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Monday, September 25, 2006

Um, Kerri Harrop…

Posted by on September 25 at 17:47 PM

If you’re so worried about censorship, please see the statement of Steven Severin from Neumo’s:

My name is Steven Severin and I am one of the owners and talent buyers for Neumos. I am personally responsible for booking Buju Banton. Below is a letter from Buju’s label, but I wanted to let you know my two cents as well.

Neumos does not condone any homophobic, racists, or any other asshole tendencies in our club. Many of you know me and are aware that I am very gay friendly and have tons of homosexual friends and acquaintances. Under no circumstance would we knowingly bring a homophobic artist to town.

No one needs to force Neumo’s to create genre-excluding standards for what types of performance artists it will (and will not) bring to town. Severin has already established those standards himself, and quite clearly: Neumo’s would never knowingly allow a homophobic artist to perform.

The question is what Neumo’s is going to do about this particular artist now that people have noted his homophobic past.

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Well, they can either not do the show, pay him his guaranty, as the club in Bloomington did, or they can do the show and at least maybe make back part of the cost of the guaranty.

If in all likelihood Buju is going to get paid regardless of whether he performs, wouldn't it make more sense to at least force him to earn the fee, and not needlessly burden the finances of a club that books lots of great music.

Typically, people make decisions and commitments based on the information that they have. Then sometimes new information comes to light, and even though they might take a different approach based on the new information, they are sill obligated to carry out the commitments they made based on the old information.

It sounds like that is what happened here.

An online review of his show at the ballard firehouse in 2003

Buju represents the old and new vanguards of Rastafari. He labeled himself last night a Rasta Rebel as he big up his chest and slapped it with his open left palm while he held the microphone in his right he started the song that created so much controversy in the 80’s with homosexuals when he sang, “Boom bye bwoy”, however he didn’t complete or continue the song. He seems to just re-introduce the chorus in a medley of his early works as a testament to his fortitude to survive his critics who boycotted his music. Immediately he segued into, another song, “Champion”, and many other of his early dancehall hits from three decades ago.

The question is what Neumo’s is going to do about this particular artist now that people have noted his homophobic past.

don't you mean "now that the stranger has noted his homophobic past"?

as someone commented in another post, this is not the first time buju banton has played seattle. i don't remember any outcry over his previous performances, despite the fact that the song currently being debated was apparently penned when he was 15 years old.

the following artists are all guilty of either homophobic lyrics and/or commentary from the stage: beastie boys, ice cube, ween, beenie man, eminem, guns & roses, busta rhymes, and sizzla. by no means is this list complete.

i have been at countless shows where the word "faggot" is used from the stage, as well as many performances where a great number of crimes against humanity (misogyny, murder, mayhem, rape, to name a few) are extolled by artists.

i am not condoning this behavior. i am also not saying that people should not protest such behavior. what i do believe (firmly, as evidenced by my number of posts on this topic) is that artists should be allowed to express themselves as they see fit. and, of equal importance, that bookers and promoters have the right to provide a venue for such art, regardless of how controversial it is.

i've been in and out of the music business for a long time now, having worked at sub pop for a number of years, booked a club, promoted shows and club nights, and performed as a DJ. my misspent youth was primarily spent on punk rock and, to this day, i spend an inordinate amount of time and energy on pop culture.

i am old enough to vividly recall the PRMC and have spent plenty of time at galleries, shows, and events that have carried a certain level of controversy.

so, why the biography? because i have seen this kind of shit before. it stunk then, and it stinks now. demanding to know why a club is providing a stage for a controversial artist to perfom smacks of censorship and leads people down a dangerous path.

i'll say it again: freedom of speech is a protected constitutional right. the public also has the right to decide whether or not they will support such actions. a business owner has the right to provide a venue for whatever sort of art they see fit -- even if that art offends and/or is hateful.

as for neumo's "never knowingly allow(ing) a homophobic artist to perform," i firmly believe that steven is sincere, just as i believe that the cha cha is sincere with its sign on the door that tells bigots, homophobes, and racists to go elsewhere. these are local businesses run by good local folks with a conscience.

that said, i find it very difficult to believe that neumo's would turn down a reunion show by the surviving members of N.W.A. (notorious for misogyny and homophobia) or guns & roses (ditto). and i can't even tell you how many times i've heard the word "faggot" while bellied up to the bar at the cha cha, or any other bar in town for that matter.

there are a lot of unsavory things in life, including art that promotes hatred and intolerance. demanding that neumo's "do something" about providing a stage for such opinions is to discount the reality of art. you don't have to like it, you don't have to support it, but you sure as hell have to allow it.

just like that "parental guidance" sticker that was slapped on records in the '80's, the stranger has inadvertantly helped publicize an artist that probably would not have sold out the venue. no one gave a good god damn about the mentors until tipper gore went bananas.

but, hey, i'm pretty psyched to receive a slog post in my honor. it will certainly shut me up for awhile, which is probably a good thing since i seem to be standing out here with just a few others (most notably patrick henry) at my side.

Does the club loose a big chunk of change for one show or do they piss off a lot of regular customers? It all depends on how much money and how badly the club needs it.
The way the club handles this situation will be very telling: not about their views on censorship or queers but how much money they have in the bank. If you're rich cancel the show and look like heroes if you're on the edge keep the show and hope everyone forgets.
Shitty situation.

Buju Banton has a right to his speech, no matter how disgusting and hateful.

Neumo’s has a right to book him and profit from his speech, no matter how disgusting and hateful.

What matters isn’t whether or not this show should be permitted to proceed, but how the gay community reacts. The gay community must make its speech heard through demonstration and action. This is an opportunity to draw attention to the inequity and hate that gays have to live with daily in most parts of the world. This is also an opportunity to take definitive action against a abstract evil.

Why would any gay person ever spend another cent at Neumo’s (unless they are completely self loathing)? Booking this hateful jack-ass at all demonstrates a clear lack of judgment, and a disdain for the gay community (which can not be taken back by pulling the show now). The gay community should be taking this opportunity to decry hatred in their midst through noisy demonstration at the event and a complete boycott of Neumo’s and any business that continues to support or profit from Neumo’s (this includes The Stranger).

Again, Buju Banton has a right to his speech, Neumo’s has a right to book him and profit from his speech, and the gay community (YOU) have the right to your own speech. With minimal effort, willpower and focus all the fagots on Capital Hill can certainly speak louder than Buju Banton, and with the combined weight of the business’s they support (including The Stranger) should certainly be able to make Neumo’s continuing viability as a business impractical. You have a simple choice. Call hate for what it is and shut down business’s that make the choice to support it, or turn a blind eye and wonder why things don’t get better. I would expect The Stranger to lead the charge by lending its voice to the side of right, and withholding aid to the side of wrong (stop taking Neumo’s advertising dollars and covering their events).

This is potentially the greatest thing to happen to the gay community in years unless we are too lazy and void of focus to take advantage of it. Or we just don’t give a fuck about what people say about us in our own neighborhoods and through our own businesses. Which would be just plain pathetic (and about par for the course).

so buju banton has repeatedly apologized for writing such a disgusting, homophobic song? well, words ain't enough, buster! i say let him play neumo's, have him apologize AGAIN, and follow it up with a big long lip lock on a Sugar's regular. that will wash his sin away. walk the talk, mon!

Kerri, I'm sure there are a lot of people who agree with you, I for one. You make the point so well, it's hardly necessary to repeat it. I would no sooner pay Buju Banton the least bit of mind, as I would any blatantly misogynistic gun toting gangsta rapper. I've enjoyed the debate... Even though the response has been extreme in general, I beter appreciate the more far sighted response.

As far as I can tell, he's never apologized. His record label has. That's not quite the same thing, is it?

What would people be saying if Pat Dobson was having a big Focus on the Family rally on Cap Hill? Their views on homosexuality (and women) are similar.

While I certainly appreciate Kerri's comments, one point that perhaps needs more emphasis is that, regardless of the actions of either the artist or the venue in which they appear, the patrons of that vanue also have the right to express their displeasure in whatever form they deem appropriate, short of violating someone else's rights.

If you strongly object to Buju's appearance at Neumo's you have the right to express that to management. You also have the right to withhold your patronage. You also have the right to tell others to do likewise. If enough people complain, or vow to not see anymore shows there until management agrees to not book such acts in the future, then I would imagine they will have to take another look at their booking policy.

Some might call that censorship, and perhaps there is some merit to that argument. But, there's a big difference between telling an artist they cannot continue to create controversial art, and exerting economic pressure on businesses that profit from that art to discontinue their support. In the end, the onus falls on the business to decide which stance best fulfills their own economic self-interest. They can either choose to support the artist, and risk economic damage as a result, or they can choose to support their patrons, and risk losing artistic objectivity. But, either way, it's their call, and both artists and patrons can evaluate their own support of the business based on which way they go.

Will The Stranger continue to accept advertising revenue from Neumos?

A good question from a Cunning STunt... Bravo!

I don't care for Buju Banton-- his past/present homophobia is abhorrent and in general, I really can't jam on Dancehall anyway. I believe that while his views may be toxic-- the furor is rather arbitrary. As many others have pointed out, there are plenty of bigots getting paid to play music in our town, there's plenty of homophobic and misogynistic music that gets play on the radio that people dismiss and tune out.

And I don't want to totally derail this post with speculation about a potential troll-- but I'm curious about You Gotta Be Kidding Me, who is up in arms about abstract threats of implied violence against members of "our community," but in past posts that dealt with actual instances of documented violence against minorities (DV-One), is dismissive, skeptical, and hardly moved.

Additionally, Neumo's hardly has the cultural/economic/social clout to be an effective target of such a protest. Exercise your civil rights and moral outrage, but do it in an effective and efficacious manner instead of blustering it all on a mid-size club hosting a not-that-interesting musician whom most hadn't heard of (or cared about) till these posts.

free speech? Write a song about lynching a black man and see if clubs will book you. What a difference between how racism and homophobia is treated. Even questioning affirmative action is more of a sin than gay bashing to many. sad. pathetic. sad. pathetic.

Thank you, Kerri and Christopher and everyone else who doesn't have the blinders on. I mean, Jedi Mind Tricks are playing Neumo's soon, too. Vinnie Paz denouces homophobia because he's a Five-Percenter. Are we going to have a boycott? Oh, probably not... they seem so much more socially acceptable. People are gonna do what they're gonna do, and say what they want to say, and who are we to either judge or subscribe?

Lots of Hip Hop and black performers use "homophobic" lyrics are part of their art. That doesn't make them bad performers. The Stranger has praised many so called "Homophobic" Hip Hop and Black performers before.

A club owner can book whoever they want.

Mr. C. Hong. Congratulations on your brain. You're friends and family must be very proud of it. The only weakness I can detect in your argument is your reliance on logic and forgetting the most important considerations in realestate: location, location, location.
Nuemoes is located in the center of the gay community. One just doesn't fucking book an asshole who sings about shooting and burning gay guys in the gay neighborhood and think it's going to be cool.

Who sees this guy? Other homophobes. It'll be a busy night for the SPD when the show lets out.

Hip Hop has always been homophobic and The Stranger is just now figuring that out I guess?

It's funny that Eli and Sarah are acting all rightous about this all of a sudden. People in Seattle love to get upset about something so they can feel morally superior.

Not only hasn't he apologized, but there are plenty of reports that he played "Boom Bye Bye" as recently as two years, at the Smirnoff Festival. If he's playing it a huge festival it's not hard to believe he doesn't also sing it at smaller gigs in Jamaica where it wouldn't cause a stir.

Note he was also charged with leading an attack on some gay men 2 years ago, and while acquited, I'm not sure what that means given that a gay man in Jamaica has about the same chance at getting justice as a black man in 1950s Alabama.

Does the club loose a big chunk of change for one show or do they piss off a lot of regular customers? It all depends on how much money and how badly the club needs it. The way the club handles this situation will be very telling: not about their views on censorship or queers but how much money they have in the bank. If you're rich cancel the show and look like heroes if you're on the edge keep the show and hope everyone forgets. Shitty situation.

Very telling indeed. Given the way the live music biz has looked this past summer (and take it from somebody who is out seeing live music on average 2-3 nights a week), I wouldn't be asking any club owner to eat a guaranty right now, especially if you like the venue.

Honestly, I'm not sure a venue like Neumo's really has "regular customers." The crowd seems much more driven by who happens to be playing. Ultimately, if someone wants to see a national band they're into in an under 1000 capacity room, I doubt the Buju controversy is going to dissuade anyone.

Anyway, I think Kerri's got it pretty dialed in with her post. Part of living in a city with a rich and diverse culture is interacting with views you don't agree with.

I wouldn't be psyched about a neo nazi rally at Neumo's. But I'd rather have it out in the open there, than in secret somewhere else. And if I found out that Neumo's had booked a band that turned out to be White Pride anti-semitic, I wouldn't pay money to see them play, and I'd feel bad for the club, because of all the assholes they'll have to deal with, but I can also understand why the club might not be in a financial(or ethical) position to cancel the show after contracts are signed, etc.

Kerri -

Why is it OK for Juju to express his homophobic views but wrong for members of the GLBT community (and friends) to say they find his views disgusting? Apparently that sorta thing only works one-way in your world.

*Part of living in a city with a rich and diverse culture is interacting with views you don't agree with.*

It's so strange that we're supposed to "interact" with views we don't agree with, but we're not supposed to voice our own opinion on those views. Funny that.

If I hear one more time how Free Speech is being denied at the private level, I am going to go Buju on these people. The Constitutional guaranty of free speech does NOT apply to Neumo's or the Stranger or me. I can tell you to shut your pie hole without any Constitutional liability.

For me, this misunderstanding about the laws on which this Country is based is as much a pet-peeve as confusing there, their, and they're (or site, sight, and cite) is for the editors at the Stranger. Neumo's has the ability to deny this homophobe a soapbox without any Constitutional implications whatsoever (contractual implications are another matter, but Neumo's had the ability to control that itself).

Actually, now that I think about it, so does government, because speech that incites violence is not protected by the Constitution. Give it up Harrop. If you want to hear this fuck sing, then exercise your Constitutional right to travel and go to Jamaica.

I think that is an excellent question about whether the Stranger will continue to accept ad dollars from Neumos! Eli? Dan? I hope you are serious about this issue and no longer do advertise them. While obviously Neumos has every right to bring an act like this to town, I also think the gay community (and friends) should stop patronizing the place. Cause it's pretty fucked up of Neumo's to not cancel this act just cause they don't want to lose the money! And what would send a stronger message than the Stranger refusing to advertise the club anymore? But somehow I suspect you're full of shit, and just found an opportunity to sound self-righteous and to be outraged for a couple days, but in the end it's totally hypocritical. But please, prove me wrong! I'd be thrilled.

Um, Eli Sanders...
I think you missed the point. The debate about censorship/constitutionality has nothing at all to do about Neumo's booking policy and whether or not they have the right to exclude this type of trash from their club. Of course they have the right to pass on this type of performer - and even cancel his show if that's what they believe is in the best interest of their club.

On the other hand, a right that does not exist is the right of The Stranger to determine what kind of speech or speakers should or should not be ALLOWED.

Go back and read Sarah's post. The central thesis of her post was to question whether this type of performance should be ALLOWED - not boycotted, or appreciated, or condemned, or repudiated, or ignored, or celebrated - but ALLOWED. It's a subtle difference, but absolutely critical (and one that I'm deeply disappointed a man of words failed to recognize).

Kerri nevered argued that Neumo's SHOULD promote this type of artist, but that they CAN if they so choose. For The Stranger to even suggest such a strident and intolerant position we should all be very nervous indeed.

"Under no circumstance would we knowingly bring a homophobic artist to town."

How could he not know that Buju Banton is homophobic? This is common knowledge to anyone that knows anything about reggae.

If Buju was playing anywhere west of Boren Ave., this would be a non-issue.

I don't care for Buju, but now The Stranger has to live with possibly dropping Neumo's ad money and hence losing casual readers who pick up the paper to just read the calendar section. Need bandaids for the shot foot?

But no worries. Neumo's and The Stranger will make up. The Stranger just likes to talk the talk and, uh, talk the talk again. This is the same paper that actually gave Kathleen Wilson a column once. Dan syndicates his Savage Love column in New Times papers after all.

Nothing new to see here, folks. Fight the real enemy.

Pure Economics- focusing on location, location, location is what makes the entire sense of outrage seem narrowly focused and provincial. I'm really not that worried about what kind of effect Buju Banton's lyrics are going to have on Capitol Hill (other than reinforcing a sense of entitlement to moral outrage).

I'm much more concerned about the effect Banton (and other artists of his ilk,) have outside of our indignant liberal bubble and the way that messages of hate are taken for granted in popular consciousness than what's cool in our neighborhood.

Boo Buju and boycott the show, but I hope that all those enraged who might accuse the Stranger or Neumo's or whomever for not being adequately accountable to the ethical values of the community is actually actively at work fighting for change and boycotting all oppressive mediums and not just acting upset, crying foul, and playing the part of hypocrites themselves.

Where was the Stranger when The Fall played here? Several times even.

Everyone knows that Mark E. Smith beat his ex-girlfriend, right? He also uses the word "niggers" in the song "The Classical". That makes him a racist abuser of women.

Why wasn't The Stranger ever advocating boycotting of shows by The Fall? Because Charles didn't get a chance to blog about them first?

The Beastie Boys considered calling their first album "Don't Be A Faggot" when they were younger.


You don't just open a can of worms and leave it in the fridge, you know.

So, protesting a SINGER or boycotting Neumos is going to do exacly WHAT for Gay folks in Seattle?

dont you have ANYTHING better to do?

sounds like a bunch of misdirected energy. seriously, why waste your precious time on a mediocre dance-hall singer? Please, somebody tell me what this is supposed to accomplish

So here's the deal - some fairly unknown singer is homophobic. Seattle's gay community says he's not allowed to play here. Um, fine, ok...yay Seattle. You took a stand that accomplishes nothing. Buju playing or not playing has absolutely no effect on issues around homophobia in our city. But every single day we have a several large cgurches preaching homophobia and sexism right in our midst. Churches like Mars Hill. The difference between Mars Hill and Buju is that Mars Hill of course, is that Mars Hill is actually recruiting new members to indoctrinate them into their world view. And they are doing is succesfully. And these people vote and form policy in our city. One of their main outreach targets is our music community and the tool they use to target it is the venue called the Paradox. The Paradox is of course supporeted wholeheartedly by The Stranger. It's great to see people getting pissed off about the vile bullshit Buju Banton says in his song. But get some perspective, it is one song and Buju has a very limited fanbase. The show happening or not will make no impact. But fighting Mark Driscoll and the vile bullshit he preaches from Mars Hill every week, and shining light on how this homophobic, sexist organization uses the Paradox to recruit kids, THAT would be doing something. Instead of marching around Neumo's Wednesday, save your signs protesting homophobia and bring them to Mars Hill on Sunday. Before we worry about some dude from somewhere else singing a song no one can even understand the words to, we should clean up the vile disgusting filth in our own house. Let's start with Mars Hill, then we can move on to Antioch Baptist. Maybe end up at City Church. Stopping a Buju Banton show ain't going to stop homophobia, but silencing the hatespeech filled sermons coming from some of the maga churches in our city will definitely help.

C.H. Please forgive me the mortal sin of failing to be "up in arms" about a to-date one sided account of an unfortunate incident involving two or three individuals. Individuals who have Civil Rights. An incident which, incidentally, requires one to completely accept one side of a story and assume the worst possible about the the other side without sufficient corroborating witness testimony. An incident that might be a violation Civil Rights. Rights that are actual, agreed upon and respected broadly by thinking people (limited though that pool may be) and the law.

You're right C.H., I have obviously forfeit the right to be "up in arms" over the idea of businesses that are significantly supported by gay dollars profiting from hate speech against gays. A large community that is denied significant Civil Rights (marriage any one?). Contemplated speech that all sides (publicly) broadly agree is despicable, and that has been repeatedly and proudly restated and owned by Mr. Buju. Speech that is being entered into knowingly and premeditatively by both Mr. Buju and his enabler Neumo's.

You're right C.H., the two cases are identical in nature and the fact that I was "dismissive, skeptical, and hardly moved" by one forfeits my right to be "up in arms" about the other. How could I be so blind.

Obviously a silly fagot who fails to automatically see police brutality every-time someone with a prior conviction gets "roughed up" has no right to call foul when someone comes into his home and threatens to "rough him up"... or was that "shoot him and burn his skin off with acid"? Either way, they're obviously comparable. I tend to forget that beating a straight man is equivalent to murdering and mutilating a gay man.

Meinert -

As much as I might dislike what Mars Hill is preaching, I'd still argue there is a qualitative difference between their anti-gay talk and Buju's call for the gruesome murder of gay people. We aren't talking about the Beastie Boys throwing around "faggot" from time to time, but someone who is advocating murder (shooting and burning people with acid).

In addition, what can you possibly do to impact Mars Hill? Picket them? I doubt they care, they might even like the publicity. You can't hurt their pocketbook very much either, they're obviously picking up a lot of cash from their hipster parisioners since they're building a new church in West Seattle.

So yeah, it's a matter of picking targets, both the most egregious cases and hitting where it can have some real impact. And drawing a line and saying "Not in our own backyard!"

Fnarf wrote:

What would people be saying if Pat Dobson was having a big Focus on the Family rally on Cap Hill? Their views on homosexuality (and women) are similar.

Well, when Dobson had his Christio-fascist rally at our baseball stadium not long ago, I was there with a sign suggesting that those bigots should focus on their own families. A couple thousand of us demonstrated peacefully outside the stadium. The Stranger hired a plane to fly around the stadium with a banner directed at the rally attendees. And unlike this Bujuju guy at Numo's, Dobson paid to use the stadium -- the only people paying him to speak were those in the audience.

As Evan reported in a different thread, Neumo's calendar states that the show has been cancelled, so I guess they won't be paying Jubuju to speak here. On one hand, I feel like I'm in some Arkansouriowaskiana town that just got a Madonna show shut down because she's known to touch her naughty-pillows on stage. On the other, Madonna wasn't at age 15 and isn't now performing songs about killing people of a class that includes half my friends and neighbors.

Y'know, I don't consider myself an old-timer, let alone a native, yet I can't help thinking, "how would ElderMoe's have dealt with this?" And the inescapable answer is, "With relish."

Come on, all you thin-skinned faggots and faggots-hangers-on. Do you not remember Fear? Henry Rollins? Steve Albini? And a fucking thousand other seminal homophobic punk-rock acts?

If I were just a little more adversarial, I'd suggest you white Capitol Hill homos only get uptight to the point of activism when it's a black musician writing the defamatory lyrics— after all, we haven't heard much out of you about the white emo, neuveauglam, alternametal, bluegrass, irony-serious, and other variously genred national and local band-types playing homophobic songs in and around your fair city. But hip-hop? Or Jamaican music? Oh, the horror!

But I wouldn't want to play the race card. Identity politics is just so ugly, isn't it?

exactly. What we are hearing is homo's raging because they can't stand the fact that they hold a lower place in society than black people.

They thought they had won when gay akin beat that more talented black guy at american idol.

Gays will always be regarded as deviants and never accepted by main stream working class culture, get used to it.

Even if Neumo's cancels the Buju show, fans will still be able to buy Buju product at Easy Street, Sonic Boom, Everyday Music, and Zion's Gate.

None of these stores may *knowingly* carry homophobic artists, but once they do know, it's only right that every gay person should boycott shopping at these stores.

Meinart, you have excellent points to make, but it doesn't matter. The Stranger is just being the media as usual.

The Stranger single-handedly associated the band Modest Mouse with the term "Rape Rock" across the country, and then years later featured a cover story on them with the writer (the original writer who spilled the beans on Modest Mouse being Rape Rock) touring with them, and being obnoxiously obsequious to them.

And it was great when The Stranger outted KEXP personality Matt Nichols's beating of his girlfriend. Aren't we all happy for it now?

It doesn't matter that these did nothing but harm the people even more in the situations at hand. The Stranger had to let everyone know that they will not stand for rape and for abuse of women -- two issues that Stranger readers were obviously ambivalent about until these groundbreaking stories made their way to the feeble readers.

I'm making my "Boycott Everyday Music" poster right now. "NO BUJU NO BUSINESS"

Dude, you are one of those feeble readers, and quite a faithful one at that.

robotslave, please enlighten the ignorant, and flush out your argument with some particulars: who in the current, as you might put it, white-rock world is a rapant homophobe touring the country with such stage gems as "There is no end to the war between me and faggot"?

the problem isn't race, the problem is buju wears his hatred of gays on his sleave and makes it part of his persona; what's highly visable is easy to target. and this has nothing to do with the color of his skin. if there was another band, say a white punk band mouthing off about their personal war against the gay playing neumo's i'm sure the same thing that happened here with buju, would happen to them.

robotslave - If you justify what is acceptable entertainment (speech) now (or in the future) by what was acceptable entertainment (speech) in the past, we would still have cakewalks, minstrel shows and blackface. Hate speech must be fought, and if ballroom and hip hop, or any other music form can not live without it, then it should go the way of the cakewalk and disappear into the pages of history with so many other ugly entertainments that had proud traditions. To me the idea of a Capital Hill club hosting Mr. Buju is like a Rainer Valley club hosting a revival of The Celebrated Negro Melodies, as Sung by the Virginia Minstrels. According to your logic, the first to decry blackface were hypocrites when they did so for not having done so sooner.

Dude - that was a profound comeback.

I may be a little out of touch here, but I thought it was the republicans who do the thing where they judge art solely on the basis of the politics of the artist, or in particular works, and then seek to censor works found politically unacceptable, and banish the artists responsible.

I guess the left has Art Police now, too.

This isn’t about “judge(ing) art solely on the basis of the politics of the artist, or in particular works, and then seek(ing) to censor works found politically unacceptable, and banish the artists responsible” or otherwise trying to silence free speech. This is about urging gays to withhold financial support from businesses that cut checks to people who advocate for the murder and mutilation of gay people.

Art Police ban art. I am in favor of letting bad art be seen until it becomes financially unviable to its creators and supporters, and taking efforts to make it so as quickly as possible. Doing so is neither “Republican” nor Democrat in nature, just Principled.

Unfortunately, Seattle fags will keep funding the cultural war against them as long as the enemy has a cool club, a good bar and puts a tune behind its hate speech that you can dance to.

*Part of living in a city with a rich and diverse culture is interacting with views you don't agree with.*

It's so strange that we're supposed to "interact" with views we don't agree with, but we're not supposed to voice our own opinion on those views. Funny that.


Who said you couldn't voice your opinion. If there was a neo nazi rally there, I'd be voicing mine. Hell, I'm voiceing mine now. But there is a difference between voicing opposition to something and censoring it.

If people who hold these views don't (or aren't allowed to) say them in public, does that mean the views don't exist? Does that make glbt folks more safe? Or does it just allow people to nurture the illusion that they are somehow living in a world where this doesn't exist?

Certainly, power means being able to control discourse. Racists are less powerful today than they were 75 years ago, because the cost of being a racist is higher. You can't go out in public society in most places spouting racist ideas without getting some push back.

From my perspective, that's a good thing. And I don't have any problem with the push back there has been on Buju. But if somebody is willing to spout their hate in public and risk the push back, I guess I think that is probably better than having that person only spout that stuff in a private setting where they are preaching to the converted. Much better to see the opposition, and for the opposition to make it known that they are there.

I mean after the fact, everyone is an expert. But how much due dilligence must a club booker do before booking an act. Must the booker do a background check on every person in the entourage? How about a credit check? Would any of us want to be held to that standard?

As someone else pointed out, the Stranger has even written approving blurbs about this guy in the past. But the Stranger pays no cost now for stoking the controversy.

The only loser here is the club. Buju pays no significant cost. He gets paid either way.

Conversely, if he plays the show, the opposition gets an opportunity to state its opinion very publically. And anyone going to see Buju play would have to engage with that opposition and think about what Buju's thing is about. Probably some in the audience agree with him. But others are probably ignorant and perhaps they would learn something new about Buju.

But that won't happen here. Instead, Buju gets his money, the club loses, three days from now nobody will even remember this, and the opportunity to really have a public exchange of views will have passed.

Explod, I know you were just trolling for someone to point out that the more talented black guy actually did win that season of American Idol over the Gayken.

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