Killing for Fun and Profit: (Mass) Murder and Socialization

Posted in Uncategorized on December 18, 2012 by jahlingwa

“Blessed are the peacemakers; they will be called the Children of The Eternal One.”

By RAs Don Rico Ricketts

December 14, 2012

Written in Honor of those, especially Parents and Families, Impacted by Killings in a School, in Connecticut…and any other location, anywhere in the world.

Part 1

Usually, barring some kind of intervention, it seems we do reap what we sow. And karma appears to be real; because whatever goes around does appear to have a curious – even mystical – way of coming around.

Cause and Effect. Things and Time. Ever Revolving.  Like a ‘revolver’ — the barrel-of-pain with the old-timey name…for a killing machine. 

Today, again, as yet again we hear news of another mass killing — in the US, the Land of Exceptionalism — I am recalling an incident that took place about forty (yes, forty) years ago, in Jamaica, involving a gun. A very pretty gun. A toy gun. But, nonetheless, a gun.

The incident took place at the birthday party for a beloved little boy, who was about three or four years old at the time. It was the first birthday party that his parents, after much debate, had decided to have for their first child. It was a small affair, as appropriate to the limited means of the young parents, who were still recovering from the demands of a too-large wedding, and the fact that the father had not long before been fired from his job. There weren’t many invitees at the party, and those consisted mainly of female friends of the little boy’s mother.

Came the time to open the presents – as gifts were called in Jamaica in those days – and immediately a problem and an argument developed over one of the beautifully-wrapped presents that one of the couple’s female friends had brought.  It was – surprise! Surprise!– a gun. A toy, but nonetheless, a gun.

A toy designed to continue and ensure the tradition of making killing into‘a game.’ But wasn’t a gun the ‘must have’ toy that every little boy –certainly in the Westerned World – is expected to want? Isn’t that ‘the thing’that makes every boy really a boy, and proves that a man is Really A Man? Like dolls and toy cooking sets are supposed to assure appropriate girliness?

But which loving parent wants to see his or her child be a killer, or be killed by another parent’s child? How limited must love be?

“So, today we are continuing to reap the whirlwind of violence, from seeds sown in the wind by our own hands; as yet another angry, confused, and cowardly youth kills dozens of unarmed children. Just like the ‘grown-ups’ do, at home…and especially abroad.”

Humans claim to be a higher (even the highest) form of intelligence on this planet. Ok. So, when are we going to stop glorifying killing? When are we going to stop teaching our children to make war? When are we going to give the poor youth of our planet other the choices apart from starvation, prison, or killing?

Forty years ago, toy guns – first the cowboy-type revolver, then the army and gangster-style automatic weapons – were the simple precursors of the extremely violent virtual-reality video ‘games’ of today, whose success are, for the most part, predicated on killing.

In fact, ‘games’ that are predicated on the ‘fun’ of mass killing. Killings, not only abroad, over there, somewhere, elsewhere; but ever more certainly circling in a deadly spiral back to ‘the homeland.’ Cosmic Karma is sure. And we are all accountable.

Over the ensuing decades since my own youth – growing from the the ever-increasing sophistication of physical real-world war ‘games’ — came the precursors of increasingly computerized, remotely-controlled, distanced-death-dealing; and came too the precursors of the distanced-and-dispassionate 21st-century drones of death.

Eisenhower’s war-bitten heads-up about the ‘Military-Industrial Complex’ – a cute term that really meant Fascism – was not speculative, given his own grim experiences in warfare and government.

By the 70’s, ‘games’ featuring guns shooting paint pellets were a mere ‘childish’ and ‘entertaining’ (but profitable) sidebar; merely another money-spinning niche in the massive money-spinning industry of making killing into ‘play,’ just another ‘playful’ niche in the fast-developing and religiously-justified (remember the outcry at Obama’s ‘guns-and-bibles’ comment) socio-economics of delivering death.

So, today we are continuing to reap the whirlwind of violence, from seeds sown in the wind by our own hands; as yet another angry, confused, and cowardly youth kills dozens of unarmed children. Just like the ‘grown-ups’ do, at home…and especially abroad.

Killing children– whether with dispassionate drones, or random bombings, or artillery, or rifle, or handgun – is, above everything else, a declaration of cowardice that belies any claim of insanity. Because, usually, children are unarmed and do not shoot back. Even the supposedly ‘confused’ or ‘insane’ are careful enough to notice, and take advantage of, that simple unthreatening fact. The self-preservation instincts of even the confused or insane do work; up to that point, anyway

So do we next ‘defensively’ arm babies, to take the insanity to its deadly illogical end? Then What?

“The universe – or God – or SomeThing — surely has a supreme way with irony, or an often-grim sense of humour. Maybe both. Maybe that is what the scripture meant; God ruling with a rod of irony..?

That evening, some forty years ago, I was in complete and open agreement with the young father of the little boy; a father who was adamant that no way was he going to allow his boychild to be given a gun for a toy. He stood his ground, alienating his wife’s friends, and enraging his wife– who was as strong-willed as he was. Not surprisingly to some, since the couple’s own birthdays were on consecutive days.

Years later, the husband would point to that toy gun incident as another piece of evidence that they, a young couple, were spiritually, philosophically, ideologically, and socially incompatible from the beginning.

Many years later, the little boy had grown into a fine young man. He had grown into being one of those seemingly ever-confident Jamaican men. Tall, big, and handsome, he had excelled in all manner of sports at university. He had graduated from medical school and serving his internship, destined to become a successful professional; a doctor embarking then on what would inevitably lead to him starting his own family, with a attractive young wife.

And with twin sons.

The universe – or God – surely has a supreme way with irony, or an often-grim sense of humour. Maybe both. Maybe that is what the scripture meant; God ruling with a rod of irony.

I met the Birthday Boy again a few times, after many years, during a few of his many trips to Florida; trips often financed by a loving and indulgent uncle, his father’s brother. Our meetings were often strained and strange, and we always had some difficulty figuring out just how to maneuver around, or through, the mine-filled landscape of a really peculiar friendship.

We gingerly negotiated mindscapes made treacherous with the huge and risky empty spaces formed by time and a distancing that neither of us really knew how to safely, or kindly, navigate. Somehow though, it seemed Love was always there, somewhere nearby, waiting in the wings, calculating when and how to intervene, when necessary, to save us from ancient suspicions and quiet animosities.

It often seemed that we were never quite sure about how to assess each other, to determine what was safe to be open about, and how to relate. I had tried to be a father-figure to him for most of his young life.

My experiences with his mother — who was a continual, dependable and faithful, but domineering force of nature in his life — and which had colored his view of me (maybe irrevocaby) were always waiting to highjack my intentions, and maybe his.

No doubt he also remembered my own terrible relationship with her. He probably also remembered how many times I had sided with her against him…for his sake, I always thought…in the absence of his runaway father. He probably never stopped wondering about my role in his mother’s life, and in his. Maybe he was trying to reconcile what kind of man he could, or would, be – and my own role, given my own dubous role, as a male, a mentor, a teacher, a coach, in his development since before that birthday incident, some forty years ago.

Then one day, during one of his visits, he told me about incidents involving him, guns, machismo, politics, and gangsters…and women.

My heart trembled.

And that was before he told me that he was “bi-polar.”

(to be continued)

In Part 2, I tell you about that story, and other stories involving guns, and babies, family, and contradictory feelings of children about mothers; some stories involving that man who, as a child, was told by his father, in no uncertain terms, that he wouldn’t be allowed to play with weapons.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, because they will be called the Children of The Eternal One.”


Join me (RAs Don Rico) on facebook to learn about how we can mobilize and utilize MAGIC…Real MAGIC…and MoMAGIC to bring about the societal change we all need.

Peace and Love.

“The Impact of Rastafari on the Culture of Jamaica and the World”

Posted in Caribbean, Politics, Media, Race, Reggae,, Culture, Haile Selassie, Jamaica, Language, Media, Politics, Race, Marcus Garvey, Rastafari, Religion with tags on June 4, 2011 by jahlingwa

Half-a-century ago, the Rastafari Movement in Jamaica was brought to the attention of a larger part of the still-hostile Jamaican and world community – a citizenry which had developed a fearful attitude largely based on ignorance about the phenomenon and its adherents – by the publication of a report on the movement by three professors from the University of the West Indies.

The view of the “Rastas” that was made possible through the “Report on The Rastafari Movement in Kingston, Jamaica” was a view facilitated by the Jamaican Government of the time, who – in response to a request by “some prominent members of the Rastafari brethren” – asked the UWI to do the necessary research. The three young professors who carried out the interviews with the “Bredrin” and “Sistren” of the movement were Prof. M. G. Smith, Prof. Roy Augier, and Prof. Rex Nettleford.

Today, of the three authors of the 1960 report, only one is still alive – Prof. Roy Augier – and while the Rastafari Movement and its culture have remained alive, and while they have grown dramatically and spread all over the world, the questions around how they actually survived and spread; what the movement “really is”; and what its real impact has been in Jamaica and worldwide, have also remained and, in fact, the questioning has grown along with the movement.

 To examine these questions, as part of South Florida’s celebration of Caribbean-American Heritage Month 2011, and a Special Tribute to Prof. Ralston “Rex” Nettleford O.M., Jamaica Awareness, Inc. presents a symposium on “The Impact of Rastafari on the Culture of Jamaica and the World” at Nova Southeastern University, on Friday, June 10, starting at 6:00 PM, in the Morris Auditorium, Health Professions Division, Assembly Building, 1st Floor, 3200 South University Dr., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

 While the common and easily-accessed colors, symbols and attire, and especially the heavily Rasta-influenced Reggae music, and even what is categorized as a “new religion” – to the consternation of many highly-spiritual Rastafarians – provide ready evidence of the overt impact of this African-rooted cultural phenomenon, there are deeper aspects and their challenges which are beyond those that the general public realizes.

It is some of these deeper, and often more nuanced, resonances that emanate from the hidden core of the Rastafari, as well as many of the more recognized repercussions from this worldwide phenomenon that the panel discussion will examine, following a keynote address from Prof. Roy Augier, surviving author of the 1960 Report.

 Panelists who will bring their various “raspectives” are: Nana Farika Berhane, journalist, teacher, RasTafari Queen Mother; Mama Iyaddis, multi-media producer, community activist; Prof. Michael Barnett, Department of Sociology, Psychology & Social Work; Dr. K’admawe K’nIfe, Lecturer, Department of Management Studies, UWI; Dr. Jahlani Bongo Niah, Lecturer, Institute of Caribbean Studies, UWI; Robin “Bongo Jerry” Small, Historian, radio host, commentator, and social activist.

Ras Don Rico Ricketts will moderate the reasoning.

 The discussion will be broadcast live via video stream over the internet at

 For more information call 305-405-2712 or visit


Posted in Uncategorized on May 8, 2010 by jahlingwa

Reflections on the Greek and European Financial Crisis; PBS’ “Small Island” mini-mini tv series; and the UWI’s Rasta Studies Conference, in light of Jamaica’s on-going paroxysms of passion and pain, at the turn of the 21st century.

By Don Rico Ricketts

As “‘Mothers’ Day” approaches, a wider and deeper look at the spiritual, philosophical, ideological, socio-political, economic, and personal impact of the role of Mothers and “Mother Cultures” become more relevant than ever; as the ‘profligate’ socio-economic behavior of Greece — “Mother Country” to worshipper of South European culture — threatens to drag Europe into another, less friendly, kind of relationship; particularly so in contention with the  socio-economic ‘discipline’ of the Northern European Germanic “Fatherland.”

Whose Judas Mentality, Mr. Gee? 

Another revealing example of post-Breton Woods Jamaican mind-setting is the recent self-congratulatory ‘bio/tell-all’ book by marketing/public relations/advertising (propaganda/) “don,” Gerry Grindley. Such revelations of post ‘Independence’ consent-engineering are hardly of much use, however; apart from showing (to those who weren’t paying attention over the past half-century) one more way that Jamaicans were mind-f***ked, facilitated  with the help of the afore-mentioned legendary ‘Greece-ing’…literally and metaphorically. 

Judas Mentality, in-deed… 

Mr. Grindley…Gerry…lissen nuh! Those of us – especially those of us who survived high school, and emerged with an enhanced indigenous creative and artistic ability, and with a well-taught command of the English tongue (nuff thanks, Mrs. Sybil Prescod) – have (and have had) an entirely more holistic view and experience of that strategic 50-year period since so-called ‘Independence’…but from “down pon the low,” as hip Kingstonians of my father’s generation use to call the slums from which I&I come.. 

And like all Jamaicans, I&I are also truly multi-lingual, Mr. Copy-writer Grindley. Always have been, all-ways will be. Someawi chat patwa; wi also talk Jamaican ; we use English, and plenty odda people longwidge, tu! (Spainish, Franch, Jerryman, even Jahpanease). And moreover, pan tap a alla-dat, wi also know how to speak Spokey, when wi ready… 

But our ghetto familiarity with the “lingwa” couldn’t overcome the burden of our ghetto addresses, could it, Mr. Marketeer?. …Mr. Employer? You see, Mr. Gerry/Joshua/Blinds/Bruce or Whomever…too many of us insisted, and still insist, on being born to people living below Cross Roads; and we long know ‘bout “how dat go!” – long before Marley reggaelarize and partly-sanitized that painful reality. 

Presently, the lived sufferation of the Jamaican “massive” is being sanitized and “sexified” (but not corrected) before our very eyes, for the name-branding of Jamaican misery for the consumer marketplace. This enables the likes of Peter “PSOJ” Moses (an old football opponent from Real Mona) and the very-Reverenced Al Miller (a former youth club leader like myself) can tiptoe with trepidation along the edges of the Kingston slums and claim that “dem neva know…” that people in Jamaica live so!! Holy Shiirt!

Say What Again??!! 

Downtown Sounds and Jamaica’s Intelligentry-ism

Embarrassingly for those of the Euro-Jamaican mentality and their “devil philosophy,” however, the likes of Marley and the other arthentic roots activist, employing “Selassie Force” along with other arthentic musical artists-philosophers, and really organic italactualists, I&I, the under-privileged ones abide and endure (yes, ‘under-privileged’ was actually how the Jamaican Establishment referred to most of us who were from south-of-the-Cross-Roads-border, and attending high school via Common Entrance in the 60’s).  Yes, Grimax, we are the ones who insisted (then as now) on helping the other dispossessed and oppressed children of African-Jamaica to tell Maslow, his disciples, and their spiritual-cultural ponzi-scheme, pyramid-of-needs, hierarchical bullshiirt this: Frack off!

How many examples do the allegedly ‘educated’ need for them to see thrue that kind of nonsense? Or for them to face the realization that the ‘uneducated’ “massive” has long peeped their game.

Similarly, I&I did not need university-ensconced self-serving psychologists (Jamaican or otherwise) to explain the high-level racist “frackry” of such as Williams, or Shockley which was standard text for the Psychology Dept at UWI during the early 1980’s. To be sure, for a very long time, the UWI has provided long-term shelter and tenure to various Jamaican versions of that racist ideological idiocy. Believe I; I-man know. 

Seriously though, seventy-five years after alleged ‘Emancipation’ and almost fifty years after so-called ‘Independence,‘ at the very least, still I-Man-See-Pendence!  Moreover, it is still an on-going alien and pusillanimous pendence, tightly guarded by an abiding colonial-mental presence, privilege, and entitlement. 

It is that Gordian-Guardian Knot which is sipple-central of the tightening noose around the neck of Jamaica and Jamaicans…and the rest of the imperialies-ed and imperiled planet and its peoples. 

To those ‘educated ones’ at UWI (and elsewhere) who are getting ready (again!) to try a Saul-Paul Schematic redux on the RasTafari Nattyral Mystic, I-man say this: 62 years of alleged intellectual and socio-economic independence of UWI and the Brown Pelican People doesn’t seem to have empowered or enabled you to solve the Caribbean’s co-mingled spiritual-socio-economic-political problem; to which you have been party (again, pun intended) to creating.

Now, 2010, you waan come hustle Rasta…again?  Please…try uunu bes’!!  I&I well recall the lessons learned from 1st  century Churchianity and what that unleashed… and the global implications of Brahmin Abraham’s hustle at Mach-Pelah another couple of millennia before that.

Jamaican Leadership Lap-Dance; Whose Money 

And when Bra Bruce the Golden did come “a-farin” come push him NDM mockery few years back, I-man, for one, did try alert him (via a call-in to a Caribbean radio show in Florida) that him/wi collective past a-go come back come haunt wi. Admittedly, him did sound a bit nervous. Maybe him did realize how much of a “ullo” him wanted Jamaican people fi swallow. Maybe him shoulda did quit while him was still ahead. Unfortunately, like the revamped Michael Manley of the late 80’s with his re-baptism into so-called Free Market Economics, it seems that the ego-proddings to be an “uber leader” got the better of him as well.

So, now that the Jamaican “private dancers” are, at best – at last; and not the first time – looking for new “pipers” to play them (and Jamaica) a tune, should we expect anything but the bare-faced, dry-eye, outrageous un-repentance displayed by the banksters of Goldman-Sachs before the US people and Congress? 

Given the so-called ‘exposure’ of the capitalistic spirit that spawned the ideological and social excesses of the Greenspans, Rubins, Geithners, Benedicts, Paulsons (John and Henry), Bernankes, S&P’s, Moody’s, Goldman Sachs, Federal Reserve, IMF-World Banksters et al of the global socio-economy; and given the (expected?) exposure of their wholly-owned Jamaican and Caribbean “Vampire Squid ” subsidiaries and lackeys – the ‘local/ Jamaican’ banksters, fund-managers, and other local capitalists – what should people realistically expect from them and their counterparts in the Caribbean? 

The Em-bedded Jamaican Media

Given all this, maybe the UWI Brown Pelican People will forcefully and honestly answer the question posed by the editorial in the Observer recently, to wit:  Demise of the activist scholar: where is the UWI Economics Department? “ (Jamaica Observer, Thursday, February 18, 2010)

Apart from its mocking tone, it is interesting to notice how that editorial not only ignored the very real presence (at least then) of any alternative thinking to the bogus duality of “planatation dependent fossils” and “free-market religionists.” Funny, but all the political, economic, historical evidence indicate that those two are esssentially the same thing.

It is quite unsurprising, though instructive, that the fossilized and embedded thinking of the writer(s) of that Observer editorial doesn’t allow them to mention any particularly radical economists. They conveniently side-step the fact that the crackdown against activist-scholars in the 60’s took place under Bustamante’s (Jamaica’s own  “Alexander”) JLP; that is, during the rule of the same party that is in power presently.

Not that the so-called ‘other side’ was any better where Rasta people were concerned. Norman Manley’s PNP had the same attitude of determined opposition to  Marcus Garvey, and later to Rasta people, despite what the 1960 Report on The Rastafari Movement by Professors Smith, Augier, and Nettleford may induce post-Marley Rastas and Reggaefarians to conclude. The infamous Coral Gardens incident would likely have played out in the same way, regardless of which party was in power.  And no-one (especially Rastas) should miss the fact that the buldozing of Back-O-Wall/Ackee Walk took place only a couple of months after the “State Visit” of RasTafari/Haile Selassie I to Jamaica.

Maybe the present Jamaica Reparations Committee will want to consider the deeper implications of local (Jamaican) reparations (involving private as well as public culpabilities) regardless of what Prof. Henry Louis Gates may claim in his obfuscatory remarks re Reparations and “Blame” in the US.

The fact is; state-initiated-and-sponsored violence, as well as privately-initiated-and-sponsored violence, carried out by security agents, police, military, and para-military forces, death squads, and self-righteous vigilantes have been (so far) essentially par for the course in Jamaica, as for much of the rest of the planet. Such is the nature of the Beast. 

Nevertheless, it was a bold-faced insult to history and intelligence for the Observer editorialists to ignore the murderous intimidation that became part and parcel of economic/political/social landscape in the 70’s. Who doesn’t know (or can’t find out) about the brutal stabbing of UWI professor/activist Trevor Munroe resulting from his stance in the socio-economic struggles of Jamaica’s working class. Anyone with any familiarity with what was unfolding on UWI’s Mona campus in the 70’s and 80’s knows how the politics of intimidation and terror played out on the campus, and in the surrounding communities of Hermitage, August Town, Papine, Tavern, Gordon Town, Industry Village, Standpipe, etc etc etc.

To paraphrase Marley’s observation; Many more did have to suffer, many more did have to die…and we all know why…

By now, anyone who still holds to the academic fiction of an objective, impartial media community (in Jamaica or anywhere) need to have their slate and slate-pencil re-examined, if not confiscated…

I tried (via the Observer comment feed-back box) to suggest – at the risk of appearing to be defending the “campus ghetto” – that those particular media “dons” at the Observer were being seriously and deliberately disingenuous; a real false-flagging attempt. But my comments didn’t seem to ‘take’ or ‘make the cut’ and so didn’t get into their newspaper. Not to worry, though, some of I&I long been fairly skillful users of various media. And I&I know a bit about media ‘magic’ and mental manipulation. 

In Sum; Some Accounting A-Come…

If ones can accept this; The moral arc of the universe may be long, but it does indeed tend toward Justice, as pointed out by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and entirely in sync with the thinking of Marcus Garvey. Which is why, by the way, Mr. Garvey clearly outlined how leader-embezzlers (and their wives!) should be dealt with.

As I hinted previously, I&I will have to honestly, and fearlessly, examine the role of Female-Power in shaping (or re-shaping) The Jamaican Question(s), to have any hope of helping to provide Jamaicanswers…soon.

As the so-called accountants and auditors at Enron and Arthur Andersen, and now the SEC and the CFTC (US) and the other so-called regulators of crony capitalism have been finding out: Accounting fraud is, literally, a bitch. So is real accounting and auditing. For we all have to give account, about something, big or small, sooner or later. Let’s see how long The Real Vampire Squids, the “Mr. (and Mrs.) Really Big” and their spawn can hide behind the ‘sins’ of their low-level henchmen – whether uptown, downtown, down the lane, round de avenue, or ‘pon the corner, intra-nationally, or internationally…

As the song say: Poor people fed up! And tired of the fracking fraud!

Walk Good, Pelicans and Other Academicians; if you can, and while you still can.


BTW: Since the evidently ancient access to knowledge of the universe (despite the racist disrespect by White ‘cosmologists’ such as Sagan et al) by, for example, the Dogon of Mali, suggests (at least) that there are (have been) other ways of ‘traveling’ the cosmos; and in light of the ‘successes’ of computer-driven “virtuality” that have enabled creative visualization and realization of ‘alternate realities’ (multi-universes?!) and modalities (e.g. the movie “Avatar,” and the development of 3D, holography, etc) – just Who’s to Say Who Went (or Goes) Where, and When, and How…to travel the physical or non-physical universe?

Fundamentally, is It all mental? Or simply Nattyrally Mystic? Whatever It is; It may be something I&I want to think about. Who knows, maybe the intellectual don-gorgons at UWI will allow that there exists thinking, despite their various vanites, which makes it clear that …

What I&I Know is Not What They Tell I&I…!

There’s long been a Nattyral Mystic blowing thrue di ear…long long time, Brown Pelican People. (Again, apologies, Bra Bob)

I&I, RasTafari, Way Beyond Intellectualism… I&I Forwarding with italactuality.

Thrue Talawadada Guidance and Nuff-Nuff Protection.


Copyright © Don Rico Ricketts / The Maudhonna & Gilbert Findlay Foundation / The Art&Glory Foundation


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2010 by jahlingwa

Reflections on the Greek and European Financial Crisis; PBS’ “Small Island” mini-mini tv series; and the UWI’s Rasta Studies Conference, in light of Jamaica’s on-going paroxysms of passion and pain, at the turn of the 21st century.

By Don Rico Ricketts

As “‘Mothers’ Day” approaches, a wider and deeper look at the spiritual, philosophical, ideological, socio-political, economic, and personal impact of the role of Mothers and “Mother Cultures” become more relevant than ever; as the ‘profligate’ socio-economic behavior of Greece — “Mother Country” to worshipper of South European culture — threatens to drag Europe into another, less friendly, kind of relationship; particularly so in contention with the  socio-economic ‘discipline’ of the Northern European Germanic “Fatherland.”

A “Small Island” and Jamaican Woman-Power 

Hortense, the central Jamaican female protagonist in “Small Island” the BBC ‘mini-series’ recently shown on PBS, is a striking (really!) literary example of the prevalent post-WWII mind-set (and settings) that continues to shape Jamaican thoughts and actions even at the turn of the twenty-first century. It was/is a foreign-mind-shaping now clearly evident even among alleged Rastas and the New Artisteocracy, instilled via Academization and Jamaican-style Hollywoodization. 

In “Small Island,” Hortense epitomizes the educated, strong – even ruthless – Jamaican woman. Such women (Rastawomen among them) and their drive for ‘so-called ‘higher education’ and ‘success’ are sure to figure in any meaningful and honest future reasonings, especially among Rastas. This particular on-screen story of totally colonized African minds could have provided much more nutritious food for thought, and future conversations. Unfortunately, the brevity of that particular story of (Jamaican) Blacks in post-WWII England – via what turned out to be merely a mini-mini tv series – clearly exposed a real rush to show off the supposed racial tolerance of the British to their ‘subjects.’

Those who saw “Small Island” (the tv version) will no doubt have noticed how very abruptly (and unconvincingly) the story jumped (leaping over half-a-century of very real social and racial disharmony) from England immediately after the war; focusing on an interlude of inter-racial sex; the resultant mixed race baby, whose white mother admits (as she hands it off to the Jamaican woman) to being unable to deal with the racial hostility she’s sure will come. Immediately thereafter the ‘drama’ jumps to its forced conclusion; featuring a very brief appearance of the descendants (apparently successfully and happily integrated) of the afore-mentioned mixed-race baby, in the “present” day.

Thus is history dis-assembled, and re-assembled, re-arranged, literally, before our very eyes…via the arts, and the literature, of the literati…literally.

 Those of us who were born below North Street, or lived south of East Queen Street in Kingston in the 1950’s, can remember the blowing of the “Banana Boat horn” (by HMS Producer, I think; but I was a small child) and the excitement the sound induced in the minds and imaginations of the denizens of Central Kingston. It was a sound that whispered excitedly; Somebody was on their way ‘home’ to “Mother England” and on to presumed success. Those of us of the immediate post-WWII generations therefore need little to enable us to sympathize somewhat with the Jamaican heroine of “Small Island” (a teachers’ training school graduate, no less) and the other Jamaican characters (well played by actual Jamaicans) who people this BBC-produced television drama. 

The desire to be welcomed, embraced, and validated by one ‘Mother Country’ or another, is clearly and permanently on display, even today. It is understandably so in most people, including Rastas, real or imagined; Mother Africa. Mother Greece. Mother England. Mother Europe. Mother(Auntie?) America. Mother (Mater) Jamaica. Mother Greece…again. 

Who knows…maybe if the new Rasta elites, who have been positioning themselves for leadership “in the house of the rising sun” (to quote Marley), ever really find time to grapple with the ecological implications (personal and societal) of the Emperor’s challenge to be bigger than mere nationalisms…better than mere religionistas, who knows? Maybe I&I, RasTafari, will give some urgent attention to “Mother Earth” (starting with a re-visiting of I&I personal and communal attitude to the Jamaican ecology and agriculture). Maybe I&I will even (indulge me, I dream) make a real reconnection to the parenthood of the Mother-and-Father cosmos…again.

Revisiting Rasta-Chic

Naturally and Itally, some of I&I remain concerned about what it is that Rasta has now ‘become,’ now that it has become soooo very fashionable and ‘cultured’ and so Euro-style Rasta-chic-to-be-Chic (not to mention academically, socially, and financially quite profitable) to imagine and re-imagine the actually lived reality of real people, real struggle, packaged as mere marketable (and malleable) mythology…notably as part of “Brand Jamaica” and its attendant stories.

Still, after years of hoping, I am still waiting to have the Academized and Hollywoodized so-called Rasta leadership (Rasta’s ‘Talented Tenth’) explain exactly how their version of apparently ‘trickle-down’ socio-economic benefits will accrue to ordinary poor Rastas. I&I have heard such professings before. They all have somethings in common with what is presently being promised by those now preparing to front Rasta: (a) Such professings have always sounded sincere and plausible (at least to the inexperienced and gullible), and (b) they mostly come from the ‘educated’ (I use the word loosely) elite, who are most often the already pre-co-opted ones; i.e. pre-co-opted by the very ‘education’ and its presumptions which they claim as the basis of their imagined credibility.

An open examination of the very real and absolutely un-avoidable problems faced by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, and the government, and people of Ethiopia, as a result of ‘educating’ people for the progress of their country and themselves, must be the core of any discussion involving RasTafari.

A case in point: A group of college-educated-and-organized Rasta “Empresses” who claimed (initially) that they had an interest in developing a “Rasta Curriculum” seems to have very quickly lost interest – at least they seem to have lost interest in my (publicly-invited) participation. They have studiously (punning again…) avoided all my attempts to prompt them into saying, or doing, something that would indicate that they were/are serious. I think it has something to do with my pointing out that a Pan-African Curriculum and a Rasta Curriculum are not necessarily exactly the same thing, and that a first step had to be recognizing just what each could/would/should be.

To be fair, maybe I turned them off (figuratively speaking) by insisting that I&I, Rasta People, have to start any re-education by re-thinking even how I&I think about Thinking. No wonder they fled the scene; To many ‘modern’ Rastas, this is an example of absolutely insane…well, you know…Thinking?

Maybe those Sistas were ‘smart’ (see Marley’s “Big Tree”) – ‘smart’ enough to not wait around for me to ask, as I’m known to do, for open discussions about the implications of the evidence that women (including and especially ‘liberated’ Rasta Women) are likely responsible for making what are probably the majority of spending decisions in households, maybe even in the society itself. Particularly so, as women (presumably including Rasta “Empresses”) have become more and more ‘independent’ and ‘successful’ and often heads of single-parent households.

I could go further out on a limb by saying that I suspect that women (including Rasta “Empresses”) have long had a majority interest and influence over the economics of entire societies, through their overwhelming control of their male family members, fathers, uncles, sons, nephews, lovers, spouses, friends, and associated networks. But that would risk being entirely put out of the bedroom and into the cold of female disapproval …and male fear.

What’s that you say? That I’ve already been put out of the bedroom?…from way back in the early stages of my… “Crazy Rasta” thinking?  Oh yes! That’s true. I almost forgot. Forgive me, and my digression…

Now, where were we…?

Oh yes, reversing into the future at deliberate speed…

Where Are We, and Just Where Are I&I Headed? 

In trying to get my bearings, and attempting to re-check the calibrations, in space and time, and desirous of moving I&I beyond mere celebrations, this much I-man sense as necessary:

As much as some of I&I are concerned about the always-impending ‘Fall of Babblewrong,’ I-man have to be just as concerned about what will be ‘risen up’ to replace it. One would be well advised to use caution in approaching, let alone entering, a burning or otherwise-compromised structure, Rasta.

It is a foolish person who, seeing that his enemies house has collapsed, who then takes the same building material, without careful examination, to build his own edifice 

A reminder to I-Self and to the new (now Rastasized) and up-coming elite:  Rememba dat God naw sleep…

Rastafarians, Pelican People, techno-politicians, and other paid-and-un-civil servants, please take note!

Now Here’s A Question for Rasta Intellectuals: In a capitalistically materialized and monetized global culture, how is I&I ital-and-indigenous Rasta knowledge to be appraised, valued, and monetized…and by Whom? And exactly Who a-go protect Roots Rasta S&IPR from indigenous – or home-grown – Rasta-looking predators, or Rasta-imposters, dressed in academic garb?

Dem prob’ly try fi intoxicate Taam; but dat nuh mean seh him choopid. TaamSista –  Maat –  been watching all this all along, and I-man can feel the wind from her wings on my face. Justice cometh, attended by WiseMind… Hopefully Mercy accompanies Them.

Rasta and Religion; Rasta as Religion

Rasta People, it is important to remember that two of Jamaica’s most charismatic and influential political leaders, Eddie Seaga and Michael Manley, representing two versions of power acting in concert, used Religious Manipulation to rule Jamaican people.

Maas Eddie studied it (and us) at University and then raised up Kapo (artist and mystic) as the effective African-themed spiritual-artistic symbol. Michael (even the Joshua), another ‘well-educated’ leader, trumped Eddie’s African-themed religio-political leverage by employing the then-emerging ‘modernized’ Rasta movement with Marley as its spiritual-acrtistic icon; in much the same way as ‘Blinds’ had done with Kapo’s Revivalism, but with even better strategic timing and results. Gerry Grindley (see below) and his Grimax advertising agency is taking most of the credit (or responsibility?) for the consent-engineering applied by both parties. That is news only to those who hadn’t lived through that period.

It was the start of what I-man refer to as “The Uptown-ing and Brown-ing of Rasta” …a de-indigenization and un-ghetto-izing of Jamaica’s Rasta culture, courtesy of Joshua and (by Grindley’s own admission) Grimax advertising, public relations, and marketing — and some would say, propaganda.

Rasta had arrived. But where? And as What?

(The reader may have guessed by now that I-man, like Marley, am hugely under-whelmed by scholarly conferencings. And moreover, highly insulted at the offer of the ‘opportunity’ to be side-show purveyors of Rasta ‘cultural’ entertainment and de facto validators of Rasta bourgeois coup attempts.

I am sure that Rex Nettleford, in whose name the Rastafari studies conference is being convened, would aprayseelove I-man insist-stance against Rasta being used –literally used– to be part of  some ‘cultural side-show’ providing the very same kind of  “minstrelsy” the famed professor himself spoke and wrote so eloquently and passionately against).

A few of the ‘Selassie-Rod-of-Correction’ episodes during Jamaica’s perennial religious-political battles would be quite hilarious- if they weren’t also the tragi-comic lead-in to the start of the Jamaican Age of Politically-Motivated Murdering. And as usual, it was those people who live(d) in the slums and hovels of the island, and their children, especially in Kingston and St Andrew (with one of the world’s the densest concentration of churches) who paid the price as the dead or the “living sacrifice.” (Again, Marley)

Let’s be clear about where Jamaicans and Rastas started down the road of societal disintegration; because many Jamaicans, even now, will try to pretend that it was/is otherwise; because by now they think that most of the victims/witnesses/evidence have been bought-off, or killed off, or otherwise disposed of.  

Therefore, let us be very clear on this – since this has always been the case — that the planning for the arming, and enabling, and unleashing, of the perpetrators (life’s perpetual traitors) of Jamaica’s post-Independence carnage took place on uptown verandahs, and in uptown parlours over expensive drinks, and in well-furnished bedrooms, and in well-appointed business boardrooms, in Jamaica and overseas.  The planning took place, for the most part, far away from ordinary rootsman ganja camps, or most downtown rum bars. That is, assuming that anything more than intoxicated talk could even take place in those much-maligned spaces frequented by the underclass.

This is not any new or particularly revealing thinking; as more and more people are being forced to see now what many have seen for a long time.  It is now more evident than ever how socio-political-ideological and economic terrorism has been the instrument of keeping the Jamaican cog in the global death-by-debt-machinery Greeced…sorry, greased — ever since Columbus “come bus’ us” half a millennium ago 

As they say; predators/hunters win the power to write their own stories, and their own versions of history. It is also said that when lions learn how to write, then that will be a different story. Then it will be the hunters who will have to scramble to protect their own asses.

Amen, Amun. Ah, Man…

Copyright © 2010 Don Rico Ricketts / The Maudhonna & Gilbert Findlay Foundation / The Art&Glory Foundation

“THEY THINK WHAT WE KNOW IS JUST WHAT THEY TELL US (and) we’re so ignorant; that ev’ry time they can(’t) reach us…”

Posted in Caribbean, Politics, Media, Race, Reggae, with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2010 by jahlingwa

Reflections on the Greek and European Financial Crisis, PBS’ “Small Island” mini-mini tv series; and the UWI’s Rasta Studies Conference; in light of Jamaica’s on-going paroxysms of passion and pain at the turn of the 21st century.

By Ras Don Rico

Part I

I&I always find it ironic whenever the “don-gorgons” of the various universities and colleges – and in this case, the so-called, Black, Caribbean, African-American, or African varieties – take positions which claim that their modes and methods of acquiring and sharing ‘knowledge’ is the ultimate heights, the summit of ‘learning.’

A re-visiting of the original vibes and intent of (Bob) Marley’s music could prove really instructive, if not necessarily humbling, to such ones. And the planners and facilitators of the up-coming “Inaugural Rastafari Studies Conference” to be held at, and by, the University of the West Indies (starting on Garvey’s birthday, no less) may be well advised to “listen up!” Maybe a revisit of the Dubois-Garvey ‘talented tenth’ debate could sweeten the deliberations of those academic “dons.”

BTW: The birthday of Emperor Menelik II is also on August 17, a fact officially celebrated for years among Pan-Africanists, and a few Rastas, in South Florida as “Lionsplash,” a part of the decades-long Annual Marcus Garvey Birthday Celebrations. Some of I&I see this celebration-worthy fact, not as mere co-incidence, but – as serious students of Pan-Africanist struggle must come to aprayseelove – synchronistic and ultimately meta-mystic. But, not to digress…

The intellectual don-gorgons have yet to explain Exactly How – given the historic use of ‘Babylon Education’ by its main developers, apologists, and practitioners; against the long-term best interests of the non-white peoples of the planet (especially the darkest among us) and the very planet itself – Just How They intend to reverse, redeem, and repair the historic victims of such ‘education’ …using the very ‘education’ that fostered the global crime in the first place!

 Rastas and Trickery by Academicians and Theologians

 Already, “Rastas” (including the supposedly ‘educated’ generation of Rastas who arose since the 1960’s) have found themselves facing the negative results of what happens when ones allows other people to define them. Thanks to various theologians, seminarians, politicians, theoreticians, academicians, and all manner of men-and-people (many of them openly and historically declared enemies of what RasTafari could/should/does represents) Rasta has been presented with a gift of a “Trojan Horse” Evidently, SOMETHING-or-OTHER, presenting Itself/Themselves, in concert  –literally– with some “Frighten-Friday” and “Neva-see-Come-see” negro-type alleged ‘Rastas’…have been successfully tempted and totally tricked into allowing Itself/Themselves to ‘be recognized’ as “a religion.” Yipee! A mere ‘Religion.’

Some Jamaican people are famous for giving (or taking) a “six-for-a-nine.” Long ago, some Rastafarians recognized the folly of accepting an island in exchange for a continent. Even more astute Ones realized that it was a false ‘choice’ to begin with, and insist on having both. It is I-Time that those ‘Rastas’ who have been happy to accept Rasta as merely a Religion (a “six”) in exchange for the Holistic Holaness of RasTafari as a Culture, a Complete Livity (a “nine”) to step up to recognize just What is What.

Anyone reading the “Report on the Rastafari Movement in Kingston” (by Smith, Augier, and Nettleford) can see with their own eyes, and recognize with their own minds, that ‘Rasta-as-mere-Religion’ was never the only option open to, nor chosen by, the founders of the movement. Already, by 1960, the socio-economic imperatives and class-strata motivations of various ones were evident. It shouldn’t be too difficult to “overs” why (and how) Some Ones, the “more secular”Ones (who clearly also used the Bible as part of their revolutionary knowledge base) were soon written out of the developing “his-story” about the Movement. Evidently, the co-option of the Rasta-Evolution-Mind-Revolution started real early.

A decade-and-a-half later, I remember how pleased and proud many ‘Rastas’ were as they displayed the print article announcing that the Vatican (no less!), as represented by some Roman Catholic theologian-or-other, had thus anointed-and-crowned “Rastafarianism” as a ‘new religion.’ The rest, as they say, is His-Story.

That was/is a natural consequential move, given the success that those same Enemies-of-Truth-&-Justice-For African-People had gained by driving a wedge between so-called ‘modern’ (supposedly educated) Rastafarianism, and Garveyism as retained by the older Garveyites, most of whom were facing advancing old age, and soon to join the Ancestors; unfortunately leaving us to the tender trickeries of Rasta’s new-found ‘friends’ in the Reggaelarized “One Love” Matrix. That particular divide-and-rule methodology was repeated among Rastas often in the half-century since.

The on-going outrageousness of the supposed “Discovering Rastafari” exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution is an easy-to-recognize continuation of the same long-term strategy of making ‘Rastas’ their own worst enemies, through ‘gifts.’ King Solomon, in his old age, had some choice words of warning about the corrupting influence of “gifts.”

Bible-lovers would do well to ponder theose words of caution. Marcus Garvey had already (almost a century ago!) addressed that particular predilection on the part of many mentally-enslaved Negroes of his time. But that is another part of the same story.

I-man say this again, as many have also agreed; there can be no worthwhile talk-discussion-exhibition-whatever about Rasta without the original Rastaman, Ras Tafari Makonnen, Haile Selassie I at its center. That is easy enough for even the slow-witted or cowardly to agree with.

What is not so easy for the sycophants of Greco-Roman hegemony (I include many alleged Rastas among those) to accept is what I absolutely and unapologetically insist:

There can be no worthwhile, let alone honest, let alone true, let alone useful, talk/discussion/exhibition…whatever… about RasTafari, Haile Selassie I, that does not have at its core the uncompromising recognition of the on-going importance of the eternal struggle (older than Job) against what is correctly defined as Fascism. FASCISM!

Fascism as defined by its historic anti-messiah, Benito Musolini, proxy of the Vatican and the Roman Papacy! Fascism as recognized and relentlessly fought against by Menelik II and Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, in perfect explication of the predictions of Daniel and the John, the Revelator.

Fascism that continues its unrepentant and deadly ride across planet Earth, not just in the heavens somewhere…but now it is accompanied by out-riders consisting of alleged Rastas, Rasta-Look-Alikes, Rasta Academicians, Rasta Theologians, Rasta Artisteocrats, and Rasta Imposters, and their various hangers-on!! 

If Ones (particularly Rasta Ones) choose to want to see this ancient personal-, national-, and geo-political realities of anti-fascist, anti-colonial, anti-imperialist struggle in purely ‘religious’ terms, that is up to them.

To those who are still apologists for the Smithsonian exhibition; I-man say again, as I said before to certain ones when that particular ‘Discovery’ fait-accompli was realized: Let them who choose to continue in their vanity, continue with their embrace of what they have been told to choose to think Rasta is…while I&I, the living, evolving, ever-growing reality of RasTafari Afrikan Salvation continue to struggle…unplacatable by bribes.

They Separated Prophet Garvey from the King of Kings…or they tried…

As far as the enemies of Africa and Africans are concerned, it was/is imperative for RasTafari to be separated from Garveyism. Between the ‘religionistas’ and the ‘brigadistas’ that had been achieved by the end of the 60’s.

The Rasta ‘religionistas’ were encouraged; those who stuck their noses in the air sniffing at ‘heaven,’ while choosing to ignore the racial-social-economic plight of their fellowman beside them, while claiming to be searching for “God” in another heaven, somewhere else. Additionally, those who were encouraged to bury life (the unwritten “half that has never been told”) in the pages of the Bible clearly did not try to “overs” the not-subtle words of the Palestinian Christ, Yashua, in the very Bible they claim to study: “Search the scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life.”

If they had, they would have spent more time asking themselves, and the earth and heavens and people around them, some hard-but-necessary questions, and maybe in the process seeing some easily recognized truths. Truths, for example, about the mystical symmetry of the John-the-Baptiser/Yashua relationship and the Garvey/Selassie I relationship, or the UNIA/Ethiopia/OAU relationship. Or, if they were “skeptimystically” inclined, ponder Yashua’s deliberate choosing of Andrew and John, two of John’s (Garvey’s) disciples, to be his disciples. Or that there may be something of significance in the fact that not only was Andrew the “First Chosen” of Christ’s disciples, but that he was also Christ’s ‘strongman’ so to speak.

Africa needs the strongmans of Garveys discipline more than ever. He who has eyes to see, let him see…

But, such higher reasonings are for another forum, and I&I will no doubt deal with such matter another time. For truly it is written: Those who cannot “overs” earthly things are not likely to be able to “overs” heavenly things. And Jamaican religious clowns the likes of Chisholm, Thames, and Hall, will be dealt with in their turn, as diplomatically as they will allow.

In the meantime, for those who are still weak in their self-awareness, and their God-consciousness, here’s something to consider: One cannot find God, without searching to find One-self, first. Or, as a very Wise (but supposedly ‘uneducated’) and Brave African Ancestor said:

“The God of Isaac and the God of Jacob; let Him exist for the race that believes in the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. We (Afrikans) believe in the God of Ethiopia, the everlasting God – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, the One God of all ages. That is the God in whom we believe, but we shall worship Him through the spectacles of Ethiopia.” Marcus Mosiah Garvey

So, one more time, for those Rases still unclear the Steps to Self go somewhat like this: The first step is Self-Reflection, then Self-Identification, followed by Self-Recognition, Self-Esteem, Self-Respect, Self-Determination, Self-Reliance,  etc etc. Certainly both Prophet Garvey and Emperor Haile Selassie told us as much, many times over.

To those still too fearful to let go of the false version of Christ (Jewzeus) which your Greco-Roman Mama&Papa beat into you, remember this (…or better still go read it in your scriptures): In addition to warning you about those who would deceive you using his very name (or what you have been forced to accept as his only name) the Palestinian Messiah, Yashua, told you much else as well; provided you read the Bible “with a clear conscience” as Haile Selassie I instructed. Then ask your pastor just who Blind Bar-Timaeus really was, and what that miracle was teaching about Greco-Roman influence. Ask your religious ‘friends’ to recognize and acknowledge the coded message the Master left for all “those who have eyes to see…”

Truly, as His Majesty, Haile Selassie I, The King of Kings, the Conquering lion of Judah, pointed out, there are higher things for which neither our education nor our experiences have prepared us.

If one was to go by what they taught us in school – and that certainly was the expected result even when I was a youth at KC in the early 60’s – or allow oneself to be impressed by the credentialized intellectual goons of the ilk of the Mary Leftowitzes (see her rancid and hysterically racist screeds against John Jackson, and our home-boy hero, Tony Martin) and their rabid devotion to all things Greco-Roman; one would have a hard time overstanding the power of the Nat’ral Mystic sung about by Marley.

It is the Nattyral Mystic which has (for the past half-century) allowed this particular SkeptiMystic writer to “overs” the deadly inhumanity of the global ponzi-pyramid-scheme that still parades as “economics.” It is that same un-teachable “mystic” (as referenced by HIM Haile Selassie I) which can help all of I&I to cannily connect the dots between that cultural ‘mother country’ (Greece); that country’s role in threatening the whole European Union (even global) monetary system; a globally corrupt socio-economic system (echoes of Daniel’s “iron-and-clay” and The Revelation?…smart comments, anyone?); the compromising and corrupting of standards, measures, and balances (again, recall the so-called ‘religiously’ ritualized prohibitions against rigged systems of measurement and accountability); and the colonialized minds produced by the still-glorified colonial, neo-colonial, and imperialist edu-me-cation…and to the “likkle dot” of Jamaica’s present(?) problems.

Rasta as Resistance

At the start of his excellent book “Rasta and Resistance,” Horace Campbell (Prof.) appropriately quoted George Lamming, who said in 1980:

“The Rastafari has (sic) dramatized the question that has always been uncomfortable in Caribbean history, and the question is: where do you stand in relation to blackness.”

It is the schizoid sense of Being Jamaican which lies (pun very much intended) at the core of the systemic problem – the Gordian-Guardian Knot, if you will – facing the land and people of Jamaica. It is seriously ironic that presently, a generation after, it is the Rastafarians who need to be challenged with that very question. In addition to the question of just where does Rasta stand in relation to issues of class…and gender, of course.

It remains to be seen how Jamaica’s new intellectual-political ‘Alexanders’ (many of them now “saying Rasta”) will handle this knotty challenge. Or indeed, whether they should be given yet another generation of humans to sacrifice to the flawed paradigm of religiously-enforced and barely-disguised Greco-Roman-flagged Euro-Racism and White Supremacy (and the attendant bandooloo socio-economics).

It is a particularly presumptuous paradigm; into which too many of our ‘best and brightest’ have been so firmly embedded, that they look like the Han Solo character in Star Wars Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back) who was embedded in steel – Jamaicans who are as firmly embedded in the Matrix-of-MostTricks, almost from their first earthly appearance in their mothers’ wombs.

(I-man will deal with the gender factor and other implications of Jamaica’s matriarchy another time).

In the meantime, it would be interesting to hear the explanations (that is, if any is ever demanded, let alone offered) of the Jamaican investment banksters, the “don-gorgons” of the stock market, the money-market-managers, local hedge funds managers, and the other assorted financial ‘experts.’ Because if they are as smart as they have hypnotized the Jamaican people to believe they are – or as honest as they presume Jamaicans think they are – they should have made a financial killing, either the Goldman Sachs way, or using the Paulson method.

Does Anybody but me notice that all of the major (white-collar) criminals are possessors of beaucoup degrees (university and lodge)?

Bob Marley and other Rastaman tagged them long time: 

“…building church and university,

deceiving the people continually;

graduating thieves and murderers,

sucking the blood of the sufferers…”

So too did Peter Tuff:

“ dem a old vampire…”


And as Sparrow seh, in total sync with (Bob) Marley’s view of so-called education: If I&I head was ‘bright’ we “woulda be… damn fool.”  Thomas may be intoxicated; but dat nuh mean seh him tchoopid.

As the post-1960’s generation of Rastas move more and more towards inclusion and integration into (and even ownership of) the Jamaican establishment, they may be wise to consider the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. concerning integrating into a burning house.

Copyright 2010 Don Rico Ricketts / The Maudhonna & Gilbert Findlay Foundation / The Art&Glory Foundation

African Union-Libya-Italy-Jamaica-Reparations: Interesting Convergence, Indeed. Convergence of interests? We’ll see…

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2009 by jahlingwa
Interesting Synchronicities, Indeed. Cosmic Alignment? Let’s See…
Remembering Anti-Colonial Martyr

Col Qadaffi Remembering Libya's Anti-Colonial Heroes... Let's also remember Ethiopia's... and Jamaica's Rastas

Gadhafi’s four-day visit to Italy, which began Wednesday, has highlighted Tripoli’s strong political and economic ties to Rome. Last year, Italy agreed to pay $5 billion compensation to make amends for its 1911-1941 colonial rule over the North African nation.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said the government invited Gadhafi _ who is currently head of the African Union _ because Italy wants the Group of Eight industrialized nations to put Africa high on the agenda of its summit next month in the central town of L’Aquila.

“Respecting Gadhafi is respecting Africa,” Frattini told AP Television News 

Power to The People?

Power to The People?

(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

By Ras Don Rico
June 12, 2009

A Rastafarian Legal Mind, a “Sistah,” who is a notable member and spokesperson for one of the Mansions of Rastafari, sent me an article via email recently, drawing attention to the visit to Italy by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi (the self-appointed and self-declared “King of Kings of Africa,” according to one report): 
My Rastafarian sister easily draws attention, through understatement, to the ever-on-going discussions about Reparations-of-Various-Kinds-to-Various-People-for-Various-Damages, she titled her e-mail “Reparations Qaddafi Style – Interesting Convergence.”
It may even be a matter of cosmic synchronicities.

To begin with, thinking Rasta people can hardly miss the creepy connection between Col. Qadaffi’s claiming the title of Emperor (king of kings); and the fact that Berlusconi’s political model, Mussolini, had promised Italy’s King Emmanuel the title of King of Kings given to Qadamawi Haile Selassie by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church; in return for Emmanuel’s support of Mussolini’s impending invasion of Ethiopia.

Female Power

There are clearly many convergences and connections, even a cosmic irony, on display when representatives of victims and victimizers meet; some more obvious and evident than others.

Col. Qadaffi’s all-female bodyguard-crew, for example, is one way of harnessing the Female Power; as is Signor Berlusconi’s famed “eye for the ladies,” incongruous as the connection may seem at first glance.

This is even more interesting if one realizes the ‘female’ connection at the heart of all geo-political maneuvering. Because, it is in his famous prophecy parable – and for me, a Black Man, the most important of all Christ’s parables and prophecies – regarding “The Queen of The South” that Christ made clear what he expected of African people (male and female) in the struggle against Fascism; the governance-of-choice of too many world leaders, in the Palestinian’s time, in Haile Selassie I’s time, and increasingly today, in this time of judgement – on the Right, Left, or otherwise.

For, despite contrary interpretations by such legendary Ethiophiles as Ullendorf, I subscribe to the view that it indeed is the “Queen of the South” (Africa) who was predicted to, and who will, bring challenge (and condemnation) to the global system of inequity that Christ spoke so clearly against. As did Qadamawi Haile Selassie, when he brought the world’s conscience before the bar of history and justice in Geneva, Switzerland; warning about a matter (also arising in the middle of that Other Great Depression) which led to the first holocaust of that era – the Ethiopian Genocidal Holocaust — before quickly spiralling into World War II.

Lest we forget; The mentality, politics, weaponry, tactics and techniques (especially mustard gas sprayed from airplanes) which Italy’s fascists tested on Ethiopia, and which were refined (if such a word is appropriate) by Italy and Germany during the Spanish Civil War, were used ultimately against the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and others during WWII in Europe. As was predicted by the Ethiopian Emperor.

The Ethiopian “Hellacaust”

But, few people want to talk about, let alone be confronted by, the need to address all genocidal behavior – past, present, or future – and especially not the “Ethiopian Hellacaust” (so aptly re-labeled by Rasta people). From what I read and hear, the much-praised Smithsonian exhibition “Discovering Rastafari” is especially guilty of this crucial omission. Seems even Rasta people are reluctant to talk about such matter meaningfully and openly.

It could be battle fatigue; though some would use a much less considerate term to describe the apparent apathy.

More telling, however, is the way the writer of the article on Qaddafi-Berlusconi easily places, and reinforces in our minds, the fact that Italy is regarded as part of the West (read Western & White; as in religion, culture, and politics); even in relation to a country that is directly south of it. A fact which itself draws attention to the obvious determination by some to not call attention to the fact that the North/South Axis has been/is as important (geographically, culturally, politically, and financially) as the old Cold-War East/West alignment.

(Not tangentially, as much as a quarter of the African Continent is “West” of Western Italy; sadly, oftentimes both culturally as well as geographically, a fact evidenced by such things as fashions, hairstyles, and skin-bleaching).

“Soon we will find out who…”

One must hope that Col. Qaddafi’s revolutionary ethic – and declared love of Africa (hopefully, including Black people) – that he presumably brings to his role as Chairman of the African Union (AU), has been sensitized sufficiently to the reality of Black Africa’s presence on this huge continent; much of which is still bracketed by exploitation and oppression, ignorance and greed. And that his attitude, policies, and actions affecting non-Arab Africans, in his own country and elsewhere, be as exemplary as his words are when seeking the approval of Africans; who have been historically the peoples most emblematic of what Rastafarians first called “downpression” by the “Babylon/Vatican convergence and connections.

All of which makes Africans (like any other exploited, oppressed, ignorant, and materialistic humans) very susceptible to any of the various temptations offered as a way out – including ‘illegal’ migration;

a problem for which, according to some, Berlusconi seems to be rewarding Col. Qadaffi, the Chairman of the African Union, to help Italy deal with.

The following link is useful for one context which may help explain the Colonel’s apparent ‘love of Black Africa.’

It is an easy line to draw between the age-old divergence between Black Africa’s historical experiences – most notably as forced ‘migrants’ of slavery; the growing anti-immigrant sentiments of the ‘West,’ (US included); and the growing need/desire of Africans on the African continent to find ‘greener pastures’ overseas, or failing that, to “kotch” in a neighbouring country, always looking toward migrating to ‘better.’

AU Leader(ship)

One could imagine therefore, that amidst Col. Qadaffi’s admixture of concerns; e.g. about Libya’s own immigration-and-emigration issues; Sub-Saharan Africa’s development challenges vis-à-vis Arab geo-political, cultural, racial, and gender interests; the too-often bloody interface between Arabs and non-Arabs in places such as Sudan, Nigeria, etc.; and the added need for him to be careful not to be seen as too compliant to the interests of the ‘West’ while trying to get a good fitting for his old-revolutionary/neo-liberal garb; that Chairman Qaddafi doesn’t get his interests conflicting.

One could still hope that, despite all those cross-currents, the Colonel will be able to make progress for Libya, and for all of Africa; but also –

and here is the human crux of the whole matter – entrench in the process the notion of Progress based on the prerequisites of morality and justice. As Rastafari people constantly reminds, quoting the words of Haile Selassie I, “Progress must be Moral.”

Because, as Solomon, the wise preacher and a serious ‘womanizer’ himself, is reported to have said regarding gifts (read “bribes”): “A wicked [man] taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.”

He was guided by the writings of Moses: “And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.”

Gifts, Repayments, or Bribes?

Giving a person or a people, as a “gift,” something that is due to them anyway, is a classic example of making a virtue out of a necessity, and a really a cosmic irony, in the real sense of the term. I’m sure that those involved in the evolving matter of Pinnacle, in Jamaica, (one of the Hola places of Rastafari culture), will also make their thinking and actions congruent, even convergent, with that morally upright position with which the best of humanity and the Rastafari ethos are legendarily associated, in the name of equal rights and justice.

Where the matter of Reparations is concerned; Africa’s claim for justice is as valid against the West, as against the North, against Arabs, Muslims, and Jews, not to mention the potential of claims aginst. And, to complete our seeking of justice, all of us (humans, including Black Africans) are going to have to face our individual role in our collective inhumanity over the millennia, centuries, and generations.

Concerning the African Diasporan attempts to discuss and decide and develop convergent solutions with, and through, the African Union regarding matters such as repatriation, reparations, and development; It’s hard to find “a much” of evidence of such (certainly not many inclusive reasonings or activities) at the local level; and there is definitely no shortage of diasporans in Florida, as in other global locations; whether African, Caribbean – or Rastafarian.

Still looking for the Reasonings and the Livalog, I-man try to keep the faith.

Guidance and Protection. Peace and Love, Thrue Justice & Mercy.

Copyright © 2009 Don Rico Ricketts

Hillary’s Attempted ‘Assassination’ of Obama’s Campaign

Posted in Caribbean, Politics, Media, Race, Reggae, with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2008 by jahlingwa

By Ras Idonii Don Rico

Is Hillary Clinton’s ‘RFK assassination’ comment merely a bizarre mis-statement, harmlessly wishful thinking? Or, is it an example of skillful subliminal suggestion; hoping to be able to take advantage of a something that was merely possible by moving it in the direction of something that becomes more likely?

It is fairly easy for some people to pretend – especially Whites and those others who still don’t get want to face the reality of American life, historically and presently – that Mrs. Clinton made a simple ‘mis-statement’ regarding the Bobby Kennedy assassination. What are some of the contextual issues?

To begin with, for a long time now (in terms of her campaign strategy) Hillary Clinton has been playing the ‘fear’ card as well as the ‘race card.’ Putting the two cards together in the minds of Americans is certainly very easily done, openly or subliminally.

Secondly, to claim that the statement was in reference to the time-frame of Bobby Kennedy’s campaign, rather than to draw attention to the word assassination, is a clumsy stretch.

 She could have said simply “Bobby Kennedy was in the primaries, up until June.” Period.

End of statement. Point made.

Thirdly, Mrs. Clinton, in that now-infamous pre-arranged interview, had the opportunity to think; before carefully stating exactly what she meant. And since the general atmosphere of the contest between her and Obama has already been very hostile; with everyone caught up in the seemingly crucial nature of every statement by the main (Democratic) contenders, to attempt to claim that she didn’t think is supremely disingenuous.

 A Mere Mis-Spoke-Meant Moment?

Her ‘effected’ confusion – after taking advantage of the opportunity to inject the ‘a’ word – about not understanding what was/is happening seems to be a clumsy attempt to do some ass-covering.

She could have said simply “Bobby Kennedy was in the primaries, up until June.” Period. End of statement. Point made – if the point was the time-frame. I suspect that Ted Kennedy might be feeling a double, nay triple, pain about now.

To add another terrible twist to the screw, the media (certainly some on the left) have started to spin the utterance as being, ultimately, the fault of African-Americans, because, the spin goes, ‘Blacks have been thinking assassination all along.’

But Hillary Clinton’s statement clearly highlights the difference between ‘could’ and ‘should.’

Blacks saying that Obama could be harmed, is quite different from someone, especially Hillary Clinton (a skillful lawyer) suggesting (even though subliminally) that it ‘might’ or probably ‘should.’

As in the unstated suggestion: ‘should he get killed, I will still be in the race, able to carry on the fight…’ Or, ‘like RFK, he might get killed.’

Her phrasing (coming from a lawyer; one whose stock-in-trade is the careful parsing of words, and how they are delivered) has a clear difference of emphasis from a phrase aimed at focusing on the time-frame. And all this from a candidate who claims she would be ready on Day One. Ready to answer the red telephone at 3:00 am, with the right response, we hope.

To dismiss her statement as a ‘poor choice of words’, as some in the media are trying to spin it, betrays a much more sickeningly strategic mind-set.

A More Troubling, But Not Surprising Phenomenon

The other, more troubling (though by no means new) phenomenon is coming into clearer view; the role of the corporate and white-oriented media in helping many Americans to deny the reality of what America has meant, and still means for too many other Americans – especially Blacks in America.

The spinning of this whole assassination vibe has begun; one objective seems to be to make ‘the African-Americans’ responsible for whatever may result from all this murderous mentality and talk. As if that mentality is something surprising or new to America.


 As in the unstated suggestion: ‘should he get killed, I will still be in the race,

able to carry on the fight…’ 

Or, ‘like RFK, he might get killed.’

Presently we are witnessing the beginnings (led by the white-oriented and corporate media) of a horrible attempt to try to suggest that because many Blacks have expressed fear of a possible action (as many did regarding the possibility Colin Powell’s running for president and being faced with the same threat) that it is merely a matter of others –meaning non-Blacks?- openly saying, via the media, what Blacks have been saying quietly anyway.

The fact that many African-Americans have genuinely and fearfully expressed concern over the possibility of Obama being assassinated, is very different from the Hillary-type of statement; delivered while carefully adopting a pose of an seemingly disinterested, even neutral and innocent bystander. 

Aborting the Product of the Union Between Words, Logic, and Bad Intentions

Before the corporate media gets carried away, and many along with them, by their power and influence, there are some questions to ask ourselves, regardless of what the media might answer:

Has Hillary Clinton, or her staff, said this kind of thing before?

What about similar comments from Terry McCulloch on “Meet the Press”?

And what about Mike Huckabee’s statement?

And what about similar statements from the right, amplified by right-wing media?

By making the Black population, by inference, ‘guilty’ of supposedly starting the whole assassination ‘vibe’ going, the media (including many liberal types) allows old-style, racist, hate-peddling America to wash their hands, in advance, of something that, through their complicity, ‘could’ ((Heaven Forbid!) happen.

Should the world therefore (based on that terrible logic that blames Blacks for everthing that happens to Blacks)) expect that a Black person – maybe a ‘muslim’; to tie a lot of  ‘negative types’ together, one bullet killing many birds – would then end up being accused of actually, physically, pulling the trigger, if the almost unthinkable should occur?

Are we beginning to learn the Clinton-esque meaning what “is” really is…?

The Clinton Campaign’s use of the various code words to promote fear has been clear. So much for the love affair that many Blacks and The Clintons share.

What We Must Do and Not Do

Let us not sit silently by, watching the pieces of a potential horror being put into place. Let them know that we see, that we know. Do not be silently complicit. Do not be an Accomplice through Silence. Whatever we think of our leaders, or each other, let us not cross this Rubicon.

In conclusion: As a skillful, and very articulate, very experienced, opinion-leader of her caliber, one who is on record as a very deliberate word-smith, and world-shaper, Hillary Clinton has made one very tasteless, offensive, and very dangerous ‘mis’-statement.

Is this what “is” really is; that whatever is to be, must be?

If that is the case, it lessens and endangers all of us; not only Barak Obama, not only Blacks in America, and not only Americans. The whole planet understands that, I think.

Guidance and Protection.