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Monday, September 25, 2006

UPDATE: Bad Buju still bad

Posted by on September 25 at 16:29 PM

The main argument in defense of allowing Buju Banton to perform at Neumo’s on Wednesday is that he wrote his infamous shoot-and-throw-acid-on-the-gays song Boom Bye Bye when he was 15 and, since then, has matured greatly and written many, many popular, non-hateful songs.

Does that logic stand if it turns out Buju is still performing the song?

Check out this (shaky, badly recorded) YouTube video of Buju leading a sing-along of Boom Bye Bye in Miami last May.

Also, although Buju’s recording label has sort-of apologized for the song, Buju himself has yet to personally apologize.

So will Neumo’s cancel the show? The owners are worried that Buju’s label will sue them for breaching contract is the show is scrapped. But I just got off the phone with Dave Kubiak, the owner of The Bluebird (in Bloomington, IN!) who hosted Buju without incident three years ago, but cancelled his performance this September after widespread protests from the GLBT community in the college town. The Bluebird didn’t get sued for breach of contract — but they also paid Buju for the show that didn’t go on. “We just didn’t want to offend anyone,” Kubiak told me, “but for a club to pay someone who doesn’t perform — that’s a tough decision.”

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I'll bet that kind of payment is almost physically painful for a nightclub owner to make. But Bloomington did it. Los Angeles did it. San Francisco did it, even citing the needs of their community. Steven Severin appears to value money than he does community. I certainly hope the Cap. Hill community remembers that.

It seems to me that if you don't like the artist, don't go to the show. Isn't that what you say when there is an artist that people find offensive.. "turn the channel" or "don't attend their event!"

An artist has a right to their opinion, even if it is stupid and moronic (as in this case!) And club owners have the right to book whomever they want to their venue. Do you really want to limit those rights? Are you prepared to lose revenue dollars and tell Neumo's that you won't accept their adverting because of this?

The fact that it is being held at a club on Capitol Hill is irrelevant. There are all sorts of people on Capitol Hill these days. And all sorts of weird shit going on... which is part of what makes it so great. I'd hate to have anyone start telling club owners who they can and can not book. I'd miss out on some crazy shit if that starts happening!

off the top of my head, i can recall ice cube making extremely homophobic statements years ago from the stage of rckcndy, statements that offended the promoters of the show (tasty productions), as well as members of the audience.

cube played here a few months ago with nary a protest at his sold out show.

i have been at more shows than i can remember over the past 25+ years. a very short laundry list of some of the actions called for within some of the lyrics: killing cops, smacking bitches up, killing specific public figures, rioting, looting, dismemberment, and disdain and contempt for homosexuals, women and political figures.

this cry for censorship is as sickening as the lyrics everyone is up in arms about.

i was not planning on attending buju's show and will be out of town when it takes place. but, if i were in seattle, i would be there for one reason only: to support steven and jason's right to allow artists, no matter how controversial, to play their venue.

Who needs Nickel's nightclub regulations to drive clubs out of business when you have The Stranger to harness group-think/mob rule to dictate what can and can't be seen or heard in our city.

The main argument in defense of allowing Buju Banton to perform at Nuemo's is not whether or not he's apologized, but rather it is that we live in America. Whether you like it or not (and it appears from your post that you do not) a person's freedoms guaranteed under the first amendment cannot be taken away simply because they have previously engaged in reprehensible, offensive, hate-filled speech.

The Stranger is right to inform the readers just how horrible this man's lyrics have been. One hopes that those readers have enough sense to steer clear of Nuemo's on Wednesday. However, to suggest that the show shouldn't be allowed or that Nuemo's should pay Buju not to perform is a restiction no less objectionable than the lyrics themselves.

Remember: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

there should be a homo fundraiser to pay neumos the money to have buju not play.

I'll say it again. It's NOT censorship. If we were to cut the power lines or if the city were to pull Neumo's license, that would be censorship. If, through peaceful, concerted citizen action, we convince the management to pull the show, that's not censorship. We have not forbidden them. We have not used force. This is no more censorship than calling for a boycott of ABC for their bullshit 9/11 miniseries.

Probably not the wisest move on the bookers part, but whatever, this won't be the worst thing to ever happen in a club on Capital Hill. Just please don't protest or blow this out of proportion: he's not worth the press nor is he a good candidate for infamy.

Having an artist that calls for shooting gays, pouring acid on them and then lighting them on fire, in the city's largest Gay neighborhood is a very dangerous.

Allowing this Homophobic asshole to perform without protest will send a message to all of the bigots that they have a green light to do whatever they want.

You all might remember people like Micah Painter who was gay bashed in this very neighborhood.

I'm all for free speech but you also have to look at the political context in which this hate speech is being spread.

Having this kind of performance in a state that just recently denied gays the right to marry and with politicians whipping up homophobia in order to get elected just allows homophobic bigots the confidence to do whatever they want.

We have to make a stand!

I've worked with Steven Severin before. He's a stand-up guy and works in all genres of music. A great music, people and business person, and a fair guy who's done a lot for musicians in Seattle. I know the topic is controversial, but Steven's always been a solid guy. Just in case you don't already know.

hang on: if the tune is such a crowd-pleaser, and if Banton is sincere about his apology, why on earth doesn't he write new non-homophobic lyrics for the song?

P. Henry & K. Harrop
Who is calling for censorship? Nobody. Protesting a homophobic peace of shit isn't censorship. Telling Neumo's that it sucks that they're opeing their doors to a biggot isn't censorship. I haven't heard one person suggest that he doesn't have the right to sing about shooting queers or that Neumo's doesn't have a right to make money off people who sing about how great it is to shoot gay people.
I personally don't like singers who promote violence against queers and I don't like spending my hard earned money on places that go for that crap.
If you think that's censorship you are dumb.

"i can recall ice cube making extremely homophobic statements years ago from the stage of rckcndy"

..and, nobody seems to really care when bands like ICP are booked here either..

"Having an artist that calls for shooting gays, pouring acid on them and then lighting them on fire, in the city's largest Gay neighborhood is a very dangerous."

Gay riot!?

I'm there.

If he apologized, GKB, give us a link to it! So far, most evidence seems to be that he did not apologize. In fact, the Wikipedia article on him claims that he stands by his words and says that Leviticus backs him up.

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).

Rad, you're either with us or against us... it's almost like a civil war.

Frankly The Stranger should be doing more than just reporting.
I think The Stranger and Neumoe are talking the talk but not walking the walk.

"Apology" was a bad word choice on my part. I got the impression, from other Slog posts, that Banton now regrets his anti-gay lyrics--or at least his record label regrets them on his behalf. That maybe was a mistaken impression. Beyond that I don't know.

It goes without saying that Indiana is FAR more progressive than the state of Washington. I get so tired of people in Seattle set in their smug (and small town) ways of thinking they are the bastion of liberalism. When in fact, states like Indiana are far more progressive and certainly are a lot more diverse than this white bread community.

The Stranger has promoted many so called "Homophobic" performers in the past.

Check out this "list" of supposedly homophobic lyrics and you'll see how phony
these claims of homophobia are.

Dear Devil's Advocate:

BULLSHIT! It's one thing to exercise your right not to watch a particular show or to read a particular book. It's quite another to have a violent, unrepentent homophobe invited into our community to perform. You can't just say, "Just don't go to the show" because it is here, in our community whether we want it or not.

That's an asshole thing to do, especially when the Gays are your bread and butter. Even if allegedly you have "homosexual friends and acquaintances." No, wait. ESPECIALLY if allegedly you have "homosexual friends and acquaintances."

Neumos = Dead to Gay Community. Don't go, don't spend your money. Fool me once . . .

since people are confused for some reason whether or not buju is currently a practicing homophobe, here's a choice quote from a miami show in jan. '06.

"There is no end to the war between me and faggot"

maybe neumo's has fred phelps opening for buju?

According to Neumo's website, the show has been cancelled

To bad. This is a missed opportunity. Don't let Neumo's off the hook for thier overwhelmingly bad judgement in booking him to begin with.


Is The Stranger still going to accept Neumo's advert $s?

Every gay that has gone to Neumo's will continue to go to Neumo's because those gay kids I see at those show love rock and aren't as fucking sensitive about their sexual identity.

No worries there.

Go rock your rainbow swastika at Neihbor's and spend your money there then.

Dumb- Right… Urging gays to withhold financial support from businesses that cut checks to people who advocate for the murder and mutilation of gay people is just another way that those touchy gays are so “fucking sensitive about their sexual identity”.

Holy fuck! I know more than a few “sensitive” Jews that still don’t buy German cars because they’re still all “sensitive” over that whole Nazi slave labor thing. (Lets see, where did that start? Oh yeah, with a individual advocating the murder and incineration of jews in a Munich beer garden.)

But you’re right. 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.

hey! It is a good thing buju banton is not playing here. He is a very bad artist. It is genetic, actually. I saw his mother in concert at the london zoo last year. she was happily jumping around and singing a great jamaican dancehall song. but homophobia runs in the family. the moment she found out that I was gay, she flung poo at me. I heard a rumour that Buju Banton was so furious that his show was cancelled that he too flung poo at a stranger representative when he heard the news. poor buju.

dat happen to me too mon. me waz in jamaica many month ago. Me seen buju on da street and he said to me, "you look like you a gay mon." I said I wuz not but he flung poo at me too mon.

me not like dem stranger bwoys no more mon. Me reely reely mad bout not having me concert. Me going back home to da jamaican National Zoo. Me kan't spel or tawk. Me only know how to make songz abowt killin dem gayz.

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