“I shall teach the black man to see beauty in his own kind and stop bleaching his skin and otherwise looking like what he’s not. Back in the days of slavery, Race mixture, Race miscegenation all occurred because the African woman had no protection from the slave master. Therefore there is no need today for black people themselves to freely continue a practice that smacks so much of slavery.”
Those were the words of the great Marcus Garvey, the man who inspired Leonard Percival Howell also known as “The Gong” to start the Rasta movement. Today, however, it seems like some Rasta want nothing to do with the teachings of Marcus Garvey. In fact, many people believe that some Black men only become Rasta so that can get themselves a white woman. Now, the latest destructive trend that has seeped its way into the Rasta movement is skin bleaching.
The latest Rasta to turn to skin bleaching is Reggae artist, I-Maroon. According to the artist, bleaching of the skin gives him that “clean” look that can take his career to a higher level. He says he gets his skin bleaching inspiration mostly from Vybz Kartel and since Kartel is in prison, he is taking up where Kartel left off.
“Mi proud a di bleaching. Before mi did look like a 70-year-old, now mi look like 20. Every man has a right to do what he wants. Kartel take a break from skin bleaching, so probably dem need me fi start it up,” I Maroon told a Jamaica tabloid.
The artist says he does not feel like he is disrespecting the teaching of Rasta by bleaching is skin because you don’t have to be Black to be Rasta.
“Yes, I am a Rastafarian. Rasta inna mi heart. I’m praising Haile Selassie, and Haile Selassie is a well-dressed man. All mi do is go clean shave, and me keep mi locks same way, praise Jah same way, and me a live mi life,” he said.
“Everybody knows I-Maroon as a Bobo, and me always tie up my head with my turban. But since me bleach, I’m one of biggest thing in the streets cause people nah expect I-Maroon fi bleach,” he continued.
I-Maroon is not too concerned about being a bad role model for the children as in his opinion most children understand that the world is more accepting of lighter skin people and it is more difficult to be successful when you are Black.
“It may look a little way to my daughter, but they understand why I change my color. They understand what the world needs,” the Rasta concluded.
Despite this low self-esteem foolishness that has now found its way even into the Rasta movement, 18 Karat Reggae encourages the young people all over the world and every Black person for that matter to read Marcus Garvey’s greatest speech ever.