Ignorance is … no excuse

In yesterday’s Gleaner newspaper, I came across a letter headed “Not hostile to homosexuals”. Here are the high- and low lights.

THE EDITOR, Sir:

THE BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Elton John regards Jamaicans as very hostile towards homosexuals. Not only is Mr. or Mrs. Elton John (the BBC did not state his title so I don’t know) wrong about Jamaicans, but he was very unkind.

It is homosexuality and not homosexuals that Jamaicans are hostile towards. There are countless homosexuals living in Jamaica today who have never once been harassed because they keep their unlawful practice to themselves.

It is not true to suggest that Jamaicans promote violence against homosexuals. One of my best friends is a homosexual and we enjoy a good friendship built on respect. However, like the majority of law-abiding Jamaicans, I would report him to the police if I see him in an act of homosexuality.

In this age of rampant globalization, I find it comforting to know that there are people who do not know whether Elton John is a man or a woman. And like the letter writer, I can separate the act from the man: it is his musical drivel of the last 20 years that I resent, not the piano player himself. After all, he did write Benny and the jets.

However, in flagrant contradiction to the letter, it is true that Jamaicans promote violence against homosexuals.

Example 1
Buju Banton – Boom bye bye

Boom [as in gun sound] goodbye, goodbye
[as in we won’t be seeing you again, you’re dead]
Inna batty bwoy head
[In a queer’s head ]
Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
[Rude boys don’t promote no queer men]
Dem haffi dead
[They have to die]
Send fi di matic an
[Send for the automatic [gun] and]
Di Uzi instead
[The Uzi instead]
Shoot dem no come if we shot dem
[Shoot them, don’t come if we shoot them, as in don’t come to help them]
Guy come near we
[If a man comes near me]
Then his skin must peel
[as in pour acid over him]
Burn him up bad like an old tyre wheel

Example 2
Vybz Kartel – Bedroom Slaughteration

Bow cat, sodomite, batty man fi gat assassination (Yeah)

Example 3
Elephant Man – We Nuh Like Gay

Battyman fi dead! Tek dem by surprise
Get a shot inna yu head, inna mi big gun collide.

Example 4
Beenie Man – Han Up Deh

Hang chi chi gal [lesbians] wid a long piece of rope

Example 5
Beenie Man – Damn

I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays.

Phew.
There are many more examples but citing them would merely be further proof of the banality of evil. Nuff already, y’hear?

I wrote a quick reply to the Gleaner and am curious to see whether it will be published. I’ve already created a gmail label entitled “hate mail” in anticipation.

10 thoughts on “Ignorance is … no excuse”

  1. Actually, I read it to mean that he wasn’t sure whether Elton John was the ‘man’ or the ‘woman’ in his relationships, and therefore he addressed him this way, which I found hilarious! Never considered that he might not know Elton… Its unlikely, though its possible. I think he meant it to be funny. In fact, I found the whole letter funny.
    For the most part, I think he is right though… most Jamaicans see and doh see gays… They ignore that aspect of the gay person’s life as long as they keep it on the down low. They don’t appreciate it being thrown in their faces though. Its probably not wise to walk kissing in the street, or somthing else as obvious as that.

    Lyrics are just that. Lyrics. Same way Beenie says he is packing a nine between his legs… I haven’t checked, but assume its just pure chat.

  2. I had no idea about some of the songs/lyrics you listed – very interesting and great examples.

    I’m lovin’ your observations of life in Jamaica.

  3. MB: Packing a nine, like this?

    Elephant Man – A Nuh Fi Wi Fault

    Battyman fi dead!
    Please mark we word
    Gimme tha tec-nine
    [Tec-9: semi-automatic assault pistol]
    Shoot dem like bird

    Lyrics are just like that?

    Substitute battyman/chi chi gyal for nigger or jew and tell me how it sounds.

  4. I’m not saying that they should sing those lyrics, in fact, I am against it. I still think that most Jamaicans basically leave gays alone though.

  5. Hello Ria, thanks for visiting my blog, it made me discover yours, I’ve read some old posts too, and I’m enjoying.

    Where I worked in Jamaica, in tv and advertising, there was a good degree of tolerance towards the gays even amongst the straight, macho guys.

    That last paragraph of that letter was a joke though: “It is not true to suggest that Jamaicans promote violence against homosexuals…” Eh? What do those violent songs do?

    And the writer says one of his/her best friends is a homosexual and they enjoy a good friendship built on respect…but would report him to the police if…

  6. I agree with Mad Bull. Although our songs preach violence against gays, Jamaican don’t go out attacking them. There are a few at the gym I go to and no one pays them any mind.

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