The Rastafari Community Must Change Course

April 14, 2019


espite the slogan "organize and centralize," which has been repeated in our communities for many years, the harsh reality is that we as Rastafari have done very little to effectively implement the intended meaning of this mantra. While development of spiritual practice has seem to become the sole focus of the movement, our quality of life and our prospects for economic advancement in the real world have been all but forgotten.

Mere Talk is the Instrument of the Lazy

We are a disorganized people. We are a decentralized people. Because of this, we hold no political power and no lasting economic influence. We can neither create laws, nor have the legal authority to enforce the laws given to us by our Creator. Therefore, our children can't look to us for leadership or depend on us for sustenance.

As they mature and grow within this system, they face the onslaught of economic oppression, political exploitation and intellectual manipulation, about which the Rastafari nation collectively has been unprepared to do much of anything at all. Except talk. But His Majesty warned us that "mere talk is the instrument of the lazy and will not take us anywhere." 1

Faced with this reality, we must change course. We must correct our path. We must do something to alter our reality and bring about the type of situation, in the here and now - not in the hereafter - that will allow our people and our posterity to prosper and flourish, living up to our fullest potential.

The Broader Scope of the Movement

Now is the time to take our collective destiny into our own hands. To do this we have to work together to achieve common goals. Because Rastafari can only develop into an organized and centralized nation if we're willing to accept each others differences and cooperate despite them. If we're willing to reject tribal division and see ourselves as Rastafari first. That's the only way we can ever hope to take our destiny into our own hands.

The Bible says, "In My Father's house there are many mansions." 2 So let's remember this verse, and let it be a guiding light for us as Rastafari. A constant meditation. Whether we're Nyabinghi, Bobo Shanti, Twelve Tribes or otherwise. If we keep in mind that we're all living in the same house, we won't let anything come from the outside to threaten the house. We'll work together to build it. To repair it. To maintain it. To expand upon it.

In this spirit of cooperation, let all who call upon the name of Rastafari unite. The broader scope of the movement is much more significant than personal theology. Because if we allow ourselves to get caught up in theological debate among Rastafari, not only are we doing ourselves a disservice, we're also disobeying the Commandment of His Majesty:

"We can attain practical results in the endeavors of progress we're making only if there is absolute unity among ourselves." 3 — Emperor Haile Selassie I

His Majesty told us, "Religion is personal, the state is for all." 4 Therefore our unity should not be affected by our personal theology. Whatever Mansion we belong to, we have a common purpose. A shared culture as Rastafari.

His Majesty also said: "Knowing that material and spiritual progress are essential to man, we must ceaselessly work for the equal attainment of both." 5 The lopsided approach of the Rastafari community has for too long been a stumbling block to progress. We should therefore, follow the example of His Majesty, and seek a more balanced outlook in the relationship between spiritual and material realms.

Working Together for Common Goals

We can achieve this by taking control of our community and our economy. We can achieve this by working together for the aims and objectives that we all share in common. We can't achieve it through pointless theological speculation. We can't achieve it through debating one another on the comment section of various Facebook posts.

Our common thread is a belief in the divine nature of His Imperial Majesty. Our common thread is our shared culture and identity as Rastafari.

So for we who call ourselves Rastafari, let's make an effort to work towards progress. Let's move forward, together, on a new course that will allow us to shape our collective destiny towards prosperity and independence. Let's unite, as Rastafari first, handling theological differences within our own Mansions and remembering the clear instructions of His Majesty:

"Let us work together, arm in arm as brothers, that our progeny may live in peace and well-being, that posterity will honor our names and our achievements. This will suffice. This will be our victory. May Almighty God grant it to us." 6 — Emperor Haile Selassie I



1Selassie I, Haile. Selected Speeches (p.471). Lion of Judah Society Press.

2John 14:2

3Selassie I, Haile. Selected Speeches (p. 462). Lion of Judah Society Press.

4Selassie I, Haile. Selected Speeches (p. 625). Lion of Judah Society Press.

5Selassie I, Haile. Selected Speeches (p. 663). Lion of Judah Society Press.

6Selassie I, Haile. Selected Speeches (p. 230). Lion of Judah Society Press.


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© Rastafari Coalition. All Rights Reserved. "The Rastafari Community Must Change Course" was written by Mosiyah Tafari for exclusive use by the Rastafari Coalition. Photos by James Knapp. No part of this article may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owner except in the case of brief quotations, with citation. For further use, please Contact Us.

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