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Sizzla: Gay Bashing Dancehall Reggae Artist Plays Cleveland
by Thomas Leavitt / Santa Cruz Indymedia
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005 at 10:52 AM
Sizzla, a virulently homophobic dance hall reggae singer who advocates burning/killing queer people, says he personally kills them, etc. plays Cleveland's House of Blues Wednesday August 31st.
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Action Alert: Sizzla at the Catalyst, Advocates Killing Queer People
(This article is from Santa Cruz Indymedia about Sizzla's appearance there. All the background info applies to Cleveland as well))
Date Created 27 Aug 2005
Sizzla, a virulently homophobic dance hall reggae singer who advocates burning/killing queer people, says he personally kills them, etc., has been scheduled to appear at the Catalyst in downtown Santa Cruz on September 11th, 2005. The GLBT Alliance and the Santa Cruz queer community at large are organizing protests and lobbying the Catalyst to cancel his appearance.
We know - deja vu all over again.
Once again, The Catalyst is bringing to town a dance hall reggae singer who advocates violence against gay men and lesbians: this time it's Sizzla, who may be worse than Capleton; while Capleton and others have agreed to tone down the homophobia, Sizzla recently refused to apologize, saying that queers should be the ones apologizing for being queer.
Sizzla's recent British tour was cancelled because the British government refused to allow him into the country; a reggae festival in France at which Sizzla was set to perform was cancelled because of the singer's virulent homophobia; a major reggae festival in Jamaica this summer was fined a reputed $20 million by its sponsor because of Sizzla's homophobic performance -- and now he's coming to Santa Cruz. (see links to stories at bottom of page)
While we recognize that Sizzla has a right to his views, and while we aren't trying to censor his ability to state those views, we don't believe that The Catalyst is obliged to provide a forum for someone who promotes violence against a community.
If it concerns you that a singer who thinks that it's good to incite people to kill queers is scheduled to sing in Santa Cruz, please do something about it. Call The Catalyst at 423-1338 and ask them not to allow violent homophobes on its stage; call The Catalyst's booking agent, Gary Tighe, at 464-1212 and tell him the same.
Ask any organization of which you're a member to contact The Catalyst; pass this message along to friends; get the word out -- and please let us know when you've called and what response you've gotten -- email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Alliance co-chairs Merrie Schaller at 831-335-3568 or Thomas Leavitt at 831-469-3382.
The GLBT Alliance will be working to get as much pressure on The Catalyst as we can, and will keep you updated -- but be prepared to demonstrate our outrage on September 11 if Sizzla's appearance goes on as scheduled.
Some of Sizzla's lyrics include (translations in parentheses):
Step up inna front line (Step up to the front line)
fire fi di man dem weh go ride man behind (burn the men who have sex with men from behind)
Shot battybwoy, my big gun boom (Shoot queers, my big gun goes boom)
Boom boom! Batty boy them fi dead (Boom boom! Queers must be killed)
Get To Da Point
Sodomite and batty bwai mi seh a death fi dem (Sodomite and queers, I say death to them)
Mi no trust babylon fi a second yah so (I don¿t trust Babylon for a second)
Mi a go shot batty bwai dem widdi weapon ya (I go and shoot queers with a weapon [as in gunshots])
At a reggae concert in Chicago in April 2002, Sizzla bragged that he kills queers, and also incited the audience to murder gays and lesbians: "mi nuh go tek back mi chat... mi kill sodomite and batty man dem bring aids and disease pon people... shot a kill dem, mi nuh go tek back mi chat" [I wont take back my words... I kill sodomites and queers, they bring AIDS and disease upon people... shoot and kill them, I won't take back my words.]
A report by Amnesty International, dated May 17, 2004, about a reggae concert in Jamaica earlier that year, documented Sizzla and other reggae stars abusing and threatening to kill gay men:
"Throughout the night, Capleton, Sizzla and others sang almost exclusively about gay men. Using the derogatory terms for gay men - "chi chi men" or 'battybwoys' - they urged the audience to 'kill dem, battybwoys haffi dead, gun shots pon dem. Who want to see dem dead, put up his hand'
[kill them, queers have got to die, gun shots in their head, whoever wants to see them dead, put up your hand]
The All Music Guide says: A member of the militant Bobo Ashanti sect, [Sizzla] sometimes courted controversy with his strict adherence to their views, particularly his aggressive condemnations of homosexuals ...
In an interview by Richard Burnett in the Canadian entertainment magazine 'Hour' on 19 August 2004, Sizzla said: "...burn sodomite, burn battyman. Burn all things that are wrong. Burn it... We must get rid of Sodom and Gomorrah right now..."
The Jamaica Observer reported in September 2004 that Sizzla's neighbours launched a petition to get him to leave their community, saying his presence was "responsible for an upsurge of gun violence in the Kingston community".
http://www.jahworks.org/music/features/sizzla_banned_in_UK.htm - Sizzla Banned in the UK over Homophobic Lyrics
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4041183.stm - No apology from 'anti-gay' singer
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/lifestyle/html/20050726T200000-0500_84867_OBS_SUMFEST_LIKELY_TO_DROP_SIZZLA.asp - Sumfest likely to drop Sizzla
http://hour.ca/music/music.aspx?iIDArticle=3876 - What happened to "one love"?, Richard Burnett, Hour Magazine
Sizzla needs to be protested
Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005 at 6:10 PM
Whether in punk, hip-hop, country, or reggae, lyrics condoning violence against homosexuals is terribly offensive and deserves protest. Well-placed homophobes drown out the many pro-queer musicians in these genres, dragging everyone else down in their muck.
anyone up for going down and holding some signs?
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2005 at 10:41 AM
anyone up for trying to do something to send some kind of message?
Saturday, Sep. 03, 2005 at 8:17 AM
Well, it's clear you DO wish to censor Sizzla. Furthermore you want to wasel out of the fact that you do. Screwing with Sizzla's performance venues and siding with England's socialist forms of border control MAKES you a censor. It is an ugly word and you deserve to wear it as a name badge.
Nobody falls for that crap where you say you are not a censor, but lets ruin his tour.
Saturday, Sep. 03, 2005 at 8:18 AM
Well, it's clear you DO wish to censor Sizzla. Furthermore you want to weasel out of the fact that you do. Screwing with Sizzla's performance venues and siding with England's socialist forms of border control MAKES you a censor. It is an ugly word and you deserve to wear it as a name badge.
Nobody falls for that crap where you say you are not a censor, but lets ruin his tour.
Boycotts and Pickets are NOT Censorship
by get a clue
Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2005 at 1:16 PM
Urging individuals to not support hatred is NOT censorship.
Urging businesses to not support, promote and/or profit from hatred is NOT censorship.
Threatening to picket/boycott businesses that support, promote and/or profit from hatred is NOT censorship.
Speech may not be suppressed or punished -- BY THE GOVERNMENT -- unless it is intended to produce "imminent lawless action" and it is "likely to produce such action." Otherwise, the First Amendment protects even speech that advocates violence. This is known as "the Brandenberg test" and is the law today. It is a two-prong test which requires: (1) Intent, and (2) Likely To Produce "imminent lawless action."
In the case of Sizzla, even his most offensive, hateful song lyrics would be unlikely to qualify. Maybe you could argue that he had the intent, but the likelihood of its actual immediate occurrence seems exceptionally slim.
On the other hand, consider the words spoken to a large crowd in Jamaica in 2004: "they urged the audience to 'kill dem, battybwoys haffi dead, gun shots pon dem. Who want to see dem dead, put up his hand'" [note: it is not clear from the Amnesty Intl report precisely who spoke these words; it may have been Capleton, rather than Sizzla.]
Where a speaker is directly urging a crowd to engage in violence, then we likely reach the first prong of "intent to cause imminent lawless action."
The second prong would require us to determine the likelihood that such actions would occur as a result of the speech. If there were no "openly gay" people at the concert, then the likelihood would probably be low. Whereas, if there were a group of gay protesters nearby, then the speech could reaonably be construed to have both the intent AND the likelihood of causing imminent harm. At that point, in the US, the government could legally intervene...
But again, that is all about _government_ prohibitions upon individuals' speech. That is totally different than private persons urging other persons and businesses to not support nor promote a particular viewpoint (in this case, one which encourages murder of queers).
Protest is Not Censorship
by regular people
Tuesday, Sep. 13, 2005 at 1:32 PM
Let's say that there is a collective of folks that runs a lefty bookshop. If they don't carry books by Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are they then censors?
Or there's a different bookshop that fills its front window displays with fascist/racist literature and posters. Are you going to shop there? Would you perhaps urge others not to shop there? Either way, it doesn't make you a censor.
by DJ Jamaican exile
Sunday, Sep. 18, 2005 at 10:48 PM
Yes, Sizzla, like other bobo ashanti, preaches a lot of homophobic things. Homophobia is a problem all throughout the little island home that my ancestors hail from, particularly (but certainly not exclusively) among Rasta. As such I don't mind if anyone wants to encourage people to boycott Sizzla or whatnot, and in fact, I stand in solidarity with your efforts in doing so.
But I do, as a reggae fan, want to point out that this is a minority of what Sizzla et. al. toast about. Their lyrics give a glimpse into Jamaican society, and the big theme in our society is that of oppression- the whites, starting with columbus, and the blacks that now fill their neoliberal shoes. It's a story of being poor. The actors, behind the scenes, are the IMF and WB. Listening to reggae is a way to learn about Jamaica- including its homophobia.
So please, feel free to condemn Sizzla's homophobia, but I think you can also learn a lot from the non-homophobic reggae. Diversity is something that is sorely lacking amongst our activist community.
Comment on Sizzla
Thursday, Oct. 20, 2005 at 5:02 AM
I beleive sizzla's word's are real and true and if u people tink it's offensive then maybe you should not listen to him, I like his music and listen to him regular but by listening to him i wouldn't go and kill a gay man it's all up to the individual who chooses what they want to do its not like he's givin you a gun and saying go shoot someone come on people you really think his lyrics will cause violence is all up to the individual. Sizzla is the best now and will always be .
WHO JAH BLESS LET NO MAN CURSE SIZZLA
Friday, Oct. 21, 2005 at 9:38 PM
Why you must take Sizzla's word outa context? Sizzla nah mean ta kill or bun dem; he may say dis, but it symbolize something different. I nah support di bring down of homosexuals, and all people are bless-ed from Jah, but you diss one a di greatest dancehall prophets eva! You nah go to school? Nah learn to interpret writing? look Deeper!
Saturday, Nov. 05, 2005 at 7:36 AM
I agree that the collective works of Sizzla and other Jamaican artists are richer than this fixation on Bobo Ashanti homophobia.
I also agree that homophobia should not be taught to an entire generation of Rastas.
If a Catholic priest were to reply to this dialog, what would he say? (In light of homosexuality existing amongst men of the cloth)
The world of words and culture are so much more complex than one belief. A belief is simply an assumption.
If Sizzla and other Bobo Ashanti adherents say homosexuality spreads disease they are putting together hearsay and popular notions to form an explaination for the conditions of the world.
Over years these beliefs come to be traditional and held up as foundational truths.
Everyone does this and is blind to the truth in more ways than one.
Fear is a stronger force than reason, even Rasta's must deal with this emotion.
Be brave all of you to deal with your own fear - fear of haters, fear of others, fear of lovers.
Fear is cured by surrendering to the ONE LOVE!
Sizzla, listen, take more of this medicine, listen to the people, open your heart and mind. Spread positivity! Your family needs it now more than ever...
Sizzla Has A Point
by Darcy P
Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005 at 12:42 PM
email@example.com 613-824-6080 2244 Innes Rd
Sizzla is just a man standing for his beliefs. Any other person doing this the man is called a hero. But because these candy ass fags are super sensitive battyman and cry to highest office they are heard. Well I for one am with sizzla, but instead we should find a island for them and burn them all at once less work and one match hehe. Doesnt that sound SUPER... Hell we can save some money give it to the United States and the can bomb another innocent country.
WHO'S YOUR DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!
by dave m
Thursday, Jan. 05, 2006 at 8:37 AM
It seems that the gap between the sensible homosexual and the average human, is greater than the gap between a chimpanzee and the average human.
Why is the human condition not stories of progress, but rather this endless and futile addition of zeroes?
fire on all that lie in god"s name
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006 at 7:35 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org 1334 w. 92 st. chicago,il
so you tell me that homosexual activity is acceptable in Gods eyes? you know this is a lie please show me in any bible where this is acceptable. iknow of aquote alot of sinners use. but they don't read the next 4 verses to you. Sizzla is right fire on the sinner. Read your bible , God said it is wrong not sizzla.
Friday, Nov. 10, 2006 at 11:01 PM
yo mi fi rasta and me agree with sizzla yo fire fi all dem chichi bwai read bible cant promote nasty unclean behaviour fyah burn
Friday, Nov. 10, 2006 at 11:07 PM
sizzla i agree with u 2 d fullest fire burn all homo and sodomite why would you promote somthing thing that d most high forbid if a man lie with a man the punishment is death leave the natural use of a woman
by atsar nees
Thursday, Nov. 30, 2006 at 8:18 AM
yessss yes... support sizzla! fya bun! if you dont like it dont come to the show, but dont try fi spoil my fun
burn the bible, burn the haters
by DP from TORONTO, CANADA
Friday, Jan. 19, 2007 at 11:17 AM
Too many religious adherents believe that it is their right to preach manifest falsehoods found in the bible, koran, etc. and then spread the 'good news' like so much viscous feces in a bus stop toilet bowl.
Sizzla and these hateful denizens of a blind religion are the people who should be burned. Without them, the rest of us can get back to mutually supporting each other and accepting our differences as part of the diversity that makes us a stronger team.
Somebody should start a vigilante gang to beat down these pathetic excuses for musicians and see how they like being targetted by a group of people whose policy it is to see them suffer by means of physical and aggravated assault. Pieces of worthless trash they are.
Monday, May. 14, 2007 at 8:42 PM
darcy P u sound like a chi chi man get me why u gaan put he he....like sum gal lol get me blud daas wat gals do!! i listen to sizzla kalonji and im half english and half jamaican my names jermaine but still i listen to his song that sez rasta man dont appoligise to no batty bwoy if u diss black ppl den mi gun will shot yuh bwoy and i have attached it wiv my comment so u ppl can hear it, i listen 2 dis and blaze it infront ov my mum and sisters my mum dusnt like wat sizzla says but she knows dat jus coz it sez ting bout batty bwoys dem she knows its not gon have an affect on me init coz i wud never kill a gay person jus coz dem gay...there still human beings tho get me i dont hate batty man i jus dont keep any batty man friends tho and dont like ne bwoy getting too close to me if its a gal gettin close thats blessed init, the song by sizzla locked up riddim nah appoligise it sounds good doe listen 2 da beat tho even ppl who luv batty bwoys will even probly start to sing along n ting and for dese ppl dat say u get offended lol u gotta tink tho thats his views not urs....wen i listen 2 dis i know dese are jus sizzlas views coz my dads jamaican and jamaicas a homophobic country daas jus the way it iz but wen i listen 2 dis song by sizzla i know daas his views... i know they aint my views so why am i gon care wat hes saying i jus listen to it coz hes the best artist and all of his songs are gud especially dat thank u mumma song .....some ov u ppl shud listen 2 dat song u mite learn sumthing bless yh jermaine
Monday, May. 14, 2007 at 8:55 PM
audio: MP3 at 6.5 mebibytes
dis is the song by sizzla im attaching listen 2 it but read my comment i sent before that starts wiv darcy p before u u listen 2 dis tune yh bless
let it be
Saturday, Jun. 09, 2007 at 5:52 PM
How can you say you aren't trying to censor Sizzla's music? He has as much of a right to perform anywhere as any gay person has the right to protest against him. You dont have to agree with the biblical message he is telling you, but you can't stop him from performing. If you do that, then you have no right to protest as well!