Rastas Were Hated, Now People Pretend to Love Them

Every religion, subgroup, cult, culture, minority, even monopoly faced its fair share of resistance, but some undeniably had it worse than others. What is notable, and a trend within most of these groups, is that they always find a way to get back on their feet even after facing hardships, constantly fighting for their rights, and having to go into hiding to save their lives, like Rastas had to do.

There was one point in Jamaica when Rastas had to disappear off the surface of the hurt, and had to seclude themselves to one remote area where they could not be approached by outsiders, for fear of their safety. They were living like slaves, though slavery was abolished many years before. It is unbelievable how after going through what they did, they are so influential. Tourists think of Jamaica and “Rastafarianism” interchangeably, and are highly interested in Rasta traditions such as weed smoking, Reggae music, dreadlocks, and even the colours red, yellow and green.

It is simply sad that Rastas had to face what they did in 1963 before they started being appreciated. They were tarnished, ugly images were intentionally painted of them, so whatever scrutiny they encountered was justified by the idea that they were disliked.

Bad Friday. The most telling description of the feeling everyone felt when this incident happened. Even those who were in support were forced to face the truth about Jamaica’s leaders. You may also know it as the Coral Gardens incident, the Coral Gardens atrocities, the Coral Gardens massacre, or the Coral Gardens riot.

It was less than a year after Jamaica gained independence. April 11-13, 1963. It started with an altercation at a gas station in Montego Bay, and ended with Jamaican police and military forces detaining, killing, and torturing Rastafarians around Jamaica. Up to approximately 150 Rastafarians had this horrendous experience. It took over half a century for the Jamaican government to issue an apology, though it is debatable whether there was really any sorrow felt.

 

Read more: McKoy’s Crime News

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