Africa Speaks Reasoning Forum

AFRICA AND THE DIASPORA => Human Beginnings => Topic started by: raggamuffin on April 15, 2004, 07:35:49 AM

Title: Universal Blackness
Post by: raggamuffin on April 15, 2004, 07:35:49 AM
Since humanity was born out of Africa, should other non-black races be included in the back to Africa movement?
Should whites consider this their home as well?

Please reason with me on this complex issue.

Title: Re: Universal Blackness
Post by: Oshun_Auset on April 15, 2004, 08:54:12 AM
Humanity should consider Africa their common origin...but the "Back to Africa/repatriation movement" is something completely seperate. It is for the African people in the West who were forcibly removed from the continent via the European slavetrade(Also others from the Eastern/Arab slave trade have repatriated...the Sidi people who were brought to India have been going back to the Swahili coast and Zanzibar for example)....Human origins and political/social movements of oppressed and exploited African peoples should not be confused. It would be illgoical to do so, and insulting to something as serious as repatriation. To add to this, Europeans have historically suffered from a "god" complex and are already in Africa!!! Maybe they should be focussing on a repatriation movement back to all progressive Europeans, who are not attempting to usurpe African movements and culture, but just appreciate it, this is not directed towards you.  I am just tired of the usurping of African political, social, and spiritual movements by others.)

For Europeans and others to try to usurpe the African repatriation movement would cause similar sentiments to the ones created in this article...


There are negroes who will never fight for freedom. There are negroes who will seek profit for themselves from the struggle. There are even some negroes who will cooperate with their oppressors. The hammer blows of discrimination, poverty and segregation must warp and corrupt some. No one can pretend that because a people may be oppressed, every individual member is virtuous and worthy."
— Martin Luther King, Jr.


First, let me say this... I am an extremist. Although we live in a society with other ethnicities including europeanz, there is no reason Y we Afrikanz should allow them join with us in everything we do. Can't we Afrikanz have at least ONE thing for us without YT bein' there?!!? So before you pass judgment, ask yourself, "Y IZ it Dat everytyme we have a function, there's at least one european amongst us?!

I write the piece in the spirit of millionz of Afrikanz who perished during the Middle Passage as well as author/historian/activists Dr. Francess Cress-Welsing, Del Jones, Nielly Fuller, Phil Valentine, Kola Boof and Bobby Hemmitt.

This past June 14th, the annual tribute to our Ancestorz who endured the MAAFA, or Middle Passage was held at Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. I awoke to the vybrating heat of Ra (the Sun), with the sound of birdz spittin' the word for their flock. I arose still emitting high frequency charges from the Subliminal Movienite I attended the nite before. Needless to say, I was ready for what the day was to bring me...

I Linked up with my comradz and ventured to Coney Island to pay respect to those Ancestorz who physically perished during the crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, several hundred yearz ago. Little did I know my day would awaken me to somethin' more vital than celebrating our Ancestorz...

Upon reachin' the beach, I saw from afar a mighty red, black and green flag waving serving as the welcoming spot for the congregation. It was nothin' but luv, poundz and handshakes as I made myself a part of the vybration. After watchin' a few poets spit wordz of truth on our legacy, I ventured onto the beach.

" ...[T]hey further consolidate white nationalism under 'The New World Order.' They're talented in disrupting, destroying and dismantling other cultures. This fact has never been truly dealt with. In fact, they propagate that the highest achievement to reach for is global integration, while making it impossible to obtain."
— Del Jones, Culture Bandits

As I began my trek from the boardwalk down to the edge of the North Atlantic, I thought my eyes were seein' white spots, because as I drew closer to the drummerz circle — where a congregation of Afrikanz were dancing and chanting encircling a collage of Afrikan drummerz, I saw a not so pleasant site... WHITE PEOPLE! Crackuhz to the left of me, crackuhz to my right, sprinkled throughout! Some with jembe drumz, and many dressed in Afrikan garb!!

I've notice over the yearz, europeanz showin' up at events that are blatantly and exclusively for Afrikanz. Even at my magazine's 10th Year/100th Issue celebration a few crackuhz came! Dam yo, cain't Afrikanz have just ONE THING EXCLUSIVELY FOR OURSELVES without YT showin' up?!!? But this was only the beginning...

My spirit changed, it went from celebrative to defense-mode. I suddenly felt our culture was subtly bein' attacked and, as alwayz, we were too asleep to recognize it. I've found this tolerance to be accepted amongst all events created around Afrikan celebrationz. Over the past year or so, I been starting to realize a lot of our Elderz are passing on to the next level of life, therefore makin' us next in line in the realm of the heirz of our legacy, so it was not a coincidence that my vybration turned to "battle-and-protect" mode.

( the apparent distaste was evident on my face, a couple of my comradz spoke and grimaced as well as we spoke under our breaths about the bullshit we was seein'. I was vexed and even after a couple agreein' facial nodz of "I know, this is wack, but don't let it stress you," I chose to let it stress me... as stolen descendants from Afrika, we were out there paying homage to our Ancestorz and the very descendants of the culprits responsible for this tragedy flocked amongst us willingly! Our culture was under attack and somethin' had to be done!

I tried envisioning what our Ancestorz woulda thought had they seen what we were doing. Even though we were from various tribes on those ships, we understood one universal thought... we were kidnapped and it was these pale-skinned europeanz who did it! The rage that must've ran through their veinz long ago — seein' their mates, daughterz, sonz, brotherz, sisterz and elderz chained up and stuffed inside the bottom of the box like luggage on a Greyhound bus; watchin' countless Afrikanz, tied to large stones and dragged off the side of the ship, left as shark bate; the chopping off of the limbz, armz and handz, the castration of the Elderz used to instill the fear so there'd be no uprising on the ships; and the trail of blood, the stench of death, mixed with a concoction of fear, not knowin' if you'd be the next example — began to race through my veinz. What would they do if they saw us appearing to let them be amongst us in celebration of their tragedy? There is no mistake in my mind they would attack these crackuhz knowin' their intentionz were to steal us away! Our culture was under attack!!

There was one situation where an inebriated white female that walked in and out of the circle, botherin' Afrikanz left and right, yet everyone seemed to ignore her. Now, this woman was already possessed by "spirits", so I looked at her as an immediate threat! I noticed her peripherally from my left. I watched as she walked up to each Afrikan tryin' to get close and probably speak some nonsense. And of course, I was in her path. As each Afrikan stepped aside ignoring her, passing her off to the next like a hot potato, she began to walk towardz me.

I said to myself, "I ain't movin'! I'm not going to yield to this wicked spirit!" Sure enuff, she came up to me and began to slur somethin' to me. I told her simply not to speak to me and to keep it movin'. Of course, as with any wicked spirit, they don't back down easily. So this woman continues to walk closer to me and this tyme, in front of me! Before she could utter another syllable, I raised my voice on purpose, "Yo, get the f*** away from me!" I said it loud thinkin' otherz would see that you can tell YT what you really feelin'. But I was faced with a dilemma, see, she STILL didn't move! She took another step toward me, this tyme, she was inside my circle, a foot or two in front of me. Initially, I felt I was within' my rights to check her chin, but instead, I mooshed her in the face, pushing her backward. She regrouped and began to walk toward me again, I clutched my fist, ready to defend myself, and she walked away callin' me everything in the book, except the 'N' word (no matter how drunk she was, she knew that was not the place to say that!).

After the small victory, I thought maybe the next Afrikan would be just as adamant as I as the woman continued to approach another Afrikan a few steps away. To no avail, I found no one took such action. Everyone else pretty much tolerated her presence by ignoring her. This is where the mistake is made.

See, as we continue to ignore YT as they come to our sacred events, they seem to get the notion they are welcome. Although the consensus (based on facial gestures) seemz we do not want them there, very few — to none, dare do or say something about it.

I can recall yearz back when I first noticed YT comin' to Coney Island for the ceremony. At first they stood on the outside of circle, as if they knew they could not just walk up and join the festivities. Nowadayz, they're wearin' garb, leading chants and even dancing in front of the drummerz circle, while we watch and do nothing. If we keep this up, in the next couple of yearz, they will be numerically the majority at the tribute! Now how backwardz is that?! A majority white audience "paying homage" to our Ancestorz?! Don't believe YT would try to take over? Need we yet anutha lesson?! Have not the theft of jazz, rock & roll, their current taking of Hiphop?? Makes me wonder if they'd actually be thankin' our Ancestorz for makin' it over here, for had they not, they (YT) would not have the wealth they have! But the shit didn't stop there...

As individualz made peace with our Ancestorz in their own way — some standing along the shoreline staring out as far as the eye could reach, others dancing, as well as some standing in peace, praying — I noticed there were several white photographerz taking shots. There were some amateur photographerz, but there also were, what looked to be, professionalz. What really did it was when I saw an entire film crew zoom in on many of us as we "ignored" the oppressorz descendants capture us on film — without our permission! I mean, they had the big cameras as well as carrying big stage lights! This wasn't no fashion shoot, these were Afrikanz tryin' to have a moment with our Ancestorz, this shit didn't need to be filmed. What, they gonna put it on DVD and sell it back to us or somethin'?!

Standing next to a good friend of mine, we both were like, "What da f***?! These hedz are takin' pictures and filming, disturbing our vybration, without even askin' us if we mind!!" No one, I mean, NO ONE was sayin' shit to them, yet you'd see a look of displeasure on many faces. It was then that she was like, "yo, handle that!" It was as if Queen Tiye had summoned me for a mission. She emphasized, "that's what we need you Bruthaz to do... defend us!" Up until that point, I was doin' exactly what everyone else was... NOTHING! Without hesitation, I headed directly toward the cameraman.

I asked him who gave him authority to come out here and film us without askin' our permission. He was shook, 'cause obviously he felt (1) ain't nobody gonna say nothin' and/or (2) every Black person wants to be on tv or print! We're born to entertain!

( made a point to be loud, loud enuff that otherz would hear, so that they would no longer fear! After makin' enuff of a scene, I was approached by Muriel A. Stockdale, producer and director of New York Spirit. I directed the same question to her regarding her authority. I made it known that we all did not feel comfortable with them bein' here filming without asking and not knowing Y they were there. With her fake soft-spoken, "I-don't-mean-to-harm" voice, she stated she had gotten permission from the creator and promoter of the Tribute to the Ancestorz, Tony Akeem.

Shocked that Bro. Akeem would have this white crew out here and not an Afrikan one, she further stated she thought he made us all aware they'd be there, which I find would be impossible unless you disclosed this on the flyer (which it wasn't). She explained she was using the footage as a documentary on the different wayz people in New York worship and practice their spiritual belief system. As enlightening as that may sound, I still felt their presence should not have been there and in a non-threatening way, let her know it.

Within a couple minutes, they packed up and left. Right after, several Bruthaz walked up to me sayin' how they felt the same way, that they shouldn't have been here. I said to myself, "Y didn't yaw say shit?!" I couldn't be mad 'cause before that Sista "checked-me," I was doin' the same thing they were!

This made me immediately think about the 3-point program, the elite white supremacist's put out during the 60s. They noted that (3 being the highest and most threatening) any organization ran by men received 1 point; any organization ran by men AND women received 2 points; and any organization ran by women received 3 points!!

It took an Afrikan woman to check me making me realize that we Afrikanz (men especially) need to standup and be the protectorz of our culture we're s'posed to be!! No longer should we hold our tongues when we plan events for our people. YT wearz clothes the way we do, try to speak the way we do, sleep with our women, sleep with our men, try to sing and dance to our music, again I ask, "can't we Afrikanz have at least ONE thing exclusively for ourselves?!!?" This will only happen if we demand it!

If YT wants to atone for what their foreparents did to us, they need not do it with us. They should have their own ceremony amongst themselves, one-on-one with THEIR ancestorz dishonoring the horrendous deedz they did across the globe. When Afrikan people decide to 'Never Forget' as the so-called Jew does, we will no longer allow them to be amongst us. They will be ousted on some straight up on some, as Dead Prez puts it, "RBG (Revolutionary But Gangsta) shit!"

Follow up on the status of the white group who's responsible for "documenting" this past tribute to our Ancestorz at Coney Island. The party responsible is Muriel A. Stockdale, Director/ Producer of New York Spirit (, Manech Ibar and Casey Fitzpatrick. Muriel can be reached at 810 Broadway, NYC 10003, (212)475.1875 | email: Swarm them with questionz of what they intend to do with the footage, do they intend to make a profit/are they receiving some kind of funding/corporate support and if so, how do they plan on compensating those used in the footage (without permission).

As the next generation of vanguardz to the Afrikan legacy, we must ask overstand that if we continue to stand idle, YT will come and colonize our culture just as they colonized Afrika.



To date, we were unable to get a response from Bro. Hakeem. We will surely post his reply if he respondz. If you'd like to contact him, his office number is 718.270.4902. There's one question you could ask him, Y didn't he get a group of Afrikan videographerz to document this monumental occasion instead for ourselves??

Title: Re: Universal Blackness
Post by: Ayinde on April 15, 2004, 11:03:53 AM
While it is legal for whites to migrate where they wish like anyone else, I don't support any white person moving to Africa under the label of repatriation, which as the previous poster said, is a term generally used for those Africans who were forcibly removed from Africa.

There are Whites that embrace some brand of Rastafari, go to Africa to reside, and they then call that repatriation. Although some Blacks embrace this as a sign of togetherness, I don't. I see it as a cop-out by some Whites that should be in the West trying to dismantle the antisocial capitalist system.

Remember that I said I don't support it, not that I can stop it. But I do all in my power to ensure that my funds do not go to such muddling moves.

Blacks who embrace this are equally delusional as they fantasize a world of earthly togetherness that is not based on justice for all. Justice mandates that those who have benefited from the abuse of others should pay reparations, and they should allow the former victims to rediscover their own social systems. Any well-intentioned White person should invest their time and resources in educating others about the ills of the capitalist system as it is, and they should be using their 'privileged' position in these societies to fund and promote progressive Black movements without trying to take controlling interest.

To add insult to injury, some whites leave the West and go to Africa then want others to finance them. This to me is a gross insult. Resources should be going to Africa to support progressive Black movements, and to alleviate the sufferings of those indigenous to the region that cannot easily move out.  Resources should not be going to Whites who choose to go back there to play 'grassroots poor'. Those Whites should leave Africa, Repatriate to the West, and get a job. Their history first exploited Africa, now they return to extract more, and divert necessary attention and funding from more deserving African causes.

Title: Re: Universal Blackness
Post by: iyah360 on April 15, 2004, 12:45:12 PM
they should be using their 'privileged' position in these societies to fund and promote progressive Black movements without trying to take controlling interest.

I think this is the issue, the CONTROLLING interest which tends to be the response that a privileged position in society tends to nurture which also manifests in the urge to tell black people they have no right to be angry, that we all have to get along.

It should be white people telling white people that WE should drop the color thing -- and part of that, in my opinion, is to let go of the NEED to be accepted -- and not dictate as to what course Rastafari as a whole should be taking. In my experience, Rastas will vibe you, if they feel you, you are treated as a true bredren. From this comfortable space though, we white people can get cocky and forget about the privilege we STILL have despite our locks and/or beard. We should be using that privilege to the advantage of the Rastas who have kindly accepted us into their diasporic African culture.

Title: Re: Universal Blackness
Post by: jaro on April 16, 2004, 09:21:57 AM
Blessings and Love

the issue of repatriation is a serious one and is and will be a predominately black movement, but to exclude people of white flesh tones who know their true root lies in Africa is not fair.  i overstand the point of Africans who were and are forcibly removed from their home and sold into or tricked into slavery. this was occuring long before yt took Africans to plantations in amerikka, europe, or their vacationlands. this modern idea of slavery isnt the first form of slavery it has been happening for thousands of years, longer. people who fear the truth and root of life(AFRICA) oppress the land and its peoples while taking advantage of our knowledge of our life and history. we must rise above them and conquer wicked with love.

I myself am a white(only mentioned for the sake of this reasoning because it is otherwise unimportant in my trod) BOBO ASHANTI RASTA and desire to repatriate to my homeland ETHIOPIA AFRICA. this is a universal desire for all Rastafarians and it is not based on color but recognition of AFRICA as home and our color does not designate our level of Rasta within our brethren and most importanty ourselves and the MOST I. I know my root and heart are black and the majority of my brethren are black, its not something I
accept or deal with its what I know and love, seen.

to say that some whites attach themselves to a brand of Rastafari and move to AFRICA and call that repatriation in a smug manner is not a well thought out statement. Rastafarians know AFRICA is the birthplace of all things(life) and our Father HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY HAILE SELASSIE I JAH RASTAFARI so moving to AFRICA is going home ie repatriation. repatriation means to return home or to go where one came from. So if all humanity and life come from AFRICA those who overstand it and know it desire their ultimate return to where they came from. black RASTAS embrace them because they live in JAH LOVE, a universal love for all of life regardless of denomination. JAH see know color within his love and sight.

my place as a white person is not here in amerikkka or europe and dont want to be a part of this system and i feel no obligation to stay here I am in a strange land mystery babylon.
I can chant down capitalism and wickedness wherever I live. dont make me feel obligated to stay here and deconstruct the system because my skin is the same color as the wicked hearts, remember my heart is black. I will help them reach their ultimate end just by living my life in JAH LOVE.

just last night I had a white man tell me he would shoot my dog then proceed to tell me that he has killed RASTAS. he told me to be ashamed of myself for believing in a BLACK KING and called me a whigger. I am seen as a traitor to those whose skin color resembles mine that hold racist thoughts and feelings. they think i should be on their team. i dont with these men and that bothers them, let skin color be an issue to ignorant men like him not us who overstand life and our root. do i take this man seriously or was he just shooting his mouth off? Im always on guard but even more so now he lives across the street.

Give Thanks for the reasoning

Blessed Love in Righteousness
Holy Emmanuel I Selassie I John Marcus I
He reigneth in the Hearts of all Flesh

Title: Re: Universal Blackness
Post by: Oshun_Auset on April 16, 2004, 10:15:25 AM
dont make me feel obligated to stay here and deconstruct the system because my skin is the same color as the wicked hearts, remember my heart is black.

Nobody should have to 'make you feel obligated'. A good hearted European that really wants to stop the Babylon shitstem would feel obligated to do this hard job without outside pressure. But I guess some would rather take the easy way out.

By the way, it is known by all of us that Africa is the origin of humanity, but European and other people developed in their particular climates so Europe is your homeland. It takes away from the seriousness of the repatriation movement for people that were not forcibly removed from Africa in the recent past to try to adopt or usurpe it as a cause/movement....

There are plenty of European progressive movements that fight the Babylon shitstem...Why can't you work with one of them? Why do you have to take on what is peculiarly an African cause and circumstance? I have no problem with European/Whites adopting Rasta, but repatriation is taking it WAY too far! Repatriation is SACRED to the children of the kidnapped and enslaved. Why can't you understand and respect that?

You might want to read these posts. They address your stance...

I think that people should be cognizant of the fact that if they cannot reproduce what they are attracted to, then they are eroding what they are attracted to. For example, if white women is attracted to dark skin black males and marries a dark skin black male, she cannot reproduce that which she is attracted to.  I do not have qualms with interracial relations, just such relationships that are based upon superficial attractions based upon race.

In the same way, many whites are attracted to black cultural phenomenon, Such as Rasta and therefore want to integrate and emulate. However, in the process of integrating, whites really cannot emulate and thus perpetuate what was or what is and thus the integration changes or erodes the phenomenon from what it was. Now, not all change is bad. It could be that an integrated state is superior to segregated state, however, it was not the integrated state that attracted you, but rather, the segregated state of the phenomenon did.

Thus, I think that when something is integrated, it changes and if it changes, does it therefore still serve the original purpose of its creation and manifestation? Often time, I have noted that when black movements and phenomenon become integrated, they change their rhetoric and approach to be more conducive for that of the integrators, thus, integration results in erosion of what was and if what was severed a specific need and purpose, its effectiveness becomes eroded.

If a person wants to champion the poor and oppressed, becoming a Rasta or Joining with black movements is not a prerequisite. One can manifest this desire in many ways and likely more effectively from within white phenomenon more so than within the black phenomenon. I think that the primary draw for most whites into black phenomenon is the black nature of the phenomenon, which is a nature that they cannot reproduce. It is no accident that the phenomenon of Rasta, its culture and rhythms has not manifested among any other group of people. It is the product of blackness and the black condition of experience combining in the reaction of the movement.

I think many white folks are consumed by wanting to demonstrate or reveal to black people that not all whites are racist, as if we do not know this. What is true for the whole is not necessarily true of its parts and what is true of a part is not necessarily true for the whole.  Thus, whites with conscious about their peoples history tend to focus more of their efforts on changing the image of whites among blacks, than they focus on trying to change the whites and the effects from white history that gave white the bad reputation.

It is like the white missionary movement in Africa. After the Europeans colonized and rapped the continent ( or during ) they sent in their missionaries to save the souls of the Africans and to help them out with their suffering. However, had those white missionaries focused more on changing the evil men and behavior in their host colonizing and exploiting nations, much of the suffering from colonization would not have manifested. The true souls that they need to have been attempting to save and convert where not the Africans, but of their own peoples and nations.

I am not a Rasta....I am a differnt branch on the same tree that grew fromt the same roots.

The White Problem
by Chris Brazier

So often ‘the race problem’ is seen as black people’s fault. But they didn’t create racism – and they certainly don’t benefit from it. Chris Brazier argues that white people should now accept that they are the problem.

I once interviewed Bob Marley. My editor’s idea was to send someone who wasn’t a fan, who wouldn’t write in hushed tones about the latest insights of the man who put Third World music on the popular map. And I obliged with a piece that poured incredulous scorn on Marley’s head for his faith in Rastafarianism and even slightly ridiculed the way he talked - he was spicing his speech with Jamaican patois and I found it quite difficult to understand. The editor loved it, naturally -- but it was shot through with racism. Yet at the time I would have considered myself a passionate opponent of racism, campaigning against it both in print and on the streets.

There’s nothing unusual in this - white people often think they’re ‘against’ racism without understanding it or their own contribution to it. And this issue of the New Internationalist may well be making the same mistake, hard though we may try to avoid it. It is an issue written by white people for white people - none of the contributors is black. This is not to deny the black perspective - on the contrary, black voices should be heard and acknowledged much more than they are now. But this magazine is a conscious attempt to acknowledge that racism is a white problem - our problem, and I apologise here to any black readers for addressing the magazine throughout to the white people who make up virtually all of the New Internationalist’s subscribers.

We tend to think of racism as something perpetrated by the Ku Klux Klan or the National Front - by ’another kind of person’. crop-headed, red-necked and aggressive in their pathetic notions of white superiority. That’s a very comfortable view. Certainly no one should play down the pernicious effects of the extreme Right. But it is not the small fascist organizations which cause black people to die 20 years earlier than whites in Australia; which leave them twice as likely to be unemployed in Britain; which make their income two-thirds that of whites in Canada. The racism that does this damage, that hems black people in on all sides, is woven into the fabric of our societies. And if we are silent about this we are condoning it. It’s time we woke up to what racism really means.

For a start there is no such thing as a ‘race’. The human family. is not split up into different, self-contained racial types - caucasian, mongoloid and negroid. That was a piece of pseudo-scientific racism which helped whites to persuade themselves that black people were fundamentally different.

Racism is discrimination based neither on ethnic type nor geographical origin but on colour. This makes it, along with sex, the most basic form of discrimination because it is so immediately visible. As one college lecturer put it: ‘inside the college I am respected as a teacher, recognised for my individual qualities and responsibilities. But as soon as I walk out to the bus stop I’m just another wog, just another coon.’ And throughout this magazine the word ‘black’ is used to refer to any non-white group, whether it be Africans in Britain, native Indians in Canada or Vietnamese in Australia - ‘black’ has become a political term rather than a description of skin colour.

In the second place, racism is not the same as ‘racial prejudice’. People have always had wild ideas about other humans who looked and talked differently. As long ago as AD70 the Roman writer Pliny the Elder was retailing weird and wonderful tales about Ethiopians with no noses and other Africans with eyes in the middle of their foreheads or mouths in their breasts. Prejudice emerges out of ignorance, and it thrived in a geographically isolated place like seventeenth-century England, which had no real contact with black people. But racial prejudice on its own shouldn’t have lasted any longer than other irrational oral traditions and should have been dispelled by more frequent contact with Africans. Racism, on the other hand, which wove those prejudices into a pseudo-science, has been going strong for 200 years and is still a ruling force in a world of mass communications, where geographical isolation is now almost impossible.

Racism came into being in eighteenth-century Britain because it was economically useful. The first merchants who entered the slave trade weren’t doing so because they were prejudiced against Africans - they did it to make money. But once that foundation of economic profit had been laid it became very useful to think of black people as inferior, as not altogether human. So all those ignorant rumours about black people’s savagery and stupidity coagulated into a set of beliefs, an ideology that justified slavery and, later on, colonial empires. As the historian Peter Fryer has written, in his important book Staying Power: ‘Racism is to race prejudice as dogma is to superstition ... The primary functions of race prejudice are cultural and psychological. The primary functions of racism are economic and political.’

Just as racism was born out of slavery, so it was the cornerstone of colonial expansion. Fundamental to British imperialism was the notion that it was a noble cause, that white supremacy was synonymous with human progress. And once Darwin’s ideas about evolution had been published they were seen as proof of the scientific truth of racism - white people had evolved to the highest, even the ideal, state. Black people had to be oppressed or even destroyed for humanity to ~ stride onward into the ever-brighter, ever-whiter future. This was also the idea that ~ American settlers had about native Indians - extermination was nature’s way of making room for a higher race. And it was the same idea that justified the genocide of aboriginal people in Tasmania. Charles Kingsley, revered Victorian author of Westward Ho! and The Water Babies, wrote that ‘the welfare of the Teutonic (white) race is the welfare of the world’ while ‘degenerate races’ were better off dead. ‘Prove that it is human life,’ he wrote. ‘It is beast- life.’ He was rewarded for his views by being made chaplain to Queen Victoria and professor of modern history at Cambridge.

Nor was he the only racist among the great British philosophers and writers - Locke, Hume and Carlyle all insisted that black people were inferior, while Dickens, Arnold, Tennyson, Ruskin and Trollope banded together to defend Governor Eyre of Jamaica. Eyre had taken revenge after a slave rebellion by killing 439 black people, flogging 600 others and burning 1000 homes. Dickens and the others claimed Eyre as the saviour of the West Indies and campaigned to get him a seat in the House of Lords.

I mention this not so that we can pat ourselves on the back and think how far we’ve progressed since those grim Victorian days but rather to give some idea of how deeply racism is ingrained in our culture. We still call these men geniuses, acclaim their insights into the human condition. Yet they were thorough-going racists who justified murder.

Like them, we are racist because we benefit economically from being so. Racism has always been at the service of economic exploitation. When Britain needed all the labour it could get to start anew after World War Two, Tory minister Enoch Powell invited thousands of black people over from the Caribbean colonies. Yet as soon as there was no longer any economic need for their labour he became the country’s most famous racist, campaigning for ‘repatriation’. And far from being dismissed his ideas have become common currency - immigration restrictions have become so accepted that they have ceased to be a debateable issue. The question is no longer ‘should we keep black people out?’ but rather ‘how many black people should we keep out?’ And repatriation is no longer just the daydream of the far Right - it is already in action in West Germany and France, in the latter under a government supposedly of the Left.

Racism always becomes more virulent when times are hard - in declining inner city areas when jobs become scarce and money tight, frustration is vented on the most available scapegoats, the black population. My next-door neighbours in London, people of Indian origin from Mauritius, never answer the door unless there is a man in the house. Their fear of attack, their sense of being under siege, is permanent and all-pervasive - and it is a story being repeated in all the West’s cities.

Accepting that racism is our responsibility means dispensing with the old idea that ‘the race problem’ is black people’s refusal to assimilate’ or ‘integrate’. According to this notion, black people should do all they can to fit in, accept white values and not cause the status quo any trouble. But integration with a white majority that holds all the economic and institutional power can only be on white terms. And how can a black person be expected to take on the attitudes of a white society which believes that she is inferior?

Too many people still believe in assimilation, but it has at least been discredited in liberal circles. What has succeeded it is ‘multiculturalism’, the belief that the way to combat racism is to acknowledge the traditions of the black community, to offer them pride in their cultural heritage. In Australia, for instance, there has been a burgeoning interest in traditional aboriginal rituals, a readiness to accept that these shouldn’t be squashed by the juggernaut of European culture.

But this isn’t enough. If ‘racial prejudice’ still existed in isolation then this kind of approach might work wonders. But stopping the offence to black people’s dignity is not going to reduce the material damage done to their lives. Only political and economic change can do that. And anti-racism is an unashamedly political cause which seeks that change.

Later in this issue we offer a few suggestions for anti-racist action. This doesn’t just mean challenging ourselves and the other people we meet - it also involves doing all we can to change the places where we work or have some power. And that means putting forward practical proposals for advancing the black cause, not just pious acceptance of the principle of ’equal opportunities’. Simply getting more black people into positions of power, whether in your workplace or in your political party, will make some difference.

To be genuinely anti-racist we have to take action ourselves - but we must also understand that it is necessary for black people to organise themselves independently. White people often find this hard to accept - and the British Labour Party is a classic current example. There has never been a black Labour Member of Parliament, and the Party’s record on immigration is appalling.

Frustrated by this impasse, black people are now agitating for their own section within the Party, and for politicians in some areas to stand down in favour of black candidates. It is not such an extraordinary demand - black caucuses are an accepted fact of American political life, for instance. Yet all the usual conservative arguments are wheeled out - the same ones put by those same white men to women. ‘You should work for change from within’. ‘You’ll create a ghetto for yourselves’. The reality is that black protest at the moment can be contained, whereas change would threaten people’s power. People with power never change unless pressurised into it - divine light will not descend from heaven to change their minds. Separate black organisations provide that pressure. I am only writing this now. I only care enough about it because of the way black people have challenged racism.

In short, we have to make racism matter to us, to put it much farther up our personal agendas, instead of just thinking ‘I’m against it’ and doing nothing. The cause of anti-racism is not just the cause of the black minorities in our own countries or of the black majority in South Africa; it is the cause of the millions in Africa, Asia and Latin America still suffering from the legacy of the exploitation that produced our wealth as well as our racism. It’s up to us. Not to fly down from the sky in our chariot, making things right, reaching out our hands to the poor, helpless blacks - that’s just the other, paternalist side of the same old racist coin. But to listen to what black people have to say, to respond to their initiatives and to work with them for social change.

The great Trinidadian writer C.L.R. James once said ‘The blacks will know as friends only those whites who are fighting in the ranks beside them. And whites will be there’. We have yet to prove him right.

original link: [url][/url]

Title: Re: Universal Blackness
Post by: iyah360 on April 16, 2004, 10:16:08 AM
my place as a white person is not here in amerikkka or europe and dont want to be a part of this system

most black Rastas that I have dealt with have been accepting of the ideas of all Rasta, regardless of color the right to repatriate to Africa - this may be due to the house of Rasta that they belong to or the philosophy that they trod with. whether or not this is politically expedient in the eyes of the intellectuals is another story.

i think the only point i would like to make with the I's post is that we may not WANT to be part of the system, but we  gain special privileges from the white skin we have because the system at its ROOT is based on a racial hierarchy that lurks in the blood stream OF the system that we live in today. there are things that I and I cannot overstand for the fact that we have white skin, we do have a blind eye to things which ones with black skin have to deal with every day of their life WITHIN the system. having white skin is almost like having a special membership card to society without even realizing it. the fact that our parents were white in the system was partially responsible for allowing them to live where they live, to allow us to go to school, to be able to have the skills necessary to be where we are today.

this is the legacy the system has left US as white individuals, and it is just important to realize this privilege. i think we can use this realization for the advantage of the Rasta massive though . . . having more access to the resources that many of our Black Rasta bredren do not have because of the circumstances. we can also be helping to dispell the racism and ignorance and arrogance of white people who we deal with everyday, by educating them in however way we can, because in many situations, the fact that we are white may make them listen to us with more respect than they would to someone who is black saying similar things. there are many other things that we can do that black bredren cannot, and it is up to us to be conscious enough to realize them.


Title: Re: Universal Blackness
Post by: iyah360 on April 16, 2004, 11:40:30 AM

Nobody should have to 'make you feel obligated'. A good hearted European that really wants to stop the Babylon shitstem would feel obligated to do this hard job without outside pressure. But I guess some would rather take the easy way out.

By the way, it is known by all of us that Africa is the origin of humanity, but European and other people developed in their particular climates so Europe is your homeland. It takes away from the seriousness of the repatriation movement for people that were not forcibly removed from Africa in the recent past to try to adopt or usurpe it as a cause/movement....

There are plenty of European progressive movements that fight the Babylon shitstem...Why can't you work with one of them? Why do you have to take on what is peculiarly an African cause and circumstance? I have no problem with European/Whites adopting Rasta, but repatriation is taking it WAY too far! Repatriation is SACRED to the children of the kidnapped and enslaved. Why can't you understand and respect that?

You might want to read these posts. They address your stance...

I think that there is a difference in perspective when you are speaking of houses of Rasta which do not view repatriation as an exclusively black African diasporic goal. I think it would help if a Rastafari from Bobo Hill could reason on this, and give the view of an official from the EABIC(Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress ) -  until such a time, it will be hard to rectify these 2 points of view.