Public safety is not a gay issue

The Buju Banton show has been canceled. But did it happen soon enough? Did Richmond City officials respond how they should have? Kevin Clay, editor of weighs in.

Editor’s note: The following feature is a guest-spot written by Kevin Clay, editor of, Richmond’s GLBT webmagazine. Please take the time to head over and read their previous coverage on this issue. And thanks to Kevin for sharing your perspective.

A bar fight breaks out at Toad’s Place in February. The mayor calls a meeting.

Reggae artist Buju Banton’s scheduled appearance at The National stirs up controversy. In the works, a potential protest at the concert venue with hundreds that would be bused from the Gay Pride Festival. City officials were hands off.

Whether or not you agree with Banton’s lyrical expression, the recent cancellation of his shows brings to light the city’s disjointed stance on public safety. Public safety is not a gay issue.

The controversy surrounds the song “Boom Bye Bye” written when Banton was 15-years-old. In the song, Banton uses the term “batty boy” – a slur for homosexuals and describes shooting them and pouring acid over their heads.

Richmond’s gay community rallied together against the scheduled performance after a group protesting the show appeared on Facebook. Banton’s appearance at The National on September 26th would have coincided with the 25th anniversary of Gay Pride being held in Richmond.

Before the cancellation, received an email from a reader who contacted city councilwoman Ellen Robertson. In his email, he expressed concern over a protest that could potentially turn violent. Robertson responded to his message saying she would call for a meeting with the Chief of Police, the mayor’s office, and the owners of the National.

In a written statement issued to Style Weekly, a representative to the councilwoman said “Robertson has been advised by the City Attorney that the City has no jurisdiction over the National Theatre.”

The National remained mum on the show until announcing the performance had moved via their Facebook page. Surprisingly, it moved to the Hat Factory, the new incarnation of the former Toad’s Place venue, before being taken off the roster last weekend.

The City backing off of the issue because of its lack of “jurisdiction” is ironic considering there was a public safety meeting following the Toad’s Place incident. In February, after a series of fights had broken out during a show, all available officers were called to the seen leading to several arrests.

With the gay community ready to rally, things may not have turned violent, but emotions were running high on both sides. Regardless of the cancellation, for the City not to take an ounce of prevention and start dialogue between leaders and business owners is irresponsible – especially having advance notice.

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Kevin Clay

Kevin is a lover of nachos, cake, cats and Richmond (in no particular order, but that nacho craving though!)

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. WOW. I never knew this about Buju. I use to listen to him during college (isn’t that when we all listen to Reggae). I remember most of his music was about hating violence, and about his love for all women. I did a quick search – I couldn’t find that song on any of his albums. I also, did a quick search through wiki. It’s true he was 15 when he wrote this song. He’s 36 now. It was stated he wrote this song out of anger back when he was 15 yrs old after hearing about a man raping a boy in his hometown. The song was never suppose to be released. He never played this song at his concerts and he publicly apologized for it. I don’t think anyone would condone such a song no matter the circumstance. I wonder at what age are you allowed to use poor judgement, make mistakes and still be forgiven? I’m glad i’m not still judged for all the things I did and said at age 15.

  2. Jeff E. on said:

    Initially I thought this was a victory for the gay community and the Richmond area as a whole however after looking into the facts more I feel differently. As Eric stated above this song was written two decades ago by a 15 year old kid and unless you speak rasta, you wouldn’t understand a thing the guy was saying anyway. Protest the event if you so chose but let area citizens have the final say in whether or not they want to support this artist. The government is already too involved in our every day lives as it is, do we really need them checking the lyrics of all the artists that play all the venues of Richmond to see if they contain anything offensive? I don’t think so.

  3. “The song was never suppose to be released. He never played this song at his concerts and he publicly apologized for it. I don’t think anyone would condone such a song no matter the circumstance.”

    This doesn’t correlate with a quote from him that I read back when the show was still scheduled. I’d have to hunt for it but to paraphrase, he said that people asked to hear it all the time. Anyway, there’s no such thing as a song that gets accidentally recorded or accidentally released on a record album. Anyone who’s ever been involved with music production can tell you that.

    On the other hand, it’s interesting that the ones planning the protest are the ones who were warning about the potential for violence (at least, that’s how I read it). It makes me wonder exactly what they expected to happen.

  4. I didn’t know that’s what “batty boy” meant. Now I can’t use that word anymore.
    Dammit, my lexicon is ever deteriorated by my conscience.

  5. Scott Burger on said:

    Will we see this sort of controversy at Center Stage?

    Yet another reason government should not be in the theater business.

  6. Chris M on said:

    Kudo’s to both comments. I am sure if we look back into a majority of musicians lives we can find dark and negatives undertones in all their singing.

    It would be one thing if Buju where actually including gay bashing in a majority of his songs, plus openly criticizing them, and even being physical with them. He’s not. He has never stated he is against gays, he has said he was young, mad about a specific situation (which you can not blame him) and never released the song.

    Pointing fingers at a event that is not related is also an issue. I could say, that you should never go into bars on Robinson St because a friend of mine was assaulted there. Maybe if Toad’s had been closed down multiple times infractions I would say you have a basis to take to the Council

    Here’s a thought. Contact Buju’s promoter. Offer a parlance about the issue. You might only get a letter, but you might also be surprised to see that artist and their promoters are worried about public appearance.

  7. Google book search is crazy. Here is an article from Reggae and Caribbean Music where it states he issued an apology for the song and did some charity work to try and improve his image. He was about 20 when he made the apologies.

  8. Many of the previous commenters could stand to do a little homework. Buju Banton’s involvement in verbal and physical gay-bashing is documented and ongoing. Watch the first YouTube video on the boycott Buju blog and stop blaming people for speaking up:

    It’s really not surprising that homophobia has so many defenders in a state where anti-gay legislation routinely puts Virginia in the national media. Writing off “Boom Bye Bye” as a teenage rant sweeps reality under the rug. I see a parallel here: Dismissing Banton’s hate-speech is akin to the whitewashing of Republican governor candidate Bob McDonnell’s career of “family values” campaigns, which weren’t much more than bigoted fear-mongering. Without more people speaking out against homophobia, our state will continue to be a safe haven for ignorant hate-mongers and the LGBT community will continue to receive frequent mistreatment and disrespect.

    Again, don’t take it from me:

  9. Roland on said:

    Boys you are not digging deep enough. Look here
    Syd has done the research for you and you don’t have to trust him, you can get to his sources from there. Grab a beer or cocktail before you look, because it is not gentle and it is not brief.

    ‘Buju only sang the song when he was 15’. Watch youtube clips of clearly an adult Buju singing Boom Bye Bye

    ‘Apologized and did charity work’ not hardly Banton signed the Reggae Compassion Act in 2007 and shortly there after said he didn’t sign it, and later that his European management made him sign it. Song still appears on compilation albums for which he gets royaties

    ‘glad I’m not judged by what I did at 15’ In 2004 Banton was arrested for actually being involved in an assault on gay men. He was not convicted due to a lack of evidence. But the person who was disfigured and lost his sight was a witness and testified. The problem Homosexuality is punishable with a 10 year sentence in Jamaica. It is believed the justice system let him off easy.

    Lyrics to the song have been chanted during crowd assaults on gays.

    Most recent murder less than 2 weeks ago a British Envoy. Note left indicated it was a hate crime. No Buju, did not commit it, but he is the big name and could start changing the message

    The Richmond gay community did not call for violence. That comment apparently grew out of a statement Banton’s record label president made saying ‘Jamaican music would not be stopped by thug tactics of the gays’.

    Had you the opportunity to read comments on the Facebook Group pages created in LA and Virginia to support cancellation of concerts, before they were both taken down Facebook for alleged violation of user requirements, you would have seen remarks from many of Buju supporters like ‘Jamaican culture thinks like Buju whats the big deal?’

    Perhaps I have been able to lay out for you what the ‘BIG DEAL’ is

  10. If you object to Buju Banton, then you should object to the producers who make the riddims he raps over, the record company who paid him, etc.

    The script for mainstream gay activism goes like this:

    1. objectionable phenomenon higlighted.

    2. Call the government, remind gov’t that jackbooted threats will produce minimal disturbance of our precious precious public order.

    3. celebrate as governmental coercion produces a victory not for gay people but for government.

    It wouldn’t matter if Jewdriver were playing the national–simply because Buju is popular, it does not condone the manner in which the National was bullied out of providing a venue for his homophobia.

    There is a big difference between the vigorous dissemination of information (i.e. lyrics, recordings etc.) aobut Buju and snitching to big brother.

  11. The show is not canceled. It is going to go, on, just not at the venue you think it is. Some are reluctant to come telling any of you about it, as some of you have threatened them with violence publicly, in writing, which is somehow now OK. Those that need to know the location are being told where it is.

    This show, also featuring Gramps Morgan is a peaceful one, nothing but. It has been intentionally uncharacterized to gain political points, and the fans are quite aware of that, and angry, as Buju has been in the past, now the fans are getting that way as they too are being accused of having been molested, and called names by those from the other side.
    What started as a peaceful protest, morphed into a shameless display of desperation on the part of a select few who weren’t making any headway the other way.
    Furthermore, I have witnessed first hand by staying on top of this, distortions about truth on the part of lgbt members… and yes, the letter to the councilwoman was indeed threatening- I ask you this…. for any of you have actually BEEN to a reggae concert, who could actually envision a performer “calling for the audience to attack gay people”… for real? Who here would actually envision an audience of reggae patrons ‘ATTACKING” with “violent actions” ANYONE AT ALL?
    Reggae is 100% non-violent, pacifistic, and spiritual..
    The above comment on Buju supposedly being guilty of that which had no evidence presented, let me tell you this, after having spent some time in the crib for a number of years, island justice doesn’t NEED evidence to convict someone for something… so if he was indeed let go, then he was indeed innocent, and in this country in which we all reside, one is innocent until proved guilty, NOT the other way around…..
    He has been accused of inciting violence, I point this out, the British diplomat whose death has been pointed out- you know NOTHING about this man, who, incidentally, was not gay at all. You know nothing about his murder… ion fact you know nothing about Jamaica, nothing about poverty, nothing about Rastafarians, and for the most part, nothing about this situation with the exception of what you have been told to think. You’ve taken metaphors, and replaced them with out of context definitions… you’ve taken insinuation and turned it into accusation, and taken assumptions and turned it into guiltiness… you’ve taken reality and turned it into fantasy, a mans words have been turned into what you want them to mean them to say, by taking a phrase from another culture and twisting into some kind of sick thing, which it was not meant to be.

    I support rights of everyone I know, and even those I do not know. I do not support attacks. I do not support threats… and this situation has evolved into some kind of wackness, and the whole thing is is sick- watching how the gay and lesbian community has allowed itself, by the lack of real leadership and drive of pure desperation, evolve into exactly what they’re trying to fight: ignorance. It has become a fight over what some guy did years ago, what his label sells with or without his permission (yes when someone owns the rights to your material, which artists that come from poverty know 100%)… and pretty much imaginations conveniently blown out of proportion…. and furthermore, censorship is evil, no matter who is performing it. if we allowed it, simply ut there’d be no Robert Maplethorpe, no Prince, no Dixie Chicks, no any artist you can think of that expresses themselves through song of paint, NO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, nor freedom of religion,… AND THAT, my friends, is not what this country was founded on.

  12. For the record, although we had contributors offer their opinions, GayRVA never endorsed the protest. I personally contacted a Buju supporter asking if they would like to share a counterpoint on the performance. Opinions from both sides can be viewed in the site’s comments.

    Bouncing off Jason G’s comment, this controversy has definitely brought homophobia to the forefront. Over the course of the Buju coverage on GayRVA, we’ve gotten several hate-filled responses which have been removed. I strongly believe in having all viewpoints presented on the site (even from those that don’t agree with homosexuality), but I won’t tolerate hate speech.

    While I personally find the lyrics offensive as a gay man, I acknowledge his right to speech and people’s right to either support him or protest. The venues involved had their own right too and finally made the best decision given the circumstance.

    Did the promoter know it was going to be Pride weekend and this was going to cause the stir that it did? Probably not. Have they said some ignorant things since? Yes.

    “He’s 36 now. It was stated he wrote this song out of anger back when he was 15 yrs old after hearing about a man raping a boy in his hometown. ”

    Eric, you’re right – I agree that it’s difficult to measure the intentions of Banton now as an adult. Some of those actions are well documented in the links on the wetpaint site.

    “On the other hand, it’s interesting that the ones planning the protest are the ones who were warning about the potential for violence (at least, that’s how I read it). It makes me wonder exactly what they expected to happen.”

    In response to Jeb, knowing the community organizers personally, they wouldn’t have called for anything but a peaceful protest. The letter to Robertson was written by an independent member of the Facebook group out of concern.

    It seems like a natural precaution to have additional security in place if a mass of people were to gather on Broad Street or in the Bottom. That’s where public safety affects everyone.

  13. the one and only ridor on said:

    I have a deaf gay friend whom lives in Washington — he originally came from Jamaica. He told me that being gay and living in Jamaica is terrifying. These gay men in Jamaica absolutely have *no* voice. If they do, they are hacked, maimed or killed savagely. The cops? They turned their cheeks as if it never happened.

    And that, folks, is REALITY.

    And I’m glad that the concert is cancelled. The more cancellations it gets, the message it sends to Jamaica folks that their homophobic has no place in music industry and in this country!

    Double jeers to the folks who thought it was no big deal.

    Good thing you never met me in person. I’d kick your butt just … like that.


  14. Fred,
    Dude, where are you and some others getting your dis-information. There are FACTS, and plenty of them to disprove everything you took up so much space in claiming. It’s as if your info was filtered by Fox News.
    The lyrics of the song in question are clear, nothing is lost in the translation. To those who say he hasn’t performed the song since, he sang it in Miami three years ago and has been quoted recently as saying “the war between me and the faggots is not over”. The crap about justice in Jamaica may be true, until it comes to crimes against the GLBT community. In case you want to find all the facts, set aside a long time to look for those convictions. The fact that lyrics of the “Boom Boom” song are chanted during many attacks against innocent people that you support the rights of is something your fact finding mission missed for some reason.

  15. Clint – disinformation? Let’s get some things straight. There is absolutely no question that Buju is not at all a fan of the LGBT community and believes that it is a grave moral disgrace. Let’s not fool ourselves here. Anyone who won’t admit that is plain unreasonable and unrealistic. It’s this assertion that he incites violence, which is the central theme in these protests, that is grossly NOT FACT. The protesting community is drawing its conclusions from a website. From information passed down in a rumor-mill, while the majority of Buju’s supporters draw their conclusions from their unflappable knowledge of Jamaican and American culture. These are not FACTS. The lyrics of the song are highly unclear to YOU — do you speak Patois? Are you familiar with Roots Reggae music? Let me explain something. There is absolutely no explicit or implicit mention of Acid in the song. None. ANYTIME you hear ANYTHING about skin peeling, burning, or any other fire-related consequence, it is an allusion to Hell. ..To a presumed God-delivered justice (in the opinion / religious belief of the artist), and not a call to physical, worldly violence. Fred is absolutely right – you’ve taken a cultural metaphor and twisted in into a literal, Americanized meaning, with the clear addition of words to his lyrics, only interpreted that way by the offended, as I assure you that I nor anyone I know has ever been rallied to clearly immoral anger or violent action towards any group by a.. song. Do you also find it a little odd that not a single recent performance video on that wetpaint site is actually of Buju singing the song? That there are only videos of him PURPORTEDLY ABOUT to sing the song, and the only thing stopping him is the engineer forcibly turning off the mic? Do you find it at all odd that, through his so-called continued release of the song (for which he has no rights — not even at the time of its original U.S. release) and performance of the song, that there isn’t any video on this wetpaint site of him actually singing it? Do you believe sound engineers all across the different venues in the U.S. and overseas are really that in tune with their censor-switch ready and waiting? Consider there is a song titled “Massa God World” / “How The World A Run” that shares a similar introduction, and an identical instrumental with the other song — OF COURSE if you only post videos of the artist’s mic being clipped before he starts the lyrics of the song, you can make it sound like what, we true Reggae listeners recognize, it isn’t.. and tell the people that you know what song he was ABOUT to do.. i.e. the only song of his u folks have probably even known or ever listed to.. LOL.. let’s please stop with the misinformation, folks.

  16. It is clear that threats against gays are NOT ok,but threats against others gay the gay community ARE. The person who sent the letter to the councilwoman suggesting violent protests (who, btw was far from an average facebook user) spoke not about reggae fans, as violence does not happen at the shows, EVER, but were verging on a call in and of itself for gay protesters to show up and do “whatever”… and you have internet tough guys like “ridor” above who find it quite ok to threaten others. These supposed “facts” about life in JA are backed up by hearsay and assumption, rumors… NOT fact, there is a clear difference between fact and assumption.
    About the guy from JA that had *no* voice, well, contrary to popular belief, most who live in poverty in JA have *no* voice, no matter gay or straight. This is a place, where people can be shot over .50cents… since when has anyone who claims to know all the “facts” out there actually dwelled in Trenchtown?
    I say again, until you know the “facts” don’t claim you do, you know what you’ve been told to know- the “facts” you spout out here are nothing more than copy and pasted accusations.
    If you think the solution to homophobia is in censorship of music artists, burning the books… you need new leadership, as this is another dead end road- it’s been tried before and we all should be capable of learning from others’ mistakes.

  17. Huddy and Fred.
    First off it’s arrogant and baseless to say that others with viewpoints that differ from yours are full of propaganda and rumors.
    You’re just plain wrong. If you disagree, leave it at that. For some reason your sources of information are the only legitimate ones?
    As for me, I’ve never seen a video concerning this matter about Buju and have never been told what to think about it, until you two came along. Facts are facts. Not saying that everything negative has been accurate, but a lot of it is. And as far as having to speak Patois to understand the song, that’s just plain senseless. I understand the culture, have no use for it due to it’s bigotry and intolerance, just as I don’t give a crap about any ignorant person or group of people.
    I don’t think that he’s got a finger on the trigger when it comes to inciting violence, that’s going too far. But there is no doubt that his words will and have affected some people who don’t have the sense to know better.

  18. Clint

    You’re right, “Facts are facts.”
    …and I’m here to debunk lies. Regarding your posts:

    “The lyrics of the song in question are clear, nothing is lost in the translation.” – Is that fact? Does “Acid” appear anywhere in the song?

    “The fact that lyrics of the “Boom Boom” song are chanted during many attacks against innocent people” – Is that fact? Is there a source? A study? A report? I’m guessing there’s a single article regarding a single attack, and that’s your (sole) source for the wording “many”; am I correct?

    “he sang it in Miami three years ago” – YouTube is chock full of Buju performance videos. Is there any video, a 2006 article directly following from a neutral news agency, or any other evidence of this performance?

    It is fact that this is written in the Bible:

    Leviticus 20:13 (King James Version)

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    That’s FACTUALLY the source of Boom Bye Bye. It’s about the most well-documented and ready-available source on this Earth, I’m sure. While YOU can feel free to agree or disagree, as I feel free to, and don’t have any disdain or hatred for you because of it, I just don’t see the point of “killing the messenger” and continuously lying for the purpose of thwarting an artist’s career because of a poor literal rather than spiritual interpretation of a song from the 80’s.

  19. PUBLIC SAFETY is now, due to this “issue”, one upon which any Christian Conservative or Evangelical group can elaborate, thanks to the efforts employed against this Jamaican- as you have crumbled up the Bill Of Rights in favor of a temporary victory, your efforts can and probably will be used against you as you have established a basis upon which they can elaborate- just as you find this man’s words and actions offensive, and see his arrival and performance as potentially able to provoke “violence,” YOUR actions can and will now be seen as potentially offensive, and capable of provoking “violence”
    VERY interesting how the seeds you sow can turn out to be a vine which entangle your own feet, in time, leading to your own downfall, or did you even think about that before rushing to judgment? Along the way there have been several which have warned against tactics you are employing that could backfire, and I have heard from a few mumblings about the potential dangers of precedent, but they seem to have fallen of deaf ears, eh?

  20. Fred,
    I fully understand what you’re saying. Your have eloquently written your thoughts. I personally, have never advocated violence and don’t think that’s the way to solve any problem. If they GLBT community was afraid that every tactic resorted to would backfire, we’d be living the life of Jamaica’s GLBT community. Frankly some of this stuff that may backfire has been used by other oppressed people in the past to reach the ultimate goal of equal rights. But don’t think for one second that the kind of stuff going on in Jamaica and other homophobic countries doesn’t go on to some degree to this day, in this country. You’ll probably not understand, most likely not had to fight for acceptance and rights, so you’ll see it from a different perspective than we do. I must repeat, however, that prob ably half of the people speaking out against his performance in Richmond were heterosexual
    And why do you and others who constantly throw out The Bill of Rights, seem to forget that those freedoms apply to us also.

  21. Clint — I’ve read not an article regarding any attempted cancellation of the Gay Pride Festival or seen anything regarding it on the news, while I live in Hampton Roads. I’ve seen the attempted Buju cancellation all over the news, including the main, televised, evening news. Freedom for both events this weekend should apply equally. Like you assert probably half calling for the cancellation are heterosexual, and I find no basis to doubt or deny that, I can just as likely accurately claim that probably (literally) none calling for the cancellation had beforehand listened to him as an artist. This song, to the protesters, highlights his career. And.. what bugs me.. is.. people just will not stop lying. If they want to speak about how his music is about hate, you’d think *somebody*, even you, would step up and download/freely listen to or read the lyrics for any song from this Rasta Got Soul album, or any album prior, including Til Shiloh’ which was the album immediately released after the U.S. re-release of Boom Bye Bye. I’ll give you a clue — Boom Bye Bye has never appeared on a feature Buju album, nor has any other song anything short of neutral or positive, in the last 15 years. Don’t let GLBT websites be your source; check into any music or lyrics this 36-year old artist made AFTER he was 15 years old. Outside of this song, there is absolutely *no* violence in this man’s music, and I am not exaggerating in the slightest — check into it, and you’ll see firsthand. That’s all you have to do.

  22. Clint, those freedoms apply to EVERYONE, and contrary to popular beliefs, when one faces a fight for freedom, EVERYONE FACES THAT FIGHT. Did fighting the fight the right way and not the wrong way occur to you? When your gay pride festivals are canceled because some Christian conservative group states that some of their members have stated they may show up wit firearms, and that things may get violent, don’t be surprised.
    “most likely not had to fight for acceptance and rights, “…. how can you make that assumption about someone you don’t know- someone with whom you are not the faintest bit personally familiar?
    Double standards, eh?
    You wish not to be judged but you wish to judge? That is what the essence of the situation here is, and the blind just don’t wish to see. HYPOCRISY is what is going on here, and the hypocrites don’t wish to open their eyes and see that they are asking people to not be offended by their lifestyles, yet they are offended by others to the point of going to the extent of banning them, corralling them like some kind of animals, lying against hem while wishing to be taken truthfully.
    I’m out of this, I have tried to present the truth and what may come tomorrow from the actions of today, but obviously reaping what you sow just doesn’t concern fools.

  23. Huddy,
    You really went there, the oldest trick in the “homo, you’re gonna burn in hell” book. I won’t bother to look up the exact numbers here, but you’ve quoted about a third, if that, of the admonitions against homosexuality from the big book of fantasy and history. you left out the thousands of admonitions concerning hetero sex and all it’s rules and regulations.
    When is the last time you ate shellfish, btw?
    Your statement would hold a bit of water, holy of course, to bible thumpers anyway, if that man were a church goin’ one, leading a pure life, devoid of sin. Yeah, his body is a temple.

    I never said a word about acid. I said I understand the song lyrics. Just as you do.

    No sense in getting specifics to you about when the song in question was last performed. I’m thinking any news source stating such or anything negative about Buju would be considered illegitimate.

  24. Clint – I’m not here to defend my righteousness, nor yours, nor his. You really went there – trying to take it off topic. I’m here to defend the truth, give you sources, and facts, which you’re unwilling to do. Your first statement on this board defended “There are FACTS”, which, presumably was either a reference to this article, or any of the comments Fred refuted. Now, a few posts later, you’re unable or unwilling to defend it. The issue here was never whether or not you or I agree with Buju’s views — it was, at least in all my posts, always about what is fact, and what isn’t. Why would I quote any bible verses regarding diet? If groups were trying to cancel my or his appearance because I or he doesn’t eat shellfish, I’d quote Leviticus 11 and/or the Nazarine vows. If groups were trying to cancel his performance because of his unkept beard and locked hair, I’d quote Levicitus 21:5 and others. I’m not trying to get off topic here, I’m only trying to straighten out these “facts” you defend in your posts, but are unwilling to support, and at least minimize the mis-characterization of the artist as some new-age violent homophobe, while he’s only sourcing his controversial, polarizing views from what he and many keeps as a religious guide. Are you saying he’s not fit to abide by his own religious standards, because he’s not without sin? Don’t we all pick and choose how we interpret the bible, whether we even believe in it at all, and if we do, what bits and pieces we abide by daily? All I’m saying is that Buju has a right to free speech just as much as the LGBT groups (who happened to move his Richmond show partially through threat of REAL violence), and similarly has just as much a right to hate homosexuality as the LGBT does to love it. However, Libel is not protected by the 1st Amendment. I infer by your final sentence that you’re not longer fit for the continuance of this conversation, so, if that’s all, I’m headed out to the Norva in a few, for a night of positive, “Boom Bye Bye”-less music. I just hope the GLBTLive protesters don’t incite any violence with the peaceful (but likely inebriated) patrons while there.

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