Facebook comments are still flowing about Buju. A reader sent us his e-mail to Richmond City Councilwoman Ellen Robertson with her response. She copied the Chief of Police and the Mayor’s office to setup a meeting regarding the National’s show.
Good morning Ms. Robertson;
I am writing to you today for the same reason that I am sure you have received many other emails, to express my discomfort and anger towards the upcoming Buju Banton concert at The National, in downtown Richmond. As a tax payer, Richmond business supporter, gay man, and someone who cares for this city – my stomach is in knots that this type of show is being help in my city.
I do believe that all people have the right of freedom of speech. I also believe that those who do not agree with homosexuality have the right to share the discussion. What I do not believe in, is paying someone and endorsing an act (which by having him perform at the National and doing any types of advertising they are endorsing him) that goes beyond freedom of speech to the call of violence and death against members of the human race, is not acceptable and bad business.
What I also fear is that if this concert does happen that the protest that occurs (and there will be a protest of this show) will turn violent. Richmond does not need that type of media attention, nor does the National, which has always allowed diverse acts perform. I also fear for the National after the show. This concert has struck a chord in the greater Richmond area – moving far beyond just the gay community. There has already been damage done to the reputation of the National – people have already decided to boycott the theater. It only makes me sad to think of the boycott/ reaction that occurs if the theater does not cancel this show.
Thank you for your time. I hope that you are able to speak with the people at the National to let them know that this concert is unacceptable and that it has outraged the people of our city.
The following was Robertson’s response:
I cannot afford to set and allow this group to come to town. I will be asking the Chief of Police to meet with me and the owners of the National to address the urgency of this matter. By way of this email, John will follow up with the Mayor and Chief to coordinate a meeting.