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Buju Banton Tour Update

Jim Burroway

October 12th, 2009

It’s been a while since we checked in on Buju Banton, the Jamaican dancehall singer whose music advocating violent deaths for gay people has caused several American concert venues to cancel his performances. San Francisco LGBT activist Michael Petrelis met with Buju Banton and his entourage. According to Petrelis, Banton’s advisers said they really wanted to put the controversy behind them, but Banton rejected every suggestion Petrelis made to address the issue. Meanwhile, the Jamaica Observer hailed Banton’s tour as “the biggest-selling reggae tour of the year,” despite the controversy and cancellations.

The web site Cancel Buju Banton has been doing a good job at keeping tabs on those cancellations and reschedules. As of this evening, here’s how things look:

[Hat tips: GLBTQ Jamaica, Michael Petrelis]

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Timothy Kincaid
October 12th, 2009 | LINK

The meeting was very civil and productive, even though at times I had to play the “bad cop” activist, especially when Buju was dominating the discussion, and we made several suggestions for him to consider, in order to start to undo some of the problems he has in the gay community because of his past anti-gay lyrics.

We proposed that he think about making statements in Jamaica calling for love toward gays, donating to the JFLAG group, hold a town hall meeting in Kingston about the need to respect gays, and sing about loving gay people. All the suggestions were rejected, frustrating us.

Clearly Banton does not believe that he is wrong in calling for the murder of gay men and women.

We should keep up pressure to not let this man’s voice go unchallenged and to encourage venues to be responsible neighbors and keep messages of murder and hatred from gaining the veneer of acceptability.

David Malcolm
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

That seems kind of silly to me, ask a guy who’s been talking about murdering people to start talking about loving gay people? I mean it’s not terribly likely. It’s hard enough to get conservative people to stop talking about it being wrong to be gay let alone get them to go gay positive. I think a more realistic goal would have been to get him to understand that there are real people who his music hurts, and that he needs to sing about other stuff.

B
October 13th, 2009 | LINK

The Austin show was cancelled yesterday!!!

Burr
October 15th, 2009 | LINK

Well they may have canceled in Tampa but he just moved across the bay to St. Pete.

http://www.tampabay.com/features/music/reggae-singers-upcoming-jannus-landing-show-draws-fire-from-gay-and/1044041

SamK
October 17th, 2009 | LINK

It is worthwhile to watch YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ8Z0biU_Zw “Elephant Man Buju Banton Shabba Ranks Boom Bye Bye” In this video, Buju Banton says: “[churches] preach homosexuality is a crime. So what wrong have I done when I say that homosexuality is wrong?”

To the conservative Christian churches and the Rastafarian religion that Buju Banton is familiar with, that believe in the literal truth of the laws in Leviticus in the Bible, homosexuality is not only a crime, it is a capital crime. Buju’s statement in “Boom Bye Bye” is essentially an echo of the call from the Old Testament for execution of gays.

It is also a call for vigilante action against gays, a call that is too often heeded in Jamaica and elsewhere.

It is important to note that Buju Banton is not the only reggae dancehall artiste making such calls http://www.petertatchell.net/popmusic/Dancehall-Dossier-FINAL.pdf Buju is the one making a major tour of the U.S., though.

Buju Banton performs “Boom Bye Bye” much less often these days. The song has been controversial since it was released in 1992. Even though he performs the song less often, perhaps even seldom, the song can be downloaded on Amazon and is available on compilation CDs. Most of Buju’s fans know this song by heart. Buju just says that the song was written a long time ago. He has never repudiated “Boom Bye Bye.”

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

buju
December 14th, 2009 | LINK

leave buju alone you all are going to hell .

Scott P.
December 14th, 2009 | LINK

We’d be happy to leave him alone, just as soon as he stops advocating our mass murder. Don’t you think we have enough on our plate without a moron like him adding to things?

Jewel
December 14th, 2009 | LINK

I have been a Nazarite dreadlocked Rasta for almost twenty years and I can somewhat empathize with Buju Banton’s stand in proclaiming his views against being homosexual because although we here in America have Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech, there is a line drawn in the sand when it advocates violence against another group. However, as one who wears the locks as a part of my Faith, it has become more than irritating when homosexuals and bi-sexuals who have donned locks because the women are trying to look like Whoopi Goldberg or their men what to look like the blonde prince from Shrek flinging his locks around with no spiritual energy involved, and assume that we are a part of ‘their group!’ Rasta have suffered, and continue to suffer in silence as we are treated like gays, persecuted for being gay, our personal lives and intimate lives are invaded by people who are paid by the government to keep us from being gay by ‘performing a public service?!’ As Nazarites, we seek to do as God/Jah dictates in His word. Some would say it is extreme to serve God/Jah that way, but as Nazarite Rasta, we seek to please Him first and the laws of man; having been twisted to be politically correct, having become adulterated against the basic principles of, “In God we trust…” have become ineffective. Those who don locks to attract lesbian and gay partners, and involve cocaine in their Rasta livity, do so at the risk of bringing this kind of war to your door because this is a spiritual warfare with Ground Zero based in a country that has lost its focus and is no longer primarily directed at pleasing God but rather pleasing whoever is loudest, has more money, or who suits the current agenda. Hate crimes are abhorent, but Buju’s position no more depicts the reasoning of Rasta than a gay politician voicing his objections at some political forum against heterosexuals or a Preacher voicing objections to Nazarite livity from the pulpit. His position is as much a slap in the face of the gay community as gays who don locks to pretend to be Nazarite.

John
December 14th, 2009 | LINK

Jewel,

Your post made no sense. People are free to dress or fashion their hair has they wish. You have no more right to dictate fashion and hairstyle on others than I have the right to make you remove your dreds.

Buju advocates violence and murder against gays. Encouraging violence against others is unacceptable. No belief structure excuses his advocacy of violence.

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