Sunday, October 13, 2002

And I Thought People Who Smoked That Much Weed Were Supposed to Be Mellow

Claiming to be homosexual – it’s not just for avoiding the draft anymore. It can now get you protected refugee immigration status in the UK. Two men from Jamaica have recently been granted asylum on the basis of virulent homophobia in their homeland. This comes as a surprise, as the image of Jamaica presented in television ads in the U.S. is one of smiling resort employees cheerfully carrying an American tourist’s golf clubs, or serving him a refreshing tropical drink on a platter. It hardly seems possible that such charming people would kill their local village hairdresser with a machete. The other compelling detail in this story is the anecdotal evidence the two men presented to illustrate how dangerous it is to be that way in Jamaica. Their tales of physical attacks were “reinforced by concern about the lyrics of some of the country's leading music stars.” I had no idea Eminem was a leading music star in the Caribbean.


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