By Wendell P. Simpson
ABOVE PHOTO: Some of the thousands of children are seen demonstrating against homosexuality in Uganda’s capital city Kampala, earlier this year. The UN Special Rapporteur on health, Anand Grover, warned that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill being considered by the Ugandan Parliament is “not only a violation of the fundamental human rights of Ugandans, but will also undermine efforts to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.”
The intervention of western ideals scores another big hit in Africa as American missionaries inspire a harsh anti-gay bill in Uganda that calls for even more extremism and blood letting on the ravaged continent—and which is resulting in the loss of the only kind of western aid it so desperately needs.
The Anti-Homosexual Bill, introduced by a previously unheralded Ugandan MP, raises the African country’s already outrageously draconian colonial-era penalties against homosexuality to life in prison, even death, in some cases. The threat of sanctions by countries providing essential monetary and humanitarian aid, such as the U.S. and Sweden, has merely delayed the enactment of the law up until now.
The bill, which President Barack Obama has described as ‘odious’, and which has been widely criticized in Europe, is partly the result of the work of American evangelicals such as Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge and Don Schmiere whom over several years have descended upon Uganda to deliver the ‘good news’ of the Gospels in the form of virulent anti-homosexual activism wrapped in the veneer of family values. On a continent roiling with religious fervor; especially for a new American style Christian revitalization—and the prospect of more monied American connections—and where its many of its own aboriginal traditions, such as female genital mutilation, adhere to the contours of extreme expression, this message of divine retribution finds a home.
Sections of the anti-gay bill actually ban organizations working toward AIDS and HIV prevention, citing them as pro homosexuality advocates, while another criminalizes straight Ugandans who withhold information about their knowledge of gay persons or anyone engaging in homosexual activity, effectively rendering them conspirators in an illegal act.
Africa, plagued as it is by internecine strife; ancient tribal animosities stoked into murder by bad politics and new outside money, terrible poverty, and the incredible brutality and corruption of political puppets beholden to external interests, now has a new revolution that promises to spill more Black blood and results in another drain on the only resource it has that is not entirely controlled foreign interests—its people.
Slavery, colonialism, both old and neo, the exploitation of its vast resources and murder and mayhem define the relationship between Africa and the West. With every new intervention comes terrible new afflictions.
Want to talk about an oil spill? Here’s an example: The Niger Delta, once one of the most fertile pieces of this planet with teeming and abundant life, has been reduced to a dead zone by oil spills of Exxon Valdez proportions that have been occurring every year for the last 50. Why haven’t you heard about this? Because there is no mass media that cares about the plight of the continent. Most recently, a violent rebellion has fomented as factions of Nigerians seek to wrest control of their oil resources from multinational petroleum consortiums.
The Interahamwe, the movement of Hutu race hatred against their brother Tutsis which resulted in the Rwandan genocidal purges, still roam freely about East Africa in part because Paul Kagame, the Rwanda rebel leader who was the only person to do anything to stop the slaughter, has recently been accused by the U.S. and France of murder (read refusing to genuflect to the demands of Western interests).
The murder in Darfur continues without any intervention from the West. Could it be because that slaughter has been sanctioned the whole time by oil rich Arab patrons? President Bill Clinton’s African Growth and Opportunity Act has forced upon many countries the kind of free market economic reforms many African countries can’t sustain because with the exception of raw materials, which too many lack the capacity to extract from the ground to exploit for themselves, too many of them have nothing of any real value to sell. Some, like Zimbabwe, have been penalized by international monetary entities like the IMF, which could reduce African debt by extending more credit to growing economies, because African leaders like Robert Mugabe have had the nerve to try to ‘re-Africanize’ their countries’ resources.
Western intervention has brought struggle and decimation to Africa—and historically, the first ones in the door have been the missionaries, emissaries of distant and irrelevant gods who soften the people up for the big head lopping by first imposing a one-way morality that demands piety and adherence from the vanquished while the victors enjoy the spoils.
Africa has had enough intervention. These countries need fresh new ideas that allow them to build anew from the ruins. This Ugandan law is another proxy war against its own best self-interest by declaring war on the people. Africa needs its people, whatever their orientations. It needs to know that as long as it hates itself and fights the proxy wars of foreign interests, that it will always be susceptible to foreign exploitation. It needs to re-define its humanity on its own terms and extricate itself from the trappings of self-hate imposed from outside a long time ago.