Thursday, April 3, 2014

Perception of Jamaican LGBTQ lobby bullying continues

The perception of the Jamaican gay lobby or sections of it at least are being bullies continues as a recent Gleaner article has brought to bear but as usual objectivity from the accused parties is not there as imperviousness abounds when listening is crucial for all concerned to arrive at some settlement. Yes there is a place for firm and sometimes aggressive posturings but instead head strong activists seem to have dismissed the criticism by some members of the public and commentators as nonsense. I hope this post helps to make some sense of the whole thing in some way as it is more complicated than thought as one would have to look at the historical timeline from back in the day as well and the advocacy or lack thereof in some instances alongside some errors that we have not learnt from it seems.

as this post screenshot below (Dr Wayne West) shows the deception as seen by some fuels the bullying perception

(the video has since been removed) I have been concerned about the credibility issue for years and the actions by some LGBT activists is questionable if truth be told, how can we achieve the changes when the parties involved are continuing to hold hardened positions and the lack of truth seems real for some? But if "activists" do not check to verify what they have as materials what do we expect, deception for real? I too have had my fill of Maurice Tomlinson's style of public advocacy as well too he seems to be spoiling the core of the thrust more than helping it.

Not to excuse the antigay voices here but they too are guilty of name calling and some deception (HIV is a gay disease ploy) too as seen clearly here in a leading voice from those parts on his blog:

also see: War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

Early days of the bullying perception came especially from the Buju Banton case where the LGBT lobbyists were repeatedly blamed for setting him up especially as the entrapment element of the trial came forth. See JFLAG peeved - Says there is no link between Buju's arrest and clashes with gays (Gleaner) for more on that. Even allies have expressed the sentiment as Yvonne McCallah Sobers did in 2009: Gays may have overstepped their bounds giving Buju ultimatum says human rights activist
On sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch the matter of bullying gays has been looked at so I decided to also share some of the issues here the spring board for this renewed perception that seems more entrenched than originally thought came after the Queen Ifrica Independence Day 2013 incident where she decried gay marriage at the Grand Gala, a similar move was attempted by her co-accused and fellow artists Tony Rebel the year before at the same event but the response from the gay community voices led to a backlash especially owing to a tersely worded press release by JFLAG that was subsequently quietly withdrawn.

Fast rising commentator and public figure Dr Michael Abrahams penned a piece published March 31 entitled 
Are Gay-Rights Activists The New Schoolyard Bullies? where he referenced the Ifrica matter and the general feeling of the stifling of freedom of speech as excerpted here: "It appears that freedom of speech is a freedom that some of these activists only champion for themselves, as they attempt to punish and destroy critics and dissenters. The irony is that this type of intolerant behaviour alienates potential allies. Many heterosexuals are sympathetic to the cause but at the same time feel intimidated. People cannot be expected to change their attitudes overnight, and beating them over their heads with big sticks will only cause resentment and more resistance.

My own tolerance took decades to develop, beginning with a discussion with a relative of mine who I discovered was gay when I was a teenager, and continuing with interactions with lesbian patients of mine and their partners, some of whom have been harassed and have had their lives threatened. It took me a long time to not cringe at the sight of two men holding hands, and ten years ago I would not even have entertained the thought of gay marriage.

So widespread tolerance and acceptance will not occur with any urgency. Certainly, remarks that encourage violence against, and marginalisation of, LGBT persons are to be condemned, but tolerance needs to be exercised on both sides."

It's a lot of ground to cover but it is important to track it if we expect to really convince an ever cynical nation towards true tolerance and acceptance as it were, first here is an audio interview from RJR recorded in February where Dr Abrahams expressed the same sentiments then alongside host Jerry McDaniel and Dutty Berry:

Then the previous matters and comments that expressed similar concerns and criticisms such as this piece also from the above RJR discussion:

It is this perception why we seem to be stuck in a rut as headstrong narcissism in some respects seems to have taken over the communication aspects of the struggle more so than sensible discourse with transparent action to boot, what we have seen instead is mistake after mistake and sometimes plain lies in the crisis communication thrust dotted with shaky narratives that are simply not credible, then we wonder why we are still at it with too slow progress.

also see: Queen Ifrica's "Freedom of Speech" & advocacy found wanting

'I SPOKE FOR WHAT I BELIEVED IN' - Queen Ifrica defends Grand Gala performance after JFLAG backlash

Lobbyists split on Queen Ifrica’s Canada performance



Credibility overall has been eaten away with respect to the LGBTQ's position in the struggle and even Queen Ifrica herself responded in song about freedom of speech while church groups also express fear of future victimization. See: Church claims future victimization if buggery is decriminalized in Jamaica and 
see Anti gay pastor and restorative therapy advocate in trouble with the law again

You don't want anymore evidence than the disastrous interview as well that followed the Ifrica matter to remind us of the tidying up that is needed on the communication front listen HERE and Murder Music Campaign needs local leadership/ownership once again bearing in mind that that fiasco started from a tersely worded press release via JFLAG which they have since quietly removed from their website and the snide remarks from Tony Rebel especially to the "big words" used in the release was played upon thus making the agency looking like a bunch of snobs instead of equal rights seekers. 

Please also bear in mind that the Stop Murder Music campaign was not intended to go after what I call second tiered artists who while having homo-negative materials in their repertoire the songs do not go to the extreme of prescribing death for homosexuals via execution as the main act targeted at the time did such as Elephant Man "Log On" (accused of being gay HERE & HEREBeenieman's "All Battyman fi Dead" TOK's "Chi Chi Man" and Capleton's "Shot Him Up" Buju Banton's "Boom Bye Bye" had done. Hence we are here again with the complaint also that the lobby wants to shut down the reggae/dancehall industry overall which for all intents and purposes is not true. The SMM was a very surgical activity which basically targeted five or six dancehall acts mainly (all males):

Beenieman (click the name for the fake apology fiasco)
Elephant Man (see A Nuh Fi Wi Fault lyrics HERE)

Vybz Kartel, Busy Signal, I-Octane, Lutan Fire, Movado, Bounty Killa and other not so prominent acts were only looked at with their mostly one liners suggesting incitement by the campaign, some artists upon realising their careers are faltering they record antigay tracks to gain traction in the market. Kartel changed course after signing symbolically the Reggae Compassionate Act, in fairness to Queen Ifrica she has never had materials in her repertoire inciting or prescribing the execution of homosexuals but conflates abuse with same gender sex and promotes closetedness for LGBT people. See: "Keep it to yuself mentality" on homosexuality and "Keep it to Yuself mentality" on homosexuality part 2 .... on "str8 Jamaica Now we see she has in effect crossed over to the dark side as evidenced recently:

also flashback to

Recorded Aug 24, 2013 - My two cents on the mishandling of the Queen Ifrica affair by overseas Jamaican LGBT advocates (JAGLA) and the loss of ownership of the Stop Murder Music Campaign by JFLAG leaving the lobby in total being labelled oppressors of freedom of speech.

The SMM campaign took a life of its own as overseas activists in turn carried on the role as JFLAG went quiet for a while as the foreign activists became astute in deciphering the local patois dialect and spotting offending lyrics. Then came the so called Reggae Compassionate Act that was to act as an agreement between artists that signed and promoters in not performing such tainted materials but some artists developed a stage trick where the band would strike up a chord of the respective anti gay track then the audience would fill in the rest loudly and willingly while the artist remains mum on stage. When confronted as to the infringement they would claim that they never actually performed the song. 

So the campaign changed its look and feel again but slowed down somewhat, it soon picked up again when some French activists reconnected with local contacts including yours truly where again the campaign took on a new life going after two main big names, Capleton, Sizzla and then other artists such as Elephant Man, Beenieman tried daring the system as they used Sizzla's repeated opposition and well oiled PR strategy.

some comments from the Abrahams Gleaner article seem to support the belief of speech stifling

additional reading on Stop Murder Music from 2010:
Gays Move to Ban Reggae/Dancehall in Germany says the Xtranews where German authorities including a gay MP joined the discourse as reported in the now defunct XNews tabloid.

More Murder Music posts from GLBTQJA on Wordpress

One wonders if the lobby will adjust itself now that the discussion has gone mainstream as prior to now it was limited to some parts of social media and blogosphere, the belief that homosexuals are also the ones who are killing each other more so than real homophobic killings has been a longtime challenge as a stonewall in the quest for rights and freedoms, the lobby needs to re-examine the strategy overall taking into account the credibility factor something that has concerned me for years even as I was in the system but objectivity is a dying form in the scheme of things. It cannot be a tit for tat situation as in the old days. Some decisions and actions by the lobby or those linked to it has left more questions in the public's mind when the true nature and reason for activities are unclear for e.g the 2010 walk for tolerance: The Walk for Tolerance aftermath mistakes and suggestions, other matters over time has led to a deep mistrust by the public and implied motives hence the deepening of the bullying perception.

The question posed in a voxpop some time ago bears the disbelief and dismissal of the concerns about homophobia and homo-negativity, go HERE for the video 

The US/UK aid matters too over the years and calls for boycotts tourism and trade have not helped either as the public interprets them as the lobby using diplomatic channels to 'force" Jamaicans into accepting homosexuality as it were. I think the conversation and LISTENING on all sides needs to be more active than ever before while monitoring the strategy and not what obtains now by the lobbyists who seem more on a frolic of their own while reveling in their own perceived successes. 

also see: Holness Dithering On Homosexuality .............. from 2011 and the exporting of religious hate as it were from a 2010 post I did on GJW: In The Life: Intersections of Church and State when we never asked for same sex union/marriage rights yet some jump the gun in order to strengthen their anti gay positions. Also see 

also listen these past podcasts as well:

Here is the article/post referenced in the above podcast: Betty Ann Blaine on the big gay lie .......... and 
SHIRLEY RICHARDS SUPPORT UGANDA “KILL GAYS BILL?” and Gay lobby claims not true, says Green  and Wheel and come again ACP Green ..... but

Truth has to be the centre piece of all this but if it is clouded with shady maneuverings why are we surprised at the response?

Peace and tolerance



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