Fri | Nov 22, 2019

Unban me, please! - Ras Michael Jr sends message of love to Trump

Published:Friday | August 9, 2019 | 12:21 AMSade Gardner/Gleaner Writer
US President Donald Trump.
Singer and musician Ras Michael Junior (Michael Enkrumah).
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Months after releasing his visual album Wicked Walls, lashing out against psychological and physical walls used to separate people, singer Ras Michael Junior says he has been banned from the United States (US) and is asking US President Donald Trump to intervene.

The ban, he told The Gleaner, was issued last week when he appeared at the United States Embassy to do an interview for a work permit, with the hope of doing a few shows in the country. He said that he was given a sheet of green paper and told by the consular officer that he was banned from entering the US. The entertainer explained that on his two previous attempts to get a visa, he was denied, but he was instructed to apply for a waiver.

Ras Michael Junior, who is a deportee, believes that he is being punished for comments he made in this newspaper less than two months ago, when he criticised Trump for wanting to expand the US-Mexico barrier.

“I said the money he is using to build the wall, he should use to help people in his country, but my statement wasn’t about him alone I was talking about racism, too,” he told The Gleaner. “Mr Trump, I am asking you to look into my thing and give me a chance to come and work and take care of my four kids and grandkids living in America now.”

Wants to perform for Trump

Wicked Walls was released in October and features 10 self-­produced singles distributed by Hapilos Entertainment. The set accompanies a documentary recorded downtown at Trevor Douglas’ studio.

The peace activist was deported to Jamaica in 1996 after claiming he was targeted and has not had much luck re-entering the States since.

He said he actually met Trump in Venice Beach, California, while ­playing at a concert in the early 1990s when the hotelier was bankrupt.

“I shook his hand and spoke to him. I know he is not a racist he is like me,” he said. “I am not coming to America to steal or kill, I’m bringing peace and love, and also, I have the right to see my kids as they were born in America.

“America is not a wall, it’s a beautiful place and a dream for many people. Despite what happens, my message of peace will continue. I love you, Donald Trump, and I hope to meet you again and perform for you and your family.”

Given name Michael Enkrumah, the singer is the son of reggae statesman Ras Michael and started his career by forming part of his father’s Sons of Negus band. He eventually branched out on a solo career, performing at several rock concerts and colleges spreading messages of peace and activism.