London's Met Police's hypocrisy on homophobia
Collusion with murder music. Bounty Killer refuses to sign RCA agreement but police allow London concert to go ahead
November 17, 2008
LONDON — "The Metropolitan Police are hypocrites. They allow homophobic singers to perform in London, but not racist ones. Racist artists are banned on the grounds that they are a threat to public order and good community relations. It's double standards," said Peter Tatchell of the gay human rights group OutRage!, coordinator of the worldwide Stop Murder Music campaign.
"Homophobic artists are allowed to perform, even when they are on record as inciting the murder of lesbian and gay people. Although inciting murder is a serious criminal offence, the police give their approval for these singers to hold concerts in London," added Mr Tatchell.
"The Met Police are supporting the right of Jamaican 'murder music' singer, Bounty Killer, to perform in London this coming weekend – despite his encouragement and glorification of the killing of lesbian and gay people.
"Officers have approved his concert at the Stratford Rex venue in East London on Sunday 23 November – even though Bounty Killer has refused to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act, whereby singers promise to not incite homophobic hatred and violence.
"The Met Police have previously said that no murder music singer will be allowed to perform unless they sign the RCA.
"Officers have broken their promise. They are taking the side of a singer who has promoted and celebrated the murder of gay people, and who is defying the RCA.
"In their defence, the police stress that Bounty Killer will not be permitted to perform songs that incite homophobic violence. Big deal.
"A white racist singer who advocated killing black people would not be allowed to perform anywhere in London, even if he agreed to not incite the killing of black people at his concert. The police would argue that any stage performance by a white racist singer would risk public disorder and damage community cohesion. They would ban him, full stop.
"Yet when it comes to straight homophobic singers who urge the murder of gay people, the police adopt a softer stance. They let the concert go ahead. It's bare-faced hypocrisy.
"Equivalent racist performers would have their concerts cancelled by the Metropolitan Police. In contrast, the police are dismissing the concerns of the LGBT community. It is a complete disgrace.
"In March this year, police in Bradford and Birmingham stopped Bounty Killer's concerts from going ahead, saying that they would have undermined good community relations. That same month the Met Police authorised his London concert to proceed. If other police forces can take a stand against homophobia, why can't the Metropolitan Police?
"Why don't the government and police stop Bounty Killer from entering the UK? He has committed the criminal offence of incitement to murder. If a white singer advocated the killing of black people he would not be allowed into the country. The Police Commissioner would demand his exclusion. The Home Secretary would deny him a visa. Why the double standards?
"The police apparently take the view that racism is worse than homophobia and that different standards should apply. This is completely outrageous.
"Why does the gay community let the Met Police walk all over us? The black community would riot if the Met was colluding with racist performers. But most gay people seem to hold up the white flag of surrender. They think we don't deserve the same protection as black people.
"Our community is riddled with internalised homophobia, including many gay rights organisations who apparently agree with the police that inciting racist violence is worse than inciting homophobic violence.
"There must be zero tolerance of singers like Bounty Killer who advocate the murder of other human beings.
"I am fed up with the phoney diversity and equality claims from the Met Police. When the chips are down, their commitment to oppose homophobia means little or nothing.
"Police claims that they are cracking down on homophobic hate crimes now look like a public relations stunt at the expense of the lesbian and gay community.
"The campaign to cancel Bounty Killer's concert is supported by the Jamaican gay rights movement, J-Flag, and the Caribbean-wide C-Flag coalition of black gay and straight human rights organisations. They are demanding an end to murder music in the Caribbean and worldwide.
"We have no problem with reggae or dancehall music – only with singers who abuse the genre to incite violence against lesbian and gay people.
"There are many great reggae and dancehall stars who do not stoop to murder music. We salute them.
"There is no need for singers to spout violent anti-gay hatred. They choose to do so. It is wilful and malicious homophobia and therefore they must expect to suffer a backlash.
"Our campaign is in solidarity with black lesbian and gay people in Jamaica and the Caribbean who suffer nightmarish levels of homophobic violence. We are acting at their request and in support of their right to live their lives free of the threat of violence," said Mr Tatchell.
Bounty Killer songs that incite homophobic violence
Bun a fire pon a puff and mister fagoty (Uh huh)
Translation: Burn a fire on poofs and faggots (Uh huh)
Poop man fi drown an dat a yawd man philosophy (Uh huh)
Translation: Shit men [queer men] must be drowned and that's a yardy man [Jamaican] philosophy
Man A Badman
You know we need no promo to rub out dem homo
Translation: You know we don't need prompting to rub out [kill] a homo
Mi ready fi go wipe out this fag wid pure laser beam
Translation: I'm ready to go wipe out this faggot with a pure laser beam
Examples of "kill gays" murder music by Bounty Killer and seven other Jamaican reggae/dancehall singers can be found here – Issued by OUTRAGE!
A few words with Peter Tatchell