J-FLAG Applauds Kartel On Signing Compassionate Act (Gleaner)

In today’s Gleaner the J made news even though the Reggae Compassionate Act was signed by Vybz Kartel from as early as September 23, 2010 in France following stepped up action by Tjenbre Red and others to pressure Capleton and Sizzla who were there on tour.

I am just upset again at JFLAG’s lateness as usual on following up on happenings and interventions.

Meanwhile the dancehall superstar was said to be dismissed in a huff calls from journalists inquiring on this news, he was said to have asked so what’s the big deal if he signed it? thus fuelling more specualtion and interest in the story by virtue of his actions as he is known to be very open and receptive in interviews with media representatives before.

Let us not forget the accusations as well about his own sexuality and was evidenced recently in the skin bleaching drama and the cake soap response and the Tag/Fag T-shirt controversy.

See: Out a Road: DJs who “hit out” hiding something? ……

See: Vybz Kartel in FAG shirt?

See: Reggae Compassionate Act signed by Vybz Kartel ……. courageous move by the DJ on Gay Jamaica Watch and the press release from Tjenbre Red France.

Here is the Gleaner article on the issue

The Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG) has acknowledged that Vybz Kartel’s signature affixed to the Reggae Compassionate Act is a step in the right direction of the dancehall artiste claiming responsibility for his music.

However, Dane Lewis, executive director of J-FLAG, said the next step is to hold artistes accountable for their lyrics.

“Considering what the act calls for, this is a step, as long as the signature is not just a token.

“Signing the act is one thing, but it’s important to stand up for it.”

The Reggae Compassionate Act was drafted in 2007 as part of the Stop Murder Music campaign, a human-rights groups coalition, which advocates for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans-identified persons.

The act speaks to positive social changes and upholding the rights of all individuals regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or gender.

Take responsibility

News reports circulating online claim that Vybz Kartel, whose real name is Adidjah Palmer, signed the Reggae Compassionate Act late September, just days before he was set to perform in France.

Kartel would not confirm the details but questioned why there was a brouhaha over his signing the document.

“Yes, I did. What’s the big deal? So what if I did?” he asked before hanging up the phone.

Lewis said the ‘big deal’ is to make sure performers adhere to the act’s strictures.

“Artistes should be aware of the influence their music could have on society,” Lewis said.

According to the J-FLAG executive director, there were approximately 400 cases reported since January involving hate crimes against persons who identify with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

“They range from raping lesbians to physical assault,” Lewis noted.

He also recounted an incident when a person was killed in a dance hall as Buju Banton’s controversial anti-gay anthem, Boom Bye Bye, was played.

Jamaican dancehall artistes such as Buju Banton, Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton have been chastised for several years by LGBT groups in North America and Europe for their anti-gay lyrics.

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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