassinated Hachalu, all in an effort to restore the TPLF regime or fan genocide against Amharas and other minorities.

The minister of justice and the Prime Minister’s Office failed to share adequately with the local and the international media who orchestrated these attacks, and recently who financed the killing of Hachalu and why.

Despite the detention of three individuals, the international and even local media helped by the OMN and OLF-Shane supporters was awashed with the news that the Ethiopian government was the culprit. The news media including human rights organization such as Amnesty International were overwhelmingly influenced by OMN and OLF narrative that the Ethiopian government was the suspect in the death of Hachalu.

In addition, OMN and OLF were able to inform their supporters that the Ethiopian government was again the perpetrator of Hachalu’s death. This would have required a swift rebuttal by  the ministry of justice or any relevant arm of the government.

Unfortunately, there was no clear and unambiguous refutation of these charges, charges made by OLF and its followers. The media was completely blanketed by the death of Hachalu, but the loss of life and property that followed in the aftermath was barely covered. This failure by the Ethiopian government to share with the international media has turned Ethiopia and its citizens forever as killer of Hachalu for expressing his views. Of course, his views were not anti-Ethiopia, but it was shared in that manner by OMN.

Failure to properly and adequately relay the tragedies that followed the killing of Hachalu and the aftermath was maddening and unfortunate. Failing to expose the schemers, the financiers, and architects of Hachalu’s killing, will make it possible for such acts to be repeated.

This failure to articulate clearly this tragedy has left a big void and the majority of the Oromos still believing that Hachalu was killed because of his ethnicity by anti-Oromo forces.

For example, in the U.S. during any tragedy let alone in the scale that took place in Ethiopia where hundreds killed, billions of property destroyed in the city of Shashamene and others, even in the death of one person in such heinous act would have required many press releases and news conferences immediately and thereafter so that the public knows the truth and only the truth without any equivocation. The Ethiopian government seems to want to bury the truth or does not have a strategy to defend its reputation.

The government of Ethiopia has failed and  left a big scar or deep wound for another ethnic conflict by failing to discharge all the facts regarding the beloved Hachalu death and the plotters.

There should have been an extensive education of the Ethiopian people as to why, who, and how regarding the killing of Hachalu. Even Dr. Merera Gudina was planning to raise this question to Dr. Abiy during a meeting with parliament if he was given an opportunity.

These doubts need to be addressed to build public confidence in the government. Did OLF, with the help of OMN, orchestrated all this in order to take over Ethiopia or was it an unplanned spontaneous reaction that resulted in death and destruction? People are thirsty for facts. The facts will set them free and bring a swift healing to all parties.

I have tried to look at all the press releases and pronouncements regarding Hachalu’s death, but so far I have not seen anything  convincingly to refute these charges that the Ethiopian government has nothing to do with it. While I am not accusing  the government; however, I have not seen any significant effort to inform and educate the public about the facts. I am sorry to express my disappointment of this failure by the Ethiopian government to articulate to the world the truth about Hachalu’s killing instead of creating the appearance of a cover-up or sheer incompetence in managing its public relations.

The justice minister’s brief press release was highly inadequate and not convincing. In such a momentous and dire situation, one is expected to have mastered all available facts and express with confidence and straight eye to the world, that the Ethiopian government is sharing all the evidence in its possession and no stone was left unturned in doing that.

It’s great to be a great communicator, like Dr. Abiy is, but there is nothing more important than using such talent to save Ethiopian from another tragedy like that happened in June associated with the death of Hachalu and its aftermath.

The Ethiopian government should have invited all local and international media and share all the facts and to cast any doubts and to help and heal all Ethiopians who felt such a great loss by the death of Hachalu.

The Rwandan genocide, Holocaust and other saddest moments in history are shared and told often, so that they will not be repeated. Ethiopia’s tragic situation deserve the same in order to avoid a repeat.

The Ethiopian government will not be able to stop another tragedy if it is not willing or able to tell the world what really happened in Ethiopia on June 29 and thereafter. It should have made documentary of the mayhem share it for the world to witness the tragedy. It should have  invited the international media to visit Shashamene, Zeway and other cities to see the devastation, the homeless, and to talk  to those who lost love ones.

The current narrative as shared by OLF-Shane media is that the Oromos are the victims,  without mentioning the people that were slaughtered and burned in Shashamene and other places or those who lost their homes, properties and made homeless by the actions of OLF supporters.

In Shashamene and other cities, the police and the mayors of these cities and towns looked the other way when people were being killed and property being destroyed because Ethiopia sadly has a constitution based on ethnicity that pits one group against another. All the leaders of these cities are appointed based on their ethnic origin instead of being elected or based on competence.

Such tragedies will continue by design as well as by catalysts like the killing of prominent Oromos or Amharas and others. Instead of looking for justice to take its course, groups rush for vengeance against other ethnic groups because the system is designed to pit one against another and the people have been miseducated to believe that they are enemies instead of citizens of Ethiopia. This system has become a catalyst in creating millions of displaced people and hundreds of deaths and billions of property destruction.  Ethiopia has more internally displaced people than any country and the agony will continue because of the current constitution designed by the previous anti-Ethiopian regime remains.

Until the Ethiopian government fully exposes the architects of Hachalu’s killers and vindicate itself, eliminate ethnic policing, allows elections of mayors, as well as educate citizens through public and private media in the importance of rule of law, similar tragedies will be part and parcel of Ethiopia. 

Body cameras alone will not solve police brutality against Black People

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Body cameras alone will not solve the problem with police brutality against Blacks. Eric Garner’s episode was videotaped. Bill Clinton successfully unseated George H. W. Bush by saying ” It’s the economy, stupid”. It is not only Police Brutality that President Obama has to worry about. It is economics. Most of the blacks killed by police are usually poor, unemployed or underemployed.

President Obama said the Eric Garner case “speaks” to the larger issues that we’ve been talking about now for the last week, the last month, the last year — and sadly, for decades. And that is, the concern on the part of too many minority communities that law enforcement is not working with them and dealing with them in a fair way.  He is right that there is mistrust, but  he is wrong about the primary cause of the conflict between Blacks and cops around the country. It is pure economics that he has failed so far to address.

The primary issue is minority unemployment and underemployment. I see many young African-Americans hanging out near car washes, near convenient stores and on corner streets seeking a means to make a living, while exposing themselves to the dangers of police suspicion.

The president’s recent immigration bill is also a cause for concern for Blacks struggling to make a living and competing for low skilled jobs. Many of the immigrants are low wage workers who will directly compete with low wage African-Americans. Most employers prefer Hispanicand others ethnic groups over Blacks primarily because immigrants demand less wages and are willing to perform tasks without question or demands.

According to the New York Times (5/12/2013), interest groups are shaping the immigration bill, but there is no plan to upgrade or train especially Blacks that will be displaced by waves of new immigrants for low skilled jobs. This undoubtedly impacts negatively  some poor and unskilled blacks that will be displaced.

The focus is not  to blame the Police or the new immigrants for the predicament of Blacks in America. African-Americans make up roughly 11% of the U.S. population,  but represent only 1% of the workforce employed by Silicon Valley and other high tech companies. In addition, the race gap in wealth between the median black family and the median white family is 20 fold according Pewresearch. Furthermore, the U.S. incarcerates more African-Americans than any country in the world on a per capita basis.

For unskilled or less educated blacks there is no route to escape lifelong poverty unless Congress and President Obama step up to create job training or education for this largely disaffected and vulnerable group.

Eric Ganter and Michael Brown are victims of economics, not just police brutality. Eric Garner was trying to make a living by selling loose cigarettes to support his six children and a wife. If he was trained as a welder, pipefitter, air conditioning technician, plumber or in some other trade craft, he would not have become a victim of police brutality.

The conflict between Blacks and police and Blacks and the rest of society is directly related to the lack of  gainful employment that forces some to gravitate to the wrong crowd and to other dangerous jobs such as selling drugs, hanging out in car washes, in the corner store, shop lifting cigarettes or other un-salutary behaviors

In  year 2000 under President Clinton, we proposed putting technology training centers in the Ghettos and Barrios to train minorities and other economically disadvantaged groups when another Immigration Bill was introduced to bring over one million tech workers from India and Taiwan to support the tech industries. The powerful technology lobby derailed the amendment and another opportunity to transform America and the minority community was lost.

Dula Abdu is a strong advocate for leveraging technology to bridge the economic divide. He is a former banker and economist. Currently runs a small technology center in Houston. He can be reached at dula06@gmail.com

Bridging the Economic Divide in America

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In order to bridge the economic divide that has been going on for a long time and that is getting worse requires innovative solutions. Some of the countries that are succeeding in bridging  the economic divide are  those leveraging technology.

Such a strategy requires reaching out to the most economically disadvantaged communities. The simplest and the most cost effective strategy will be  to create a mini Silicon Valley / technology corridors close to disadvantaged areas by bringing government and private partnership to transform  these communities.

Those countries that realized that importance of  technological skills  include countries like Israel, Ireland, S. Korea and many more. Those that have employed technology effectively have improved their productivity and their standard of living for good. For the economically disadvantaged, leveraging technology is imperative. This will enable them to bridge the economic gap with minimum expenditure of capital and in a shorter time.

How to go about it? Simple, imitate other successful models used in the creation of the Silicon Valley in San Francisco , the Research Triangle in the North Carolina, and the Silicon Wadi (Valley) in Israel and many others places that systematically improved the living standards of their citizens and brighten their futures. The fact that there are many Indian doctors and engineers around the world is no accident, it was the work of visionary leaders in the 60s who planted the seed by establishing many IT centers.

To serve historically disadvantaged  communities  would require  attracting minority students to science and technology and providing vocational and advanced technological education to those suffering from unemployment and underemployment“African-Americans make up roughly 11% of the U.S. population,  but represent only 1-2% of the workforce at most Silicon Valley and tech companies. In addition, the race gap in wealth between the median black family and the median white family is  20 fold according to Pew research. Also the U.S. has the highest per capita incarnation of Black people in the world.  This is related to f lack of education that leads to gainful employment.

Why technology education?  International Labor Organization (ILO) in the past projected that there will  be 1.2 billion young people around the world looking for work and only 300 million jobs to go around.  According to Forbes Magazine over 90% of the 300 million jobs will be in science, technology and mathematics.

Thus  the most efficient way to address these gaps and the faster way to transform these communities once and for all is to leverage technology and provide  skill-based training. The alternative is to keep the status quo and see the racial polarization and eventually racial violence to continue. The most dynamic economies or communities are those who leverage technology. For example, Austin as a city, Silicon Valley in San Francisco, Research Triangle in North Carolina,  countries like Singapore, Israel, China, Taiwan,  S. Korea or most of the other  Asian Tigers did not happen by accident. Leaders with a vision made it possible.

To lift the people out of poverty once and for all and  make them a beacon of hope for others would require;  training people in the community in vocational and technology related fields and simultaneously inviting tech companies to relocate. The technology courses will be demand driven serving the Energy and the high tech industry especially in cities like Houston, and will be short and cost effective.

With proper foundation it will be possible to create/mint the necessary workforce to meet the needs of industry and to transform communities. Such an investment has rendered the highest return for real estate owners, industry and the community, as demonstrated in Silicon Valley and other similar settings.

It behooves one to make a note of the fact that  Silicon Valley, the Research Triangle, Silicon Wadi, and other successful institutions did not happen by accident. Visionary leaders created them and  transformed those communities.  The U.S. has the opportunity  to change the course of history. The question is does it have the gusto to dare such a drastic transformation or not.

 

Cuba vs Ethiopia

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When my wife decided to go to Ethiopia with our three kids to see their grandparents despite my reservation, I decided to go on a vacation somewhere else too. I flew to Cuba with my oldest daughter. While I was in Cuba I felt at peace with no fear or concern for our safety, on the other hand, I was worried about the safety of my family in Ethiopia and the safety of the Ethiopian people as a whole.

I had a mixed feeling about Cuba which could be described as a fascination for its revolutionary spirit but disdain for its failure to adopt like the Chinese or Vietnamese to usher a vibrant mixed economy.

Unlike many places that I visited I found the Cuban people especially in Havana color-blind and respectful of foreigners and each other regardless of color or sex. You see women walking by themselves the dead of night without fear despite the absence of police like other major cities.  Street after street I saw Cuban kids; black, mulattos and white playing like any kids with no inkling about their color or gender.

Whether you go to the beaches, parks, clubs or other places the idea that someone is paying attention to you about your pigmentation or gender seems to disappear because you just become a human being. Of course, as a tourist you have to be careful not to be taken advantage of by taxis or anyone else.  Nonetheless, you have no fear of being robbed or attacked.

One of my biggest disappointments when visiting Ethiopia last August was traffic pollution and potholes. In Cuba the roads are wide, clean and I did not see one pothole during my range of travel, which included both cities and the country side like valley of  Viñales. One of the reasons for the smooth traffic could be linked to government control of imports and exorbitant tariffs. This is despite the fact that one of  the dreams of many Cubans is to own a car.

Cuba like Ethiopia is a resource poor country, despite that you don’t see homeless Cuban, beggars, and I am told by many Cubans that no one in Cuba goes to bed hungry.

Despite many interesting aspects about Cuba, its telecom system is terrible and the economy is stagnant instead of growing given Cuba’s highly educated workforce. You see elaborate and eye-catching mansions, buildings and homes unkempt but still being occupied. Just a nice paint or selling some of them to private owners will bring them alive. Since they are government owned it takes a long, long time to address such neglect.

Cuba’s free healthcare and free education system have created an equal and intelligent society. What Cuba needs to do is unleash its massive human capital without destroying its almost color-blind society and highly egalitarian system.

For countries in Africa, they should look to Cuba to embody the mantra of live and let live and coexistence while creating a level playing field for their citizens under a benign free market system.

Despite the history of master and slave legacy, the white, blacks and the mulatto communities in Cuba have integrated to form a cohesive society. They regard the Cuban nationality as their citizenry and don’t identify as ethnic groups.

In Ethiopia, the road that Dr. Abiy chose is the correct way. Partial privatization and lessening ethnic animosity or differences, that was magnified and exploited by TPLF will bring peace economic growth, and prosperity at last. Leveling the playing field for all Ethiopians regardless of their religion or ethnicity and respecting individual rights is the only path to peace.  It also shows that with the right leadership it is possible to overcome ethnic, economic and other challenges and create a peaceful and sustainable economy for all citizens.

Despite Cuba’s some shortcomings, it is wonderful that there is a place that you don’t have to look over your shoulder because of your ethnicity or gender. I hope Ethiopia will move towards an ethnic-blind society while firing its economic engines to address years of economic malaise and neglect to transform itself as leading technological and economic power in Africa. Ethiopians should strive to lift the stigma of being known a country of famine, displacement and ethnic conflicts. Without a doubt, Ethiopia’s failure to build a democratic institution will be catastrophic to all ethnic groups, both small and large. The world is eager to see the cradle of mankind ascend to the mecca of democracy. To get there, Ethiopians should listen to peace makers instead of prophets of hate and ethnic agitators if they want survive and thrive.

Source:Wikipedia

Ethiopia Needs to Take a Leap to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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Ethiopia has an extremely long and extensive recorded history going back some thousands of years, however, economically remains one of the poorest. What is disturbing is even in 2018, there are millions of Ethiopians suffering from famine.

Ethiopia in its current form has existed since 1991 when Meles Zenawi through his TPLF (Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front) guerrillas overran the country and ruled until his death in 2012. He is most remembered for facilitating the separation of Eritrea, the introduction of toxic ethnic-based federalism that gave an advantage to his own tribe, and blocking access to the Internet.

On April 2nd, 2018 Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali became prime minister, after the resignation of Hailemariam Desalegn. His election is widely seen as positive and an opportunity to unite Ethiopia and address the wrongs of the past and improve the economic conditions for the extremely poor population of about 100 million.

The election of Abiy Ahmed may have saved Ethiopia from further bloodshed and disintegration; however, his chance of transforming the economic backwardness of Ethiopia, a legacy of poor governance from yesteryears, remains immensely difficult.

In 1996, in memory of the late Congressman Mikey Leland, who died on a hunger mission in Ethiopia, the U.S. Congress allocated $12 million dollars to put a broadband Internet in all universities and high schools in Ethiopia in order jump start Ethiopia’s famine-stricken society to a technology-driven economy. In the dawn of the Internet in the 1990’s, Ethiopia had the chance to leapfrog many nations and become a leading technology juggernaut in the likes of S. Korea, China, Singapore, and others.

However, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi blocked the grant because it stipulated open access and competitive bidding for the installation of the network. He was primarily afraid of social media to mobilize the masses against his authoritarian rule. This shortsighted greed resulted in the loss of the possibility of incredible advancement and incalculable damage was done to the economy. Because of TPLF’s restrictive and monopolistic policy, Ethiopia has one of the lowest Internet penetration in the world even less than the failed state of Somalia.

In Ethiopia, many children are stunted physically and intellectually because of malnutrition. While TPLF was able to improve infrastructure, its toxic ethnic policy restricted the free flow of trade and exacerbated the economic divide and created mass misery.

To grow the economy, the current government is promoting manufacturing by inviting companies from China, Turkey, India, and others by enticing them with low wages and tax breaks. Dr. Abiy should prioritize direct foreign investment in high technology transfer jobs rather than low-wage manufacturing to provide a platform for a sustainable economic development.

The normal trajectory of moving from agriculture to manufacturing is no more an option for Ethiopia. Because of TPLF’s fear of social media and denial of access to technology, Ethiopia failed to enjoy the full benefit of the digital revolution. Given this failure, Ethiopia has no time to go through these stages and catch up with the rest of the world technologically and economically. Jumping to the Fourth Industrial Revolution will accelerate its economic and technological development, save it from future famine, ecological damage emanating from manufacturing, and massive economic disruption that arises in the phase-out of manufacturing.

Manufacturing undertaken by Chinese and other companies will not save Ethiopia from its permanent third-rated status or fill empty stomachs. Huajian is one of the most celebrated Chinese Company with over 5000 employees. According to AP “Amazing China” (May 2, 2018), Ebissa Gari, a 22-year-old employee of Huajian, earns 966 Birr ($35) a month. The average worker at Huajian factory earns $50 a month despite the fact that according to Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, a basic living wage is about 3000 Birr or ($109) a month in Ethiopia. On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence (AI) specialists with little or no industry experience can make between $300,000 and $500,000 a year in salary and stock. “Top names can receive compensation packages that extend into the millions” according to NYT (April 19, 2018).

In order to catch up with the rest of the world, Ethiopia needs to take a leap to the fourth Industrial Revolution that focuses on robotics, AI, nanotechnology, the blockchain, biotechnology, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, and 3D-printing, while not totally discounting manufacturing. The government should prioritize the introduction of the Fourth Industrial Revolution by opening up Internet access, broadband, and Research and Development in these areas.

The increased productivity, efficiency, lower operating costs and high wages are a product of access to technology. The Heritage Foundation, recently reported that economic growth had not been enjoyed evenly by all Ethiopians and it argued that more economic freedom is needed to grow the economy and to reduce civil strife.

Ethiopia is a very poor country by any standard and sits at the bottom of the ladder in all barometers. Many articles have been written with glowing statistics about Ethiopia’s fast-growing economy around 10%. In 1994, Ethiopia’s GDP was only $6.93 Billion; however, as of 2015, Ethiopia GDP stood at $72.4 Billion, a ten-fold increase according to TPLF data. This means GDP should have doubled every two years in the last two decades, which is unprecedented and improbable. Still, GDP of $72.4 Billion for a country of 100 million is not very impressive compared to Apple Inc.’s $72.6 billion income earned before taxes in 2015.

Given the state of the economy and technology, Ethiopia is at the pre-industrial stage where Britain was in the 1840’s. Unless Ethiopia skips some steps, it will need hundreds (100) of years to catch up. Of course, this assumes the rest of the world will stand still and wait for Ethiopia. For example, at a reasonable growth rate of 5%, Ethiopia will need 177 years to catch up with the U.S. growing at an average of 2.5% holding everything constant. At a 10% rate, it will take 60.5 years. The calculation is derived using a per capita of $50,000 for the U.S and $700 for Ethiopia.

Technology has the potential to be a tremendous tool in advancing the well-being of mankind, by improving quality of life and lifting standard of living. Access to technology allows us to work from anywhere and improves productivity. The progress of industrial revolution from the steam engine, electric power, and digital and information technology is the foundation for the fourth industrial revolution.

Artificial intelligence will be pervasive based on autonomous products from cars to robots. In the next two decades over 80% of the jobs will be AI and IT driven. AI will increasingly take over mundane tasks to the most sophisticated including fabrication, surgery and ground and space warfare.

According to Global Information Technology 2016, Ethiopia is 120th out of 139 countries in the Network Readiness Index (NRI) which measures access to latest technologies to individuals, businesses, and government, ease of starting a business, the efficiency of the legal system, infrastructure, capacity for innovation and more. Ethiopia’s ranking could have been much better had it not been for TPLF’s fear of technology and lack of interest in advancing Ethiopia’s technological and digital capability.

Sophia the robot and Dr. Abiy’s meetup is a promising sign. Dr. Abiy’s willingness to visit Sophia is an indication of his appreciation of the importance of technology, especially AI that encompasses autonomous or self-driving cars, nanotechnology, digital fabrication, the blockchain, biotechnology and more. In addition, IT will become more accessible to a larger part of the population and cheaper like the rest of the world if Dr. Abiy’s privatization plan proceeds with speed. Sophie visiting Addis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp4SnCVFYl0

The technology revolution is taking place at a breakneck speed lead by Artificial intelligence, Internet of things, the cloud, and 3D-printing. Ethiopians need to demand unfettered access to technology and the Internet as a right for their survival and to avoid future famines.

Dr. Abiy needs to leapfrog Ethiopia to the fourth Industrial Revolution, stop Internet censorship, and unleash innovation to create a better future for Ethiopia. If he does not leverage the technology revolution, grow the economy with open competition, transparency, with respect to property rights, unfettered access to technology and the Internet, he will leave Ethiopia with a distressed economy and with more hungry and angry people.

Leveraging technology underpinning the Fourth Industrial Revolution will create a strong and sustainable economic foundation. The people who generate the wealth (the next Apple, Google, etc.), the carpenters, the risk takers and inventors should be marveled and appreciated much more than others. After all, it will be the efforts of all hard working and creative Ethiopians with a strong work ethics that will propel Ethiopia to be an economic and technological juggernaut.

Have we failed the future generations?

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Our brothers and sisters in Ethiopia, their children, grandchildren and all future generations to come have been put at risk because the action or in-action of the current generation. Have w failed them and put their lives and their futures at risk?

Whether it was our making or that of DERG, EPLF, Woyanes, we let it happen by becoming mere spectators. Of course,  some helped or made financial donations to Kingit, EPRP, Ginbot 7 or other national or secessionist organizations with the believe that they will do the job or just to absolve us from guilty feeling.

Some of the actions that we have taken in terms of donation, chitchat at the coffee shop, at seminars, or writing articles  did not bear any fruits, as they have irreparably worsened the future and the plight of all Ethiopians.

We have failed them. Ethiopians because of our inaction or actions feel trapped; feel hopeless. There are secessionist like Eritreans that think divorce will bring them same solace, happiness or freedom; there are those who think the removal of Woyanes will bring them hope and peace; there are those who do not care. 

Despite these pressing and precarious times, most of us in the Diaspora have done little, despite our capacity to shape the direction and the future of Ethiopia. Of course, there are those who think the future of Ethiopia can be shaped by engaging in armed struggle because the Woyanes have repeatedly stated that is the only way they will relinquish power and there are those who gave up.

Unfortunately, most change in government does not come by force of arms. If they come by force of arms, they have to be taken again by force of arms. The only stable democratic transitions are those taken using civil disobedience. The recent demonstrations attest to this fact. Students in Oromia region did not use force to stalemate Woyanes, but civil disobedience and activism. If the rest of the country were to join them with a common purpose, the system could be brought to a standstill.

Those of us in the Diaspora can force Washington, as the Guy lobby did to listen to our demands and tell Woyanes to stop the killing and to listen to the people of Ethiopia.

Of course, we don’t want chaos to reign with an abrupt departure or collapse of the regime, but a formation of a transition government with a call for a fair and free election will bring some hope and peace to Ethiopia.

In order to do that, we need to win friends in Congress by creating a strong and broad PAN-Ethiopian lobby that can shape the transitional government and the future of Ethiopia politically and economically.

Ethiopians and African people face hopeless economic and political conditions with rampant corruption, religious and ethnic conflicts. The future appears dismal.  Africa has immense natural resources, but faces abject poverty due to catastrophic leadership. Using our PAN-Ethiopian lobby, we can advocate good governance, rule of law and establish a means to safeguard political, economic, and religious freedom. The objective of the PAC will include the promotion of transparency,  free and fair election, and lobby against leaders who undermine the rule of law.

In order to ensure that Ethiopia becomes a viable contender in the economic and political arenas of the world and safeguard the future generation, we have to challenge the existing political structure and bring it to an end by uniting, and organizing all Ethiopians at home and abroad.

 

 

 

Is President Obama the worst president for Blacks?

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President Obama addresses one of the criticism that was leveled in the following article that is the failure of his Office Technology to embark on a bold mission of addressing the digital and the economic divide. Below is the just of the message that came from Hadi Partovi, creator of Code.org .

“Today, the White House added its support to this grassroots movement, announcing a plan to help every student in America’s public schools learn CS, especially girls and underrepresented students of color. This is a big deal. This “CS for All” initiative proposes $4 billion in funding and additional support for training teachers to bring computer science to students. Watch the president’s full remarks here.”

This is good news.  Of course, as always the case the devil is in the details.

Dula

Abraham Lincoln left a lasting legacy by freeing Blacks from the shackles of slavery. President Lyndon Johnson passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill was another milestone event. President Johnson was able to pass such a bill despite facing a more hostile and racist congress than President Obama by co-opting Republican Rules Committee Chairman Howard W. Smith of Virginia.  Because of Lincoln and Johnson, Blacks achieved  high degree of political freedom, but they have a long way in achieving economic equality and overcoming poverty.

In Africa, President George Bush’s AIDS initiative saved or extended the lives of millions of Africans. President Bush help end many civil wars in  Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Congo and more through the leadership of Condoleezza Rice  and promoting democracy. Unfortunately, under President Obama there are simmering civil wars from Nigeria, Chad, Central Africa, South Sudan and more. Furthermore instead of making a serious effort to push for democracy, his laissez-faire policy encouraged leaders in Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, Burundi and others to gravitate to a single party dictatorship.

Africans were optimistic for Obama.  Professor of political science, Alemayehu G. Mariam of California State University, San Bernardino, CA said in his latest blog that Obama has fallen from grace to disgrace especially after his recent trip to Ethiopia, where he praised the current dictatorial regime. The Washington Post characterized  recent visit to an oppressive regime like Ethiopia “unfathomable”.   Human Rights watch called his remarks and support of the regime in Ethiopia  “shocking”

As far as Black Americans, the plight is even direr. The homicide rate, the number of blacks in prison,   high unemployment and police brutality has tarnished America’s image abroad.  Not of his own fault, most of the economic progress made in the past was lost in the last Great recession, which affected Blacks disproportionately. During the last Great Recession, according to NPR minorities experienced a 53% decline or loss of wealth.

To his credit, President Obama has attempted despite lots of oppositions to address some of the problems affecting the middle class and the poor in the area of health care and criminal justice.  The symptom that is affecting the majority of the poor especially Blacks is income inequality that is largely related to lack of skills necessary for the new economy. Strengthening the educational system, establishing technical and vocational schools in minority communities would have gone a long way in addressing the issue of income inequality, but it was never in president’s radar screen. Therefore, he is leaving the income inequality gap a lot worse than when he took over.

His other solution to police brutality was use of body camera, but that is not going to solve the problem. The solution is improving the economic condition of Black America by leveraging technology.  Most of the blacks killed by police are usually poor, unemployed or underemployed.

African-Americans make up roughly 12% of the U.S. population, but represent less than 2% of the workforce at most Silicon Valley and tech companies. In addition, the race gap in wealth between the median black family and the median white family has widened to 18 fold.

Eric Garner and many others are victims of economics, not just police brutality. Eric Garner was trying to make a living by selling loose cigarettes to support his six children and a wife. If he was trained in simple skills like welding, pipe fitting, wood working, air conditioning, plumbing or other high tech skills most likely he will not have been a victim of police brutality.

In 1999 under President Clinton we proposed putting technology training centers in the ghettos and barrios to train minorities and other economically disadvantaged groups as part of the Immigration Bill  that brought over one million tech workers from India and Taiwan to support the tech industries. The powerful technology lobby derailed the amendment and another opportunity to transform America and the Black community was lost.  The same initiative was suggested to Obama’s Office of Technology to free Blacks from the shackles of poverty, but it never got any traction.

With little time left in his term, Obama has yet to achieve any real policy victory for Blacks at home or in Africa.  Let us say, he will not leave any lasting legacy as the one left by his predecessors.