On Friday, August 5, journalist and human rights advocate Hermela Aregawi joined the Fairfax GOP’s “Conversations that Count” live interview program. Hosted by Fairfax GOP Vice Chairwoman Srilekha Palle, Friday’s conversation focused on issues of concern to Ethiopian-American voters.
Aregawi discussed the violent civil war currently raging in Ethiopia — as well as mounting concerns that Ethiopian-Americans have with the Biden Administration. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), a left-wing “ethno-fascist” organization, launched a series of violent attacks on Ethiopia’s federal government over the last two years, Aregawi noted.
Ethiopian-Americans are increasingly frustrated with the Biden Administration’s friendliness with the TPLF. “Ethiopian-Americans have generally voted Democratic, but I think the way this Administration has handled the war in Ethiopia has changed a lot of hearts,” Aregawi said. “Some people have swung completely to the right.”
Aregawi discussed the critical role Ethiopian-Americans played in electing Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin last year, largely owing to anger with the Biden Administration. In addition, the Ethiopian diaspora — and African immigrants more broadly — often hold conservative religious and social values.
“Now is a really good time to engage people,” Aregawi said of Ethiopian-Americans and others from the Horn of Africa. “They’re finding out that maybe the way they’ve operated politically has not been the best path, and they’re more open to hearing from candidates from political groups they haven’t historically voted for.”