Thursday, May 5, 2016

Snapchat, Don't Take Rastafari For Joke Business

                                                   by Kaya Omodele @TheAbeng Snapchat released a Bob Marley filter on/4/20 (April 20)  and people began striking out against it almost immediately. Now, some people mightn't understand the whole controversy, so here it is in a nutshell. You (Snapchat) letting users make their selfie images look like Bob Marley, complete with dreadlocks, skin tone and tam, is like you're taking the culture and turning it into one, big poppy show. NOT a good look! "...Bob Marley's music has done more to popularize the real issues of the African liberation movement than several decades of backbreaking work of Pan-Africanists and international revolutionaries." ~ Eusi Kwayana in Rasta And Resistance. You see, Bob Marley is our messenger, like a prophet, a social and cultural conscience. And, Rastafari is not a play-play thing, even though it might seem like dreadlocks is just a hairstyle nowadays. But know this: natty dreadlocks are sacred to Rastafari; they are an expression, a symbol, of a Rastaman's (or Rastawoman's) covenant to Jah Almighty. Dreadlocks are as important a symbol to Rastafari as a cross is to a Christian, as a beard is to an Orthodox Jew or a Muslim. Snapchat, you wouldn't provide a filter featuring that pointed, papal hat, would you? Or, a kufi, a hijab? Or Cheyenne chief Two Moon's headdress? (But maybe you see nothing wrong with "redskin" images either) The point is, Rastafari elders were persecuted back in the day- locked up, dreadlocks forcibly shorn. At  Coral Gardens in Jamaica some were killed. In Dominica, the John government gave the green light to shoot to kill any dreadlocks found trespassing on private property. So, please, don't bother with all these faux-dread tams, the dreadlock filters, and all the other Sambo-like caricaturizing of Rasta. Don't take Rasta for no joke business!

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