I'm glad to hear Sheryl Bybee say "It's not accurate to suggest that I support murder music."
Most of your readers probably don't know much about "Beenie Man," whose arrival in Humboldt was protested a few weeks prior to the meeting Bybee attended. Beenie Man was in Uganda in December 2009, at a concert sponsored by Pepsi. He sang his song "Mi Nah Wallah," in which he says he'd like to cut the throats of all gay men. His songs also call for hanging lesbians. He was a hit in Uganda, according to an ecstatic music reviewer for Uganda's Daily Monitor, who approvingly explained "the King of Dancehall struck a sword of words into gay people through singing and talking."
Your readers probably don't know that Bounty Killer, another protested performer, punched out the mother of his child on a public street, slammed her into a wall and kicked her to the ground, sending her to the hospital. It was in the Jamaican papers, but your own paper's music columnist covered it as another example of a "badass dude with a rep," referring to it as a "domestic violence beef" in the same sentence in which he reported Bounty Killer was once arrested for "excess profanity." That came after the columnist called Bounty Killer a "killer deejay (as in rapper)."
Bybee, and anyone else involved with importing musical acts to this area, could do us all a great service by letting the acts know that they don't support such music. They could do more by ceasing their attempts to justify such music. They could do even more by refusing to associate in any way with artists who continue to urge physical violence against anyone. That might mean some local businesses would not make money off of hosting these performers. Too bad.
For more information about murder music, just type those words into an Internet search engine.
Mitch Trachtenberg, Trinidad