Homo Buju I Hardly Knew You
I’m sure everybody wants to give the Buju Banton thing a rest already, but I do want to address the complaints about the The Stranger’s perceived “hypocrisy” on this issue.
Point number one: The Stranger is not a monolithic entity. Sometimes we speak with one voice (political endorsements, for example—which are only issued after vociferous internal debate), but generally, we’re all responsible for our own opinions. I, for example, agree with a commentator below: Charles didn’t need to resort to an ad hominem attack to point out the problems with Robert Jamieson’s argument. (I also despise AI.)
A corollary point: Nate Lippens is his own person. Just because he wrote an Up & Coming expressing support—nay, curiosity—about Buju Banton’s supposed conversion to nonviolence in 2000 doesn’t mean Charles isn’t entitled to express the opposite point in 2006. (Robert Jamieson conspicuously failed to credit Nate as the author of that short preview, implying it was a general endorsement.)
Moreover, Nate was working on a set of assumptions that no longer apply. According to ample documentation, which Charles cites below, Banton has not renounced his old views. He still thinks beating faggots is a good idea, and still performs the song in which he advocates that violence.
Not cool. The Stranger staffers are entitled to say it’s not cool. Neumo’s, for its part, is entitled to respond to community pressure, voiced by the Slog and other local blogs, and decide to cancel the show. It’s not censorship. It’s common sense.
You free speechers got your show anyway—and you got your debate. Stop being so goddamn sanctimonious.