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Author Topic: BLACK AND WHITE  (Read 36424 times)
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« on: March 11, 2003, 01:43:32 AM »

BLACK AND WHITE
posted by: gman -- Tuesday, 11 March 2003, at 12:18 a.m
http://www.rastafarispeaks.com/forum/index.cgi?read=10222

###

First of all let me point out that there are Chinese, East Indian, Native American, Hawaiian, Japanese, Maori Rasta. So it's not only about Black and white anyway.
Now I wonder if a few simple points could calm the controversy.

Ha Ha, of course not. But here goes anyway:
THINGS I FEEL BLACKS, WHITES AND OTHERS SHOULD OVERSTAND ABOUT RASTAFARI

(1) Rastafari is Black. Rastafari emerges from the African experience(s) in the so-called New World. Rastafari interprets and makes sense of this experience and seeks the way forward for African people. This is not to say Rasta doesn't seek the way forward for ALL people. But PRIMARILY, Rasta is dealing with the African people. However, Rasta raises the consciousness of the African people to the extent that IanI see our struggle as tied in with the struggle of ALL downpressed people, and even of the other life forms that share the planet with us. Rasta realizes that, as the Native Americans would say, we are all relations. Which leads to point number

(2) Rasta is not "racist". I put "racist" in quotes cos I feel it's quite a stretch to call ANY Black person a "racist" when it comes to their feelings about whites, given all that whites have done and are continuing to do to us. Anyway, Rasta is not about "all white people are devils" and suchlike thinking. Rasta recognizes that as simplistic and simply UNTRUE. It's unproductive for African people, or anyone, to act on the basis of something that is UNTRUE. Rasta deals with reality, not mythology.

(3) Rasta has no one leader. No one person can speak for all of Rastafari (other than H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, of course; and even so, Rastas interpret HIM words differently). So there's no one who is really qualified to say whether or not (for example) whites can be Rasta. The closest we could get to a voice of authority on this would be the elders. Well, some say yes, some say no.

(4) Black people whether Rastas or not have a right to be angry about the state of the world today, and in particular the position of Black people in that world. I might even go so far as to say, we have a DUTY to be angry about it. Once that anger is going to serve as an impetus to do something about it, and not become a self-destructive cancer in the gut.

I feel that if Black and white (and other) ones keep these points in mind, and listen to one another with an open mind and without knee-jerk defensiveness, maybe they could progress further than the current morass of name-calling and back-and-forth accusations and one-upmanship.
Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong.
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Ayinde
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2003, 01:46:11 AM »

Most of what you said seems pretty clear, however, I would like to add a few points from my perspective.

“(3) Rasta has no one leader. No one person can speak for all of Rastafari (other than H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, of course; and even so, Rastas interpret HIM words differently).”

H.I.M. Haile Selassie I do not speak for me. I admire much of what he said and attempted to achieve and I do share much of his views but I and I alone speak for myself.

Some people interpret "following someone" differently to myself. They interpret it as literally doing as someone says even if they do not agree or understand the reasons. I never accepted or practice this.

I follow the best example of H.I.M. Haile Selassie I, which is learning broadly and engaging the world from an informed position. I think this is the best of HIM that is worth EMULATING. Haile Selassie I also read a lot and was able to synthesize many ideas.

I accept Rastafari in its most indigenous form with the definitions I expound on this board.

I spent much time in the forest when I was younger and observed and learnt much there. I used to go back from time to time to get my bearings. It was there I felt at home. Today, anywhere I am, mentally I am still in the forest environment as I interpret everything from that perspective.

On another note:

In my view many were not fully able to grasp the reason Marcus Garvey felt strongly against Africans accepting another person as their saviour. Garvey may have understood the danger in ‘blind fellowship’. He may have felt that Africans would be returning to another state of dependency and not actually doing enough to help themselves.

Marcus Garvey and H.I.M. Haile Selassie I operated from two sides of the same coin.

Garvey operated from the West as is symbolized in the logo to the top of the board, trying to get Africans back to Africa and to accept themselves as worthy people. Haile Selassie I started his reign from East Africa as symbolized in the logo, where asserting Blackness would not have been a priority as the people he was directly leading were already in Africa and around mostly Black Africans.

On the point of White people, I actually know a few very spiritual White people. I started treating with them with my usual distrust and over time saw that they were able to draw very similar conclusions after learning more about themselves. The few I know, willingly contribute to the development of African institutions but they have felt no desire to try to set up or own any African organization. They usually spend their energies trying to educate others who gravitate to them because of their color or perceived social position. None of them claim to have the level of consciousness that gives them some superior advantage. But they are quite spiritual. They are few in numbers and are the exception to the general conduct of most Whites but certainly in my mind I know that anyone can develop the essence of Rastafari (weather they choose to call it Rastafari or not).

I also know people of other races who live in relative harmony with nature and do fair by all manner of people. There are highly ‘spiritual’ people in all races although few in numbers.
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Sis_Iyabinghi
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2003, 11:41:04 AM »

Yes Gman and Ayinde always a pleasure to read the I's input. Blessed Love
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Joshua Liontree
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2003, 12:10:04 PM »

In reference to your first point, about Rasta being Black, in an accepting way.  I have always interpreted Rasta as being about African, not about Black.  A principal tenet of Rasta is that we all came from Africa.  Because my relatives left Africa long before your's did, does that make me any less African?  Debatable, granted.  Just a question.  I'm glad I came here from the Open Board, aka the Board of Digression and Bickering.
Peace to all,
Joshua
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Ayinde
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2003, 01:02:21 PM »

As I said in previous contributions, Rasta in essence is about character building, living within the laws of nature and respect for our ancestors.

In my view, most people who claim to be Rasta are at different stages of attaining this ideal state. People of different races have done this although they did not call it Rasta. The principles are what make these different peoples' experiences equal.

But Rasta has variants especially when addressing issues that plague most societies.

One must remember the Black African ancestral roots of Rasta apart from the evolution of Europeans who were not part of defining this livity. One must also remember the Black resurgence of Rasta as a resistance to social decadence and false white supremacy. As I stated earlier, some whites made good attempts to live by these values but for most the ideals are foreign. Black Africans were the first to consciously recognize and define these processes for higher development.

Modern oppressed Blacks/Africans can easily identify with this livity because of the decadence in all societies that also negatively discriminated against Blacks. Many Blacks were literally forced back to nature where they recaptured elements of the peace within this natural living.

However many who were forced back are not in a position to be conscious because they were not allowed to choose. Conscious development must be done by choice.

Identifying with our common African humanity through learning the processes is important and from learning these processes people should recognize the common social problems that afflict most people, Black, White and all others, because of how they perceive progress and worthiness with the baggage of color and gender prejudices. It is in this regard Black is used instead of African as many Blacks are yet to discover their 'Africanness' but they can easily identify with the common problems of all Black people.

Also, Black speaks of much more than just people as it also pertains to human physic development.

Many today can easily accept that we are all Africans or in the case of some who wish to emphasize their differences, descendants of Africans. However most of these people did not come to this realization through examining our history and as such are ignorant of the delusional socializing process that took place during the long spell of ignorance of the facts. Many today now say we are one but remain woefully ignorant of how their present attitudes and actions were developed and how much of it still reflects a jostle for societal superiority recognition with all of its false values.  
 

I'll stop here for now but there is much more that can be said on this.
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Joshua Liontree
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2003, 06:11:08 PM »

I have been raised in the Quaker tradition, and am recently (over the past two years) coming into this new state of living called Rastafari.  So I'm out here seeking simple answers.  I as a middle-class, white, American male obviously can not empathize with most people unlike myself, because I don't know what it is like to be oppressed.  But that doesn't mean that I hold different values or beliefs than them.  I certainly see what you say, and thank you for your response.  
Raspect to all,
Joshua
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catherine
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2003, 09:20:39 PM »

i have been reading what is being said about rasta being in a relationship with a white woman.  From what I am reading this is not  a possibility.  Is this correct?
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Ayinde
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2003, 12:05:15 AM »

In MY view, any people including Rastas can get involved with people of different races for a wide variety of reasons. In the same manner people can choose to stay within their particular race for many reasons. It is not our business to judge unless they come to us with specific problems. Racial discussions are about correcting negative attitudes. These discussions should not be interpreted as a call to continue SENSELESS racial discrimination.
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RasTalawa ben-Judah
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PeaceLoveInity, from the one true Jah


« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2003, 11:13:15 AM »

Greetings and JahLove Idren...

If I may,

Upon studying the Bible, from the beginning to the end (not in bits so I can use it to spread hate and lies like most preacherman) I have found that the question of race arises not until the tower of Babel (also in the physical site of "babylon") where man tried to make themselves equal with JAH by climbing to the heavens.  Being that this site is so close to the fertile crescent, and the beginning of civilization, the original color may have been black.  But the point was, the seperation of the races is a direct result of mankind's ignorance and feeling of superiority (the very think InI Rastafari strive to overcome).

For I, it is not a question of Afrikan race or caucasian race, it is a question of human race...and whether a human is conscious or ignorant.  

I was wondering, is gman the forum admin, or was his post merely copied for reasoning...

if so, Ites Gman, theI remembers InI just a couple years ago, striving for consciousness like a deer for water, and theI helped InI along the way...including introducing InI to the Rastafari speaks board.  Give Thanks!

PeaceLoveInity
RasTalawa ben-Judah
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May the Light of JAH shine through all who would seek HIM, for the Glory of HIS Kingdom, and may all men wish to seek HIM.
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JahLight and Protection Idren
Joshua Liontree
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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2003, 11:52:33 AM »

The I who I regard as my mentor and brother, the man who introduced me to Rasta is a white man who is in a lifelong relationship with a black woman.  THey just had their second daughter several weeks ago.  I agree with RasTawala ben-Judah about concious vs. ignorant.  As long as the partners are of kindred spirits, that's what matters.  Catherine:  Many blacks dislike white men with "Their" women, beacuse of the history of masters raping and being with their slaves.
Raspect to all,
Joshua
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Ras_Richard
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2003, 12:35:58 PM »

Mis-Gan Jah Rastafari, for Guiding I-man to this reasoning.

Blessed Love, Brethrens and Sistrens.

About this Black and White reasoning, I-man want to show that InI must look to the WordSound of H.I.M Rastafari Selassie I

"The specter of racial discrimination which has for so long cast its dark and evil shadow over much of this globe is slowly disappearing. Men are coming increasingly to be judged by their talents and abilities rather than the less meaningful and far more superficial standards of race and religion. But there yet remain those who in their bigotry and ignorance resist this flooding tide, and it is against these that our efforts must be directed."  
from H.I.M WordSound Against Apartheid and  Racial Discrimination

And "On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson: That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained"

"We must look, first, to Almighty God, Who has raised man above the animals and endowed him with intelligence and reason. We must put our faith in Him, that He will not desert us or permit us to destroy humanity, which He created in His image. And we must look into ourselves, into the depth of our souls. We must become something we have never been and for which our education and experience and environment have ill-prepared us. We must become bigger than we have been, more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community."
Rastafari WAR Speech

InI must follow the teachings of His Divine Majesty Selassie I. I say that there is only ONE race, and that is the HUMAN race.
InI Brothers and Sisters in Rastafari, should not let something like the color of skin, to split InI. InI must forward towards Inity. I-man is a member of the Human race and I have white skin....does it matter? Would it make I less of a Human? I-man believe that those who think color matter, have not fully gained Overstanding of Rastafari and the teachings of Selassie I.
I-man have much Love for all of I Brethrens and Sistrens in Rastafari.

Mis-Gan for letting I-man give I I-ditation on this Reasoning.

Guidance and I-tection.
Jah Selassie I Love /Ras Richard
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Mis-Gan Ras Fetari, Yahovah Rastafari, Yahshua Selassie I
RasIene
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2003, 01:08:38 PM »

Greetings all. I hope that my message will be read. Under the title Rastas and New Houses.
Rastas has spread due to the beat of Reggae and world tour by Jamaican Singers, Rappers and Chanters. Majority of the messegers or muscians etc are Rasta Men that have Dreads. Millions of people that attend Reggae Concert are expose to these images. Majority of the people who attends these concerts are white(economically affordable for them and it is true that most cacausions are open minded) Moreover, the music is marketed to them base on the research that they are most likely to attend and support these concerts in large number. Now! some of the Rasta singers do not hesitate. or conform in what they say, for example, they are not afraid to live up Haile I Selassie as God Almighty, they are not afraid to say Africa for the Africans infront of people who are not like them. Really! why should they? many are there to hear something besides what they know and Reggae provides that. Now! after listening and attending many of these concerts of course over time many cacaussion will become influence and sympathethic to the flights of Rastas. More ideally, many of them soon or begin to wear the clothes, the hats and want the dreads too. If you aske I, it is no different from a rock band, rap group influence, which have many people wearing P Diddy, 50 Cents clothes and barrowing their slangs.
So most cacassion followers of Rastafari are borne out of the culture of the music and the exposure they get to artistes. For example, most of the potent Rasta Reggae Singers get weekly or monthly gigs at famous clubs or stadiums that are well attended by rich middle class cacaussions. For example,
Music City Hall, the Beacon Theatre, and certain clubs in the village in New York.
I don't think that for most of them it of any philosophical meaning, except it may have some anthropological meaning in that they can do a research and sell a book on Rastas and make millions.
However, to date majority of them that have some overstanding choose to join Rasta Houses that are very much part of the Organized Divinity of Christian teachings.
There are more easy assimilation now than ever as most Rastas are moving away from the seriousness of the Historical groundings of Rasta. For example, some Rastas are now singing Gospel, calling themselves Christafari's and saying Jesus Christ and eating up the NIV than ever.
Mark you I am just giving prespective as to why cacausion are in Rastafari and what brought them there. If they are ligit it would take another aritcle to analyse and espound on that.  
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Ayinde
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2003, 03:31:04 PM »

This is the first time I am reading this and it is a fairly good perspective.
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kristine
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2003, 07:22:36 PM »

Greetings RASIene...the post I too feel is accurate...the only thing I would like to add/explore is the death of Jerry Garcia..and the influx of white people especially youths  to RASTA..I agree that most REGGAE shows are/have been attended by white people and while there were a few whites with locks most attended as a novelty or just fans of the music and not the message...Suddenly after the demise of Jerry Garcia I started seeing all these white youths with locks not seeming too aware that they were no longer at a Grateful Dead concert...
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Bantu_Kelani
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« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2003, 02:59:38 AM »

Ras-Richard your speech was valuable as the words of H.I.M Haile Selassie I, Rastafari-JAH, POWERFUL as they should be! But let me ask you humbly, how a white man -Rastafarian or not- can RELATE to the Black experience? I'm talking about the prejudice we are going through , the oppression, the colonialism of mind and of our natural ressources, the daily racism on the job, in the education, health, in the media, in any country we are in the globe. Is Rastafarism not a Relief from this Racism and Oppression, one of the most unique cultural relief and uplift for Africans and African descents? What kind of relief from oppression -mental or physic-, do the white man or woman gets form being a Rastafari to truly comprehend and appreciate Rastafari? How can whites relate to our oppression of flesh and spirit, our daily struggle that make us who we are, that makes the Black/ African experience? I'm not here to demonize white people but to seek answers. JAH Bless you Ras-Richard. Respectfully SisKelani-  
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We should first show solidarity with each other. We are Africans. We are black. Our first priority is ourselves.
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