After hearing Chairman Omali Yeshitela speak in Houston on October 18, 2009, well-known African poet from Jamaica, Mutabaruka made this statement to the audience.
I am coming from the old side of America. What is taking place in America? There is a lot of activism taking place in Jamaica. We look at America today and say “Rasclat” (a very derogatory Jamaican term referring to a person as the paper you wipe your butt with). What is happening to black America?
I wonder if I’m getting dumb, or stupid or something. Because that is all we were looking at coming from black America!
We Jamaicans, Pan-Africanists, Rasta people; we are saying black America has really gone stupid. And I say this with no disrespect to Brother Omowale of the National Black United Front who brought me to this meeting and to Texas. But I tell it like it is.
But this man here (looking at Chairman Omali) is worth my coming here, he’s worth it, trust me. I never planned to come to this meeting, but brother Omowale I tell you when I listen to this man here, it validates me coming to Texas. Because this man here makes me feel that black people in America are not stupid no more.
I have a radio program in Jamaica. And that radio program is the most popular program on Jamaican radio for the past 17 years. And it is broadcast live all over the world. Because I tell you this, I was just asking brother Omowale a little while ago was this program being taped. Because trust me man, if it is not taped then I be real vexed.
I really need a tape of what this man (Chairman Omali) said for playing on the radio in Jamaica. So that the world can hear this man’s speech a while ago. Because him give I hope!
When I sit there and I hear, it is goose bumps that I feel. It is like I am listening to a great music song. Because we never know that there are black people thinking like that in America. And we have been here since January, now many of us will know that.
So now me can go back to Jamaica and say yeah, black people in America ain’t went stupid or crazy.
I finally realize it. It’s been a trick, it’s a trick, it’s really a trick (referring to Obama’s statement that black folk in the U.S. live in “post-racial” America).
But I love you, and I need a CD of this thing. Please, I’m begging you, somebody have a tape of what this man just said so we can play it on the Radio in Jamaica!
Yeah, because everybody seemed to be saying that the visions of Marcus Garvey and Martin Luther King had been fulfilled with the red, white, and blue. And I was saying, what are these people saying.
But now, black people in America, black people in Jamaica, I feel we can get up and raise the real flag, the red, black, and green.