Popular Culture And Scientifically Cultivated Ignorance

Submitted by Ras Jahaziel


The British explorer, H.M. Stanley was enthralled by the economic prospects Africa had for his country:

He is reported to have said “There are 50 million people beyond the gateway to Congo, and the spinners of Manchester are waiting to clothe them. Birmingham foundries are glowing with red metals that will presently be made into iron-work for them so that our trinkets shall soon adorn those dusty bosoms, and the ministers of Christ are zealous to bring the poor benighted heathens into the Christian fold”

– (H. M. Stanley, Journalist and Explorer)


In the above statement it is clear that Slave dealers were not only interested in slave labor, but they also saw Africans as a potential MARKET…. if their wants and desires could be effectively re-arranged. From out of this mercantile desire on the part of Slave dealers sprung a billion dollar industry to manufacture a product called POPULAR CULTURE.

This re-arrangement of the African’s taste buds has been so successful that today the African’s head is stuck in a Macdonald’s box…figuratively and literally. The African is COLLARED AND TIED in the European STRAIGHT JACKET…figuratively and literally. So too are dogs and cats and all domesticated creatures captivated by their taste buds and by their bellies. Just as destructive as the military force that was used to capture the African is the insidious manipulation of popular culture to capture the soul of the African.

CAPTIVATION of a people’s taste buds, CAPTIVATION of their wants, CAPTIVATION of their idea of beauty, CAPTIVATION of their idea of God equals CAPTIVATION OF THEIR MINDS.

This is the basis of the Slave Owner’s power over his modern slaves. Their minds are constantly being indoctrinated by a billion dollar industry called POPULAR CULTURE that is scientifically designed to create a thirsty craving for the CONSUMER BAIT that is created by the Slave Master.

The Slave masters of Europe have always described Africans as a people with under-developed child-like minds, but even though this is not the African’s god-given mentality, the success of Colonialism has depended largely on making the African child-like mentality a reality. That is why today few Africans understand that they are being secretly destroyed by a cultural assassin who goes by the name of Santa Klaus.

Those that profit from exploitation of the African take great pride in the job that they have done to create a creature who is for the most part FUN-ADDICTED AND BELLY-ADDICTED. In this state of mind, that creature will dance and make merry in celebration of the slave master’s money-making activities. Throughout all the days of his captivity on the plantation he has never had a crop that he could call his own. Yet at the end of every crop when the Slave master is counting his billions the slave would celebrate and drink rum in excess and party for days, only to come back after his drunkenness and labor another year for the slave masters continuing enrichment.


“From what I know of the effect of these holidays upon the slave, I believe them to be among the most effective means in the hands of the slaveholder in keeping down the spirit of insurrection. Were the slaveholders at once to abandon this practice, I have not the slightest doubt it would lead to an immediate insurrection among the slaves. These holidays serve as conductors, or safety-valves, to carry off the rebellious spirit of enslaved humanity. But for these, the slave would be forced up to the wildest desperation; and woe betide the slaveholder, the day he ventures to remove or hinder the operation of those conductors! I warn him that, in such an event, a spirit will go forth in their midst, more to be dreaded than the most appalling earthquake.

The holidays are part and parcel of the gross fraud, wrong, and inhumanity of slavery. They are professedly a custom established by the benevolence of the slaveholders; but I undertake to say, it is the result of selfishness, and one of the grossest frauds committed upon the down-trodden slave. They do not give the slaves this time because they would not like to have their work during its continuance, but because they know it would be unsafe to deprive them of it. This will be seen by the fact that the slaveholders like to have their slaves spend those days just in such a manner as to make them as glad of their ending as of their beginning.

Their object seems to be, to disgust their slaves with freedom by plunging them into the lowest depths of dissipation. For instance, the slaveholders not only like to see the slave drink of his own accord, but will adopt various plans to make him drunk. One plan is to make bets on their slaves as to who can drink the most whisky without getting drunk; and in this way they succeed in getting whole multitudes to drink to excess.

Thus, when the slave asks for virtuous freedom, the cunning slaveholder knowing his ignorance, cheats him with a dose of vicious dissipation, artfully labeled with the name of liberty. The most of us used to drink it down, and the result was just what might be supposed; many of us were led to think that there was little to choose between liberty and slavery. We felt, and very properly too, that we had almost as well be slaves to man as to rum. So when the holidays ended, we staggered up from the filth of our wallowing, took a long breath, and marched to the field feeling upon the whole rather glad to go from what our master had deceived us into a belief was freedom, back to the arms of slavery.”

At the end of the 21st century the question will be asked WHY IS THE AFRICAN STILL A SLAVE, and the answer will be: HE DID NOT TAKE THE ISSUE OF CULTURAL RESISTANCE SERIOUSLY, and each succeeding generation of his children were carelessly allowed to fall into the snare of POPULAR CULTURE.

0 thoughts on “Popular Culture And Scientifically Cultivated Ignorance

  1. At the end of the 21st century the question will be asked WHY IS THE AFRICAN STILL A SLAVE, and the answer will be: HE DID NOT TAKE THE ISSUE OF CULTURAL RESISTANCE SERIOUSLY, and each succeeding generation of his children were carelessly allowed to fall into the snare of POPULAR CULTURE.

    The above merits some serious discussion. A WikiLeak Cable maybe required for it to happen.

  2. Hi Ras

    This is my last comment to you because I sense that you are a l’enfant provocateur.

    I’m happy with my Christianity (and btw Jesus was not European). To Hopi, yes, my religion is that of the Vatican and the Church of England and I make no apologies for it.

    Call me modern day slave, call me white washed call me brain washed, call me whatever you choose to.

    I’m happy with in the world that was constructed by the Europeans. I’m happy with Greek-Romano and Jeffersonian democracy. I’m happy that America has started the process of overcoming its past and can elect a mixed race president (for Barack has mixed ancestry).
    I’m happy that in Barbados we have a right to a free education system and that we’re able to read and write in order to improve our lot in life.

    If this improvement means consumer goods, a house and a car…then I’m happy with that too. The life span in Bdos is now 75 years old compared to a mere 40 years old 75 yrs ago.
    If this is not worthy then what is?

    When Black Africa starts to produce quality consumer goods, I’ll be the first in line to purchase them, should their prices be competitive. Until such time, I will drive my Japanese or European made car with contentment. I will pay the bank monthly for it so that they can pay my fellow black employees who are earning an honest living.
    I will do my part to keep the economy functioning.
    I will go to the bank and get my 30 year mortgage and hire a Black contractor who will hire Black laborers. When I pass this money back to them, they in turn will spend some and save the rest. Their savings will then be lent to others to keep our modern economy moving.

    Now what is your solution?
    What is your alternative?
    What do you suggest that we study in our schools? What would you put on the curriculum?
    What goods do you suggest we produce or buy?
    Who should we buy these goods from?
    What is your alternative to the current political system?
    What is your alternative to the current economic system?

    Please tell us. We are anxiously waiting.

    Dear Ras, you’re throwing out ideological posturing that is backed by nothing. Pure garbage.

    As I said before, the mere fact that you’re ideologically grounded on Rastafanism is enough to dismiss you.
    That religion is baseless, nonsensical, false, stupid, worthless, laden with ignorance, hopeless, filled with lies and half truths and the list goes on.

    We love you as our brother and we tolerate you in our society, but given the opportunity, we’d rather not have your silly kind amongst us, telling us that we’re mentally enslaved.

    If you’re so free, like your mentor, the pot head Bob Marley, then lead us to a much better place.
    Please take your rightful place and leave us alone. If you choose to live in the gullies and bathe in spring water, then that is your right and your business. Now don’t come telling us how we ought to live because we don’t wish to hear from you.
    Your doctrine is GROUDLESS.

    Now go and pray to Ras Tafari and ask him for your salvation.

  3. So shall we discuss the endowment of the Richard Stoute Teen Talent contest by the Government of Barbados? I cannot think of a better example of the institutionalization of the same popular culture that is complained of. Shall we turn our backs on Rihanna, that Barbadian born (but not cultivated) doyenne of the popular culture?

    • @Ping Pong

      Don’t be extreme, let us examine what is under the hood (core), the body work is a nice to have but not germane to the discussion.

      Rihanna falls under the body part of the analogy.

  4. David
    Just what are you trying to say?!!

    According to Ras Jahaziel (and apparently supported by you) the popular culture is the enemy of people of African descent. Should we not identify the purveyors of this popular culture whether it is Cave Shepherd selling Hilfiger shirts, Moods and Options selling hair extensions or Richard Stoute encouraging the mimicking of North American singers and musical genres? It is early days yet but we may one day issue postage stamps honouring those promoters of West Indian high culture and consciousness – Vybz Kartel and Movado!

  5. As Cuddear says, what is the solution to the problem that Ras Jahaziel describes? It’s easy to criticize; much harder to develop and describe practical ways in which to drive positive change.

    I’m not going to attack Ras Jahaziel’s religion, as we all have a right to beleive in what we want. But I am genuinely interested in hearing from him how we might do things differently, such that we can break the bonds of our supposed modern-day slavery. Maybe he should tell us how he handles this journey we call life…and why his way is better than any other…

  6. I will not make any “personal comment” but quote those who live the life, or are near it.

    The Town That Rastafarians Hoped to Build : Near
    Shashamene In Southern Ethiopia.

    First 12 Jamaican settlers arrived in 1963.

    “We plan to make Shashamene a model city, with good infrastructure and telecommunications, It will rise above all other African cities.” Gladstone Johnson Sn

    They were given 500 hectares of land by Emperor Haile Seassie.

    What do the people of Shashamene think of their new neighbours?

    “All they do is smoke marijuana which the Ethiopian farmers grow for them, some in the town don’t like this as our children have started to smoke this drug. We like them as they intergrate and there is a lot of inter-marriage but the marijuana has to stop.” Abdul Onduka 27 years of age.

    “The rastas are nice people and very friendly. They teach us English and give us employment, but they have done little for the development of the town”. Ethiopian teacher

    “Others in the town find the beliefs of the Rastafarian faith at loggerheads with the local faiths, Islam and Orthodox Christianity”.

    “The Rastafarian faith views Emperor Haile Selassie as the Messiah of the African people, but most Ethiopians disagree. He was a good leader but he did oppress the masses and it was a feudal system under his rule. He is not a God. He is a mere mortal”. Said one Ethiopian in Shashamen.

    “In a letter addressed to the Organization of African Unity Earlier this year -2001- the Rasrafari community complained that local people had occupied and settled on much of the land given to them”.

    Gladstone Johnstone Sn one of their community leaders said:

    “We left the West and came to Ethiopian with the intention of being accepted as Africans with the rights to African Citizenship, we therefore desire to have full legal status and to be recognized as citizens, with all the privileges and rights to work and travel freely as Ethiopians”.

    “In fact, it was recently reported that their – Rastafarians – numbers have dwindled from more than 2000 to fewer than 300 according to a recent CNN interview with Dr. Robinson and other Rastafarian settlers in Ethiopia”. Wikipedia

    I make no personal observations what-so-ever, but give a “factual report” of a “particular” back to Africa movement.

  7. @Ping Pong

    There is good and bad* in every culture. Why do you insist on clutching at the extreme positions? The issue on the table is to examine how we can connect to a culture when leverages the full Afro-Caribbean experience. It must become part of our ‘DNA’. So far we have surrendered to that which is described as cultural relativism.

  8. My Government in its most recent budget presentation allocated a sum of money to the Richard Stoute Teen Talent competition. The same Government held a national party for Rihanna to celebrate her Grammy award and gave her a plot of land in one of the most expensively priced areas. Yet you accuse me of “clutching at extreme positions” after you and Ras Jahaziel have declared the popular culture to be the enemy of African peoples. The vapidity of the argument presented so far hints that this is just another rant going around in circles.

    Where is the Oliver Headly trust for alternative energy development, or the John Bovell trust for organic food production, or the London Bourne trust for business development, or the Rachel Pringle trust for indigenous hotel and tourism development, or the Carmeta Fraser trust for the development of Bajan cuisine, or the Karl Brodhagen trust for the development of the plastic and representational arts, or even the Suki King trust for the development of mind games!

    • @Ping Pong

      Not sure we differ on the issue. Successive governments are not blameless by their lack of leadership to stem the tide of cultural relativism. How we raise our children at home, at school, at play, the standards we accept in our local competitions (NIFCA, Independence Shows, Crop Over etc). Why have symbols but the environment in which we teach stymie any thought process which gives validity to anything home grown or ancestral?

  9. Upon his ascension to Emperor in 1930, he took the name Haile Selassie, meaning “Power of the Trinity”. Haile Selassie’s full title in office was “His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and Elect of God”

  10. I normally find Yardbroom to be a DLP ass kisser and hardly ever agree with him on any but Lord man he hit in the belly with this one.

  11. PingPong
    so wait, why you fail ta mention de Bonny Peppa trust, i.e: fa idiots dat feel dat dem is intellectuals? you is a idiot or wah? stupsee

    LOLLL. you in easy pun de bred’dren a’tall. ya got ma cryinnnnnnn.

  12. Yes Kiki. Thanks for the video. That we would continue to borrow and import this nonsense from Jamaica is beyond human intelligence. Jamaica has nothing to offer, not even to themselves.
    A load of dread locked dope head highly illiterate men calling themselves artists and infecting our youth with ignorance.
    Spare us!

  13. @Cuddear
    Whatever you may think or say about Adrica >One thing is for sure The people have been able to maintain their culture in their language and their attire. The Westerners have almost made it impossible for Blacks to maintain any measure of their culture nearly seeing it as irrelevant. Thanks to the movements like The Black Power and other radicals they made it possdible for Blacks living in western society to embrass their culture ,The Western ers NEVER wanted Blacks to have any status in their Society because they believed that it would have been the end of their financial and political power. The Rasta Movement is doing such in trying to get Western Blacks to continue to Strive and fight for their culture. Culture is who and what we are as a people. without it we would continue to be trampled on by those who think they know what is best and right for us. To know yourself is to be YOURSELF.

  14. @ David
    In Barbados you can make more enemies by being right, than by being wrong, particularly if it happens often, as evidenced by “some” of the comments here on BU.

    You will recall in a discussion about the Judicary in Barbados, it was mentioned that the designate Chief Justice Marston Gibson, should say what he will do when in office. I ventured to suggest, that he should do nothing of the sort – which to my knowledge he did.

    Barbados is a small place and lots of things often happen.

    I now read in the Nation News – Sunday 12, December 2010, that a challenge has been made to his appointment.

    I hope everything can be satisfactorily settled.

  15. @Cuddear
    Yuh don’t throw out a barrel of apples because of a few rotten ones. When you try to label a group of people in such a negative light it only highlight your ignorance of what you speak.

  16. Slavery, mental slavery, the term used by blacks to invoke the idea, concept, that this ‘mental slavery’ is a carry-over, from the Colonial slave trade imposed on them by the white slave masters of that era; and still has a hold on many through modern commercialism, and secular materialism.

    The point that blacks of this persuasion don’t understand, is, that ALL of mankind is in some form or kind of ‘slavery’ from the mega-rich, to the very poor and destitute, UNLESS, one be they white or black, have been LIBERATED from the inherent bondage of SIN, which permeates the entire human race, in Christ Jesus.

    Because one is a billionare, can purchase all that money can buy, does NOT mean, one is still not in SLAVERY to SIN, which controls one’s desires, and can NEVER satisfy one’s deepest longing for true peace, joy, and happiness, none of which, can be bought with money, as they are only given to those who know and are in Jesus Christ.

    A person who knows Jesus as their personal Saviour and Lord, may be very poor materialistically, BUT, they are SO RICH in true spiritual wealth, i.e., peace, joy, and inner contentment, that ONLY the Lord Jesus Christ can give, to those who love and obey Him!

  17. Popular Culture And Scientifically Cultivated Ignorance
    Couple of points to add to this debate:
    1. Rastafarian’s get treated with more respect in England and Europe than they do in Caribbean countries.
    2. Caribbean countries with a historical British colonial legacy act more British than the British do today.

  18. Another excellent piece. Keep them coming brother Ras Jahaziel. People of the Cuddear type express their ignorance of things they know not beacause they are kindegarden dropout.

  19. For anyone who has not get it yet:

    B’s v D’s
    Bajans v Guyanese
    Blacks v Whites
    Anglicans v Catholics v Other Xtians
    Christians? v Muslims
    Rich v Poor
    East v West
    The world v Africa

    Who is gaining as we subscribe to these circulatory debates?

    Do we ever get anywhere, and if we did find answers what good would it do us?

    We are slaves as Ras suggests but not to the classes he accuses.

    Divide and rule always works.

    Less freedom for more security. LOL.

    Take a step back everyone and realise what is happening to the world you were born into and that which you will leave.

    Stop bickering about trivia and blaming innocent enemies, see the real picture of who is manipulating these global crises and redirect your justified anger to them and not their manipulated fall guys.

    Once you understand the real threats and their intentions you can say “I will take no more”.
    Until then you are nothing but a frog, complaining but complacent, in a pan of water, being gradually brought to the boil.

  20. Ok, lets stop talking about Black issues because such talk obviously makes many of us Negroes very uneasy. We will wait until ‘our’ designated month which is the shortest month of the year and in the meantime we will only focus on the issues which the Beast owned media direct our attention to. From the get-go the Beast trashed the Black race and all other johnnies-come-lately races joined the fray and scorned the Black race as well, but today the Beast’s hatred has come full circle and is zeroing-in on all the other suckers who thought they were better than the Black race [talk about chickens coming home to roost] and now we should join them and fight the Beast and then, when they have overcome the Beast we will again return to that designated sub-servient condition and. What a big joke. Continue to drink that kool-aid!

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