Home > Homophobia > Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech

[by Mitch Trachtenberg]

Something seems to have gone seriously wrong with our understanding of freedom of speech. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution has this to say:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It protects Americans from attempts by the government to silence us, or to tell us how to think. It specifically protects “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.”

Some seem to think that “freedom of speech” means “speech free from consequences,” or, perhaps, “it’s all good.”

It’s not all good.

If I run a shop and choose to post a sign saying “No Chinese or Dogs Allowed,” that may or may not be legal. But even if it’s legal, I can expect that decent people will not patronize my store, and may protest in front of it, exercising their freedom of speech. Chinese-haters, and those who simply don’t care, may continue to patronize my store, but people who believe prejudice is wrong and are willing to act on their beliefs will shop elsewhere, and will urge everyone else to shop elsewhere. That’s what a protest in front of the store is: it is urging people to shop elsewhere, because the store owner’s activity is repugnant.

The line between free speech and harassment is drawn when a protester actually prevents someone from entering the store; having a picket line or another form of protest is exactly what the first amendment protects.

The same applies to music. Many people try to compare the murder music of musicians like Buju Banton, Bounty Killer, and Capleton with other bands that play cruel music. But, while there are lots of songs talking about people abusing other people, there aren’t many well-known acts (are there any?) that actually call for the murder of people because of their race, sex, religion… anything but sexual orientation. But these murder music acts URGE people to hang gays, to throw acid in our faces, to get out the automatic weapons, and to not call police to help gays who are attacked.

To say, “it’s all good, I won’t attend but I won’t complain” is not supporting “freedom of speech.” It is abdicating the responsibilities that freedom of speech imposes on a free people.

Most people, if they are honest with themselves, would be outraged if a bar in Eureka booked an act that had called for the murder of black people, signed a document promising not to do it again, and was then recorded shouting epithets against black people. Most people would feel the same if it was done about Jews, or Japanese, or members of a tribe, or Muslims, or… well, really, just about anyone.

Most people would be offended. They’d protest. They’d complain to the bar’s owner. They might protest outside the bar. But they wouldn’t pretend that what the act did is OK, and that “it’s all good.”

It’s not all good.

  1. tra
    November 23, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Thoughtful and spot-on. Bravo.

  2. Dont be fooled again
    November 23, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Estragon: We are all born mad. Some remain so.

  3. who dem dat slew dem
    November 23, 2010 at 7:52 am

    To boycott music is one thing, to prevent me from listening to it because you don’t like it is ridiculous. You want to ban Capleton because he likes to say “Burn dem” to the wicked. You can include yourself as wicked if you want or not. He would probably classify me as wicked. The fact is that in Jamaica, homosexuality is frowned upon. Apparently, to some extent is frowned upon here as well or prop 8 might have passed. People who get discriminated tend to discriminate. Homosexuals do not want the morality police telling them how to live their lives but have no problem telling me how to live mine. The fact is, the only time I ever think about gay rights is when they impede on my right to listen to what I want. We are Americans, we are trigger happy cowboys, our culture is founded in violence,genocide and slavery. So is Jamaica. Capleton and others like him express and illustrate these origins and how ideologies like they have developed and are still prevalent. It seems weird to me that the homosexual community spends so much time combating these artists,who have no political pull, but ignore those who truly control their fate, like politicians upholding clearly unconstitutional laws like don’t ask don’t tell. Capleton has never physically done any harm to any homosexual and to say that his listeners are going to leave a concert angry at the gay man and ready to do violent deeds is crazy. I am not going to commit suicide because Ozzy said so, nor go burn down some church because Bob Marley said that the preacher is lying. We are not lemmings. I think that banning these shows only makes some people like myself pissed off at the gay community. The gay community and this article want to equate their plight to that of the African-American or other ethnic groups. That is a joke. You can conceal your sexual preference, while you cannot conceal your skin color, so comparing the two really is a stretch in logic. There might be a debate about choice of sexual preference; people do not choose what they look like. I remember christian people handing fliers out educating people about satan worship at a Dio concert, why doesn’t the gay community try to educate like this instead of regulate. I would support that and would probably be more sympathetic to their plight.

  4. Ed
    November 23, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Don’t underestimate the effect of suggestion on the uninformed mind. Religions depend on that effect.

  5. November 23, 2010 at 8:12 am

    I can only laugh at those who claim the rights of free speech while they censor on their own blog what they don’t want others to read. How much different than Comrade Stalin are you?
    I give you a link to give a listen to and hope you will wash the poison from your soul….

    [audio src="http://jancikradionetwork.com/visible/f2f-visible.101114.mp3" /]

    Just as a cow can’t claim to be a goat, you can’t claim to support free speech- your actions speak for themselves.


  6. Mitch
    November 23, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Much of what may be debated here has also been debated in response to various posts at the Humboldt Herald and at my Humboldt Against Hate blog. I’m going to try to avoid getting drawn into responding over and over to the same points, and encourage anyone who is really interested to check things out for themselves.

    There’s a great site called Murder Inna Dancehall; google those words to get there.

    I’ll just make a few points:

    — to constantly say that burning refers to spiritual purification is fine, but it does not explain the murder music exhortations that gays be hung, have acid thrown in our faces, that the police should not be called when gay people are attacked, etc…

    — Jamaican lives matter as much as Humboldt lives, so for a murder music singer to call for people’s deaths only when they sing in the Caribbean is not my idea of a nice solution

    — it is my belief that promoters are taking advantage of people’s ignorance and their desire to believe that good performers couldn’t “really” be in favor of killing people just because they are gay. They can be. Buju Banton was part of a group which assaulted several gay men in Jamaica. Bounty Killer has been in the news this year for more assaults on women, http://www.theboombox.com/2010/04/06/bounty-killer-arrested/

    November 23, 2010 at 9:05 am


    In the end though, too many people whose sticks and stones may break many bones but their words shall never hurt Now, this does not mean a human being won’t ACT UPON WORDS AND COMMIT VIOLENCE. It is like a gun – is it the gun that is evil, or the person? Did the gun invent itself or did a person invent a gun.

    Unfortunately, unless speech is taught respectfully at a young age, kiss verbal respect bye bye for so many. Does everyone enjoy listening to curse words in every which way and form, no – do many people curse at times to express emotion, yes. So, back to the beginning.

    On a different note: Violent Video Games are much worse imo as they offer much more negativity for profit.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  8. November 23, 2010 at 9:08 am

    IANAL, this is my non-lawyer opinion.

    In this post 9/11 era, at least here in the US of A, such statements as Buju Banton makes about committing violence against gay people would fall under the category of “terroristic threats,” a misdemeanor which can be punishable by fines, jail time, probation, and/or restraining orders.

    A terroristic threat is when someone “communicates any type of threat that causes a person or group to be in fear of bodily harm, disrupts an assembly, public gathering or the use of a public building…” and so on.

    Threats of violence are a very different beast than putting up a sign that says “No Chinese or dogs allowed,” though if the storekeep actually tried to categorically refuse service to Chinese people, they’d run afoul of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  9. E. Percival Ne'er-do-well Esquire III
    November 23, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Nice bit of babble there who dem. Your “god” speaking to you or you make that shit up yourself? I have zero tolerence for religious idiocy of any kind, so when you spout your shit who dem, you’ll get called on it.

  10. E. Percival Ne'er-do-well Esquire III
    November 23, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Sorry, forgot the obligatory GFY.

  11. Angel
    November 23, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Why isn’t Queer Humboldt calling for picketing of this event? If I picket and I’m the only one, I might get beaten up.

  12. Anonymous
    November 23, 2010 at 11:38 am

    NOBLE nailed it.

    If we REALLY want the Patriot Act and Homeland Security enforced against calls for violence, we must remind them that our minorities, gays, and women play an equal role in perpetuating imperialism.

  13. Free Speech?
    November 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    I don’t like a lot (any!) of the rap and reggae music I hear due to vile and filthy lyrics. Songs that condone sickening acts against others; that degrade and dehumanize women. I think it ALL should be banned.

    And crude t-shirts and bumper stickers with filthy words should also be banned.

    I volunteer to be on the committee that decides what is decent!

  14. Anonymous
    November 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    No problem Free Speech. Mitch has written in his post what ‘decent’ people do. So there’s no need for a decency committe, Mitch has it all taken care of, merely consult him. And don’t get confused if someone says to you that homosexuality is ‘indecent’.

  15. robash141
    November 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Sure they can have free speech as long as i can speak freely to call it “garbage” if I don’t like what they say

  16. Joel Mielke
    November 23, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    Who Dem’s logic is as sharp as his grammar.

  17. tra
    November 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Who Dem said: ” You can conceal your sexual preference, while you cannot conceal your skin color, so comparing the two really is a stretch in logic.”

    So if someone perfects a skin-bleaching system, and it becomes possible for African-Americans to lighten their skin, straighten their hair and so on, it will then become O.K. to write and perform lyrics calling for the murder of African-Americans? Because they should just conceal their skin color to accomodate the prejudices of the bigots?

    My advice to commenters: Before you post your regurgitation of some argument you’ve heard, take a few minutes to consider the logic in the opinions you are expressing. In particular, try to put yourself in the shoes of those who might disagree with the argument, and see whether or not it may be quite easy to poke holes in the argument. If your own ability to reason turns out to be a bit stronger than the person or group that you’re parroting, you might just be able to avoid embarassing yourself…and who knows, you might just learn something!

  18. tra
    November 23, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Who Dem said: “The fact is, the only time I ever think about gay rights is when they impede on my right to listen to what I want.”

    Thank you for your candor. This goes a long way toward explaining your point of view.

  19. Mitch
    November 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    3:37 isn’t comfortable with my characterization of people as “decent” in this pair of sentences.

    “If I run a shop and choose to post a sign saying “No Chinese or Dogs Allowed,” that may or may not be legal. But even if it’s legal, I can expect that decent people will not patronize my store, and may protest in front of it…”

    3:37, how would you characterize people who are bothered by the sign? How would you characterize people who were not bothered by it? How would you characterize people who were bothered by the civil rights sit-ins in the 1950s, which, let’s face it, prevented perfectly respectable white people from enjoying their Woolworth’s BLTs just for some issue that they didn’t care about? I can hear the outraged whines now.

    If “decent” sounds too judgmental for you, what word would you propose?

  20. Mitch
  21. Mr. Nice
    November 23, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Y’all do need to stop saying that those lyrics mean set gay people on fire. Reggae lyrics burn Babylon every other lyric. Do you think that means listeners, go out and set fire to Babylon?

    Still these asshole sing jays need to recognize. This ain’t Kingston, this is not their fucking yard, gay people don’t have to hide in Northern California so shut the fuck up with this ignorant ass “chi chi” bullshit or your raggedy ass is gonna get protested. We are fine with Snoop Dogg or whatever the fuck because he makes jokes about your mama which is the American way of dealing with this subject.

  22. Walt
    November 24, 2010 at 5:49 am

    So, Mitch (or who dem), what is it with Jamaica’s attitude about gays? Is this a rastafarian thing, or just cultural?

  23. Mitch
    November 24, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Mr. Nice,

    Look at the lyrics. It’s not just fyah bun. It’s hang them, shoot them, throw acid in their faces. Unusual purification approaches.

    BTW, I read Mr. Nice — fascinating person, interesting book, thanks for the tip. Possibly one of the best first sentences I’ve ever seen (no spoiler).

  24. Mitch
    November 24, 2010 at 7:34 am


    You can find more information here:


    and if you trust Time, here:


    As to why Jamaica, I haven’t a clue. Some people say it’s colonial/missionary legacy. But then, I wonder what a report on treatment of gays in the United States in 1959 would have come up with.

    I think people everywhere need scapegoats, and it’s not impossible for me to imagine that Jamaica’s choice of gays has an element of randomness to it. You could just as easily ask why Germany and the Jews.

  25. Largo
    November 24, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Walt, you’ll never get an honest evaluation of Jamaican culture from “Who Dem,” but an Anglo-American friend of mine married a Jamaican and moved to Jamaica in the ’80s. Her husband was physically and psychologically abusive, as was his family. When she sought help she found that the cultural norms supported her husband’s behavior. She came back humiliated, beaten down and in need of treatment. So stick that one in your bongs and smoke it you trustafarian posers. You want to be Jamaican? Irie my ass.

  26. Redwood Runner
    November 24, 2010 at 10:08 am

    So, does this mean that the proper way to understand the rights enumerated in the Constitution is… precisely as they are written? Surely the document can not be so easy to understand?

    The document is living and breathing, so the 1st amendment now means “Shut up and do what we tell you to do.”

    Also, I can’t believe how many racists are here. EVERYONE knows that all cultures are 100% equal, and the Jamaicans with their beliefs simply add to our beautiful diversity. Why is it okay for white upper middle class bullies to try and force their beliefs on Jamaicans? This is just another version of the same old imperialism and oppression against blacks. This anti-Jamaican racism is disgusting. Why won’t you join with them in celebrating their diversity?

  27. Angel
    November 24, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Why isn’t any local gay organization helping to organize a protest at the Red Fox?

    Queer Humboldt thinks that everyone would react with love and education but no protest.

    PFLAG was able to organize a decent sized rally after the suicide of a local transgender, but the group won’t use its mailing list to publicize a protest against an act that wants more community deaths.

    Humboldt Pride has a good sized email list, but it’s staying away from the controversy. The Sisters would rather work on outfits for the next bingo game. Marriage Equality has tunnel vision and focuses only on marriage. Mitch’s blog has not called for a protest.

    I’ve heard that Verbena will be there, but where is the gay leadership when it’s really needed?

  28. Joel Mielke
    November 24, 2010 at 10:53 am

    People who call for “leaders” when action is needed should step up and be leaders. Why should someone else always be responsible, Angel?

    And the very superior Redwood Runner is confused. In the story above the Jamaicans are the “bullies.” And isn’t the reflexive defense of miserable, sexist cultural norms just racist condescension?

  29. Mitch
    November 24, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Redwood Runner,

    Using your logic, the Confederacy was just as legitimate in its choice to continue slavery as the North was to eliminate it.

    All cultures are not equal. Cultures that oppress their minorities, for example, are not equal to those which offer equal rights. The United States became a better place when it finally eliminated slavery. It became a better place when it extended the vote to women.

    Places where goon squads ride around in Forerunner’s harassing and molesting women not in purdah are not equal to those in which women have a choice of what to wear and how to behave.

    Places where it is considered legitimate to beat someone up for being gay are not equal to those in which that is considered wrong.

    But good try with the racist label.

  30. Mr. Nice
    November 24, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I think people everywhere need scapegoats, and it’s not impossible for me to imagine that Jamaica’s choice of gays has an element of randomness to it. You could just as easily ask why Germany and the Jews.

    The entire Caribbean is homophobic to some degree. Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Dominican Republic are the only island countries where the governments give a shit. The rest of them basically outlaw any kind of LGBT activity to some degree.

    It’s not just Jamaica and it’s not a Rastafarian thing. (Don’t) Visit Bermuda some time. Bermuda government tried to ban homophobia and legalize homosexuality but the people themselves are weird as hell about sex of any kind.

    It’s backward ass religion. The original African Jamaican religions had no problem with gays or transgenders or any of that shit, they were focused on shit like luck deities. White people’s religion brought this anti-homosexual idea into folks heads and it stuck.

  31. Angel
    November 24, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    “People who call for “leaders” when action is needed should step up and be leaders.”

    …..and I’m ready to be a leader, Joel! I already have police whistles, face masks, red paint to splatter the club and its customers with, baseball bats, an effigy of Capleton to smash apart like a pinata, a bullhorn, some M-80’s, handcuffs, gasoline and I’ll be calling for a volunteer to set on fire as a symbolic gesture and disruptive event.

    Capleton deals in hate? Hey, we’ll play his game and show him hate right back. We’ll see how tough Capleton and his faux-rasta fans really are.

  32. Mitch
    November 24, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    I’m going to hope that’s an unfortunate attempt at humor, Angel.

    Please don’t make threats of violence, even in jest.

    There are a lot of stupid people out there on both sides of the issue, and there’s no point in saying something that can be misinterpreted.

  33. Angel
    November 24, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    …..and duct tape. I forgot to mention the duct tape.

  34. Goldie
    November 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Perhaps what Angel is calling for is a roll model. I often here of situations that I would wish to change but I don’t know how.
    Angel might be responding with confusion and in a less than civil humor because he doesn’t know what else to do or how else to phrase his concerns. I applaud Angel’s courage to respond at all.
    Really, where are the elders and the way showers? Sadly our language and culture is permeated with anger and insults. How does one learn to reply?

  35. Mitch
    November 24, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    OK, Angel. We can agree about the duct tape.

  36. Sam Kestu
    November 26, 2010 at 2:56 am

    It is true that all the English-speaking former British colonies in the Caribbean, except for the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, have buggery laws like Jamaica. Amongst these former colonies,Jamaica is pretty extreme, though. See this article: “The Most Homophobic Place on Earth?” http://bit.ly/d2Xf20

    It is also true that Capleton has called for more than just “Fiyah Bun” of LGBT in his songs and in his comments from the stage.

    It is important to note that LGBT people have been set on fire and burned alive in their homes in Jamaica.

    Much more information Capleton and homophobia in the Caribbean is available on Pam’s House Blend at http://bit.ly/9lg1KD

  37. redwood Runner
    November 26, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I just can’t understand all this racism. Why do so many refuse to celebrate the beautiful tapestry of diversity, and instead seek to impose their imperialistic moralizing on others? Typical white racism out of control.

    heraldo, why do you allow these racists to spew their hate about blacks? It’s really disgusting to listen to these white imperialists try to tell otHer cultures what to do. Just one more example of how liberal really means, “Shut up and do as I tell you.”

    Either morality is relative or it isn’t. If it is, then none of the racists here have any grounds to object to these cultural practices. That just happens to be what is true for Jamaicans, but not for you, and you are just trying to force your beliefs on the colored folk because you think you are better than them.

  38. Mitch
    November 26, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Redwood Runner,

    I’m sure the dead black gay Jamaicans would be very pleased with your analysis if they could be brought back to life.

    I’m still wondering, though, whether or not you think slavery under the Confederacy was part of America’s “beautiful tapestry of diversity” and whether you are upset that the North’s “imperialistic moralizing” destroyed a wonderful cultural institution just as worthy of protection as anything else.

  39. Mitch
    November 26, 2010 at 9:05 am

    Here’s a link someone posted some time ago, I think on the Humboldt Herald. It’s Sam Harris speaking at TED on whether science can have anything to say about morality.

    I’m a Harris fan, so it won’t surprise you that I think he’s spot on. Even for those who don’t agree with him, though, his talk should raise questions about the sacred cow of cultural relativity, at least in minds with a bit of openness.

  40. Mitch
    November 26, 2010 at 9:09 am

    And (sorry to be obsessive here) if you have trouble with the TED link, there’s this one:

  41. Redwood Runner
    November 26, 2010 at 9:34 am


    You’re coming dangerously close to sounding like one of those xenophobic, homophobic, racist, bigoted, misogynistic, patriarchal conservatives that these things like “Morality is objective” and then start to do racist, xenophobic undiverse closed minded hateful things like applying the principle “Morality is objective” to particular circumstances to understand what is right and wrong.

    It’s taken decades for us to de-program the Christian Wingnuts of such stupid thoughts. Why do you surrender the battlefield now, just when we are winning?

    If we’re really going to be relativists about things like sexual behavior, we really have no standing to be objectivists about things like killing people for their sexual behavior. We can’t have it both ways. Either morality is relative or its objective.

    And to say morality is objective is racist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc. So, are you racist, or do you celebrate diversity?

  42. Redwood Runner
    November 26, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Additionally, when a person points out clear errors, and you respond by saying, “Well! What do you think about the things that happened 150 years ago where a bunch of rich white people decided to go to war with a different group of rich white people, and it ended with 618,000 people dying! Which group of rich white people do you support?”

    Red Herring. Or whatever term was used for Red Herrings in 1860. Now, back to the topic at hand– why does diversity mean “Mitch gets to tell all the colored folks how they need to change their culture to make him happy?”

  43. Joel Mielke
    November 26, 2010 at 9:41 am

    “white imperialists”? Redwood Runner seems to know the color and cultural background of everyone who posts here. I don’t know nor care what he looks like, but I do find his condescending comments as offensive as they are illogical.

  44. Redwood Runner
    November 26, 2010 at 9:49 am


    We all know that race is merely a social construct of oppression. Regardless of a persons actual social-construct-of-origin, by subscribing to the ideals of white imperialism, of forcing euro-centric morality down the throats of others because we don’t like what they do, how they dress, how they sound, the music they make, etc, a person is participating in the white culture of imperialistic oppression by trying to destroy diversity and force colored persons to act exactly the way the european christian wingnut culture wants them to act.

    Morality is either objective or relative. If it’s objective, then killing people for their sexual orientation/activities is wrong, as is singing music that encourages the same.

    If it’s relative, then there is no moral difference between such a killing and walking to the store for a Red Bull, and no moral difference between such a song and whistling a tune while working.

    You’re either down with moral relativism or you’re not, but you can’t have it both ways.

  45. Mitch
    November 26, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Redwood Runner writes,

    If we’re really going to be relativists about things like sexual behavior, we really have no standing to be objectivists about things like killing people for their sexual behavior. We can’t have it both ways. Either morality is relative or its objective.

    And to say morality is objective is racist, xenophobic, homophobic, etc. So, are you racist, or do you celebrate diversity?

    I can only invite you to watch the link I’ve posted. I genuinely believe it will be 25 minutes well-spent, though I doubt it will convince you.

    By your standards, I’m afraid, both Sam Harris and I are racist. C’est la vie.

  46. Anonymous
    November 26, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Isn’t that what is known as “a false dichotomy?”

  47. Mitch
    November 26, 2010 at 10:04 am

    And, to whatever extent this helps you understand Harris’ point, he’s very clear (to me) that there are many peaks and valleys on the moral landscape. No culture has a claim to the only peaks. But he believes, and I agree, that cultural practices can be judged by how they contribute to or detract from the suffering of conscious creatures.

    Calling for people’s murder due to their sexual orientation is not the same thing as dressing differently.

  48. Anonymous
    November 26, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I wrote

    Isn’t that what is known as “a false dichotomy?”

    in response to Redwood Runner’s comment of 9:49.

  49. Joel Mielke
    November 26, 2010 at 10:59 am

    “…forcing euro-centric morality down the throats of others…”?

    By protesting a performance by a bigot?

    “You’re either down with moral relativism or you’re not…”

    Redwood Runner sounds like he’s sensitive to the arguments and assertions of Christian conservatives. I’m not.

  50. Sam Kestu
    November 26, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    In discussing a performer like Capleton, Buju Banton and some of the others, we have to keep in mind that these artistes think that LGBT people should be wiped off the face of the earth. They would certainly like to do that in Jamaica and they definitely want to promote that idea everywhere else in the world.

    Capleton, Buju, etc are really motivated by their belief in Leviticus 20:13 and other similar verses in the Bible. They believe that this is the word of God and must be followed.

    They are actually doing religious preaching during their performances.

    And they are preaching genocide and vigilante killing of LGBT people. It is really the same as lynching.

    The thing for the club owners to consider: What if someone is attacked and injured or killed in the club? What if someone gets pumped up by the righteous religious message and attacks and injures or kills someone after the performance?

    Supporters of Capleton, Buju, etc point out that this has “never” happened. But, if it did there would be tremendous consequences. (“Never” happened that we know of and that has been documented.)

    Even if Capleton goes into one of his “kill LGBT” tirades during his Red Fox Tavern performance, if that gets documented and posted on YouTube or elsewhere, it should result in very, very strong criticism and consequences for the venue.

    If you are LGBT supportive, or if you just support human rights, please show up for this performance at the Red Fox Tavern. Please bring your camcorder, cellphone, or voice recorder to document what happens.

    Let us know if Tanya Stephens sings “Do You Still Care?” and let us know how it is received.

  51. Anonymous
    November 26, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Why would red fox host these guys and why would you encourage people to attend, if every venue that booked them lost money they would not have a stage to spew hatred from

  52. Sam Kestu
    November 26, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Another question is: Why is someone with Capleton’s record of promoting hatred and violence even allowed to perform in this country?

    Capleton isn’t among the top 10 reggae dancehall performers http://tinyurl.com/2dmpf4z but he is popular enough, and reggae dancehall music is popular enough in Humboldt County, to sell out the venue, or pretty close to it, without any additional publicity from opponents of hate music or any additional controversy.

    It is unlikely that this show would lose money, in any case. Capleton is promoting a new album.

    It would be great, though maybe a little risky for the LGBT people, for Capleton to look out into the audience and see some visibly LGBT people in the audience. And it would be good for Tanya Stephens to have an appreciative audience, if she chooses to sing “Do You Still Care?”

    We don’t need to have a lot of LGBT people, or LGBT-supportive people at this event. Just enough to document what goes on so there is a record.

    Just as a warning, Capleton will probably start his performance late, most likely after 1:00 AM. The show is scheduled to start at 9 PM. You won’t see Capleton at 9 PM, though. Go at 10 PM or 11 PM and expect to stay late.

  53. Joel Mielke
    November 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    The people who suffer under the legacy of European imperialism have insult heaped upon injury by the descendants of their oppressors aping their culture and reducing it to a fatuous “lifestyle” choice.

  54. Anonymous
    November 27, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Barf! What bullshit!

  55. Anonymous
    November 27, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Who are the people who live among us here on the North Coast and yet support a man like that?

  56. November 27, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Who supports hate like this?

    Try the Cobb-controlled Green Party of Humboldt County, that’s who. Their own David/kaitlin puppet of a fake Chair, Emma Brecain, was the publicist for this very event, and made $$$ by promoting this (likely) sell-out show (pun intended). Of course then she made a big show of not doing it again — but ya took the money lady, can’t wash that blood off your hands so easily!

    So I have to wonder which Green Key Value the celebration of brutality towards gay people is covered by, Feminism, Non Violence, Social Justice perhaps? Ah, but it has nothing to do with advancing the privatized agenda of the great Democracy Unlimited empire, so I’m quite sure David Cobb’s sad declining Green Party won’t bestir itself to give a crap about human rights once again.

  57. Joel Mielke
    November 28, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Deleted’s goofy rant reminds of an old joke on the left:
    Q: Do you know how Trotskyists multiply?
    A: By dividing.

  58. Anonymous
    November 28, 2010 at 9:53 am

    Deleted was at least trying to answer the question. Why don’t you try to do that?

  59. Joel Mielke
    November 28, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Was he trying to “answer the question,” or was he just settling old scores? If Anonymous wants to be constructive, how about coming up with useful ways of fighting bigotry.

  60. Anonymous
    November 28, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Good point, Joel. Now do you have an answer to the question of what kind of people here among us support a man like Capleton, with his murder music message? If you know, please share your knowledge.

  61. Mitch
    November 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    While I can’t speak for anyone else, I know that David Cobb was extremely supportive of the call to protest Buju Banton back several months ago. It always leaves me impressed when straight men are as offended by homophobia as I am.

    If someone who is also connected with DU was involved in Capleton’s publicity, it just shows that there are differences of opinion within that group. Those differences of opinion can probably be chalked up to the number of promoter lies a person has heard, and whether they’ve actually investigated the statements the promoters make.

  62. Joel Mielke
    November 28, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    “…what kind of people here among us support a man like Capleton…”

    Reggae fans with no social conscience, and bigots? How would I fuckin’ know? Go to the show and you’ll have a definitive answer.

  63. Anonymous
    November 28, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I was sure I could get the F-bomb out of you without half trying. Your answer, though, seems right to me.

  64. Joel Mielke
    November 28, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Sorry for my vulgar intensifier. I was just talking with my mother-in-law and she told me that cursing is for the inarticulate who cannot express themselves properly.

  65. Anonymous
    November 28, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Wait! Is your mother-in-law my grandmother?

  66. A-Nony-Mouse
    November 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I try to save “F**K***” for HiFi. It has more meaning that way.

  67. Mitch
    November 29, 2010 at 8:37 am

    A question for Redwood Runner:

    Please read the link, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/29/ghanaian-woman-burned-death-witch , and let us know if this is part of the beautiful tapestry of diversity we should all be defending.

    Is it racist to suggest burning witches is wrong?

  68. Anonymous
    November 29, 2010 at 8:55 am

    I checked the T-Standard Entertainment and Murder sections, but found no news about the Capelton concert. What happened?

  69. Anonymous
    November 29, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    Our prayers must have been answered. Capleton disappeared into thin air!

  70. Anonymous
    November 30, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Punchline on this thread is the David Cobb crowd is making money off murder music. Green Party values my ass.

  71. Redwood Runner
    November 30, 2010 at 7:55 am


    Absolutely. There is no such thing as right and wrong. Just your opinion and their opinion.

    When you are forced to cite Sam Harris’ rambling and non-nonsensical rant to try and escape the painfully obvious, it’s pretty clear that your position holds no merit. Either morality is objective and absolute or it is subjective and relative.

    Why do you keep trying to force your white fascist morality on all the dark skinned folk? Your racism is appalling. Why do they have to end their beautiful and rich cultural traditions just to fit your white oppression ‘morality’?

  72. Joel Mielke
    November 30, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Redwood Runner keeps bringing up “race” while calling others racist. He’s a defender of bigotry, and that’s about as low as you can get in my book, no matter what color you are or what culture you come from.

  73. Ditto
    November 30, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Redwood Runner proves he is an idiot when he says condemning witch burning is racist and calls homophobia and murder “beautiful and rich cultural traditions.” No doubt he feels the same about cannibalism, extreme female circumcision, child marriage, slavery and stonings.

  74. Mitch
    November 30, 2010 at 8:44 am

    Oh, come on, Joel and Ditto.

    My assumption is that Redwood Runner is just some right wing troll who has always been upset with the idea of cultural diversity. He thinks he’s found a clever way to trip up those who believe cultures should be allowed to develop in different ways.

    He hasn’t. It’s perfectly reasonable to say that supporting murder or slavery is wrong, regardless of the culture in which one is embedded, while still recognizing that cultural imperialism is a real and damaging phenomenon.

  75. Mitch
    November 30, 2010 at 8:46 am

    On the other hand, RR, you are well-prepared to submit to some semiotics journal. Congratulations.

  76. Joel Mielke
    November 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Redwood Runner cites a “rambling and non-nonsensical rant,” as he tortures English at length with his bloviated, erstatz-intellectual drivel.

  77. Anonymous
    December 1, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Ersatz, Joel.

  78. Joel Mielke
    December 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks. Spelling is so very important, especially in a comment thread on a blog.

  79. Anonymous
    December 1, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    I knew it would bother you, which is why I mentioned it. xoxox

  80. Joel Mielke
    December 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    It’s nice to be loved. Sniff.

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