Despite the very public call for Buju Banton to publicly disavow his “Boom Bye Bye” song, which calls for the murder of gays, the Century Club has completely ignored the cries of the lesbian and gay community.
And let’s be clear. The end goal was never to have concerts cancelled. As I said before, if Buju Banton is so apologetic, then get up on stage in front of your adoring fans and just say it. Why does that seem to so hard for him to do? Why does Buju Banton continue to hide behind spokespersons and press releases? If you’re really sorry about advocating the murder of gays, then just say it. The cancellation of his concerts was always a last option.
Even though it was proven that Buju Banton is still performing the song “Boom Bye Bye” in the States, even though he told Billboard.com, “Fuck them” in response to many protests around the country over his anti-gay lyrics, and even though concerts in Seattle, San Francisco, and Oakland were cancelled due to protests, the show will go on in Los Angeles as scheduled.
Last resort steps would be to protest tonight in front of the Century Club, which I am completely in favor of. Also, the protest must continue as Buju Banton makes his way across the county on his “Too Bad Tour.” This cannot and must not stop in Los Angeles.
Beenie Man, another reggae artist with homophobic lyrics is scheduled to perform at the Century Club in Los Angeles on October 22, my birthday of all days. That concert must be protested as well.
If nothing else, our community must make its voice heard where artists with anti-gay lyrics are concerned.
I think we’ve done that over the past several weeks with Buju Banton. Whether or not he or his manager wants to admit it, his bottom line has definitely been affected and the public has been educated. Therefore, I say job well done, but let’s not stop here.
I’ve posted a list of scheduled concerts for Buju Banton’s tour (thanks Keith!). Find out if Buju Banton is coming to your town.
However, all is not lost.
Keep the letters, faxes, phone calls, and email a-comin’.
For those of you in Los Angeles that want to hit the streets tonight and protest, email me.
So what can you do?
TAKE ACTION NOW!
Send an email today demanding that either they do one of two things immediately. Either rescind Buju Banton and Beenie Man’s invitation to perform in their venue or demand that he make a public statement prior to the concert disavowing his homophobic music and remarks.
Click here to send one email to all parties involved, including the club, the City Councilmember for that are, the Mayor’s office, and the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission. It only takes a couple of minutes to make a world of change. Please do your part.
Why should you get involved?
Because our lives matter and we know that if this was an artist with an anti-Semitic, anti-Black, or anti-Latino history, the cancellation of the concert would not even be an issue.
Buju Banton was accused of being involved in a homophobic attack in Kingston two years ago. While Banton said the charges were “completely untrue and wholly unfounded,” he continues to be protested for his song “Boom Bye Bye,” which is well known for the violence it calls for against gays including the shooting of gay people in the head, pouring acid over them, and setting them on fire.
Banton’s management released a statement earlier this year stating that he was no longer performing his song “Boom Bye Bye,” but recent concert footage from Miami of him leading a sing along, suggests otherwise.
Beanie Man, as you may recall, in his song "Han Up Deh," sings, “Hang chi chi gal wid a long piece of rope.” The term "chi chi" is a Jamaican reference to homosexuality. The term is often used to refer to "chi chi men" but can also refer to lesbians (chi chi women or chi chi girls). Loosely translated, the lyrics mean, “Hang lesbians with a long piece of rope.”
Homophobic reggae artist Buju Banton’s Too Bad Tour is currently scheduled in Los Angeles at the Century Club for October 3rd. This is also the club where Beenie Man is set to perform on October 22.
Is Buju Banton Coming to Your Town?
Mateel Community Center
Taunya Stapp, Executive Director
Glenn Gradin, Hall Manager
Justin Crellin, Talent & Marketing
PO Box 1910
Redway, CA 95560
9/30/06 (CANCELLED AFTER PROTESTS)
Historic Sweet’s Ballroom
Oakland, CA 94612
Steve Snider (510) 835-1073
Johnathan Mack (510)816-6225
Gary Tighe, Club Booker
PO Box 8545
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
1011 Pacific Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
10131 Constellation Blvd.
Century City, CA
Phone (310) 553-6000
Fax (310) 553-1059
4th & B
Doug Schultz, Manager
Chris Strickland, Talent Buyer
619.231.4343, ext 15
Jeremy Moss, Talent Buyer
619.231.4343 (Leave Message with Box Office)
345 B Street
San Diego, CA 92101
120 Central Avenue SW
2816 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75226-1501
9344 Richmond Ave.
House of Blues New Orleans
225 Decatur Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Floyd’s Music Store
6661-1 W Tennessee Street
845 University Blvd. N
32 Ann Street
433 Baity Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27105
Starr Hill Music Hall
709 West Main Street
Charlottesville, VA 22903
C.A. Fabio, Club Manager
Jamie Sisley, Show Promotion/Publicity
10/19/06 Album Release Party
407 E. Saratoga St.
Baltimore, MD 21202
From their website FAQ:
Does Sonar have any policies I should be aware of?
We enforce a policy we call the Sonar code. It basically means that we insist that our place be a place where all are welcome, regardless of race, age, sex, sexual preference, income, etc…
1020 Broad Street
Nokia Theatre Times Square
New York, NY
815 V St. N.W.
Dear Century Club General Manager:
I understand that your venue will be featuring Buju Banton on October 3, 2006 and Beenie Man on October 22, 2006. I would like you to know that both Buju Banton and Beenie Man have a long history of homophobia and incitement of anti-gay violence.
Beenie Man, as you may recall, in his song "Han Up Deh," sings, “Hang chi chi gal wid a long piece of rope.” The term "chi chi" is a Jamaican reference to homosexuality. The term is often used to refer to "chi chi men" but can also refer to lesbians (chi chi women or chi chi girls). Loosely translated, the lyrics mean, “Hang lesbians with a long piece of rope.” And there are other songs where he calls for the murder of gays.
Banton was accused of being involved in a homophobic attack in Kingston two years ago. While Banton said the charges were “completely untrue and wholly unfounded,” he continues to be protested for his song “Boom Bye Bye,” which is well known for the violence it calls for against gays including the shooting of gay people in the head, pouring acid over them, and setting them on fire.
Banton’s management released a statement earlier this year stating that he was no longer performing his song “Boom Bye Bye,” but recent concert footage from Miami of him leading a sing along, suggests otherwise
The misogyny found in today’s hip hop lyrics is no worse than the homophobia found in Beenie Man and Buju Banton’s lyrics. As a Black woman, I cannot protest rappers for their use of misogynistic language and then say nothing about the equally offensive language used by some reggae artists. Black America has an ethical and social responsibility to call out its own.
I fully understand the right of artists to express themselves, but I cannot sit in silence when blatantly homophobic recording artists come to Los Angeles to perform.
As our new Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has stated, this is a Los Angeles for all people, and as a Black lesbian, I’m personally insulted that your venue would allow anti-gay musicians to spout their homophobia. Would you allow anti-Semitic or anti-Black artists to perform? Probably not, that’s why I’m asking for your help.
To resolve this problem, I ask that you do one of two things immediately. Either rescind Buju Banton and Beenie Man’s invitation to perform in your venue or demand that they make a public statement prior to the concert disavowing his homophobic music and remarks. I’m sure you would agree that we’ve come too far in the struggle against hate crimes to allow vicious homophobia to go unchallenged in the public sphere. Many people in our community will be looking for you to do the right thing.
Adam Manacker of the Highlands Night Club today cancelled a performance of Buju Banton scheduled for October 3, 2006 after being made aware of this issue.
I eagerly await your reply.