Friday, May 11, 2007

Meanwhile, not very far away

my pal fastlad is trying to take on the Jamaican tourist industry, or more accurately the rather resounding silence on--well:

I wrote a short protest letter to several of the main Jamaican newspapers about the recent spate of anti-gay lynchings there. I'm afraid my correspondence exhibited more passion than eloquence, but I'm comfortable with that - here's an excerpt:

Dear Editor, I'm writing because I notice that your publication of April 28 had the following sub-headline about (yet another) anti-gay lynch mob beating in Jamaica: "Melee in Falmouth; wig, form-fitting blouse ripped off".

It must be interesting to possess so little empathy that you can mock - and perhaps even enjoy - the attempted murder of a person whose life you clearly don't value. But it's not a very Christian impulse, is it? ("Form-fitting blouse pulled off?"). Do you imagine Jesus would have been in there casting stones with the rest of that braying mob? Didn't Jesus once say something about casting stones? Hmm?

There are obviously very many gay people in Jamaica (because the public there seem to be lynching them as frequently and as hatefully as the KKK used to lynch African Americans in the American South)...

and got responses that included stuff like:

I do not condone the beating of anyone for whatever lifestyle they chose to live. It is becomming frightening how this "Battyman" thing is spreading in jamaica. Obviously, it is a normal way of life in the US but jamaicans like myself knows that it is not only obnormal and immoral but sickening in it's very immagination for two persons of the samegender to be engaging in this perverted 'sexual' activity. Do not equate jesus or God into this for your 'filthy' convenience. I felt sorry for that fellow who was beaten in Falmouth,but moreso because he is one of the many "exploitable" social circumstances that are being used in enhancing this kind of life style in our society.


I was reading your response to a Gay lynching where you relate this situation to the lynching of Blacks in the South. I dont think that you should relate these story together because they have no similarities at all. I am a Jamaican and i dont believe in throwing the first stone because we are all sinners. Blacks were lynch because of their colour, they did not commit any sin at all, no sin that was different from the Whites. They were lynch just because of colour and not sexual immorality. We should never compare the two: Sexual Preference & Colour.


Bye the way, as poor as we are, we have always done well as a people on our own. Oh yes! I agree with you that there are lots of gays in Jamaica, there are gays everywhere, most gays in Jamaica are spawned from molestation and greed or sickness. God gave Jamaican men nices penises to pleaure women and not to pleasure men.


Homosexuality is not only a "freak" of nature. It is an immoral and perverted activity, and practised also by "satanic" ritualists. The God in whom I believe could never sanction this kind of lifestyle for the human race. Unless I am worshipping a different God, and the Bible is wrong about "sexual" relationship between people of similiar gender. See first Corinthians chapter 6 verse 9, and Romans chapter 1, verses 18-32, chapter 12, verses 1 and 2. It is only a socially retrogressive society that encourages and accepts homosexuality as being normal.


You know what I think is one of the more painful lessons? That people that you think -should- be your friends and allies, -should- have empathy for you because they -ought- to be able to make the connection to their -own- tsuris, often...don't.

as BA put it earlier on, people, generally speaking, are selfish; or self-interested.

Which isn't really the problem.

The problem is -when the penny doesn't drop.-

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" isn't enough.

and by the way, you think I'm excluding myself from that particular equation? Uh uh. The way out isn't through moralizing alone. not -them-, not -you.- Not just that.

You know what -consciousness raising- really is, right?


"We have met the enemy, and they is us."



Alon Levy said...

In all fairness, there are mountains of difference between lynching black people and lynching gay people. The biggest mountain is that everyone knows lynching black people is wrong.

As a general rule, any injustice that happened in the past is a horrible thing that should never happen again. Anything that is still happening is a controversial issue that you should never refer to as an injustice because that would be biased.

arrogantworm said...

""We have met the enemy, and they is us."

Aye, but I thought that's why the new boss is the same as the old boss. Same problems, mutated form.

belledame222 said...

the new boss becomes the old boss when the new boss refuses to contemplate that sie might have anything in common with the old boss.

"consciousness raising" is not just about "what shit has been done to me," although it certainly includes that.

it also has to mean, "what am I capable of, and what part of my bitter-bitter heart am i still gnawing?"

belledame222 said...

and AL, everyone kind of really doesn't know that, actually. they -might- sort of know they're -supposed- to think it's wrong; but if that sick joy weren't still fresh with a lot of people, would we have had shit like the Michael Richards outburst? or all the people defending him? Rush Limbaugh playing mockingly "spiritual" music during footage of a speech by Medgar Evars' widow? there's a reason that shit has an audience. and no, i don't listen to Rush and neither do you, but.

and Seinfeld was appalled by Richards' outburst, but gosh darn it...he's a -good guy.- He was his -friend.- -We're not like that, not even a little bit.-

"We have met the enemy and they is us."

My point here was not to make any sort of "contest" between racism and homophobia.




just to be very clear.

and y'know, the people being lynched there are -also- black, AND no in fact it's not really entirely a thing of the past, even the past as recent as the Civil Rights era.

Michael Donald

Isaiah Clyburn

James Byrd

And sometimes, why, you get a confluence: Michael Sandy.

And consider the psychosexual implications in Richards':

"we'd have you upside down with a fork up your ass"

They've always been linked. It's a warning not to transgress, not to overstep, but especially sexually. Why do you think one of the main excuses for white-on-black Southern lynching, traditionally, was either having sex with, or sexually approaching, a white woman?

belledame222 said...

and there's not really a "controversy" over the anti-gay lynchings in Jamaica among the Usual Places; more like, who? what? huh? -crickets-

and, from certain quarters, as Jasmyne Cannick covered, as you see in the comments there, ayup, "well, it's regrettable, but -we are not the bad guys here, and never will be.-" not even enough to just say, "this shit is bad" without trying to make some ass-covering for the perpetrators, "yes, but ___ is worse..."

there's a lot of that about.

"trumping," as it were.

nobody trumps here.

arrogantworm said...

I'm not sure the new boss becomes the old boss so much as the new boss is the old boss. The views the new boss has may be different from the older version, but few want to face up that we're contributing in some form or fashion to nasty practices, wether indirect or no. In that sense, the older and newer 'improved' boss are exactly the same.

"it also has to mean, "what am I capable of, and what part of my bitter-bitter heart am i still gnawing?" "

There's a poem that has just that thing, I find it's very good to read when I'm focusing on something negative and getting distracted from a larger picture. But you'd think that if one got to the first part of raising consciousness, (that there's a problem with behavior and views) then they'd go to the second pretty damn quickly, (that they're participating in such views and behavior) but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Alon Levy said...

and there's not really a "controversy" over the anti-gay lynchings in Jamaica among the Usual Places; more like, who? what? huh?

Ah, alright... sorry for misunderstanding.

Anyway, when I said "everyone," I suppressed the qualifier "almost." My point is that virtually nobody in the US admits to being a racist, so the plethora of homophobes concoct implausible explanations for why discriminating against GLBT people is different from discriminating against blacks, while the plethora of racists concoct equally implausible explanations for why e.g. letting NYPD shoot innocent black people isn't really racist.

Trinity said...

"the new boss becomes the old boss when the new boss refuses to contemplate that sie might have anything in common with the old boss."


on a vaguely related but I want to tangent so I am note: this is exactly why I'm pissed at having looked at Amp's and seen "Misogyny made Seung-Hui Cho do it! NO WOMAN HAS EVER DONE ANYTHING LIKE THIS!"

nope, and when one does she's gonna get to take her own sweet time because no one's gonna believe a lil' violet could ever ever...

i dread the day. and believe very firmly it's coming.

belledame222 said...

"And now, the six merry murderesses of the Cook County Jail sing the Cellblock Tango!..."

Trinity said...

heh! yes.

tho' I meant school shooting/spree killing kinda thing.

because all the other shit I'm sure women actually have done.

but yes, 'zactly.

Blackamazon said...

Gay Jamaicans have been hollering about this for YEARS.

YEARS and it gets no attention.

People are and have been quick to respond directly to the homophobes and power structures of Jamaica claiming boycotts and the like.

Yes The Jamaican homosexual societies have asked for all sorts of action ( like protesting the very white american churches that fund the religious end of it) and that gets no press.

And its frightening