Rastafarianism as a religion is not a serious concern. What it has morphed into in pop culture is actually more beautiful than its original manifestation.
The above is from a culture vulture. Of course he wont say exactly what he means. What he really wants to say is that, white acceptance of Rasta makes it more beautiful than what was intended when Marcus Garvey prophesy and Leonard Howell stated the movement. Not only did he have the above to say, but he pretty much degraded Rasta to being a coincident that just happened because of other events. Then he totally disrespects both Marcus Garvey and Leonard Howell.
The culture vulture actually started off making good points before slipping in his slight remarks. That is typical of how these people have consistently try to rape, degrade, belittle and destroy other people’s culture. Below is his verbiage, nothing added and nothing taken away.
I appreciate that you are opening doors for others to research the history of of the movement, or roots reggae, but your assertions are incorrect. Let’s start with Garvey. Garvey was an open critic of the rasta and more so of Selassie. While his words inspired people associated with rasta(and reggae), and Garveyism certainly should be mentioned as a contributing ideal, the man himself had nothing good to say about the religion or its god. As a man who essentialy led the back to Africa movement, I find it odd he chose not to live there. Your own web site states a clear vision for moving to Africa yet you do not go either. You know why? You are scared of losing your easy life to walk the talk.
On to Howell, he did in fact declare himself to be God and was institutionalized not because he was a political threat as has been speculated, but because he was crazy. His group was a cult and nothing more. While above you make a specific reference to what ‘white people” fail to realize or recall is in line with his racist beliefs. Note that I am white. Here are the tenants of Howell’s ‘religion.’
– Hatred for the White race (That kicks me out of the club)
– The superiority of the Black race (Racist assertion)
– Revenge on Whites for their wickedness (Perhaps, but not all whites are involved with slavery or oppression and again, it is racist)
– The negation, persecution and humiliation of the government and legal bodies of Jamaica.
– Preparation to return to Africa (More than possible but no one including Garvey want to go)
– Acknowledgment of Emperor Haile Selassie I as the Supreme Being and the only ruler of the Black people. (Howell negated this by declaring himself God and Garvey called him a “coward.” )
So yes, the original purpose was to fight oppression, specifically white oppression in a nation ruled by whites, that was formed as way station for the slavery trade. Does this have anything to with the events in Baltimore? No. three of the charged officers are black. The city is run by black people. The officer in N. Charleston that helped to cover up the murder of Scott was black as well. The issue at hand is unchecked power and a resulting culture of corruption, not racism. Racism exists but it is being improperly cited in these instances. ‘Looting and burning’ your own neighborhood liquor and drug stores is not resistance, it is not rebellion, it is not religion; it is excess. Our biggest national problem is socio-economic disparity and a subjective legal system. The minute you need a ‘good’ lawyer the system has failed as it favors the wealthy. Once the judges start letting bad charges stick because they need to play ball as part of the system, it has failed. If the kids in Baltimore want to rebel they should do so by getting out of the city and exceeding their parents examples. Break the cycle and live your life. You are not chained to your parents failures. Tel Aviv huh? More of that peaceful religion stuff?
The music is the same accidental result that formed the Beatles. It was people listening to American R&B and soul and turning it into something else. If you listen to the pulsing beat in most early reggae it is similar to say, the Rolling Stones. The bass is a slow rolling off beat product. Add ska to the mix and there you have it. It is really not mystical or confusing. Note that Curtis Mayfield is credited as a writer of One Love. Look at the fact Bob was listening to Mayfield and used his song to reissue a similar message. Fighting Armageddon is a simple biblical reference as is expressed in many of Bob’s songs. One Love was intended to be a political statement at a turbulent time in Jamaican politics.
Rastafarianism is simple a hodge podge of random events that collided. While the basic tenants of fighting oppression are the fuel behind the movement, the bells and whistles are accumulated. Howell introduced ganja use and dreadlocks. He also specifically went against the Old Testament. Garvey through random remarks had an unintentional effect by touting the African king to be crowned. He never intended for it to be Selassie but rather a metaphor for a rising black power. Bob Marley was half white and was quite close with some white people, even having children with white women. He did not stick to the Old Testament nor did he live by Garvey’s words. For a period he strongly supported Zimbabwe and saw his efforts thwarted by crooked politicians there just as exists all over the continent today.
If your issue is to be color let us all be glad that people are not storming your neighborhood to cut off the arms of all of the males as is occurring on African continent. People are not stealing your daughters. Cruelty is a shared trait within humanity and knows no color.
Rastafarianism as a religion is not a serious concern. What it has morphed into in pop culture is actually more beautiful than its original manifestation. Of course people should know the classics and quit saying 311 is reggae, but groups pushing forward such as Stoopid, Sublime, The Movement, Tribal Seeds, Fortunate Youth, and so on are the face of a mixed love. SOJA put out one of the best reggae albums of all time imho with Babylon yet they have stated they have no need for the words that make up their name which is an acronym of ‘Soldiers of Jahs Army.’
It is silly to believe that at this point that being rasta is anything more than and ideology against oppression that supports love while seeking to break away from the “rat race.” I have to question your motives and I suspect true bigotry in this article as well as others on this site. One commenter said it was time to “take back” the music. Take it. What you really want is the success of the music, not the music itself. No one is forcing you to listen. You can play or listen to anything you like. Who cares if some white guys shout ‘One Love?’ The religion is defunct and Bob can sing about blowing up a church but he very few lived the religious path as described. Why would you insult your white partners in the revolution? Have we not been a critical part of change? Are we simply “white” or are we the kids who fought to get Mandela freed? Are we the same “white” people who elected the first black governor in Virginia and the first black president in the USA? Did black people do that on their own? Are we only to be known as a color and somehow we are ignorant to history due to our color? I think you need to take a hard look in the mirror. Your understanding of rasta history is weak and I read deeper than your internet education in the 80’s.
To close, the people reading this should play music. Listen to music. Educate yourselves. Love each other. Recognize hypocrisy within yourself. Ask the bigger questions.be the change. Be happy. You do not need to live by some religion to create change. Wear your hair as you like and if it is a political or fashion statement that is up to you. If you want to have Bob Marley/Minor Threat/EN Young/John Denver in your playlist then you should. Quit being so serious in your fun. the only reason you have the time to do so is your privilege that you refuse to acknowledge. Don’t be led by the Wizard who hides behind the curtain. It’s a lie. Do not buy into some bigoted blogger who pretends to be an authority. Oh, the other day whoever sits behind this alias on Facebook was called out misquoting Marley. It is selective reading, if they are even reading, based upon bias.