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Ethiopia is not the only focal point
Posted: Friday, April 15, 2005

By Ayinde

As is common among Africans, many Rastafarians are uninformed about African history and current affairs in Africa. Also, most Africans on the continent seem to be uninformed about the history and issues in other parts of Africa, and of Africans outside the continent. Caribbean and African issues are integral aspects of Rastafari as a Black Movement.

Ethiopia is not the only focal point of Africa. The views and cultural forms in Ethiopia are quite diverse. Most of the more Middle Eastern looking Blacks in Ethiopia are a mixture of Arabs and dark-skinned Blacks. Some of this came about as a result of rape and other forms of deliberate disrespect to Black Africans. We may all share a common ancestry but our attitudes and awareness are not the same. It is not peace and love among different ethnic groups in Ethiopia. They have to work out the same issues (racism, colorism, gender issues, white manipulations etc.) that we reason on this site.

Most of the history of Ethiopia and the rest of Africa often are not considered when Rastafarians move with a faultless version of Haile Selassie. Along with the limited idealized concept of Ethiopia, Rastafarians leave the impression this is the only important aspect of African awareness. Many do much leapfrogging, and dismiss too many of the events that took place along the way to claim originality. It is here many donít get the importance of racial issues. The tendency is to embrace anyone who claims to agree with the Haile Selassie beliefs of Rastafari, and measure the growth of Rastafarians by how many sport dreadlocks. The general direction of Black Rastafarians will be right, but if they remain ignorant of the broader African issues, they will not be able to work out day-to-day issues. They will evolve quite similar to fundamental Christians who dismiss serious issues in favour of blind belief. In this type of narrow-mindedness, White manipulation thrives. That is why there are whites claiming repatriation to Shashemane, and they cannot see how wrong that was all along.

From the views some share, they cannot make bonds with the larger, diverse range of simple indigenous Africans. They unwittingly disrespect the ancestors of a whole range of Africans. Africa is the home of diversity, and by not paying attention to a variety of cultural forms as well as current affairs they cannot make good judgments. They cannot make a serious contribution to world reform, and they certainly will lack the creativity and confidence to rise out of the basic bread and butter survival struggle.

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