Originally posted by kerouacdude
As for your last sentence, don't you think that's a little sad? That everything's up for grabs, and doesn't have to mean anything anymore? Everything I've ever read indicates that the majority of believers find it annoying at least and disrespectful at worst when people go nappy just for the hell of it.
At the very least you must agree it's bemusing that something that could get you killed in Uganda or Kenya or more recently, scorned for in Jamaica (including by most blacks) gets worn by people who've known very little discomfort.
I agree it is sad, but such is life. This is the world we live in; things do not have to have a specific and unified meaning. That isn't to say that dreads have less meaning for Rastafarians than they used to, but that dreads do not necessarily imply a connection to Rastafari. It is the same as non-Buddhists having little Buddha statues in their house, or having a Buddy Christ action figure. It is annoying or disrespectful to anyone who is honestly a believer, but that is not enough to make people stop using the icons as they see fit.
And yes, I know that it can be seen as a symbol of disrespect in Africa or Jamaica, but that is mainly a cultural difference and something to be aware of when travelling, it should not be much of an issue while in Canada. That being said, it is taken to be offensive by some people here as well, I know that from personal experience.
I also know from personal experience that if you do show their culture/religion a proper amount of respect and don't try to be something you are not, most understand that you are not claiming an affinity with them or claiming to represent them.