Thursday, February 13, 2014

For Proponents of Gay Rights, Why Is Sochi Such a Big Deal While Africa Remains, Um, Unexplored?

Bruce Bawer, who BTW is gay, has some thoughts on the matter. He asks
how many gay Americans, activist or otherwise, have gotten worked up about the human-rights situation for gay people in most of Africa? How many even know about it? Damn few. Instead, in recent months, the focus has been on Russia, with more than a few prominent Western gays worrying aloud that the Sochi Olympics would end up being the same kind of PR coup for the gay-hating Putin – in whose country it’s now effectively illegal for gay-rights activists to organize or speak out publicly – that the 1936 Berlin Olympics were for the the Jew-hating Hitler. Putin, wrote actor Stephen Fry last August in an ardent open letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron, “is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews.” Consequently, “an absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential….At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.” Countless other Western luminaries concurred.

Now, I’m not suggesting that Putin’s antigay campaign, which has led to arrests, beatings, and murders, isn’t utterly despicable and deserving of the severest censure – it most surely is. But witnessing the massive, months-long display of Western fury over the treatment of gays in Russia, one couldn’t help noticing the contrast between this explosion of righteous anger and the almost total silence in the West about gays in Uganda, Tanzania, and Sierra Leone (where they’re subject to life imprisonment) and Mauritania, Sudan, and northern Nigeria (where they face the death penalty).

Fry, to his credit, is actually one of the few prominent gays in the West who has paid attention to gays in Africa: last October, on a BBC program about the persecution of gays worldwide, Fry talked to a Ugandan girl who’d been raped at age 14 to “cure” her of lesbianism. But Fry is the exception that proves the rule. Why do almost all other Western gay-rights activists all but ignore the savagely antigay policies of Africa’s despotic regimes? At least part of the explanation seems clear. The despots are black – and, in many cases, Muslim as well – and the activists in question are almost invariably good little multiculturalists who know the rules: first, the white-skinned man must never, ever presume to give moral lectures to the dark-skinned man; second, Islam is above criticism...
In other words, political correctness strikes again--and makes its practitioners look craven and stupid.

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