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Black on the Inside

by Rootsie

When I look back on my years of sighting up Rastafari, I see some uncomfortable truths.

My embrace of Rasta was a soul decision for true. I knew that as a white person I had no desire to be affiliated in any way with the system of white supremacy that holds my black sisters and brothers as less, and me, by virtue of my skin, as more.

But in retrospect I have to see how I brought my white privilege right into Rasta along with me.

I, like ones here, said, 'Well we all come from Africa so I am African too.' and 'I am a blackheart woman, black on the inside.'

Which is all well and good to say. But too many white 'Rastas' seem to believe that to say it makes it so automatically. This is a folly.

There is no doctrine one can adopt that automatically confers a 'get out of the bad-guy camp free card.' And that includes Rasta.

White people, even ones of conscience and good intentions, are constantly trying to find ways to make themselves feel better about the system of equality from which they benefit.

Putting on dreads and chanting Rastafari is one way many try.

To truly come into one's cosmic blackness requires a level of ruthless self-examination that few whites are really willing to engage, since it means gaining an extensive knowledge of history and rooting out one by one every assumption based on white privilege.

What we see here all the time is ones who come to tell us all that 'JAH has no colour', that 'Rasta means One Love', that race does not matter. And yet they say they are 'black on the inside'.

These same people are most often unwilling to listen and learn from blacks, to study history, or to engage in their own lives the struggle to dismantle this system, instead believing that to 'chant down Babylon' all one has to do is stop combing and take up some exterior trappings and assume a victim mentality in relatiion to the system, saying, 'see how they persecute me for my beliefs. for my ganja. Now I am one of the sufferahs too.'

This position has no integrity. White people have an 'elite' position on this planet, and each and every one of us benefits DIRECTLY from the system of white supremacy. How ridiculous it is for us to play victim.

Our road is a much tougher one than we would like, especially since we are born to believe that all good things are supposed to come easy to us.

Coming here to squabble with blacks about their 'right' to say they Rasta, instead of devoting their lives and their excess funds and excess leisure time to end this evil that pollutes the world. Whites who are aware have the absolute responsibility to educate other whites. And that means, unfortunately, being among other whites probably more than they would like, having embraced this black philosophy.

Rasta is not an exclusive club that insulates its members from the reality of the world as it is. Rasta is not ganja and dreadlocks and reggae shows and feelgood-ism. This is not how matter is redeemed through spirit.

Rasta is a call to a life of serious work. Our very privilege makes this a bitter pill for many. We don't like to work that hard.

White people in general have a tendency to grab things from any spiritual tradition that feels good to them. Accepting Rasta does not automatically guarantee enlightenment or endarkenment or anything else.

Too many 'white Rastas' see themselves as superior to other whites for having the good sense to reject racist and materialist ideologies. But that is simply false pride, and a continuation of the evil worldview that says ANYONE is superior. The whole point of this exercise we call life is to BE, not merely to REPRESENT. And out of that being, to DO.

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