Buju Banton was found guilty today of three cocaine conspiracy charges! Not surprisingly, the fervour with which my fellow Jamaicans follow this event has severely dwindled between the first trial five months ago and this retrial. It would have perhaps been even more ignored had Buju Banton (officially Mark Myrie) not won the Grammy award for Best Reggae Album. I found Before the Dawn, for which Myrie won the Grammy, to be a very good work of art.
The general consensus among Jamaicans, from every nook and cranny, is that Buju Banton is innocent. Most of my countrymen who have expressed their views to me on the matter have blindly defended him as innocent – even people I usually regard as well-thinking have disappointed me with their stiff-necked refusal to acknowledge that Buju is not exactly the best role model.
While I sympathize with him to some extent due to the fact that this case is founded upon entrapment1, perhaps based on that fact his sentence will be lightened, I do not take kindly to anyone who would willfully involve him or herself in the cocaine trade at any level. I was further disappointed when it was revealed, on tape, that he suggested the smuggling of diamonds from Africa. This is supposed to be a man with a great level of black consciousness and who possibly would have on occasion lain blame upon the shoulders of the ‘white man’ for ruining Africa and exploiting Africans. I will not get into the details of the diamond trade but it is the cause of many conflicts in the motherland2.
Many of you do not share my opinion but it is only my opinion and I reserve the right to change my mind and I facilitate you sharing yours by enabling comments. Buju Banton is a great musician but Mark Myrie is a human being – fallible. He is very guilty of the bravado that is common to [Jamaican] men, as he admitted in his testimony and it led him to committing serious crimes.
I am a firm believer in encouraging people to accept themselves and each other. I believe we need to establish a more embracing culture – embrace our language, varied lifestyles, skin tones and preferences, embrace our neighbor and appreciate the differences. When we learn to accept ourselves we can accept each other and when we do, we will be in a better position to withstand the temptation of dealing in drugs, or doing anything else we know is wrong or will hurt our fellow man, because we want to seem ‘cool’.
“This is who I am and this is what I stand for… I do not condemn you for your beliefs or preferences but I will not involve myself in your doings because I believe they are wrong. I will not try to impose my beliefs upon you, however.”
I am really disappointed that Mark Myrie isn’t the personification of Buju Banton’s beautiful poetry but life is like that… Just walk good, my dear friends, and try to figure out what you stand for. Me turn me back4.
- constituted by a law enforcement agent inducing a person to commit an offense [↩]
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_diamond [↩]
- Marlon's, my cousin displayed in the photo above, late mother would never part company by saying she is 'gone'. She'd always say she has turned her back as 'when yuh gone yuh dead'. I know it's quite unrelated but I remember her tonight. [↩]
- Marlon’s, my cousin displayed in the photo above, late mother would never part company by saying she is ‘gone’. She’d always say she has turned her back as ‘when yuh gone yuh dead’. I know it’s quite unrelated but I remember her tonight. [↩]