Entertainment

Free the artistes?

Friday, November 09, 2012    

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I am a little amused, and concerned at the same time, about the amount of people still clamouring for the freedom or release of our local dancehall recording artistes Buju Banton, Kartel and Busy Signal.

Dancehall music aficionados are fervently hoping for their release so the Yuletide music scene will be re-injected with the energy of these men. Really, people? These three have been accused of major crimes, it is not a situation where they have been kidnapped and are being held hostage in some undisclosed location.

What is the message we are sending out to the wider society when we jump on our soap boxes and get sentimental about the treatment of these persons?

Now, I love me some Buju, very talented individual whose music still has me gyrating or swaying depending on the album. Busy is a cutey with a strong arsenal of lyrics and whilst I despise Kartel, even I have to grudgingly admit that his songs will take a party from humdrum to 'broad out' in 60 seconds flat. That does not mean that I will be willing to compromise justice to selfishly satisfy my need to hear new recordings from them in the Christmas season.

A man is innocent until proven guilty.

Two of these three men have been proven guilty by a jury and have been ordered by the courts to serve time, whilst the other has been accused of some major criminal activity and now awaits trial.

The word of law can be so manipulated that come tomorrow all three could be free men, based on arguments, precedents and presentation, but until then, I will allow justice to run its course.

You will never see me endorsing the freedom of an artiste, just because he/she is well-known and beloved. If I were to do that, then I would in all fairness join Jamaicans for Justice and support that for ALL persons accused of crimes.

A recent surge of heinous crimes on our precious little island home has forced many of us to think in ways that normal people shouldn't have to. I've heard intelligent people from good homes inciting the beating and burning, vigilante-style, of persons involved in rape and theft. Are these not people too? Shouldn't we be saying these individuals could have been framed or if is so, could the system relax and make their sentences shorter? No we would not, so why then for the artistes?

Action and consequence is a principle that the world has lost sight of for some time. I will do wrongs, but I know in the back of my mind if I get caught I will have to face the results of such action. I will pay big name lawyers to defend my 'innocence' and contrive varying versions of the story to sway the populace towards my side, but in the end the fact remains that I have done wrong and should pay my debt to society.

We need to send a clear message to our children and the world at large that justice may be blind, but we can see clearly. We are all sinners, nobody is perfect, mistakes will be made, that's how we learn, and sometimes teach each other, but for every action there is a consequence. Pray for the artistes' safety and their families well-being, support their music, but let the system do what it was put in place to do.

Either you stand against crime or you are in favour of it. Being selective on an issue because of who is involved is just being hypocritical. Try to stay on the right side of the law, it was written for a purpose. Have a great weekend folks. Send feedback and comments to elvachatalot@yahoo.com or follow me on Twitter @ElvaJamaica

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