“When I analyze the stench
To me it makes a lot of sense
How the Dreadlock Rasta was the Buffalo Soldier” – Bob Marley
It is inconceivable that one would understand the meaning of Rasta and who the Buffalo soldiers were and mix up the two as being one of the same. The Buffalo Soldiers were not Rastas, far from it. No real Rasta would even think of becoming a Buffalo Soldier.
Nyabinghi Warriors who are real Rastas understand that you fight for equal right and justice. These warriors also understand that there is no honor in fighting and dying for the enemy, which is exactly what the Buffalo Soldiers did. The motto for Nyabinghi warriors is “death to Black and white oppressors” not “join forces with the oppressors and kill the oppressed.”
The Buffalo Soldiers claim to fame is joining forces with the people who stole them from their land to murder and slaughter a people whose land was stolen. Just like the white men, the Buffalo soldiers played a role in killing numerous Native Americans. The Buffalo Soldiers helped to drive the Native Americans into what is today known as “Indian Reservations”. Is that what a Rasta really is? Is there honor in an oppressed people helping to another set of oppressed people?
If the Buffalo Soldiers had joined forces with the Native Americans they would have been on the side of justice, then they would have been on the side fighting against oppression, then they would have been Rastas.
It is, however, great that Bob Marley said, “When I analyze the stench.” Let’s look at the word stench: an offensive smell or odor; stink. Ironically, there is something offensive and fishy about that song, it stinks. How can we celebrate joining with our oppressors to oppress others while at the same time complaining about our own oppression?
It is not known if Bob Marley was coaxed by others to sing that nonsense to lead Black people astray or if some coke was slipped in his weed the day he wrote that song. Bob was born and raised in Jamaica and have to have known about the Maroons of Jamaica who fought the English. The Maroons were the real Rastas, so why didn’t he sing about them? Why didn’t he sing about our Rasta neighbors in Haiti who defeated the French in 1804? He did not do that because whoever was pulling his strings didn’t want Blacks to know that they fought and defeated their oppressors in the past and therefore can do it again. The objective of the song is to have Blacks believing that the only fight that is noble is when you join forces with the oppressors to kill other oppressed people.
Maroons of Jamaica: Heroes and Rastas
African fighters in the 1804 Haitian Revolution: Heroes and Rastas
Buffalo Soldiers: Heroes (depending on where you stand), definitely not Rastas.