This post took a while to think through.
It’s been sitting here, really. In the past year I have had perhaps an excess of time and opportunity to self reflect and that of course has been the circumstance that has bore my decision to perhaps filter through my WordPress and even my own personal views expressed directly or indirectly on this blog.
What has come to mind most is my writing style before the past 3 or so months of course was very self assured and at worst arrogant. Matter-of-fact in nature, really, albeit none of this is legitimately published to be a fact of any matter to begin with. It has taken a while to read over this and perhaps draw back because even if something I am saying or exploring does have a factual basis, this is a WordPress. The matter-of-factness of its tone makes it read no differently than any number of rather arrogant and ideologically charged blogs about any part of Africa, really. It is hampered not by my conclusions—I have and regularly do correct myself on here either via Yeezus-esque live updates or follow up posts—but by my tone more so. In all of that rather arrogant expression it is easy to assume my being Ethiopian as a factor in what I’m saying, because it seems like a personal mission; which it isn’t. Perhaps when I was 18 it was, sure, but at 18 I was an entirely different person and I held the view of Semitic coming from the Horn of Africa with almost a dogmatic view of assumed correctness without actually understanding what I was inferring. This of course has drastically changed, and looking back years later I am glad that I am open to the Near East origin hypotheses, yet of course I don’t agree with their conclusions and their lack of proper inclusion of Afro-Semitic.
In recent months I have found myself much more preoccupied with understanding why Afro-Semitic is in such an odd place within Semitic, which of course has led to two posts on the general views of the continent of Africa that I myself can say I am rather proud of, for once. This blog and its previous incarnations have in theory been at times victims of my own immaturity and low self esteem, which is something I have long pondered on. I have had time in many senses to self mutilate in terms of personality and mentality, which perhaps is what is leading me to finally finish this post. To the regular readers of this blog, I apologize for the rather convoluted process with which anything I have said has evolved. There perhaps has been times where my own questions regarding my personal identity as not just an a Tigray or an Ethiopian, but as an African in the assumed general sense, have come clearly into play for full display in what seems to be a dumpster fire fueled by the rampant insecurities of debates over the “Africanness” of anything and everything from the continent that thrives on social media.
This debate has perhaps shaped my life more than any other in recent memory. The external politics of my daily life are far less important than the internal struggle produced by assertions of my ancestors coming supposedly from the Near East or the rather removed from reality assertion that “Africanness” is equal to the rather American conceptualization of racial “blackness“—perhaps the most obviously ontological debate that is treated as an immutable biological reality. This entire debate is removed from linguistics but abuses the conclusions of linguists at times for its own ideological gain on either end of the spectrum; whether we’re talking about right wing Copts on twitter calling Afroasiatic a “hypothetical” or Ethiopian diaspora who cling to the cultural authenticity they assume they possess yet remove from themselves via the dehumanization of neo-colonial conceptualizations of human diversity. Yet this debate is something I would like to rectify is not part of my linguistic worldview and to me at this point in life it is obviously a non-factor where Semitic originated in relation to the concept of “Africanness“. I at this point only care about having a working model that isn’t victim to assumptions juxtaposed together in what seems to be a rather weak framework that does not hold weight with the entirety of Semitic.
I just want to get as close to historical reality as possible, honestly.