FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kingston, Jamaica —July 12, 2011
J-FLAG notes with great concern the assertion made by Senior Superintendent Fitz Bailey, on TVJ’s Prime Time News on Monday, July 11, 2011, that young homosexual men are the main perpetrators of organised crimes in Jamaica.
While J-FLAG is concerned about increasing levels of crime across the island, we question this statement and its validity and caution the police from using stereotypes, such as dress and material lifestyle in their pronouncements regarding perpetrators. This is an irresponsible and incendiary pronouncement, coming from a senior police office. Furthermore, this broad brushing feeds directly into assumptions about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, an already marginalized and vulnerable group, and perpetuates social prejudice, inequality, harassment and violence.
Like all Jamaicans, J-FLAG is concerned about the high levels of crime and violence that exists in our country with organised crime being a major problem facing Jamaica over the last fifteen years. Furthermore, based on reports by the police, criminologists and other experts, Jamaican organised criminals function through gangs whose activities exploit the human condition, utilise extortion and protection rackets, supply illegal goods, and attempt to maneuver and camouflage their ill-gotten funds. This is a feature of a broader societal problem and limiting this to gays appears to diminish the intensity of the problem.
Given that organised crime threatens citizen safety and security and undermines democracy, retards economic development and can contribute to government instability, J-FLAG strongly believes that improving general awareness is critical to Jamaicans understanding their role in combating the various threats and reducing the harms they cause. While we fully understand that an individual’s sexual orientation does not absolve them from being involved in any type of crime, this type of profiling does more harm than good to an already stigmatized, disadvantaged and marginalized community.
J-FLAG also calls on SSP Bailey to furnish more information on the research to which he alluded so that the public can be much clearer on the parameters around which this “research” was conducted and can determine for themselves the validity of the findings shared.
J-FLAG fully supports the efforts of the Government and police to arrest all crimes and mitigate its impact on Jamaicans. We stand ready to partner with the police to reduce the incidence of crime. We invite SSP Fitz Bailey and his team to meet with us to share the types of organized crimes perpetrated by homosexuals, in order that we can support the effort of the police.
there is talk since that maybe Superintendent Bailey’s comments were edited as he meant to say that the homosexuals were involved in the infamous lotto scam but when one listen to the television clip the reporter actually specified that he didn’t specify what type of crime under the organized crime umbrella the homosexuals were in. This sounds like some damage control attempt here to tackle JFLAG’s pretty worded press release from the conveyor belt.
He was speaking at a handing over ceremony of the newly refurbished Organised crime investigations office. Just when the community was in a way settled or settling from problems with the security forces and a seeming cordial relations now reached, sadly the reality is there are some in the LGBT community who may be involved in illegal activities and that may put an ugly face to the community in the eyes of the police and by extension the public but to simply label generally gays as criminals I am not so sure the other non gay underworld bosses are going to take kindly to this assertion.
As for the J’s press release it’s far too wordy and leaves some doubt in my mind as well on the last paragraph where they said:
“J-FLAG fully supports the efforts of the Government and police to arrest all crimes and mitigate its impact on Jamaicans. We stand ready to partner with the police to reduce the incidence of crime. We invite SSP Fitz Bailey and his team to meet with us to share the types of organized crimes perpetrated by homosexuals, in order that we can support the effort of the police.”
I was expecting the word “alleged’ in “crimes perpetrated by homosexuals” how does Mr. Bailey know the men involved are gay? and is it JFLAG’s business to be helping agents of the state to out persons? One wonders if this is a sellout too as this sounds like they will point out if needed these alleged gay or bisexual men. Very disturbing posturings from the J here.
Observer cartoonist Clovis weighed in with this some what damning piece, I am not aware that the JFJ Jamaicans for Justice were opposed or expressed any such opposition to the issues as expressed by SSP Bailey. Sadly this is what many maybe thinking now as well as profiling and stereotyping has always been an issue with associated the vilified effeminacy in males which is also not only a part of Jamaica’s homophobia but also a stinging effemophobia within the LGBT body politic.
This matter is not dying anytime soon it seems
UPDATE July 14
Peace and tolerance
UPDATE July 26.07.11
Jamaica Observer Cartoonist Clovis has been doing some mixed pieces incorporating effeminacy with machosim or machismo and the recent murders possibly suggesting gay culture in the underground or underworld as well. The toons have been receiving mixed reactions from the LGBT body politic.