Kerran CaribDirect staff writer

Staff writer – Kerran Monroe

Growing up my mother often told me that wise people don’t learn from their mistakes; instead wise people learn from other people’s mistake.  This especially goes when you have noticed multiple people around you making the same mistakes.  Why on earth would I want to make the same mistake, seeing the consequences that have been paid in the past.

Who am I talking about in this instance?  I am talking about reggae artiste, Queen Ifrica.  Queen Ifrica used the national Independence Day Grand Gala as her platform to share her thoughts on two very controversial topics; the issue of marijuana legalization and homosexuality.  The latter is the one that I refer to in the previous paragraph.

Over the years, Jamaican artistes have come under a lot of fire for anti-gay lyrics and comments.  Some of them have been banned from entering certain countries, some have had their concerts protested against and even cancelled because of gay rights protesters.

While some might argue that she has the right to her opinion and the freedom to express her opinion through speech; one must understand that no right is ultimate.  With right comes responsibility; and even though we have freedom of speech, some things we still cannot say without there being consequences.  For example we cannot go around smearing people’s public image because it is our right to say what we feel; actions like that have consequences.  Therefore, freedom of speech is a poor defense.

Queen Ifrica. Photo courtesy

Queen Ifrica. Photo courtesy

While she cannot be held criminally liable because she said she believes that anything outside of a heterosexual relationship is wrong; there are still social consequences to be borne.  Everybody is entitled to their opinion.  However we all must recognize that age old saying of ‘time and place’.

That was neither the time nor the place to express such sentiments.  People do not attend family oriented events to delve into controversies.  If it was an event such as Sting, we would not even be discussing this; because chances are 90% of the acts on stage would have shared the same sentiments; as that is a more welcoming platform for such comments.

Now it is being reported that she has been removed from the lineup of a concert in Canada because of this incident.  With that said, I will repeat what I started with earlier, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.