Very little Rasta love at Independence Village

August 02, 2017
A vendor shows off African-themed products at The National Arena on the opening day of the Independence Village.


Spotted at the Independence Village yesterday, adorned with beads around his neck and a calabash musical instrument in hand, staunch Rastafarian Ras Erick said Jamaicans are yet to give Rastafarians their deserved respect.

"I am here at the village and I see no major representation of Rasta. I see one and two people selling some things that Rasta wear, but that is not the type of education the youth need. Even after slavery (was) abolished and Jamaicans (were set) free, Rasta still never free because the Jamaican government placed us under scrutiny because of what we believe in and how we look. So, can you imagine that? A country that was enslaved and fought for freedom turned around and undermine its own people," he said.

Ras Erick said Jamaicans threw away African religion and declared it evil because "the white man tell dem that".

"Then they threw away their image saying that they are ugly because the white man tell them so. So when a youth step out and sey him a grow him hair, dem sey it ugly and want to be groomed. Yet when the white man or the Indian man grow his hair and when it a draw pon the ground, Jamaicans will tell you it look neat," he said.


Truly reflect


As for the education system, he believes a revamp is overdue. He said Jamaicans should not be taught English-based history if the island wants to truly reflect independence.

"America was also a colony but go and read any American book and see if it is not based on American history," he said. "I nah tek up for America but as much as over there is racist, if you ever tell a black boy to cut his hair and the same pressure is not extended to a next race, you will be getting sued for discrimination. A dem thing deh wi want because a nuff things dem put Rasta through inna this place. Rasta want justice too, Rasta want independence too."

He also noted that Bob Marley is still Jamaica's biggest brand, yet the leaders are yet to make the world renowned musician a national hero.

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