Lest we forget the accusations that gays were out to get Buju Banton for his Boom Bye Bye song lyrics were out there long before his present ordeal with the US Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA. From the early days of the Stop Murder Music Campaigns in Europe and GLAAD in the United States the complaints have been coming from his and other targeted so called murder music artists whose shows were cancelled, postponed or moved to more accommodating venues as is the case now in France where Sizzla and Vybz Kartel shows were cut and the pressure now on to Capleton in his upcoming tour of sections of the US.
When Buju Banton was first arrested everyone was stunned especially when it came to light he was charged for the unbelievable dealings with the “white lady” cocaine which Rastafarians are supposed to shy or avoid based on their religious principles and the teachings of Haile Sellasie. So the gay community in the USA and by extension Jamaica were used as scapegoats to blame for his woes however the initial outcry was loud and thunderous but now even within the ranks of the homophobes based on statements made on dancehall forums, radio feedback and other public spaces the believability factor has dropped dramatically as persons are now asking the questions they should have asked from the beginning. Why was he involved in dealings with these other known drug dealers in the first place when you are supposed to be a holy righteous Rastaman preaching love and healthy ital livity?
“Driver, Don’t Stop at all ............”
Could this song be the reason why the Drug Enforcement Agency, DEA found it necessary to launch an operation to capture the Grammy winning reggae star? After all the song details how one can get away transporting the “white lady” and possible other drugs passed the authorities without being detected. The song of course is catchy as it struck a chord with many as not only did it show how to beat the system but appealed to our Anancyism traits in our culture of beating the formal systems, nothing like committing a wrong and getting away with it for a Jamaican it is the ultimate act of heroism and praise is bestowed on the one who can accomplish this, let us not remember this is precisely why the culture of donmanship thrives here.
The damning tape played today September 21, 2010 in his ongoing trial in Florida of Buju Banton allegedly saying he was involved in previous questionable activity which included movement of drugs from Europe to Africa supposedly in the name of taking care of his fifteen children around in Jamaica. Buju Banton allegedly asked one of the men who was in his presence that he wanted to finance some deal and he should avoid one Lloyd Evans as snitches are everywhere, many in the courtroom were in shock according to reports while others covered their ears when the audio was played.
- Why is it that even when the initial reactions of disbelief came from the public on Buju’s arrest certain powerful sections of the dancehall fraternity were so quiet and still are today?
- Could it be that others in the knowing in the dancehall fraternity already knew of Mr. Myrie’s dealings with the underworld so it came as no surprise to some?
- Is there a level of disappointment from the Rastafarian community in particular as he is considered a let down as he broke the righteous teachings of his majesty and perceived to have gotten involved in drug running?
- Even when agitations were made to help raise funds etc and rally around Buju under the short lived Free Buju campaign where were the other artists to give sustained public support?
- Is Buju being left to hang to dry on his own in this matter as fear of speaking out on his behalf may lead to the fear that the Stop Murder Music Campaign turning on the participants?
- Is there more to tell regarding the dancehall community’s silence on Buju’s present legal problems?
- If the gay community supposedly “set up” Buju Banton for this as a reprisal for his Boom Bye Bye lyrics from some 22 years ago why would they have waited so long to exact this action?
- If the gay community supposedly “set up” Buju Banton then are the two alleged men now turned state witnesses gay?
Given the parody video now out of Buju being a closeted gay man is the dancehall community aware of such an accusations hence their distance from him in this matter?
It just seems so strange that the outcry is not louder given the sensitivities involved and our supposed homophobic state seeing many of the dancehall acts accused of being murder music performers have already broken the Reggae Compassionate Act (UK) including Buju himself. The Act was supposedly designed to have dancehall acts agree to not promoting or performing anti gay songs anywhere I would have thought they would have used Jamaica as an offshore area to be strident in their stance in defence of Buju Banton since he is under pressure from "Babylon" since most of them have already broken the Act.
I would not be surprised though if he is acquitted that the silence would turn to great jubilation not for him as a Rasta getting away from a drug charge per say but him escaping the so called trap the gay community has set out for him. The varying spins that this story has taken is just beyond me, as for the reporting on the trial itself it is clear the local media have drawn their lines and are taking his side with very friendly articles on the proceedings.
I would also be equally not surprised if he is found guilty and the same quiet dancehall spectators turns loud and blames the gays for his demise, I wonder what would happen then?
Interesting times we are living in friends let’s watch this one closely.
UPDATE: Sept 22, 2010 - 6:50am a reader submitted this which is worth considering as well:
1) He was not set up by gays - who aren't that powerful, anyway.
2) I do not know how devout is his Rastafarianism, but, in any case, it suits him to appear devoutly religious right now.
3) It seems like he might be a dealer of long standing, which raises the issue, to me at least: how many other Dancehall artists are involved in drug trafficking?
4) How come he winds up sitting next to a DEA informant on a flight from Madrid to Miami? There must have been stuff going on prior to this, or the Feds would not have facilitated his sitting next to the informer.
5) One possible outcome is a deadlocked jury. In that case a whole new act would open in this drama.
6) Maybe entertainers are not supporting him vociferously, because they don't much like him.
Tell me what you think.
Peace and tolerance