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Author Topic: Balancing Social Discrimination and Stratification  (Read 6151 times)
Just-I
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« on: September 16, 2005, 12:18:10 PM »


This is a personal message originally posted in response to reasonings related to 'The Right to Exclusiveness' on the Rastafari Speaks forum.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.



 Just-I
To: three_sixty
Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2005 7:27 am
Subject: How can we balance these realities? 
Three_sixty,

I must share with you how much value I have found in your posts on this forum, Africa Speaks and Rootsie. Thanks unto the I for your righteous words and personal perspective.

Iman wonder at the time and study that must go into the quality and quantity of your works and I pray that the river of your knowledge grows deeper and wider as the days forward so that you may continue to bless us all. On a less serious note, how do you find the time for all these messages, are you a journalist by trade or unemployed? Just kidding.

Now InI don't possess quite the gift for language and reason that you do, nor do I possess the patience to truly analyze all my words before I write (so please forgive errors and my occasional ignorance) however I am extremely interested in pursuing your question of, "How do we balance the realities (social discrimination and stratification) to forward with effective movement?" This has been a personal struggle of mine for over twelve years as InI seek to literally, figuratively and physically represent the message and livity of Rastafari from a Eurocentric perspective.

I personally feel that a critical aspect for the evolution of the white consciousness is to elaborate our history in more realistic terms. All of us are familiar with the 'whitewashed' version of colonialism and conversion, but we forward unto today knowing that this version does little to awaken or enlighten the masses to the actual state of affairs today. Additionally, this happy-go-lucky portrayal of African servitude and indigenous "Thanksgiving" continues the never ending cycle of white privilege and paternalistic subjugation. Yet, how do we go about establishing a positive consciousness and pride in a history such as this? Moreover, how do we prevent those less than honest whites from tuning out as soon as they are confronted with their personal privileges and participation in racist institutions? For truly if we are to change the effects of these evils a majority of whites must be willing to restructure and redefine these systems so that we may realize the truth of our basic principles. Ya know? "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I guess what I'm asking is, how do we acknowledge history and expose the paradoxical nature of our belief systems without alienating those individuals that need to reflect on these issues most? How do we remain grounded in the history and teachings of Africa and tow our racist white bredrin with us? How do we establish legitimacy and direction in this endeavor? Personal meditation has left me somewhat lacking in these arenas, your knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks, brother, looking forward to following your words and works in the future. Satta. Just-I
     
 
 
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2005, 02:06:05 AM »

I am constantly confronted with new aspects of my own lack of honesty.  For years I was comfortable in my own Rasta bubble, assuming myself to be a white person who had worked all these things out, differentiating myself from those other whites who had not. It is not my job to tow other white people anywhere, or prevent them from shutting down, or give help unless I am asked. I don't see any point in thinking about how to take pride in white history per se. I enjoy thinking in terms of vast spans of evolutionary history, and I value the fact that I have come to some understanding of what went haywire in Europe that estranged whites from our true heritage. But most of all I value the process I have engaged, with the help and guidance of conscious blacks, which allows me to do the hard work of unspinning my arrogance. This is a refining process which I don't think ever ends. At least I don't see an end to it so far.  I think whites get in trouble the second they think to take on this mantle of teacher or guide for other whites. It's just the same old same old. If we know better and act from what we know, we do better for ourselves and others. I look forward to the day when every particular of my life will speak to my highest understanding.
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Just-I
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2005, 10:11:26 PM »

Let the words of I mouth and the meditation of I heart be acceptable in thy sight…Selah.

     Sister Rootsie,

                                 Many thanks for the works, words and wisdom on this board and others!   May they continue Ivermore. 

     I was wondering though, if all is well with you?  In these days of tribulation I often find myself struggling to find the link between being true to myself and remaining true to my brothers and sisters.  Amidst the myriad personalities, opinions and prerogatives of we masses, how to keep moving forward proves a daunting task. 
     Personally, I understand being true to myself to signify that part of ‘I’-self that is congruent with the laws of my Creator and the subsequent Creation.  Ideally being true to my brothers and sisters would mean the interaction of our individual ‘I’-selfs with each other remain congruent with the laws of Our Creator and the subsequent Creation.  As in, “Do unto others” and “Love thy Neighbor”. 

    Lack of honesty was not quite the problem that my post intended to address.  Honestly, I know that ‘I’-self is severely lacking.  I could fill entire messages boards with the quantity and quality of my transgressions.  Truly, I recognize that none of my sins are hidden from my Creator.  Faithfully, I forward seeking conscious reconstruction of ‘I’-self and thus, aspire to the redemption of IandI.  This coupled with the systemic divisions that America breeds at home and abroad, and my personal lack of fellowship and communion with conscious ‘I’-selfs from who I may learn is what led me here to this board. 

   Unfortunately, I have never been in a comfortable ‘Rasta Bubble’ due mainly to the inefficient representation of ‘I’-self on a conscious and consistent basis. My physical whiteness only compounds the problem.  Rastafari is for me the source of truth and continues to be in spite of the racial, political, geographic, economic, theological and organizational pressures and issues that continually come forth for reasoning. Still, because of these differences and difficulties I have not ended my journey to Zion, therefore I feel no comfort.  Because each of us on this subsequent Creation is an imperfect ‘I’ time is required for us to reason how best to be true to our brothers and sisters without losing our individual ‘I’-selves in the process.   

   
It is not my job to tow other white people anywhere, or prevent them from shutting down, or give help unless I am asked.

 Isn’t that what I did?  Doing?  Right here right now   

I remember when I was about the same age and I read Malcolm X talking about the white devil, thinking now what does that have to do with me? Well what I know now is that it has EVERYTHING to do with me, whether I like it or not, if I don't make it my life's work to break this white supremacy which has mashed black people down. 
Didn’t you post this as part of a message on TraceyParkes.com?  And in the same message:
Like I said it means work, and using the privileges we have been given and don't deserve to work toward the education of other whites. It is the only way I can see for a white person to have a life of integrity. 
Perhaps my language is of a more crude style, but I thought that I was inquiring about this very thing.  Finding personal integrity and representing this livity through example and truth.  Ultimately this lead me here because I interpreted some of your writings to in fact mean that a large part of your ‘life’s work’ or ‘job’ is in these areas.  Why do you then write me off so, saying this is not your job?  Isn’t this a primary purpose for this sort of forum?  I have spent many hours rejoicing in the works on this board and would hate to believe this is all just rhetoric.   


I don't see any point in thinking about how to take pride in white history per se. I enjoy thinking in terms of vast spans of evolutionary history, and I value the fact that I have come to some understanding of what went haywire in Europe that estranged whites from our true heritage   

This is closer to what I was looking for, would you expand on this?   I realize that my language skills are limited, but I think that our (whites) predilection for seeing the glory of the empire over the glory of the individual and the evolution of history rather than the daily conscious shaping of it, leads us into many of our characteristic flaws as a race.  Further, I think it conveniently ‘whitewashes’ our responsibilities and actions in this historical process.

   How good and pleasant it would be if we sought to remove the discussion of whiteness and inclusion from the ranks of afro centric circles so that they may continue the difficult endeavor of organizing and centralizing as His Majesty instructed so many years ago.  As white people, we do more for Rasta livity by pursuing equal rights and justice at home, practicing equal rights and justice in our lives, and demanding equal rights and justice from our institutions.  Is it impossible for us to reason amongst ourselves how to make it stop, now?   We should seek to make our history and livity acceptable to ourselves, ‘I’-selves, so that we may one day make ourselves acceptable to our brothers we have wronged and ultimately acceptable to God and worthy of redemption, right? 

I do not purpose any answers just questions so you see I am not here to teach.  For I too value the process that I engaged with conscious blacks who first picked at the arrogance of my hypocrisy and ignorance.  It’s just that I do not see when Africa shall have the time to save us from ourselves before the time is come.  And it is not their problem anyway.  All I suggest is that we begin the dialogue that enables us to clean up our own yard to set the paths straight for the day of his moral theocracy, kingdom eternal, help our African brothers and sisters by not placing our personal stumbling blocks in front of them and prepare the gifts and tributes that will be required when His kingdom is come!   

   
Haile Selassie I November 2, 1966

what we seek is a new and a different way of life. We search for a way of life in which all men will be treated as responsible human beings, able to participate fully in the political affairs of their government; a way of life in which ignorance and poverty, if not abolished, are at least the exception and are actively combated; a way of life in which the blessings and benefits of the modern world can be enjoyed by all without the total sacrifice of all that was good and beneficial in the old Ethiopia. We are from and of the people, and our desires derive from and are theirs.

Can this be achieved from one dusk to the next dawn, by the waving of a magic wand, by slogans or by Imperial declaration? Can this be imposed on our people, or be achieved solely by legislation? We believe not. All that we can do is provide a means for the development of procedures which, if all goes well, will enable an increasing measure and degree of what we seek for our nation to be accomplished. Those who will honestly and objectively view the past history of this nation cannot but be impressed by what has already been realised during their lifetime, as well as be awed by the magnitude of the problems which still remain. Annually, on this day, we renew our vow to labour, without thought of self, for so long as Almighty God shall spare us, in the service of our people and our nation, in seeking the solutions to these problems. We call upon each of you and upon each Ethiopian to do likewise......



   And so I ask you again sister, “Is all well with you?”
Can we do this thing together or have I misunderstood you? 

May peace, love and eternal grace be unto you and yours Ivermore?

Just-I


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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2005, 03:37:52 AM »

Well first off, I think you know you do the written word quite well indeed, and so I don't understand why you feel the need to call attention to your lack in that department.

The words I put here and there in the past and the words I use now are a chronicle of my own history and reflect my attempts to integrate the insights given me by people who know more.  I am not comfortable now, as I was then, with the idea that these writings reflect a mission I'm on to teach other whites.  What I didn't get then was how serious a problem the arrogance of white privilege really is.  I think there's a difference between sharing information and being in the position to truly educate.

Am I well? I don't think I'm supposed to be feeling particularly great right now. The New Orleans debacle has made me feel ashamed and I think that's appropriate. "I" is always well. Little "i" suffers. But it is a necessary suffering.

I think that our (whites) predilection for seeing the glory of the empire over the glory of the individual and the evolution of history rather than the daily conscious shaping of it, leads us into many of our characteristic flaws as a race.  Further, I think it conveniently ‘whitewashes’ our responsibilities and actions in this historical process.

Well the conscious shaping can only take place if we have a grasp of how the situation for us came to be as it is. 'The glory of the individual' is a tricky concept. On one level it is our bizarre ego-laden idea of individualism that delivered us here in the first place, estranged in certain ways from the rest of humanity. On the other hand, we are the only ones who can be responsible for ourselves, and as we get our own stories straight and our own lives in order, we become able to contribute meaningfully. How to keep this process from morphing into self-absorbed naval-gazing is a challenge. But so many actions whites think to take are the wrong ones, due to our estrangement from our source. I think we will always need the help of black people to effect that essential reconnection.

  How good and pleasant it would be if we sought to remove the discussion of whiteness and inclusion from the ranks of afro centric circles so that they may continue the difficult endeavor of organizing and centralizing as His Majesty instructed so many years ago.  As white people, we do more for Rasta livity by pursuing equal rights and justice at home, practicing equal rights and justice in our lives, and demanding equal rights and justice from our institutions.  Is it impossible for us to reason amongst ourselves how to make it stop, now?   We should seek to make our history and livity acceptable to ourselves, ‘I’-selves, so that we may one day make ourselves acceptable to our brothers we have wronged and ultimately acceptable to God and worthy of redemption, right?

It is not impossible for us to reason among ourselves, but we must always acknowledge the need for help.  It's too easy for us to spin into unreason.

Most whites have not gotten to the point where they are willing to examine the history at all. Presenting the history is something to do.

I do not purpose any answers just questions so you see I am not here to teach.  For I too value the process that I engaged with conscious blacks who first picked at the arrogance of my hypocrisy and ignorance.  It’s just that I do not see when Africa shall have the time to save us from ourselves before the time is come.  And it is not their problem anyway.  All I suggest is that we begin the dialogue that enables us to clean up our own yard to set the paths straight for the day of his moral theocracy, kingdom eternal, help our African brothers and sisters by not placing our personal stumbling blocks in front of them and prepare the gifts and tributes that will be required when His kingdom is come!

Even though I'm not much for thinking in terms of theocracy and kingdoms (anymore) I can agree with what you're getting at. For me it's not about Africa saving us from ourselves because ultimately what's worth saving is what will be left in the end.  I don't imagine that the salvation of the white race is high on your agenda either. The way I understand this is as a principle: only the worst victims of injustice possess the moral agency to end the injustice. The way this is not a cop-out or abdication of my responsibility is that I can support materially and in my small way here their efforts to do that.  And like-minded whites can certainly dialogue about that. The idea is more about shutting up and getting out of the way. Like you said.

I sympathize with the feeling of having to do something.

Rootsie
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