Rastafari is about resisting whitewash
Posted: Saturday, May 3, 2003
Posted By: Ayinde
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Date: Saturday, 3 May 2003, at 6:26 p.m.
The reason I am staying with this issue is because there is much Rasta could do but it is limited because of the distrust among all those who claim Rastafari.
I always feel that if different people have to interact and reason well, then underlying prejudices should first be addressed. Without addressing them, then there is no reason to try to become friends or anything more with those who are not interested in working through deep-seated prejudices. There is no use keeping a relationship with people whom you continually distrust except for the purpose of working out those differences (i.e. Racism and Gender ignorance) Mind you, it is the same hypocrites who continually try to chide Africans for generalizations as if a generalization amounts to the experiences of Racism.
The real issue is integrity or lack thereof.
It is not as if people do not understand that these issues should be resolved before we can build as a collective. It is like some people feel things are already in their favour so there is no need to 'rock the boat'. (More illusions)
I am seeing a new argument about Rastafari being a spiritual journey and not a Black movement. Who told that person that Black issues are not an integral part of spiritual development? Dealing with prejudices are part of character building and that is the most important part of spiritual development.
Actually, this is a very dishonest argument because most Whites who embrace Rasta did so from the perspective of its resurgence in the 1930s, and as such they are trying to identify with Rastafari from the perspective of the Black liberation struggle.
Once White people's awareness of Rasta is limited to the 1930s onwards then they cannot identify with Rastafari in essence (spiritually). They cannot do so for the simple fact that they did not and cannot have the experiences of the Africans who felt compelled to go their own way and recapture symbols of Black leadership. They could study it as hard as they like and all they would get is an understanding but not the knowledge that comes from real/realised identification.
Identifying is bonding (spiritually) with the essential knowledge of something. This can only be attained through direct experiences or through realizing Oneself through the experiences of others. If people are trying to bond through a spiritual journey (self-realisation), then they must go through certain well-defined paces to realize similar experiences. (Not to actually go through the experiences but to realize them. I hope people get this point)
Africans can legitimately have all three relationships with Rasta at the same time. They can identify with Rasta Spiritually through self-reflection, which has its roots in Africa and Black awareness. Africans can identify with Rasta as an earthly movement because they continue to experience the same negative discriminations that gave rise to it. Africans can also identify with Rasta in a symbolic way because they can look the part after going through the legitimate processes.
Whites can only have a Spiritual and a Symbolic relationship with Rastafari. If they lack the spiritual awareness then what looks like a symbolic relationship is in reality an insincere cosmetic relationship.
It is the same with other types of relationships. There is the physical relationship (A movement), the Symbolic relationship and the Spiritual relationship. Only people with shared experiences can start a movement and those who continue to share those experiences can lead the movement with any measure of credibility. Other people can have a Spiritual relationship (bond in essence) with anything they cannot directly experience.
However, if people feel that they can dismiss the underlying reason a movement started/resurrected then they are dismissing the keys to rise in it spiritually.
Rastafari in essence is a spiritual thing, Rastafari as a movement is a Black liberation struggle and Rastafari lacking the understanding of the spiritual aspects and its earthly movement is strictly cosmetic/fashionable.
Posted By: ras yared
Date: Saturday, 3 May 2003, at 8:35 p.m.
In Response To: Resisting Whitewash (Ayinde)
nuff words of wisdom ayinde
but i man feel it is more than a movement for back people i sight it as a movement for ALL oppressed and scattered Yisra'El ites. many are called few are chosen. Jah do the calling and the chosing seen? HIm nuh only call black people unto HIM but HIM call HIm children unto HIM that y ini sight Rastafari of all different races and cultures. Jah transcend and break all dem babylon barrier. Jah search the HEART of man nuh the skin see?
Give thanks fe the words Fari
YHVH I HAILE I SELASSIE I bless
Posted By: Ayinde
Date: Saturday, 3 May 2003, at 9:40 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Resisting Whitewash (ras yared)
"but i man feel it is more than a movement for back people i sight it as a movement for ALL oppressed and scattered"
People can form any number of earthly movements based on shared experiences but the unique circumstances that gave rise to a particular movement remains the same. Whites and others can be ‘part’ of Rastafari as a movement. But they can only identify with the movement in a spiritual sense, as I explained earlier, and no one can legitimately change a movement from the reason it developed until the circumstances that gave rise to it are resolved. All attempts to change before this time are part of the original problem, which gave rise to the movement.
Rasta as a movement that resurged in the 1930s was Black people’s resistance to White domination, White symbolic misrepresentations, Racism and other forms of corruption. For Rasta as a movement to change from the original focus, the problems that Blacks experienced that gave rise to the movement must first drastically change. In other words, Racism must come to an end, the correct symbols of African ancestry must gain popular acceptance, African historical awareness must become part of mainstream societies and Whites must stop trying to dominate and control everything.
If others want to embrace Rasta as a movement then they can only legitimately do so by supporting those who fight against White domination, bogus symbols and general misinformation that allows racism and other forms of corruption to exist. They can only do so by constantly supporting Africans in their endeavours to help themselves from the African historical point of view, as that is the only legitimate view that spans to include all other people in the right order. Those who do not share the same experiences that gave rise to the movement can support but should never lead that movement.
That brings us back to the first premise, Rasta, as a movement, is a "Black movement".
Posted By: ras yared
Date: Saturday, 3 May 2003, at 11:49 p.m.
idren i overstand that Rasta started "physically" as a movement pushed by black people against falshoods wickedness and oppression. wha i man sayin is that their are many other oppressed peoples who are not "black" wha eva that mean.their are suffarahs on all contintants from all ethnic groups. it nuh every whiteman yuh gotta worry about. ya think fallen angels cant don black skin?them shift any to any shape dem wan seen? ini are the lost children of Yisra'El connected by blood nuh skin.it nuh the wrapping thats important but the soul. the blood that run through i the same blood that run through the i seen?ini fallowers of HIM are broad and wide. Jah scattered us for a reason.
Posted By: Ayinde
Date: Sunday, 4 May 2003, at 1:14 a.m.
"wha i man sayin is that their are many other oppressed peoples who are not "black" wha eva that mean. their are suffarahs on all contintants from all ethnic groups."
Yes, that is true and these people who have experienced sufferings are quite free to start their own movement and keep their problems on the front burner, but they are not helping anything by trying to change the course of a movement that started to address a particular set of problems that are yet to be resolved. (Mind you, the problems that Rasta addresses affect all people)
I don't think you are not getting this, and I am specifically speaking about "RASTA AS AN EARTHLY MOVEMENT". Once something starts as an earthly movement, automatically there are boundaries. The boundaries are there to allow for a concentrated focus on a set of issues. There are no boundaries on the essence (spirituality) of anything.
Often people do not check to see if the main objectives of a movement are being accomplished and this causes a shift in focus where the movement does not serve the earthly needs of anyone. Any movement that tries to be everything to everyone in its earthly trod, become nothing to anyone.
Rasta from the beginning of time can only be embraced spiritually and this is always open to all people since humans cannot claim anything in essence as their personal property; they cannot put up manmade rules to block anyone. All people are quite able to learn from the process to solve any problem. But they will not be able to LEGITIMATELY claim Rastafari as their EARTHLY MOVEMENT unless they have direct realizations/experiences with what gave birth/rebirth to this specific movement.
Unfortunately/Fortunately, this is a foundation that Whites cannot have but they can very well develop through Rasta, which allows them to draw from the Universal essence.
It is also the same with the Carib/Taino People's movement, which I also identify with spiritually and support, but the unique circumstances that brought about the decimation of that culture are open to those who continually come from that branch of history and suffer from those discriminations. Much of their circumstances are quite similar to that of Africans so we can empathize but not rush to lead their particular earthly trod or claim it as our own.
The Eskimos have a similar movement, which is quite legitimate, and although I can empathize, I cannot lead their earthly movement. I can embrace it in essence and see its connectedness to all of us. That type of embrace is part of a spiritual process that we can all do across cultural lines.
Whites developed their movement; it is called Capitalism annexed to White domination and false supremacy. That is the Earthly movement that they want all to embrace. Most Whites are still protective of the 'benefits' they get from it. Rasta as an earthly movement is a resistance to that. Africans can mimic and take the symbols of false White Supremacy but they will remain subservient to Whites in that illusion of grandeur. That is their unique trod that only allows 'privileges' to Whites.
As such Rasta should resist attempts to have these false values imposed on Rasta culture and as such the questioning and screening of others who cannot identify with the Black experiences remain important to ensure that we are not inadvertently 'sleeping' with the 'enemy'.
This does not mean that people are not free to claim anything. They are quite free to that, but to grasp the essential truth of anything, calls for a type of 'initiation', which most Whites have not gotten in Rasta only because they did not come to the table to learn. Many continually come to covertly exalt false white values and to dominate, hoping to get famous and/or make money. I personally know a few Whites who are different in varying degrees but most have not come to the understanding of how to develop relationships with people who may be different to them.
Again I am not judging everyone or telling you what you can or cannot do, I am simply reasoning the issues.
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