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

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.’ http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/04/01/the_end_of_arab_summits

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

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2 comments

  1. Rastafari, upful reasoning and to the point. Rastafari needs tos eriously look within and make a positive decision on the way forward. I wou ld like to ask the I what is your opinion on the need for Rastafari globally to convene a conference/council of the bona fide ancients of the worldwide family of rastafari to deliberate and pronounce on the fundamental tenent of rastafri in light of the gifts given to InI by HIM i.e landgrant,EOTC, EWF Inc and OAU (AU). It is noted of course that there has been conference before on various aspects of InI fundamental tenents but never before an international one represented by all mansions/organisations where it is hope the prouncement will be final and accepted as such by all mansions / organisation. Your positive criticism or endorsement will be upfully appreciated. One blessed Love.

    GMS Easdt AFrica.

  2. Greetings, Bra Gebre,
    Please forgive I for this very delayed response to your post.
    Generally, I support the idea of reasoning…
    However, since I have never seen – nor found it easy to obtain – any printed reports of the various reasonings, I have yet to be able to compare the reasonings to results; which has made it difficult to assess their long-term usefulness.
    Personally, I have yet to see the agenda, nor the final report (decisions, action plan etc) coming out of the 1994 International Gathering, which was held in Miami, Florida;
    Nor for the 2003 International Gathering held in Jamaica, both of which were very well attended.
    The 2003 Gathering would have had the responsibility of assessing the progress made on the various decisions and resolutions of the 1983 Gathering, also held in Jamaica, and also very well attended.
    Ideas, as good are they often are, are not the same as planning.
    Planning requires more than just good reasonings, however satisfying those may be…as socializing occasions.
    Moreover, organizing and planning and doing has to ultimately to be accountable.
    And that is where the real test is; because that requires humility and raspect from, and toward, all involved.
    Again, my apologies for this very tardy response.
    You have my e-mail address, so feel free to link me at your convenience, so that I&I may discuss this further.
    Talawadada Guidance.
    RDR

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