Jamaican performance artist and author Staceyann Chin called today for better education about harmful, anti-gay music lyrics in the wake of Buju Banton’s Grammy Award Nomination:
“I know firsthand about the struggles that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people encounter not only in Jamaica, but around the world. Buju Banton’s Grammy nomination provides an important opportunity for growth and transformation. We must, as a society, move beyond our differences. I challenge Banton to live up to his past assertions that he has changed and call for greater education and understanding about the harms of promoting brutal anti-gay lyrics.”
Banton has a long history of advocating the killing of gay people. In a popular song released in 1988 entitled "Boom Bye Bye," Banton repeats the anti-gay slurs, "batty bwoy" and "batty man," which are equivalent to the slur "fa**ot," and says that they "have to die" and he will "shoot them in the head" or "burn them." He continues to sing this song at his concerts today and has repeatedly failed to acknowledge his prior commitments to denounce violent anti-gay lyrics. In October 2009 Banton was quoted in news reports as saying "This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs 'there is no end to the war between me and f----t' and it's clear."
GLAAD applauds Staceyann Chin for speaking out about this vital topic and using her voice to open hearts around the world.