Main | Monday, July 07, 2008

Reggae Label Plans "Straight Pride Parade" In Brooklyn

Via Good As You comes word of a "Straight Pride Parade" to be staged in Brooklyn on August 31st. The parade is being organized by a reggae music label who is pissed off because a hit song by their artist Stapler, Hit Them Hard, has been banned by some radio stations because it encourages violence against gays. From the press release:
Productions the label behind the "18 Karat Reggae" CD series is holding the first ever Straight Pride Parade in Brooklyn, New York on August 31, 2008. The parade will take place on Eastern Parkway along the same route as the annual Caribbean labor day parade.

New reggae / dancehall sensation Jango Fresh said, "the Straight pride parade is a great idea because when a song like "Hit them hard" by my label mate Stapler can be banned just because it stresses the importance of a male and a female in every family, it is a sign that heterosexuals need to wake up.

The Straight Pride Parade is a chance for Heterosexuals to gather together and proudly embrace their sexuality. The Parade will also allow reggae and dancehall fans who are in New York City for the Labor Day celebrations to get together and celebrate reggae, dancehall and family in love and unity. Adults are encouraged to bring their children along for the celebrations, as the event will be family oriented.

The president of TCOOO said he hopes the event will unify the reggae community who has seen many reggae events cancelled recently not only in the United States but all over Europe and the Caribbean. "I sat quietly and watched as they cancelled artists like Buju Banton, Sizzla Kalonji and Capleton" he said, "but when the gay community went after TCOOO artists like Vineyard the Rebel Priest, Stapler and Jango Fresh we decided that we must make a show of strength."
Lyrics from Hit Them Hard:
Jah Jah gonna hit them hard
All the men who visit men backyard
Leaving all the women to starve
One thunder ball and all of them pause

Hand in hand with my lady
Hug her and kiss her cause she carried my baby
But some boys moving shady

The label contends that the song is "pro-family." Yeah, right. The "Straight Pride Parade" will coincide with the Brooklyn West Indian Carnival, guaranteeing them of at least some attendance and interest.

Thanks to the work of gay activist Peter Tatchell and Stop Murder Music, increasing scrutiny and pressure has been placed on the violent and homophobic lyrics of some reggae and dancehall artists, causing concerts to be canceled and airplay to cease. It will be interesting to see how the LGBT activism community reacts to this parade. I am thinking it may not be a good idea to appear in person to protest.

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