“First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win,” Mahatma Gandhi.

Monday, April 5, 2021, the Jamaica Observer noted that “Minister of Security Dr. Horace Chang claims if more individuals replicate the respect that “true” Rastafarian men show to females, it would reduce recent reported heinous acts of violence against women.

The acknowledgment stopped shy of advocating that any Rastafarians (Rasta) seize on a more active community or an appointed role on a task force to focus on violence.

Having been publicly recognized for peace; safety, self-dependence, and humanity. Is it time for a Rasta to seek Jamaica’s highest office; including other parts of the Caribbean, maybe CARICOM, and offer a pure path for socio-economic improvement and to reduce crime?

Many locals argued that the government ran out of ideas to address an uptick in crime in this delightful and vibrant nation. Others suggested it was about time their lifestyle be recognized as a model.

Though this public declaration is viewed through the political lens; any domestic violence awareness or public safety is positive news regardless of the messenger. However, recognizing Rastafarianism cannot be captured in a tweet, plug, or sound bites.

It is a fact that despite Rastafarian’s popularity, many individuals who wear natural hair on these shores beyond Jamaica still face discrimination.

The fine print

Violence only can be pursued if reported, so it does not mean that domestic violence appears not to occur in a certain culture, but you must give credit when it is applicable 

The Rastafarian community has a wide range of skills and qualifications, dispositions, and competencies. Their skills I believe could play even more of a broader role in mentoring the next politician, doctor, police officer, teacher, counselor, or investment banker should the government invests more into this community.

Another way to give credit is simply to analyze the amount of Rastafarians with criminal records or incarcerated compared to their population. Reports have also shown that even when some Rastas are incarcerated, they have a lower recidivism rate. 

For over a decade, reports have shown that Jamaica ranked in the top 10 countries of most violent places with an average of over 30 deaths per 100, 000 thousand citizens, but this opinion is not about the murder rate or lack of resources.

Though violence is ubiquitous, and the region is no stranger, which is a public health issue. Addressing crime and other social-economic problems on these shores often woven in complexity surrounding politics, law, culture, and economic status, but this opinion is not about the murder rate or lack of resources.

Many Rastafarians skills can collaborate their approach to life promoting peace and love and have a broader impact on these communities riddled by anguish and violence.

Stepping back and feeling the Rasta vibes:

Though local cultural struggles persist, it is apparent that Rastafarianism is not a clearly defined area, but many people can identify with their passionate vibes that have gravitated to their values and peaceful lifestyle across all races.

Rastafarianism has come a long way since the 18th century when Ethiopians emphasized an idealized Africa. It gained international attention, and thanks to the music of devoted Rastafarian Bob Marley and others.

The Jamaican government or any other place does not require a crisis to recognize that where the Rasta lives, make ends meet, there will consistently be peace (one love).

As (Jah Crew) a reggae superstar said in one of his songs, “Rasta is passing through.”

Though some of us invested in razors, or at the barbershops, do not wear the dreads living in a world where some rules are defined for us, we accepted with a signature for our economic stability.

However, internally, peace, love, humility remains, and a reggae band, Morgan Heritage said in one of his songs, “you don’t hiffi dread to be Rasta”.

Once you arrive in the Rasta’s place, he or she greets you, no need to look around because it is quite a level of respect, hospitality, and calm that comes over you. There are countless stories of the comfortable place they often offer for an extended or temporary stay on these shores.

Regrettably, it took violent headlines to recognize them despite their plight; they remain a delightfully peaceful culture.

took violent headlines to recognize them despite their plight; they remain a delightfully peaceful culture.

Far too often, it seems, Rasta must speak to show he is intelligent and frequently seen by their dread-locks before exploring their brains.

Rastafarian movement culture and its context run deeper than grow your political dreads or smoking marijuana. Today, their peace-making practices may be the best thing to calm these rough oceans…

Read full article here.

About The Author

R.D. Miller has been a member of the criminal justice field for over 15 years. He holds an MBA and a M.S. in criminal justice and leadership. More of his works here.

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