Rastas have rights, too!

May 13, 2019
Reggae artiste Jahdore claims police cut the hair of his Rastafarian sons and fed them meat. The police have denied the claim. The matter is still under investigation.
In this 2013 photo, members of the Rastafarian community march in the downtown Kingston area to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the infamous Coral Gardens incident.

Mi good, nice people, how oonuh do? Bwoy mi deh yah under some serious exam stress. Mi naw lie. From I was birth outta mi madda belly, but mi a gwaan hold it because mi mother tell mi seh if yuh want good, yuh nose haffi run!

Big up all the prayer warriors, the praying mothers and fathers because to how Earth a run yah now, a only God’s coverage and providence can protect we!

I want to speak about some human rights ‘cause whether yuh seh God, Selassie or Allah, there are rights which we ought to respect even if we do not agree with them. A serious sumpn!

This past weekend, I came across a report in the media that reggae artiste Jahdore, a Rastafarian, had what can only be described as a most dreadful experience. The allegations made by Jahdore are that, totally against his wishes, the police removed two of his children from his home and ensured that they had haircuts and meals with chicken.

Apart from the fact that these are only allegations, I am also mindful of the fact that investigations are ongoing by several agencies, including the Office of the Children’s Advocate and INDECOM.

In principle, therefore, I can say nothing about this actual matter, especially as there are two sides to every story as the children’s mother and other family members, as well as the police, have their own version of events. I would, however, like to make some general comments.

First ting first! Everyone has human rights, including Rastafarians. The Constitution and laws are there to protect us all. Rastafarians, like anyone else, are entitled to their choice of religion and to adhere to its precepts. This includes their choice of hairstyle, locks, and a diet with an absence of meat. In fact, de rasta man dem get so much fight over the years dat dem people deh probably all deserve special treatment. The 1960s, especially, were horrible for Rastafarians due to the persecution they faced.


Indeed, the awful Coral Gardens incident in 1963 comes to mind, when a confrontation between the police and Rastafarians resulted in deaths on both sides, mainly rastas. Indeed, the Government of Jamaica fairly recently apologised to the rasta community for any role the authorities played in this incident.

I hope that the investigations into this matter are concluded very quickly and that the truth shall emerge as we have to be jealous of the hard-earned rights for that our forefathers shed blood, sweat and tears for us to get.

Other Commentary Stories