On the racial character of Ethiopians and Somalis

After I posted the story about Somalis attacking whites in Maine, I wrote to VFR reader and blogger Kidist Paulos Asrat, a Canadian who originally comes from Ethiopia:


Would you say that Somalis are racially the same as Ethiopians? That is, not “black,” but some different race for which there is not a well known or common name?

Which raises the question (and I’m sorry if I’ve asked this before): how do you describe your own race, the race of the historic Ethiopian ethnic group to which you belong, the Amhara? I believe you said that your features are typical of the Amhara, the same group to which Haile Sellasie belonged. I imagine that this ethnic type is ancient. How do Ethiopians describe themselves racially? And how do scientists describe Ethiopians racially? It seems to me a unique racial/ethnic type, not fitting into any of the major races. (Is this because Ethiopians are the original mankind?:-) )

Kidist replied:

Larry, you’ve given me quite a chore!

My understanding is that group that I belong to, the Amhara, originated from southern Arabia, and settled first in the northern part of Ethiopia and also what is now known as Eritrea, several thousands of years ago. The languages in these regions are referred to as Ethiopian Semitic languages. Here is an article which says about the Ethiopians (I would say the Northern Ethiopians here, and specifically the Amhara and Tigray tribes):

60 percent of the Ethiopian gene pool has an African origin, whereas approx. 40 percent is of Caucasoid derivation.

The same article quotes another source as saying:

Ethiopians appear to be distinct from Africans and more closely associated with populations of the Mediterranean basin.


The present composition of the Ethiopian population is the result of a complex and extensive intermixing of different people of North Africa, Near and Middle Eastern, and south-Saharan origin.

One final quote:

East African groups, such as Ethiopians and Somalis, have a great genetic resemblance to Caucasians and are clearly intermediate between sub-Saharan Africans and Caucasians.

Here is the result of a research study trying to cluster groups of people (e.g. Norwegians, Chinese, Bantu, Ethiopians) on continental grounds:

The one population in their analysis that was seemingly not clearly classified on continental grounds was the Ethiopians, who clustered more in the Caucasian group.

Every time an article like this says Ethiopians, I would substitute “Northern Ethiopians” for “Ethiopians,” or the Amhara or Tigray ethnic groups.

How does this Amhara group see itself, historically and culturally? It sees itself as a direct descendant and continuation of the Axumite civilization of northern Ethiopia (1st to 7th century A.D.). It believes its origins are outside of Africa, recognizing its non-African, or I should say non-Negroid, ancestry. But, it still believes its history and presence is intertwined with the continent over several thousands of years.

The Amhara believe that they are the authentic rulers and builders of Ethiopia, and would not readily give that role even to their northern Tigray adversaries. They also strongly believe that other ethnic and racial groups, such as the dominant southern Negroid Oromo, or the Muslim (and Somali) groups in the southeast, do not have the capacity to be rulers and would destroy the country if leadership were in their hands. This sense of duty, nationalism, and confidence in leadership has been the mainstay of the Amhara since their arrival after the demise of the Axumite civilization, and their adherence to Christianity that started with Axumite King Ezana in the 4th century.

As for the Somali, I also think they originated from southern Arabia, but they intermingled much more with the endemic African populations, despite now acquiring a unique and recognizable Somali “look.”

Here is the same blogger as above with information on the Somali:

The data suggests that the Somali population is a branch of East African population—closely related to the Oromos in Ethiopia and North Kenya.

I hope this helps.

I wrote:

The reason I thought of asking you about Somalis was, there has been a string of attacks by Somalis in Maine, where many Somali refugees were insanely sent. And I don’t think it’s correct to refer to Somalis simply as “black,” but I’m not sure.

Kidist replied:

Comparing Somalis and Ethiopians:

I think that Somalis have aggressive and violence-prone personalities that set them apart from Ethiopians. So far, I know of no Ethiopian (of Amhara origin) who has been implicated in violent, race-based crime against whites either in Canada or the United States. Whenever an Ethiopian name comes up, it is usually that of a Muslim Ethiopian, or a non-Amhara, usually from the southern Oromo tribe.

I don’t know what to call Somalis either, since they have a blend of some Asian (Indian) and mostly African features, and their hair is certainly more Asian than African. But, their aggressive behavior resembles that of many blacks, Caribbean and African, at least here in Canada. I think this inherent aggression and belligerence should be a factor to be aware of when interacting with Somalis.

You are right to say that different “cultural” groups will not join forces. Somalis will always be with each other while performing their criminal activity. In fact, I think they look down on American and Caribbean blacks.

Also, in your entry on the Somali attacks in Maine, you ask:

Is this part of the larger paradigm in which the various racial/cultural/religious aliens among us, regardless of their specific background, are independently picking up on white America’s growing weakness, are aware of their own strength, a strength powerfully augmented by the symbolic significance of Obama’s election, and are simply putting that consciousness of nonwhite racial ascendancy into action?

I think the answer is “Yes.”

It may not manifest itself in violence, as the Somali are portraying, but yes, there is a sense of racial ascendancy in groups (nonwhites in general) here in Canada, that is directly related to Obama’s election. It is an uncanny thing to watch and observe.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 23, 2009 11:54 AM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):