Virulently Homophobic Singers Banned from U.S.
A handful of Jamaican dancehall artists have had their U.S, visas canceled and will reportedly not be coming into the country.
An April 2 article at Petrelis Files.com cites the Jamaican media as reporting that five performers of so-called "murder music"--dancehall songs that advocate the killing of gays--will not be allowed to enter the U.S. Bounty Killer, Mavado, Beenie Man, Adonia and Ricky Trooper have all had their visas canceled, reported the story, and while no official explanation has been forthcoming from the State Department, the story says that speculation centers on two possible explanations. One theory is that the musicians are not being allowed in due to the content of their material. The other is that the canceled visas are a response to the refusal on the part of the Jamaican government to accede to U.S. extradition requests regarding Christopher "Dudus" Cokes on drug-running charges.
Anti-gay reggae musician Buju Banton was the subject of a boycotting campaign during a tour he undertook last year in the U.S., to promote his newest album release. One of Banton’s signature songs is "Boom Bye Bye," which describes shooting gay men in the head and incinerating their dead bodies. Banton was later arrested in Florida on drug charges.
"Although the details behind the decision to revoke the visas of several murder-musicians isn’t yet clear, we welcome this development," the article quoted Brett Lock of the U.K.-based GLBT equality organization OutRage! "The singers have been given every opportunity to reject their murderous incitements to attack gays and lesbians and yet few have been willing to turn their backs on violently homophobic lyrics and instead chose to play a cat-and-mouse game with campaigners and promoters," added Locke.
The Jamaican press had depicted Banton as the victim of "gay lynch mobs" in the U.S., but Locke said that anti-gay artists merit no sympathy. "They themselves buy gay-hatred first; career second," he stated, adding, "Any obstacle between them and the lucrative North American market is to be welcomed. If this harms their careers, good! There should be no market for violent bigotry anyway."
GLBT site Queerty.com also reported on the story, asking, "Where are the names of Buju Banton and Capleton?" Banton is still being detained by U.S. authorities on cocaine charges, but Capleton’s American tour was canceled earlier this year by the tour’s producer. Capleton’s scheduled appearances at the Ragga Muffins Music Festival in California were also scrubbed, with festival co-producer Moss Jacobs telling the press, "We can’t put people on the show who are advocating violence against any group of people." The cancellation came after GLBT groups spoke out against Capleton’s anti-gay song lyrics.
"We thank the venues and promoters who denied Capleton a platform after learning about his history of violent lyrics, but at the end of the day promoters need to become better educated about the talent they are elevating," said GLAAD’s Rashad Robinson in the wake of the cancellation.