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  • Firstly, I’d like to thank Meaghan for the interview. I appreciate this coverage for the upcoming screening. However, there are a few inaccuracies in the piece. I was called a nigger often as a child by certain white individuals in Toronto, which led to many fist fights. My exact words were, “if it wasn’t the N-word, it was go back to Africa.”

    Later in the piece Meaghan merged two separate responses of mine to make one point. She asked if I considered Rastafari to be a religion, at which point I stated that I believed that it was. I also mentioned that Haile Selassie, the spiritual head of the faith, was a Christian.

    Then we had a separate conversation regarding the true reason behind the start of Rastafari. I stated that the faith was created to empower and uplift blacks in Jamaica. Jamaica was still a colony under British rule when Rastafari began in the early 1930s. Rastafari was used as a tool to fight against colonization. Specifically, the Eurocentric brand of Christianity being pushed on them at the time.

    So by stating that Haile Selassie was a Christian, yet his Rastafarian followers were against Christianity sounds confusing. Rastafarians do not oppose the Christianity practiced by Haile Selassie, but rather the form taught to them by British colonizers.

    And lastly, in respect to my comments regarding Bob Marley. They should be taken in context. From the inception of Rastafari in the early 1930s, right up until the raise of Bob Marley, Rastafarians were social pariahs to the average Jamaican based on their dreadlocks and anti-colonial ideology. But that’s not to say that Marley’s only fans were Rastafarians. Non rastas in Jamaica also supported him and his music before his passing.

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