Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More Defensiveness and Anger

The first reaction in the press to the article declaring Jamaica "The Most Homophobic Place on Earth" was printed in today's Jamaica Observer, and the response was an angry one.

The column Heart to Heatt can be found here. (I recommend a close reading.)

The columnist, Betty Anne Blaine, made the following point: "To lump all Jamaicans into one barrel of gay-haters, is untrue, unjust, and arrogant. The writer owes this country an apology."

I cannot recall the writer doing this, but instead he makes the point that Jamaica is the most homophobic place on earth. While I can't say whether or not that is true, I can say that the social environment in Jamaica is the most homophobic (or anti-gay) that I have ever experienced, and I have travelled to some 15 countries in the world or so.

Yesterday, I also happened to read another blogger whose blog I found and then lost, and then re-found. Wayne&Wax's entry on "Killing Fi Stop" is an outsider's view on the homophobia in Jamaica, and it has some useful links to articles like one from the Village Voice, entitled Jah Division
Free speech, cultural sovereignty, and human rights clash in reggae dancehall homophobia debate. Wayne spent several months living in Jamaica and his take on the situation is a fascinating one. He also references an article in the Guardian Unlimited called "Troubled Island" that came out last week.

On the site the following picture appeared, which I found just a little frightening:

How did we Jamaicans, with our proud record of struggling for justice and equality especially for oppressed people, end up on this side of such an important human rights issue?

One day we will wake up and find that we have been supporting the haters against the hated, and that we are alone in doing so.


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