Letter: Ragga, 'racism' and attacks on gays

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The Independent Online
Sir: I cannot say that your report ('Macho music that puts gays in fear of their lives', 4 October) comes as news to me. It is the inevitable consequence of allowing Buju Banton's music to be played.

Mr Banton was scheduled to appear in Bristol last year. A coalition of groups, headed by the local government union Nalgo, tried to prevent the concert taking place. We were unsuccessful - the concert took place and 'Boom Bye Bye' was the first song to be sung that evening.

We were told by black organisations and 'woolly' liberals that our endeavours to get this concert cancelled were outright racism. It seems to me (especially in the light of the leaflets in Tower Hamlets) that any criticism of a black person, or black organisations, no matter why, is branded as racism. Some people take a further view that if we disagree with a black person that constitutes racism.

It is no defence to say that advocating killing homosexuals (or killing anyone come to that) is part of the singer's culture. Incitement to murder is an offence in this country. I cannot believe that it is not also just as much an offence in the countries reggae comes from.

The song 'Boom Bye Bye' must be banned immediately. The Government is quick enough to ban the 'murderous words' of Sinn Fein, so what is the problem? Sorry, I forgot, Sinn Fein is 'white', reggae music is 'black' so banning this ragga song would be 'racism'.

Yours faithfully,


Nalgo Voluntary

Organisations Branch



4 October