KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday September 30, 2016 – Conscious-singing reggae artist Etana has come under immense pressure following her endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose statements about minorities have led to a widespread belief that he is a racist.
Etana, 32, born Shauna McKenzie, is a native of Jamaica and naturalized U.S. Citizen. She told ubiquitous Jamaican journalist and Entertainment Report TV show host, Anthony Miller, that she would be voting for Trump.
“Yes, I am a Trump supporter,” Etana said in the interview. “And I know a lot of people will probably be like, ‘What do you say about Trump being prejudice.’ He’s not prejudice, for me anyway, [being] frank, straight to the point, cut and dry, black and white, it is what it is, say what it is. Don’t beat around the bush; you don’t like a certain thing, you don’t like it, that’s it. End of story. And the reason why I’m a Trump supporter is because he’s all of that and more.”
Challenged by Miller about Trump’s remarks that Mexicans are rapists, Etana shot back: “No, he’s referring to those that are.”
Questioned Trump’s remarks that Mexicans are drug dealers, Etana responded as swiftly, stating that Trump was “referring to those that are.”
She went on: “There are quite a number of maybe Mexicans, Spanish people, Black people — all kinds of different races, right? Who are in the country illegally, who are doing things that they are not supposed to do, and he’s just saying, ‘Hey, look, we cannot afford ourselves in America, why are we letting in all of these people? And then we sit down and fret if they’re going to bomb us tomorrow.’”
Etana added that she was not a prejudice person and believe in the unification of different races coming into America to build a stronger union.
“However, think about it, you’re in your house and you have to take a flight tomorrow, and you’re looking around — and don’t tell me that you don’t do this, cause if you’re in America flying anywhere, you’re going to look around at everybody to see anybody who fits the stereotype of a terrorist, and you’re going to fret or you’re going to consider not taking that flight.”
Asked if people should be racially profiled, Etana said no, but added, “Why must we live that way, then, and allow all these people to come into the country when you don’t know? Because these people come into the country in America, they get jobs, they go to school, they raise families, they do all kinds of things and then all of a sudden, ‘dem’ just strike.”
Backlash has been far and wide. Many have said that the singer’s stance that singing about roots and culture and yet voting for Trump was not contradictory, is hypocritical.
“My music has nothing to do with what I believe in. Like, okay, because I believe in a certain way or life, or because I think that I should be a Trump supporter, has nothing to do with what I sing about or write about,” Etana said. “My music is for the world and for the people, but this is just a personal thought.”
Etana later tried to backpedal, apologizing to anyone that she had offended and stressing that her music remains about unity. She did not attempt to change her stance about voting for Trump. (The Virgin Islands Consortium)