Former Opposition Spokesman on Culture and Entertainment, Damion Crawford, is being rebuked by Jamaicans, after reports by Nationwide Radio that he described as ‘ridiculous’ the decision taken by the Guyanese government to ban artiste, Skeng, from performing at public events in the country.
Crawford, the self-proclaimed Dancehall Defender, who was Opposition Spokesman on Culture and Entertainment up to yesterday, before being shifted to Education, said the shooting incident had nothing to do with Skeng during the interview on Tuesday.
“I don’t see why Skeng would be banned for a Guyanese person breaking the law. The Guyanese person relieved himself of a weapon in a crowd and fired some shots in the air. Why should Skeng be banned instead of that person being arrested. It is like saying you’re banning Jamaican rum because somebody had a car accident for drunk driving. That is foolish and ridiculous,” he said.
During the interview, Crawford had turned to comments Prime Minister Andrew Holness made on Sunday that he was embarrassed at the ban imposed on Skeng, and that he does not want Jamaica to be defined by Skillibeng’s Whap Whap and other unwholesome songs. The now Opposition Spokesman on Education, had argued that the Prime Minister was being duplicitous, as he had used dubplates from Skillibeng and other artists known for violent songs in his last election campaign.
“Because the Prime Minister used Skillibeng for his dubplates in the campaign. He also used Masicka, all these gun lyrics he is blaming… he used Teejay and others in his political campaign. So how is it now that he is embarrassed over Skillibeng. I don’t understand that…,” he said.
However, many Jamaicans did not take kindly to what they considered Crawford’s interference in another nation’s business, contending that the Guyanese government has a right to determine who and what they allow into their country.
Most of the responses were scathing on both Facebook and Instagram.
“Guyana is an independent country. The Guyanese government care zero about your opinion,” jamaicafire876 said, while simoneandersonsimposn added: “The people them free fi ban all a who them wah ban, you can’t tell the people them what to do are you serious tho? Is not every country a free for all enuh, some countries don’t condone certain slackness weather entertainment or not. Who are you to tell the people dem how to run their country who fi ban or not…”
“D last time me check, anuh Crawford country, him n skeng r not citizens of Guyana. D ppl dem r sovereign n determine wat is appropriate r inappropriate in Dem country,” Vincent Scarlett said.
“kmt..The ppl dem dnt wnt no violent song in them country…Guyana have a right to decide what can and who can play…Sing sumn else…and cme again..if a bout gun alone him can sing then him stay a him yaad where Jamaicans luv it,” Nothgiel said, while supermodel Althea Laing added: “What you drinking Damion? No wonder the country has descended into the quagmire.”
Contending that Crawford was turning a blind eye to the impact of the vulgarity in the music, others argued that based on his level of education, and he being a university lecturer, they expected better from him, and that his comments were delusional.
“You see why Jamaica is struggling with crime and violence. These dirty vulgar and violent music he Damion being a well educated man should know better that these music impacts negatively on our youths and he should be one of them as a young person to help to change the image in the music industry. But instead he look the other way you can’t dictate to another country to tell them how to operate Damion,” Oneil Dennis said.
“Damion in the name of Jesus go and sit ur ass down. You are a part of the plague that is affecting our society. Please find something uplifting to bring to our younger generation. Look at where our society is at in this present moment. Are you paying attention to our children in these viral videos. Music influence an entire generation. Of which we have lost 2 consecutive set of young people,” customiz53 said.
Others said that Crawford, who is a goat farmer and vice president of the Peoples National Party (PNP) should mind his own personal business and that of his party, and learn when to keep quiet.
“You can’t tell Mark Golding how to run PNP but a Guyanese you waan tell how to run their country,” Carlington said.
“Goat dread shut the hell up. You want tell other country’s how to run their affairs? Sit this one out. Not because we allow all kind a slackness means others are going to do the same. The people have dem rules and if we can’t abide by them we know what to do. Simples,” Nyjah Harold said, while another man added: “Goat dread you’re a madman in clean clothes stop support slackness it’s looking like your senses turn backways tpc”.
“I can’t agree with u on this one my friend Damion. Some countries are trying very hard to instiil a little decency in their citizens. Not all countries support the f_ckery,” Roy Lawrence noted.
Others contended that Skeng’s music should also be banned in Jamaica, and lauded the Guyanese government whom they said, unlike the Andrew Holness-led administration, has taken steps to prevent their citizens from being exposed to unwholesome and destructive musical content.
“Dem fi ban every single 1 of them, only jamaica alone alow those violence preaching gun tooting slackness in their country,” William Phillips said while Julian Mccarthy added: “If our Jamaican government was serious about these gun violence songs our country would be a better place today I pray that Mr Holness will seriously do something about it.”
“DC can chat as much as he pleases…. Guyana as a free and sovereign country can decide what they want their people exposed to and how best to handle it and what consequences will flow from their decisions,” Dylan Mcdowell said.
One commenter said there should be an international lobby to ban Skeng and those of his ilk.
“Someone should take the time and write out the lyrics to his songs and start lobbying the US, Canada, England, the rest of Europe and also Japan to ban him and anyone else who is pushing the level of violence he pushes in his music. Enough is £u€king enough!!!” he noted.
One commenter sought to be the voice of reason, and recommended that Skeng curtail his production of violent songs, and use his talent in a healthier manner.
“To be honest I thought “gvnman shift” was a dance move. Didnt know that it had to do with criminals working on shift or taking turns to wreak havoc on our nation. Not good at sll. Skeng has alot of talent but he needs to tone down the gvnman rhetoric a little bit,” she noted.