AL MARIAM'S COMMENTARIES
- San Bernardino, California, U.S.A.
- January 18
- California State University, San Bernardino
- Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino. His teaching areas include American constitutional law, civil rights law, judicial process, American and California state governments, and African politics. He has published two volumes on American constitutional law, including American Constitutional Law: Structures and Process (1994) and American Constitutional Law: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights (1998). He is the Senior Editor of the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies, a leading scholarly journal on Ethiopia. For the last several years, Prof. Mariam has written weekly web commentaries on Ethiopian human rights and African issues that are widely read online. He played a central advocacy role in the passage of H.R. 2003 (Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007) in the House of Representatives in 2007. Prof. Mariam practices in the areas of criminal defense and civil litigation. In 1998, he argued a major case in the California Supreme Court involving the right against self-incrimination in People v. Peevy, 17 Cal. 4th 1184, which helped clarify longstanding Miranda rights issues in criminal procedure in California. For several years, Prof. Mariam had a weekly public channel public affairs television show in Southern California called “In the Public Interest”. Prof. Mariam received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1984, and his J.D. from the University of Maryland in 1988.
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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”, said Edmund Burke. But what happens when evil triumphs over a good young woman journalist named Reeyot Alemu in Ethiopia? Do good men and women turn a blind eye, plug their ears,… Read full post »
Ethiopia today is a “prison of nations and nationalities with the Oromo being one of the prisoners”, proclaimed the recently issued Declaration of the Congress of the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF). This open-air prison is administered through a system of “bogus federalism… Read full post »
The silence of Ethiopia’s “beautiful minds”
Professor A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, the renowned Indian scientist (“Missile Man of India”) and Eleventh President of India (2002-2007) said, “If a country is to be corruption free and become a nation… Read full post »
In June 2011, during her visit to Zambia U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton pulled the alarm bell on a creeping “new colonialism” in Africa. While dismissing “China’s Model” of authoritarian state capitalism as a… Read full post »
The great American poet Walt Whitman said, “Either define the moment or the moment will define you.” Will the election of Uhuru Kenyatta as president of Kenya define President Barack Obama in Africa or will President Barack Obama use the election of President Kenyatta to defi… Read full post »
Dam War of Words
Late last month, Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid Bin Sultan fired a shot across the bow from the Arab Water Council in Cairo to let the regime in Ethiopia know that his country takes a dim view of the "Grand Renaissance Dam" under “constructio… Read full post »
Ethiopian Muslims engaged in the moral equivalent of an anti-Apartheid movement?
In her recent commentary in the New York Review of Books, “Obama: Failing the African Spring?”, Dr. Helen Epstein questioned the Obama Administration for turning a blind eye to human rights violations… Read full post »
The sights and sounds of an African police state
When Erin Burnett of CNN visited Ethiopia in July 2012, she came face-to-face with the ugly face of an African police state:
We saw what an African police state looked like when I was in Ethiopia last month… At the airport,… Read full post »
2011: Dictatorship, corruption and the politics of fear and smear
In December 2011, I wrote a commentary entitled, “Ethiopia: Land of Blood or Land of Corruption?” contrasting two portraits of Ethiopia. At the time, the portrait painted by Transparency International (TI) (Corrupti… Read full post »
On the road to democracy and unity?
For some time now, I have been heralding Ethiopia’s irreversible march from dictatorship to democracy. In April 2011, I wrote a commentary entitled, “The Bridge on the Road(map) to Democracy”. I suggested,
We can conceive of the transition… Read full post »
The Sandcastles and Dams of African Dictators
All dictators on the African continent have sought immortality by leaving a legacy that will outlive them and endure for the ages. But all have inherited the wind.
Kwame Nkrumah led the first sub-Saharan African country to gain independence… Read full post »
The Silent World of Hippos on Planet Cheetah
In my first weekly commentary of the new year, I "proclaimed" 2013 “Year of Ethiopia’s Cheetah Generation” (young people). I also promised to reach, teach and preach to Ethiopia’s youth this year and exhorted members of the Ethiopi… Read full post »
Recently, Naom Chomsky, MIT Professor of Linguistics and arguably America’s foremost public intellectual, gave an interview to Al Jazeera on the social (ir)responsibility of American academics and intellectuals. Chomsky, 84, has been raising hell for over four decades, getting into the faces of… Read full post »
Last week, The Reporter reported:
An ethnic-based conflict between Addis Ababa University (AAU) students following derogatory graffiti posted on toilet-walls and library walls has left half a dozen students with severe injuries while others had faced arrest. For decades, the clash b… Read full post »
2013 shall be the Year of Ethiopia’s Cheetah Generation.
“The Cheetah Generation refers to the new and angry generation of young African graduates and professionals, who look at African issues and problems from a totally different and unique perspective. The… Read full post »
2012 is gone. 2013 is on the way. Let us ring in redress to all humankind.
I wish a happy and prosperous new year to all of my readers throughout the world. To those who have unwearyingly followed my columns for nearly three hundred uninterrupted weeks, I wish to express… Read full post »
Another Groundhog Year
It was a repetition of 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004... Everyday millions of Ethiopians woke up only to find themselves trapped in a time loop where their lives… Read full post »
Another Groundhog Year
It was a repetition of 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004... Everyday millions of Ethiopians woke up only to find themselves trapped in a time loop where their lives replaye… Read full post »
If History is on the Side of Brave Africans, Shouldn’t the U.S. be Too?
When President Obama visited Accra, Ghana in 2009, he delivered two distinct political messages within one overarching moral imperative: “History is on the side of brave Africans”. His message to African… Read full post »
The Precarious State of Religious Freedom in Ethiopia
In a weekly column entitled “Unity in Divinity” this past June, I expressed grave concern over official encroachments on religious freedom in Ethiopia. I lamented the fact that religious freedom was becoming a new focal t… Read full post »
On September 2, 2012, Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., delivered a nauseatingly sentimental oration at the funeral of Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi. She called Meles “selfless and tireless” and “totally dedicated to his work and family.” She said he was &l… Read full post »
On June 6-8 and November 1-4, 2005, following the Ethiopian parliamentary elections in May of that year, hundreds of citizens who protested the theft of that election were killed or seriously wounded by police and security personnel under the exclusive command and control of… Read full post »
It is proper to congratulate President Obama on his re-election to a second term. He put up a masterful campaign to earn the votes of the majority of American voters. Mitt Romney also deserves commendation for a hard fought campaign. In his concession speech Romney was supremely gracious: &ldq… Read full post »