Letter to the Editor of Rastafari Speaks
name: Nate Collins
On the issue of the Reggae censorship controversy I would like to cut through all of the rhetoric of the public discourse at this time and say;
Gay interest groups cannot force anyone to accept or affirm their way of life. There will continue to be people who fundamentally disagree with their way of life, plain and simple. There are many cultures, traditions and religions throughout history and throughout the world that do not affirm or celebrate ways of life which contradict their principles and beliefs. Sexual relations between members of the same sex is pretty high on the list of things that definitely offend the sentiments of many religions and traditions. This is a fact and is not in question.
The question is however, how is the 'left' going to act towards those who clearly disagree with them? Any attempt to force people of different cultures to 'change' or to adapt to our more 'civilized' ways and 'enlightened' beliefs is TEXTBOOK IMPERIALISM. Plain and simple.
Beyond that, censorship is a forceful and provocative action that conscientious leftists should be wary of. It is basically an act of war and why anyone off of the left would be declaring war on the most forceful popular antiwar voice in music and popular entertainment that rasta dancehall reggae is, escapes me. I say beware to anyone on the left participating in this censorship, BEWARE!
Look at the state of popular entertainment and tell me why these highly political artists are being attacked for lyrics they wrote when they were 18 years old(in the case of Buju Banton) and that they have not performed for years. But now in the time of heightened global turmoil, instability and uncertainty these conscious militant antiwar voices must be silenced(because of their insensitivity to gay sexual issues). For anyone who cares to take notice of a scientific fact, and that is, in a state of war, in a state of danger to ones life, even in a state of prolonged hunger, sexual desires cease to mean anything to the human being. So just recognize the reality of the priviledge of any notion of 'sexual preference'. There is a natural hierarchy of concern and so it is part of our politics too. War trumps sex and leisure. We are more concerned about war and its destruction than we are concerned with sexual politics.
Reggae is literally an art form that completely subverts its own consumptive role by virtue of its powerfully conscious content. Rasta forms of reggae elucidate a world view that is based very strongly on the archetypal relationship between man and woman and how this relation connects people to religion, belief, family and community.
This is the real issue at hand, the strong heterosexual message of reggae and its biblically oriented world view. If rasta theory has a 'conservative' framework for 'revolution' then I say more power to Rasta. The undeniably revolutionary medium of reggae, this is the real issue! The real issue is that there is a perceived threat to the Gay Agenda, which I am saying is acting in an imperialistic and chauvenistic way on the 'left', seemingly under the direction of some pretty nefarious elements who have been doing much conspiring as of late. In fact now the moral dwarf Stephen Schwartz is back in the media, attacking moderate Muslims like Yusuf Islam(Cat Stevens) and Hamza Yusuf as fundamentalists and "terrorist sympathisers". This is the same attack from the same camp. They only attack the conservative tradition of all non-white nations. It's the Israeli left-right tag team model. Any comments from the prominent left on all of this cultural imperialism from the "left"? "Backward Arabs, backward Rastas." Same racist shit basically. What a mindgame.
Now for the new age parody of the year award; jetsetting "global justice activists" at the fanatically anti-corporate group Global Exchange throw their annual fundraiser in partnership with the mega-corporation Budweiser and succeed in blocking the performance of conscious rasta dancehall artist Capleton. This is the same Global Exchange who snitched out "violent" activists to police in Seattle, makes big backroom deals with the Democratic Party, subverts the entire mission and purpose of the Green Party and throws benefit celebrations with the same huge corporations they villianize, all the while censoring antiwar artists who refuse to bow with sufficient enthusiasm to the left catechism. Why does Global Exchange and its pet projects and people continue to have any credibility on the left? Especially as they cry "Leftier than thou! Leftier than thou!" and in reality we know they are base collaborators and reformers in their politics and practice, despite all of their fake 'radical' rhetoric. Their big-nosed founder loves to insert her face at every major lefty political event I have ever attended in San Francisco control the mic, and tell people what to do in the name of her feminist derived white lady authority. "SF Lefty Imperialism" is a label I would like to coin, maybe it will gain some currency.
I joked with a friend how conscious dancehall reggae was kinda like soccer, Americans are sleeping on it, but man its is huge in Europe and the rest of the world and eventually its gonna blow up here. Reggae is huge throughout Africa and is gaining in Central and South America for sure. Conscious rasta reggae has been huge in Israel for years and artists like Anthony B and Lutan Fyah are increasingly sharply critical of the policies of the State of Israel. Reggae love could spread to the Middle/Near East and bring some unity. Conscious music is a powerful force in the world, in history and in politics, that is the real issue. It is a powerful thing happening with this rasta dancehall reggae music and it continues on, despite any enemies who hate it. Watch conscious rasta dancehall reggae TAKE OVER THE SCENE in no time across America. Seen!
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