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Poetic_Princess
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« on: November 08, 2004, 06:50:38 PM »

Greetings and Blessings Sistrens and Brethrens there is a problem that is brewing around the Rastafarian Community in my country Barbados due to the fact that a Rasta man (a white rasta man) Dr Ikael Tafari was giving the post of being director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs. Some of the rastafarian community are happy for him some are against him.Here are the articles from our local newspaper, I would like to received everyone opinon both old and young.

Hail Tafari! - Sunday 07, November-2004

by Mike King
DR. RAS IKAEL TAFARI, the new director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, says he has waited his entire life for such a leadership role and there is no danger of him being muzzled.

Shortly after Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, John Williams, announced that Tafari would take over as the new director of the Commission, a delighted Tafari told a Press conference at Government Headquarters yesterday, he was happy and honoured to take over the day-to-day operations of the six-year-old Commission.

Fifty-four year-old Tafari, a former university lecturer in sociology, will have responsibility for operational matters, while George Belle, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Cave Hill Campus, takes over as chairman of the Board, which will outline the policy of the Commission.

“I consider it an honour at this time to be an invited to take up a leading role in the Commission and also an honour for the Rastafarian community of which I am a part,” Tafari said.

“I have waited a long time in my life for the opportunity to make this contribution and I don’t see any danger of me being muzzled, because I understand that politics is the art of the possible.”

Tafari who was previously deputy director, said the first task of the Commission was to take fresh guard and get the new staff in line “with the programmes that we want to push because we are bringing on some faces as well in the Secretariat.”

One of the new faces will be Derek Murray, formerly of the Pinelands Youth Development Council.

The former university lecturer in sociology, said his outlook will not change.

“I can’t be conservative. The Commission itself can’t be conservative. Just the very exisence of it, is a radical break with our history,” he said.

Tafari hinted he will set up a Pan African trade centre “which is a very important initiative” and would place much emphasis on culture and the documentation of history via film and the electronic media.

The new director also says he will be stressing cultural linkages.

“We will see an emphasis in the coming years that looks directly at the area of developing cultural industries and establishing cultural linkages between Ghana with their emancipation cermonies and our emancipation ceremonies in the season.

“South Africa is interested in coming here for example, to develop a carnival in their country, to learn from us, so we are going to be stressing the area of cultural industries and cultural and economic linkages,” he said.

Tafari saluted former director and chairman David Comissiong, who established the Commission in 1998.

“Comissiong has set high standards and a very solid foundation has been laid,” he said.

Tafari said he would like to see the Commission viewed in greater light in Barbados.

“In international circles, it is seen as a hope for the black race and for black people internationally. People are very impressed with the Commission in Nigeria, South Africa.

“This has high prestige in the United States among African Americans and in Britain among black people,” he said.

http://www.nationnews.com/StoryView.cfm?Record=55028&Section=LO&Current=2004%2D11%2D07%2000%3A00%3A00





Dr Ikael Tafari

by Donna Sealy

RESIGN QUIETLY or there will be a revolution from the Rastafari brethren – the “real” Africans who know what the struggle is about.

This call, to newly-appointed director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, Dr Ikael Tafari, came yesterday from Ras Iathi Mau Mau, a Kenyan Rastafarian living here.

Mau Mau stressed Pan Africanism belonged to African people and said it was “out of order” for Tafari to hold the post. “It is an African business to be conducted by African people and to correspond with the African people at home and in the diaspora,” he said.

“We need everyone to be in their place, to know their place and Government should avoid this,” he added.

Sister Amanda and Sister Evelyn from Jamaica, Rastafarians of the Nyabinghi order were also opposed to the appointment. They stressed that it was not a Rastafari issue, but one for black people.

“We need to go back to Africa, but with Ikael as the head of that commission, it is a big block in black people’s way. He is just a stumbling block, not only now. He cannot represent us. No way! No way! That can never go!” said Sister Amanda.

Sister Evelyn said: “Ikael can’t help us. Ikael cannot represent I and I to repatriate and go home. He cannot represent a whole nation of black people. Never! Ikael is a white man!”

Ras Bongo Spear of the non-governmental organisation Afrika Hall said that though the appointment was “expected”, it was “insensitive” and bore no reality to the Pan African relations within the Caribbean diaspora.

Spear, whose legal name is Herman Lowe, charged that Government was not really committed to the cause.

Two local Rastafarian brethren had a more positive outlook.

Rudolph Morris said the move would show that Rastas were “not about smoking weed” and would show that they had a contribution to make to society.

“Jah Funk” called on the new director to promote and educate the youth about black history and its importance.

“A lot of them (Rastas) don’t know the background and he needs to spread it. Tafari was backing up [David] Comissiong for a long time, but he had no voice,” he said.

http://www.nationnews.com/StoryView.cfm?Record=55048&Section=LO&Current=2004%2D11%2D08%2000%3A00%3A00

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I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality.
Ayinde
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2004, 08:05:26 PM »

Quote
Mau Mau stressed Pan Africanism belonged to African people and said it was "out of order" for Tafari to hold the post. "It is an African business to be conducted by African people and to correspond with the African people at home and in the diaspora," he said.  

"We need everyone to be in their place, to know their place and Government should avoid this," he added

I agree with this first quote. The one below is typical white arrogance.


Quote
DR. RAS IKAEL TAFARI, the new director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs, says he has waited his entire life for such a leadership role and there is no danger of him being muzzled.
 
Of course he waited his whole life for that. Is that not what some whites are about in Black movements, quietly waiting for leadership roles?

You better tell some of those people who made that decision to come to this site, and let us reason.
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Yann
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2004, 01:04:48 PM »

Events like these drive home the reason why it is critical to keep discussing and reasoning on issues of race discrimination, white privilege and leadership in black movements. When these issues go unreasoned we end up with the worse case scenario- a white person as the director of Pan African issues. No semantics necessary on whether he is full white, part white, no white, whatever; if he cut that dred in the morning and put on a suit no one would bat and eyelash at him on Wall Street or at the fanciest country club in Barbados.

The fact is that people just do not get it. But we have discussed these issues too many times on this board for those that reason here regularly not to get it and then claim some one love, Rasta embraces all races crap. First of all, as usual many Rastas here seem to think that their own version of Rastafari encompasses all the interests and needs of all African people. Whether Rasta embraces people of all races is one affair but we are not talking about a Rasta association, we are talking about a white male, with all his inherent prejudices, his racism, his poor views and his lack of experience with the worst features of racism and colonial education being given a mandate by a black government to direct the way forward for pan African affairs. Well if that is not an act of high lunacy well I don’t know what is.

As a Caribbean person it is not surprising that it would be Barbados that would come up with this, as Barbados has certainly felt the brunt of colonialism in a unique and troubling way and has certainly internalized all the poor values and self hatred that comes with it.

Well anyway, people will certainly have to start waking up. While some may find it trivial to talk about whites infiltrating and wanting dominance and unfair privileges in black communities with reference to this website and its forums, I hope we can see how this can grow by startling degrees and reach a point such as what we have seen here. As far as I am concerned, he can mouth all the platitudes he wishes, and others can be taken in by honeyed words and promises of change. However any white person who has a real understanding of the issues and a reasonable amount of integrity would never have accepted that post. They would have seen that for African people to advance and to redress the imbalance created by racism and colonialism the symbol must be African and the leadership must be African- and dark skinned African to boot. And they would have been delighted to serve the cause in the capacity of support for this higher truth.
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Oshun_Auset
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2004, 01:22:57 PM »

Can somebody please explain how this happened? Is it an appointed possition? Who is doing the voting if not...and what the hell is wrong with them? Does it have something to do with the government of Barbados? The fact a capitalist government "sponsors" or is involved with anything to do with Pan-Africanism explains why their motivations would be dubious to say the least. Is that it? Can it even be considered a real Pan-African organization if it is linked with the government? Not like it can be considered Pan-African after this move. It is so absolutely ludacris that this man is the head of it reguardless...even if this organization is Pan-African in name only! I don't know any particulars about Barbados, so I would appreciate any info or perspectives on the subject.

The fact that the man even felt comfortable taking this possition makes his true motives and concerns transparent...Like you said Yan...

"... any white person who has a real understanding of the issues and a reasonable amount of integrity would never have accepted that post. They would have seen that for African people to advance and to redress the imbalance created by racism and colonialism the symbol must be African and the leadership must be African- and dark skinned African to boot. And they would have been delighted to serve the cause in the capacity of support for this higher truth."

This is a damn shame.
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Poetic_Princess
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2004, 01:43:30 PM »

To Help you out a bit Oshun it was a position giving to him because since he was the deputy head of the Commision the government found it fit to give it to Ikael since they didn't want to renew the Head of the Commision Mr.David Comissiong contract. Before the Government got involved trouble was brewing in the camp of the Commison since many of the government heads where getting tired of David so this were there solution.It has cause a division many brethrens state and many believe this may cause a country division or even a revolution.
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I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality.
Africanprince
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2004, 03:06:14 PM »

  The guy thinks he's African, just look at the way he uses "our" when talking about setting up a cultural link between Ghana emancipation and Barbados emancipation.

It's funny Grin and sad at the same time  Embarrassed

I'm sure the guy probably has good intentions at heart but the position should go to a Black person.  Pan African Affairs committee should be for black people to fix black problems not a white man to fix our problems.  Might as well not call it Pan African Affairs anymore because it's no longer black leaders working together with other black leaders.
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Ayinde
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2004, 06:50:28 PM »

Time's Up
Sunday 31, October-2004


David Comissiong: no longer Pan-African Commission boss.

by Neville Clarke, www.nationnews.com

Director of the Commission for Pan-African Affairs, David Comissiong, has been given his walking ticket by the Owen Arthur Administration.

The contract for Comissiong, who has been director of the commission since its establishment in November 1998, expires today and Government has opted not to renew it.

Speaking to the SUNDAY SUN yesterday from the commission's offices on Hincks Street, The City, Comissiong said: "I commenced work as the director of the commission on November 2, 1998, on a three-year contract that came to an end on November 1, 2001.

"I continued to work in the capacity of director and my contract was renewed for an additional three years. However, on Thursday, October 28, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, Senator John Williams, requested that I meet with him at Government Headquarters at 3:30 p.m.

"I met with Williams and was informed at that meeting that Government would not be renewing my contract which would come to an end tomorrow [today]."

Comissiong claimed however that he was not given adequate notice of his termination: "I was given extremely short notice by the Administration on my termination of service. I therefore intend to use the time to schedule a meeting with the board of directors of the commission for tomorrow (today), the final day of my contract in order to inform them about this matter and to bid them farewell."

Comissiong was scheduled to lead a delegation of Barbadian businessmen on a trade mission to Ghana later this year. It is unclear whether he will now be part of that mission.

Since taking up the position six years ago he had been openly critical of some of the policies pursued by the Owen Arthur Administration, and leading members of the society had repeatedly called for his removal from office.

Comissiong's most recent criticism of the administration centred around Government's handling of the strike by the privately owned sector of the public service vehicles.

The former director described the confrontation between the police and the public service operators as "civil war" and "testimony to a massive failure of vision and leadership on the part of the black political directorate of this country".

Comissiong said Barbados was witnessing the spectacle of black working-class police officers in confrontation with black working-class public service operators, while a predominantly working-class-originated political directorate sat on the sidelines twiddling their thumbs.

However, Senator Williams, who last night confirmed his meeting with Comissiong, made it clear that the non-renewal of the contract had absolutely nothing to do with Comissiong's criticism of Government.

In fact, said Williams: "We have always expressed a wish for people to be objectively critical of our policies, but by the same token we have to look at our institutions to see when there needs to be a shift in focus.

"I met with Mr Comissiong and thanked him for his years of service and as any other exit interview, we discussed how he felt the commission had developed under his stewardship and how he saw it going forward.

"At no time did I discuss dissatisfaction with Mr Comissiong or his work.

"We believe, however, that at this point a change in leadership is the desirable thing.

"There can be no doubt that the institution has been impactful. It has come in for praise and criticism, but we see it as a vital institution and one that is here to stay."

Williams said Government was looking for a replacement and hoped to "settle for someone very soon".

He declined, however, to say if there was a short list.

www.nationnews.com
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Ayinde
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2004, 09:33:42 AM »

Poetic_Princess,

I am hoping that you or other Bajans can share more on how Race/Racism plays out in Barbados. I am holding back from sharing experiences I had over there so as not to overshadow the input from nationals of Barbados.
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Yann
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2004, 12:58:06 PM »

“he is jes’ anethuh fair-skin fella dat people call white.”

This quote highlights especially the fact that many Bajans saw Ikel Tafari as white. He was considered white, and was accustomed to being considered white. The rest of the article also gives a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the political overtones and ramifications of the story.


LICKMOUT LOU: Talk yuh talk, Comissiong -

Wednesday 10, November-2004

Dear Nesta,
I hope yuh feelin’ awright an’ dat yuh thenkful as usual fuh yuh blessin’s.

We got to be grateful to de Almighty ‘cause when yuh look aroun’ an’ see de pain an’ sufferin’ an’ injustice dat happenin’ in dis worl’ to innocent people, it does mek yuh realise how blessed yuh is.

Well, girl, de talk ‘bout town is all to do wid David Comissiong an’ how ‘e get diss by de BLP as head o’ de Pan African Commission. From wuh I onderstan’, de guvment only gi’ ‘e 24 hours’ notice dat ‘e contrack wasn’t gettin’ renew. . . an’ I hope dah news en accurate, ‘cause ef so, de BLP got to tek a brickbat fuh dat.

Anyhow, evahbody sayin’ how Comissiong shoulda know from de beginnin’ dat ‘e would eventually get de boot because o’ he criticism o’ certain t’ings de guvment does do from time to time. But wuh I want to know is dis – why, jes’ because yuh happen to be a member of a political party, yuh cyahn criticise or disagree wid dem?

Ness, you would know as good as me dat duh got a t’ing name conscience, an’ ef you conscience don’ allow you to keep a pin ‘pon yuh mout’ in certain matters, yuh got every right to speak yuh min’, regards to who en please!

So I en vex wid Comissiong fuh sayin’ wuh ‘e got to say. . . . Why he should be beholden to a political party because duh gi’ he a position an’ a title? I en tellin’ yuh dat I agree wid everyt’ing Comissiong say or do, but wuh I sayin’ is dat ‘e got de right in a democratic country to open ‘e mout’ an’ express ‘e opinions. An’ I will always admire ‘im fuh dat.

Anyhow, ‘e say ‘e would never tek anethuh job from de guvment. ‘Cordin’ to wuh I read in de papers, ‘e say dat only Sunduh gone, sence ‘e get diss, de said-same guv’ment now come mekkin’ a offer – by telephone, to-besides – fuh he to be special envoy to Africa, a position agreed ‘pon five years ago!

‘E call de offer “warmed-over cold soup”, a move to compromise he. But ’e say sence ’e don’ trus’ dem nuh mo’, ‘e en want a t’ing to do wid it. An’ in he position, I woulda do de same t’ing an’ tell dem whey to get off ‘cause duh really en treat ‘e wid respeck, dah is de troof.

Wuh I surprise to see, doh, is dat de fella, Ikael Tafari, now in de pos’ Comissiong had! I don’ agree wid de people dat say ‘e en ha’ nuh ties wid Africa, ‘cause leh we face it –dat man en neider Caucasian . . . he is jes’ anethuh fair-skin fella dat people call white.

But I t’ought he woulda turn down de offer to show support fuh how Comissiong get diss. Solidarity is wuh I talkin’ bout. Anyhow, sence I only went to Brumley, dese t’ings does be too high fuh me, soul. But I will keep yuh in touch wid de events. Meanwhile, I wish Comissiong well an’ hope ‘e will continue never to kow-tow to nuh political big-ups. God bless.

Wif luv,

Lou.


http://www.nationnews.com/StoryView.cfm?Record=55133&Section=Life&Current=2004-11-10%2000%3A00%3A00
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Poetic_Princess
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2004, 07:24:00 PM »

Blessings Ayinde, you asked about how Race and Racism plays out in Barbados honestly it hardly does and for me i hardly have experienced it for my tender age.Honestly to state many of us black people living in Barbados hardly get into contact with many white people who are Bajans here (except the tourists and racism is hardly shown there it is mroe shown to us by the black tourist since i work in the hotel field).In Barbados you get racism every now and then for one's hair especially if your a rastafarian from boths sides of the colour line but that isn't nothing new.
I can only tell from my personal experience of racism where it happen to me at school about 3 to 4 years ago where many white kids started to come to the school and at one point the school had more white kids than black and white kids would want to taunt us about our colour n say things to us which i wont recite but that was the only time i have ever had any real contact with it here.To be so blunt and honest race and racism has become immune to some black people here not all the big posts nowadays are giving to the white big boys,And in the hotel industry our people try not comment when other black people try to force they racism on us but let it roll off our backs like a duck in a rain shower. In all we have come a long way and we are making progress.
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I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality.
House_of_Ra-sta
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2004, 07:32:02 PM »

Some might think this issue is about if he represents Rasta or not.it's not about that,its about is he representing Black people as a whole,i think not,especially the ones of darker Hue who feels the Brunt of racism more than others who feel the same.Dr Ikael might not understand this feeling that the ones who oppose him leading has,but if he claims to be Rasta,then he should know the OUR-story of the diaspora.
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Ayinde
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« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2004, 12:12:38 PM »

Greetings Poetic_Princess,

In my view if there were no existing racial tensions and/or resentments in Barbados, this would not have been a hot issue. However, I do not want to go into my experiences of Barbados as yet, which may give a false impression that I am picking on the island. All over the Caribbean, especially on islands that depend on tourism, Blacks have been conditioned to suppress racial feelings so that the sensibilities of whites are not 'offended'. Trinidad is somewhat different because its main income is from Oil and Natural Gas.

Anyhow, I hope you got to look into the diverse views on this matter, and maybe another time when more Bajans are active on the board we can discuss many other things.

Who knows, it may be possible to teach these politicians a thing or two about Caribbean integration.
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preach
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« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2004, 10:13:43 PM »

I am in total agreeance with Oshun and Yan. If his motives are sincere then he should not feel comfortable accepting the position. When I was in college my professor for Apartheid in South Africa was a white guy who always overemphasized the fact that he had been in South Africa during the decline of apartheid. His arrogance would not allow him to see how his white privilege actually disconnected him from the movement. I may be wrong but at the end of the day Dr. Tafari is a white man even before rasta.
The other side of the argument is perhaps his privilege may work for him and his allegiance to rastafari is so strong that he will take advantage of the situation. But I'm not a wishful thinker
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Poetic_Princess
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« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2004, 02:46:04 PM »

Rastafari all for Tafari - Wednesday 24, November-2004
by Ricky Jordan

THE FACT that a lawyer could be removed for a Rastaman is the crux of the matter relating to Dr Ikael Tafari replacing David Comissiong as director of the Commission for Pan African Affairs.

This is the view of a delegation from the Ancient Churchical Order of the Nyahbinghi, who recently returned from giving aid to Rastafari brethren in hurricane-ravaged Grenada.

Ras Ian, an elder and priest in the Nyahbinghi order, said not only was Tafari qualified academically, but he had spent 35 years working in the cause of the black man and Rastafari.

Ras Ian explained that the newPan African Commission head hadspent 15 years in Jamaica workingand studying as a social scientist. Rastafari, added Ian, was partof his field of research.

He also noted that after Tafari’s return home in 1980, they worked together in the Order of the Nyahbinghi, “which is really the foundation of the Rasta movement coming from theearly 1930s – the spiritual foundation of the movement”.

“The country is trying to make it controversial, but he’s one of the most indepth social scientists in Barbados. The lot of talk about Ikael is also a jealousy upon Rastafari. Many people are wondering how they could move Comissiong, a lawyer, for a Rastaman. That’s the crux of the matter,” he said.

Raffiki, another Barbadian Nyabinghi priest, also voiced his support for Ikael.

“I don’t see anything wrong with the position Ikael holds. The qualifications are there, and he still does work in encouraging the youths,” he said.

“Until the colour of a man’s skin has no more significance than the colour of his eyes, there will always be war. I haven’t come for war against anyone,” added Raffiki.

Ras Gad, a priest and farmer, said Ikael was a great asset as a Rastaman who had “helped to carve out the Rastafari faith in Barbados”.

“He showed others the real fullness and they caught onto it, but disagreed because of the colour of his skin and eyes. But there’s no other person qualified for that position at this iwer,” said Gad.

Noting that no one since Marcus Garvey had furthered the cause of the black man like the Rastafari movement, the delegation said having a Rasta heading the commission would enhance this cause.


http://www.nationnews.com/StoryView.cfm?Record=55524&Section=Local&Current=2004%2D11%2D24%2000%3A00%3A00
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