Gay letter to club owners - Buju Banton & Beenie Man


Gay_Letter_Buju_Beenie.jpgSample Letter
Dear Century Club General Manager:

I understand that your venue will be featuring Buju Banton on October 3, 2006 and Beenie Man on October 22, 2006. I would like you to know that both Buju Banton and Beenie Man have a long history of homophobia and incitement of anti-gay violence.

Beenie Man, as you may recall, in his song "Han Up Deh," sings, "Hang
chi chi gal wid a long piece of rope." The term "chi chi" is a Jamaican reference to homosexuality. The term is often used to refer to "chi chi men" but can also refer to lesbians (chi chi women or chi chi girls). Loosely translated, the lyrics mean, "Hang lesbians with a long piece of rope." And there are other songs where he calls for the murder of gays. Banton was accused of being involved in a homophobic attack in Kingston two years ago.

While Banton said the charges were "completely untrue and wholly unfounded," he continues to be protested for his song "Boom Bye Bye," which is well known for the violence it calls for against gays including the shooting of gay people in the head, pouring acid over them, and setting them on fire.

Banton's management released a statement earlier this year stating
that he was no longer performing his song "Boom Bye Bye," but recent concert footage from Miami of him leading a sing along, suggests otherwise. The misogyny found in today's hip hop lyrics is no worse than the homophobia found in Beenie Man and Buju Banton's lyrics. As a Black woman, I cannot protest rappers for their use of misogynistic language and then say nothing about the equally offensive language used by some reggae artists.

Black America has an ethical and social responsibility to call out its own.

I fully understand the right of artists to express themselves, but I
cannot sit in silence when blatantly homophobic recording artists come to Los Angeles to perform.

As our new Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has stated, this is a Los
Angeles for all people, and as a Black lesbian, I'm personally insulted that your venue would allow anti-gay musicians to spout their homophobia. Would you allow anti-Semitic or anti-Black artists to perform? Probably not, that's why I'm asking for your help.

To resolve this problem, I ask that you do one of two things
immediately. Either rescind Buju Banton and Beenie Man's invitation to perform in your venue or demand that they make a public statement prior to the concert disavowing his homophobic music and remarks. I'm sure you would agree that we've come too far in the struggle against hate crimes to allow vicious homophobia to go unchallenged in the public sphere. Many people in our community will be looking for you to do the right thing.

Adam Manacker of the Highlands Night Club today cancelled a
performance of Buju Banton scheduled for October 3, 2006 after being made aware of this issue.

I eagerly await your reply.
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