RASTAFARI VISIONS HOME
Who is determining the rasta-man's priorities nowadays?
By Ras Jahaziel
August 21, 2009
When a house is burning or a ship is sinking it is typical for those that are imperiled to focus urgently on the immediate problem that needs to be fixed...that is if they are not dead asleep or drugged by the dope of domestication. Similarly the priorities of any people who are beset by crisis ought to be characterized by urgency and focus on the immediate problems that need to be fixed.
The first questions they should ask of any program or event is: Whose problem is it fixing; whose consciousness is it elevating? Is it reaching the people that need the most help; is it fixing the hole that is leaking?
Is it elevating the consciousness of the sick masses of African people who continue to be systematically indoctrinated with the virus of self-hate that leads to the present epidemic of self-destruction? Is it creating alternatives to their current pitiful economic dependency?
Recent events in the history of Rastafari like the Smithsonian exhibition indicate quite clearly that there is A PRIORITY SHIFT taking place, a shift that is not characteristic of a people that seek justice but more characteristic of a people that seek white patronage. While the masses of Africa's youths are perishing for lack of self-knowledge and scotching on the brink of survival the new self-appointed Rastafari leadership seems to be more preoccupied with another priority that could be labeled: GETTING VALIDATION FROM THE POPE.
When one examines the history of Rastafari in the U.S. it will be seen that up to this date the main target of Rastafari evangelism has not been the Black masses who are most in need of self-knowledge. This is most true of Reggae music, and now in the case of recent events it seems like more of the same.
Now concerning the upcoming Rastafari Arts and Culture festival in White Mountain, this is the same impression that was conveyed by the first documents that were sent out. On this cultural battlefield there are certain words and phrases that embody certain ideas that automatically send off alarm bells.
Here are the alarm bells that sparked the meditation to write this article.
They appeared in two preparatory documents that might not have been final drafts, but yet betrayed a certain NON-RASTA philosophy and a certain agenda motivating an effort that is supposedly to correct misrepresentation of Rasta:
(1) "The focus of the activities stated above is to bring clarity of our way of life and provide a greater understanding of the same. This will enable the Rastafari Community here to enhance communication and establish good relationships with the greater Community in the Western North Carolina region."
The above is an alarm bell when one considers that the Rastafari community and the greater community being referred to here amounts to nothing more than THE WHITE COMMUNITY. So the above statement instantly sends a message that the white Rastas are holding a big program to impress their mummies and daddies and uncles and aunts that Rasta is COOL. With that motive it is quite obvious that Rasta would have to be dressed up and presented in a cooled down patriotic form. Never has a program of the proposed cultural magnitude ever been funded and organized to reach the Black youths of the U.S.A. or to create a greater familiarity with the Rasta way of life amongst Blacks.
So next alarm bell:
(2) Event Overview:
Entrance of U.S. ARMED FORCES Color Guards.
(A loud ringgggggggg alarm bell!)
(3) 1 minute of silence for 911 victims and war casualties and veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
This alarm bell sounds like part of the effort to show the white community that Rastas are quite patriotic and hold similar values, especially those values that mourn for "our boys in uniform" and don't care a damn about all the rest who are mere collateral damage.
Next alarm bell:
(4) VISION: to establish outreach and educational programs, for the creed to be fulfilled, (This appears over a photo of Haile Selassie shaking the hands of Jacqueline Kennedy...interesting choice)
Everything so far suggests an outreach to the white community with the aid of white advisors and Black consultants in the same vein as the Smithsonian exhibition.
(5) In the second document titled "Event schedule" the first thing that appears at the top is "Reasoning needs to be on how InI represent InI Message as to Co creating Unity and Love for all Colors and Creeds"
This all sounds very much like what Rasta priorities become when Romans are in the midst and when the drive for white patronage is replacing the movement for justice. Meanwhile the children of The Middle passage are drowning, unexposed to the ireful way of Rasta, and the few that would love to live the life of Rasta have no real survival mechanism. And it is against this background that I was inspired to write this article.
All the people who have set out to organize these wonderful programs may be quite sincere in their efforts and perhaps just operating innocently within the limitations that they know. Hopefully the criticism and analysis presented here may one day contribute to a greater sense of awareness concerning the focus and direction that is sorely needed. Therefore I hope that everyone realizes that the comments here presented are not meant to be personal, but there is a larger issue that needs to be addressed. It is about the life and death of a people. It is about making sure that justice and race upliftment are not relegated to the bottom of Rasta priorities in the mad rush to receive VALIDATION FROM THE POPE.
End of foreword
Who is Determining the Rastaman's Priorities Nowadays?
"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph." Haile Selassie I.
So that evil will not continue to triumph we are all obligated to speak out and voice our opinion when we see signs of danger on the horizon. It is very hard to speak the truth without hurting someone's feelings, or raining on someone else's parade, but as His Majesty said, we are obligated, compelled to speak out, even if we are the only voice of dissent and every one else appears to be journeying like a family of NOT-SEES.
Ultimately truth is all that really matters.
In the long struggle for justice and Black liberation there have always been attempts to muffle the Black truth and prevent it from being heard because those that profit from Black oppression have always feared that this truth would one day spread and cover the earth. Therefore, when this truth is in its season of springing there is a need to corrupt it, disfigure it, deform it, discredit it, and make it look like the vain and ridiculous ramblings of extremists who should be scorned, excluded, ostracized, and rejected.
The fire that Rastafari WAS burning in the earlier days of the movement could not be allowed to spread beyond the borders of the Caribbean. If that fire had spread to the Black youths of America the spell of DOMESTICATION and Acute Negro Psychosis would have been broken, and the voice of African liberation would then have gone global with a force that could not be stopped. Even in the Caribbean that hard-core voice of African liberation had to be countered with Carnival culture and Crop Over culture so as to maintain the dominance of WHORISM in the psyche of the SHEEPLE.
So what is being said here is not about a clash of personalities because one man does not like another man whom he has never even met, but it is about a larger matrix of counter-revolution that has been embarked on by the forces of white racism. It is just unfortunate that nowadays some Rastas get their tails burned when fire is thrown on the slave-master's house.
The counter-revolution agenda is to water down the Garvyite aspect of Rastafari that focuses SPECIFICALLY and single-mindedly on the issue of Black resurrection and Black liberation. When Blacks are thinking according to the Garvyite idea they think RACE FIRST. They are a people concerned primarily with the repairing and healing of their race. They are a people whose eyes are opened to see the genocide that is taking place, and they overstand the larger historical matrix of external manipulation that causes Blacks to hate one another and to hate themselves. Therefore, they do not blame their people and forsake them and try to form a closer bond with those that have robbed them and historically oppressed them.
When Africans are centered within this idea of HEALING YOUR RACE FIRST they are not very receptive to white penetration within their innermost councils. Not only is the Black survival ship sinking too quickly to focus on healing other colors and creeds but TWO THOUSAND YEARS OF HISTORY cannot be forgotten so easily. Some lessons have been learned, and the most important lesson is that The Devil comes with a Bible, a smiling white face, some gifts, some favors, some jobs, some loans, some grants, and before you know it you are singing the red-white-and-blue song and you become a dyed-in-the-wool NOT-SEE.
This RACE FIRST kind of thinking is most feared and despised by the Slave-master. After all, you cannot have your Blacks thinking this way, because in a short while they would rise up from their sleep and slumber, and instead of wagging their tails and bowing their heads they would cease being docile domesticated Negro poodles and become giants of Africa.
This way of thinking therefore has to be stigmatized in order for the Slave-master's agenda to succeed. It has to be condemned and declared a narrow, outdated, misrepresentation of the true teachings of Haile Selasse I. It must be replaced by the doctrines of multiculturalism, diversity, openness, and inclusivity.
So how can the slave-master divert the flow of this hot lava of Black consciousness and send it in a direction that does not lead to African liberation? First some elders of Rastafari must be found to implement The Blind-Low-A's agenda, and they are to accomplish the white man's mission by drowning the logic of Black liberation with the stupefying drink of ONE-LOVE RELIGION. No more of that specifically Black thing. Rasta must now demonstrate to the world how much he loves everybody.
There are "Rastafari elders" who are well qualified for this mission. The "blessings" that come from white friendship and white patronage have caused many to jump on the band wagon of black-and-white brotherhood and leave forsaken the unfinished and unaccomplished task of recreating Black and Black brotherhood and sisterhood. In the belly of The Beast they have lost their African minds. Their greatest fear is to offend the feelings of the white man who says I want to come into your innermost councils when you are reasoning on Black liberation.
Once upon a time on the old slave plantation Black foremothers were forced to nurse their master's little white babies first and then nurse their own after their breasts had been already drained. Now, in the twenty-first century, the slave-master intends to co-op even the grey and hairy elders to serve up a cooled down version of Rasta on a plate. Little white babies must yet be served first while little black babies perish from lack of self-knowledge, spiritual hunger, and cultural malnutrition.
Black youths in the pits of oppression perish because their culture, their names, their language, their history, their pride and self-esteem, and their properties have been stolen, leaving them balancing precariously on a tight rope above the ready and wide open jaws of the prison. But those Rastas who have lost their FAR EYE have found it more profitable to polish and reprocess the seeds of Rastafari for white consumption. Everything, even the sacred and the holy, is now A PRODUCT to be sold according to the forces of the market and the auction block.
Not the ghetto, not the hood, not the Black colleges where Black youths have not a clue as to who or what Rasta is, but in the whitest of neighborhoods Rasta is being served up for dinner, all cleaned up and refined for white digestion. A new kind of thinking is seeking official endorsement and global accreditation, and it sends the signal to African freedom fighters that if you want Rasta in your midst you have to be prepared to also accept THE WHITE OVER-SEER in your midst.
The religious drug is morphing the Rastaman into a new kind of devotee. No longer are Rastas coming together to deal with African Liberation; when Rastas come together they come together to deal with MULTI-RACIAL RELIGION. They are pushing a new kind of brotherhood and sisterhood that is based on the mere profession of faith and the wearing of locks. It has not occurred to the disciples of this doctrine that a man can change his faith a million times in his life time, but he cannot change his family tree.
Under the influence of these new drugs the continual victims of racism become LESS RACE-SPECIFIC. Even though race extermination is evident in every area of Black life, the victim of this ongoing genocide has stupidly succumbed to the plot to make him NOT SEE RACE.
While professing a love for Haile Selassie the greatest disservice will be done to the record of Haile Selassie, for they will take his words and misuse them to negate The Black Imperative of Black self-preservation and Black resurrection. Chief among these words will he His Majesty's speech before the United Nations when he warned of nuclear war and urged mankind to develop a world citizenship where one's ULTIMATE allegiance will be to the brotherhood of man.
Those without any wisdom will interpret these words to mean that it is ok for Africans to have white over-seers in the midst whenever they are discussing African liberation. And some other foolish ones will believe that the coming together of Rasta should always be a multi-racial religious event, sufficiently non-threatening to the slave-plantation that even white over-seers can participate. In effect the religious dope is doing its usual job of DIVIDE AND RULE because the Rasta movement that was once a leading champion of African Liberation will soon become something African in origin but un-African in priorities. Chained by religious ambivalence and weakened by its diluted assimilationist focus it would not be surprising if it becomes another useful tool in the task of African re-colonization.
On the other hand, after reading Haile Selassie's UN speech of 1963, The Wise will then look back at his speech before The O.A.U where he indicated quite clearly that the African's immediate agenda is to create A UNION OF AFRICANS, united in a single African brotherhood. Immediate always takes precedence over ultimate.
Amongst the Community of Nations, African brotherhood and sisterhood is the one that is most pitifully lacking, because for centuries Africa has been torn up and carved apart in a million pieces to the benefit of others. Not only torn apart physically but also torn apart psychologically so that today Africans are an object of pity and scorn in the eyes of the whole world. Nobody delights in having Africans in their midst unless they have been properly broken in, domesticated, and poodlized.
The same leader, Haile Selassie, who spoke of allegiance to the brotherhood of man worked tirelessly for the brotherhood of Africans, for he knew full well that Africans will never be accepted as equals in the world community before they can repair the self-hate and disunity amongst themselves.
That is why Rastafari's first mission and major priority is the self-healing and resurrection of African people. It is a mission where Africans have to be able to come together amongst themselves WITHOUT THE OVER-SEER and deal with the issues that are uniquely African. At least this was the mission before the religious befuddlement. When Africans cannot see this necessity it is always because the dope of domestication is befuddling their minds.
So to the slave-master, what is the long-term value of all of the religious befuddlement that has taken hold of Rasta?
The religious befuddlement is causing Rasta to become a harmless domesticated species with the sting of its tongue torn out, and white anthropologists and sightseers are paying to look at Rasta memorabilia and saying "These are quite interesting and quaint exotic chaps. Let us SEPARATE THEM FROM AMONGST THE REST OF BLACK PEOPLE and adopt them." But this is just what some Rastas wanted and they are getting their heart's desire. Some elders even brag about how close they and the white boy have become one.
The white youths in the U.S.A. who have been singled out for special doses of Rasta food will naturally be the ones who will increase, and the Black youths who remain locked away in the ignorance of the concrete jungles will continue along the path of externally manipulated self-destruction. If you focus reggae music on the white community and then do the same thing with your spirituality what else are you doing but foolishly investing in your own bondage?
This integrationist mixed up type of Rasta movement will definitely not appeal to those Blacks that are shaking off the POODLE-ization of their minds. They will easily identify Rastas as integrationists, ass-kissers, and SELL-OUTS. It is a grave mistake for any African to allow religion to separate him from Africans and attach him to Caucasians.
Those justice-seeking Blacks that will rise up and look around for cultural alternatives will be least likely to embrace Rastafari as a path to African liberation.
Those Blacks that have not succumbed to POODLE-ization will want to create cultural environments where the white man is absent. They will aspire to creating cultural programs where they can look around and say WE, children of The Middle Passage are inseparably bound together by a common fate, and we are determined to create a mighty union of Africans no matter what it takes.
It is only THE POODLE in the Negro that prevents him from aspiring to such levels of group solidarity. Even on a higher level of renewed Black self-appreciation, Blacks will want to look into the cradle and see the face of ancient black ancestors looking back at them and not the face of those that raped and enslaved them. But this is taboo to the African and the Rasta who has lost his African mind. He is so scared of thinking these thoughts that it is almost as if he is thinking an illegal thought. What a cruel irony it will be that when that renewed level of Black self-appreciation gathers momentum, Rastas will not be able to fit in even though they are the ones that started it.
Because of all these reasons the Rastas that are evangelizing in the white communities and forsaking their true historical imperative must ask of themselves what type of Rasta movement are we trying to establish, one that is embraced by those Blacks that are trying to heal and repair their raped virginity or one that is rejected by Blacks and embraced by whites because it leads right back to Massa's embrace?
This is not to say that the white youth of the world have no place in Rasta. But their place in Rasta should not function as an interruption in the process that Blacks have to go through to create a WE of Black solidarity. When they insist on inserting their presence they are doing in a friendly way what their forefathers did in a cruel way: preventing the unity of Africans.
However, culture is a thing that cannot be contained and restricted to any one group. Throughout history people have learned and borrowed from other cultures. Like with other cultures people can learn and borrow and be influenced by the culture of Rasta, and the whole world will benefit when people of other races embrace the life style.
But this is a time when every vine has to attend its own fig tree and every farmer has to take care of his own vineyard. The vitally necessary healing of the African psyche can only be achieved by those that have the Black experience embedded in their DNA. It is an internal work, and it is an historical obligation that is placed on the shoulders of conscious Africans. When your focus is the resurrection of Africans you have to be careful to protect your integrity in white mountains, because those are places where Blacks lose their African minds and get their priorities turned upside-down.
In the same way that Africans have urgent work to do amongst their own, the whites too have urgent works to do amongst their own. If they truly reject the ways of their fathers and repent of the sins of their forefathers, they have to demonstrate this IN THE CORRECT WAY by rising up a mighty wave of justice amongst their own. They are the only ones that can do this if it is at all possible. The incorrect way is to assume that by professing Rastafari they earn the right to seat up in the innermost councils of African people when they are charting the course of their destiny.
So what is the outcome of this new phenomenon where our father's house has become full with NOT-SEES? Divide and rule is strengthened because THE JUSTICE-SEEKING and The African-centered African will never be able to identify with the new Rasta-man. As NOT-SEE-NESS grows and grows The Rasta man will become more HIPPY-LIKE and even MORE WHITE. More white in numbers, more white in priorities, and more white in agenda. The Rasta movement will become more of an AID-oriented movement that actively seeks out white friendship and solicits white philanthropy while deemphasizing the message of Black liberation.
The children of The Middle Passage will be forced to look elsewhere for a movement of Black integrity where Black people can participate in a genuine process of self-healing.
It IS A SERIOUS MISTAKE FOR AN AFRICAN TO LET RELIGION SEPARATE HIM FROM AFRICANS AND ATTACH HIM TO WHITES.