On an Article in the Voice

>One of our readers, Ted Brown, sends us the following article from The Voice newspaper, which targets the black community in the UK. The article was published in the issue of the 2 to 8th July 2007, page 17. It was written by Marie-Annick Gournet

Gareth Williams is the president of The Jamaica Forum for Lesbian All-sexual and Gays, otherwise known as J-FLAG.Wholesale Snapbacks.
He was invited as the guest speaker of the TUC’s LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) London conference and took the opportunity to spend a few days lecturing in Bristol and shared his experience and raised awareness of the increase in homophobia and vulnerability of gay and lesbian human rights.
During his visit to Bristol, Williams addressed a predominantly black audience of academics and non-academics.59Fifty caps. He described living in a society where the basic rights of gays and lesbians are violated on a daily basis and where neither civil society nor Government seems to care.
Members of the audience said it was reminiscent of accounts of slavery when black people were treated as property and expected to be subservient to the whims of their ‘masters’. Similarities were drawn with the periods where failure to conform resulted in people being beaten, confined and possibly killed.
Since February 2007, the audience was told, four gay men have been murdered, three lesbians raped and there have been over 40 mob attacks with some people’s home burned to the ground. Snapback Hats Wholesale.What is even more dramatic is the absence of intervention from the police who some claim are instrumental in inciting some of the attacks.
In February 2007, Williams himself was arrested and beaten by four police officer because he was told by one of the officers not to call him ‘dirty, nasty, battyman’. He reported being slapped in the face, hit on the head and body and beaten with M-16 weapons.
With seemingly no recourse to justice and increased threats on his life, Gareth is having to relocate with the hope that he can find a way to live a peaceful life in his own country. J-FLAG is frequently accused of painting negative picture of Jamaica as a homophobic country, but Gareth says his experience is not an isolated case.
He gave other accounts of attacks: a lesbian whose body was found buried in a pit behind their house in 2006; Steve Harvey murdered and the four gunmen telling his housemate that they were going to kill him because he was gay;NEW SNAPBACK HATS. Brian Williamson (co-founder of J-FLAG) stabbed 77 times; a gay couple found with gunshot wounds to the head in their car.
Williams concluded his talk with these words: “These were just a few of the many cases that have been treated as ‘nothing happened and we tolerate gay people.’ I do not want to be tolerated. I must be accepted and respected and despite the great challenges and threats to my life, still strongly believe in the cause I am advocating for and will not be deterred by the silence of our Government which is so ‘deafening’. While all this year we are commemorating the 200 years of the abolition of the slave trade, it is important to recognise that oppression is ongoing.”

Together with this article, Ted Brown sends the following comments:
It is worth noting that the above report appears without the obvious slurs and implied condemnation with which The Voice has habitually treated LGBT issues: our ongoing campaigns and visibility may be having a beneficial effect on its editorial policy. Please note, there is an e-mail address (yourviews@gvmedia.co.uk) to send comments to the paper.
Though overall the report seems fairly balanced, I’ve noticed a few sections where the report’s accuracy and precision come slightly into question:

In February 2007, Williams himself was arrested and beaten by four police officer because he was told by one of the officers not to call him ‘dirty, nasty, battyman’. He reported being slapped in the face, hit on the head and body and beaten with M-16 weapons.

This reads as if Gareth Williams had been hurling insults, but I’m sure Gareth did not call a police officer a ‘dirty, nasty, battyman’! Surely, it must have been Gareth telling an officer not to be insulting.

J-FLAG is frequently accused of painting negative picture of Jamaica as a homophobic country, but Gareth says his experience is not an isolated case.

I thought Jamaica was officially quite proud of being homophobic, and did not consider this to be negative at all.

a lesbian whose body was found buried in a pit behind their house in 2006.

Lesbian buried behind whose house?

we tolerate gay people.

Does Jamaica claim to tolerate gay people?
Thank you to Ted for this.

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