The Take On Dreadlocks Stereotypes. A Blunt Expression
What do you think is the number one of dreadlocks stereotypes?
Believe it or not the answer to that question does vary depending on where in the world you are asking it. In some parts of the world dreads are associated with holy people who guard their physical health as carefully as they do their spiritual and therefore would not smoke, drink, eat flesh, etc. While in other parts of the world dreads are associated with criminals that do nothing but smoke, drink, eat flesh, etc. However, for most people here in the United States and perhaps the world dreads are associate predominately with smoking weed. But why is the increasingly popular habit of smoking bud the more common answer to my initial question? Of course the various depictions of dreads in movies and art have always programmed and reinforced the stereotype. Certainly every case cannot be art imitating life. Most cases I think are merely art imitating the dreadlocks stereotypes.
I do suspect that the late Honorable Robert Nesta Marley, a dread that did smoke pot, has a lot to do with this stereotype. Mr. Marley was one of the most, if not the most prolific artist of any genre or medium to represent Jamaica. Marley is probably also the most famous dread. And, when you think about it, Bob Marley is also famous for smoking reefer. It is so synonymous with his name that one of herb’s many aliases (aliases in this article are in bold) is actually Bob Marley or simply Marley. If one were to ask–where can I get some of that Bob Marley? Something seems to automatically tell you the request is not for music. His fame put his name in our mouths, music in our ears, and a stereotype in our minds. Being so famous he was naturally photographed a lot. And many of the posters that were printed, even album covers had Marley with a fat spliff in hand. Such photo opportunities were frequent as Bob smoked often enough to burn around a pound a week (YouTube- Why I smoke weed!). Bob Marley was perhaps the first dread that many people around the world ever saw and with the dreads they saw the marijuana. I think this almost justifies the strong association of dreads with ganja. Isn’t it funny how most of the broccoli sold on the streets or in medicinal outlets come from Mexico or right here in the United States, yet the main association of the drug in many people’s minds is still with Jamaica? I wonder if that has anything to do with Bob being Jamaican.
Consider that Cannabis is by far the number one cash crop in the United States and has a production value higher than wheat, corn, rice, oranges and tobacco combined. Now I ask you how many dreads do you think there are in the United States? Even if they all smoked as much as a pound a week, it just doesn’t add up. The fact is, it should be more of a stereotype that Americans smoke sess than dreads. So if you see a dread with a joint then he is simply just a dread that happens to smoke. This of course does not mean that all or even most dreads smoke. Similarly, not all dreads come from Jamaica or Africa. All dreads are not Rastas (However, most Rastas are in fact dreads and most do smoke sinse. So the stereotype is pretty spot on for Rastafarians). Furthermore, dreads are not worn only by people of color but are proudly worn by all races and classes of people from all over the world. From the streets to the workplace, models, actors, athletes and musicians (not just Reggae) alike are seen with dreads. Be it for hair style or life style there is too much diversity among dreads to stereotype the lot. Stereotypes only cause us to pre-judge.
So the blunt expression is: DON’T BE BIASED! Please.
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