Buju Banton Lyrics Causing Controversy – Protests by a Miami Gay Group


MIAMI (CBS4) ―Jamaican artists Buju Banton and Beanie have received international acclaim for their reggae dance hall music. But at least one group in South Florida says some of Banton’s lyrics are inflammatory enough that the city of Miami should cancel Banton’s upcoming concert at the James L. Knight Center.

“These lyrics call for the violent murder and mutilation and pouring acid on gay people. They call for getting a rope and hanging lesbians. These lyrics are really out of control,” said Stratton Pollitzer of Equality Florida.

Pollitzer said he has successfully talked some advertisers to pull out and has had other concerts cancelled.

“Buju Banton has the right to say whatever he wants to on the street, but these venues are not obligated to provide a platform for him to incite violence and murder against gay and lesbian people,” Pollitzer said.

CBS4’s Gwen Belton attempted to contact officials at the James L. Knight Center, but was told there would be no comment. Pollitzer claims Knight Center general manager Lorenzo Muniz responded to their concerns in an e-mail saying: “We are not putting on the Buju Banton show. We are leasing the space to a promoter who is putting on a reggae concert, which happens to include this artist. The promoter is a very decent and honest man. I do not believe he signed this artist to invoke hate but to perform as just another reggae act.”

Pollitzer said his group will continue putting pressure on anyone associated with the planned performance to silence the two artists, at least at a city owned facility.

“We’ll continue to talk to advertisers and sponsors and promoters and ask them not to be associated with this event or any organization that provide a platform for this event,” Pollitzer said.

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