We are Ethiopian Americans and Ethiopians living in the United States. Our open letter is a follow up to a letter that 32 leaders of conservative organisations sent to President Trump that was copied to you in your capacities as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the head of the host nation to the African Union.
Our open letter is also triggered by two open letters America’s iconic civil rights leaders, Revered Jesse Jackson, wrote to President Obama and the Pope.
Further, we write to you outraged by a 37-page report that United States Senator Chris Van Hollen submitted to the United States Department of Treasury in 2016. Above all, we are writing to urge you to respond to an open letter that one of the 32 American conservative leaders wrote to you that was published on this newspaper.
What is it that has triggered several open letters to two America presidents (Obama and Trump) to an African Prime Minister (You) and to the Pope?
It is an apartheid system in the World Bank that retroactively degraded the performance record of an Ethiopian Deputy Global Manager (Dr. Yonas Biru). As Reverend Jesse Jackson reported in this newspaper, the World Bank’s justification to degrade Dr. Biru’s performance record was that his managerial performance record is “beyond the natural capability of a black man.”
A conservative American newspaper independently reported “he has been disenfranchised of his hard-earned professional credentials because the World Bank deems his record too good to be true for a black man.” The above referenced Senator Van Hollen’s letter to the United States Department of Treasury provides indisputable hard evidence, showing copies of Dr. Biru’s record before and after his management record was retroactively redacted.
The breath-taking racist injustice was reported and condemned even by Breitbart News. We say “even by Breitbart News” because the newspaper is considered the voice of white supremacists. Dr. Biru’s case is the only racial discrimination case that Breitbart has ever covered and condemned since it was established.
Endemic racism is the DNA of the World Bank since it was established. Here is the history to understand the World Bank’s long history of racism: we invite you to watch a six-minute video that was prepared by Emory University. The video exposes a confidential World Bank report that made a strong case to finance apartheid South Africa. Emory University managed to force the World Bank to declassify a confidential report to bring the matter to light.
Forty years later, in 1992, an official World Bank survey of managers revealed “cultural prejudices among some managers, who rated sub-Saharan Africans as inferior.”
Over a decade later, in 2005, the Staff Association’s Executive Committee sent a letter to the World Bank Board, urging it to “to address seriously the issue of ghettoisation,” [euphemism for segregation] of Black people in the Africa region. The Staff Association stressed ending the segregation practice was important “to ensure that diversity cuts across the institution as a whole.”
A decade letter, in 2015, the World Bank’s official diversity report found: (1) “Discrimination/racism affects every segment of staff to a certain degree but it is most acutely felt by the Bank’s sub-Saharan-African and Caribbean Staff”; and (2) “Some staff referred to their assignment, as kind of apartheid, it was perceived that outside of the Africa region, there was limited mobility for Black staff.” The report found Dr. Biru’s case, as a “blatant and virulent case of racism.”
The World Bank’s racist stance that Dr. Biru’s management record is “beyond the natural capability of a Black man” has sparked outrage across the world.
Twenty-six US Senators and Congressmen and Women, Cabinet members, world-renowned civil rights advocates, and leaders of over 500 religious groups as well as prominent conservative organisations have raised their voice in condemnation.
Dr. Biru has lived in the US for 40 years, but he has kept his Ethiopian citizenship. His case would have been long resolved had he taken a US nationality. When he faced the cruel injustice, he was advised to take US citizenship. Though he was qualified to become a US citizen, he chose to maintain his Ethiopian citizenship.
The US government has done far more than the call of duty to seek justice for Dr. Biru, considering that he is not an American. The only way his case will get the attention it deserves is if his government files an official complaint to the Trump administration.
As one of the conservative American leaders noted in her open letter addressed to you. “The Bank’s inexplicable stance that Dr. Biru’s record is ‘beyond the natural capability of a Black man’ is an insult to the human race and represents an affront to [more than] one billion sub-Saharan Africans both in continental Africa and around the globe.”
In your capacities as the Ethiopian Prime Minister and the head of the state that is hosting the African Union, we urge you to write to President Trump on behalf of all Ethiopians and Africans to express our collective outrage and request his intervention to restore Dr. Biru’s dignity and rights.
Thanking you for your consideration in advance, we look forward for your favourable action.
Ethiopian Americans and Ethiopians in the United States
For Justice for Dr. Yonas Biru