Saturday, April 18, 2009

Boycott Jamaica?

There is a growing wholesale attempt to sink my beloved Jamaica! The boycott-Jamaica website is the latest.

I've heard of boycotts of certain events where anti-gay music is played, and of performers who support and promote violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBTs)... but the whole country?? Wow.

I guess I should hurry up and get my migrate on like my friend Destiny. Cause I certainly won't relish being part of the innocent many that are made to suffer for the guilty few. Or the innocent few that are made to suffer for the guilty many. Why are the innocent always the unwilling sacrificial lambs?

No to Red Stripe & Myers Beer & Blue Mountain Coffee & Jamaica as a tourist destination?

It's happened so many times before in history: we don't like your look, so we're just going to make all your people suffer till you do what WE want you to do... diplomatic bullying! I mean, hey, it's cheaper to go wholesale and just label the whole island. Because they're all LGBT haters. And they all deserve to die! They're anti-us. So let's be anti-them. That's a perfectly reasonable approach, right?? Right? Let's make Jamaica the next Cuba! Or Iraq! Or holocausted Jews!

Too brilliant.

Slaughter leftist Jamaica in mainstream media. Declare war on Jamaica for its undemocratic stance. Land a bomb and sink the island to get rid of all the LGBT haters. No. Wait. That sounds barbaric. Can they do that? Have they done that? Are they doing that?

So if I were to think based on this premise, I'd say, let's boycott the boycott-Jamaica website. I mean, hey, we have good reason. Our welfare and the welfare of our children may very well depend on it. Cause let's face it, they're trying kill us. Let's get them first and keep the cycle going!! It's our obligation! And our right!

I hope they fly out all our LGBTs before their awesome plan sweeps our island; or else I hope they realise that they'll be making our LGBTs suffer too. Or are Jamaican LGBTs earmarked to be the martyrs of the cause (especially considering they're Jamaican and therefore highly likely to possess that genetic strand of violence and anti-LGBT-ness)?

I should stop talking before somebody calls me a paranoid conspiracy theorist and throws me into prison for being subversive...

PS I will never support violence against LGBTs, or anyone else, for that matter. I believe in respect and equal rights for all. I just don't agree with 'punishing' Jamaica into a response. I'd gladly support an education and awareness campaign/website any day. In fact, I suggest more energy be channeled in that direction, instead of this anti-Jamaica campaign.

For more on this issue (cause balance is important) check the Axoriak, Towleroad, The Washington Blade report, The Gleaner report

30 comments:

David Tellez said...

It's sad, when history has to repeat itself so that people can realize their mistakes and misfortunes on the way they treat people.

Why can't people be more like, even though I may not agree with the way you choose to live, as long as you aren't hurting anyone or putting anyone in harm's way, then let's just live in peace?

I hope and pray the anti-people in your country realize their mistake before it's too late...

Ruthibelle said...

Violence/hatred in response to violence/hatred only perpetuates volence/hatred...

Wayne Besen said...

Please understand that we want to end the boycott. But, to do so, we need good people like yourself to contact the Jamaican government and demand that the violence against GLBT people ends. That is all we are asking for. It is a simple demand and one that I hope you can participate in.

We have nothing against Jamaica - other than it is the most homophobic place on earth. If that changes, I'd be thrilled to take a vacation to Jamaica and sip Myers Rum on the beach.

Are you willing to help end the boycott?

Wayne Besen
Boycott co-organizer
www.boycottJaica.org

LADY ROOTS said...

Sistren Ruthibelle,

Dem cudda bwoi-kot til dem bus'!

Mi did live a farren from since when and now mi blessed to live whey mi spirit feel at peace. (Muta did tell us it not good to stay inna white man country fi too long.) Mi nuh lef mi likkle mountain home pon di south coast.

Who wan bwoi-kot...mek dem gwaan bwoi-kot. Is dem who ah go miss di miracle that is Jamaica!

Bless Up,
Lady Roots

Ruthibelle said...

Mr. Besen, with your international influence, scope and reach, would it not be better to start an aggressive drive to re-educate and resocialise Jamaicans about this issue in a non-violent, non-negative, non-potentially-uberly-devastating way?

I can't put an end to your boycott. I'm not perpetuating it and I didn't start it. But you did. So you can.

Ina Mi Gutumaa said...

Ruth I have to disagree with you on this one.

I too believe that the current efforts will prove ineffectual, unless they are carried out in tandem with a massive grass roots campaign to "re-educate and resocialise Jamaicans about this issue," however, support on the ground is lacking. I am pleased to know that a group of individuals (their nationalities are inconsequential to me) have recognized that the violence and intolerance meted out to LGBT individuals MUST end, and are working proactively for the attainment of such!

GLBT individuals can't come out and advocate for their rights; they can't tell their stories, and so are very limited in their abilities to change the harsh reality in which they must live.

The privileged heterosexual majority, whose sexual orientation and gender identity happens to be acceptable, play but a minimal role in defending the rights of LGBT individuals.

We decry the violence against our fellow Jamaicans, but at the end of the day, we sit on our asses and do nothing- understandably, because we are not directly affected by the discrimination LGBT individuals face.

Ce n'est pas juste!!! The situation in Jamaica is absolutely horrendous, and yet, our people, and our government refuse to stand up for the human rights of LGBT Jamaicans to live a life without fear. People are mocked, and attacked merely because they are perceived to be of a queer orientation, which is but a variance of human gender identity and sexual expression.

It would be preposterous to expect that the general views of most Jamaicans will change, for that will only come with time. Till then, the government cannot continue to ignore the unfair realities forced upon LGBT individuals, who are treated like second class citizens. Someone could be refused a job because of his assumed homosexuality, based solely on stereotypical characteristics which supposedly define the the gay male, and nothing would come of it--- all in the name of religious freedom and Christian morality. Well you know what Ruth, F*** THAT!

The diplomatic approach is clearly not working, because LGBT Jamaicans have been crying out, literally, for years! So what should we do then? Continue to work in futility as countless LGBT Jamaicans live in hiding, and fear for their lives every time they go onto the streets. NO!

The Stonewall Riots of 1969 marked the beginning of the modern LGBT rights movement in America, and it appears to me that a similar approach might be necessary in Jamaica. Enough is enough, seriously.

We all bemoan how many innocent Jamaicans will be affected by widespread boycotts, without acknowledging the endless struggles faced by LGBT individuals every day in Jamaica. Many have been scorned, many more have been beaten, and even more have been murdered in most barbaric ways. This effort to get the Jamaican government to formally denounce violence against Jamaicans in the LBGT community must start somewhere. There is no right time. The time is NOW!

Ruthibelle said...

Javed, in my opinion, LGBTs are part of the innocent Jamaican population negatively affected by a completely unfair and discriminatory mode of thinking. But making more innocent Jamaicans suffer to have their rights met does not solve the problem. It only makes Jamaica's already complex web of problems worse!!

What needs to be attacked is not a country, but a mode of thinking! It is socialisation that has perpetuated and intensified anti-gay attitudes in Jamaica. And that socialisation needs to be undone, and replaced before Jamaican society moves to a point of non-discriminatory respect for all sexualities.

I cannot agree with a boycott against any country that results in the devasatation of an entire NATION of people. I understand the issue. And I respect your passion for it. But come on!! Regular non-discriminatory Jamaicans value their right to a stable economy as much as gays value their freedom to express their sexual orientation. So what do we do? Trade one for the other? Is one more important than the other?? Does one group deserve to have their rights met more than the other??

Is there no way to find a solution that guarantees both?

Ruthibelle said...

I repeat: Violence/hatred in response to violence/hatred only perpetuates violence/hatred...

Stunner said...

Why is it that these pro-homosexual organizations only have strength for Jamaica? Why don't I see or hear of them embarking on major campaigns against other countries that are against homosexuality and have even harsher penalties for homosexuals (for example Saudi Arabia)? Also there are several racist and white supremacy group active in the US, how come I don't hear any group asking for a boycott against the US? I am all for boycotting their boycott Jamaica website! Everyone seems focused on their rights to have homosexuality legal in our country, but what about our rights for not wanting homosexuality to be legal?

The fact is homosexuality is illegal and not socially acceptable in Jamaica, but that is no excuse for violence. I don't want the Jamaican government to demand that the violence against GLBT's end, nor impose any special law for these people. I want the Jamaican government to demand that violence against all it's citizens end and take steps to enforce the laws that are supposed to protect the citizens of this country. I don't support the GLBT lifestyle, however, I don't support acts of violence against people for their orientation. This is also the view of many Jamaicans, while others have even accepted this lifestyle. Campaigning for a boycott for the whole country is attacking everyone who lives here and may not make Jamaica more tolerant, but may fuel, a subsiding, animosity for GBLTs.

Ina Mi Gutumaa said...

I do not believe that one is more important than the other, but that is just me. The majority of Jamaicans seem to have a very set opinion about what is most important.

Violence/hatred?? Ruth, that statement is a bit misleading...

Gays are hated because their actions are deemed immoral. Immoral conduct is equated to immoral individuals who are therefore despicable. Hatred naturally follows. This hatred fuels a most irrational kind of violence (both verbal and physical) against said individuals, and those perceived to be of their unnatural proclivities.

Now let me be clear: I do not hate Jamaican heterosexuals. I do not judge Jamaican heterosexuals based on their assumed adultery, fornication or promiscuity. I would never harm another human because their lifestyle differs from mine. Violence/ hatred? I hate their approach. I hate their antipathy. I hate their ignorance, and the barbarisms it leads them to committing against fellow Jamaicans.

Perhaps it is true that hatred will only be perpetuated with this model of resolution, but unless you and I are willing to commit to playing our part in dismantling Jamaica's macho-machismo-heteronormative-hell-hole, then I have no choice but to support the only orchestrated effort to have the government decry violence against queer individuals.

As I have said before, we can't change people's perceptions overnight, but LBGT individuals should not have to wait until people realize that their anachronistic views are more appropriate to the Victorian era before their government recognizes their plight and commits itself to making Jamaica a safer place for them.

I am sure the government of Jamaica was a signatory to the Universal Declaration of human rights. I would not have guessed so, because they have failed to uphold so many of the articles in the document.

A few of the most salient to our conversation are as follows:

1) All Human beings are free and equal in dignity and rights

3) Right to life liberty and security of person

5) Freedom from torture

6) Right to be treated equally by the law

7) Right to equal protection by the law

12) Right to privacy in home, family and correspondence

28) Right to social and international order permitting these freedoms to be realized.

I view this as a human rights issue. The legitimized abuse of queers is no different from the unjustness of segregation based on racial classifications; no different from the unfair circumstance of women not having suffrage, or equality of opportunity; and no different from someone being murdered because they belong to an ethnic minority. I wonder, do you equally object to the trade embargoes imposed upon South Africa in the latter stages of the Apartheid era?

The Jamaican government has failed its mandate to serve the needs of ALL Jamaicans, and that is no longer acceptable. It is a shameful reality that some Jamaicans must live in fear, and ignominy, and risk being slaughtered at the hands of their community members. This is human rights I am fighting for- and their could be no excuse for my inaction.

libhom said...

You are making the same arguments against the Jamaica boycott that Ronald Reagan made against the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions campaign against the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Beth said...

Amen Ruthi!!! preach it!!!

Five Star aka Five Steez said...

1. Foreign reports of Jamaican homophobia are exaggerated. The society is slowing becoming more tolerant.

2. Boycotting Jamaican products reinforces the popular view that homosexuals are trying to impose their lifestyle on Jamaica or force the citizens to accept it. That only increases homophobia.

3. A sustained educational campaign would be better because Jamaica suffers an extreme case of sexual ignorance.

Unfortunately Anonymous said...

As a gay Caribbean man who once lived in Jamaica, I can empathize with what the boycott wants to achieve.

Unfortunately, a boycott such as this will succeed mainly in alienating gays on the ground even more. Whether people want to admit it or not, there is A LOT of hatred towards gays in Jamaican society (in many other Caribbean countries too). Much of this is perpetuated by homophobic music, culturally ingrained Caribbean machismo and religion. Why give people yet another excuse to hate, vilify and resent gays?

How can a foreign activist group make such a decision? I would never recommend that gay people go to Jamaica on vacation - it's just not that kind of country. But nor would I recommend the blanket boycott of an entire country that will, more than likely, make life more difficult for the very people who need the help.

It's easy to look in from the outside and judge. But what about the gay Jamaican who cannot leave because of financial constraints? Those who leave for a better life usually (but not necessarily) have a certain level of education and know how to navigate the wider world. Not everyone has this luxury. What this kind of thing will do, eventually, is force gays even further underground in Jamaica.

The danger in having outsiders do something like this is that they lack a fundamental understanding of the culture they're trying to change. Why not try to understand the roots of this country's homophobia before damning the entire country?

Yes, there is a certain level of tolerance emerging in certain areas of Jamaica. However, it is still one of the most homophobic countries in the Caribbean. It IS a dangerous place to be gay. There is no doubt about that. But change has to come from within.

This is not America where people feel free to speak up. This is not a large country where someone can change states or locales and create a new life for himself in a tolerant city. And I'm sorry, but an American cannot truly understand the plight of a gay Caribbean person. I've checked the boycott website. It is typically American in its vociferousness and self-assurance. What the people in charge need to do is talk to gay Jamaicans - not the ones who've managed to escape, but the ones who have had to remain behind and cope as best they can.

Ultimately, I agree that the Jamaican government is allowing, and endorsing, human rights violations. I think the UN needs to place sanctions on Jamaica. I think it needs to be official, because the Jamaican government will NEVER allow a group of American activists to dictate policy to them. In fact, I doubt the group will have much effect: it may stop gay people from going to Jamaica and supporting Jamaican products, but on the whole, only a few straight people will pay attention to this.

There is no easy answer to the problem of homophobia in the Caribbean region. It is not a simple issue. Even this comment is confusing and contradictory - that is what it is like to be gay in this part of the world. It is fraught with complexity. To demand a change in government policy is to oversimplify the issue. Understand the issue first, then decide what to do.

The Jamaican PM is a homophobic idiot. Do you really think that a man who can openly spout hatred will pay any credence to something like this? Please.

Ruthibelle said...

One major issue I have with this boycott is the labelling aspect. You're replacing human names and faces with a label. Jamaicans are no longer people (just like homosexuals are no longer viewed as people when they are labelled); Jamaicans become gaybashers, violent animals of brute instinct against all things LGBT... and then the real problems start. It subliminally justifies discrimination (and violence) against Jamaicans.

That's why using the term 'violence/hatred' is not at all misleading. This boycott borders on a jusification of violence and hatred against Jamaicans... that is one of the main problems I have with it. Aren't the actions of its organisers basically saying that Jamaicans deserve to suffer economically and however else because they're (supposedly) *vehemently* anti-gay?? So it's okay to be equally *vehemently* anti-Jamaica (until our government responds favourably). Isn't that the bottom-line of this boycott??

You might think I'm being paranoid or exaggerating, but I honeslty think this thing can easily snowball out of control and go to extremes that its organisers never intended, and have a devastating impact far beyond what was foreseen. And then what??

And let's say the aim of this boycott is met, and LGBTs get the recognition they deserve from the Jamaican government. Then what?? Then Jamaica (including LGBTs with their newly acquired rights) has to struggle uphill to recouperate from the economic sacrifice that was made to attain these rights! J, we already struggling without these stereotypes and sanctions against us... life hard as it is! Di country cyaan tek no more!

And I know LGBTs feel like they can't take anymore either, but I wonder if they honestly think that after seeing them basically advocate for the economic starvation of the country (and their children, families, etc), Jamaicans are going to turn around and embrace them?? Seriously. This might not be in their best interests either.

I think that if more resources were being channeled into re-educating the populace instead of this blatant 'anti-Jamaicanism', more postitive would be accomplished for the long term...J you know I love you and respect your views.. but bredren, yuh really waan help *potentially* mash up wi country??

Ruthibelle said...

@5Steez: I agree with you on all counts. The stories about gaybashing in Jamaica are charactersitically super-inflated and sensationalised. Tolerance has been increasing, but of course, that is not quite as newsworthy as scintillating violence, blood and gore...

@Unfortunately Anonymous: I'm sorry you have to be anonymous too... really, I am. And I'm grateful for your comment on here as it certainly broadens the scope of the discussion and, (I must admit) make a point that I've been trying to make very very well (that this boycott will probably increase violence against LGBTs).

I appreciate your views, especially your point about how complex this issue is. It certainly is NOT a simple fix, and it does require an understanding of Caribbean culture.
Thanks for stopping by.

@Stunner: I think this boycott will probably add new flame to a dying fire... in a very negative way.

Wuthering said...

^^^^ Ditto Stunner's argument. My thoughts exactly. There are sooooo many places with homosexuality discrimination.

Furthermore, Ruthi has told us on this very web-site many of the challenges Jamaica faces with violence and in particular violence against women. I don't think the problem is only with the LGBT community.

It just doesn't make sense to try and starve the people you are trying to protect. Makes absolutely no sense.

IMO the bullying tactic won't bring about change and will only create more tension.

Jamaipanese said...

as stunner said above - why these foreign groups so hung up on little ole Jamaica and our beliefs? So many other more powerful countries in the world are homophobic so why pick on us.

this only worsens your cause.

idiots!

Rae said...

I think the boycott is unjustified for quite a number of reasons but the first one that stands out is the fact that Jamaica has also been (in the past, not sure of it still has it)labeled as the most murderous country per capita. So then I ask, why only boycott for the homosexuals. We all know Jamaica can get violent. Mr Besen, I live here in Jamaica and would be more likely to support your boycott IF everyone lived in harmony and only the gays were marginalized, but you have chosen one set of people and left out very many more, and I cannot and will never support that train of thought.

Also, if a thief gets beaten for stealing, should we change the laws to make it legal to steal, or illegal to beat the thief? Think of that will ya.

Ruthibelle said...

@Luce: Well said. I agree that bullying will only create more tension.

@Jamaipanese: Hmph. That 'foreign' factor is important too.

@Rae: A splendid suggestion. How about widespread efforts to stop violence in the country on a whole?? That would augur well for ALL parties involved.

But on your other point, actually, it IS illegal to beat the thief. Mob justice is not the court of law. It IS illegal to take law into your own hands and inflict grievous bodily harm on anybody (when it's not self-defense or a matter of life or death or something so). The justice system is there for a reason. Legal protocol must be observed. We can't all play judge and jury. That would be asking for maaaajor trouble...

zooms said...

How about some refreshing lemonade? There is an award for you Ruthibelle, over at my blog.

Jamaipanese said...

this songs explains how the majority of Jamaica feels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkPFBoV-zc0

Ruthibelle said...

@zooms: ooh... an award. koolio. I like those :)

Unfortunately Anonymous said...

Just because something is cultural, or something is supported by the majority, doesn't mean it is right or good or something to be proud of. But, realistically, culture is something that we are a part of and need to navigate. You can boycott a country, but boycotting a culture is almost impossible - cultures need to evolve and change over time, and through education and positive imaging. This boycott is attacking a culture of majority. The response will, naturally, be violent and irrational. Just look at some of the comments on here - and read between the lines.

Why do people feel it is their business who I love? Isn't it enough that I have the capacity to love?

Annie Paul said...

Ruthibelle,

This is a valiant effort, i congratulate you. Foreign gay rights organizations must really do a reality check when they start losing staunch supporters of gay rights such as you or I.

My own view is that the organizers of this boycott need to take a lesson from another struggle for equal rights, Feminism. When feminism first got going feminists were almost universally white, first-world types much like the principals in foreign gay rights organizations. they thought that what they preached had universal application, one size fits all.

As white feminists soon found out they really could not speak, strategize or organize for women around the world--their particular experience was not that of women in third world locations marked by different cultures, religions, ethnicities. Only those women could mount that struggle on their own behalf, with help from outside of course, but not primarily driven from outside as this campaign is.

The insensitivity of external gay rights organizers to such concerns is beginning to make me wonder whether a certain fascism isn't creeping into their worldview, one that ultimately will do little to better the lot of gay men and women who will remain at risk in places like this and elsewhere.

longbench said...

You know, I've been watching and listening to these debates about the boycott, including here, and it occurs to me that WE aren't playing with a full deck either: we don't really bother to do our research, just react in these typically hypersensitive ways about THEM picking on little Jamaica, and ignoring the issues at hand.

We are not the victims here, so enough of that. The real victims are the gay and lesbian persons we shove down in the pit while we stand on top of the cover, wrapped in flags and telling the rest of the world to go pay attention to their own business. Yes, but don't forget: OUR people are still in the pit drowning in shit, and we are on the lid refusing to get off, to open it, and to let them breathe fresh air. For whom is that stance an ethical one? Certainly not me. Noone is innocent in this story.

What gay rights organizations are you all talking about? How do the actions of two men and a website become some kind of international conspiracy against Jamaica? I don't agree with the boycott because I know about the characters involved, and know their intentions are not genuine. But I didn't wait for propaganda and hearsay to tell me that; I went to look up the information for myself. As it turns out, JFLAG does not support this boycott for reasons they make clear. So, if you want to have an informed view of the boycott, start there: ask in whose interests it is being waged.

And by the way, the boycott is not going to produce spiralling poverty and everything that you are imagining here. And if it did, that would not be their problem, it would be ours. Why? Regardless of whether or not you agree with the boycott, if it was that widely supported, it would suggest that WE were on the wrong side of the story. By the way, Ruthie, the argument you are making against the boycott (ie. collective punishment) is the same that was made against boycotts against apartheid S. Africa (we the boycotters won that one!) and against israel (we the boycotters still have a long way to go, but not stopping anytime soon).

The boycott will, as all the other events before this one has done, provoke another level of discussion and introspection about the ways in which sexuality and difference are being policed in this society and to what end, all of which moves us one step closer to a better situation. So, support it or not, no matter how long it lasts, it will have a positive effect, although not necessarily the one the boycotters are looking for.

Everybody who is complaining that violence against gay and lesbian people here in Jamaica ought not to be treated any differently from violence against poor people KNOW that you make this argument out of expediency and malodorous hypocrisy. If you really cared about violence against any group of people in this country, you would be doing a helluva lot more to speak out against it. And I know you haven't. Yes, I KNOW you haven't. Why? It is only in this effort to dismiss the attention to homophobic violence that we love to take poor people an' mek pass. Every other day, we don't give a damn how many of them die. In short, few Jamaicans speak out against any injustice at all these days, and the tenor of these comments says exactly why. We are too blinded by reactionary nationalism to do anything about protecting our own, except when it suits our purposes. Yes, gays and lesbian Jamaicans ARE Jamaicans. This is about homophobic/ignorant/indifferent Jamaicans who have appropriated the right to selectively kill, maim, violate and destroy the lives of other Jamaicans. No claims about culture, rights, what is popular, socially accepted, etc. (most of which is bogus anyway) can erase the fact that most of the arguments presented here breed and support complicity rather than address the problem. Remember, noone is innocent in this story.

Lover of Life said...

I have never heard of this website, and I love Jamaica. Who even reads these websites? I sent my daughter there for her honeymoon. She loved it.

Ina Mi Gutumaa said...

WOW! Thank you for that LongBench, you took the words out of my mouth.

Everyone speaks assertively about how change must come from the inside, as if that is not already obvious, without ever thinking that they must play a part in "resocializing" Jamaicans. Ruth, you don't need an injection of resources to resocialize Jamaicans- what you need is people who are willing to stand up and say, ENOUGH! We have the resources, it is the will that is lacking.

People insist that this boycott wont work, without ever suggesting what will. Then when they do suggest something, it is along the lines of "people have to become educated, and Jamaicans have to be the change they desire to see." Yaadi yaadi yaada. Okay, so now that we have found a viable solution, how about we start working towards it. No. We sit and bicker about how our international allies (however disingenuous their motives may be) are singling out Jamaica, when there are so many other homophobic places.

It shouldn't matter who they pick on. There is a problem, and someone has clearly made the effort to identify it, and make others aware of it. I bet our reactions would be very different if these people were trying to attain suffrage for our women or desegregate our schools. Oh yes, because those issues are clearly more important than LGBT rights in Jamaica.

Innumerable Jamaicans are sexually abused, without redress, for they are too scared to take their abusers to court. Some don't even realize that the perpetrators of crimes against them violated fundamental rights they have, as protected by the constitution of Jamaica. If the boycotts were in place to hasten reform of the Jamaican justice system; have stricter regulations in place to punish sex offenders (the recently tabled sex offenders bill is a good start); create shelters for abused women and children to escape violent parents, guardians and husbands; create/ strengthen harassment/ hate crimes laws... who would object? Who would invoke arguments about the plights of the poor?

As I have already acknowledged, LGBT rights aren't thought to be fundamental, nor are they deemed worthy of being legitimized, and that is at the root of many people's claims.

I suggest everyone studies the history of the civil rights movement in the US. Whether it be for racial equality, women's equality, or LGBT equality, any surge in the movement is always followed by tremendous backlash. It's a process which must run its course. Surely, there will be great resentment in the short term, and some of you "supporters" will stand back, but only through bold efforts will the movement progress.

The US started in 1969, and they have made great strides, when will we start, if we keep finding excuses for pardoning institutionalized heterosexism and homophobia?

If we detest the way the nosy Americans are approaching the situation so much, why don't we start our own movement in Jamaica, and show them how to effectively change local perceptions of LBGT lifestyles?

Unless any of you can answer that question affirmatively, then I guess we'll just have to wait and see the extent to which these intrusive foreigners advance OUR cause, or otherwise.

Ef mi waahn fi elp mash op di konchri? Haha. Ruth, if Jamaicans are as serious about their bellies as you claim, then hopefully their economic interests would far outweigh the capital they have invested in national homophobia. Fullstop.

"When homosexual conduct is made criminal by the law of the state, that declaration in and of itself is an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and in the private spheres." (Lawrence v. Texas 2003)

So I turn the question back to you Ruth, do you want to play a part in destroying the economic livelihoods of Jamaicans?
If not, let's work to get this anachronism of the Victorian era abolished. Not in reaction to these boycotting efforts, but because we know that real change will only come from the inside. That is something we can all do.

Guyana-Gyal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Guyana-Gyal said...

Okay, I've read all the comments, read Wayne's article...deleted my comment above because the folks here have said it all and more.

I personally don't believe in boycotts [though there may be a day I might have to change my mind, you never know, life is strange]. Too many negative consequences if this one DOES take off...you never know, big events grow from tiny deeds. Do boycotts work? Do they put an end to the behaviour that's being protested against?

I agree with those who say that changes have to come from within. Lots of self searching needed as to how, etc.

Why do I care about Jamaica even though I live elsewhere, a place where gays are mostly tolerated? Because my country is poor, and the thought of our trade[s] being boycotted for whatever reason horrifies me.