Much thanks for the compliment, Garveys Africa. I have been distracted lately so I want to add/elaborate on a few things.
Aye Shasatabe Makonnen, it can be very difficult trying to make these structures clear to caucasians. I sincerely do not believe it is the job of the black person to have to explain to white people how they have an advantage in this world, or the many ways in which they still actively downpress people of color all over the globe. The evidence is everywhere. Though it can be difficult to shrug off, I think our time is better spent building alternatives and resilience amongst ourselves.
Humble one, please do not feel like you are unwelcome here. I cannot speak to some of the more hostile things that other members have stated, but we are all equally conditioned by the societies in which we were brought up in. The color of our skin has nothing to do with our character regardless of how the world operates. You are an individual, plain and simple. I think its great that you have taken an interest in Rastafari and the fact that you are participating on a forum such as this and reasoning shows that you have a genuine interest which exceeds that of most caucasians I know. I can see why you are drawn to Rastafari, as it is very explicit in its challenging of Western society and its placement of value on the here and now as opposed to some deity in the sky. This said, Rastafari is not the only path which has this emphasis. Sikhs are very forward in that it is our responsibility to challenge oppression and remove ourselves from an unjust society. Sikhism is very tolerant and open-minded and is as much about logic, reasoning, and social justice as it is about the worship of a higher order. The practice originates from the Middle East but it is very clear that people of ALL ethnic backgrounds are welcome to call themselves a Sikh. Most religions, if you look hard enough, I believe are saying the same thing. The popular representation of Christianity does not, in my opinion, reflect the actual teachings of Christ. All of the major Abrahamic faiths, in addition to Eastern traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, they all encourage social justice and condemnation of a destructive culture...you have to look past what you are TOLD about these religions and look into them deeply for yourself, and you will find gems of wisdom that are applicable to your pursuits. I have been studying theology/spirituality for a few years now and I can tell you that everything that draws you to Rastafari can be found in most other practices.
Of course Im also not going to say that you CANT be Rasta, but please acknowledge that Rastafari is challenging Babylon from a BLACK lens. It is acknowledging the ways that Babylon has, and continues to, downpress African peoples worldwide. Rastafari exists to offer Africans a culture and sense of identity/history in place of the one that Babylon stripped away from us. As a white person, everything you have ever been taught about the world asserts your heritage and your identity as a white person. Most black people don't have that. I know very little of my heritage, I don't even know my real family name. Most of our culture has been overwritten, erased, or downplayed by caucasians and Rastafari offers us the opportunity to claim our own identity as Africans living in a white world. Rastafari, from my overstanding, is much more about African identity than it is about philosophical concepts of consciousness or Jah.
I hope that helps as well? I have been sick and very busy the past few days so I figured I would try to explain my perspective a bit better. And if it makes you feel any better, I am not a Rasta. I am very interested in Rastafari and I am drawn to it, but I do not yet know if my own overstandings and lifestyle fit into the model of Rastafari. And I am black. And that is all I am trying to say...Rastafari is a very specific movement and it is not for everyone. It is ironic, as a black person I am drawn to it because it offers a sense of African spiritual identity as well as an outlet for revolutionary change; but at the same time I hold certain opinions which seem to fundamentally clash with the movement. And that is the beauty of it, nobody has yet to say I cannot be a Rasta as that is for the I to decide...but we must make such decisions with a proper overstanding of what Rastafari is. And from the I's perspective, if you overstand what Rastafari is than you acknowledge that it is for black people.
Rastafari is not saying white people are terrible and inherently evil or flawed, its saying black people need centralization and unification and it is an outlet for much needed black solidarity. Black people need to have their voices heard, as black people. When our voices become muddled with those of caucasians, we are discrediting ourselves and taking away from the power of a single black voice. We are no longer demanding or standing for the same things if caucasians are speaking for us
By no means do I wish to discourage you on your pursuit for knowledge. You will do whatever you are most drawn to, and I hope that whatever that may be, Rastafari or not, it brings you wisdom, power, and serenity.