Industry News

Buju Banton- “Pour Acid on Gays, Shoot them in the head”- Appearing in San Jose

Entertainer Who Advocates That Gays Should be Murdered Comes to San Jose

By Troy May from OUT NOW
    

VooDoo lounge in San Jose welcomes reggae singer who has been banned across the United States for his songs that call for gay people to be murdered. Buju Banton, a notorious anti-gay reggae singer from Jamaica, has lyrics in his songs that advocate to “pour acid” on gays then shoot them in the head.  When Banton announced his U.S. tour, gay communities across the country jumped into action to get the concerts canceled.
    

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center convinced Sunset Entertainment Group this week to cancel Banton’s concerts in Hollywood. Other cities where the gay community was able to get his concerts canceled include Orlando, Tampa, Salt Lake City, Cincinnati, Columbus, San Francisco and Detroit. Now he is scheduled to sing at the VooDoo Lounge in downtown San Jose onOct. 13th, one day after the anniversary of Matthew Sheppard’s murder for simply being gay.
    

Banton was recently videotaped saying, “there is no end to the war between me and faggots.”
    

“What else is upsetting is that the gay community has to stand up against this guy,” said Thomas Soule, spokesman for the LA. Gay & Lesbian Center. “If he was advocating the murder for another minority, people would be protesting in the streets against this guy.”
    

Through his music, Banton promotes a culture of violence against gay people.  In his most notorious song “Boom, Bye Bye,” Banton sings that “faggots get up and run” when he comes, that “they have to die,” and that he will shoot them in the head or “burn them up bad.”  Banton’s music has helped foster such an anti-gay culture in his home country of Jamaica — where several prominent gay activists have been murdered — that Time magazine recently asked: “Is Jamaica the most homophobic place on Earth?”
    

Officials from the L.A. Center called the venue owners to convince them to cancel Banton’s performances, but they made excuses saying they don’t know the details about all the singers and bands that are scheduled, said Soule. No action was taken to cancel the concerts until press release was sent out and reporters from the L.A. Times and N.Y. Times called the venues.

     OutNow called VooDoo Lounge for comment multiple times, but kept getting the recording announcing Banton’s performance next week. We then sent emails to everyone listed on the website and still no response. Eventually we reached a woman called Lora Lipman (408.250.1407), the events coordinator for VooDoo Lounge.  Lipman said she was aware of the controversy surrounding Banton, but didn’t want to answer questions until she spoke with the owners. She took our number and said she’d call back by the end of Thursday, Oct. 8, but we never heard from her.

     StreetLight Records in San Jose sales tickets for VooDoo Lounge events, but they were not listed for Banton’s concert. We called StreetLight and the guy that answered the phone said they aren’t selling tickets for Banton because of the controversy, but he didn’t want to answer questions or give his name. Soule said the L.A. community was prepared to protest the venue where he was scheduled to play, but they were able to convince the venue to cancel the concert and spare everyone the pain of Banton’s message.
    

Cities across the country have stood up and refused to allow someone to preach and advocate hate in their community. Will our community allow him to spread his message to murder gays in San Jose?

NL- I had to do some thinking about this one. I try to be open minded and believe that free speech is one of the main reasons America is a great country. Buju Banton can have whatever opinion of gays that he wants, call them fags, say he hates them, but he crosses the line when he says murder them. So I guess even Freedom of Speech has it’s limits. And if I was in San Jose I would protest his appearance at the VooDoo Lounge.  Even though I am not in the area I can still e-mail them and/or call them with my opinion and so can you. Here is their contact info-

The VooDoo Lounge is happy to answer any questions you may have about music or special events. Tickets for most events available at ticketweb.com

 VooDoo Lounge
14 South Second Street
San Jose, CA 95113
 
408.286.8636 phone
408.286.8641 fax
 
Matt Crudo
General Manager
[email protected]
 

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