Monday, July 10, 2006

LIFEbeat: Reggae fag-baiters used just to "reach out"

It seems as if it was just yesterday that we were at Manhattan's Hammerstein Ballroom protesting a Hot 97 concert for featuring some rabidly anti-gay reggae singers (see right).

But it's one thing for a commercial radio station to look for the quick-buck-'fuck-morals'-kinda-shit, and QUITE another for a well-regarded AIDS foundation such as LIFEbeat to disregard fag-baiting and virulent homophobia to "reach out" to communities and draw a pretty penny for a fundraiser.

Unfortunately that is EXACTLY what is taking place as you'll see:
Let's see if ANY HIV/AIDS organization goes on record repudiating LIFEbeat's move. For now, go to the above links and respond to LIFEbeat!


Toph said...

Wait, so you you're saying it's better for a radio station to "make a quick buck" off of homophobic artists than to try to use them to get a message out to people?

Andrés Duque said...

Nope, it's equally as reprehensible but somehow not as shocking, at least to me, as finding out that an AIDS foundation is using the same performers for a benefit event.

As for the arguments that they might be used to 'reach out to a different segment of the population,' there are other performers who have not used rabid homophobia in their lyrics that could have been featured to reach out to the same population.

Some have called for LIFEbeat to either disinvite the performers or to feature them as long as they make a public apology for past lyrical incitations to kill/beat/burn gays AND for some of the foundation's earnings to be earmarked for the Jamaican LGBT-advocacy organization J-FLAG.

That, to me, would be a workable compromise.

El Güero said...

Send 'em "straight" back to Jamaica, I say.

Lito Sandoval said...

they just cancelled this. And yet they still don't get it! Why not get a Klansman to speak at a civil rights rally?

Their statement:

"LIFEbeat - The Music Industry Fights AIDS, has collectively decided to cancel its Reggae Gold Live concert, scheduled for Tuesday, July 18 at New York’s Webster Hall. While the organization’s staff and board believe very strongly in the positive purpose and intention of this event, the possibility of violence at the concert from the firestorm incited by a select group of activists makes canceling the event the only responsible action. Dialogue is important and LIFEbeat’s staff and board respect the opinions of those who came forward to make their feelings known. We have always and will continue to support the GLBT community.

It is very unfortunate, however, that the intended good that could result from bringing this community together around this potentially ground breaking event will not be realized. The Caribbean American community needs our help in bringing attention to this unspoken and often stigmatized illness. We hope in the wake of this decision that those who came forward and spoke out will now come forward again to do something positive for the Caribbean American community and help bring attention to the devastation this disease has wreaked in that community so awareness, prevention and healing can follow."