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Brits nix concerts of Jamaican homobigots

Keith Boykin blogs about the deep-sixing of upcoming concerts of dancehall recording artists (and anti-gay bigots) Buju Banton and Beenie Man.

There were sizeable protests by gay rights groups against the artists, who haven’t stopped singing about killing gays (“batty boys”), after The two performers appearing to agree to cease singing the gay bashing crap. But they haven’t stopped, and so the concerts will not go on. The lyrics are inexcusably violent.

Listen to Buju Banton in “Boom Bye Bye.” He says, “Anytime Buju Banton come, batty boy get up and run, ah gunshot in ah head man … Boom, bye bye, in a batty boy head.” The phrase “batty boy” is Jamaican patois slang to refer to a gay man. The lyrics to the song, loosely translated by the British press, mean the following: “Anytime Buju Banton comes along, gays get and up and run. A bullet in the head … Bang, bye, bye, in the gay man’s head.”

In Beenie Man’s song “Han Up Deh,” he says, “Hang chi chi gal wid a long piece of rope.” The term “chi chi” is a Jamaican reference to homosexuality. The term is often used to refer to “chi chi men” but can also refer to lesbians (chi chi women or chi chi girls). Loosely translated, the lyrics mean, “Hang lesbians with a long piece of rope.”

These cretins have a right to sing whatever they want, but promoters don’t have to give them a venue to perform and profit from spreading filth like that. Keith asks a good question about the obligation on our shores to call out the artists who don’t mind spewing out homophobic rants in song.

It’s good to see the British are active, but why aren’t we speaking up with the same outrage here in the United States? The black gay community in the U.S. is much larger than the community in Britain. So why aren’t black gays and lesbians leading the charge against homophobic music in black America?

…It’s 2006, and it’s time for gays and lesbians on this side of the pond to wake up and get involved in stopping the homophobic music in our own country. Yet when Buju Banton performed in May at the UCLA Jazz Reggae Fest, there was hardly even a whimper of protest. We need a public education campaign to let people know about some of the homophobic music and artists out there. And we need to teach some of the anti-gay artists a lesson. If you mess with us, we’ll mess with you.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding