Bisexuality Day, September 23 …. Happy Bi-Pride to you

Happy BI-PRIDE to all my Bisexual readers, supporters and their friends

Celebrate Bisexuality Day is observed on September 23 by members of the bisexual community and their supporters originally in the United States but has been extended worldwide.


This day is a call for bisexual, pansexual, friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and the bi/pansexual people in their lives.


First observed in 1999, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of three United Statesbisexualrightsactivists: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilburof Texas.


Wilbur said,

Ever since the Stonewall rebellion, the gay and lesbian community has grown in strength and visibility. The bisexual community also has grown in strength but in many ways we are still invisible. I too have been conditioned by society to automatically label a couple walking hand in hand as either straight or gay, depending upon the perceived gender of each person.

 

 

This celebration of bisexuality in particular, as opposed to general LGBT events, was conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of the bisexual persons by some in both thestraight and greater LGBT communities.

In its first year, an observance was held during the International Lesbian and Gay Association, which occurred during the week of the 23rd. While at first it only took hold in areas with an extremely strong bisexual presence, it is now celebrated worldwide.


It features event such as discussions, dinner parties and dances in Toronto and a large masquerade ball in Queensland, Australia. At Texas A&M University, the week featured discussion panels and question-and-answer sessions. Princeton University celebrates this day each year by throwing a party at its LGBT Center.

It has also been celebrated in Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

 

Bi-erasure or Biphobia by default from our advocacy structure???? 

 

Unfortunately in Jamaica either our advocates haven’t matured to the recognition of bisexuals as a part of our struggle or we can’t be bothered as “batty business” is more important when some of the very issues of homophobia as we call it are not really so but bi-phobia if one were to closely examine the details at times.


JFLAG has Allsexuals included in their acronym I suppose to cover all other orientations and variants outside of the original LGBT population but I never heard of any direct meetings, interventions or strategies to engage this section of the population.

I would hate to think that our advocacy representatives are themselves guilty of bi-phobia in the form of bisexual erasure (the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or reexplain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, the news media, and other primary sources.

In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists). Inclusiveness is the name of the game now if we are to get anywhere but with the elitist position taken by the group one wonders when will we begin to move on anything?

 


It is refreshing to see other individual voices saying their piece and going out on their own, I would love to see an all out Jamaican bisexual website or at the very least a couple of blogs


Let us hope in the near future something can be done about that either by them despite the insulation or some other group, organization or individuals.


Celebrate yourselves anyway my BI-FRIENDS.

 

 

 

Peace and tolerance

 

H

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Protect lesbian and gay population (Observer Letter)

Dear Editor,

“Corrective rape” is the barbaric practice where men rape lesbian women to “make them straight”. This heinous practice is alive and well in Jamaica but goes largely unreported.

Nevertheless, last year there were six reported cases, and this month two lesbians were raped within days of each other.

The first young lady was walking home when she was brutally set upon and gang-raped by a group of four men from her community.

The men had complained about and seemingly had had enough of her “butch” or manly attire and were also upset that she had all the good-looking women.

They therefore “cut her” so she can better “tek man”.

Two days later the second young lady, a known friend of the first, was driven away in a taxi, held at knife-point and brutally raped after being forced to perform oral sex on her assailant.

She was then dumped partially clothed and told that the next time her rapist would use a condom.

Both rapes were reported to the police. However, it is doubtful the women will follow through with the prosecutions as the stigma and discrimination faced by raped lesbians in Jamaica is much worse than regular rape victims: in the eyes of most Jamaicans, lesbians have dared to challenge the hetero-normative status quo and have therefore somehow caused their attacks.

As a people we should have a national revulsion to such often violent abuse of the rights of Jamaica’s lesbian and gay population. Instead, encouraged by our leaders and laws, many of us wear our homophobia like a badge of national pride.

Maurice Tomlinson

maurice_tomlinson@yahoo.com

ENDS

Good to see that some are finally catching up with the correct terminologies and issues but this issue of corrective rape has been a sore point from late 2007 when several cases came to light especially during my tenure at Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays, JFLAG the problem is it is not a JFLAG representative writing these letters but a paid consultant from AIDSFREEWORLD, why is JFLAG not able to speak on the issues definitively instead of having a quasi spokesperson from another entity?

These are the things that make sections of the community so cynical and wonder what are our advocates as they say they are doing really?

It has taken far too long for this to reach the lexicon of the organization and worse yet to properly engage and address women’s issues and lesbian issues and not leave them entirely to the affiliate WomenforWomen who are not funded or equipped to deal with matters effectively. Let us not forget that Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays was formed out of its parent Jamaica AIDS Support for Life to deal with advocacy issues that they were not equipped to deal with at the time as JASL focuses on HIV/AIDS interventions. The shifting or passing of direct responsibility to subgroups with volunteers is insufficient to address frontline and psycho-social needs of the victims in particular and the greater LGBT body politic. Both JASL and JFLAG to date have no resident Psychologist or Social Worker and have to outsource or refer to paid private practices in most instances if one is fortunate to get that in their case.

Peace and tolerance

H

 

Buju Banton: I’m no drug dealer (Observer)

Entertainer tells court he was ‘talking straight up garbage’

TAMPA, USA — A contrite and apologetic Buju Banton yesterday took the witness stand in his cocaine trial, denying that he was a trafficker or a financier of any illicit drug activities.
But the soft-spoken Jamaican Grammy nominee Reggae artiste admitted two things: that he was naïve, and that he was only “talking crap” when he was recorded telling Government informant Alexander Johnson that he was a drug financier, who was in search of new drug ventures.

BANTON… says if he were a drug dealer he would have taken the plea deal offered to him

“Like my mom always say, ‘Mark, you talk a lot,’ and that is the consequence of it,” said the 37-year-old entertainer, whose given name is Mark Myrie, during cross-examination from prosecutor Jim Preston.
Banton said he was ashamed of himself for the things he had said, but told the attentive jurors that “talking crap” did not make him a dealer.
Banton had been eagerly awaiting this moment for the past several months following his arrest last December at his home in Florida. He was charged with conspiracy to distribute five kilogrammes of cocaine. If convicted, he could be sent to prison for life and fined several million dollars.

Decked in a grey sports jacket with a light blue under shirt and dark pants, a serious-looking Banton took to the stand while the jurors were on a short break.
He chatted with his attorney, David Oscar Markus and cased the room in the Gibbons US Court to look at his supporters, who were all anxiously waiting to hear the entertainer speak in his own defence after Markus announced that Banton would be taking the witness box because the “truth was on his side”.
The five-minute break before the jurors returned seemed like an eternity to anxious supporters, who milled about nervously. But alas, the 14 jurors — two African-Americans, the others whites — returned at 2:45 pm, taking their seats in front of the entertainer.
“Are you guilty of being a cocaine trafficker?” Markus wasted no time in asking.

“No, Sir, I’m not,” Banton promptly responded as he went on to deny the charges against him.
“How do you feel?” Markus asked.
“I’m scared,” Banton said, managing an awkward smile. “I’m nervous. I’ve been waiting 10 months.”
He was, however, prevented from completing the statement due to an objection from lead prosecutor Jim Preston, which was sustained by Judge Jim Moody.

At Markus’ prompting Banton proceeded to recall how he met Johnson on a flight from Madrid, Spain following a tour of the European continent in July 2009 and how he got to like Johnson’s company.
He said he and Johnson spoke on a number of topics during the eight-hour flight to Florida, USA and that Johnson was the one who raised the issue of drugs after both men had had a few glasses of wine which Johnson ordered.
He said both men spoke about the entertainment business and Johnson told him that he had contacts within the industry.
Banton testified that before the argument of drugs came up, Johnson had told him that he had a seafood business but that he did “a little thing on the side”, which the entertainer took to mean that the “side” enterprise may have been illegal. Banton said his suspicion was further heightened when Johnson pulled a wad of cash from his pocket and showed it to him.

Nonetheless, Banton said he was having a good time talking with Johnson and that he found him quite affable.
“He was a funny guy,” said the entertainer with a smile.
Banton said that Johnson asked if Jamaicans transported weed with go-fast boats, and confided that he (Johnson) used to ship ganja but switched to cocaine.

The singer said the two never spoke much about the subject as Johnson kept looking over his shoulders.
Banton testified that he gave his number to Johnson, who gave his name as Junior, and that he received a call from him the following day, saying that he wanted to meet the next day, which they did at a restaurant.
“We were having a good time,” Banton said of the meeting at the restaurant in Florida on July 27.

He said he had no idea that Johnson had invited him to the restaurant to talk about drugs, and that he had left the restaurant and was meeting outside with his realtor when Johnson approached him and asked if he had talked to his friend about the cocaine venture.
Asked by his attorney about his drug discussions with Johnson, Banton said that he was just yapping to impress Johnson and that he was not a drug dealer and was not interested in making any drug deal.

“I was talking garbage. I was just talking straight up garbage! He was trying out-talk me,” Banton said, a line he would maintain throughout his close to two hours in the witness box. “I was trying to impress him.”
As he looked directly at the jurors, and spoke in an animated way, Banton again denied ever doing any drug deal in his life, contrary to what the prosecution is contending, based on the entertainer’s recorded conversations with Johnson.

“I’m just a humble musician. I was just talking above my head. I was trying to impress this guy and that’s what got me into this hot seat,” the entertainer said in a contrite tone.
Regarding the December 8 meeting between himself, Johnson, and Ian Thomas, where the artiste was videotaped tasting cocaine during a covert operation by the Sarosata police department, Banton said he had no idea that he was going to a warehouse to see drugs, but instead he thought he was going to inspect a sailboat.
“Do you like boats? questioned Markus.

“Yes, Sir I do,” Banton replied, adding that had he known that drugs were involved he would not have left his house to meet with Johnson.
It was at that meeting that Banton introduced Johnson to Thomas, who is the godfather of two of the artiste’s children.

Banton said he continued meeting with Johnson even though the Colombian was always talking about drugs, because he liked him and thought he could connect him with people in Los Angeles who could sign him to a record deal in light of the fact that his contract with Tommy Boy Records had expired that year.
Reality, the artiste said, struck on that fateful December 8 day when he went to the warehouse and the five kilograms of cocaine was presented.

He said after that meeting he wanted nothing more to do with Johnson, whom he said was “attacking” Thomas about making cocaine deals the moment they were introduced.

“I never sold cocaine, I never bought cocaine, I never shot cocaine,” Banton said before his grilling by Preston began.

Earlier, during the morning session, while Johnson was being cross-examined, Markus had attempted to paint the convicted drug dealer as a man who was steeped in debt, including taxes, and who was motivated by the money he stood to make from Banton’s arrest.
In light of this, Markus attempted to establish that Johnson vigorously pursued Banton, constantly calling the artiste to make drug deals.
It is already public knowledge that Johnson had made US$50,000 working undercover on the case.

Johnson had been working undercover for the us Government since 1996, following his conviction on drug-trafficking charges. He has, over a three-year period, made US$3 million as a Government informant.
Johnson said yesterday that his work with the Government was his only source of income. He is paid by the number of arrests he is able to secure.

Johnson is said to owe over $100,000 in taxes, is behind on his mortgage payments and is deep in credit card debt. He has filed for bankruptcy.
Banton had waited since last December to speak in his own defence, but Preston made sure it was not a cakewalk.

Straight off the bat, the grey-haired Caucasian prosecutor pounced, reminding Banton of his boasting on the recordings that he is a big-time cocaine financier, who was looking to expand his illicit drug empire.
“That was me on the tape, but I walked away,” Banton said while gesturing with his hands.

Asked by Preston how — if he were not a cocaine dealer — did he know the price of cocaine in different parts of the world, Banton said that “you hear a lot” being in the entertainment business.
“I talked a lot of crap, Sir,” the artiste said during one of his exchanges with Preston. “I just talk a lot. I did not do anything.”

Asked by Preston if he was “talking crap” when he spoke of cocaine buyers in Europe, Banton said he was “plain out lying”.
Asked his motives for “lying”, Banton said he thought Johnson could get him a record deal.
“I regret speaking like that. It has caused me tremendous pain and my family. If I were a drug dealer I would have taken the plea deal you offered me,” Banton said as he tried to remain calm under cross-examination.

He later said he was ashamed of himself for the things that he had said, and that he had worked too hard over the past 20 years to establish himself to throw it all away over such little money.
Preston suggested that Banton had been facing financial problems at the time, which the artiste denied.

The Reggae singer said also that he spoke to Johnson about legitimate business ventures, but that Johnson only wanted to talk about drugs.
He said he did not put Johnson in touch with Thomas for them to close any cocaine deal.

Thomas was arrested on December 10 along with a James Mack. Both men were jointly charged with Banton, but pleaded guilty on a lesser charge. They will be sentenced in November. Thomas is expected to testify for the defence today.

Mack had yesterday refused to testify for the defence out of fear that he may hurt his chances of receiving a favourable sentence.
Also yesterday, Reggae artiste Stephen Marley, the son of late Reggae icon Bob Marley testified on Banton’s behalf. He said he had been friends with Banton for more 19 years and did not know him to be a drug dealer.

Buju Speaks says the Gleaner …. is he serious?

TAMPA, Florida (AP):

The chatty man drinking red wine with reggae star Buju Banton on a flight from Madrid, Spain, to Miami in the United States seemed to have important music industry connections so, the singer told a court in Tampa, Florida, yesterday, he tried to impress with made-up ambitions of drug trafficking when the talk turned to cocaine.

Buju, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was giving testimony in a Tampa federal court where he is facing charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and aiding and abetting two others in possessing a firearm during the course of cocaine distribution. He faces up to life in prison.

The man, Alexander Johnson, was an undercover United States government informant. Buju said he liked Johnson, but he was only looking to secure a new distribution contract – not a cocaine deal.

“I’m just a humble musician. I was talking over my head,” the four-time Grammy-nominated musician declared. “I was trying to impress this guy and that’s what got me in this hot seat right now.”

Johnson has testified that Buju admitted involvement in drug trafficking, and he wanted to give Johnson money so he could buy and sell cocaine. Their recorded conversations were played Tuesday for the jury.

Made-up ambitions

The 37-year-old Rastafarian took the stand yesterday in a grey suit jacket, his long dreadlocks tied up in a braid. He said Johnson initiated their conversation about drugs on the plane in July 2009.

Buju said he made up ambitions to deal cocaine to one-up Johnson, who was talking about cocaine and marijuana deals of his own, alongside a legitimate seafood business and music industry contacts in Los Angeles.

Talk of cocaine

When they met for lunch at a Fort Lauderdale restaurant the next day and at a hotel a few days later, it was Johnson who brought up cocaine, Buju said.

Buju said he never wanted nor expected Johnson to set up a cocaine deal, despite what he said in the recordings. The singer had told Johnson that he financed drug deals, wanted to sell drugs in Europe, buy drugs from the Caribbean and South America and use Johnson’s boat to transport drugs.

“I talk too much, but I am not a drug dealer,” Buju told the court.

Buju said he was surprised when the informant presented him with cocaine at an undercover police warehouse in Sarasota on December 8. Surveillance video shows Buju peering over co-defendant Ian Thomas’ shoulder at the cocaine, and the singer tasting the drugs with a finger.

The singer said he thought Johnson was going to show him his boat and offices.

“When I realised this was real drugs, I thought, ‘This is a real drug dealer, and I want no part of it’,” Buju said. “I was in over my head.”

Under cross-examination yesterday by Markus, Johnson said the cocaine was a “surprise showing”.

Pursued deal

Johnson said he continued to pursue a cocaine deal with Banton, even though the singer repeatedly cancelled meetings and rushed him off the phone, if he answered Johnson’s calls at all.

“I needed him to come to me,” Johnson said. “I was doing the job I was doing from day one.”

Buju said he avoided Johnson’s calls afterward, and he did not know Thomas would try to set up a drug deal with Johnson on December 10.

That day, Thomas and another co-defendant, James Mack, were arrested at the warehouse. Buju was arrested at his Miami-area home.

Thomas and Mack have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Each faces up to life in prison.

Assistant US Attorney James Preston asked Buju what he thought he would gain by lying about his involvement in drug trafficking.

“I know you want to paint me bad,” Buju replied. “If I was a drug dealer, I would have taken the plea deal you offered me.”

Another reggae singer testified yesterday for Banton.

Stephen Marley, one of music legend Bob Marley’s sons, told jurors that in the 19 years he has been friends and played music with Buju, he has never known him to traffic in cocaine.

More Scenes from the Gay games & Jamaica’s small contingent

Identities warped to protect the persons involved but we WERE there folks, another proud moment in our history, photoed are two of the female participants from Jamaica, the males opted not to be photoed and understandably so.

Opening Ceremony

Closing ceremony

more from the opening ceremony

The Parade of nations setting up to enter the Stadium

Jamaica had a two man and two woman delegation team in this years staging of the games who were sponsored by various sources, the men appeared in combined track and feild races while the women appeared participated in the opening ceremony where a combined choir of nations sang, superstar diva Taylor Dayne performed and the nations paraded.

The other female participant played on a combined women’s football team match.

Thanks for sending in the photos guys so I could highlight this.

Peace and tolerance

H

Prosecution plays damning Buju recordings (Day 2)

Main prosecution witness takes the stand in Buju Banton trial

BY PAUL HENRY

TAMPA, Florida — The prosecution called its main witness to the stand this morning as the second day of the trial involving Reggae superstar Buju Banton got underway in this city.

Alexander Johnson, the Colombian informant who is assisting in trying to secure a conviction against the artiste, testified that he met Banton on a flight from Madrid, Spain to Miami Florida. The flight lasted eight hours, Johnson said, and a conversation about drug dealing came up within an hour.

The prosecution then played recordings where Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was heard telling Johnson, “I am about making money, straight up” and “I have 15 children to send to school”.

Myrie was also heard asking Johnson if he had any contacts to acquire cocaine as he was willing to finance a deal. He also told Johnson that he did not have contacts in Venezuela and Panama but that he was involved in smuggling diamonds from Africa to Europe.

He was also heard telling Johnson that “It would be good to have our own contacts. I would like to start small with five keys as I don’t want to take any risks”.

The artiste also warned the informant that he should stay away from a man known as Lloyd Evans as “There are a lot of snitches in the game”.

Myrie, dressed in a grey sports coat, shook his head while the recordings were being played. One of his female supporters covered her ears when the recordings were being played, while some chuckled in disbelief. Others seemed captivated by the recordings.

Yesterday Myrie’s attorney David Markus told the court that his client was guilty of talking a lot and had made a crucial mistake of sampling contraband. He also painted Johnson as a well paid government informant who entrapped people to get involved in drug dealing.

Drug Enforcement Agent Daniel McCeaffrey also testified yesterday that despite investigating the artiste for a year, he had uncovered no evidence to suggest that Myrie was involved in any drug deal or had benefitted from any drug deal.

The court is now in recess and Johnson is set to resume his testimony at 1:30 Tampa time in courthouse 13A in the Gibbons US Court in downtown Tampa.

Related stories:

Day 1 to Buju

DEA agent testifies in Buju’s favour

Buju Banton was an established drug trafficker – US govt

TAMPA, Florida (AP) —

Jamaican reggae star Buju Banton was an established drug trafficker before the singer allegedly tried to buy cocaine from an undercover officer in Florida last year, attorneys for the U.S. government said Monday at the beginning of Banton’s drug trial.

“Do you have any contacts where I can get cocaine?” Banton asked a government informant named Alexander Johnson in a recorded conversation, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Preston told a jury in Tampa federal court.

The singer was looking for “more, new and different money through a new conspiracy he was shopping for” in addition to drug deals he already had funded, Preston said.

Banton, 37, whose real name is Mark Myrie, has been held without bail since his arrest in December on charges of conspiring to distribute cocaine and carrying a firearm during the course of a drug trafficking crime.

The four-time Grammy nominee faces a possible life sentence if convicted.

Banton’s attorney, David Markus, insisted his client did not participate in any conspiracy to sell cocaine, even if he did talk with the informant about drug deals.

“Yes, Buju talked a lot,” Markus said in opening statements. “Yes, he tasted that cocaine. No, he wasn’t a drug dealer. He wasn’t part of the deal.”

Markus said Banton will testify in his trial.

“He’s got nothing to hide,” Markus said. “The truth is on his side in this case because he didn’t do anything.”

Banton and an associate allegedly negotiated with an informant to buy the cocaine. Along with a third man, they allegedly met with an undercover officer in early December to buy the drugs. The informant told Drug Enforcement Administration agents that he also saw the singer inspecting the cocaine, tasting the drugs with his finger.

The Dec. 8 meeting was captured on video.

The two co-defendants have pleaded guilty and have agreed to testify against Banton.

Banton’s using his finger to taste the cocaine in the Sarasota warehouse in December was “the worst mistake of his life,” Markus told the jury.

He will try to prove that Banton was a victim of entrapment.

Markus told the jury that Johnson had imported cocaine to the U.S. from Colombia until he was caught in 1994.

Johnson cooperated with authorities, served three years in prison and has earned $3.3 million by working for several U.S. law enforcement agencies, including more than $50,000 for the Banton case.

“Alexander Johnson has never had a job,” Markus said. “Instead, he’s been setting people up.”

Preston said Banton was eager to work with Johnson, whom he met on a flight from Spain to Miami at the end of his European tour last summer.

“I give you money,” Banton said, according to Preston. “You buy, you sell, give me money.”

DEA agent testifies in Buju’s favour says Paul Henry from The Observer

Says he has no evidence reggae singer is a drug dealer

BY PAUL HENRY

TAMPA, Florida — Drug Enforcement Agent Daniel McCeaffrey, today testified that he had no evidence that Reggae singer Buju Banton, was involved in illicit drug dealing.

McCeaffrey, who gave evidence on the first day of the trial at the Gibbons US Federal Court in downtown Tampa, said there was no evidence that Buju Banton — whose real name is Mark Myrie — received any money from any drug deal.

He also said even though he was investigating Banton for a year, he could find no evidence that the artiste had collected any money from drug dealing.

He made the revelation during cross-examination from Banton’s attorney David Markus.

Markus, in his opening salvo, told the 14-member panel of jurors that he would prove that Myrie was not a drug trafficker and had never invested in illicit drug dealing. He said that artiste would waive his right not to testify.

“He’s got nothing to hide because the truth is on his side in this case,” Markus said.

He said his client’s big mistake was that he loved to talk. Markus said Myrie met DEA informant Alexander Johnson, a Colombian national, on a flight from Madrid Spain to Florida last year and during conversation Johnson introduced the subject of drug dealing to him.

He said Myrie had in fact tasted cocaine but that did not qualify him as a drug dealer.

Markus also argued that Myrie did not know about the US$130,000 that his co-defendant James Mack had been held with. The money he said was given to Mack by two men identified as ‘Ike’ and ‘Tike’ from Atlanta, Georgia.

The attorney said Mack and Ian Thomas were the ones who were dealing drugs and said his client made a decision not to partake in any deal and went to his Tamarac home in Florida, where he was arrested in December last year.

Mack and Thomas have taken plea deals and have agreed to testify against the artiste. All three are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five or more kilogrammes of cocaine. The charge carries a sentence of 20 years to life and a fine of up to US$4 million.

Prosecutor Jim Preston argued that he would prove that Myrie is a known drug dealer who invested in multi-million dollar drug enterprises and he was arrested because he was starting a new venture.

Forensic chemist Alexandra Gongra also gave evidence that the substance that Thomas and Mack were arrested with was cocaine.

Telephone records analyst Donnie Godshoal also gave evidence today.

Dozens of Banton’s supporters turned up outside the court to show their solidarity with the four time Grammy nominee.

His former manager Donovan Germaine, VP Records President Chris Chin and Deejay Delly Ranks were also present for the trial.

Related story:

Jury selected for Buju Banton trial

Buju faces US Federal Court today

Buju Banton’s battle with Babylon …..

The career of Jamaican reggae dancehall artiste Buju Banton is associated with antipathy towards gays and informers. Though it is his Boom bye bye song that has brought him most infamy by calling for the killing of gay men, he has been no less graphic in prescriptions of violence against informers or snitches.

It seems somewhat ironic, then, that in his impending trial before a Florida court on federal drug charges, his two co-defendants have offered guilty pleas and decided to give evidence against the four-time Grammy nominated singer. Defendant Mark Myrie (Buju Banton’s real name) finds himself faced with charges that carry a minimum sentence of 20 years, if convicted. The case against him relies on a criminal justice practice against which he has often railed as a reggae performer.

Perhaps no community ever likes a snitch. From mafia movies to hip hop, popular culture disdains any violation of communal trust in favour of law enforcement. Hip hop queen Lil’ Kim did a year in prison, rather than “rat on” colleagues in a criminal case. Jamaican dancehall music is no exception in upholding this tradition. Like the reggae music of Bob Marley, dancehall has its roots in the mean streets of Kingston, where anti-authoritarian sentiments are common and the police are sometimes indistinguishable from other enemies. Street credentials are maintained by demonstrating these values.

If such thinking makes for a counter-orthodoxy of sorts, Buju Banton, asthe self-styled Gargamel, has preached its message with pious rage. He cites his ancestral origin as a maroon – runaway slaves that fought against the British colonisers in Jamaica – as the psychic foundation for his fight against modern-day ills. In his view, this includes an uncompromising war with the gay community and all forms of Babylon – that is, the state and its law enforcement arms.

Buju Banton’s sense of righteousness also comes from his Rastafarianism. His unwavering opposition to homosexuality, for example, taps into the native morality of that faith: it’s not just about the bible and a clear understanding of right and wrong, but also the nationalist fervour in protecting the island of Jamaica from the corrupting forces of foreigners.

That Buju Banton has ended up in a court of law in the US on cocaine-related charges must seem like the work of evil forces, given his worldview. Unlike marijuana, which is part of the Rastafarian sacrament, cocaine is not seen as imbuing any spiritual purpose or authenticity. It is the drug of hedonism, which entangles Jamaica as a transshipment point for moneyed narco-barons. Unsurprisingly, the singer’s arrest immediately sparked wild rumours of a setup – with the bizarre suspicion trail leading to his fight with gay rights groups in the US.

However Buju’s case is decided, it has already cranked up massive tensions. There is the obvious mutual suspicion, if not downright hostility, between communities of urban music – dancehall reggae, in particular – and law enforcement agencies. It may be nigh impossible, to have any credibility within the value system of these communities and simultaneously cooperate with the criminal justice system. It is not clear how that gap can be closed, but these are serious concerns for law and order.

Then, too, Buju Banton has never apologised for Boom Bye Bye, which many hold out as the pre-eminent anthem of violent homophobia. Rightly or wrongly, this case is now seen by some gay rights activists as a proxy for settling old grievances – a chance that the singer will finally get his comeuppance, as they see it. Since there is no sustained dialogue between the dancehall establishment and gay rights groups, it is likely that whoever perceives themselves being the “losing side” in this proxy war will simply dig in deeper and become more embittered. That will be unhelpful, to say the least, for any dialogue of respect and reconciliation.

Source

Tell Me Pastor tells Lesbian to find a “Christian” counselor

Another letter that on the face of it looks fabricated or edited to scratch appeared in today’s edition of the Star Newspaper, the letter writer supposedly is troubled by her alleged early lesbian interest.

Hinting to Reparative therapy of sorts even as the woman according to the letter’s wording suggests she feels right about being a lesbian yet conflicted at the same time, giving the appearance that she is seeking help, the nine year old exposure bit doesn’t seem truthful either as that in my estimation suggests paedohilia as homosexual activity in this country has been mistakenly linked to same sex paedophilia thus fueling the active homophobia we have seen over the years.

A nice trick in putting this letter together Star folks while having such a major contradiction in one sentence, we can see clearly the tricks these days and pull it apart easily as it is so predictable.

This is not the first time though pastor has suggested this kind of reparative therapy emphasizing a Christian counselor for the would be seeker of the intervention in a bid to “cure” them of their alleged deviant behaviour or thoughts without properly presenting the “letters” to the public and the proper sphere of the orientations or sexual variants of the supposed letter writers, yet the gentleman is supposed to be a trained psychologist.

Caan fool wi.

Have a read below of the letter and the pastor’s response:

I think I am a full lesbian ………………..

Dear Pastor,

I am 20 years old and have been living with a problem ever since I was nine years old. When I was a little girl I was introduced to a lesbian friend who eventually exposed me to the whole idea of being a lesbian.

Over the years I kept dating guys to get over my feelings for females, but dating men just does not seem to help.

Now I think I am a full lesbian. I have been dating girls and I seem to like the idea of being with women. Whenever I am around them I feel more relaxed and comfortable, even when having sex.

Please, pastor, I do not know what to do. I know it is wrong but I cannot help myself. It feels so right. Please give me your fatherly advice.

C.C., Manchester, Jamaica

Pastor’s response:

Dear C.C.,

The first paragraph of your letter is conformation of what most psychologists and psychiatrists have always maintained and that is in the main, homosexuality is something learned. You got involved with someone who was a lesbian. That person sexually molested you. Perhaps you were not even aware what this person was doing to you. But as a child, you probably felt that it was normal and you got hooked.

This woman messed up your mind. But as you grew up you found out that what you did then and what you are doing now is unnatural. That is what the Bible says. And as I talk about the Bible, I am aware that some people do not want to hear what the Bible says. They believe that if it feels good, nothing is wrong.

But the Bible says that it is unnatural for people of the same sex to make love.

I am glad that you feel for help. I want you to know that other women have been in similar positions and they received help and have turned away from this practice. Many have experienced spiritual transformation and as a result abandoned the practice and are truly walking with the Lord.

Therefore, I must encourage you to make an appointment to see a Christian family counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist.

I am sure that if you go to sessions with an open mind, you will receive help. In the meantime, pray and ask God to help you and do not yield to the temptation of having sex with other women.

Pastor

See Also:
“Tell Me Pastor” shows clear ignorance & stereotyping of lesbians

Crying ga(y)me

Lesbian in love with a married woman

Tell Me Pastor “Foot in mouth again”

Aren’t christians supposed to be tolerant in their nature and walk with god??

Jamaicans hypocritical about gays? ….where does this pastor lives?

Pray and pray but still gay

Man and Man problems

Let The Gay Pay?

These entries listed above are just a sample of the steady stream of letters real or otherwise seem to have a steady streak in them, the letters look simple the point is always one of intolerance and biblical literalism.

Read them when you can and decide for yourselves please.

Peace and tolerance

H