Alex Blaze

Raggae stars sign pro-gay agreement

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 13, 2007 2:08 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: hate crimes against LGBT people, Jamaica, music, raggae

Three Raggae recording artists have agreed to stop being homophobic in their music. From UK Gay News:

Beenie Man, Sizzla and Capleton had previously released anti-gay hate songs, including incitements to murder lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

They have now signed up to the Reggae Compassionate Act in a deal brokered with top reggae promoters and Stop Murder Music activists.

The agreement follows the three-year-long Stop Murder Music campaign, which resulted in the cancellation of hundreds of the singers' concerts and sponsorship deals, causing them income losses estimated in excess of five million dollars.

This is definitely a step in the right direction, although one has to wonder about the sincerity of such an agreement considering how much money those artists were losing because they were telling people to kill the queers.

But this will, if these artists stick to this agreement, help some of the most oppressed queer people in the world. Gay and trans Jamaicans have been murdered and beaten so often that it seems like one of the most homophobic nations in the world, all the while police have let people get away with their crimes and politicians have tried to justify those hate murders. No, these three raggae stars can't stop all the violence, but at least them not singing about how gays should be killed will help delegitimize the environment that makes that violence possible.

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Hopefully our little bit of activism (in Bloomington last fall) was like a drop in this bucket. Sadly, Buju Banton isn't one of the artists to have signed on.

A. J. Lopp | June 13, 2007 5:05 PM

Are the offensive records still available for sale? It seems rather odd to say, "I'm sorry I called for people to murder you on my previous record ... but excuse me if I continue to sell it anyway, it's a real moneymaker."

I would think they are, A.J. Maybe you could buy them all up and keep them off the streets that way, like Ted Haggard said he was doing with the meth.

A. J. Lopp | June 13, 2007 7:34 PM

Well ... Alex ... that idea, Alex, is, uh ... not so good ... most of your ideas are really sharp, but that one, Alex, is ... not so good ...* trails off, muttering *

That's the first thing I thought too, Allen. While they're not going to do it anymore, they will still be making money off of the previous albums.

But at least it's a step forward. Baby steps, I guess.