If Rasta is still what the founder Leonard “The Gong” Howell created the movement to be then a lot of these reggae artistes who call themselves Rasta, are fake. The funny thing is, it takes a white pop star from New Zealand to show just how fake these new millennium Rastas are.
Lorde has taken a stance against racism, injustice and oppression by refusing to perform in Israel until the Palestinians have equal rights and justice in the form of their own state. While she is doing the right thing, many of the so-called Rastas are selling their souls for a pot of the oppressor’s gold.
The New Zealand singer-songwriter who is only 23-years-old, originally agreed to stand on the side of apartheid like the fake Rastas of Reggae Music but she was shown the light and chose to stand for justice instead.
Lorde was sent a letter by two women (one Jewish and one Palestinian), which read:
“Today, millions of people stand opposed to the Israeli government’s policies of oppression, ethnic cleansing, human rights violations, occupation and apartheid. As part of this struggle, we believe that an economic, intellectual and artistic boycott is an effective way of speaking out against these crimes. This worked very effectively against apartheid in South Africa, and we hope it can work again.”
Lorde thanked the ladies for educating her then did further research on the Israeli occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people before making her decision to cancel the concerts. She would have made millions of dollars by performing in Israel but she chose righteousness over riches, something the fake Rastas of Reggae could not do.
You cannot be a Rasta and still be on the side of oppression, it just doesn’t work like that. In fact, an oppressive Rasta must be the biggest oxymoron of all time.
While Lorde is boycotting Israel; reggae artistes like Ziggy Marley, Damian Marley, Chronixx, Sean Paul have all performed there for a few dollars. Maybe none of these so called Rastas bothered to listen to a real Rasta when he sung: “Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver and gold.”
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Lorde is not the only international singer to boycott Israel. Lauryn Hill and Gorillaz also refuse to perform there. Of course this is what we expect from Lauryn, she is just practicing what she sings about. The fake Rastas of reggae on the other hand, they sing about fighting against injustice but if the price is right, they will support injustice in a Gaza minute.
It was not long ago when you could not think of reggae music without thinking of resistance against oppression and injustice. Most reggae artists, especially the Rastas were somewhat freedom fighters and reggae music was their chosen weapon to fight with.
Things have changed, the new millennium “Rastas” will not think twice of selling their souls for a pot of gold and when the price is right they stand with the oppressors on the side of oppression.