If only that were the whole truth but things are rarely if ever so simple. Let's look at Bob's political background and examine some truths. At independence in 1962 Jamaica like nearly all the other newly independent colonies was little more than a Caribbean island labour dormitory for Britain. Entire Kingston neighbourhoods emigrated to fill low wage jobs in the British transport ,construction& health sectors.
Like all ex colonies the nation was destined to stumble along the path of preordained fiscal conservatism,a low wage primary product exporter like most of the 3rd world,in this case bauxite til the early 70s when the PNP under Michael Manley won power. His party had 2 main goals:
-reducing the rigid class structures
-gaining the support of both the traditional Christian community and the long neglected Rastafarian community.
The electorate responded positively and the PNP won with nearly 60% of the vote as even Manley's critics conceded that his popular wide ranging social reforms were the clincher,though his plans to increase the contribution of bauxite to the economy identified him to the Global Powers That Be as a trouble maker. He helped develop the International Bauxite Association to prevent price gouging and improve returns by processing the bauxite and exporting alumina. He became an active participant in developing world issues speaking out on apartheid and the importance of the Non Aligned Movement as a Cold War counterweight.
At this point the World agent of the Anglo PTB,the CIA began supplying guns and cash to their proxy,Edward Seaga of the JLP. Death squads turned the once sleepy island into a near Sri Lanka. Tourism plummeted and unemployment rose as visitors and investors like wise avoided Jamaica.
Manley’s relationship with Bob Marley also gained him support and admiration with many Jamaicans. Manley politics and Marley’s music were undeniably integrated during the rule of the PNP, with Manley and Marley even living as neighbors on Hope Road. During the first four years of the Manley regime, Marley gave many free performances as the request of the PNP — two of the most significant being the "Smile Jamaica Concert" in 1976 and the "One Love Peace Concert" in 1978. Just prior to the Smile Jamaica Concert, Marley, his wife Rita, and his manager Don Taylor, were shot by gunmen at Bob’s home on Hope Road. Many believe that this shooting was carried out by Jamaica Labour Party supporters although no concrete evidence has ever been brought forth to support this belief. The One Love Peace Concert was marked by Marley bringing Manley and Seaga, the JLP’s leader, onstage with him and joining their hands in a sign of peace. Manley and Marley certainly had a growing impact on one another.
Just before the 1976 concert after the attempted murders an incident that many believe was actually the cancer poisoning occurred. Security after the shooting was considerably tightened with machete wielding Rastas screening all callers.A documentary 'film crew' was allowed access to shoot. One,who was remembered by reliable witnesses not to be a cameraman insisting on presenting a pair of cowboy boots to Bob Marley.This is what happened next according to everyone on the scene:“He put his foot in and said, ‘Ow!’ A friend got in there… he said, ‘let’s [get] in the boot, and he pulled a length of copper wire out – it was embedded in the boot.”
The same witness swears when Bob broke the same toe playing soccer and it never healed a thorough scan showed it was cancerous and had metastized throughout the body. He ignored doctors orders and went on touring and recording. Bob seemed to know his time was up and accepted it. His best work was done in this period. In 1980 he had cancer of the brain lung and liver. He attempted a last ditch holistic treataent with an eccentric German Dr.Josef Issels,who greeted him on arrival thusly: “I hear that you’re one of the most dangerous black men in the world.”
Marley suffered a strange regimen of exercise, vaccines [some illegal], ozone injections, vitamins and trace minerals and what some called torture. Long needles were plunged through Marley’s stomach through to the spine. The patient-victim was told that this was part of his “treatment.” The torture continued until Marley foundered on the threshold of death.
His mother suffered the sight of just one such 'treatment,'that makes one wonder how Marley must have suffered. One time I went with Nesta to the clinic, and we settled down in a treatment room. Issels came in and announced to Nesta, ‘I’m going to give you a needle.’” Dr. Issels “plunged the needle straight into Nesta’s navel right down to the syringe. [Marley] grunted and winced. He could only lie there helplessly, writhing on the table, trying his best to hide his pain. ‘Jesus Christ,’ I heard myself mumbling.” Issels yanked out the needle and strolled casually out of the room. Marley was left groaning with pain. “
When he died on May 11 1981 he weighed an astonishingly skeletal 82 pounds. While Jamaicans,Caribbeans and the wider World wept the agents of the Lords of Misrule,the CIA shed no tears. A cultural icon who had helped stymie their neocolonial plans had died;and so had his sociopolitical commentaries of upliftment.
(Dear Reader,bear in mind the wave of cancer that afflicted every 'controversial' Latin American president recently. Paraguay's Fernando Lugo, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, Hugo Chavez, and recently Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina were given this diagnosis,almost simultaneously;a near statistical impossibility.)
After the shooting death of Peter Tosh in 1987,true reggae was all but dead-it stumbled on for a while but morphed into pure commercialism-by the 90s a dancehall version appeared. 'Artistes' singing about sex,prostitutes,dope,gangsters and killing all interspersed with self praise. Below is an example of one of its derivatives called 'daggering.' It simulates sex on stage and is the lead cause of broken penises in the Caribbean;in fact that's why the Jamaican government banned it.
Babylon has won.
This is an extreme example of skin bleaching. Yes,among today's best known inheritors of what was once reggae is an enthusiastic self hater as this before and after photo of Jamaican dance hall artiste,Vybz Kartel. In the heyday of Reggae,Rastas wouldn't have tolerated sight nor sound of such pathological idiocy.
This passapassa is now what the genre has become. A once deliberately socially conscious music form has degenerated to displays of soft porn outtakes of idle ignorant juvenile minds.
Now,at least his music lives on;the message is definitely forgotten.