So much for people power, I wish half as us Jamaicans had the umph or resolve to defend basic rights, tolerance and fairness. Frankly the LGBTQ community here as I see it is too lazy and comfortable with our situation, running to another country or hiding just won't do. It's not about forcing homosexuality on anyone as that doesn't need to happen as one is either gay, straight, bisexual or the other variants of sexual orientation around including asexual (having no sexual desire), to each his own.
ON BAYAREA and OUTNOOW:
Buju Banton’s concert at VooDoo Lounge in San Jose on Oct. 13 has been canceled. Owners of the bar say they don’t want to give his gay hate speech a stage.
Buju advocates in his reggae music that gay people should be killed. The Jamaican native has been singing this type of music for years. When he announced his U.S. tour earlier this year, the gay community jumped into action to get his concerts canceled.
This week, his concerts were canceled in Hollywood, thanks to the efforts to the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center. On Thursday, Oct. 8, OutNow discovered that Banton was scheduled to perform at VooDoo Lounge next week.
Yesterday, OutNow was unable to get interviews with the owners of VooDoo Lounge and sent out a story to our 10,000 e-newsletter subscribers. Then the community jumped into action. Many people called and emailed friends, city officials and the owners of the bar.
The bar owners, Tony Beers and Dave Powell, said they didn’t know anything about Banton’s music or controversy until it was brought to their attention yesterday. The owners started to research Banton online and found the lyrics to his music that advocates for the murder of gay people.
“We took a cold hard look at these lyrics and it was an easy decision to cancel this event,” said Tom Saggau, spokesman for VooDoo Lounge. “We are not going to provide a stage for that activity at all and we condemn it.”
This afternoon Banton’s promoter was notified that his concert is canceled. “We are scratching our heads wondering why we didn’t catch this sooner,” Saggau said.
Often in the entertainment industry, a bar owner is presented with a long list of bands who can perform and they pick a package deal. They often don’t know a lot of details about each band.
“This issue transcends the economy and money,” Saggau said. “It’s about doing the right thing. There wasn’t even a discussion. Once the owners heard the lyrics to the songs, they said get him out, they didn’t talk about money or anything, they just said cancel it.”
Officials at the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center said Banton’s promoters are like the carnival game, “whack a mole.” Once they get him kicked out of one venue, he pops up at another nearby venue. As of today, OutNow doesn’t know of any other venue where he is expected to play.
My early work on translating some of the lyrics while volunteering with JFLAG and Outrage UK on the Stop Murder Music, SMM campaigns has helped greatly but more work is needed to spread the real lyrical content of some of these songs that literally call for the execution of homosexuals in the most gruesome of ways. We are told that the lyrics must not be taken literally and Buju's management tries to absolve him of responsibility by saying he was young when he recorded the offending "Boom Bye Bye" albeit the lyrics are clear in their intent.
Age is no excuse and the adults who were handling him were and are irresponsible in using such a young talent to promote death while launching him unto the more competitive dancehall circuit. Many acts have used this avenue of anti gay murder music to resuscitate their fledgling careers or dip in popularity but we are not fooled by it anymore.
Peace and tolerance