International Poet, Heru shakes up Jamaica without apology

The following article was taken from The Jamaica Observer Online and can be accessed
by clicking on Heru's picture below.

The airing of violent songs reflects disdain for poor black people, said poet Heru at Seh Sup'm poetry
show Sunday.
"If a deejay sings about shooting a white tourist that would not get airplay in fact, he probably would be put in jail.
But when a deejay sings about killing a ghetto youth that gets airplay...It means that the white man is up here and
the black youths are down there. They should stop that but it is right in our face."

The Broadcasting Commission on Friday issued a ban on "explicitly sexual and violent" songs. It described these
recordings to be contrary to sections of the Television and Sound Broadcasting Regulations and against certain
tenets of the Children's Code for Programming. As a result, the commission had decreed that radio, television and
cable stations must not transmit any recording, live song or music video which promotes or is suggestive of
daggering. The commission in its statement defined daggering as "a colloquial term used in dancehall culture as a
reference to hardcore sex or what is popularly referred to as dry sex, or the activities of persons engaged in the
public simulation of various sexual acts and positions".

"They play it all day and the deejays get rich off of it. When you hear this music its like the deejays are spitting in
our faces," added Heru who is Ghanian/American. "The media says it reflects society; but saying that a boy was
shot is reporting, you shooting the boy is endorsing...freedom comes with responsibility.  You cannot yell fire on an
airplane."
His paused during his poetry to chat blurring the lines between art and advocacy. "What are they trying to promote/
what are they trying to evoke."

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE:
Poets Defend Ban
Heru
HERU Interview
on Jamaica TV
February 2009.

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