Jamaican Gay Community’s Quest To Muzzle Free Speech.

Errol Mcleish

Errol Mcleish

 

Contributor: Errol McLeish

 

It seems the Gay rights lobby Jamaica forum for Lesbians All Sexual and Gays (JFLAG), is on the propagandizing war path again, maligning and branding anyone who expresses their view against homosexual relationship, as promoting violence against their kind.  The latest of such asinine comments were made against Queen Ifrica, a reggae artist and Rastafarian, who is a proponent for heterosexual relationships.  Her sin this time according to JFLAG , is that she had asked the audience at the grand gala held at the National Stadium on August 6th ,   in recognition of Jamaica’s  independence ,  to raise their hands if they were straight  . This gesture, according to JFLAG was animus, and seen as an attack on the gay community. From this very action and other demonstration, it seems JFLAG is on a quest to silence the free speech, of anyone who might oppose homosexuality.  It was obvious that Ifrica actions could never be said to be   tantamount to being animus.

Reggae Artiste Queen Ifrica

Reggae Artiste Queen Ifrica

 

Ifrica was not asking people to burn gays or promoting violence against gays, she was simply expressing her views which should be her democratic right, and again the tone and context in which she used the words could not have been construed or  interpreted as animus.  Animus is defined as prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will, her actions did not fit the definition. I am convinced that JFLAG is becoming a very highly influential Force in the Jamaican community getting its backing from certain civil society groups. Perhaps Mrs. Portia Simpson Miller’s expressed view in a National debate , that she would have looked more closely at aspects of the buggery law,  and this I think  has embolden the homosexual community .

Tony Rebel, another Rastafarian performer, had suffered similar condemnation at the last Grand Gala when he stated that marriage should be between a man and a woman. JFLAG characterized this as vitriolic, words I am sure, strictly defined, and could not be associated with the action of the artist. This was realized in  a subsequent conversation on Nation Wide News Network , moderated by Cliff Hughes , the word was   highlighted  during a robust discussion on the issue , the JFLAG  spoke person , was   forced to retract this adjective ,  because , it was obvious Tony Rebels comment could not be characterized as vitriolic the tone and substance did not suggest this . This, it seems, is one of many attempts to silence anyone not acquiescing  or supporting their position.

Tony Rebel.

Tony Rebel

 

I must commend Ifrica and Tony Rebel for their position and stance. In defending their position they expressed that they were not homophobic, rather far from it, they were simply expressing their views . Ifrica says she will be a martyr for the cause; perhaps she might get her wish, as there might very well   be repercussion from the global Gay community who are very influential. But looking back on the tape of the proceedings, an intelligent objective bystander should think this is was much ado about nothing. But seeing that the Jamaican Gay community is seeking relevance I don’t think this issue will go away any time soon.

7 thoughts on “Jamaican Gay Community’s Quest To Muzzle Free Speech.

  1. Hail to the queen Ifrica. Dr Martin Luther King said something to the effect “towards the end, it will not be the voice of the enemy that will count but the silence of the friends” The last time i checked freedom of speech was etched in Jamaica’s constitution as a fundamental right. Also Jamaica is shaping up like a democratic dictatorship however, what’s left of this country could be described as a democracy. We are not asked to shut up when we oppose religion or the friends we should keep but we should keep silent whenever we share opposing views on homosexuality.There are many persons here in Jamaica and external elements who are propaganding the homosexual lifestyle but what they are saying is we should just shut up about this paradigm shift and if we dear utter a word in opposition then those words equates to hate speech. Is homosexuality running parallel to the old cold war communism? Blacks have been subjected to hundreds of years of slavery with our ancestors rights stripped from them, to date we have not even received a pardon much less reparation. This homosexual issue is not a civil rights issue but a lifestyle that some persons choose which is different and which they want to impose on the rest of us. The Queen did not say anything immoral or illegal. She did not incite violence or made any hate speech, she used an opportunity to express her opinion regarding a debatable social issue to which our elected politicians do every day and we hypocritically praise them. Leave the queen alone because she represent a bright spark within the music industry after all when the artists are one dimensional and predictable you all complain, but when they are eloquent and expressive you still complain.

  2. We are “out of many one people”. And I do believe this. We are people of varied traits, hue, ethnicity, sexual proclivity; we are verbose and very opinionated. In times gone by we would ‘bun Rasta”. The discrimination that Rasta suffered especially at the hand of the ruling class and the security force is well known and it is still happening today to poor rasta. Men who embrace Rastafarian culture or any semblance of “Rastafri” would lose their job, friends and families. Some families would disowner their own because being a Rasta (“Nassy /nasty nega”) cause disgrace on the family. Now Rasta is prime time and they (Rasta) would want to meet out discrimination to others who are different or embrace an alternate lifestyle. Everything has its time and place. Now how would be if a ‘Ball Head” on stage say ‘bun rasta; ’politician a teef and them fi dead’; Babylon (police) a murderer and them fi dead’. How about raise yu hand if you a nuh like police and police informer. “The woman them who have a bag a pickney and can mind them must be sterilized” Some would ask “what happen to the man them”. Say someone say all ugly woman raise you hand (and Queen Africa is ugly BY OUR STANDARD OF BEAUTY) . Some would find humor in such utterance but it would be uncalled for. And I can go on.
    My point is this: utterance at the Grand Gala was ill-advised /uncalled for. Those comments whether “not immoral (morality is not relative) nor illegal”; whether we agree or disagree did not unite us as a people. Those utterances did offend some. And those who felt slighted /offended also have the right to speak out. Queen Africa should pen her grievances to the Prime minister or make her opinion know at another setting not one that should unite us as a people. A Suh Me see it.

    • Excellent points, but you would agree that Rastafarian’s were not without sin, they lambasted everyone not sporting locks. they labeled them (bald head) and condemned them to all manners of evil.And for your info (Rasta bun bald head on stage all the time).I will not address all of your points except to say this is not about bruised egos and hurt feelings. It is about Free speech, If it comes down to the latter two I am obliged to side with free speech. If Gays are not comfortable with their sexual orientation , and are offended at the mere celebration of heterosexuality, then maybe that is exactly our point. What you are doing is wrong.
      Ifrica celebrated Heterosexuality, I was unaware that celebrating one’s own sexuality is demeaning another, I think not.

  3. I am for FREE speech and especially for responsible appropriate Free speech. “”You are free to cry out ” Fire” in a crowded movie theatre -( when there is none)” . But is that responsible ? I think not!! free speech has its time and place and responsibility comes with free speech.
    The Grand Gala was not the place or ti me for artist to vent their displeasure . Again this event was one of celebration ; to unite and not to divide and separate us.
    Two free speech scenarios:
    Scenarios 1: Massive and crew we have achieved a important milestone in our history celebrating our 51 anniversary of independence. We have achieved much but much more could have been achieved . I call on our leaders to lead the citizens in a path to achieve what is best for our country . We should all play our role to make this Jamaica Land we love a land of peace, love and respect for all.
    Scenario 2: ” we have nothing to show for our independence . Politicians are crooks “. I call on our Prime Minister to do more to wipe out corruption in government and to not caved into pressure from forefingers to accept lifestyle that Is not part of our Christian upbringing and shared values . ” Massive and Crew, If you agree that politician mash up Jamaica raise up you hand”

    Well ,even though scenario 2 holds rings of truth. Would that be an appropriate comment to make at the Grand Gala? I Say no. my comment was never about stifling free speech. It’s the appropriateness of these utterances we attribute to one freedom opinion /expression masked as free speech.

    • This is exactly a free-speech issue, I understand that it is probably a little difficult to appreciate the importance of free speech in countries which have 1)oppressive libel and slander laws designed to oppress and intimidate, and 2) where speaking one’s mind may get one killed. However the gift of speech is sacrosanct, and like life, is a gift given by God Almighty. If you step back from your well-reasoned response you will realize that this issue comes down to free speech. It is free speech on the one hand, and political correctness on the other. Whether we agree with WHAT she said, WHEN she said it, WHERE she said it,and to WHOM she said it, is not as important as her right to SAY it.
      Whatever “IT”is. She has a fundamental Right to free speech that cannot be muted because someone is offended.
      It is important to note that Queen Ifrica DID NOT disparage anyone by celebrating Heterosexuality, she is well within her rights to celebrate her right to her heterosexual lifestyle, as much as Gays have a right to theirs. Their rights cannot come at the expense of our silence and acquiescence to their degenerate lifestyle. That my dear sir is tantamount to tyranny.

  4. They are the “MERCHANTS OF LIE AND DECEIT” they are planted by the “Europeans and North American” with the intent to sell this big lie on others around the world and if you don’t buy into their lies, they use “economic sanctions on you. This is why “Europe and North Americans” are hated by the people of “Africa and the Middle East.” So the next war is a war of conformity? Let’s see how this war is going to be winning by the “West?” Because the lies the leaders are going to sell their populace and the “BATTYMEN/LESBIANS” are going to support the war. In the end it is going to be “good over evil.” Good will be victorious!!! Twenty years from now, when the plague get out of control and the cures they had cannot work anymore what will these leaders do then? Tell the world the lie is not working? A man has one sex organ and a woman has one too. But the “Europeans and North Americans” are promoting the man’s rectum/batty hole as a sex organ. If I laugh I dead! So, I thought we were smart and intelligent people but we are going and are being owned by the devil. In the United States of America, the Supreme Court (The God’s of the country) and the President Barack Obama the first (worst) black president is the biggest promoter of the third sex organ. These folks think that all of us is buying into their lies! They don’t even know their credibility is in “bankruptcy” with the world! They can’t even sell the weather anymore because the average man knows that they are the “MERCHANTS OF LIES AND DECEIT” and their masters are the devil/Satan. God is God and Satan will never get my soul, never! He has “Barack Obama” souls and the likes; he is laughing at this time because they are his “sales associates” of the millennium!

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