Gay Bashing in Jamaica and the Music Behind It
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the deviant behavior towards GLBTs in the Caribbean and the small amount of reformation that took place due to these criminal acts. Saying that the civil rights of humans over the past couple of years have not been violated would be a complete and utter lie. There are thousands of people who take part in political protest because they are tired of people listening to the discriminating voices of others, and not to the voices of the people being discriminated against. GLBT have been subjected to numerous counts of hate crimes which not only affect them but their families and next generations to come. This is still a controversial issue because the discrimination against GLBT prohibits gay marriage in certain parts of the World. I also feel this topic is important for people to know about because one day an organization that they might be a part of will be discriminated against just because what they support is different.
In Jamaica, lesbians and gays are the victims of violent persecution which often turns into murder and the ammunition behind the persecution are popular reggae and dancehall songs with their demoralizing lyrics. A 28 year old man by the name of Richard stated in the article Black and Gay and Hunted, “It is like living in Afghanistan under the Taliban. I wake up in the morning not knowing whether today I will live or die (Tatchell, 2004). ” He considers considered himself one of the lucky ones as he hides the huge scars left behind from a machete attack while the police stood by and watched. There are horrific stories about people running into for their life and not being so lucky. One person ran into a Baptist church and pled for his life at the alter while a small gangs of Jamaican left him full of gun shots. Another man was beaten to death after being accused of looking at a man in Montego Bay. A gay pride march was schedualed in the capital of Jamaica, Kingston, and there for hundreds of people ready to fight for their belief and kill the “battymen” while waving machetes, clubs, guns, bats, knives and any thing they could throw at the participants. When the police finally showed up to the parade it wasn’t to help defend the people marching in the parade but to aim their weapons in disgust to the gays. Under Jamaican law queers who are victimized cannot go to the police for help because the officers are very likely to aid in the assault and in many instances end up arresting them for their own personal hatred. Amnesty International stated that gay and lesbian men have been “beaten, cut, burned, raped and shot on account of their sexuality (Padgett, 2006) ." Unfortunately as these victims make their way to the hospital are confronted with hostile medical attention if they’re fortunate, others are sometimes not even treated at al or left in the waiting room over night.
Family members have even turned on their own flesh and blood due to their homophobic mentality. In 2004 a teenage boy almost died after his father found out that his son was gay. The father took it upon himself to invite a group of people to lynch his son at his school. With no remorse he expressed his feelings towards his son about his sexual preference and in more ways than one let him know that it was not appropriate. In an article titled Queer Kids of Queer Parents Against Gay Marriage the children of GLBT parent discussed how annoyed they were at people who feel that they should join support groups for gays and gay marriage when in reality they want nothing to do with their parent’s sexual preference.
The presence of dancehall music in Jamaica by many artist has left people un-doubtable living in fear for their life on a daily routine. According to Black and Gay and Hunted:
“Homophobic hatred and violence is whipped up by Jamaica's eight leading performers of dance-hall reggae, including Beenie...