Bounty Killer says racism is why his visa was canceled ten years ago, plans to protest outside the US Embassy this weekend.
‘Justice delayed is justice denied’—that’s the gist of the upcoming peaceful protest as Jamaica joins the global outcry over inequality. The death of George Floyd in racially motivated circumstances has sparked a relentless movement of the world’s most affected peoples. On Saturday, June 6, it’s Jamaica’s turn to channel that collective energy into a clear, unequivocal message that enough is enough. The Caribbean nation is famous for its outspoken, anti-colonial messengers, from Cudjoe to the decorated, indomitable Robert Nesta Marley.
Since Independence, a pervasive culture of classism and colorism has set into the local psyche that is often preached about by scholars and musicians but hasn’t yet hit boiling point. Things could change this weekend when artistes, academics, and civilians will make their voices heard plainly “in solidarity with our families in the USA.”
Among those who’ve committed to attending is seasoned dancehall soldier, the ‘warlord’ himself, Bounty Killer, whose own experience with inequality has resulted in the denial of a US Visa to the veteran for over ten years. His fellow contender Beenie Man hints at his similar plight on his new single titled from the Verzuz anecdote “Do You Wanna Be That Guy?” which drops this Saturday.
“Mi want mi wings dem back fi go fly/Tour di world till di day I die/Beenie Man name di whole world cry/An’ Bounty Killa mi know yuh neva stop try,” Beenie deejays.
Both musical giants have been dwarfed by their inability to tour or promote overseas. Fellow deejay Shaggy has rehashed the issue based on the clout of the online clash, but to no avail. Bounty Killer has been mum on the matter for some time, but e caption beneath the protest poster spoke volumes on the ‘Poor People Fed Up’ singer’s behalf. ‘Black for Black, Block for Block…Racism why 10 years now my visa cancelled for no apparent reason, Jamaica standing up, I got issues,” Bounty Killer said via his Instagram page. As part of his rallying efforts, he responded to a few comments, including that of Konshens, who sent a simple “Present” and who is currently the only other celebrity on board.
Female deejay Spice, who was recently spotted in protest mode in Georgia, wished she ‘could be home for this’ to no doubt amplify the local fight. The ‘So Mi Like It’ singer has championed the cause for years, having been profiled countless times for her dark skin and raunchy persona. On the international front, Jamaicans fare just as badly, if not worse. The 2018 incident where Bob Marley’s granddaughter Donisha Prendergast and friends were racially profiled and unlawfully detained at an Airbnb in Rialto California, is a testament to the overhaul in attitudes needed on a global scale.
Do you think this demonstration will make a dent in discrimination?