Demand diversity training for anti-gay reggae singers
Sponsors of the Edmonton Reggae Festival in Edmonton, Canada, are under pressure to drop three headliners from their Sept. 5 schedule because of anti-LGBT statements and songs. The Calgary International Reggae Festival has already barred Queen Ifrica, Capleton and I-Wayne from performing because of their anti-LGBTQ comments, CBC News reported. In 2013, Toronto’s Rastafest removed Queen Ifrica from its lineup after complaints about her anti-gay position.
Jamaican activist Maurice Tomlinson has the following suggestions for what the three artists should be required to do before performing in Canada:
How to treat (the few) anti-gay Jamaican performers
Concert touring season is now in full swing and Jamaican reggae singers are being booked to headline shows all over the world. A controversy has erupted over three performers booked to headline the Edmonton Reggae Festival, because these individuals have track-records of virulently anti-gay material.
Like most Jamaicans, our musicians were raised in an anti-gay society largely influenced by imported fundamentalist Christian rhetoric. A few have therefore produced homophobic songs that reflect their taught prejudices. All these musicians have a right to freedom of speech and to earn a living.
In order to respect both these rights, and the rights of others, I propose that these artistes be required to do the following before being booked, or allowed to perform:
- Be certified as undergoing diversity training (this is currently being delivered by groups such as J-FLAG [the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays] and CVC [the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition] on the island).
- Publicly denounce their anti-gay songs.
- Publicly declare respect for the human rights of ALL people.
Jamaican music has historically been about love. We should not let a few misguided performers tarnish our country’s great musical tradition of ONE LOVE!
- Anti-LGBTQ artists headline Edmonton Reggae Festival (July 7, 2015, The Gauntlet, student newspaper of the University of Calgary)
- Fans and sponsors abandon reggae festival over anti-gay song lyrics (July 9, 2015, CBC News)
- Edmonton Reggae Festival sponsors suspend support (July 9, 2015, Edmonton Journal)
- Jamaica: No tax money for reggae singers’ homophobia (August 2013, 76crimes.com)
- Canada was right to nix tax-funded Jamaican hate (August 2013, 76crimes.com)
- LGBT envoy heads to Jamaica amid plans for Pride (May 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Jamaica’s major newspaper backs LGBTI rights (June 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Progress in Jamaica toward ‘world as it should be’ (June 2015, 76crimes.com)
Reblogged this on Fairy JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
A demand for training in understanding and apreaciating difference…
I appreciate Dadland Maye pointing out ON facebook the danger of J-FLAG and CVC investing money in diversity training instead of providing much needed food and shelter to the homeless LGBTQ youth who have been run from the Shoemaker Gully and now live in various unknown parts of the island. More than diversity training we need a serious economic boycott of institutions that deliberately neglect Jamaican youth and add to the chorus of homophobic Jamaicans wishing that they would just go away, despite their having loyal customers. -RF.