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Italian Rasta Speaks in Jamaica

My final comment on the "White Rastas" issue

Posted By: Makeda
Date: Sunday, 13 January 2002, at 12:28 p.m.

In Response To: Re: What do blacks not want as white rasta objecti (Heather)

Blessings, Heather,
Once again, you have written a letter with great depth and insight which, in my mind, totally summs up this great discussion we have all been having on "white Rastas". Little did I know that my original letter would bring such interesting, diverse and brilliant commentary!!! GIVE THANKS!

Yesterday, a "white Rasta" -- Giulia Bonacci, a French/Italian PhD student, delivered a paper on Italian Rastafarians at the Caribbean Conference held to honour poet-Professor Kamau Braithwaite by the Unversity of the West Indies (UWI) at Mona. Her speech, which began: "While travelling in Ethiopia 3 years ago...."

Her presentation received the greatest applause of her plenary, from an audience which included several leading Rastafarians including Ras DaSilva, President of the Rastafari Centralization Organisation (RCO) and Ras Miguel Lorne. She received no negative responses, either after the presentation nor during the 3 days of the Conference, which had a high Rasta content and full-ticipation.

To close her presentation, Sister Giulia asked an important question:
"The sensitive race issue is somehow concealed by an universalist perspective implying the ablition of racial, social and historical barriers. In this perspective, the skin colour is not seen as a vital identity marker and the dichotomy is rather put in cultural terms: Jamaican/Italian rather than Black/White. The question is then legitimate: if this element constitutive of Rastafari movement -- race consciousness -- does not appear among Italian Rastafarians, is it another movement? In another way: is the divinity of Haile Selassie I more or less constitutive than the race consciousness to the movement?"

Heather wrote, and I agree totally:
Rastafari is a movement of Jah People. Das all.
I guess one of my biggest worries for Rastafari as a whole is that it may dig it's own pit and lie in it as many who have trod before us. Take the Arab/Israeli conflict for example. Many Jewish survived the terrors of the Holocaust only to move on and perpetuate evil against Arabs. Does this make any sense? I just cannot fathom escaping such horror committed against 'I' for being different, only to spread it on to another group of people because they TOO are different. Ignorance and evil often go hand in hand. Fighting and escaping Human Rights Crimes with your left hand while committing them on your right hand. woi! Pretty twisted if you ask I. LOVE doesn't act that way and the foundation of Rastafari is love. It's that love that makes us move - in tune. It's the love that's going to help I&I achieve One Aim, One Destiny......................... and a HUMUNGOUS chunk of that LOVE has to be directed towards Africa by all."

She also wrote -- THANK YOU HEATHER!! ---
the 'black mind'? Yes, there are so many ways and means to this beautiful end (or beginning)...
Repatriation/Reparations is what we hear about most... a major step necessary for peace on earth. Whites can and have been doing much to help this struggle. Whites can educate others about the movement and JUSTIFY it - especially to those who slant against it. Even though this is spiritual in nature, it is also unavoidably political. We have to get at the heart, minds and souls of the CONSTITUENTS out dere that are the major players influencing interest groups, decision makers, etc. "

I hope you don't mind, Heather, that I have exerpted quotes from some of your posts to include in the book.

It has been beautiful to read everyone's words -- even the negatives, because they inspired the MANY POSITIVES.

JAH BLESS and keep all who full-ticipated ( and may still be full-ticipating). I&I have benefited greatly from the exchange of HIGH ideas.


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