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Jerome Almon

Black profiling

Jerome Almon

Of course the gangsta part of hip hop is controversial. My views on violence are scattered all over this website.

Racism is violent.

I came of age while the civil rights movement was coming into its own. I lived to watch the riots and the fires on TV -- and the wars.

I am on the famous Red List which was begun in 1950 with the passing of the McCarren Act. The Act was repealed during the 70s but they didn't get rid of the list.

It is just that despite the attempts of the U.S. government to place restrictions on our right to travel, do business with one another and learn first hand about the world that we are now able to communicate so quickly with one another through the Internet.

Canada is so lame and hypocritical, claiming to stand up for the rights of its citizens and proclaiming superiority to the U.S. on questions like civil liberties, war, etc. It was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who gave my name to U.S. Immigration, ratting me out for having visited the USSR in 1962 -- (I was in Minneapolis and had cleverly left my passport back in Canada) and that is how I got on the red list.

You know, if we all stand together, we can be one helluva gang! --Sheila Steele


Jerome Almon's story

Jerome Almon

In my letters to the the CHRC, Sen. Levin, former Canadian Ministers for Immigration Dennis Coderre, former Customs Minister Elinor Caplan, and former Foreign Minister Bill Graham I noted the following:

  • I have traveled in and out of Canada 120 times since 1999-and was stopped for secondary inspections 117 times.
  • I have actually been patted down twice and had Windsor police called with guns drawn over a CD from my company and profiling (as covered in by the Windsor Star).
  • I have business dealings and contracts with 2 dozen Canadian companies including Healy Disc in Ottawa, FLOW FM Toronto, and a large proposed deal with Much Music.
  • I have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with Canadian businesses.
  • I have spend tens of thousands of dollars on Canadian Hotels-with many of the personel knowing me by name and face due the frequency of my visits.
  • My label is a legitmately registered tax paying business
  • I have worked with the University of Toronto on the Delphi project ( a study for the UN based out of Belguim)
  • I was contacted by the Windsor city govt., and Tourism Toronto during the SARS crisis for advice and solicited to come and spend more money in Toronto
  • I have asked the State Dept and the Congressional Black Caucus to issue a travel information bulletin to African Americans entering Canada-as Canada has regarding its East Indian and Arab citizens (justifiably so) and as the US State Dept. has for far less frequent and serious incidents as what has happened to Selwyn Pieters, Dee Brown, DMX, Said Jama Jama, etc.

Canada can't weazle out of this one

Elinor CaplanCanada Immigration and Customs continue to come up with multiple stories as to WHY they have sought to bar me from the country. It initially was stated that they were concerned I had a criminal record. Both I and Sen Levin have repeatedly submitted police clearances stating I have NO criminal record-period beginning in 1998). Although the Immigration officer at the Canadian Consulate in Detroit has acknowledged receiving the clearances on 3 seperate occasions (1993)-Canada Immigration states I have never turned them in.

Jim Lefebvre apologizes to me in 2001 and welcomes me back to Canada after reviewing clearances and documentation.

Once you have been profiled, you don't get off the list

As a reporter from the Windsor Star said after repeatedly stating there must be another reason after reviewing the documentation. As I told him according to the Canadian Consulate, Sen Levin, and Mr. Lefebvre from Canada Customs Ottawa -- there is no problem with me that is legitmate, then it must be illegitmate -- he agreed it can't be legitimate.

You are left with 2 things: I am Black and I run a rap label.

What is the issue here?

The same as in all the other cases-Canada Customs and Immigration has been caught and they know it, and as in past cases they are seeking to get out of it some way-but actually only making it worse once the matter gets out to the general public, entertainment industry, and Hip Hop world.

DMX

It is noted that during SARS 50 Cents and Jay Z were heavily lobbied NOT to cancel their concerts (as many American performers did) in Toronto. DMX put $50 million into the Toronto economy with "Exit Wounds" -then is arrested and deported when he came to do concerts in Calgary. The word is getting out-and it is going to be a major financial blow to the Entertainment industry in Canada if it is not addressed.

It is competely out of the norm for DMX to be looked at let along stopped over something like that. As I said he was in Canada on the movie shoot-and the PROMOTER was responsible for getting the work permits and submitting things to CA Customs and Immigration-they were LOOKING for something to stop him on like Dee Brown, Kirk Johnson,etc.

As predicted the Blues Festival was cancelld this year -no big names would show up-the word had gotten out about Wilson Pickett - and it is only going to get worse. If Toronto isn't careful it is going to lose a lot of its movie and video biz; the talks of boycott are serious. There is an entertainment boycott against Cincinatti over racial profiling and it has devestated the concert scene there. If this issue gets out -it could be more devastating economically than SARS- that means a lot of power to effect change

Jerome Almon

(Posted November 8, 2004 from information and some photos provided by Jerome Almon, and some editing by Sheila Steele).


Pickett may boycott Canada over strip search

OTTAWA (CP) - Wilson Pickett's management group says the renowned blues musician may never play Canada again after he was allegedly strip-searched for drugs at Ottawa airport, CBC Radio reported Wednesday.

Pickett, 60, is known for songs like In the Midnight Hour and Mustang Sally and travelled here last weekend to play at Bluesfest.

Mark Monahan, the event's executive director, said the treatment Pickett experienced makes it difficult to attract musicians to Canada.

"What it means is that musicians don't want to come here," Monahan told CBC.

"When someone gets treated like that, it just leaves a bad taste in people's mouths. Then the word spreads and it makes it more difficult for us to attract artists."

Musicians are often treated differently at the border than other travellers, Bluesfest organizers say. Canada Customs would not comment on the specifics of the Pickett case, but a spokesperson said all travellers are subject to the same rules.

The legendary musician, nicknamed the Wicked Pickett, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.


DMX to play the Stampede Corral
DMX's Calgary gig back on

DMX is a go again. That's the word from local promoters who had to cancel scheduled shows in Calgary and Saskatoon after the hip hop artist was turned back at the Calgary International Airport.

Originally unwilling to take a chance on a makeup date, Calgary promoters the Alliance Soundcrew relented after a personal guarantee from DMX and his management that he would make the show.

The new show has been set for Friday, March 28 at the Stampede Corral with tickets going on sale early next week at all Ticketmaster locations.

Tickets purchased for the original date that haven't yet been returned for refund or contest winner tickets must be taken back to Ticketmaster.

"It's back on - with assurances," says Alliance's Stephen Deere, before qualifying those assurances as "pretty damn solid."

Alliance received a signed contract Jan. 7 and has spoken extensively with the artist's management.

"DMX is now going to be doing a nine-city tour ... so it's worth about half a million U.S. to him. And I've been told by his management team that it's very important he gets back in Canada for his movie career."

Cradle 2 the Grave, DMX's new action film with Jet Li, is scheduled to open in Canada on Feb. 28, which will require him to do publicity including a scheduled MuchMusic visit a week prior to the rescheduled Calgary show.

The trouble for DMX began a week and a half ago when the rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was stopped at the Calgary airport by immigration officials and sent back to the U.S. the next morning because, according to officials, he "didn't meet normal immigration requirements."

DMX also reportedly became verbally abusive towards immigration staff and was detained as a result.

No official comment on the specifics of the case was made at the time, but DMX's woes may have stemmed from a reported arrest on Christmas Eve in Harrison, N.Y., that wasn't included on his immigration documents.

The website antiMusic has reported he was pulled over as a result of an alleged unsafe lane change, and was arrested after providing false or forged identification to police.

It is believed DMX was driving while his licence was under suspension, something he was arrested for in 2000 and as a result spent a brief period of time in jail for early in 2001.

Deere says DMX's management and Canadian immigration officials have now worked everything out so, barring any other unforeseen circumstances, entry into this country will be granted.

"All the charges are now on the Minister's Pardon and he's not charged with anything else ...," says Deere of the document required for those with criminal record's to enter this country. "He should be able to get through no problem."

If and when he does, it will an opportunity for local hip hop fans to see one of rap's biggest names.

All four of DMX's albums, including his most recent, 2000's The Great Depression, have debuted at No. 1 on Billboard, and have sold millions.

His forthcoming CD - it should be released in time for the Canadian tour - is one of the year's most anticipated.