Buju’s damage already done (Gleaner letter 23.10.09)

I noted with interest your Gleaner Online poll which shows that 88 per cent of persons polled think that gay activists have gone overboard in their campaign against Buju Banton. Not only do I disagree with the majority, I think we could all learn something from the gay community.

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I noted with interest your Gleaner Online poll which shows that 88 per cent of persons polled think that gay activists have gone overboard in their campaign against Buju Banton. Not only do I disagree with the majority, I think we could all learn something from the gay community.

Discrimination against minorities remains one of the USA’s biggest social issues. The gay community in the USA has every right to take steps to ensure that someone who supports discrimination against gays has a difficult time in gaining popularity in their country. Jamaicans would probably put up stronger opposition if an openly gay artiste had the nerve to schedule concerts here in Jamaica, regardless of the content of the music.

‘Informer fi dead’ culture

What I don’t understand is why, in a country like Jamaica where violent crime is the biggest social issue, we don’t demand that artistes like Buju do more to destroy the ‘informer fi dead’ culture that they helped to create. Lest we forget, at the same time that Buju was singing Boom Bye Bye, he also proclaimed that “gunshot fi buss up inna informer head”. It’s not enough for Buju to clean up his lyrics now that he’s famous. The damage has already been done. Buju’s example is seen in the Which Dudus song now covering the airwaves that warns of Madden’s Funeral Home being filled if Dudus is extradited.

Perhaps Buju is afraid to be part of the minority of Jamaican artistes who support cooperation with ‘Babylon’. Maybe our memories are too short to sustain public and economic pressure on social issues such as this. While we may not agree with the views of the gay activists, imagine how much better our own communities would be if we had the courage and resilience to go overboard for what we believe to be right.

I am, etc.,

GAVIN GOFFE

ggoffe@gmail.com

Kingston

Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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