Endorsing those Who Endorse Murder

Pepsi Co. sponsored a concert in Uganda starring Jamaican singer Beenie Man. And Buju Banton has received a Grammy Nomination for Best Raggae Album.

Both Pepsi Co. and The Recording Academy should be ashamed of themselves because both of these people sing about and encourage murder in their songs.

The LA LGBT Center writes of Banton:

Throughout his career, Banton has performed music that promotes a culture of violence against lesbian and gay people; he sings in “Boom, Bye Bye” that “faggots get up and run” when he comes, that “they have to die,” and that he will shoot them in the head or “burn them up bad.” Banton is completely unrepentant, refuses to stop performing the song, and recently said, “There is no end to the war between me and faggots.”

Beenie Man apologized in 2004 for his hateful lyrics:

A Jamaican reggae singer famous for homophobic lyrics such as “I’m a dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays” has issued his “sincerest apologies” for his lyrics. But his apology has been dismissed as a stunt.

But in 2006, he defended his lyrics saying:

Davis says, “I like to entertain, not hurt people. In Jamaica being gay isn’t the same as in the UK. Batty man does not mean gay. A batty man is a man dat like to have sex through the rear; he isn’t gay. He could have a wife and kids, but just does that… it’s also a word for the man that likes to indulge in kid prostitution, which is frowned upon, so of course we will speak out. Gay attacks happen everywhere, why blame it on Jamaican music? In Jerusalem (Israel) if a person is gay, they can be taken to the middle of the road and cut up. But they say we are the most homophobic country in the world!”

Frankly, I wouldn’t forgive either of them for their remarks no matter what they say in the future.  (That’s not completely true, but I doubt these men are going to become outspoken proponents of freedom and individual rights.)

But it surprises me that organizations like Pepsi Co. and The Recording Academy are sanctioning this speech.  Pepsi Co. moreso than the Recording Academy.  (For all I know, Grammy nominations may be based solely on sales and the academy has never encountered a situation where such a vile human being promoting such vile ideas has been so successful.  Wait… Eminem?)

This is one of those cases where I strongly support a boycott of Pepsi Co. until they do something to right this outrage.  As for the Grammys, I rarely watch award shows, but if you do, I’ll ask you to skip this one.


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