Gay rights v black rights hypocrisy?
I have always seen the international gay movement as essentially a white movement and its Jamaican and African supporters who denigrate their own countries on behalf of white homosexuals to be agents of the white man.
The readiness of the Global North to protect the rights of homosexuals far outshines all the efforts that were and are being made to include blacks in the mainstream of American life. The unofficial living conditions apartheid in the US — poor black neighbourhoods with poor access to services, blacks being shot in the street for jogging while black, maltreatment by the medical profession, day-to-day micro aggression from white liberals — all speak to unfinished business as far as the human rights of blacks are concerned, yet Americans have the nerve to lecture Africa about the rights of homosexuals.
When I was active in the anti-apartheid movement, the USA under George HW Bush and the UK under Margaret Thatcher categorically refused to impose sanctions on South Africa because they claimed it would only “hurt the blacks more”.
Indeed, in his autobiography Nelson Mandela remarked that while he developed a cordial relationship with George HW Bush on attaining his freedom, Bush would not budge on sanctions.
Yet here we have an international organisation — the World Bank no less — which is supposed to be concerned with the world’s poorest, many of whom live in Uganda, trying to punish this country whose anti-homosexuality laws they deem offensive by denying it loans. Is this legal, even under the charter of the World Bank?
I do not support the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” as defined by Ugandan law, that is, homosexual relations with children, the elderly, the disabled, or otherwise vulnerable people.
However, I will always defend a country’s right to make its own laws, even if those laws seem to be a fed up overreaction to the steady drumbeat of gay rights activism emerging from the Global North all over the Global South.
Earlier this year, even Pope Francis joined the archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby on a trip to Africa to discourage criminalising homosexualtiy. The sight of two white men of God lecturing Africa on its approach to homosexuality was such a stereotype of imperialist power that I did not know whether to laugh or cry.
I think the gay rights movement smacks of imperialism and sanctimonious self-satisfaction based on hypocrisy and naked power.