The J-FLAGging of the Postmodern Rasta

I had the pleasure of listening to “culture” musicians Queen Ifrica and Tony Rebel quibble like a bunch of market women quarrelling over who stole their bleaching cream on Nationwide News last night at around 7 last night. Naturally, it was about homosexuals. As you may already know, Queen Ifrica managed to make a fool of herself at the Independence Day Gala with some of the usual crap about shit she neither understands nor has any business talking about. Not surprisingly, J-FLAG complained about her, as they had done about Tony Rebel a year previous, so naturally Ifrica was pissed off at them

Queen Ifrica has deemed herself an expert on matters of sexual perversity due to her songs “Daddy don’t touch me there” and some encounters she had with young male prostitutes. Because some of these young men had been molested by male relatives, she decided to point out that many homosexuals had “initiated” through molestation, and the work that she done to “help” these young men. Tony Rebel then joined in after the commercial break to bitch and moan as well.

Enter Dane from J-FLAG. Dane from J-FLAG wanted to defend his organization, and by extension, the “Jamaican Gay Community” by stating their position on the matter of Ifrica’s and Tony Rebel’s statements. The problem is that Dane from J-FLAG did this by going on Nationwide News Network, instead of a news program, or a media station dedicated to bringing news and facts to the Jamaican people. The result was that Dane from J-FLAG got utterly and completely clowned, owned, mocked and made fun of. You see, Cliff Hughes and company do not deal in news – they deal in entertainment. It is impossible to have a serious discussion with the type of round table format used on that type of program. Nationwide News does not have the capability or the desire to do the investigative journalism, undercover specials, multi-part documentaries or thoroughly researched interviews that one sees on BBC Hardtalk –the types of activities that generate actual new-stories so that the Jamaican people make sense of their historical, economic, social and existential position. Neither is he or his staff funny enough to do satire like Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert. All he can give is a pastiche of a news program, with him pretending to be a referee, when his and other Jamaican news programs serve as a mirror to reflect the collective consciousness of the Jamaican people. Only last night, he reflected Queen Ifrica’s ugliness.

No, that is not a crossdresser

The extent and significance of Queen Ifrica’s fugliness cannot be overstated, so I will give it a paragraph here. Fucked up teeth. Reptilian jawline. Overall masculine facial characteristics and behaviour. Is it any wonder that the Rastafarian male community has turned away from Rastawomen , and are now more interested in non-Rastafarians? Just take a look at any video from Buju Banton, Sizzla, or any of the rest of them. All women with pounds of makeup and weave. Considering the Rastafarian male to female ratio is 6 men to 1 woman, this should come as no surprise, but what does come as a surprise is the utter breakdown of Rastafarianism as it is traditionally thought of in Jamaica Not only is the sight of Rastafarians eating chicken patties from Tastees or oxtail lunches from your local tuck shop, but one can see them freely walking around with white women in Half-Way-Tree, turning out at political rallies, and all the other things that would be verboten to Rastafarians recent as ten years ago. In other words, all that is required to be considered a Rastafarian nowadays is the hair, and the attitude, no belief system necessary.

Back to Dane from J-FLAG. Had Dane from J-FLAG been have had sated that although he was a member of J-FLAG, he was speaking on his own behalf. As a member of an organization mainly concerned with generating publicity for themselves and crafting press statements, he should have had focused on rhetoric, instead of trying to assert facts. He could have had brought the fact that anti-gay activists can have a noticeable effect on the already all-time low reggae album sales (Ifrica’s 2008 album sold only 2800 copies.). He could have had mentioned that both artistes would be concerned about the effect that the international network of gay activists could have on their ability to make money from international tours.

Oh no!!! Gays fucking up my album sales and tours. One ting alone fi dem battybwoy….
…now I can tour again!!! Yippeee!!!!

Lastly, he could have mentioned that all their bravado was just an attempt to backtrack on their statements that they made at the Independence Galas as an attempt to “get a forward.” But no, he simply played his part in the Cliff Hughes Variety and Comedy Show. Hughes pretending to be the impartial referee, Ifrica as the valiant heroine, avenging the injustice done against her by the faceless organization called J-FLAG, Tony Rebel as the calm, impartial, mature but forgiving Rastaman. And then we have Dane from J-FLAG, the badmind effeminate faggot who gets put in his place by the righteous Rastas. Everyone played their appropriate part.

The joke is, J-FLAG and the Rastas have much to offer each other. The picture of a Jamaican butch is not baggy pants and canerows, but a dreadlocked woman with tongue ring and oxford shirt pushed neatly into pleated dress pants. And as stated above, the Rasta male-female ratio isn’t looking too good. So what J-FLAG and the Rastafarian community need to do is unite. The butch lesbians can offer the straight Rastaman threesomes, and the Rastamen can let themselves out of the closet, as the only type of person who would want to be a Rastaman, in this day and age must be already gay as fuck. It would work out for the best – two organizations who have abandoned all ethics and integrity for the sake of publicity belong together

We used to be good at theology.

That we in Jamaica have come to consider the above as “debate” is a sad reflection on the low level of intelligence of our public intellectuals. Of course, he has been soundly rubbished here and at other places, but I still have some questions about his intellectual capacity (or lack thereof)

Why is it that this gentleman cannot tell the difference between a parody and a fantasy? Why is he unable to properly cite a Lancet article? Or explain why buttfucking is a social ill? And who or what exactly is this Omniscient Ominous Council of Vaguely Described Battymanism?

The gentleman has stated that the “Gay Lobby” wishes to lower the age of consent. Well, lets check that.:

A) We demand passage of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender civil rights bill and an end to discrimination by state and federal governments including the military; repeal of all sodomy laws and other laws that criminalize private sexual expression between consenting adults.

1. Passage of “The Civil Rights Amendment Act of 1991” (HR 1430 & S574).

2. Repeal of Department of Defense directive 1332.14

3. Repeal of laws prohibiting sodomy between consenting adults.

4. Repeal of laws prohibiting cross-gender expression (dress codes) between consenting adults.

5. Repeal of laws prohibiting non-coercive sexual behavior between consenting adults.

6. Amendment of the Code of Federal Regulations to recognize same-sex relationships.

7. Passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.

8. Implementation of, funding for and enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991.

    9. Passage and implementation of graduated age-of-consent laws.

Graduated age of consent of laws mean that an age gap between two teenagers involved in sexual relations would be taken into consideration. These are also known as close-in-age exemptions. From the Wikipedia

Some jurisdictions have laws which explicitly allow minors under the age of consent to engage in sexual acts with partners who are close to their age by enacting legal close in age exemptions: for instance in Canada the age of consent is 16, but there are two close-in-age exemptions: minors 14–15 may have sex with a partner who is less than five years older, and minors aged 12–13 may have sex with a partner who is less than two years older. These different defenses can change dramatically from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, even between neighboring states of the same union with the same age of consent. Other countries state that the sexual conduct with the minor is not to be punished if the partners are of a similar age and development: for instance the age of consent in Finland is 16, but the law states that the act will not be punished if “there is no great difference in the ages or the mental and physical maturity of the persons involved”.

Fortunately for us ‘good’ Jamaicans, Peter Garth’s is about as intelligent as Portia Simpson-Miller with Down’s Syndrome. This is indeed sad, considering Jamaica has produced some very good theologians such as

Gladstone Wilson, a man who had 3 doctorates and spoke 14 languages – at the age of 28. He was also considered the world’s seventh smartest man, which would put him on the same level as Black Panther and Reed Richards. But we have also produced Sam Sharpe, Raphael Morgan and Herro Blair. Compared to men like these, Garth and the rest of the Jamaican fundamentalists have produced nothing of merit, other than being talking heads and little else.

We may live in postmodern Jamaica, but that doesn’t mean that our experience parallels that of other nations in postmodernity. Between the time the Spanish brought the first African in chains to the time we were emancipated, the Western world had undergone two events that we were not privy to – the Enlightenment and Romanticism. Those two movements were essential in separating Man from Nature, and thus giving us the idea of the individual. It would behoove us all to learn the lessons from that time.

Eeek!!!! A lesbian!!! (Someone send Reverend Garth to a rave please.)

Jamaican churches tackling homosexuality is like using prostitutes to tackle adultery. Just because you’re good at the thing you’re tackling , doesn’t mean that you can actually tackle that thing you are good at.

The last few years have been really bad for the Jamaican church’s image. From aiding wanted fugitives to gang raping eighth graders, Jamaicans generally think that the church is an antiquated, hypocritical joke of a national institution. Well, at least those that post in the Observer’s comment section. Which brings us to today’s topic.

Peter Garth. Pastor. Psychologist. Strap-On Dildo Detector

Meet Peter Garth. Lesbian Therapist. Not that he’s a lesbian, but, you get what I mean. The Hope Gospel Assembly pastor claims to have counseled numerous girls who have been “attacked” by lesbians, and has apparently been so effective that he has been threatened with lawsuits by parents. Of course, no evidence of this is offered, just his complaints that parents and bureaucrats are stopping him from curing lesbians.

What is surprising, is that that the good Reverend is surprised at same sex activity at a same sex high school. It seems that he has never heard about situational sexuality, or prisons, or English boarding schools. Hell, in the Corporate area, everyone is familiar with a certain all-boys school that seemed to never have a shortage of homosexual stories. You know, the one where the coaches check to make sure that the boys wear their purple underwear on Thursdays….

The gentleman gave his speech at the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society press conference. The intention of the press conference was to show that they had “Compassion without Compromise” as illustrated by a list of 10 “affirmations”. Unfortunately, about seventy percent were made irrelevant by Affirmation Number Nine.

9) We do not consider sexual orientation to be a basic human right.

The idea that you can love the homosexual, but hate homosexuality should be seen as obvious nonsense. No one in their right mind would say that they love Christians but hate Christianity. But that is the implication of the above statement. To tell a group of people that their defining characteristic should not be considered a basic human right is tantamount to saying that they have no right to exist. This is no doubt, meant to be confrontational.

The next red flag is this particular quote, which the gentleman believes is a statement of the “Homosexual Manifesto”, a statement of the “Gay Agenda”, recorded in the Congressional record.

Garth said the Church has to be passionate in its fight against homosexuality when it examines the proclamation of the homosexual manifesto which was entered into the US Congressional Record on February 15, 1987, and which reads in part:

“We shall sodomise your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theatre bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together.

“Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us…. All laws banning homosexual activity will be revoked. Instead, legislation shall be passed which engenders love between men.

“All homosexuals must stand together as brothers; we must be united artistically, philosophically, socially, politically, and financially. We will triumph only when we present a common face to the vicious heterosexual enemy.

“If you dare to cry faggot, fairy, queer, at us, we will stab you in your cowardly hearts and defile your dead, puny bodies.”

A simple web search will reveal that the above is a part of a satirical essay that was entered into the Congressional record. In other words, the Reverend reported a hoax as if it were a fact. At this point, one must wonder if he is a fool or a charlatan.

The conflation of “homosexual” and “child molester” is an old tactic used by Jamaican pastors and Jamaican dancehall artistes. But the latest campaign against “predatory lesbianism” has a certain tone that is not usually found in other stories.

Yes, the stories use the usual tactic of salacious descriptions made by anonymous interviewees at an anonymous institution. And yes, there is also the fact there is no way to independently confirm the claims made in those stories. But that is not all. See, when respected media outlets make such reports in a country with high levels of un/underemployment among poor young men, it can serve to create a hostile climate against gays and especially lesbians. Don’t forget that we have had long since songs with lyrics like

Elephant Man

When yuh hear a Sodomite get raped…
But a fi wi fault…
It’s wrong
Two women gonna hock up inna bed
That’s two Sodomites dat fi dead.”

Translation

(Sodomites — A derogatory term for lesbians)

“When you hear of a lesbian getting raped
It’s not our fault

It’s wrong
Two women in bed
That’s two Sodomites who should be dead.”

Dyke dick is here to take your girl from you. Sleep tight.

There will, of course, be the conspiracy theorists who point to international organizations that are in cahoots with the Ominous Coalition for Gay Rulership of the Earth. They will point to the Amnesty International reports and  dancehall artistes, ahem, bowing to international pressure. But that’s just them confusing criticism for persecution, and relying on conspiracy theories to explain away the obvious.

In fact, I have a conspiracy theory of my own:

The Fundamentalist churches that now dominate the Jamaican Christian landscape manipulate the public and their congregations into hating homosexuals. They use frames such as the homosexuality-as-virus and the lesbian-recruitment frame to incite the people to fear and hate homosexuals, which makes them ignore the issues that actually affect them day-to-day. Their end is theocracy, or at least some version of it that puts them in a position of power over the majority of Jamaicans.

Thy have already shown their lust for power, in the control of two major universities, by a denomination that requires that one be a member of that denomination to work at those schools. Not to mention their increase role in politics and law firms. Never mind their opposition to the teaching of science in schools. All of this is to the end of rendering Jamaicans into complete submission to a Christo-fascist regime, which nothing more than a totalitarian state in the manner of Iran.

But of course, that’s just a silly conspiracy theory – right?

Think about it, don’t we all have some form of interaction with homosexuals at least once a week? You go to Kingston Public or University Hospital for treatment and you are surrounded by battymen – it’s like a damn fishtank. Worse still is Airport, which seems to be a recruiting point for effeminate men. And let’s not forget the various call centres in operation in both our cities – those places are a Jamaican San Francisco. And yet we have no rape, or recruitment being carried out at those places. In fact, the work carried at those places is necessary, if not vital to our nation’s functioning.

We all know that there is an image of a man-hating, ultra-masculine, wife-stealing, home-wrecking turbit-gyal of a lesbian in a lot of Jamaicans’ heads  But the Fundamentalist churches has no right to those perpetuate negative stereotypes about our fellow citizens. The best way to arrive at a reasonable conclusion is serious engagement , where people can speak to each other as equal human beings with dignity. The thing is, I don’t think that the Fundamentalist church is up to the task.