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Jamaica: Buju Meets With Gays

As controversial dancehall artist Buju Banton meets with gays in the U.S., Jamaica Salt thinks it's a step in the right direction, but adds: “I don’t think he’s ever going to be able to turn things around…he’s too good a target for the gay rights campaign to get attention to the very big and very real problem of homophobia in Jamaica.”

  • SamK

    Buju Banton’s infamous song “Boom Bye Bye” says “gays must be killed’ and it calls for gays to be shot in the head, shot with an Uzi, have acid thrown on them and be burned like an old tire. This song has been controversial since it was released in 1992.

    In all those years, Buju Banton has never distanced himself from this song.

    For videos that show Buju Banton reiterating the anti gay statements in “Boom Bye Bye,” see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46PASiOjdP4 “BUJU BANTON FIRE BURN BATTY” and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ8Z0biU_Zw “Elephant Man Buju Banton Shabba Ranks” In the latter video he refers to the churches and asks “What have I done wrong when I say that homosexuality is wrong?” With these words, Buju Banton is actually saying that he stands by the “kill gays” message of “Boom Bye Bye.”

    In Jamaica, there is tremendous violence and hatred directed at LGBT people. Buju Banton and some of his dancehall artiste friends must bear some responsibility for this. There are online reports by groups like Amnesty International and many other reports of this extreme violence in Jamaica. One very good account is in this Time Magazine article: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1182991,00.html “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?” Britain and Canada have given asylum to a number of Jamaican gay men because of the extreme homophobia and violence in Jamaica.

    The Time Magazine article also has an account on the alleged armed assault on six gay men in Kingston, Jamaica, in 2004. Buju Banton was later arrested for this assault. Buju claims that he was “cleared” of the assault charges. http://www.gargamelmusic.com/artists_buju_time4.html In actuallity the case never came to trial. No evidence was ever presented to a jury. Buju was neither “cleared” nor “acquitted” of the charges.

    For more information see http://cancelbujubanton.wetpaint.com/
    and http://www.petertatchell.net/popmusic/buju-bantons-violations-of-the-reggae-compassionate-act.html

  • SamK

    Because of LGBT pressure, over the years, Buju Banton rarely sings the hateful “Boom Bye Bye” song. He claims he has never sung it in the U.S.

    We must keep the pressure on Buju and other dancehall reggae artistes or they will start performing their anti LGBT material again in the U.S.

    We really need for Buju Banton to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act with press witnesses and video cameras running.

  • Pingback: Student Beating Raises Issue of Homophobia in Jamaica · Global Voices

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