It is very interesting to observe the typical defensive reaction when issues relating to race are brought to the table. Equally interesting is to see how many White Rastafarians consider themselves far from hosting any racist beliefs but try rather, to distance themselves from anything of the kind. Yet it is precisely their attitudes, reactions, and behaviours that reveal just that..a hidden arrogance that reeks of superiority. And it is no wonder that certain ones continually refuse to even see it.
That intelligent informed Africans DO call it out when they see/feel it, does force ones who ARE WILLING to indeed look at it. And if willing, it is conscionable for said AWARE Whites to try and honestly humble themselves to see it. We all know full well how the effects of physchological social conditioning has left blind spots within the periphery of our cultural perspectives..(especially here in the west where Whites are typically fed a steady dose of delusional thinking from day one) So it does indeed require quite an attitude of humility to come to a Black based movement and forum seeking participation and indeed allow them to voice THEIR opinions, views, and concerns first and foremost. Certainly others are free to express their opinions and views, but it behooves aware ones of being "mindful" of where they are at, as crucial to advance any meaningful reasonings.
It is understandable that many Whites feel a loss of cultural identity and wish to yolk or adopt with other cultures that connect them to their natural sense of Self..but there is also a fine line between admiring the tenents of another culture and "participating"...while realizing that they can also be seen as a "cultural bandit." Ruthless self-examination must always avail..as well as the willingness to constantly "check" thyself.
Rastafarian culture has been very gracious in extending itself to permit all races. Yet even so, it is my firm belief that one should know their place within and recognize firstly that it IS a Black movement. Therefore, it is right and just to allow those who gave rise to it in the first place to govern their own affairs and decide for themselves what are the main issues that need to be addressed and how. Other races should support when asked and not take it upon themselves to lead. When one is willing to acknowledge the correct order within..then issues such as Repatriation are a no brainer. The whole meaning of Repatriation within the African diaspora applys directly within a certain context for those who can legitimately claim that as a relevent issue for themselves. So for any White person to speak so glibly out of that experiential context can be taken quite literally as insulting. Are you willing to see that?
To say that the issue of race is not important within this context of Repatriation only belies the audacity of arrogance and superiority that only attests even more to the misguided position of those who attempt to usurp self-determination by SUPERIMPOSING their own belief/views/opinions about issues that they regard or dimiss as unimportant, and stands only to reveal the physchological mind gap quite far removed from the reasons and experiences of its original inception.
It is important to recognize that African culture and African origins are two separate issues and not to confuse the two. African origins is the birthplace of mankind and All can justly claim their roots there. However, African culture is the direct experience and consciousness of a distinct group of people. Whites cannot claim anything there...period. Culture is the collective experiences that shapes the "identity" of a people. An applicable quote in regards to this issue comes from Asa Hilliard: "Once again, it can be seen through an additional dimension of human experience that the core behavioral style of a people causes experiences to be constructed around that specific group's cultural norm. It should also be seen that no real understanding of an "event" or "behaviour" is possible apart from a consideration of that event or behaviour situated within its CULTURAL CONTEXT." This is a very important point to consider when dealing with issues that are in order within a specific cultural context of a collective people's experience. It is also here, where many Whites often get their misguided interpretations into what they deem as relevent by being involved within a movement not of their own makings. Once again, much is, and can be, taken out of order.
It is quite an erroneous error to think that one can come into a Black movement and gain acceptance from the outside in. Simply to have interests in aquiring mass collections of reggae music, HIM speaches, host various Rasta web-sites and radio shows, share massive Rasta links, and consider oneself to be well connected via the inner sanctom of Rastahood, in my humble opinion means squat. The way in which one says what they say.. says everything...and how one reacts and responds says even more. Externals say very little here. It is the inside that always manifsets itself out and tells the real story. It is no wonder to observe the "defensive" reaction from those who feel their comfort zone challenged. True humility seems a far off distant reality for many, and one that deems serious consideration for All.
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