Locally in a radio canvass that was carried on Monday December 14, 2009 on Nationwide radio’s afternoon program 16 persons were asked what they thought of Buju Banton’s arrest. 11 out of the group said in essence they thought he was set up because of the to and fros with the gay community within the last months. It is not surprising as the local media has jumped on the perception and the letters to the respective editors look fabricated to me to push the point home
Jason McFarlane of JFLAG, Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays was questioned by some media quarters and in a response via telephone on one of the radio stations he surmised that the run ins that Buju had with the gay community are separate issues from his arrest and possible prosecution by the DEA, Drug Enforcement Agency.
According to them he, Buju was captured on film handling the cocaine in a sting operation set up by them with undercover officers. Allegedly he has a lawyer named Herbert Walker who was reported in the Associated press as saying Buju says he is innocent. Buju faces 20 to 30 years imprisonment if found guilty on the present charge. However what is also disturbing is that the authorities have hinted that they may have more evidence apart from this specific incident that he has been involved in drug dealings and may have been watching him for some time. Seeing that is it is a Federal case he may be in big problems as the amount on cocaine he was allegedly found with and he handled by using a knife to cut open one of the packages and tasting it is far above the allowed limit for personal use.
During the tussel between himself and the gay community in San Francisco and other states Buju’s management was very vocal and out front, even blogging on several platforms, now it seems they are no where to be found on this issue when contacted by media houses to speak on his arrest, interesting … a bag of mouth to bash gays but cant defend the man when needed.
Rastafarians have always been revered for avoiding the “white lady” or cocaine so it is strange that Buju a self confessed changed bingi man should be found in possession of or dealing in cocaine, I guess this is what has helped to lead to the argument and belief that he was set up but then again Buju has not been the typical Rastafarian as even by his advocating for death to others that is way out of line for their belief of equal rights and justice as espoused by previous stalwarts like Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown and contemporaries like Freddie McGregor and Luciano who by the way has been vilified for his righteous stance on issues and even booed at events.
Surprisingly or not the public supports Buju’s against the tide behavior, it could be surmised that Jamaicans in general likes a rebel and usually go against protocol, rules and regulations.
The silence yet again from other dancehall acts in support of Buju Banton is again deafening, very few spoke out on his ranglings with the US gay community and now lets see if they will break their silence.