the true cause of the rastafarI movement
Posted By: empress afrique In Response To: Re: Haile Selassie: Sudan Peace Process *NM* (rasi)
Date: Tuesday, 5 October 2004, at 6:03 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Haile Selassie: Sudan Peace Process *NM* (rasi)
I thank you all for discussing this issue of colorism within the larger paradigm of the RastafarI movement. For me it wasn't or isn't a social movement. It is a truth that black folks from Africa in the past 1000 years have had to remember in order to survive the brutal slavery and colonialism of the past 6 or so decades. I for one remember well how Marcus Garvey became disenchanted with HIM over some decisions primarily to leave Ethiopia during hardship. I wholeheartedly embrace and Iverstand Bobo's worship of Prince Emmanuel because I see and experience the colorism within RAstafarI. The twelve tribes with their prophet Bob Marley have embraced the culture of integration which welcomes whites, browns, yellows and other folks into the mansion or trod. In so doing they automatically alienate darker skin and often (not always!)less well off blacks. And let's not forget why this is done. It is done to bring in the powerful presence of Others who are assumed to be more intelligent, better connected, and sexier, etc... all of the goodness that we KRST folks associate with what non blackness. I have seen the detriment of this misguided integration it kills black pride and censors black self determination. It kills black solidarity and sacrifices our integrity for 40 pieces of gold they sold I&I to the devil.
In terms of the color issue well for better or worse I've had the misfortune of living around lots of folks from the horn of Alkebulan (otherwise known as AfriKKKa/Africa) and they are prejudice and down right racist! Upon arriving on these shores they no longer see themselves as black AFricans but as chosen Others non-black and they tended to associate more with the mediteranean whites primarily the Italians. Do we forget what happenned to the black military folks in Somalia? They the horn Africans tended to have phenotypes that closely resembled that of caucasians or whites and so they were better accepted. I have had counteless of experiences with these ignorant folks in California where they are numerous and in DC and in Philadelphia. The Eritreans were more black with more tightly curled hair and black phenotypes. And they were also less well off too. The RAstas in Oakland began to fight them back because of the negative vibes that they experienced at their hands these included bad treatment at their establishments. The color hierarchy that was established with White domination from (Jew)/Europe heralded an era of color prejudice that permeates cultures around the world. I am so shocked when Asians get into to it. Where you find dark skin philipinos discriminated against by lighter Chinese and the Okinawans being enslaved by lighter Japanese and the untouchables of India etc...
HIM was accused of mistreating the Ethiopian Jews. This was documented in a good book by one such black Jew who flee to occupied Palestine aka Israel. In that book he describes the awful deprivation that the Christians imposed on the Ethiopian Jews and the prejudice that they lived with which led to their exodus. And too bad when they arrived to Palestine they faced even more discrimination which led to numbers of suicides.
By the way, this group and this man looks darker like a Sudanese but with Alkaline nose and thin lips. So the white Jews accepted him and his kind as darker versions of themselves and treated them as blacks.
Lastly, even though lighter skin folks in the ghetto experience police brutality and racism, they are still underrepresented in jails and prisons. Angela Davis is not a poster representation of black women in the prison/jail system. I hate these simplistic arguments that render a thousand years of experiences null and void because of one almost gramatical like experience. And this brings me back to HIM and Her I have seen their pictures from all angles under different lighting they are lighter brown in some circles they resemble mix race black folks (LIke some of the ones in my area who could literally pass for BLACK!) as such they had priviledges and quirks. And goodness knows I truly believe that HIM was trying to deal with the royal family's own self hatred and deep dark secrets by destroying the systems in Abyssinia/Ethiopia that engendered or fostered these feelings. I believe that and I admire that and I feel that it is no coincidence that the Dergues are overwhelmingly presented as dark and that the recent wave of Ethiopians for example the ones who live in Philadelphia are dark with stereotypical black features and tightly curled hair. They are also more personable and down to earth!!!
Lastly, no I have not been to Ethiopia but anyone who knows anything about migration and travel knows that tourism has its own culture. And upon arriving on these united snakes shores ones and ones take on the oppressor mentality and comportment to survive I suppose but it is still wrong. I expect that if I ever forward to Ethiopia that I will be well treated because the folks left behind are probably mostly darker and they will be less well off and more accomodating for awhile until my money runs out or my novelty wears off and new tourists forward in.
I say that we must continue to have honest discussions about this that does not make light skin folks pay for the crimes of their kind but that puts the issue on the table. The fact is that even amongst Rastas this issue exists and it is a two edge sword. For example, those who follow the Cress Welsing dogma of seeing darker skin folks as the chosen are also dealing with issues because it sanctifies a group of folks without considering their personal accountability. Lately, I have met so many darker or chocolate brown folks who are so wrong and do such terrible things and I try to understand it in context for instance did they get like that because of the socio-historical circumstances or are they inherently like that? I feel that they are put up to those negative behaviors by powerful Others who seek to divide and conquer. So we must represent the true rainbow of blackness from dark chocolate to light brown and not beyond to fully explicate the issue until we resolve it. Until then I say protect your blackness be like some like HIM who got with his own kind and produce their chosen offsprings. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett and Denzel Washington and his wife Pauletta, Chris Rock and Euzania?? etc. I say protect your kind and we will find peace.
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