Sean Paul will perform in apartheid Israel, following in the footsteps of Ziggy Marley and Damian Marley.
The days of viewing reggae artists as freedom fighters through music, are long gone. Today, reggae is just another genre of music. The sole goal of reggae artists, just like their hip hop, country and R&B counterparts; is to make money. Then again, maybe that’s the way it always was and we were just too blind to see. After all, there are far more reggae artists who became Rastas than there are Rastas who became reggae artists. That says a lot and is definitely something to think about.
So just like Ziggy Marley and Damian Marley, Sean Paul will be performing in apartheid Israel, in early 2016. Now, Sean Paul is a bald head who sings party songs for the clubs and dancehalls; so maybe he should not be held to the same high standards as Rasta artists who sing songs promoting equal rights and justice. At the same time there should be some standards. Some West Indies cricketers led by Lawrence Rowe played in apartheid South Africa in 1981 and 1982. These were athletes playing a sport, not advocates fo0r justice, yet they were banned from playing cricket because of their actions. They were not reinstated until 1989 after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. Jimmy Cliff’s career also took a dive when he performed in apartheid South Africa. So why today, is there no outrage for these artists who are performing in apartheid Israel?
Today if reggae artists like Sizzla, Beenie Man, Capleton and others don’t acknowledge that they denounce all homophobic music, they can’t perform at any overseas events because of boycott from the homosexual community. Why aren’t reggae artists requiring that the promoters of these events in Israel come out and denounce apartheid before agreeing to perform on their events?
Again, Sean Paul is not in the same position as a Rasta artist, and he should go and perform and make a living. As a human being with a voice, however, he should say something about what is taking place in Israel. He should not be quiet just because the price is right. The Marley boys should also perform in apartheid Israel if they please, before doing so, however, they should stop hijacking the Rasta movement. Rasta is about equal rights and justice for all and the justice comes before financial gains. If one cannot live by that simple principle, he should not claim to be Rasta.