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Sizzla: What happened to “one love”?

What happened to “one love”?

Sizzla: Much love to the people, just not all the people

Young reggae stars like Sizzla give voice to rising tide of Jamaican homophobia

A young gay man in Jamaica fled to a nearby churchyard looking for refuge from a chanting mob where, the London Observer reports, they cornered the man and shot him to death just because he was gay.

Since that senseless killing back in 2001 there have been many more murders of gay men throughout Jamaica. Today, desperate gay activists are lobbying hard to have sodomy laws that date back to British colonial rule struck down.

Some gays, meanwhile, have found asylum in Canada, America and Britain. But back home in sun-splashed Jamaica – a deeply religious island nation still deeply feeling the effects of slavery, British colonial rule, HIV and endemic poverty – there are far more gays and lesbians who cannot escape and live in fear of being beaten to death.

And their lives are being made all the more miserable by international Jamaican dancehall superstars like Buju Banton, Beenie Man, T.O.K., Capleton and Sizzla, the latter two ultra-orthodox Boboshanti Rastas, called "Bobo Dreads," who exhort their fans with "fire burn" lyrics, which profess the literal torching of all symbols of Babylon.

Many gays – or people perceived to be gay – have since been set afire in Jamaica by mobs chanting "Fiya burn!"

"We won’t tolerate homosexuals, we won’t tolerate lesbians," says Sizzla, who will headline a concert in Montreal next week, over the phone. "Lesbians and faggots, how did they came? They came through man and woman, mother and father, the guardians of life. The artists won’t stop [singing anti-gay lyrics] because the people won’t stop, because [anti-gay sentiment] is a tradition. We must keep the covenant of the most [high] and give thanks and praise."

Sizzla was among the headliners at the massive Rebel Salute outdoor concert in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, which drew 30,000 fans this past Jan. 17.

"Throughout the night, Capleton, Sizzla and others sang almost exclusively about gay men," Amnesty International reported in a May 17 alert. "Using the derogatory terms for gay men – ‘chi chi men’ or ‘battybwoys’ – they urged the audience to ‘kill dem, battybwoys haffi dead, gun shots pon dem. Who want to see dem dead put up his hand’ (kill them, gay men have got to die, gun shots in their head, whoever wants to see them dead, put up your hand)."

But Sizzla may not make it to Montreal if the Montreal-based Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR) has anything to do with it.

In an Aug. 17 open letter to Sizzla concert promoter Cezar Brumeanu, also head honcho of the Montreal International Reggae Festival, CRARR executive director Fo Niemi states, "While we recognize and celebrate the unique artistic merit as well as the cultural, economic, political and social pertinence of reggae in the struggle of the people of Jamaica, and of people of African descent all over the world, we do not believe that by supporting or advocating homophobia and violence against gay men and lesbians, reggae will help maintain its standing as the sound of liberation, justice and freedom. Millions of people around the world have come to appreciate and respect reggae as one of Jamaica’s national treasures and as the voice of universal friendship, solidarity, peace and emancipation, rather than the sound of hate, discrimination, violence and degradation of people because of their sexual orientation.

"For this reason," Niemi continues, "we do not believe that Sizzla’s performance, or the performance of any other singing artist who advocates homophobia and other forms of hate, is socially and legally acceptable in [Canada]. We therefore call upon you to exercise your social responsibilities and show your strong support for justice and human rights by cancelling Sizzla’s performance in Montreal."

A copy of the letter was sent to both the federal and Quebec Attorneys-General since only they can provide consent for hate propaganda prosecution.

But Cezar Brumeanu is having none of that.

"The anti-gay lyrics concern me in a way," Brumeanu told Hour this week. "For most reggae artists it’s just the way of their culture. On the other hand they must understand they are not performing in Jamaica – they’re on the international stage."

CRARR disagrees. "We also call upon you to ensure that reggae artists who support, promote or advocate homophobia in their homelands are no longer invited to perform on Canadian soil unless they publicly take a strong stand in favour of equality, diversity and civil rights," Niemi states in CRARR’s open letter.

As a promoter, Brumeanu says he is caught "in the middle. At [this summer's] reggae festival in the contract it says that performers can’t make any prejudicial statements [onstage]. It’s in my standard contract. If they do, they won’t come back and depending how bad it is [their onstage comments], I’ll cut their pay."

That didn’t stop dancehall act T.O.K. from performing their massive anti-gay anthem Chi Chi Man at this summer’s Montreal International Reggae Festival. "Blaze di fire mek we bun dem!" T.O.K. sang.

"I heard about that after the show," Brumeanu explains, "and they won’t be coming back to the festival."

When I asked T.O.K. frontman Roshaun Clarke before his Montreal show if Chi Chi Man is anti-gay, he fumed, "Ummm, no. We’ve moved on from there. There’s more to us than Chi Chi Man."

Clearly performers like T.O.K. and Sizzla are increasingly aware that if they want international fame and fortune, they can no longer sing anti-gay songs. That’s what killed the surging major-label career of onetime dancehall don Shabba Ranks in the ’90s (he never recovered from the negative publicity after being dumped by The Tonight Show) and that is what has blindsided current dancehall king Beenie Man this summer. Beenie Man (who dueted with Janet Jackson and Lil Kim on his 2002 album Tropical Storm) sings in his song Damn, "I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays."

But Beenie Man concerts are now being cancelled across the USA and tobacco giant RJ Reynolds has pulled out of his tour. (The worldwide boycott kick-started by British gay group OutRage! is escalating across Europe: Dancehall star Bounty Killer’s set at the Krakrock Festival in Avelgem, Belgium, in September has also been cancelled because of his anti-gay lyrics.)

Beenie Man’s record company, Virgin Records, quickly issued a public apology on behalf of Beenie Man, who has promised to drop his anti-gay songs from his setlist.

"I renounce violence towards other human beings in every way and pledge henceforth to uphold these values as I move forward in my career as an artist," the statement read. Within hours of its release, in a bid to shore up Beenie Man’s street cred back home in Jamaica, Beenie’s PR flack Clyde McKenzie told Radio Jamaica the apology was initiated by Virgin Records and not Beenie Man.

Meanwhile, on July 19, Gay.com U.K. reported, "According to Amnesty International in London, Buju Banton… is wanted in connection with an attack on four Jamaican gay men, which took place in their home. Banton was identified by witnesses as one of the gang who beat four gay men in Carlisle Avenue on June 24. One of the men’s arms was reportedly broken in the alleged beating after they were accused of being in a gay relationship."

Banton – whose 1992 hit song Boom Bye Bye advocates gunning down batty bwoys with Uzis – went on to perform a free concert for Olympic athletes in an exclusive beach club outside the Olympic Village in Athens last Saturday, Aug. 14. But not before the concert’s sponsor, sportswear company Puma, stated homophobic lyrics will not be tolerated.

"If Buju Banton defies this agreement and performs a song using anti-gay lyrics – either at the Athens concert or at any future concert anywhere in the world – Puma will not associate with him in the future," Puma international marketing director Paul Gautier stated. "This also holds true for all performers with which Puma works… Puma will encourage reggae artists to take responsibility for their lyrics and their global impact."

That’s music to the ears of persecuted gays and lesbians in Jamaica still waiting for Banton to report to police. "Last I heard one of the guys who was beaten said there was a warrant for [Banton's] arrest," an organizer from Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays told Hour, requesting anonymity for fear of being attacked. "A BBC reporter related to me that police were supposed to arrest him last weekend [August 7-8], but he never came in. It seems the police are not doing anything."

Rebecca Schleifer, a researcher with the NYC-based Human Rights Watch who was in Jamaica at the time of the attack, told Hour, "There is a pattern of police indifference to attacks on gay men in Jamaica that goes far beyond what Buju Banton is alleged to have done in this case. Neither his fame nor the stigma attached to the victims should stand in the way of a full, fair and complete police investigation."

The support of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch may put pressure on authorities in Jamaica while Montreal activists hope pressure here will cancel Sizzla’s Montreal concert.

Montreal promoter Cezar Brumeanu says the show will go on without any onstage anti-gay tirades by Sizzla. "And I will tell that to Sizzla personally backstage," Brumeanu says.

But Sizzla is unrepentant.

"It is wrong! Once we stoop to sodomites and homosexuals, it is wrong!" Sizzla says, his voice rising. "Wherever I go it is the same thing – burn sodomite, burn battyman. Burn all things that are wrong. Burn it… We must get rid of Sodom and Gomorrah right now and they must give us [the African diaspora] repatriation [to Africa] right now."

Then, just before hanging up the phone, Sizzla calmly says, "Much love to the people. As you know, Jah is love."

Sizzla

With Anthony B live at the Medley, Aug. 27

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  48 comments

  • by Ellen Reid - August 19, 2004, 10:18 am

    I am really shocked that performers can incite such hatred and prejudice when instead they could help increase awareness. However much I disagree with their message and am quite disgusted by some of their lyrics (to kill homosexuals etc.) this debate really sparks on other issues, such as freedom of expression. Although I in no way believe that this should extend to people telling others they should kill homosexuals or whoever else’s lifestyle or opinons they disagee with, it is a very volatile area.
    For centuries artists have spoken out in various ways about the world around them, protesting or supporting political, religious and cultural decisions or ideals. The Catholic church does not believe in contraception or abortion, which in my mind is not only archaic but an abuse of women’s rights (in addition to extremely harmful – AIDS kills so many people a year, many of whom would be protected by condoms). However, they are allowed to express their opinions around the world, including Canada. If homosexuality is considered a terrible sin for the Rasafarian religion, why shouldn’t they be allowed to express their opinion (excluding incitements to kill gays etc.)??

  • by Heath Abram - August 19, 2004, 11:19 am

    How sad that in the year 2004 there are still people who have these closed-minded beliefs and would even violate another human for their sexual preferences. What business is it of anyone what somebody does behind closed doors in the privacy of their own home? I believe as long as nobody is hurting anyone else, and there are two consenting adults, then let everyone live in peace!

  • by Cameron Barker - August 19, 2004, 12:14 pm

    It is with utter dismay that these so-called reggae “artists” are allowed to be granted any kind of performing rights in Canada. With the understanding that their lyrics are not only completely homophobic, violent, hate-filled rants disguised as love and unity, don’t you think record companies would cease from supporting these musicians? Well, obviously not. How can a performer such as Buju Banton be allowed to perform at all if he is known to be condoning violence and hatred? In my opinion, if a performer has a track record such as Beenie Man, Buju Banton and Sizzla, they should be cut from all contracts, albums should be taken from store shelves and the artists themselves should be charged with inciting hate speech and propaganda. No questions asked. It is abominable to know that these men, who are supposed to representing a repressed people and a history of slavery, are becoming the worst perpetrators of violence towards innocent people. In the past, arguments made on behalf of religion have favoured racism, misogyny, and violence in the name of God and this is the same pattern. In modern societies, we have mostly realized that those arguments were wrong, so why repeat the mistakes of the past? It is small minded, rhetorical bastardization of people’s beliefs and these artists are guilty of using their own cultures for profit and violence.

    Please stop the Sizzla and Anthony B show on the 27th of August. We wouldn’t let Hitler perform. What’s so different about these guys?

  • by Samuel Hernandez - August 19, 2004, 1:23 pm

    I’m fed up of all these pro-gay groups boycotting artists for their point of views.
    I thought that freedom of speech was effective for everyone in this country, obviously it is not, at least for those of us who do not share the same ideology as the mass media.
    I personnally do not have much problems with the “battybwoys” and their way of life, but I would never try to boycott an artist for expressing his thoughts.
    Those who feel offended by Sizzla Kalongi’s lyrics can just stay home and miss an exeptionnal concert. As a matter of fact, reggae/dancehall artists are not the only ones promoting anti-gay-ism, and the media doesnt mention much about the other genres. All the criticism we hear is focused towards dancehall and rap music.
    Haven been to Jamaica, I find that all this has been over-exagerated and it is not as bad as you people make it seem.
    If the concert gets cancelled, believe me it will not resolve this issue, it will just make it worse and I for one will not tolirate it and will do as much as I can to denounce this injustice.
    If promoters bring in artists such as Sizzla, Bounty Killer, Buju or any other dancehall singer it is for the simple reason that there is an audience for it. Boycotting such acts will only cut off incomes of these promoters and the venues, this will eventually make way for “underground” concerts to take place, just like it happened to the rave scene a couple of years ago in Europe.
    This is just my humble opinion so I guess it will not count to you..

    Jah Bless.

  • by Francisco Uribe - August 19, 2004, 5:19 pm

    Your article does a very good job of exposing how culturally engrained anti-gay discrimination is in Jamaica. But orthodox rastas are not the only ones full of “holy” homophobia.

    According to Amnesty International, there are 70 countries whose laws prohibit same-sex relationships. That includes the good ole USA, where 13 states still have anti-sodomy statutes in their law-books.

    Throughout the Third World, persecution of gays and lesbians is the norm, rather than the exception. Witness the well-known case of the imprisoned homosexuals in Cairo, or the less-publicized letter-bombs sent sent to Brazilian gay-pride organizers.

    It is not only gay rights activists, but also feminists and other non-conformists who suffer persecution in those countries. And wherever governments continue to allow discriminatory laws and there is state impunity for official violators of human rights this only encourages private individuals to do the same.

    A boycott of shows by artists who continue to strut their hatred on stage and on record is one good way to show that their attitude is unacceptable.

  • by Debra Edwards - August 19, 2004, 6:08 pm

    just another excuse to put down and discrimanate against jamaicans and their music,look howmuch white people talk about gays and nobody trying to cancel that,if thats the case shut down all tv stations and radios then!!!!!!!!!!!!!! leave people alone with their music.

  • by Susan Davies - August 19, 2004, 6:21 pm

    As a Canadian I can only hope that this freak is barred from performing here. Regardless of whether or not he agrees to keep the anti-gay songs off his playlist for the night, he is still a homophobic bigot. Paying money to see him perform, in my opinion, is an indirect sanction of his beliefs and behavior. It has always been my impression that all religions have a basic fundamental belief in the premise of doing unto others what we would have done unto ourselves. If Sizzla personally believes that homosexuality is a sin, that is his issue to contemplate on his own. I don’t want my entertainment dollars, or my tax dollars, in any way supporting an “artist” (I use that term loosely here) who makes such politically incorrect opinions part of the very persona that they are marketing.

    Sizzla does not speak for me, nor does he speak for the majority of Canadians, I suspect. I can’t help wondering if Bob Marley is turning in his grave – is this how he wanted reggae music represented? If I’m not mistaken, one of his earliest songs was “Judge Not”, a theme he continued throughout his recording career.

    Homosexual/heterosexual/bi-sexual/transgendered – I suspect that Sizzla would be only to happy to to take their money at the concert.

    Here’s one artless artist whose career is about to Sizzle out. Thank God Bob didn’t live to see this.

  • by Amelia Francois - August 19, 2004, 10:23 pm

    I was waiting for an article on Sizzla for a long time since the last one. There was no mention on ALL the uplifting songs he has on his MANY albums; just about the few anti gay songs.
    This world is about free speech and peoples right to spread and vocalize there belief. Because he does not promote anti-life does not mean he should not perform, he has strengthen a lot of African women into loving their Afro centricity and there black African men. There are many people who don’t promote Africans, you don’t hear us saying: don’t let them into Canada. Nobody is inviting gay lovers to the show. We want to hear want we want to hear. What age is this? As for diversity this is diverse, we are not included in the mass that loves and/or is gay. When rappers are saying sell crack and pimp those hoes, I don’t hear any CRARR saying don’t let them into Canada. It’s real you have a lot of people who do not like the gays because they don’t promote life, it is all sexual no production no Reproduction. If this world was only gay where would the children come from test-tubes? Surrogates? Come on we have to have our views, that the humanness in us. If we are all the same, where is the change? The difference? If the hour has more than One view do a real article on SIZZLA. The everything the positive and what you believe to be negative let him defend.
    Hour with your receptive sense of journalism, I was very disappointed in your one way article. You have made heroes of racial and prejudice artists & musicians, do not cut down a tree of knowledge as for CRARR you are fighting the wrong fight with this one: We will never change our views towards BAttyman as LONG AS they will LOVE BATTY. THAT IS THE THE TERMALOGY FOR THE WORD ASS AND THAT IS WHERE THEY LOVE.
    YOU CAN PUT THIS IN YOUR PAPER BUT BECAUSE OF YOUR LOVE FOR CENSORSHIP YOU MIGHT NOT.
    LOVE

  • by Andres Musta - August 20, 2004, 12:26 am

    How can you love JAH father if you cannot love HIM sun?

    Who can limit the power of love, or expression thereof?

    One Love is for everyone, and leave judgement to the Most I.

    Colonial imperial monetarism try to divide I & I with polarity, but all is one & let it be.

    One Love, Judge Knot.

    Seen?

  • by Maria Cecillia Silva - August 20, 2004, 9:38 am

    It has not been very long since the gay population has come out of the closet.For years across the world every Priest and Preacher taught people that being gay was evil and the works of the devil. They read scriptures from the Bible stating it was wrong to be gay.

    Today you have women priests and you have gay priests and you have everything under the sun. But I don’t hear anybody talking about the times before the gays came out of the closets . They suffered prosecutions hundreds and thousands of years ago. People worshiped those who condemed them to suffer.

    I am not gay , but I respect them and I believe it is their choice. We have all gone through evolution and we have gained more knowledge and tolerrance. What is happening in Jamica is like what is happening in Haiti and in most of Africa . There is an awakening and people are revolting and trying to make changes , weather the are the right ones or the wrong ones is another question. Each country and each culture must set there own rules for living. There has to be some kind of structure or we will all live as wild animals.
    This artist is using politcal issues to sell his music . Janet Jackson used her boobs in a football game while singing the national anthem. Mickle Jackson is said to be raping little children and yet people are still listening to his music.
    So what is going on here why are we putting so much issue on the man who is performing obviously to make money. I think he is very courageous to come to Montreal with his views or maybe it is just a performance or else he would not be caught dead here. We have the biggest gay population hear , you think he would be coming hear to sacrifice his life.He is coming to sell his music , just as others have done before him.
    If there is freedom of speach then you can not say what is right and what is wrong .

  • by JH Belizaire - August 20, 2004, 1:23 pm

    By reading both Bugs Burnett article about gay-bashing in reggae music and some comments on this page, I’m once again quite stunned by the lack of knowledge that the white public have about the black community.
    I will not try to hide it from you: like most black kids my age, I was raised to hate gay people. My folks are hardcore old-school, direct from Haiti, and over there or anywhere in the Islands, if you dare declare yourself to be a ‘massissi’ (ain’t sure if it’s the right spelling, but YOU KNOW what I mean), you pretty much gamble with your own life. Still to this day, if my father is joking around with me, calling me gay and stuff, he will quite suddenly and seriously declare that, if I was really a fag, he would put me out quite fast – and I have no doubt that he would do it. Total indifference about the gay issue eventually hit me one day and I start worrying about more important stuffs. Nowaday, I have absolutely no feeling whatsoever against the homosexual community – there’re actually, in most case, more bearable then the straight folks and should, in my view, just live a normal life in peace. But I’m not naive enough to think that this is the general view in my community, and you shouldn’t be too.
    Most black people are hardcore religious; the vast majority either view the gay life-style as nothing more than blatant bestiality and just plain immoral, or as a sign of supreme weakness. I never knew any gay black guys (or any gay people, for that matter) in my life and I seriously doubt that I will some days, for the simple fact that most of the people I know would aggressively make them feel unwelcome… And that, remember, is the current situation in North America, at best. It’s not hard to imagine the atrocity that is happennig on the Islands.
    It will pretty much take a miracle to change the general view of black people on this topic in the future, way more anyway then just cancelling a bunch of reggae shows. Don’t hope for a change in your lifetime.

  • by David Biviano - August 20, 2004, 4:01 pm

    I find it interesting that so many of the comments defend these artists on the basis of free speech. I am an ardent defender of free speech. However, this is hate speech, inciting and advocating the killing, burning of other people beacuse of their sexual orientation (as has been done to many other groups because of their religious beliefs, gender, “possession by the devil,” etc). Boycott advocates seek not to limit free speech, but rather to protest the violence and hate promoted by these artists in their exercise of their free speech. Whether rappers, reggae artists, dancehall artists, etc., a society has an obligation to oppose giving a forum to those who promote the killing and burning of fellow humans. and theirs is not jsut a figure of speech – it actually happens, in Jamaica, and elsewhere. Sizzla’s comments make that eminently clear. One love? Live it!

  • by Nathalie Bergeron - August 20, 2004, 4:10 pm

    I understand about freedom of speech, but there ‘s a way to do it! “HUMBLENESS”
    “EVERYONES” in this world have things to say & express! & We Always will! But has “HUMAN BEING”! Is our “JOB” to teach the youths the way of life! And that first way is: “LOVE”
    If we has singer, is singing about “GOD” & next thing you know,we are singing about
    “Killing” a next “HUMAN BEING”!!! What are we teaching???????? & When we say, much love to the people! What do we mean??????
    We should be able to say what we want to say as long as there is no violence or discrimination involved!! It ‘s not gonna change anything Anyways!
    There will always be: Gays & Lesbians,
    : Racists,
    : Freaks & more…
    so, all i wanted to say is: It’s all about LOVE & HUMBLENESS!!
    PEACE!

  • by Mary Libby Talevi - August 20, 2004, 9:26 pm

    These so called artists who incite violence should never be allowed to enter Canada.Freedom of speech has limits and rightly so as in the case of the radio station just shut down for promoting hate, personal attacks on certain individuals after repeated warnings to clean up their act.And just because these artists have a big following does not justify their right to perform.Think back to when they had public hangings.. mobs came in droves men,women, children,pets..they all came for the big event!Canada has come a long way in its quest to become a just society to treat all of its citizens fairly.There is no place here for these hate-mongers who pose as artists.That CRARR is even considering that certain conditions be respected if they were to perform is beyond comprehension.Would we negoiate with drug lords ?
    Many of us love Jamaica and Reggae music but allowing these people into Canada would be an insult to their many victims .

  • by Leroy Williams - August 22, 2004, 12:27 am

    As a Sizzla fan; I agree to the fullest with the opinions of Sizzla. He is not afraid to talk out what he believes in. BUN BATTYMAN is being said all over in the Jamaican / Caribbean community. If we promote slackness; the world will be slack. Right now the few people who are not afraid to speak out for what they stand for; let them be. Sizzla is been an inspiring artist for years in Jamaica and throughout the world with over 5000-10000 people at on concert. His last performance in Montreal was a real success.

    Montreal is trying to ban Sizzla from entering Canada because of what he stands for; but if you think about it; you will have to stop every artists; sound man; and reggae music lover in that case. If Bob Marley was alive today; he would have bun out battyman; babylon system and he will still be a legend.

    Eliminate crime and poverty and then you can take care of these little issues.

  • by Gary Womac - August 22, 2004, 8:54 am

    ….the current viral disease prevalent in most mainstream rap has entered into the pastures of reggae musick: the ignorant of a culture that has become used and abused through endless years of imperialism.

    what the current bigotry in reggae artists such as sizzla and buju banton truly reveals would be the the type of political imperialism that men such as bob marley and peter tosh lived to expose to not only the world but to the very peoples of jamacia: and when taken further across the lines the type of ignorance that contaminates both rap musick and reggae musick in the likes of artists seeking ‘street cred’ reflects a spiritual death that has come to inflict both the messengers and their messages:

    like rap — reggae musick has become about selling and moving those units through the appeal and successful marketing of such ignorance to the most base element that sells — violence and mis-guided mis-aligned mis-understood contempt:

    …jamacia suffers under the heels and manacles of oppression under a current political system that steals from the people of jamacia and robs from the culture of jamacia as well — this can be found in the marketing of rap musick: an art form that was considered dangerous and potential revolutionary as rap musick during the reagan/thatcher era attempted to unite blacks in light of the urban genocide that befall them under the doctrines of ronal reagan and margaret thatcher:

    but as the eighties soon became the nineties — a move occurred to co-op the rap message into a marketing tool to reach bored and disenfranchised surburban white teens with disposable incomes: hence arrives such rappers such as emenien (..step bastard child of rapper-lite artist vanilla ice…) and lil’ kim –

    this same trend has come to the reggae nation in ‘controversial’ artists such as sizzla and banton who represent the ultimate character assassins – and who represent the new mercenaries in the name of profit and in the name of capitalism.

  • by Jonah Aaron - August 22, 2004, 11:09 am

    You are just being ridiculous. You clearly have not heard Sizzla’s music and an artist he is.
    You come up with all this bullshit like “thank god bob didnt live to see this”. actually bob himself was very similar. Violence actively played a role in his life, for instance holding a gun to Don Taylors head just to make him sign a contract. It is you who is stupid, doing down something you dont even understand. Sizzla is an incredible artist and if you think your opinions should be held true, then be sure youre not going to see many reggae acts at all in canada.

  • by Eddie Martin - August 23, 2004, 3:00 pm

    Freedom of speech is fine. But in any society that freedom has to be excercised responsibly.

    To call for gays and lesbians to be killed is simply not acceptable. Imagine the outcry if a singer encouraged the killing of, say Arabs or people from China. There should be an outcry about these “dancehall” singers from Jamaica.

    The laws in Jamaica still outlaw homosexuality. But the law is for the police and courts to administer, not vigilante reggae singers.

    Having said that, it should be noted that the press in Jamaica, and other countries in the Caribbean, are starting to criticise some of the these homophobic singers whose lyrics call for gays and lesbians to be murdered – it’s not just the press in Canada, UK, Europe and to a lesser extent the USA.

    Police and prosecuting authorities in many European countries are taking a serious look at these singers. Already concerts have been cancelled at the last minute – Beenie Man in London and Buju Banton in Germany. In the UK, record companies and stores that sell recordings with lyrics that are deemed to be illegal could well face prosecution.

    Leading UK soul “diva” Beverly Knight has backed the campaign (see http://www.ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/2004aug/1901.htm )

  • by Manuel Freeman - August 24, 2004, 11:16 am

    You cannot hide behind “freedom of speech” to protect these artists. If someone says take a gun a shoot someone or blaze the fire pun’ dem, it has nothing to do with it. This is pure sickness! And if, by reading these lines, you think back that a couple composed by people of same sex gender is pure sickness, I feel sorry for you.I feel sorry because you are either suffering from ignorance, having a lack of education on sexuality or have been brainwashed by religious groups. Putting down someone for his/her sexual preferences is just another form of racism. Be careful of not falling into Babylon’s trap of hating your brothers and sisters. A difference may be more subtle than a color skin.

    I remember when I was at the Montreal Reggae Festival and saw that banner on top of the stage: UNITED AGAINST VIOLENCE. I thought to myself, how far this wonderful statement can go in today’s reggae?

    I can surely appreciate the initiative of CRARR. But on the the other hand, I’m afraid that if they succeed to cancel Sizzla’s concerts, it will bring more hatred towards gays from the followers of these artists. People who wants to feed on these vibes will always feed on them, even if we cancel their reunion. I think Cezar Brumeanu’s attitude might be the the more appropriate in these circumstances. Buju Banton crossed a fence he shouldn’t have cross and to my opinion, he is no longer welcome to the Montreal Reggae Festival. I’m sure other promoters who don’t care for human rights and only care for money will still bring him to Montreal.

    I love reggae because it stands for equality peace and justice. If you want to sing HALF LOVE well do as you please, I sing ONE LOVE and invite all people who are free of prejudice to do the same.

    Hope this article and its comments brought up a higher level of acceptance.

    Big up to Richard Brunett and Hour to give this important issue a place for debate.
    Big up to Cezar Brumeanu for taking a stand for equal rights.

  • by Mr D - August 24, 2004, 11:25 am

    As a firm believer in freedom of speech, I don’t believe anyone should be banned from saying or singing anything. Unfortunately there are people like this that have been raised in hatred. But these people themselves have been procecuted for simply being black. It is weird and to me incomprehensible to see them prosecuting others for being gay or lesbian. I would think that they would be more receptive to “being different”.

    I think most of the people defending these “hate” lyrics coming from Jamaicans are actually feeling very defensive because this time, they are actually being condemned for something they are doing and not the colour of their skin or something they can’t control.

    I say to these people hate signers “GO AHEAD SPEAK UP LOUDER!!!!” and you will yourself cause your own demise. People with heads on their shoulders will soon refuse to listen to your music of hate.

    I was once a great lover of reggae music but, I have lost total interest in all of these gay bashing artists. Most people don’t even know they are singing with such hate. But people reading articles like these will realise and most likely refuse to encourage it…

    Sizzla, Hitler, Mussolini, Husein, Stalin, all have something in common : HATE!

    I wonder if Sizzla has ever listened to a KKK speach? Parts of it sound ALOT like his songs!!!

    Do you think people would tolerate a KKK meeting celebrated with music in the middle of downtown Montreal? Then why are many endorsing Gay bashing reggae music???

  • by Jason Tremblay - August 24, 2004, 12:03 pm

    These low-lifes who support anti-gay hate calling it “free speech” would be the first to cry if someone started a kill-Blacks or kill-Reggae musicians campaign. Funny how human rights only applies to yourself and no one else. It shows how truly ignorant people are who turn to hate speech calling for violence and justify it by their superstitions, whether it’s called Christianity or some other religion.

  • by Pedro Eggers - August 24, 2004, 1:56 pm

    Richard Burnett is not one of my favorite journalists in the HOUR bullpen, more often than not I find his pieces to be little more than shit disturbing pieces with a puff delivery.

    The technique is simple; find a topic that’s sure to garner a vast cross section of reactions and/or comments, write a mainly vanilla piece and let the readers take the bait like a bunch of lemmings off a cliff. It’s sort of like starting a rumor that there’s a fire in a theatre; eventually you will generate the same desired reaction as if you blatantly screamed it.

    This Sizzla article is no puff piece but make no mistake about it, you’ve just been baited.

    Anyone who knows anything about Jamaica, their culture or their music already knows everything that Burnett managed to package so provocatively. This isn’t news folks, there’s a story here but this most definitely isn’t news.

    You all reacted as you should. As you were expected to.

    “Homophobia is wrong…I can’t believe that such an ignorant bigot is allowed to incite the people like this…yadda yadda yadda…”

    Yes, thank you for your righteous indignation but here’s a question for you all: a few weeks ago when it was the Divers/Cité issue where were you then? Not accusing, mind you, just stating the obvious.

    Yeah, some of you posted, most however went absent that week. But lo and behold, Burnett packaged the topic of homophobia in a new, provocative and grissly way and Voilà! the lemmings flocked!

    Look how else are you supposed to draw out closet bigots into the open than having guys like Sizzla out there? I admit the by-product is gruesome but sadly, Sizzla is the kind of flame needed to draw out homophobes into the light so that we can deal with them. Silence people like Sizzla all you want because they aren’t the real problem, they’re just the most prominent symptom.

    Before we build Utopia we’re going to have to endure hell. That means it won’t be pretty and we won’t all like it.

  • by Jessika Sévigny - August 24, 2004, 3:00 pm

    There still are people that don’t like gays or lesbians. Why is that? I don’t understand, don’t they have the right to live they’re life the way they feel. Some gay get married with a woman, they have children and one day they leave they’re family for another man, and I think that this is worst for everybody, the wife and the kid.

    Open your mind, let people that have a different way of life, live the way they feel that they happy. Everybody deserves a good life.

    I went to Jamaica and I have friends in Negril and not all Jamaican are like Sizzla. Some respect others in they’re life. Don’t put all the donuts in the same basket.

  • by Youssef Afendi - August 24, 2004, 3:51 pm

    I always felt insulted when the people who chose to indulge in lust and sexual perversity with their own sex are compared to people who have a specific skin colour! How could there be any analogy between hating a person because of his colour, and hating sodomy! I think that to try to compare these two things is a great insult and a tremendous injustice! The human rights declaration that condemns discrimination for sexual orientation or colour has to be corrected, for it is clearly absurd to put the two together!

    I must insist on the fact that homosexuality has been forbidden by all the messengers of God (Moses, Jesus, Mohammad) and in the divine revelations of God (Torah, Injil, Coran).

    The punishment for practising adultery, homosexuality or sex with animals, is death! Leviticus 20:13, “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.” However, only the people in power can apply this punishment and not the mobs in the streets.

    The reggae singers are full of contradictions anyways. They claim to hate homosexuals because God forbids it, but why not attack fornication and adultery the same way? They are always talking about “punany” and “pum pum” all the time! This is a clear contradiction! In addition, how could they claim to believe in the God of Moses and David while they are committing the worst type of idolatry by worshiping a man (the tyrant Hailie Salassie) and saying he was God?

    Love is not an excuse for homosexuality! Otherwise, it would be an excuse for pedosexuality too! Since pedosexuals “love” children! Just because you love people doesn’t give you the right to have sex with them! You love you mother, your father, your sister, but that doesn’t mean you can have sex with them! People have to learn the difference between love, perversion and lust!

    Your mind is like a window, when you open it, put a net!

  • by Cheryl Mitchell - August 25, 2004, 6:05 pm

    This is a very serious topic to bring forth. I am not homophobic but I am not 100 % in favor of this type of lifestyle either and so are other people than Jamaican. Everyone has the right to do what he or she wants behind close doors no one should be the judge of that.

    To me, I don’t believe lesbians and gays are out there trying to recruit others to do what they are doing why the population of gay and lesbian are increasing. that is their choice of sexual preferences. They are human being just like you and me.

    I cannot speak for Sizzla and all others but I think the people (not only Jamaican) is saying that we are put on this earth to multiply. Like Sizzla, some Jamaicans, AND other is trying to say is that if majority of us would become gay and lesbian and decade from now our world and our population would decrease, die off or still the same and our country would not grow. and the world would be extinct sooner or later. They also think that it is plain just nasty to think of two men having sex. This might be crazy thinking some might say but that is how people do feel and think NOT ONLY JAMAICAN!

    Yes, it is freedom of speech and some say there is nothing wrong with saying that gay and lesbian lifestyle should not exist, but for me I find that it is WRONG to bring VIOLENCE and also to think of doing or condone harm to another human being because of their choice of sexual partners.

    We are not God. We should not take this matter into our own hands by harming people.let God be the judge of that!!! let them answer to God when they come before him..(if they do).

    And for the show of Sizzla and other artist that is being held in Montreal (and over the world).there are a lot of Jamaican and so forth that would love to see these performance not because of what these artist believes in… only because he or she is a good entertainer and NOT all of their songs and belief is about gay and lesbian and violence.

  • by Isabelle Kump - August 25, 2004, 10:24 pm

    Well I simply want to go Sizzla’s concert. I’ve been looking forward to the show ever since I heard he was coming. Now I’m hearing a bunch of different stories about this show which is totally pissing me off. I never met Sizzla in person to ask him if he is burning the person or the deed. I am thinking that he is burning all things that go against GOD’S laws anyway. So he is saying it in an agressive way. If you claim that you are so much more intelligent than he than why can’t you just understand what he is saying. The rastas I know are respectful of gays but not of their gayhood. Just like I could hang around thieves, murderers, adulterers, crackheads, liers, frauds, lusters, idolaters, etc. and be respectful & loving toward them but not agreeing with their deeds. There are more positive ways of expressing what Sizzla means to say, but the only problem with this is that if you want to ban him, then lawfully you would have to ban a lot of other singers, actors, movies, and words being said over television and radio. The most inportant thing is that all the people against Sizzla’s lyrics should look into themselves and see what’s really bothering them about themselves and leave Sizzla alone. Because Sizzla is just a tool.

  • by Lance Creary - August 26, 2004, 3:59 pm

    Jamaican homophobic dancehall artists need to be blocked from performing in Canada. Their anti gay lyrics inciting violence against gays must neither be condoned nor tolerated in our progressive society. The struggle of many before us to enjoy the freedom & liberties we now enjoy, has been a hard one, we simply should not be importing this rubbish, passing it off for art or music. We need to do much more to send them this message. Groups such as Amnesty Intl, Outrage in countries like the USA. Europe & perhaps moreso in UK, have mounted effective pressure against media houses & Promotors. The message is clear, but we in Canada need to do much more. It was just reported on CNN (25/08/09) that Jamaican DJ Beenie Man was suddenly ‘dropped’ from the lineup of performers for upcoming MTV concert in Florida due to the increasing pressure from various groups who are offended by the homopbic lyrics & content of these performers. This is progress. There is simply no room in our progressive world for hate & violence, it must not be encouraged.

  • by David Shamus - August 26, 2004, 4:24 pm

    What if an artist decided to go out and incite the killing of african-americans, jews or women? How would we react then? How is this situation different?

  • by David Hunt - August 27, 2004, 1:45 pm

    I am writing from Kingston, Jamaica, and found your article disturbing but not surprising.
    “Whatever happened to One Love” is a good question. Bob Marley would be turning in his grave. I think that you should find out what is happening in the community of August Town where Sizzla lives and is allegedly engaging in activities that are very harmful to the community, from his so-called “Judgement Yard.” He is using young, unemployed and angry Jamaicans for his own purposes, which are not peaceful.
    Homophobia is only a part of what he is involved in. It is very far from the peaceful philosophy that we once associated with Rastafarianism. This is a different kind of Rasta, very aggressive, divisive and often violent.
    For example – at one concert here, he shouted out “Kill all white people” during a performance.
    This is the man who claims to uplift poor, oppressed youth. Yes, there are many of those youth, but he is not uplifting them, he is leading them down a dangerous road.
    Those of you writing from outside Jamaica should not be taken in by his “message.” This is not the kind of “consciousness” that any of us need – whether black, white, in Jamaica or overseas.
    Please don’t dismiss this message! Take heed!
    PS I firmly believe that boycotting these acts overseas IS effective. It will hit these artistes in their pocket and make them think twice! They depend on the money from overseas tours…

  • by Chris Reno - August 28, 2004, 7:27 am

    The idea that gay people CHOOSE to be gay is ridiculous. When do STR8 people choose to be STR8? Did you wake up one morning and decide that instead of being gay you would give STR8 a try? If you believe that being gay is a choice it shows how little you know about sexual orientation. Read your Bible in silence and stop forcing your hate-views on this country. Should Whites tell Blacks what their rights should be? Then why should STR8s tell gays what their’s are. And all you who fight for the rights of Blacks, or Jamaicans, or any other group whould know that unless you fight for the rights of ALL people, even those you don’t agree with, then you are fighting for the rights of no one.

  • by David Asher - September 1, 2004, 2:24 pm

    The reality is that no matter what people think about these artists, they are expressing themselves and the culture the are from. Mr. Marley had no tolerance for homosexuals and that is well documented, so no reason to say he is spinning in his grave, you don’t know anything about the man. They are trying to stop Buju Banton’s career for a song that he sang when he was 16 years old and before he embraced the Rasta way. They also are banning him from touring England and the States for a trumped up herb conviction. Sizzla has many uplifting cultural songs and it’s his RIGHT to speak against homosexualty if he feels it is against the bible teachings. Bun fire is a figurative way of saying fight against homosexualty. We know that the bible says we are not here to fight flesh and blood but spiritual wickedness in high and low places. I don’t like to hear songs saying kill this man or that women and I won’t listen to them. I have some gay friends and I can see both sides of this, I hate to see two oppressed groups fighting each other, Babylon always wins this way. Sizzla is a young man with many talents. Pray for him and the gay people, in fact pray for all mankind, we need it…

  • by Rob Postuma - September 1, 2004, 11:24 pm

    It’s hard to know where exactly to stand on this issue.

    On one hand, you have on side ( in this case represented by CRAAR ) saying that we shouldn’t accept a performance because it’s basically hate with a beat to it. On the other hand, it’s a “freedom of speech” issue – where you accept the person’s right to speech, even if we don’t agree with it at all.

    So where do I stand ? Somewhere in the middle actually. While I do object to any hateful nonsense spouted by performers such as Sizzla, I don’t think banning it, pushing legislation against it – will make such thoughts go away…. in fact I think it just makes the voices that spout that nonsense even louder through a bizarre type of martyrdom that these guys look for. And while I don’t agree with government interfernce with such matters – I do support an economic boycott against people involved in supporting such nonsense. Actions such as not going to shows put on by people involved in these “events” – such as promoters, concert halls, radio stations etc – and writing the people and telling them why they’re not getting your money – usually has a much bigger impact on whether or not such behavior will be displayed in the future. Your money- is the power over all.

    Scariest thing is the CRAAR saying stuff like they want reggae bands to not be invited here unless they ” publicly take a strong stand in favour of equality, diversity and civil rights”. What exactly does that mean anyways ? Do we only let activists perform now ? Do we have to submit to Bono and Sting boring us on stage about the rain forest ( who the hell wants to live in the rain forest anyways – I mean it’s crazy out there ).

  • by Gabriel Sachter - October 22, 2004, 11:47 am

    I respect Sizzla and I have much love for his music, I also beleive that Sizzla has a right, to believe and say whatever he please. But there is a big difference between saying something and actually doing what you what say. If I could ask Sizzla just one question it would be,”Have you really killed sodomites and homosexuals?”, if he say yes, I would be greatly sadenned, he be a murderer. I know some of you might think ” Army men kill, arn’t they murderers too?” my anwser, yes. I believe that killing someone for any reason is wrong, no matter which side you stand on the fact remains that someones life was taken because they are different from you, so what, you are different from them, they might have just a good a reason to kill you as you had to kill them. I also hear Sizzla say that gays and sodomites bring AIDS and diesese to the people, so do straight people, and so do all people. You cant target one group of people for such a large problem that involves all people. Do you know how straight people get AIDS, most likley not from gay people, but from straight people. I think if Sizzla just took the time to learn about the topic, then that might be one reason he can use to declare his beliefs. On the other hand if Sizzla say” I never done killed anyone, or tried to, I just say thats my opinion” then i would have just as much respect for him as I do now. I dont care what you think, you can believe anything you want im fine with that, but if you take actions on your beliefs to harm or kill another human that has done nothing to threaten your life, i see that as wrong. As far as i have heard, Sizzla has never actually harmed someone else, he may say he did, but i’ve seen no proof.

  • by John Thai - October 28, 2004, 4:39 pm

    Honestly he may comment about “killin battybwoy” but thats not what he’s all about. People fail to overlook all his other songs, he preaches love, and prosperity as well. The amount of songs he’s produced about showing love and living a better life, and preaching some of the true meanings of being rasta outweighs 100 times more then his songs about “killing gays and lesbians” Sizzla is more of a “conscious” reggae artist. Many of his lyrics makes you think and realize things you never realize before. His political views, his views on western world and how corrupt it is.
    His song “Simplicity”
    “Simplicity we use to survive, do what your doing properly thats the way through life”
    “Give us all the blessing, give us all the rewards, when we help the poor find it easy when they find it hard.”
    or “Its not the one bag of vanity nor the anamosity nor the hypocracy nor the democracy, its not the laba laba, nor the backsabber, nor the vampire or the eveliest desires…Its juss the meditation of my heart, pure and conscious thoughts, be overstanding and be smart listen to the children speak the word and shine the light in the dark.”
    Also his song “Jah Blessing”
    “Spread a little love and let jah blessing go down, place your feet on higher ground”
    Sizzla’s lyrics has changed the way I look at myself and how I am in the world, His lyrics tought me to show love to everyone, respect each other the world is not about materealistic things however more about being a kind respectable person. Mi haffi leave with one more line from a song of his “I wonder if i will see tomorrow, living in this world of conflitcs and sorrow”

  • by Pat Harris - November 3, 2004, 12:36 pm

    I find it interesting that these artists who are gay-bashing and insisting on “one love” are not looking at their own irresponsible behaviour. I’m not merely speaking of the gay and lesbian issue, I’m speaking of their own conduct with regards to heterosexual women. These are the very same men who father multiple children for a number of women. Although some may feed and clothe their kids, they’re going around treating heterosexuality with a polygamous approach. They don’t even respect heterosexual women like they should. They’re talking about having sex with women in such a pornographic manner. Righteous Hyprocrites. I’m black and I can’t even begin to understand how KKK musicians get away with making music about killing non-whites, gays, and lesbians and selling it, yet they do. I’m thankful though, that they are not permitted to perform on such a large scale as say fundementalists rasta reggae artists. I think that hitting these artists (kkk and gay-bashing reggae artists) in their pocket is the right thing to do. How you conduct your affairs in one country is not how you conduct your affairs in the rest of the world. It’s like terrorists taking violent action against people they hate all over the world.

  • by Mike A. Sebulonsen - May 24, 2005, 12:55 pm

    I had been getting more and more into reggae since I got hooked on 70′s dub through discovering King Tubby – something like 6 years ago. Mostly one for the classic roots/dub-stuff, contemporary reggae was slow to find it’s way into my active
    attention sphere.
    Then, as 2004 was slowly ebbing out, came along the purchase of Sizzla’s album “Black Woman And Child”, and a new world began opening up. Next up was Capleton. Exstatic appreciation!
    And then it was just a cruise through the dancehall scene, where the whole “battyman”-issue soon revealed it’s nauseating depth. Sizzla’s animosity towards homosexuals was brought to my attention by a childhood friend. Up until then, I had only paid attention to his lyrics concerning the good, old reggae themes; love and unity, rightousness, repatriation, herb, worship of Jah etc. – these had made me buy a fair cross-section of his albums, when the extent of homophobic depravity finally dawned on me (If English wasn’t something like
    my 3. language, it might have stood clear sooner).
    The way I see it, Rastafarianism’s basically about rightousness, equality, love and tolerance.
    The awareness of Sizzla’s homophobia struck like a laserguided bomb. It has since then entirely ruined my appreciation of his music. Come on, man – killing another human being because of sexual orientation; if someone
    can encourage others to do smething THAT twisted, then it doesen’t matter if they otherwise have achieved all the enlightenment in the world.
    Jah love, brothers and sisters…

  • by Quisa Maria Cummings - August 17, 2005, 3:57 am

    to me sizzla is one of the best concious singers!! my boyfriend and i love to relate our relationship to songs and so far all the certain sizzla songs talk directly to us!!!
    he is a person who knows how to put his words!!! and also knows how to praise jah in so many ways!!! so may not like him, but me and nearly all of my friends love him.if no other country love him Trinidad and Tobago loves him and his music!!!
    words of wisdom and thoughts from the heart!! the right way to treat an empress!!
    bless up sizzla!!!!
    may jah bless you in years to come!!!!!!
    Jah Bless!

  • by Smiler Jammeh - August 21, 2005, 1:11 pm

    I love reggae and i really love your music, when ever i hear your music even if i am sleeping i do wake up listen to it.So i love you as a brother and i alway want to have comunication with us.
    Love and kind
    Smiler.

  • by Ann Williams - October 11, 2005, 1:23 am

    I am a personal friend of Miguel Collins, aka Sizzla Kalonji, and one of the things that I admire about him the most is that he is “unrepentant”. He has his beliefs and he will not allow anyone to shake it. I am also offended by the constant reference to “his alleged involvement in gang activity in August Town”. I don’t see how you can use hear-say as an argument in an intellectual discussion. Until anything is proven that shouldn’t even be factored into this discussion. The fact of the matter is that he is not homophobic, for by the very definition of a phobia, that is a fear of homosexuals and trust me he is not afraid of them. He is simply upholding what is stated in the bible, Leviticus 20:13 “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.” How can a man be persecuted for spreading the word of the bible? what next? Anti-gay organizations will be calling to have churches shut down for spreading this same word?
    In addition, I must also state that people who only see Sizzla as an anti-gay artist clearly have no true knowledge of his work. He also writes some of the most beautiful love songs. Songs in which he teaches men how to treat a woman. He upholds women and recognizes them all as empresses. He has also written some of the most profound songs calling for black upliftment and black togetherness.
    The last thing I would like to say is that a very valid point was made by another member, that it also has to be noted that it is our culture to dislike homosexuality. That is how we’ve been raised. I was raised by a white father and a black mother and they both taught me that homosexuality was wrong. That is a Caribbean culture. The more accepting caribbean people will say “hate the sin and not the sinner,” but in no way is homosexuality allowed, accepted or condoned in the Caribbean and furthermore, as the previous member stated it never will be!

  • by Meghna Patel - October 12, 2005, 11:52 am

    I’ve recently started listening to more conscious-based reggae music this past summer, rather than the hard dancehall type I used to listen to. Sizzla is a man with a golden voice,who can add wonderful charm to almost any song. He sings wonderful love songs that stick in everyone’s mind. His vocals are sweet and melodic, and can put anyone to ease. The anti-gay scene that he promotes is one that is evident in Jamaican culture, especially in Rastafarianism. It’s a culture, and what they believe is actually out of the Bible. He is simply preaches what he believes, and the last time I looked, we are all allowed to have our own opinions.

  • by Yolanda Allen - October 27, 2005, 10:54 am

    I am, if not the BIGGEST Sizzla fan. I like many others heard one song
    by Sizzla, mine was “Word of Di Vine” and fell in love with the
    artist. It is so unsettling to know that this salutary person
    creates a plethora of good music, and spreads hope and
    enlightenment in his music, but doesn’t get recognised by the CRAAR for such. Yet
    a few songs that they dislike are causing such a controversy. Again
    Homosexuals do not have to attend any of his concerts,or buy any of his
    music. Sizzla does not lead anyone by the hand and causes them to
    incite violence upon anyone of whom they percieve to be homosexual. Doesn’t
    everyone has their own mind, and understanding. Yes, killing is wrong,
    but opinions belong to everyone. The fact that he is being persecuted
    because of his “words”,is without saying, erroneous. Ones’ understanding will
    come across in one’s music. The CRAAR’s doing in trying to dismantle,
    impede, or diminish Sizzla’s career will only make him a better artist. He
    has a gift that he brings forth through his music. A gift that makes any
    down trodden heart want to try to live to see another day. Sizzla fans
    are going to be Sizzla fans regardless, at the end of the day. Other
    things do need to be taken into consideration, such as his
    beliefs and practice. We have many religions in the world, and it’s up to an individual to believe in whichever. Sizzla’s belief comes across in his music. You have a choice to/not to listen. Sizzla just keep trodding upto Mt. Zion. This is just
    apart of your juggling. You have a natural, eminent,distinguished, pure,
    undeniable, talent, it’s going to take you beyond
    boundaries, carrying the black nation with you, & all who stands for
    goodness, and life. They have their opinions, and you have yours. Bless UP!!! Just understand everyone has a right to live, and as
    long as you personally has not inflicted any harm unto anyone then keep spreading your words, I am always listening.

  • by Apryl Fitzgerald - November 24, 2005, 1:11 pm

    Personally, i don’t think that sizzla should be kept out of montreal and his show must go on. There are alot of diffrent types of music in this world, and some bash gays some bash straights, some bash white ppl and some bash black ppl. To pin point at only one stereo type is wrong. there are a many number of ppl who are looking forward to see sizzla and if it is cancled who do you think they are going to blame? Sizzla……No they are going to blame the gays and human rights authorities. Personally if i had a problem with the lyrics (which i don’t) I just wouldn’t listen to the songs. And i’m sure alot of gay’s don’t.

  • by Amanda Mounce - June 25, 2007, 1:14 pm

    But I must tell Ann Williams, the person friend of Sizzla’s, that in Leviticus it also says that eating shellfish is an abomination, and that a man cutting his hair above his temples is an abomination among MANY other things. #1, this was before Christ, who took all of these sends away, and giving us God’s GREATEST gift, everlasting life if we so choose it. We ARE all sinners. #2, the Bible says only God is allowed to judge us, #3, Murder is a sin, one that is spoken of in the 10 Commandments, unlike homosexuality. My point is, we are all sinners, most of us, if we still live by Old Testament law (Jewish Law), are sinners to the point of abomination. I guarantee Sizzla is too. Without sin, there is no need for a Savior, correct? But, murder, now murder is like saying God made a mistake. Murder, is like saying that something or someone that God made, is not good enough for your world. I DO hope that all of the ignorant people, one day, are humble enough to accept they are not God, and should not act as if they are.

    That is all.

    -An educated, raised Protestant, Lesbian

    Homophobic people do not prosper in MY country (America) as well as people who are tolerant. GOD BLESS THE USA.

  • by iguor sizzla kalonji - June 26, 2008, 11:02 pm

    hey

    just another excuse to put down and discrimanate against jamaicans and their music,look howmuch white people talk about gays and nobody trying to cancel that,if thats the case shut down all tv stations and radios then!!!!!!!!!!!!!! leave people alone with their music.

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  • by Kamogelo Mmusi - November 13, 2008, 6:12 am

    I don’t support homosexuality but i think everyone has a right to express his feelings, sizzla doesn’t support it either, so why don’t they leave him to stand for what he believes in, i love sizzla’s music and i think his music is influential.

    More fire to Kalongi

  • by adrian black - March 4, 2010, 12:36 pm

    Its March 4, 2010 and Capleton has been recently barred from performing at the Raggamuffins Music Festival. Where will it end?

    I read in amazement this extract from your article, “Many gays – or people perceived to be gay – have since been set afire in Jamaica by mobs chanting “Fiya burn!”". As a Jamaican who lives in Jamaica I can tell you that no gay has been killed or set afire in Jamaica by a straight person or as a direct result of lyrics chanted by dancehall artistes. Instead they have been killed by their lovers. Further, the use of the term “fire burn” doesn’t literally mean to burn someone but is a show of disapproval. Gays have been killed in places such as the U.S for their lifestyle yet it is not seen as a homophobic country.

    Many dancehall artistes have been ostracized for their songs, but what about artistes such as Eminem who has lashed out at gays, has he been treated in like manner? I have being a dancehall fan for a very long time. Dancehall artistes were warned that this constant gay bashing would create trouble because of the credence given to the issue but they didn’t listen. It goes without saying that the homosexual lifestyle is wrong and artiste must say so but to incite violence against gays is equally wrong. There are many ills in Jamaica and in the world to “lick out”(show disapproval) against from corruption, murder by state agents, classism, racism, poverty and lack of opportunity. No reasonable person should expect an artiste to apologize for saying homosexuality is wrong but artiste should behave responsibly.

    To the writer of One Love, One Hypocrite I say, what makes the artistes different to Hitler is , Hitler killed people for who they were, the artistes are disproving what gays have become. Is this the way children should be socialized? I say the same to the writer of What If.

  • by kaliope - March 19, 2011, 8:12 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHzpADO8hCA

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