Should Beenie Man be banned?

Charles Chauvel blogs at Red Alert a letter to Associate Minister Kate Wilkinson:

Invitation to Anthony Moses Davis (alias “”) to perform at 2010: Request to Decline Entry Visa

Anthony Moses Davis (born Kingston, Jamaica, August 22, 1973) is a reggae performer, notorious for his lyrics and other statements promoting the killing of gay and lesbian people.

The lyrics to one of his songs include: “I’m dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays”. In another, “Mi Nah Wallah”, he says he would like to cut the throats of all gay men.  In “Bad Man Chi Chi Man” he instructs listeners to kill gay deejays, and in “Han Up Deh”, he advocates hanging lesbians, with a long piece of rope.

It is reported that the organisers of the Big Day Out, a music festival, have invited Anthony Moses Davis to perform at their 2010 event.

Since 1994, gay and lesbian New Zealanders have had the protections affirmed by the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act.  These include the right to freedom from discrimination.  That right cannot be given practical effect if people who rejoice in advocating violence towards us, especially in a public way, are welcomed to this country.  As one of our parliamentary colleagues has recently observed in this context, music that denigrates gay men and lesbians in the most extreme way imaginable sends some very powerful signals both to young gay and lesbian people but also to their peers.  It is now well-document that many young lesbian and gay people suffer violence, harrassment, lowered self-esteem and the consequent health and social problems that stem from the denigration that many of them experience.  It cannot be conducive to social cohesiveness, good order and desirable public policy that these outcomes are facilitated.  Granting an entry visa to Anthony Moses Davis would constitute such facilitation.

It appears that Anthony Moses Davis is a Jamaican passport holder.  As such, he does not enjoy the right to visa-free entry to New Zealand.
I ask that you decline an entry visa on the grounds set out in para
Y3.1 viii of the Immigration Manual, which notes that “people will normally be refused entry to New Zealand if they…are a threat to security or public order in New Zealand”.  For the reasons set out above, Anthony Moses Davis constitutes such a threat.

Okay, where to start. My thoughts:

  1. Beenie Man is a despicable piece of scum.
  2. The organisers of Big Day Out should be pilloried for inviting him
  3. Arguing that his attending Big Day Out is a “threat to security or public order” is a very big stretch – especially as Beenie Man no longer sings lyrics promoting killing homosexuals
  4. The best response to hate speech is more speech, not less.
  5. I think the situation is similar to that of David Irving. Don’t ban then from coming here, but protest against them when they are here.
  6. Better responses would be for people to organise a boycott of Big Day Out for inviting him, or to arrange suitable protests at BDO – sell anti Beenie Man t-shirts and/or try and co-ordinate a sit down when he plays.
  7. Beenie Man is again a despicable piece of scum

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