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Anybody want to protest?


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(First some news then I ask for a favor)


Hey, CNN reports that Beenie Man's appearance for MTV in SOuth Florida got cancelled.


I can't get the Link to work cuz of the CNN website so here's the text:




Beenie Man barred from MTV concert


Wednesday, August 25, 2004


MIAMI, Florida (AP) -- Dancehall star Beenie Man, who has recorded anti-gay songs in the past, was yanked from a concert associated with the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend after gay groups planned a protest, the network said Wednesday.


MTV pulled the Jamaican singer from the roster Tuesday after South Florida gay activists announced plans to protest Saturday's concert in Miami over some of his past lyrics, including "I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays" and "Queers must be killed."


"We don't want anything to overshadow what will be a great weekend of music events for South Floridians," MTV spokeswoman Marnie Black said Wednesday. She declined further comment.


The awards show is Sunday at the bayfront AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, the first time in the glam-filled event's 21-year history that it will take place outside New York and Los Angeles.


Beenie Man has had his concerts canceled in Europe over the last few weeks after angry gay groups protested. Although he has previously defended his lyrics, earlier this month, Beenie Man issued an apology for his previous songs, including "Bad Man Chi Chi Man (Bad Man, Queer Man)."


"Certain lyrics and recordings I have made in the past may have caused distress and outrage among people whose identities and lifestyles are different from my own. ... I offer my sincerest apologies to those who might have been offended, threatened or hurt by my songs."


Other stars of dancehall, a sensuous, more contemporary form of reggae, have also recorded anti-gay songs and have been targeted by gay groups because of their lyrics, including Buju Banton.


Beenie Man's manager, Clyde McKenzie, said "in many instances the lyrics of dancehall artists are metaphorical."


"He has made it clear that he doesn't want to incite violence," he said of Beenie Man.


He said he understood MTV's actions.


"If their organization is being pressured they may not want anything to be distracting from their event," he said.


Heddy Pena, executive director of the Miami-based gay-rights group SAVE Dade, said: "We respectfully suggest that he use other metaphors." Her group had been organizing the protest.


"It's disappointing to see artists use their talents as a tool for hatred and bigotry," she said.


Beenie Man told The Miami Herald on Sunday that "I just smile, because I don't know what they're fussing about."


"I'm not here to cuss people. I make music. But at the same time I just want to teach people -- my sons and my daughters -- the right way of life," he said. Beenie Man was not available for comment Wednesday, his publicist said.


Beenie Man, born Anthony Moses Davis, is on a world tour promoting his new album, "Back to Basics." His songs include his recent hit, "Dude," "Girls Dem Sugar" and "Who Am I?" His album "Art and Life" won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in 2001.


He ends his tour in Miami on November 8.



I don't know how many of you listen to reggae/dancehall, though I remember quite a bit of it made the air when I was living in Miami. Dancehall music has always had a mean streak about us gay people and the lyrics are often undecipherable to Americans making it hard to realize that Elephant Man, Beenie Man, TOK and lots of others are actually calling for an extermination of homosexuals.


I'm glad that Beenie's appearance got shut down. There was a protest planned if it wasn't.


HOWEVER, Beenie Man is currently on a world tour (lots of appearances in Europe have been cancelled over this issue which gay activist there have been making very visible).


HIS WORLD TOUR ENDS IN MIAMI, where most of us Hondonians live.


I'm sure there will be protests if the concert doesn't get cancelled. I can't make it over to Miami, but I was wondering if a few of you more political types as well as any militant music lovers (since he *is* debasing the institution of music) would be interested in joining in.


Any takers?


Lemme know here. If I get a response I;ll get info on the groups organzing protests, dates, times etc.





Hell, we could make it a Hondos Event with chips and beer if enough people want in...

Edited by Jumbie
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Yeah, I've met many a gay-hating Jamacian. My Jamaica ex-roommate insisted that Jamaica had no gay people because "we all fucking kill every one of them in the streets...I'd feel less remorse killing a dog." Again, if you never brought up gays, he'd seem pretty normal, but once it got brought up, their was blood in his eyes. I had to fight to convince him gay people deserved to live, let along anything else (I didn't convince him by the way). He was an extreme case, but I've met other Jamaicans that lead me to beleive that it's no isolated incident. Jamaica's culture, often believed to be very laid back, is filled with militantly violent anti-gay people.


Aside from that, dancehall sucks. If you know anythign about Rastafarianism, it is a form of Christianity (they believe Jesus was the son of God) and Reggae is their spiritual, like Gospel music is to many American protestants. It is a sacred music. Listening to it and playing it it and singing it is a religious experience. Dancehall is the bastardization of Raggae. It removes all the spirituality and turns reggae into club music.


If we arrange to have carpooling over to the protesting, what the fuck, I'll go.

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Hmm, wow, thats fucked up, I mean, I pretty much knew that jamacian culture wasn't exactly gay friendly, but I didn't think it was that out there. Shit I might go if I dont' have anything to do that weekend. I would love if this guy's career was ruined because he's a bigot. It would also send a fairly strong message out as to what the status quo is, and that bigotry in general isn't tolerated, and primitive folks in Jamaica need to get with the fuckin times.

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boom boom boom in a batty boy head, somethin no like women something better off dead...


Panther Hall - as Jumbie knows - is very much caribbean, and for the peace-lovin people many islanders are typecast as, clearly there's none of Marley's love or freedom for gays...ive kinda wondered why (speakin generally here) the caribbeans - trinidad, jamaica, etc - were more homophobic than the latins or other such groups, its kinda odd.


The upcoming election is gonna overshadow a lotta smaller causes like this, but before i jump on board, i gotta ask Mr. free-speech Jumbie: isnt Beenie Man within his right to trash gays in his own songs? Eminem wasnt very kind to em, and god knows he's had songs in the past about killing his ex's and all kindsa deranged shit, but its assumed to be a persona he puts on for his fans....how is this different?

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Free Speech. Right.


Just imagine a song that advocates killing Jews, or Blacks... advocating violence to a group is NOT protected under free speech laws. You can check that if you don't believe me.



But let's leave that alone for a while. Of *course* BeenieMan has that free speech right. We're not discussing a *ban* here, just a protest. The point of a protest is to let the guy know what he does is wrong (even if it isn't illegal).


The MAIN point of a protest is to draw attention to the problem. You want to make the news - make people talk about the protest and the issue. Make people aware. Look at this post, for instance: 2 people already now know a lot more about how bad this shit is. Imagine how many more are gonna know when CHannel 6 is talking about it.


We *Want* Beenie man to sing about killing all the gays he wants. We just want to affect how many people are comfortable listening to his crap.






As For the EMinem thing. Well, he has been protested and criticized by human rights groups. THing is that he's so popular and there's so much $$$ in him, that it's hard to get people to listen. If I was to suggest to all of you here that you boycott Eminem over his antigay lyrics you'd tell me no. In fact, I remained a big fan of Buju Banton when his anti gay song about killing gay people came out even though I was 13 at the time and ahd a pretty fair idea I was attracted to other guys. Sometimes it's hard to give up something you really like.



The second thing is the effect the music has. THere are frequent attacks and even murders of gay men in Jamaica because of this. WHen I debated gay marriage this year, there was a rastafarian who threatened me with a stick. WHether the music is a source or a symptom of this homophobia is not the issue. The music feeds the homophobia and in turn feeds off it. Knocking down the music will break the loop.





Anyways, thanks to those who've expressed an interest so far. I'll look up the protest arrangements.


You guys get your markers and cardboard for making signs!







:D:party::D :gay: :D:D:music::devil::angel::D:D:D:fuming::pimp: :taz: :shoot: :D:dunce: :gay: :luigi::D:D:fuming::bravo::pig:

Edited by Jumbie
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The second thing is the effect the music has. THere are frequent attacks and even murders of gay men in Jamaica because of this.

...The music feeds the homophobia and in turn feeds off it. Knocking down the music will break the loop.

Fair enough, but..wait a minute. Arent you sayin the same thing folks say about the games kids play & music they listen to when they shoot up schools? If this music - or any other - can potentially effect, or motivate, hate, shouldnt it be stopped outright?

To what extent does something have to "effect" an individual to censor it, or call its censure?


Mind you, i dont care for political or racial stances that disagree with my own in music, either, but people are free to express them, just as im free to protest them, or simply not listen. I can see that youre usin a symbol of homophobia to make your point, im just not certain why the gay community seems to think its going with justifying itself socially via legally going after anyone who uses the word "fag" too much...but hey, then again, the civil rights movement made "nigger" a dirty word in about a generation's time, and that was pretty impressive.

I'm disagreeing with your logic of music & propoganda, tho.

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Why are people protesting the Republican Convention Nick?


Why do people protest corporations who're discriminatory?


It's all about 1) forcing change at an institutional level. Remember these guys are supported by million dollar concert promoters and huge record companies like Virgin and Sony. If those support elements realize they're creating money from others' suffering they'll think twice. maybe...


2) Making Society take notice of how wrong sometihng is and consider/ reconsider where they stand on the issue.


I know a lot of protesting is basically 'wankerism', but there's a strong legitimate case for highlighting and embarrasing those who promote hate.


Look at how Louis Farahkahn got hammered and had to publicly tone down his anti-jewish rhetoric. He was a rising voice in black america at the time and could have had a very negative impact on how black youths viewed jews.


I know that this type of argument is a whole lot of 'coulds' and 'what ifs' since there's no way to test it, but think of how things might have turned out if there had been a larger public outcry when Hitler published his Mein Kampf...



Bottom line: It can never hurt to (LEGALLY) take away a bigot's ability to reach a large audience

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I agree, but you sidestepped the part about music's "effect" on people, and how much responsibility Beenie Man has when a homophobic jamaican kills a gay after listening to his song....sorry to hijack your thread, im just finidn this interesting.

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I can see why you're disturbed by the parallel between the argument for anti gay music and those who say violent games etc promote violence in kids.



But there is a very specific distinction when that violence is targetted at a group.


And I can see how even that argument can seem weak after the whole 'Copkiller'/ Ice T blowout.


But I live here in the caribbean. I see the homophobia in my students and in my friends. And when I call them on it all they respond with is Jamaican lyrics.


Dancehall is the most popular music here and in Jamaica. It's freaky how much their thinking is framed by that specific culture..




SO I think this protesting can serve that role. Those who go to the concert may never have considered that what they're listening to was wrong or hurtful.

Edited by Jumbie
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IN ADDITION: It's sometimes been claimed that these anti- gay phrasings aren't meant to be taken seriously or literally. Well, they're nevertheless creating an atmosphere that makes not just violence but all kinds of other descrimination possible.


"We respectfully suggest that he use other metaphors." - Heddy Pena

The executive director of the Miami-based gay-rights group SAVE Dade's helpful reply to Beenie Man's PR spokesperson Clyde McKenzie's statement: "In many instances the lyrics of dancehall artists are metaphorical."

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but think of how things might have turned out if there had been a larger public outcry when Hitler published his Mein Kampf...


Umm, I don't have to imagine, I can site history. Their was a lage public outcry when Hilter published Mein Kampf. A large public outcry to kill the Jews. Considerign the scale of the Holocaust, outcries don't come much bigger than that.


I know you meant an outcry of negative reaction to the book, but I thought it should be mentioned.


As for the free speech argument, protests are hardly anti-free speech. They are a necesary part of the public discourse. Censorship is the institutional erradiction of information from being publically accessible. Beenie-Man has the right to make records and play shows, and the public has the right to let record companies and concert promoters that they don't like the content of the art. I remember talking to my sister about South Park not long after it started airing on Comedy Central. I was talking about my outrage at people protesting it. She said somethign along the lines of "That show is rediculously offensive, it's a sign of sane moral society that that show is spoken out against, and it's a sign of a free society that it won't get yanked of the air."


If people homophobes don't see that homophobia is not acceptable by a large portion of the population, nothing will change.

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Now for one I have no problem with gay people, they could even hit on me and I would not be offended. But why target Beenie Man, why not Sean Paul, or Elephant Mon, of Mr. Vegas? All these artist have anti-gay messages in their music. It's what sells in Jamaica, but its a factor overlooked when making Dancehall transition to a more commercial platform. Does Beenie Man mean what he says in his music? Probably. These aren't metaphors. I just think that this is just another issue of, "If you don't like what's on, change the channel."

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Well, Electric, it's just that Beenie man happens to be holding a concert in Miami soon. I dont know if any of the others you mentioned are.


And it's not a matter of 'change the channel'. (Because I do). It's a matter of his lyrics *promoting* an agenda that advocates the murder of gays and it's reaching others out there.


I dont want to turn of my TV to avoid this shit and then bump into an army of Beenie's fag-haters at my door.

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The British group Outrage! who organized protests of Beenie man in the UK, justified it this way:


“Securing the cancellation of Beenie Man’s concert is very important. By hitting him in the pocket, it will help pressure Beenie Man and other anti-gay Jamaican singers to abandon their murderous incitements. Once they start losing money, they will soon drop their violent lyrics. Driving homophobia out of Jamaican music will have a huge positive impact on Jamaican culture and attitudes – to the benefit of all lesbian and gay Jamaicans.”


“In a free society, Beenie Man has a right to criticize homosexuality. But he does not have a right to advocate the killing of lesbians and gay men. He has over-stepped the mark.”


“Free speech does not include the right to encourage the killing of other human beings. Incitement to murder is a criminal offence. We want his concerts axed because he endorses violent hate crimes, not because he insults gay people,”





Right. Please note: '*Not* because he insults gay people.'


I want to point out that it is NOT a violation of his free speech to try and get people to stop buying his music and going to his concerts. 'hitting him in the pocket' is a totally legitimate tactic.

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  • 10 years later...

After I saw the resurrected Boycotts thread I remembered this one from 11 years back.


This is one of the few times I look at what I wrote 11 years ago and think, 'Yeah, I agree with myself 100%'


Generally, looking at the trends in music, the dancehall artists have indeed moved away from the gay bashing in jamaica. I don't know if that was from being squeezed by activists and protests and cancelled concerts or if it was simply moving on to other topics. After all, everything in music is about trends and new things grab the attention. Dancehall for instance went into a bit of a rap-style East Coast/West coast type thing, taking sides with the feuding gangs of Kingston and for a while that was all they could talk about.

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