As angry as I am about what’ s happening in Uganda, and as horrifying as it is that similar legislation exists in Nigeria and Sudan and Burundi, and might soon exist in Egypt and Mali, that doesn’t give me or anyone else a free pass on any of these countries or peoples. I had thought that I couldn’t be more upset about this, but I guess I had forgotten that “first-world” arrogance and pigheaded privilege was a thing!
I know the cool thing to do right now, especially in the face of things like Question 1 and Prop 8, is to denigrate the conservative/working-class/religious/Southern people who supported them as being dumb, ignorant hicks. It makes us feel better to think that the only reason anyone could want to hurt us is that they’re too stupid to know better. But honestly, it doesn’t work, and it’s not okay. It’s really, really not okay in this case. When you look at the full story here – the way that this legislation is being presented as a backlash against Westernization, the fact that most of these homophobic values are remnants of colonialism anyways, the significant evidence suggesting that these laws are backed or even originated with US politicians and clergymen – really, the best thing you can think of to do is call African nations backwards and primitive? Really?
I can’t really speak for gay Ugandans. I’ve never even met a gay Ugandans. But I’m going to bet that this does not feel helpful or supportive to them. And I know this is just one person on Facebook and I am freaking the fuck out, but I have a strong suspicion she is not the only person on the internet or in America with this sentiment. And seriously? She said “these people.” Like, she actually said that. Fuck this shit.