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Bennachie stands resolute in face of threats

Wed 30 Nov 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News

The man who took a stand against an American hip hop collective due to the content of its lyrics is taking the death threats he has received since they were pulled from the Big Day Out line-up in his stride. Gay Wellington man Calum Bennachie says he received threats through an academic social networking site he belongs to and his work email, most of which came on the day the news Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All had been axed from the music festival was revealed. He was also aware of threats on a now non-existent Facebook page entitled "Fuck Calum Bennachie". Bennachie says his home address and phone number are unlisted, and if they were public "or if other things started happening as well", he would most certainly have gone to the police. He says one person who initially came across in an abusive manner sent him a second email a few hours later, apologising for his outburst, "and after a discussion, agreed he could see my point about violence, and that violence is not a good thing", Bennachie says. "This is not the first time this has happened to me. When I was part of the group that took action against the anti-gay videos in the 1990s, when my phone number was publicly available, I also received death threats, and threats of violence," he recalls. However, the idiots left a message on the answerphone, that was time stamped. It was no problem for the police at that time to locate the people concerned." This was when Bennachie went onto the unpublished electoral role. He stands staunchly by his opposition to Odd Future playing at the Big Day Out and his message for Odd Future's frontman, Tyler The Creator, is this: "I'd like him to imagine this ... You're a gay man of indeterminate age, walking along K' Rd, on your way to meet friends at a gay bar on K' Rd. You hear footsteps behind you, a small group. A glance shows three young guys posturing as they walk along. You remember that there has been a lot of violence on K' Rd in the past few months. Your mouth dries up, your heart beats faster, you walk a little faster, but the group keeps tabs with you. The one shouts at you: 'Oi, faggot, I pre-ordered your casket'. You remember that a well know gay man was so badly assaulted on K' Rd in June that he was an induced coma for two weeks, and is still not out of hospital." Bennachie says given what happened in 2009 over Beenie Man, he would have thought the Big Day Out would have realised that music promoting violence is not welcome, and that they would have developed a sense of social responsibility to ensure that violence is not promoted. "Sadly, they haven't."A solo show is being organised for Odd Future, but no details have yet been released.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 30th November 2011 - 1:12pm

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