501-202-2440 / 501-673-5641 info@unibam.org
Post 7th October, 2014

The point  of  UniBAM press release is that the organization is seeking assurances that promoters will have a clean show devoid of violent lyrics and be socially responsibility to help reinforce psychological sense of safety in communities.The power of violent lyrics through talented artists that people listen to can be argued as inconsequential because many do not murder, abuse their spouse, partners or wives. It can be said that critics of murder music are simply blowing concerns about murder music out of proportion. However, when an individual looks at the song by Beenie Man Doctor Mi Rate Yu or Have Yu Man (2009),  the lyrics speaks to, “Doctor we rate yuh (Ahhh!!!) Dats why we wa rape yuh (yah!).” The song continue with, “Knock a gal in har face she caan knock yuh back, fool stop!!!”  Such lyrics have impact! Arguably, such lyrics can be said to be harmless, that it does not affect men’s behavior, but when a women is raped or experience a level of brutal domestic violence that leads to the loss of her life, it is an instance where art is intimidating life.  The report on September 1st, 2014 of Agropina Coc and elderly woman who was raped and murdered in San Pedro Colombia is one example. Nicole Swazo was recently reportedly killed on October 6th, 2014 by her husband who eventually killed himself.

Such lyrics as mentioned above, helped to reinforced a culture of 
indifference about sexual violence  among men, a minimalist view  of
violence women experience and reinforce gender socialization roles that
men are entitled to women bodies or the control of sexual minority groups. This channel seven report said “A 16 year-old girl reported to police that on May 2, she woke up and
found Jeffrey Pott on top of her 17 year-old sister having intercourse
with her against her will because the young woman was drunk and asleep.”

While in the Eugene Reneau case, he was found by Police raping a women at knife point at mile 10  on the Northern Highway. At no point, do we hear women raping men at knife point. Such an idea would be seen as luducris. One can argue that these men actions has nothing to do with the songs, but is a result of already mentally disturbed men. What the United Belize Advocacy Movement is pointing to, is that these songs have a gradual effect of eroding community security, poisoning the mind-set of those prone to violence as a solution to social and economic problems they are experiencing as individuals. When we look at crime data for murders and rape in Belize between 2000-2009 803 persons were lost to murder and 482 to rapes. These lyrics do no help in inspiring conflict resolution strategies among men, but serves only to discourage it.
When we looked at the song that’s right which was produced in 2010, the lyrics offers no solace to the LGBT community in Belize who are often disrespected with words heard from these songs. The lyrics of that’s right speaks to, “A from mi bun chi chi man and we go bun sodemite  and everybody bawl out seh that’s right (lt’s alright)” is not a complement to any LGBT person walking the streets of Belize City or Belize. When one looks at the murder of Enrique Castillo in Orange Walk in 2009 that blood stain in his kitchen and his slit throat did not speak to outcomes being harmless. One may argue that it was not the artists that did this, but let us not forget, that if no one is socially responsible or conscious about the need to cultivate environments that are healthy for families and safe to walk for all, inclusive of transgendered person, like Enrique, then we should not be surprised in how much more people we loose to violence across Belize.
Being called a Sodomite or a chi chi man while walking Belize City as an LGBT person is a direct result of individuals being inspired by these songs that its OK to demean or threaten individuals in this manner. When total stranger who care nothing of respect or upholding human dignity using chi chi man or bun fire, the terms had to  come from somewhere. When Joseph Sanchez was murdered back in January 2014. He did not attend a beenie man like concert, nevertheless the message of hate and indifference to violence that gives other men permission to inflict harm on this transgendered teen was already delivered. It was done through threats, insults and mockery. Such social communication to Cenida Ramos, Joseph Sanchez, trans name, was not a complement to this youth life or sense of  personal security. Symbols of the state called it a robbery/ murder, never acknowledging that this person gender identity could be a factor.  When we add murder data for 2010, 2011, 2012 and additional 400 murders brings the total murders from 2000 to 2012 to 1,203 people. Of which, we don’t have an official count of those murdered base on sexual orientation or gender identity.

 I challenge anyone who believes that not going to a concert  that promotes violent lyrics, to argue that avoiding that concert protects that individual from violence. It did not protect Enrique Castillo, nor did it protect Joseph Sanchez.  If freedom of speech  and expression is the argument, that applies to trans individuals  as well, who has that same right, as well as the right to life, personal liberty, association and movement and the pursuit of happiness.Their rights was snuff out.

Our point in the end, is if a pastor wants to say, gays will go to hell in a Church or on a street, he or she is free to do so, but when a pastor or artists directly incites violence in the form of “bun fire” against gays and call it free speech, it then crosses the line of right and becomes a case of prosecution. More importantly, in citation of violence becomes a tool to restrict the right to movement, association, expression, political participation etc, as it forces the other person to restrict the exercise of their rights to prevent the experience of harm.

Agropina Coc Raped and murdered

Swazo murder

Pott brothers charged

Police find Reneau Raping Woman

Police Department Data

Joseph Sanchez

OSAC Report

Crime Report