A TALK WITH SELF
Last week I had a very serious conversation with Myself and Me. It was quite revealing too. We realized it has been quite a while since all three of us spoke. As we sat and chatted the topic of “Am I a child of a lesser god” came up. You see, I use to wonder if god had something against Blacks or is on the other race’s side. It didn’t bother Me much but Myself was also worried at times and yet somehow, over all these years, we have never resolved the issue.
Even though I recalled the song from Sunday School, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and Yellow, Black and White, all are special in his sight. Jesus loves the children of the world”, I had to ask Me and Myself, if Jesus was really coloured blind or supporting the status quo. The reality is that I grew up in Jamaica, where more than 90% of the population were Blacks, of charred skin and high melanin yet their lot in life was appalling compared to the minority, Reds, Whites, Yellows and Mixed which were 1.3 percent East Indian, 0.2 percent white, 0.2 percent Chinese and 7.3 percent mixed ethnicity respectively.
Sadly, people like Me felt that it was the Blacks’ fault why they were living in squalor because they did not develop themselves. Me also pointed out that Blacks patronize non Black businesses and this further cause deterioration of Black communities and lives. At first glance, I could say that this is true as many Blacks were tending non Blacks’ gardens while their own gardens were all over grown in weeds.
However, I could also note the foolishness of comparing the development of Blacks in the West with that of their non Blacks counterpart. No White, Red or Yellow skin person was subjected to slavery in Jamaica. They know nothing of being homeless, mass raped, robbed, kidnapped and killed in this little island of 144,000 square miles. Non blacks don’t spend their waking hours worrying about discrimination, prejudice, persecution, and victimization based on colour of skin. They actually spent their entire lives coming up with craft and laws to keep Blacks “in place”.
Indeed, Whites, Indians, and Chinese came to Jamaica as conquerors (invaders), apprenticeships and indentured servants with assets and most importantly being, Free. They didn’t start the race after the other runners were all gone.
For support, Myself added the glaring fact that Blacks came to Jamaica with nothing, in shackles and chains and against their will. All they had was their souls and that too was soon taken away. If they managed to start businesses their prices and offerings were not as cheap or competitive as the non Blacks who had a stronger product network and worth. Me, was not amused and sarcastically asked, “How did it happen that Blacks were slaves and now at the bottom of the echelon of the society”.
ONE CREATOR, ONE PEOPLE. MANY GODS, MANY PEOPLES
Racial exploitation requires “tricks in trade and mischievous in business”. You see, in order to build a family, village, or nation, our devious forefathers used myths, legends, religion and craft as a cohesive measure. Adolph Hitler knew this well and between 1933 to 1945, he built Nazism on the premise of a god who is racist and not coloured blind. Hitler created a myth that God selected the Aryan race (a type of European white) to be master over all races and to rule the earth. He believed that people of my skin hue were mere ” hewers of wood and drawers of water”. Of course that was a terrifying thought among Blacks and other non whites. It was actually horrifying from a Jamaican perspective, bearing in mind Jamaica is “land of wood and water” and this was the 1930’s when Jamaicans were barely adjusting to being free from slavery. A time when Marcus Garvey was alive and trying to teach Blacks that their ancestors were great and they can be great again.
Hitler’s hatred and subjugation of non whites were not novel despite being “cruel”. For example, the Pentateuch (first five books of the Old Testament), also taught a similar racist philosophy. The Bible purported that Abraham, because of his faith and monotheistic (one god) view, earned himself a special favour with God. As such, through his off springs, Isaac and Jacob and the twelve tribes of Israel, the God of Abraham would make Abraham’s seeds masters of the earth. A super lineage.
Similar to Hitler, seemingly, the Old Testament preached ethnic cleansing, genocide and xenophobia.
The need to destroy foreign nations and peoples was justified on the notion that these nations (Gentiles) were dogs depraved beyond redemption, (Psalms 106: 32 – 36; Gen. 15:16; Lev. 18:21-30; 20:2-5; etc.). According to the Old Testament, non Israelite in the land widely practiced child sacrifice, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, idolatry and other despicable behaviors worthy of death. Recall Sodom and Gomorrah.
This cleansing or killing of gentiles was recommended by God as noted by Isaiah 40: 17 – “All the Gentiles are as nothing before him, and they are counted to him as vanity and as less than nothing”. This destroying or reducing of a people’s psyche to nothing provides consensual exploitation and creation of ghettos. Hitler’s Nazism was built on similar concepts and this was how a race or peoples is degraded and made children of lesser gods worthy for subjugation.
THE JAMAICAN BLACK GHETTO
Hitler’s low status of non whites and the idea of whites being powerful and the masters of the earth struck the world with a fear that saw many countries “ganging” up (allies) against Hitler and eventually defeating him and Nazism in 1945. The sad part about this is that many Jamaicans fought and died in World War 11 to topple Nazism yet the ugly head of Nazism has been embedded in Jamaican society for more than 400 years before Nazism. Racial enslavement, prejudice and discrimination.
Since 1502, with the creation of the first Spanish Garrison (town) in Sevilla Nueva (St. Ann’s Bay), the whites (minority) had established an institution and culture of race superiority and enslavement of the non whites (majority) in Jamaica with the aid of a god. According to the Spaniards, the native Amerindians could not stand up to the level of “cruelty” required to run their plantation economy of cane and tobacco, and Blacks were touted as ideal replacements. Hence the pitiful lot of Blacks in Jamaica as slaves and children of lesser gods was begun and perpetuated.
This 400 years of slavery, created a breed of Jamaican Blacks who mimic their white slave owners’ and master’s behaviour and value scheme. These new Blacks did everything in their power to distance themselves from their black skin hue. In Jamaica, we have Blacks telling Blacks that they are “black and ugly”. Beauty is based on Caucasian looks and features. The women are ashamed of their own hair and spend millions of dollars and hours getting their kinky hair “unkinked”. They buy wigs made in the “image and likeness” of other peoples and nations and despite their black skin their minds are “whiter than the Queen of England’ who is the Head of State of Jamaica. On the matter of skin, the men and women cursed their creator and hated their parents blackness so much that they use chemicals on their skins to bleach their blackness to white. These pitiful white washed Black Jamaicans should be pitied instead of ridiculed as the system does teach : “If you are White it is all right; if you are Brown you can stick around but if you are Black you got to get back or get on the attack”. Undoubtedly, lighter skin colour enhanced status quo and economic mobility in Jamaica.
This blaring yet subtle form of racism is ingrained in the average Jamaican’s mind and the slavery mentality wreaked havoc with the dignity and royalty of being Black. The island is a land of few plantations, numerous church properties, countless hair parlours, pharmacies and bars and many ghettos. Of course many Black Jamaicans would let you know that they live in modern houses with amenities but this is another way of consoling themselves that they are more privileged ghetto folks. Interestingly, a ghetto is a part of a city in which members of a minority group live due to oppression as a result of social, legal, or economic pressure. In Jamaica, the oppressed group is the majority, Blacks, but the same concept of ghetto abounds.
MARCUS GARVEY, RASTAFARI AND REGGAE
Thanks to the works of Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887 – 1940) and the Rastafarian (1930 – 1990), the Jamaican Black psyche was positively influenced. These two institutions tried to build Black pride and develop respect and care among Blacks. Albeit, though by different avenues, both tried to get Blacks to appreciate their black skins not as shame but as royalty.
Marcus tried a political and commercial solution by forming the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), African Communities League (ACL), the Black Starline and the People’s Political Party (PPP). He taught the importance of the mental and economical development of Blacks. Education was considered super important and Blacks were encouraged to start their own businesses. His rallying call was “Be Black, Buy Black and think Black”. He envisioned repatriation, a back to Africa movement for Blacks home and abroad. Unfortunately, Africa was not ready for Western Blacks; white washed Black men felt his message was a bit too “black” and the USA and Europe were worried at his political ambitions. In short he was rejected by African countries, betrayed by white washed Black men and imprisoned and deported by the USA. For the records, he was not welcomed back to Jamaica by the establishment in 1927 after being deported from the USA. He died in England in June 1940.
However, Marcus Garvey’s work impacted several Jamaicans and some heeded his message warnings and prophecies. Indeed, according to Marcus Garvey, “In life I shall be the flame but in death I shall be a terror to the foes of African liberty”. He influenced many African nations, Black Power movements and most importantly the Rastafarian movement.
The Rastafarians further developed Marcus Garvey’s back to Africa movement and went a step further by deifying Haile Selassie, emperor of Ethiopia, whose coronation in 1930 was believed to be prophesied by Marcus Garvey. Unlike Marcus, the Rastafarians used a religious attempt to reject the racism of Jamaica. They not only taught Black pride but they also adopted African values, vegetarian life style and condemned Christianity as the religion of the Whites.
The Rastafarians agreed with Marcus that ” if Negroes are black and was made in the image of god, then somehow, god must be black”. As such, they decided to look at god from the spectacles of Africans. Ethiopia was emulated.
Reggae music became an effective medium to express the challenges of Blacks. Artistes such as Peter Tosh, created music that was revolutionary and commanding in nature. He liked to humourously point out the negative words in our vernacular associated with black: Black sheep, black list, black as sin and black heart, etc. Indeed, the main time black is positive is in accounts: to be in the black is to be making profits. In the red is a loss.
As with Marcus, the Rastafarians declined due to the stifling nature of racism, but was still relevant in fostering black consciousness and pride among Blacks. With due respect, Marcus Garvey, Rastafarian and Reggae Music have influenced all races.
GOD, RACE AND SKIN
Does god have a gender, colour or race? CLICK HERE TO READ MY BLOG ON GOD’S GENDER . It is taken for granted that in the beginning god made man in his own image and likeness. This image and likeness could never be physical traits such as gender, race and colour since God is a spirit and is formless and colourless. Of course, not taken for granted, at times, is the fact that man in turn, made his own god (s) in his own image and likeness. Anthropomorphism was used to bring man’s created gods to life. As a result, of course, the most powerful man would have the most powerful god and in his colour. Since, history is not recorded from a victim’s point of view but from the victor’s or conqueror’s point of view, in Jamaica, god is a male, white, blue eyed and straight nosed, reflecting the god of the slave master. Most pictures of Jesus depicted a Caucasian.
Although, Marcus Garvey knew that the creator has no colour, he believed that Blacks (slaves) should have a black god who had their interest in mind since other races did same. Adopting the god of another race that was biased or prejudiced to one’s race was an inferior complex worthy of subjugation according to Marcus.
The notion of individual gods for races is divisive and the brotherhood of man is the loser. Since equality is impossible, it would mean that one god would be greater than the others. Also, of course, common sense would indicate that “nothing that is created should be the creator” and there is only one creator. Many gods but one creator.
Indeed, man in his attempt to create his own god had ignored the Creator, the Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent one. Man in his attempt to control his environment has created religions, laws and customs to establish race, class and creed for ruling and enslavement purposes. Therefore, since gods are man’s creation, god is not the problem. There is no lesser or greater god. Man is the problem.
JESUS CHRIST AND RACISM
Indeed, the racism of the Old Testament, and its folly were made bare by Jesus Christ who eventually rejected many of the tenets of Judaism that he learnt as a child. Vengeance was replaced with forgiveness, hatred with love and bias with open arms. Simultaneously Jesus also realized that there were some non Jews who had better morals and virtues than were some Jews.
It actually, took a Canaanite woman (Gentile) to change Jesus from his racist Judaic ways to a more open embracing way. The Canaanite lady (a non Jew) wanted Jesus yo heal her very sick daughter and had cried to Christ for help. Christ, (being a true Jew) shew his racist views and told the lady that he came for the Jews (the chosen ones) and not for Gentiles (dogs).
Matthew 15: 21 – 28. And Jesus said, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” The Canaanite woman would have no such nonsense and correctly told Christ: “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” It was eureka moment for Christ and he immediately realized his error and decided to help the dog, and said “Woman, great is your faith!”.
It seemed, this encounter between lion and dog changed history and fulfilled Christ’s purpose on Earth. It opened a door for Christ to extend his mercies beyond Israel. It made Christ realized that there were wicked Jews who do not do the will of the Lord, and there were non Jews who do the will of the Lord. Christ shared his new found revelations with the parable of the Good Samaritan.
Luke 10: 29 -37. Jesus told a story of how a man (Jew) was robbed but two of his fellow Jews did nothing to help. How ever a non Jew (Samaritan) helped. Jesus then asked “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Everyone is his brother’s keeper.
As seen, even though the Old Testament touted racism, genocide and ethnic cleansing, Jesus Christ dismissed them as old wine that can no longer provide pathways to righteousness or happiness. In Matthew 12 vs 50, Christ noted: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Indeed, John 10 vs 16 explained it further with Christ saying: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Seems there are good people in every race.
As such, the idea of greater and lesser gods is really a figment of the imagination, albeit diabolic and divisive. It is merely man’s attempt to prove who has the better imaginary friend and provider at the expense of another man. There is only one Creator and one people. Gods are unnecessary.
THE HUMAN OLYMPICS RACE
For fun, let’s take a spin on the human race idea in the form of an Olympic race. Imagine, it is the day of the race and the world awaits the running of the biggest event on the International stage. One could sense the various tensions abounding. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat hovered in the air over the different races. Adrenaline and testosterone flowed as the competitors got ready for the great race, dubbed, the Human Race. At stake is the reputation and title of which race is superior and best skin of the world.
Three competitors representing the three major power houses of race distinctions: Caucasian (whites), Mongoloid (Chinese and Indians) and Negroid ( Blacks).
As the announcer introduced the runners one could sense the electrifying vibration that unified the mass while surreptitiously enforcing the division of humans. First to be announced were the Caucasians. The Caucasian trotted unto the race track as favourite. His running gear was of high quality. Spikes and arm band were brand named items. As he took off his sweat shirt and pants, his biceps and triceps as well as legs and thighs bulged and shew the benefits of training and exercising with the best equipment and food.
Second to be introduced was the Mongoloid. The Mongoloid ran unto the track and did a double somersault to the amusement of the crowd. The crowd erupted as he did several push ups as part of his limbering routine. His gear reflected state of the art designs and style. His red and yellow track shoes were eye dazzling: made in China of course.
As they announced the Negro, it dawned on everyone that the Negro was not at the starting blocks. The Negro was still in the dressing room, unsure of what to do next. His sporting gear was his black skin, his arm band was the scars from his chains and bangles and his spikes were his hardened foot sole. His arms were strong, not from exercise but from hours of plantation work. As he approached the starting blocks, the crowd jeered at his nakedness and sad lot in life.
As he entered the field but before he could reach his blocks, he heard the starter’s gun went off. Imagine, the human race had begun without the black man being in his starting blocks. He looked to the heaven in disbelief but there was only blue sky. He looked at the starter, who smiled and said, “Hurry up, Run on, join the race”. He looked at himself and smiled as he heard a small quiet inner voice saying, “Run not, do stay. They are going in the wrong direction, anyway”.
CHILD OF THE CREATOR
Despite the Old Testament and Hitler’s Nazism supporting the idea of a greater god and superiority of race and skin colour, common sense teaches that such notion is a result of greed, power grabs, narcissism and schizophrenic tendency. Naturally, man’s created god would take his own skin colour and all other colours would be deficient. Hence, the lot and position of Blacks in Jamaica is not a lesser or greater god situation, but just sheer racial skin colour hegemony started by Europeans and perpetuated by “white washed Black Jamaicans”.
Indeed, god is a title and anything can be god., even your car. As Peter Tosh once said, god is dog spelt back way. So what is important is the Creator of the heavens, earth and its fullness and that is not god. The Creator is an omnipresent, omnipotent and omnipresent thing that makes everything that became gods. .
Enslavement and poverty of one race, class or creed to the detriment of another is cruel and is backward thinking. Using god or skin to justify the subjugation of peoples is merely “tricks in trade and mischievous in business. Truth is, there are some evil people in every race,class or creed. Truth is, instances can be found of Whites enslaving Whites and Blacks enslaving Blacks.
Being subjected to prejudice, squalor and ghettos is not the works or neglect of an inferior god. It is not instances of god being asleep and not paying attention. Maybe, as a famous radio host once said, “God gave man intelligence and allowed man to run his own affairs. God in the mean time is busy dealing with the other planets in the universe”.
Our lot in life is a result of the lack of brotherly love, within races and among races. It is simply a reflection of the greed and power struggles of humans. It is a constant struggle between the oppressed and the oppressor with the roles changing. Interestingly, as scripted, any attempt to control earth without respecting the order of the Creator and creation will result in the captivity of both the captives and the captors as well as the enslavement of both the one doing the enslaving and the one being enslaved.