Buju Trial Near: Jamaicans: Gays Set Him Up;
OutRage! UK Responds
Longtime London gay activist and friend Brett Lock, who's been integral in the global effort to stop murder music that encourages and applauds attacks on gays, today made me aware of a head-scratching news article that ran on Sunday in the Jamaica Observer. From Tampa, the story said:
As the entertainer's Monday trial date looms, supporters living here have expressed their desire to see the four-time Grammy nominee freed of the drug-related charges against him. [...]
Some supporters here believe that the artiste is innocent and that he had been set up. [...] On one hand there are those who believe, as Banton's legal team is contending, that the Government had set up the artiste. But there are those who believe that he was set up by the "powerful and influential" gay community. [...]
The years of acrimony between Banton and the gay community and the financial toll it has taken on the artiste forced Banton last year October to meet with members of the gay community in Los Angeles [sic]. [...] (That controversial meeting, to which I was a party, took place in Larkspur, just north of San Francisco. -MP)
Federal U.S. prosecutors have cut a deal with Banton's two co-defendants, who have been singing like canaries against the singer's cocaine dealings over the years. It is utter nonsense for anyone to claim gays conspired with the federal drug agents to put Banton on trial and behind bars. His genuine problems are the evidence against him, his co-defendants and U.S. drug laws.
On behalf of the OutRage! activist organization, Brett Lock issued this comment to me:
"It is typical of the kind of mindless bigotry of Buju Banton's supporters that they would ignore the facts of the case and instead invent bizarre conspiracy theories in which gay people - one of the most institutionally persecuted and discriminated against groups around the world today - are really all-powerful and pulling the strings of government and law enforcement.
"Perhaps if they stopped to think for a while they might consider that were this surreal scenario true, gay people might instead use their 'power and influence' to end antigay laws and stop homophobic harassment by many police forces around the world, including in Jamaica.
"Instead they've constructed a fantasy in which we apparently squander our supposed 'power' victimising this minor celebrity. It's insane."
Thanks, Brett, for expressing what many gays must think about all this. The Banton trial starts next week, and I expect the Jamaican press will continue with their gay-conspiracy-driven insanity.