When something does not add up and does not make much sense, Jamaicans do not fall for it. Unlike in the United States where the #MeToo movement has destroyed the life of a great Black man like Bill Cosby, that is not being allowed to happen in Jamaica.
Rastafarian artiste, Capleton, was recently arrested on rape charges under what many in the reggae community are considering to be very suspicious based on the claims of the victim. Although the alleged rape took place on April 28, the victim did not report it to the police until 5 days later on May 2nd.
Capleton who is now free on bail was scheduled to perform on the upcoming Reggae Sumfest show and organizers of the even have informed 18 Karat Reggae that the artiste is still booked for the show despite the negative allegations.
Yes, he is still on for the show,” Joe Bogdanovich, the CEO of Reggae Sumfest told 18 Karat Reggae. “I don’t have any concerns. I think he is innocent.”
Capleton was offered bail in the sum of $250,000 on Monday when he appeared at the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court in Half-Way-Tree. The 51-year-old spent the weekend in lock-up at the Half-Way-Tree.
Capleton has claimed that the allege rape victim is lying and he is the real victim in a case of extortion.
While many in the reggae community are standing by Capleton, we should not allow this to overshadow the fact that violence against women is real and needs to stop. Mo excuses, no exceptions. It is right that we are waiting for the artiste to get his day in court before we throw him in the lake of fire but the alleged victim must also be given the opportunity to tell her story before we vilely treat her. The recurring question in the Rasta and Reggae community is, why didn’t she report the incident to the police immediately. Professionals in this area has said that it is perfectly normal because of fear and other reasons for victims to delay going to the police. Recently we have seen where women waited years and even decades to report sexual crimes against them.
So while Capleton is innocent until proven guilty, he should be allowed to go on making a living until his trial. Until he is proven innocent, however, we should be careful of how we celebrate him and berate the alleged victim.
In times like these, the lyrics of the great Gregory Isaacs make perfect sense, “I gave my hand unto the wicked but I gave it with caution.” So let’s not just be supportive of Capleton, let’s support the alleged victim also. We should give our hands to both of them. In the end, when the full story is known, one of them will be the wicked. right now, we don’t know who it is, so let’s give both of them our hands, but with caution.