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No Colorless Rasta Movement
Posted: Monday, August 18, 2003

By Ayinde
August 18, 2003

All things exist in three basic dimensions, the spiritual/historical aspect, the symbolic aspect and the Earth Movement.

The Spiritual aspect is what the ancients called entering the house of Rasta. This is the metaphysical/spiritual aspect of things. It is this realm all people can enter Rasta irrespective of race, color and social standing, but there is a way to enter that is well defined in our histories (that is for another reasoning another time).

The symbolic aspect is to look the part. In the case of Rasta it is mostly the dreadlocks. Whites, Blacks and all in between can look the part.

The Earth-based Movement is for addressing the issues that fueled the resurgence of Rasta as a movement. The issues which gave rise to the Rasta Movement were Capitalism, Miseducation, Racism/White Privilege and heightened Gender discrimination. Of course, many other abuses spawned from that. How these issues impacted on Black people is what gave rise to the movement in the first place. These issues have not been resolved so the focus should not change.

As I said in an earlier reasoning, Whites can be symbolic Rastas as they can grow dreadlocks and repeat the words. Whites can also reflect on history, adopt the best values and develop spiritually towards entering the spiritual house of Rasta. Whites did not experience Black African sufferings during and after slavery. Therefore Whites cannot directly identify with the Earth movement but they can support, develop in the spirituality and participate. Only Black people who had similar experiences at the hands of the White system in this present lifetime can really identify with the nuances and subtleties that gave rise to the movement in the first place. The Movement was about addressing Black people's experiences at the hands of a White system.

Many are confusing spirituality and symbolism with the mechanics of an Earth Movement, which was developed to address specific issues. Only certain Black people can directly identify with what started the Rasta Earth Movement because the same conditions exist for most dark-skinned Blacks. Therefore dark-skinned Black people, who institutionalized racism impacts on the most, can directly identify with all three dimensions of Rasta at the same time. They can develop in the spiritual aspect, they can look the part (symbolically) and they can directly identify with the sufferings that started the Movement.

When a person says in order to be a Rasta one has to identify with Blackness, this is true for all people of all races in a metaphorical sense. This is dealing with spirituality. Anyone of any race can do the work to identify with anything in a spiritual sense.

This brings us to the part about Meritocracy:

Meritocracy is about selecting the most suitable person for a position.

I set out to address Racism, White Superiority and Gender discrimination which are major issues affecting Africans in and out this Movement.

People of all races can research and learn about the sufferings of others and of course many can recall their own personal sufferings and get some understanding of others. But only Black people have experienced the worst sufferings as blacks under the Racist system. If we are speaking about the people with the most experiences of both institutionalized racism and gender prejudices in this White world system then the people are obviously dark-skinned Black Women.

If such people were armed with the historical information then they would have both the information and the direct experiences to speak on all these issues.

Now tell me, can a White/light-skinned person or any light-skinned mixed race person ever directly experience the same ongoing lifelong racial and gender abuses as a dark-skinned Black person? No, they cannot. They can talk about their experiences as Whites or Light skinned mixed and in some cases they get abused badly. However, they cannot experience what it is to be a dark-skinned Black person in the system, growing up being told they were worthless and ugly, then having teachers disregard them etc. They cannot experience what it is to watch television and all the images are nothing like them. They cannot experience these things and much more. What I am saying is they will lack the deeper direct experiences that reaches to the soul.

So on the basis of Merit in a Black Earth Movement that is supposed to address these issues, we should all be looking at helping the worst victims get better informed and then helping them to come forward and advance the cause (once they are interested) as they are suitably qualified, armed with both the experiences and information which is widely accessible today.

In a Black movement, only really informed/enlightened dark-skinned Black people are best qualified to speak powerfully on the issues of racism and gender discrimination.

If there are exceptions where White-skinned people can have the dark-skinned Black people's experiences of Racism and gender discrimination then explain how this is possible.

If the Rasta movement was focused on helping those most affected by the system then we would have much more powerful speakers in the frontline engaging the politics and all other areas. But today too much attention is paid to people who are not the worst victims of the system. Too much chatter and showboating, and too few people with real experiences are coming forward or are being helped forward.

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