Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Beenie Man apologises to NZ, Australia
Read it over here, and decide whether he's genuine or not. I've also read his statements to Jamaician media where he says that the only reason he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act was to please UK/European promoters.

From the Jamaica Observer, July 2007 (4 months after he signed the Reggae Compassionate Act)...

Beenie Man explained that the Reggae Compassionate Act ... was brokered by European promoters under fire from gay rights groups furious that they continued to support certain Reggae acts whose lyrics incited violence against homosexuals.

"It's a ting from the promoters of Europe. They are getting so much fight from the Christian and "g" organisation and everything," said the self-proclaimed 'King of the Dancehall', who apparently could not bring himself to say the word gay.

At the same time, the deejay said he did not personally sign any agreement and could not promise that he would be abiding by it. "I do music," he argued. "Dancehall mi do, I can't promise nuh man dat. And mi neva sign it, yuh hear sah."

Beenie Man also claims he has been misrepresented and misquoted in the media on this issue, so the above may not be accurate.

ADDED: Emma Hart of Public Adrress has a thoughtful post on the Beenie Man saga.
snip... "Despite what I've already been accused of after just one tweet on the issue, I'm a Free Speech advocate. But, it's just not that simple There's an underlying assumption in this attitude that both sides have the ability to speak. In New Zealand that's true. In Jamaica, it's not.

Stop Murder Music is the campaign that's been driving and organising opposition to dancehall music internationally. It was put together by OutRage!, the Black Gay Men's Advisory Group, and a group called J-Flag - Jamaica Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays.

In 2006, J-Flag's founder Brian Williamson was found hacked to death in his home. Coincidentally, a Human Rights Watch researcher, Rebecca Schleifer, was on the scene shortly after his murder, and described what she saw:

She found a small crowd singing and dancing. One man called out, "Battyman he get killed." Others were celebrating, laughing and shouting "Let's get them one at a time", "That's what you get for sin". Others sang "Boom bye bye", a line from a well-known dancehall song by Jamaican star Buju Banton about shooting and burning gay men. "It was like a parade", says Schleifer. "They were basically partying."

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