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GLAAD on Buju Banton Grammy nomination: ‘Promoting murder isn’t a ‘cultural persective’

News release from GLAAD:

bujubantonad

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, GLAAD Outraged by Buju Banton Nomination and Call on Recording Academy to Denounce Music that Promotes Murder

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 29, 2010--In a full page ad in today’s special Grammy-edition of Variety, more than 20 progressive organizations, lead by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, have called on the head of The Recording Academy to use Sunday night’s Grammy telecast to denounce music that promotes or celebrates violence against any group of people and the artists who perform such music.

The ad, in the form of an open letter to The Recording Academy’s President Neil Portnow, is in response to anti-gay reggae singer Buju Banton’s nomination for a Grammy Award in the Best Reggae Album category. Throughout his career Banton has performed music that glorifies the violent murder of LGBT people, and as recently as three months ago he refused to stop performing such music. Last October he was quoted in news reports saying, “This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs, ‘There is no end to the war between me and fa**ots.’”

In his most notorious song “Boom, Bye Bye” he sings that “batty men (slur equivalent to ‘fa**ot’) get up and run” when he comes, that “they have to die,” and that he will “shoot batty men in the head” or “burn them up bad.” His music has helped foster such an anti-gay culture in Jamaica—where violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is common and sometimes celebrated—that Time magazine recently asked, “Is Jamaica the most homophobic place on Earth?”

“It’s outrageous that The Recording Academy has chosen to honor, with a Grammy nomination, someone who proudly and unabashedly performs music that glorifies the violent murder of gay and transgender people,” said GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios.  “We need to send a strong message to let the Recording Academy and music industry know that promoting artists who advocate such acts feeds a climate of intolerance that can put members of our community at risk for violence."

In a letter to GLAAD, the Academy claims that the Grammy Awards honor musical achievement “regardless of politics” and that “artists of a variety of political or cultural perspectives have been nominated or featured on the telecast.”

“Music that promotes the violent murder of LGBT people, or any other group, doesn’t reflect a political or cultural perspective,” said L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center Chief Executive Officer Lorri L. Jean. “It reflects hatred and fosters a culture of violence. Portnow needs to use the Grammy telecast to denounce such music, in no uncertain terms, and those who perform it.”

About the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center
Since 1971 the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has been building the health, advocating for the rights and enriching the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Our wide array of services and programs includes: free HIV/AIDS care and medications for those most in need; housing, food, clothing and support for homeless LGBT youth; low-cost counseling and addiction-recovery services; essential services for LGBT-parented families and seniors; legal services; health education and HIV prevention programs; transgender services; cultural arts and much more. Visit us on the Web at: www.lagaycenter.org.

About GLAAD
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org.

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WHY THE HELL Y'ALL DON'T STOP HARPING ON A SONG THAT IS OLDER THAN MY KIDS? CAN'T SOMEONE CHANGE? I'M SICK OF YOU ALL. THE MAN HASN'T WRITTEN A SONG LIKE THIS IN OVER 10YRS. HE EMBARKED ON A SPRITUAL JOURNEY AND HAS CHANGED FOR THE BETTER. WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?

Buju is wrong to insite violence against anyone, but i think at the end of the day his message is that 'Sodom and Gomorrah will never prosper'. It doesnt matter how many of them there are their lifestyles arent natrual, but at the end of the day 'each chooses his/her own path'.
Jamaica isnt homophobic, we are just not sold on the homosexual lifestyle, we arent afraid of it. If we were we woudnt speak out about it.

You claim Buju is promoting violence....why don't u all stop promoting AIDS...STDS...AND SIN.......

Buju admits that he was young at the time and did agree in some places to not sing the song. He did not help to promote an anti-gay climate in Jamaica. It already existed. Most people in JA do not agree with the life style period. In addition...I don't think he literally meant the lyrics in the song. There are lots of songs that use the term "kill it dead" As crass as it sounds I don't think it is meant literally. And it is a cultural thing that mostly we from the Caribbean understand.

jamaica is now polluted with lots of gays.they walk about everywhere even places u would never imagine,yes even in our ghettos.We donot need to have certain lifestyles displayed infront of our kids.I have2 sons and i will not support them if they wish to become gays.Sorry the bible says it wrong. I will not bash u but i donot have to support u.Buju song have no impact on our thoughts we are a blessed,God abiding nation who will not totally bow to sadom

One thing is for sure, we don't need crazy violent homophobes coming into this country from anywhere.

THE GAY COMMUNITY CONTINUING A HISTORICAL PRACTICE IN AMERICA OF USING MOBS TO HARM PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY BLACK PEOPLE:

In reading the letter submitted to the The Recording Academy which awards the Grammy and seeing that GLAAD and all signatories lied about the number of songs with anti-gay content which Buju Banton wrote and performed, it was clear to me that the Gay Community used a mob of liars who used misinformation a.k.a. propaganda, in order to force others to support the Gay Community.

“BATTY RIDER” IS NOT ABOUT ANYTHING DEALING WITH THE GAY COMMUNITY. The song Batty Rider is about the extremely short and skin-tight shorts that some women wear to the dancehall in Jamaica.


So, when Buju Banton said in “Batty Rider” that [they must want the DJ to commit murder], it’s just a man saying that he was so sexually aroused by those sexy females wearing the batty rider that they must want him to murder himself because he was so aroused seeing them in their sexy shorts. His lyrical proclamation is equivalent to an American saying, “You’re killing me, baby with your sexy-self.”

Furthermore, to date, in 2010, Buju Banton has written only one song with anti-gay content and that’s “Boom Bye Bye” which he wrote at 15 years old as an emotional reaction to an adult man raping a boy in Jamaica.

Finally, the actions of GLAAD and all signatories made it clear that America has been a society which has used mobs to harm others, as was done in America during the slavery period and Jim Crow laws period when mobs rallied to lynch blacks and now it was done when the Gay Community mob released its letter to The Recording Academy against Buju Banton.

FOR ALL THE REASONS WHICH I DISCUSSED IN MY ABOVE COMMENT, I WILL CONTINUE TO SPEAK OUT FOR “MY BROTHER,” BUJU BANTON ONLINE, IN PRINT, IN THE STREETS AND EVERYWHERE.

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