Jamaica News, Kingston: The recent stage clash, charitably called a debate between religious stage performer, the American Gino Jennings and local entertainer, Mr. Vegas, tells me that not much has changed in how the religious side of our nation view an American on our local soil.
Wanted to pack an evangelical church in the 1950’s? Secure a local preacher of fire and brimstone artfully blended with snake-oil-salesman delivery. Want to even fill the parking area? Secure a black American pastor. Want the crowd to spill over into the public roadway? Secure a white American pastor.
Gino Jennings is just a hip-hop artiste wearing a suit and tie and the Christian cross. The messages are the same. Women are the easier targets because, well, that Garden of Eden thing and the woman being gullible and led poor Adam astray.
According to Jennings, women in the congregation of the church who enter wearing lipstick and ankle bracelets and hip-hugging clothes are ‘hoes’ and prostitutes.
A newly converted Christian, Mr.Vegas was obviously not ready for the sweet mouth of Jennings, the terms of the entertainment conditions and the docility of the very Jamaican women he, Vegas tried to defend.
In Jamaica in 2018, at the urgings of a foreigner, a local entertainer ruffling the feathers of a wily, smooth preaching rooster, was dragged off stage by locally employed roughnecks.
In the name of religion this is seen as no big thing and socially, as long as one side is ‘a man of God’ all is well.
After Vegas was ejected, were those in the religious community caught up in a bigger value placed on patriotism and solidarity and good sense than over-worn religious dogma, they would be roused to come out in support of Mr. Vegas. But they did not.
I wasn’t too pleased with Vegas spouting ‘nigger’ and wasn’t too sure exactly how he was using the derogative term but, to actually see an American preacher acting out a modern-day ‘fatwa’ on a local homeboy and getting local toughs to do it, told me that while Jamaica has grown in infrastructural development since the 1950’s, in religion we have remained mired deep in the swamp of mass ignorance.
The brightest graduate of a local religious seminary could not have won that stage debate with Gino Jennings because the rules of Jennings and his type is to use an open Bible to hoodwink a herd of extremely docile and malleable sheep who would willingly sell out themselves as lamb chops.
The American pastor talking on the stage even forced Mr. Vegas to ape his accent. Jamaican just wasn’t cutting nuh dash on the stage on that day.
My advice to Vegas?
Go back to your roots and remember your own words, ‘Heads high, kill dem wid it now/Just mek a bway know yu naw blow/Heads high, kill dem wid it now/No bway ain’t got no secret fi yow…’
By Mark Wignall