As whites disappear from southern California, conflicts between blacks and Hispanics continue. In this latest episode of the black/brown war, which I experienced first-hand back in the 70s*, Hispanics are demanding the ouster of a black school principle. They claim “she is insensitive to Spanish-speaking parents.”

Local ABC news covers this story here.

Far be it from me to take sides in this conflict, which I know little about, but I found it interesting that the vast majority of protesters are clearly Hispanic – and ABC chose to highlight one of the few black protesters in their video. It could be this is because the Hispanic protesters didn’t speak English well enough. I suspect, however, that the real reason is that ABC wanted to portray an impression of solidarity, and harmony, between blacks and Hispanics. After all, they could easily have used an interpreter for a Spanish-speaking parent.

Reporting the news in an unbiased fashion would make the failure of “diversity” obvious for all to see, so they instead try to present it as a campaign against one individual, rather than as an ethnic conflict. But I seriously doubt that most Los Angeles blacks give two hoots about the sensitivities of Spanish-speaking parents.

* I was dark-skinned, and others assumed I was Mexican. People would sometimes come up to me and ask, “What are you?” One black kid asked me that, and then continued, “You better not be a Jew, ’cause I don’t like Jews.”

The Oregonian has a tradition, each year, of bellyaching about racism in the Portland rental market. I’ve written about this before, but with their latest installment of lies and deception, I feel they must be answered.

This year’s drivel, titled “Fair housing action fails to match bold words” appeared May 8th, and starts (on the front page):

Portland leaders pledged bold action and clear results in 2011 after undercover testing suggested that African American and Latino renters face frequent discrimination.

Yet four years later, with a new report on the persistence of bias, City Hall has offered more shrug than shriek.

Results of new testing, released in April, show landlords gave whites preferential treatment over black and Latino testers in 12 of 25 cases, or 48 percent. That compares with 64 percent of 50 cases four years ago. The samples are too small for meaningful comparisons or conclusions, and they don’t prove discrimination occurred.

The article continues (on page A11), under the subheading “Housing” and “All this rhetoric about equity”:

Portland, with high rents and rock-bottom vacancy rates, can be an unkind place for anyone seeking housing. But residents of color are hit hardest, as another city report on housing, released in mid-April, illustrates.

White residents earning the median income for their group can afford to rent in wide swaths of the city, according to the city Housing Bureau’s “State of Housing in Portland” analysis. But Latinos earning the median for their group have only a few pockets of affordability. African Americans at their median are priced out entirely.

On top of that, the new testing results add another uncomfortable reality for America’s whitest big city: more-subtle barriers because of skin-color.

I have a hunch that if the Oregonian did anonymous interviews with landlords, they’d discover that their aversion to black/Hispanic tenants has nothing to do with skin-color. Maybe, in their minds, such an interview would look something like this:

The Oregonian: So Mr. Landlord, you were caught discriminating against African American/Hispanic tenants. You can’t deny it; you were caught red-handed. How would you defend yourself? Why do you discriminate against African-Americans and Hispanics?

Anonymous landlord: I’m so ashamed of what I did… I’ve been thinking of taking my own life! My own family has disowned me, and I’m now a pariah in my own community (muffled sobs). Why did I do it? It’s their skin-color… Yes, I realize that African-Americans/Hispanics are just like me in every way – except for that damn skin-color. Every time I see that color, it makes me angry, so that I want to curse and break things. Not only that, but it clashes with the color scheme of the apartments.

No folks, race and color are NOT synonymous. I’ve already written about this here and here. But the Oregonian knows that if they repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. Recently, while at work, a young coworker blurted out that race is just “skin-color.” I instantly corrected him, and told him there are many racial differences besides skin-color. Is what I said “work-safe?” It’s hard to see how one can get in trouble for simply stating an obvious scientific fact, without any malice. We’ve got to use the freedom of speech we have left, if we’re to maintain it at all. It’s our responsibility to educate ignorant people whenever the opportunity arises.

Should we generalize about racial groups? Some people might call this “stereotyping.” The Oregonian has no problem categorizing blacks and Hispanics as “victims” due to the fact that their median incomes are lower than that of whites. Landlords apparently do the same regarding crime rates. Blacks and Hispanics have much higher crime rates than whites or Asians. We don’t hear about housing discrimination against Asians. Why is this? Obviously, it’s because Asians have even lower crime rates than whites – so there’s no reason to discriminate against them. Blacks and Hispanics also tend to have lower credit scores than do whites and Asians.

Due to “affirmative action” policies, some blacks and Hispanics, who would not otherwise be “middle class,” are now counted among America’s middle class – but, since they were artificially placed there (through discriminatory policies/ affirmative action), culturally speaking, they have not acquired middle class values. So, even though their income is high enough to afford better apartments, they’re more likely to trash said apartments.

There was a time in my life when I was a landlord. I had troublesome tenants of all races, but the track record for blacks and Hispanics was noticeably worse. For the record, I never had a problem with their skin-color. There can be little doubt that my own experiences are shared by Portland area landlords as well – but the keepers of Leftist orthodoxy are not willing to speak to them.

In real life, we must learn to recognize patterns in order to survive. The very fact that we are here today is testimony to the fact that our ancestors mastered this skill. Every time a landlord is confronted with a prospective tenant, he must navigate a sea of unknowns. He can conduct background checks, contact references and confirm work histories – but these can only help minimize the unknowns; they don’t eliminate them entirely. He can never know, in advance, if this prospective tenant is a drug-user, if he’s prone to fits of violence, if he listens to loud music, leaves crumbs all over the house or has unsavory friends. A landlord has little choice but to play the odds – and these odds are better if he sticks to white and Asian tenants.

If the Oregonian can generalize about whites, blacks and Hispanics regarding income, then landlords can certainly generalize when it comes to overall criminality and responsibility.

When it comes to picking tenants, landlords have a lot at stake, but words are cheap for the Oregonian. Their campaigning will end up costing other people a lot of money, and possibly even their lives. Even as landlords suffer bankruptcy, or must bury their loved ones, the Oregonian staff will pat itself on its collective back for fighting for “social justice.”

There are some Jews out there, and some non-Jews, who support mass immigration for the Western world, but oppose it for Israel. This video does a great job illustrating this hypocrisy. Enjoy!

Regarding the recent news, that Wayne County’s assistant prosecutor was forced to resign over her Facebook comment (“the way to end the violence in Baltimore was to shoot the protesters”), I commented that I disagree with her. In my opinion, flame throwers would be more effective; some people would get hurt in the short run, but in the long run, lives would be saved. A family member, who saw my comment, was shocked that I would write such a thing. Apparently, he believes that we should show more compassion, and restraint, toward these “protesters.” I wonder if the fact that he lives in a city that’s only about 9% non-Asian minority (NAM) has anything to do with his liberal views on rioters.

I stand by my comment, if not necessarily literally, at least in spirit. Our soft response to such riots only encourages them. Over time, inner-city blacks have learned that they can get away with rioting. While it’s true that some of them gain short-term benefit in the form of looted merchandise, it’s obvious that these riots bring about long-term misery for the majority. With businesses looted or burned down, job prospects suffer. Shopping options dwindle. Home values plummet and infrastructure deteriorates. Here’s a list of riots, since 1964, that were perpetrated by inner-city blacks in response to perceived police brutality. The list is by no means exhaustive. Many people lost their lives during these protests. Many more were seriously injured, or lost their livelihoods. If the response to rioting was ruthless, brutal, immediate and terrifying – there would be no riots, and everybody would be better off!

1964 – Harlem – Statistics vary but it is estimated that 500 persons were injured, one man died and 465 men and women were arrested. Property damage was estimated to be between $500,000 and $1 million.

1964 – Rochester – By the time the disturbance was over, four were dead (three in a helicopter crash) and 350 injured. Almost a thousand people were arrested and 204 stores were either looted or damaged.

1964 – Philadelphia –  Outnumbered, the police response was to withdraw from the area rather than aggressively confront the rioters.

Although no one was killed, 341 people were injured, 774 people were arrested and 225 stores were damaged or destroyed in the three days of rioting.

1965 – Watts – There followed six days of looting and arson, especially of white-owned businesses, and police needed the support of nearly 4,000 members of the California Army National Guard. There were 34 deaths and over $40 million in property damage.

1966 – Hough – During the riots, four African Americans were killed and 30 people were critically injured. In addition, there were 275 arrests, while more than 240 fires were reported.

1967 – Tampa – rioters burned and looted the Central Avenue area, once considered Tampa’s black social hub. And: For the next several hours, random sniper activity was reported within the projects. Random fire bombs and fires reduced many local businesses to cinders and reports surfaced of countless passing motorists being dragged from their cars and beaten in the streets. Police and rioters converged upon Central Avenue and a half-mile strip of stores, poolhalls, liquor stores and restaurants. Among many incidents reported by the Tampa Tribune:
– Numerous reports of white motorists being dragged from cars and beaten by gangs of black men.
..

1967 – Detroit – The result was 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed.

1967 – Buffalo – Many African Americans, three policemen and one fire fighter were injured. Although the riot dispersed that night, it began again the next afternoon with fires set, cars over-turned, and stores looted whether or not they had “soul brother” written on them. This time 400 police were summoned. Forty blacks were injured, nearly half from bullet wounds.

The riots virtually shut down the city. During the night of June 28, over 40 people were hurt, 14 with gunshot wounds.

1967 – Milwaukee – In the end, the riots left four dead, 100 hurt and 1,740 people arrested.

1967 – Newark riot – By the sixth day riots, looting, violence, and destruction — ultimately left a total of 26 people dead, 725 people injured, and close to 1,500 arrested. Property damage exceeded $10 million.

1967 – Minneapolis – 18 fires, 36 arrests, 3 shootings, 2 dozen people injured, damages 4.2 million.

1967 – Cincinnati – Crowds filled the streets and threw bottles and firebombs at businesses. The Ohio National Guard was called in to restore order. One person died and there were 404 arrests.

1968 – Baltimore – In the next few days, six people died, 700 were injured, and 5,800 were arrested. 1000 small businesses were damaged or robbed. Property damages, assessed financially, were more severe in DC ($15 million) and Baltimore ($12 million) than in any other cities. Most damage was done within the rioters’ own neighborhoods.

1968 – Chicago – more than 48 hours of rioting left 11 Chicago citizens dead, 48 wounded by police gunfire, 90 policemen injured, and 2,150 people arrested. Two miles of Austin on West Madison Street were left in a state of rubble.

1968 – Louisville – Police made 472 arrests related to the riots. Two black teenage rioters had died, and $200,000 in damage had been done.

1968 – Washington DC – By the time the city was considered pacified on Sunday, April 8, twelve had been killed (mostly in burning homes), 1,097 injured, and over 6,100 arrested. Additionally, some 1,200 buildings had been burned, including over 900 stores. Damages reached $27 million. This can be estimated to be equivalent to over $175 million today.

1970 – Augusta, Georgia – Six people were dead and more than 60 were injured after the melee.

1980 – Miami – In the end, 18 men and women died, three hundred and fifty people, some of them children, were hurt, and six hundred people were arrested. Property destruction exceeded $100 million.

1991 – Crown Heights – In its wake, several Jews were seriously injured; one Orthodox Jewish man was killed; and a non-Jewish man, apparently mistaken by rioters for a Jew, was killed by a group of black men.

1992 – Los Angeles – Widespread looting, assault, arson and murder occurred during the riots, and estimates of property damage was over $1 billion. The rioting ended after soldiers from the California Army National Guard, the 7th Infantry Division, and Marines from 1st Marine Division were called in to stop the rioting when the local police could not handle the situation. In total, 53 people were killed during the riots and over 2,000 people were injured.

1996 – St. Petersburg, Florida – At least 20 people were arrested and 28 arson fires were confirmed as groups of youths ran back and forth throughout the night, throwing rocks, bricks and bottles at officers in riot gear, businesses and passing cars. At least 11 people were injured, including a police officer who was shot and a newspaper photographer who was beaten, as hundreds of people swarmed through the streets after the shooting on Oct 24th. Stores were looted and thick smoke clouded the neighborhood just south of downtown.

2001 – Cincinnati – Ultimately it was determined the riots caused $3.6 million in damage to businesses and another $1.5 to $2 million to the city.

2003 – Benton Harbor, MI – Some 21 buildings were torched, most of which were vacant homes.

Rioters flipped cars and hurled rocks and bricks at police officers and firemen as they attempted to quell the crowds. Over the course of two days some 300 officers dressed in riot gear and prepped with armored cars regained control of the city.

2005 – Toledo, OH – Eleven police personnel suffered injury, and one paramedic suffered a concussion after a brick smashed through the side window of her vehicle, hitting her in the head. Police, media vehicles and emergency vehicles were all targeted. A number of stores in the community were targeted by the crowd, including a local bar, believed by many locals to be a regular hangout for police and politicians, which was broken into and set on fire.[4] A local gas station was also looted. Police arrested several dozen rioters, most of whom were residents of the North End. According to the mayor, a number of protesters were wearing gang colors.

2009 – Oakland, CA – Though initial protests against the ruling were peacefully organized, looting, arson, destruction of property, and small riots broke out after dark. Nearly 80 people were eventually arrested.

2014 – Ferguson, MI – As the night wore on, the situation grew more intense. Buildings were set on fire, and looting was reported in several businesses… As news of the decision spread, protesters surged forward, throwing objects at officers in riot gear. The sound of gunfire could be heard... At least a dozen buildings were set on fire around the city, many in the vicinity of Ferguson Market and Liquor, the store Michael Brown was in before he was killed by Officer Wilson...

And now we have the Baltimore riots of 2015. Civilizations do not come easy. They do not grow on trees. They’re the result of generations of hard work and sacrifice. Are we to watch our country go down in flames? It’s too late to nip this growing cancer in the bud, but we certainly can send a message to rioters. A message that even the least intelligent of them will understand.

The current edition of Discover Magazine includes an article titled “Days of Dysevolution.” The subheading reads:

Heart disease. Diabetes. Lower back pain. Athlete’s foot. Today’s humans are afflicted with ailments that virtually didn’t exist for our nomadic forebears. Can we adapt our way out of them?

The term “dysevolution” was coined by the scientist whose theories the article features: Biologist Daniel Lieberman. It refers to the mismatches between the conditions our bodies evolved for, over millions of years, and the sedentary lifestyle most Westerners lead today.

While it would be hard to argue against his basic premise, I got the impression that the article’s author, Jeff Wheelwright, was hobbled by political correctness – and a desire to adhere to its tenets while, at the same time, delivering some measure of truth.

Take this paragraph for example:

Although human beings are still evolving, Lieberman doubts that natural selection can overtake our quicksilver culture and rectify our health problems. “I care about my children and grandchildren. I’m not going to wait for natural selection. It’s not that rapid,” he says. He favors fighting dysevolution on its own terms, by cultural means. Unhealthy habits and products will be passed down the generations as long as the advantages – convenience, low cost, appealing taste – are seen to exceed the disadvantages. What he calls cultural buffering, from protective clothing to antibiotics, screen the body from the harshness of the environment and of evolution. “Lack of selection, because of antibiotics, say, leads to an increase in [human] variation. People who might have been filtered out won’t be. They’ll pass on their genes,” he says.

In a society free from the chains of political correctness, this would be a natural segue to a discussion of the pros and cons of eugenics – for what he describes comes very close to dysgenics.

The article includes large illustrations depicting Australopithecus afarensis, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens (hunter-gatherer), Homo sapiens (farmer) and Homo sapiens (industrial/post-industrial). I found the last three very telling.

Homo sapiens (hunter-gatherer) is shown as an athletic young man who could be Australian Aborigine or black African. He is described, in larger print on the heading, thus:

… Dark-skinned, narrow-hipped and fleet-footed. A rounder head had a face tucked below the brain.

Four text boxes describe the evolutionary highlights of this hunter-gatherer. All positive, they include, in bold: Long vocal tract, dexterous tongue/ Athletic/ Energy storage/ Adaptable.

hunter

The next illustration shows Homo sapiens (farmer). He is shown as a less athletic young man of European type. The heading reads:

… They settled down and began to raise crops and domesticate animals. This departure from the hunter-gatherer lifestyle led to most of the mismatch diseases from which we currently suffer, Lieberman says.

The three text boxes include (typed in bold) Shorter/ Sicker/ Paler.

farmer

The last one, Homo sapiens (industrial/ post-industrial) features a middle-aged white couple. The heading reads:

The past 250 years have seen more change in culture than the previous 250,000 years, dwarfing the changes to the human body. The world’s population booms, straining the world’s natural resources.

The illustration includes six text boxes titled, in bold: Smaller jaws and faces/ Vision/ Bad backs/ Reproductive cycle changes (leading to an increase in cancer)/ Foot problems/ Less athletic. Four of the six are presented as negative traits.

industrial

I would argue that these illustrations have crossed the line from science, and into propaganda. Why do I say this?

The progression is presented as going from good to worse, and as this happens, the samples shown are whiter and whiter. The implication is clear: Dark is good/ light is bad. While it’s true that most hunter-gatherers were probably dark-skinned – so are most industrial/post-industrial humans today. Furthermore, there were plenty of light-skinned hunter-gatherers in Europe prior to the agricultural revolution. As a matter of fact, all evidence suggests that Europe’s hunter-gatherers were lighter than its farmers, the latter having come from the Middle East.

While all the other subjects are shown in the prime of their lives, the sickly white couple, shown at the end, appear to be in their fifties. One might argue that, since people live longer in industrial societies, this makes sense. However, the article itself states:

It’s not true that hunter-gatherers died young, before heart disease and the like could manifest themselves. Those who survived infancy could live to around 70.

The fact that overpopulation is brought up only when showing white people is particularly galling – considering that all white populations, worldwide, are in decline. Whites aren’t even having enough babies to replace themselves. If overpopulation is to be brought up at all (and if it is, it should be explained how this fits into the context of the article), then it should be coupled with a depiction of black Africans; almost all of the highest fertility countries are located in sub-Saharan Africa.

One gets the impression that the author and illustrator made a special effort to depict white people as pathetic, weak and sickly. At the same time, by depicting more “advanced” humans as white, they’re making a backhanded admission that it was whites who invented modern society as we know it.

Here’s the opening illustration for the article. It’s obvious that the centrally positioned dark-skinned hunter-gatherer is considered as close to the “perfect human” as possible. He’s centrally positioned, with his primitive inferiors to his right, and his degenerate successors to his left. The old and tired white man looks as if he’s ready to collapse and die:

intro

A recent Oregonian article reads:

A 59-year-old Portland man accused of befriending a woman in church and then raping and sexually abusing her in an assisted living facility is in custody on a 16-count indictment…

Vandenberg is accused of sexually assaulting the woman who prosecutors contend was “incapable of consent by reason of mental defect,” according to the indictment.

The printed version of the story, sitting before me (dated April 3, 2015), says:

The prosecution alleged the woman was unable to consent to the sexual contact because of her dementia.

If people with dementia are “unable to consent to sex,” does this mean that once you get dementia, you are not allowed to have sex? This is a question others have grappled with.

I think people are uncomfortable with the question because it forces them to confront contradictions in some of the moral stances they’ve taken for granted. If the answer is “No, people who are mentally disabled, including those with dementia, cannot have sex,” then this premise would force us to tear elderly couples apart – under the grounds that they’re raping each other. This would strike most people as cruel and ridiculous. But if the answer is “Yes, those who are mentally disabled, including those with dementia, may have sex,” then this opens the door to other possibilities. As soon as we acknowledge that a person needn’t be of sound mind to consent to sex, then what about drunk people? What about unconscious people? What about mentally retarded people, whose minds are those of 4-year-olds? In other words, a “yes” answer opens a pandora’s box.

Obviously, context should play a large role in issues such as this. We shouldn’t forcibly separate senile couples if they’ve been married for 40 years, and obviously love each other. But is it okay for a husband to have sex with his sleeping wife if by all accounts she’s okay with it? Can a wife pleasure her drunk husband?

I don’t claim to have easy answers, but I do think our judgment is clouded by our still-overly-puritanical attitudes about sex. Perhaps, in some cases, we shouldn’t even be asking about consent. Instead, we should be asking a more fundamental question: Was anybody actually harmed by this action?

Ethiopia contains upwards of 80 distinct ethnic groups, and just about every one of them has its own language. For a traveler who is language-conscious, such as myself, this can be bewildering. At the same time, it’s refreshing; the Ethiopian government deserves praise for allowing local languages to thrive within its borders. Children are not forced to learn the “dominant language” at the expense of their native one. The result is that many local languages remain robust to this day, and one can hear people of all ages speaking them in their respective locales. I’ll quote Wikipedia:

Ethiopia’s population is highly diverse, containing over 80 different ethnic groups. Most people in Ethiopia speak Afro-Asiatic languages, mainly of the Cushitic and Semitic branches. The former includes the Oromo and Somali, and the latter includes the Amhara and Tigray. Together these four groups make up three-quarters of the population.

The country also has Omotic ethnic minorities who speak Afro-Asiatic languages of the Omotic branch. They inhabit the southern regions of the country, particularly the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region. Among these are the Welayta and Gamo.

Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nilotic ethnic minorities also inhabit the southwestern regions of the country, particularly in the Gambela Region. Among these are the Nuer and Anuak who are also found in South Sudan which borders the Gambela Region.

To illustrate the relationship between the various branches of the Afro-Asiatic language family, I’ll include a video from a man I very much respect. He calls himself “Ancient Semitic“:

And here’s another one, also from Ancient Semitic, illustrating the connection between most languages of this family:

Incidentally, it was a Jew who, in the 9th century, first recognized the link between the Hamitic branch (Berber) of this language family, and the Semitic branch: Yehuda ibn Kuraish. It bears noting that there is no consensus on where the Afro-Asiatic language family originated.

Although the most spoken language in Ethiopia is Oromo, it is Amharic that has the most official recognition. This has been a point of contention for Oromo speakers. Their frequent use of the Roman alphabet, instead of the Ethiopic Ge’ez-based alphabet, is a political statement. While driving through Oromo territory, I asked my driver about the use of the Roman alphabet on signs. His answer was somewhat evasive.

Speakers of Amharic take a lot of pride in their language. I had long conversations, with my drivers, about the differences between Eritrea and Ethiopia. My understanding is that the only real difference is that Eritrea was colonized by the Italians, while Ethiopia never was (though it was conquered by the Italians, who held on to it for 5 years at the beginning of WWII). Together, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and some surrounding areas make up the historic country of Abyssinia. In other words, Abyssinia is “greater Ethiopia.”

Ethiopians, like most of the rest of the world, are not very fond of the government of Eritrea, or the path it has taken. One Ethiopian derisively told me, when discussing language policy in Eritrea, “they don’t even teach their kids Amharic!”

As much as the Amhara love Amharic, they also revere Ge’ez; in fact, they consider Ge’ez to be their “ancestral language.” For Christians, their prayers, and their Bible, are written in Ge’ez. It’s a holy tongue to them, much as Hebrew is a holy tongue for Jews.

And yet speakers of Amharic don’t seem to have much respect for Tigrinya, which is far closer to Ge’ez than is Amharic. I find this odd, but there’s a parallel.

Askkenazi Jews consider Hebrew to be our “ancestral/sacred language,” and yet we hold Yiddish in much higher esteem than Arabic, even though Arabic is much closer to Hebrew than Yiddish is. Could it be that the reason the Amhara aren’t so fond of Tigrinya is that it sounds like Arabic, the language of Islam (with whom they fought wars in the past)? I hope some Ethiopians will stumble upon this blog and share their insights on this matter.

The message I got, over and over again in Ethiopia, is that the Ethiopians are a mixed people. My assumption was that this mixed people speaks a mixed language. If they represent a mix of Semitic-speaking Middle-Easterners (the Aksumites and maybe others) and native black Africans, we would expect that the more Middle-Eastern looking Ethiopians would speak the more purely Semitic languages, such as Tigrinya, while the Amhara, Oromo and other tribes, would appear more African. But this is not the case at all. I doubt that any visitor to Ethiopia would get that impression.

Why do I say that Amharic is “less Semitic” than Tigrinya? Firstly because much of its most basic vocabulary is vastly different from that of other Semitic languages. For example, “dog” is kelebh in Hebrew, kalb in Arabic, kelbi in Ge’ez – but wusha in Amharic. Furthermore, Amharic lacks some of the phonemes characteristic of most Semitic languages. I did find a reasonable account of the history of the Semitic Ethiopic languages here, and I’ll quote:

The Semitic conquerors of Abyssinia found peoples of two different races in the country where they settled: (1) African aborigines and (2) Kushites, a branch of the Hamitic family. Their languages were different from each other and, of course, different from that of the Semites also; some of them are spoken up to the present day. When the Semites first came and formed their literary language, they did not allow the languages of the country to influence their own speech very much; but gradually this influence grew stronger and stronger, and it is very evident in the modern Semitic languages of Abyssinia. An outline of the history of the Ethiopic language is as follows: Its oldest monument known so far is the Semitic part of the bilingual inscription of King `Ezana, which dates from the first half of the 4th century AD. Before that time Ethiopic must have been spoken, without doubt, but it was not written: Greek and Sabean were written instead. At the time of King `Ezana the knowledge of the Sabean language seems to have been very little; but Sabean script was still used. The Semitic part of the inscription just mentioned is in the Ethiopic language, but carved once in Sabean script and a second time in the native Ethiopic script which had been derived from the Sabean. In the first of these two “editions” two or three Sabean words are used instead of their Ethiopic equivalents. A few other ancient inscriptions found in the Aksumitic empire may also be dated from the same period.

I do find it hard to believe that the Semitic invaders had never encountered dogs prior to arriving in Ethiopia. Perhaps a better explanation is that the natives continued to use their own words for familiar animals. The animals that became familiar to them later on got Semitic names. The word for “horse,” for example, is feres, which is essentially the same in Arabic, and similar to the Hebrew word for “horseman.”

One way or the other, I consider Amharic to be a very beautiful language. Here’s something for those of y’all who have never heard formal Amharic being spoken:

My Amharic/Ge’ez studies continue, so I’ll surely have more to say on this topic in the future.

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