In a recent issue, ("For a Friend," Nov. 3) Bob Doran mentioned my email to Arcata City Council members, warning of the potential for violence at a Mavado concert. If he was going to mention my email at all, he really ought not have ignored the most directly relevant article I was bringing to the council's attention -- one pointing to shots fired in a concert parking lot.
The relevant segment of the March 29, 2011, Jamaica Observer is as follows:
"Three minutes earlier three gunshots rang from just outside the venue. It resulted in scores of patrons taking cover behind trees, cars and bodies. ... During the concert, the sound selectors, Elephant Man and Mavado all voiced expressions of violence as a means to rev-up the thick crowd. The favorite target of the selectors and Elephant Man were gays whilst Mavado lyrically attacked his nameless enemies. Wayne Marshall kept his set clean. ‘We nah kill no fish. We just saying we nah switch non at all,' he stated in reference to gays."
I gather the owners and staff of the Arcata Theatre Lounge are nice people, without a shred of homophobia. I sympathize with the position they are placed in -- they don't want to be music cops. But I suspect if a promoter tried to book a white power band, known for singing about how everyone should murder blacks and Jews, they'd say no. It might help them to say no if they understood that shots were indeed fired after such a concert.
I don't understand why anti-gay murder music is different -- singers like Mavado climb to fame with lyrics calling for the torture and murder of gay men and lesbians. Amnesty International has reported that the dancehall murder music craze is contributing to the murderous homophobia in Jamaica. The Arcata Theatre Lounge was wrong in not saying no to the promoter of this homophobic thug.
I'd like to thank Councillor Alex Stillman for replying in a decent way to my email. Mayor Susan Ornelas also replied, but she was dismissive.
Mitch Trachtenberg, Trinidad