Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 164th post – 30 Sep 2004 11:18 BBC Today Boards
(ref to M.O.B.O. Awards homophobic lyrics scandal)
Jamaican homophobia is undoubtedly a hangover from its days as a very nasty slave plantation.
In this particular market, the fertility of the male slave was part of his value. The slavemasters’ religion came along and gave the task of policing sexuality to the slaves themselves.
Homophobia became engrained in the culture, and the result is the slackness of the lyrics currently under attack at M.O.B.O.
Jamaican homophobia is therefore pandering to Slavemaster values, and is a huge stain on those who perpetuate it. They act tough, but they are nothing but poodles of The Man. And the sooner they realise it, the sooner they will earn a true identity, not one manufactured by the music industry to make money and prevent artists from having any real influence.
The solution to this problem is not to ban it, but to shame it out of existence. It doesn’t work with politicians, but it does work with commercial artists.
re: Slackness is Slavery rog ink – 2622nd post – 1 Oct 2004 09:30
That same ‘slavemaster’ religion brought us the gospel music of Southern USA. Musicians from the gospel background seem to have advanced their lot much more than those of the Hiphop culture. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 174th post – 1 Oct 2004 12:11
In Jamaica – repeat – in Jamaica what book do they quote to justify their persecution of homosexuality?
Who introduced them to that book?
Are you saying that fertility was not an factor in a slave’s value?
The situation in say, New Orleans was very different from that in Jamaica.
Jamaica was basically a concentration camp. Because there was only a skeletal white middle class to service and entertain, the requirements of a slave worker were even more functional than usual. They were units of production and had to justify their owners’ investment. Homosexuality compromised this investment. The church reinforced that monetary ethos, and at the same time alienated the homosexual slave from his or her own community. This would mean that they would be more likely to be discovered and sold on as quickly as possible.
I suggest that’s how the figures would add up, from a business point of view. If we were farmers talking about cattle, we would be weighing the same pros and cons.
Whether gospel singers have ‘advanced’ is very arguable. What do you mean by advanced? I have a friend who sings in a male voice choir, repeating the same C19 repertoire year after year. He sincerely believes that the C20 was a complete waste of time.
What is your explanation for the rabid homophobia of a significant portion of Jamaican culture? [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Slackness is Slavery rog ink – 2621st post – 1 Oct 2004 16:38
You are either making a lot of assumptions, LR, or you really do know your stuff, in which case it be best if I cut and run… :o]
I see no reason why slavemaster would be interested in the fertility of their slaves. As you say, they were units of production. Why would the boss want another mouth to feed for 12-14 years?
If anything if I were the slaveowner I might even encourage any non-child-bearing practices. Plantation owners were first and foremost business people. But I guess they believed in the old Marxist maxim that religion was the opiate of the masses – something to keep their charges occupied on the one day of rest.
My point about Gospel is that the Southern church gave its members a positive, peaceful outlook, and during and after segregation it tried to inspire them.
Instead of the peaceful protest encouraged during the civil rights era, we have the worship of guns, violence and decadence from today’s Black music, be it from Compton or Kingston. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 179th post – 1 Oct 2004 17:26
Some of today’s black music – Some. Before we both get in trouble.
A slaveowner values fertility in the same way that a farmer does in his herd. The extra mouths more than pay for themselves in extra profit, otherwise there wouldn’t be any point in being a farmer in the first place.
There was no moral imperative on slaveowners to see to the welfare of any children, merely an economic one. If they didn’t get enough to eat they died – and ‘helped decrease the surplus population.’ If they managed to survive childhood, they were more likely to be strong, profitable stock.
Another reason for ‘breeding’ replacement slaves rather than just buy in new stock is that the family unit, however tenuous, has a calming effect upon any community. Like religion, as you say, it makes them rather bear those ills they have than fly to others they know not of… As it were.
It’s a proposition. An attempt to explain a phenomenon by observation and by using what we know of how the cultural process worked in the economic environment of the time.
‘Jamaican homophobia is undoubtedly a hangover from slavery…’ Then I try to justify this..
‘In this particular market, the fertility of the male slave was part of his value.’ – I don’t think this is much of an assumption.
‘The slavemasters’ religion came along .. the task of policing sexuality to the slaves themselves.’ The evidence for this is the fact that it survives to this day in the persecution of homosexuals in Jamaica, and in the fact that the churches there, and elsewhere, perpetuate the hate.
‘Homophobia became engrained in the culture,’ That’s just a truism. ‘and the result is the slackness of the lyrics currently under attack at M.O.B.O.’ If not from the culture, then from where?
‘Jamaican homophobia is therefore pandering to Slavemaster values,’ This is my personal construction, I could have just called them hypocrites and be done with it.
‘the sooner they realise it, the sooner they will earn a true identity, not one manufactured by the music industry to make money and prevent artists from having any real influence.’ Yeah well, you can pick that one apart if you like, but no one has so far. [reply] [Complain about this post]
re: Slackness is Slavery Blinkersoff – 11th post – 30 Sep 2004 12:29
Nothing to do with slavery or “Slavemaster values”. Homophobia is rife in Africa & Muslim countries too.
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 165th post – 30 Sep 2004 13:58
Homophobia has many mansions. It isn’t a single definable condition like bubonic plague or gout. It has a cultural context.
I was specifically talking about the form it takes in Jamaica.
What is to blame for it in other cultures is another discussion.
re: Slackness is Slavery Blinkersoff – 15th post – 30 Sep 2004 14:19
Except you seem to forget that Jamaicans came to Jamaica as a result of the slave trade from Africa, bringing with them their cultural prejudices. Unfortunately, by using such phrases as “just a pussy of The Man” is reenforcing the accompanying racism.
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 1st post – 30 Sep 2004 14:39
You have absolutely no idea what their cultural prejudices were. Are there records or accounts of attitudes of pre-slavery African culture? I seem to remember that there are cases where, as in native American culture and Flamenco Gypsy culture, and Britain in the 21st century, gay men, in particular, were a highly valued social assett.
A skulking spineless jackal who merely does his master’s bidding in return for extra dogmeat IS a ‘pussy of The Man’, whatever the social and or racial context.
Either way, to be exposed as one is death to the image of any aspiring tough guy. Use of the term is not racist in any way. If you’d said sexist… But you didn’t.
In fact, saying that black people are inherently homophobic is, well, racist.
re: Slackness is Slavery Blinkersoff – 19th post – 30 Sep 2004 15:07
“You have absolutely no idea what their cultural prejudices were.”
And by the same token, neither do you, but you are perfectly prepared to ignore that & assume that they were not homophobic until they made to be by their masters, when there is no Black culture today that isn’t homophobic.
“In fact, saying that black people are inherently homophobic is, well racist.”
In fact, that’s not what I said. I never said anything about Black people being inherently homophobic. I said that they brought with them “their cultural prejudices”. Just as you are saying that “The slavemasters’ religion came along and gave the task of policing sexuality to the slaves themselves.” But then are you saying that at least a proportion of the slavemasters were Black?
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 169th post – 30 Sep 2004 15:24
The difference is, I’m not claiming to know what their prejudices were. You are. You say that black people brought their homophobic prejudices with them from Africa without having any evidence. That is being inherently racist. Cough up.
You are ‘pre’ – ‘judging’ those people and the burden of proof is on you.
I am saying that the slavemaster’s religion supported the values of the slavemaster. Is that so difficult to grasp?
Look, if you want to turn this into a debate about how black people are racist and therefore it’s OK for you to be racist too, then say so and stop mucking about.
re: Slackness is Slavery Blinkersoff – 20th post – 30 Sep 2004 16:03
I never said that Black people as a race brought their homophobic prejudices with them. However, it seems you wish to interpret it not as a cultural, but as a racial comment. You equally have no evidence that they didn’t. That they arrived as clean slates. However, you wish the burden of proof to be on me, but to have no burden yourself. Not that fair is it?
“I am saying that the slavemaster’s religion supported the values of the slavemaster. Is that so difficult to grasp?”
No you are not saying that at all & implying that I’m stupid doesn’t change that. What you are saying is that the slavemasters’ religion made their slaves homophobic.
“You are ‘pre’ – ‘judging’ those people and the burden of proof is on you.”
And you’re not pre-judging the slavemasters? You’ve also avoided my question about what proportion of the slavemasters were Black.
“Look, if you want to turn this into a debate about how black people are racist and therefore it’s OK for you to be racist too, then say so and stop mucking about. We can all read between the lines.”
I’ve never said anything about how Black people are racist. What I did say was that by using a, in my opinion, racist remark, to shame homophobic Jamaicans rather than banning their homophobic songs & actions & hitting them in their bank balances, you’re trying to solve one wrong by using another. If you’re happy with doing that, then that’s up to you, I am not.
You might think that you can read between the lines, but what you are doing is writing your own words.
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 170th post – 1 Oct 2004 11:15
‘Jamaicans came to Jamaica as a result of the slave trade from Africa, bringing with them their cultural prejudices.’ What does that mean?
‘ I said that they brought with them “their cultural prejudices”.’ So what does THAT mean?
Now we have ‘I never said that Black people as a race brought their homophobic prejudices with them. ‘
You sound pretty sure of yourself, so now we’ll all hear your explanation for Jamaican homophobia.
If you please.
re: Slackness is Slavery Lexi Brooks-Binzer – 312th post – 30 Sep 2004 14:26
Very likely to be true, and a very intelligent posting! But how do you explain it in artists such as Eminem, who is obviously white, and is not therefore descended from slaves?
Perhaps this culture of homophobia has overlapped into all MOBO, e.g. hiphop, RnB, etc? (this, incidentally, makes your point doubly ironic; the very art form used to “fight the Man” is tainted by the values of those they believe they are fighting.)
If I did not enjoy hiphop so much for the rhyming (in some cases, falling little short of poetic), I might be inclined to stop buying all records in a protest 🙂
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 168th post – 30 Sep 2004 15:13
Eminem obviously white? You tell me.
He may not be descended from slaves or inherit the problems that slavery caused to black people, but he knows what sells records.
And he is still a prey to the attitudes that Slavery imposed on American culture in general.
One of these is power-worship. It is healthier to stay on the side of The Man than cause trouble.
So when a musical form like rap emerges out of a genuine sense of outrage and the frustrated need to be heard, it has to have a target to aim against.
In a just world, this would exclusively be the system and the politicians which brought about the sense of grievance in the first place. Against the music industry itself.
But as the system seems to be invulnerable, they have to look tough by picking on an easy target. Someone weaker than themselves. Add the necessity to be outrageous for its own sake, then promoting genocide is great press copy.
It is a sign of despair – that nothing can ever be changed for the better, That is worst aspect of the dreary death-worship which the music industry makes so much money from.
I know there are progressive, genuine artists, they are not the problem. The problem is that black music has insulated itself from the issues that underlie its existence, and the problems that its history have caused. And who’s laughing? Everyone who wants black people to be nothing but minstrels playing at the birthday party on the plantation lawn.
re: Slackness is Slavery Misty the Cat – 524th post – 30 Sep 2004 15:42
Who are these, “everyone who wants black people to be nothing but minstrels playing at the birthday party on the plantation lawn”. I rather think it might be people like you?
That being said, anyone who can observe that “black music has insulated itself from the issues that underlie its existence” has lost me.
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 171st post – 1 Oct 2004 11:20
The people who are laughing at the fact that that black music has insulated itself from the issues that underlie its existence, in this case by parroting the anti-human bigotries of a religion that was imposed on them by their owners.
You have to explain everything to some people.
re: Slackness is Slavery Misty the Cat – 527th post – 1 Oct 2004 13:21
I would imagine the vast majority of people in this country don’t have the slightest interest in so-called “black music” – or even know what it is.
Oh – and it’s not really OK – you seem to be a somewhat aggressive (and arrogant) person who has produced some theory which they think tip-top and is able to point the finger of blame at someone else – and then expect everyone to say how splendid it is.
You are merely either talking to yourself or a select group who I assume to be as bitter as yourself?
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 178th post – 1 Oct 2004 14:44
If the theory is that precarious, destroy it.
I’m talking to you, obviously. But I’m not blaming you, so why should you worry?
Who’s bitter? Like the ‘vast majority of people in this country’ I hate he murder of human beings because of their sexuality (in the context of this arguent) and despise those who excuse it. Don’t you? That’s a very healthy instinct, I believe.
You remember The Beatles? That’s how much people in this country care.
re: Slackness is Slavery Blinkersoff – 22nd post – 30 Sep 2004 16:46
Misty the Cat,
I’m afraid that, IMO, anyone who makes such crass remarks as “everyone who wants black people to be nothing but minstrels playing at the birthday party on the plantation lawn” is not interested in debate, but just having people agree with their opinions.
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 172nd post – 1 Oct 2004 11:24
And what, exactly, are your opinions on this. What’s your explanation? What are you bringing to the party?
re: Slackness is Slavery Blinkersoff – 31st post – 1 Oct 2004 11:39
You’re the one who wants a party, I want a discussion. Enjoy your party.
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 175th post – 1 Oct 2004 12:15
So let’s get this straight.
You don’t have an alternative explanation?
re: Slackness is Slavery Blinkersoff – 41st post – 1 Oct 2004 13:42
I have already given my alternative explanation, that homophobia was brought to Jamaica by the slaves in their own culture. We’ve all been waiting with baited breath for you to offer any form of proof of your opinion that the slaves were clean slates who had homophobia forced into them & also an answer to my question about how many slavemasters were not white. That you keep avoiding this answer means that we can take it that the answer is ‘none’.
So your statements, “Jamaican homophobia is undoubtedly a hangover from its days as a very nasty slave plantation.” & “Homophobia became engrained in the culture, and the result is the slackness of the lyrics currently under attack at M.O.B.O.” is just another of the ‘all the problems of the Black man are the White man’s fault’ excuses. I actually find your use of the word “slackness” highly offensive. The lyrics are not slack at all, they are nasty, offensive & if they were said about Black people, then I doubt very much if anyone would be suggesting that we just “shame” them.
So lets’ get this straight, do you want to discuss this or do you want to make crass remarks in an attempt to “shame” me into accepting your theory?
re: Slackness is Slavery Little Richardjohn – 176th post – 1 Oct 2004 14:34
‘It came from Africa’ is not an explanation because you refuse to make a case for it. It came from the moon is just as plausible. Furthermore, it assumes an endemic homophobia in the range of cultures that were plundered for manpower.
That may or may not have been the case, but you refuse to tell us how you know, while at the same time ignoring the effects of slavery. You might as well ignore the cultural influence of The Holocaust or the Cold War.
My claim is based on the fact that in Jamaica the bible is used to justify persecution. In fact it is the main argument. Every Sunday you might hear preachers in evangelical churches railing against the sin of Sodom and wishing hellfire on its transgressors.
Also the fact that a fertile slave was more valuable than an infertile one.
That is the only evidence I can think of for the origins of the phenomenon. You have more?
I must say AGAIN that I never claimed they were ‘clean slates’, merely that the religion that was used to control them also justified the persecution of homosexuality, and that there were good economic reasons for this (fertility).
You seem to want to deny that slavery had any effects. You don’t seem to believe that environment and economic forces have any effect on culture. Then what does?
‘How many slaveowners were non white?’ I have absolutely no idea. It makes no difference, the products of slave labour went to enrich the economies of the white Industrial world. And the church was one of the chief methods of controlling the slave workforce.
The money definitely didn’t go to Africa, if that’s what you’re suggesting.
And yes, a lot of slaves were sold in Africa by Africans. Which is where I think you’re heading next. So? What’s that got to do with anything? Other than it being a poor dog-eared old argument wheeled out again and again to assuage middle class guilt and to try to lay the blame for Slavery at the door of its victims.