Re: Divisions among Rastafarians
Posted By: livelyup In Response To: Re: Divisions among Rastafarians (Ayinde)
Date: Wednesday, 19 February 2003, at 8:33 p.m.
In Response To: Re: Divisions among Rastafarians (Ayinde)
and give thanks for your response. Upon reading your reply i made it a priority to carefully re-read your original post. Indeed i do seem to have missed the particular point that you were attempting to address. this explains many of the points that you raised in reference to my post. In retrospect i should have prefaced my contribution by stating the following.
I am aware of the phenomenon that you are describing. There do seem to be a number of people who are noticeably reticent to discuss aspects of racism and the need for black empowerment. And there are people who indeed appear to hold racist views. I am by no means dismissing the reality of the racism that you and others have experienced, and apologise if that is what you have inferred from what i wrote. So, to attempt to speak to the points that you raised.
While i acknowledge that covert (and overt racism) is a problem within rasta, i would suggest that it is not the main cause of divisions amongst rastas. It is a problem, and it is one of the things that causes division, but i am not convinced (yet.... i am more than open to being proved wrong...) that it is the major cause of dissension. I would argue that the "racist rastas"
are a small minority of people, and that given the almost impossible task of defining what a rasta is or is not, and rasta's essentially personalised and decentralised character, i do not know how it would be possible to avoid this from being an ongoing problem. From observing what seems to happen on the board it is not really possible to reason such people into submission, ignoring them and hoping that they will go away may be a little more effective, but does not appear to be a foolproof strategy. Perhaps all that can be done is what yourself and others have done, which is to draw awareness to the fact that racism exists even in a place where by rights you would not expect it to.
So.. to also adress your response to my reasoning. What I should have entitled my contribution was "What livelyup thinks are the main divisions among rastas". The creative tension that I was referring to was not between racists and rastas, but between the two camps that i identified. I hold to this view, as i believe it is a dynamic that plays itself out on the board repeatedly. What i see happening is that if a reasoning deals with what i would describe as a spiritual or metaphysical issue, frequently someone will attempt to ground that reasoning in a consideration of repartriation or african identity. Conversley, many of the reasonings regarding african history or repatriation will have people who attempt to introduce ideas of a more broadly philosophical and spiritual dimension. I would still say that this difference in perspective is perhaps the most fundamental cause of 'division' amongst rastas. Though i would qualify this by saying that quite obviously this is just my personal observation.
I would say this however. I do not know that I would necessarily be so quick to dismiss the input of racist contributors as being a source of creative tension. Yes i agree that racism is in no way creative. It is if anything the very opposite of creativity. I would, however, suggets that that the creativity comes in the form of the responses that people have to the racism. racism is never a good thing, but some of the ways that people have, through neccesity, responded to it have been increadibly creative. This creativity has come at the highest of possible costs, but it is responsible for some truly amazing and beautiful things. I would even argue that rasta itself is in part an example of the capacity of human creativity to flourish in appalling racist circumstances. I would like to state once again that i in no way consider racism to be good or beneficial, i only observe that the ways that people repond to it can be very creative.
To clear a few other issues up that you raised. I did not state that you thought that the two camps that i mentioned were mutually exclusive, or that you thought pesonal upliftment was of secondary importance, or for that matter that you are a pessimist. From the little I know of you none of these things are at all true, and if that is the impression that i gave i unreservedly apologise as that was not my intent. If you consider what i write to be muddled i would simply invite you to ask me to clarify my thoughts. This is something that i am always happy to do for anyone.
love and life
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