JFLAG, the press release mechanism and its supposed SMMC Support

JFLAG continues to play catch up on a Stop Murder Music movement that has clearly left its grasp and even knowledge of activities taking place elsewhere is not known to them.

As someone who was involved in the SMM work in the early days which is far more older than six years I am apalled at the poor representation they are showing for the lgbt community in this and other regards.

Very little has been done to meet half way with the players in the industry even in the face of some pundits in the arena such as Clyde McKenzie, Shocking Vybes Director and Rising Star judge suggesting a truce and talks towards possible solutions.

The work has been predominantly done by the groups overseas themselves with very little consultations towards JFLAG. Even the recent actions in France with regards to Sizzla and Capleton tell a story as the persons there acted on point basically alone with some links to individuals.

The various Stop Murder Music Campaign groups internationally now literally translate the songs themselves contact key people outside JFLAG’s structure in their own field work yet the J plays catch up with cursary support when they do not even have the field workers or outreach for monitoring the dancehall arena and related issues.

This is a joke, another half hearted positioning to look as if they are doing anything. Or as some would say the press release factory mechanism is at it again.

Here is the press release from JFLAG

Kingston, Jamaica – August 2, 2010

Over the past 6 years, the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays has been engaged with the Stop Murder Music Campaign (SMMC), a network of activists in Europe, the United States and Canada, who speak out against the performance of lyrics that promote violence against gays and lesbians in Jamaica. J-FLAG has recognised the SMMC as an important partnership in the fight against anti-gay violence and discrimination.

Against this background, J-FLAG supports the efforts of LSVD and other such groups in the Campaign to ensure that artists who promote hate and violence through their anti-gay lyrics be held accountable for this incitement of violence and hatred. As well these artistes should not be allowed to perform these lyrics internationally as this level of hatred should not be allowed to influence other cultures. The rewarding relationship held with the partners in this campaign is encouraging and J-FLAG is hopeful this kind of signal to artists will encourage the dancehall fraternity to seriously think about the responsibility that these artistes have to a developing society and that hatred and violence should not be the promoted or glamourised.

J-FLAG continues to take this position mindful of the fact that the threat as well as the reality of homophobic violence hangs over the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community in Jamaica. Indeed, violence has claimed the lives of too many members of the Jamaican GLBT community. J-FLAG remains convinced that this situation is fuelled, among other things, by the anti-gay lyrics of performers within the dancehall genre. If steps are not taken to address the threat posed by such lyrics, many more members of the Jamaican GLBT community will suffer.

We are conscious of the fact that the respect for the human rights of the GLBT community in many parts of Europe and North America has been won after a long struggle, and depended largely on governments and societies taking a stand against anti-gay violence. We therefore appreciate the seriousness of the issue for those who believe that allowing entertainers to call for the murder of GLBT persons represents a threat to the hard won respect for their humanity.

J-FLAG reiterates its respect for the sanctity of life and applauds the contributions of SMMC towards the safety of all GLBT persons.


Jason McFarlane
Programmes Manager
Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays – J-FLAG
Tel: (876)978-8988
Fax: (876) 978-7876
Website: http://www.jflag.org
email: admin@jflag.org

Peace and tolerance



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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