Skip to main content

View Diary: US Pastor/Author of Ugandan 'Kill the Gays' Bill Charged with Crimes Against Humanity (174 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I Understand Colonialism (0+ / 0-)

    European colonialism gives Africans plenty of reasons to distrust and hate White people. It's legacy is deeper than the economics and politics of African countries. Its legacy is trapping most Africans in tribal self destruction, because they not only distrust White people, but concommitantly trust people too much the less "White" they are. It's tribal fetishism, that puts blind trust in their tribes which then screw them.

    Note that White people are just as bad, as is everyone else overall. It's why White majorities in the US vote for people like Bush and Romney, who are so bad for them. Africans have a lot less their tribes can steal from them before it's lethal, so the effects look a lot worse a lot quicker.

    The simple dynamic in that context is that evidently Black Africans were willing to execute their fellow tribespeople once they decided their fellows were not tribespeople (because they're gay), but had second thoughts only when they believed they were put up to it by a White guy. So quite obviously racism (tribalism against outsiders) is so strong that it outweighed even homophobia. Of course colonialism plays a starring role in each side of that cycle. But that doesn't mean racism and homophobia aren't running rampant here. It just means they're all ingredients in the cesspool.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 08:49:57 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed, before... and now for something completely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip

      different. The nature of ignorance is that it requires some pandering to save its prideful face in the face of folly. It is not good that in the end, African leaders say, well its those white people, again, screwing us over. Yet to an African, those words mean something different than to Europeans. It means.. never  mind. Dont worry about that. Let the Europeans deal with their own issues. We will deal with ours, and we will start to have some tolerance no MATTER WHAT THEY DO. Africans understand the "Oh... them again.." reference to be exactly what it is.. something not to pay attention to because of the history of the continent. It is actually a catch-all excuse for not doing the wrong thing.. if the Europeans who are here to "help" us think so, it must be wrong. They have always been wrong at the level of groups coming there and "helping" It is either paternalism of a form of "we are so cool how can you resist having us help you?" It is quite logical, and defuses the situation safely. We do not have to worry that Africans blame us individually now. They are much more sophisticated than that. But to explain how they must go forward, this is the standard boilerplate.. if its being pushed by Europeans with an agenda.. question it deeply.

      We do not read their statements in the way they say them because of that awful history. This is the horrible legacy of slavery and colonialism. People cannot even talk the same language. I have had students and colleagues from Congo, Uganda, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Rwanda and Morocco explain these concepts to me in such a way that I barely understand, but which I try to communicate to my Euro-American brothers and sisters. I hope you appreciate my attempt here.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 09:09:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's Still Racism (0+ / 0-)

        I understand the nuance you're saying. But the fact is that's still racism. There's no getting away from the obvious fact: tell the Black African we're discussing that their literally lethal homophobia was inspired by a White man and they drop the homophobia. That is undeniably racism.

        The racism might have a very strong basis in history. But consider that indeed the fear that some White women have of being assaulted by a random group of Black teenage boys does also have some basis in history. But that history doesn't excuse the racism it's helped create. It's still racism. And as I implied before, that same racism is what lets a White woman trust some White boys who then rape her. Just as the racism of the Black African we're discussing lets him trust the Black people who were trying to execute his fellows who are gay. And who will screw him again and again, so long as he doesn't believe they're responsible, because all evil comes from the White devil.

        I have travelled alone, usually without speaking any local language, in North and Subsaharan Africa, as well as in South America, East Asia and Europe - and in various urban US neighborhoods. I have investigated colonialism and racism personally, at some increased risk to myself beyond just living in tough NYC neighborhoods. A Black friend in NYC told me once that "racial fetishism" (irrational preference for people based on race) was worse than racial fear, because it's far more difficult to confront, and operates on a positive reward system. I have since seen that point confirmed over and over again. This case we're discussing is a very clear case of it.

        To be clear (and to reiterate my point), every race and other way of grouping people has this dynamic at work. Tribalism is deeply ingrained in our species, and usually never even recognized. But it is far too costly, especially now that we've got the power to wreak such havoc in each other, in mass and individually.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 10:04:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And while I agree, I appeal to your intelligence (3+ / 0-)

          not to call it simple racism. It is classist, nationalist, regionalist, tribalist, political and religious, as well as having racist components. I do not think that by calling it racism you do the phenomena justice. You wave a red flag where a flag of all colors is needed, and a very large one at that with lots of texty messages on it.

          I am not trying to complexify something. I just know for a fact that Africans understand these messages at different levels than we do. They are on average no more racist than anyone else. We would do well to drop that verbiage, since Europeans started the racist behavior. The Romans, Greeks and Africans had no idea about skin color being different or better or worse. To them it was merely about location of your ancestors. This was a recent European innovation to make slavery easy to administer. We cannot, have no right, as the descendents of the originators of the term, to go around accusing the descendents of the victims of racism. It is unseemly in the extreme. We have acted, and in some cases continue to act.. (Obama's reception in the South) as if  skin color is important to us somehow. Lets not revive the name calling which was begun for our own economic gain, and which results we still enjoy. It makes us look like Putzes.

          Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

          by OregonOak on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 10:59:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you OregonOak, for clarifying for me in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Certifiable Genius

            my own mind, why I had such a visceral negative reaction fo DocGonzo's outrage over the "racism" he sees.  It is indeed unseemly in the extreme to accuse those who are the victims of racism of being racist.  

            It's the same reason I see red when I read the stupid, stupid comments written by people demanding that President Obama state the the murderers of the college student could have been his sons.  The idea that people are unable to understand that there is and should be a difference in the rules for those who are in the majority or who are in power or who have abused their positions of power in the past than there is for those who have suffered at the hands of the majority, the powerful, seems so basic, I have a difficult time grasping the reason the failure to understand that upsets me so much.

            •  Racism Victims Can Be Racists (0+ / 0-)

              When people act according to someone's race rather than to an actually relevant quality, that's racism. Racism most certainly can be practiced by victims of racism. Indeed, the internalization of racism by its victims is one of its worst effects.

              In a parallel way in human nature, people abused as children are more likely to abuse children themselves.

              Victimized people who in turn victimize others the same way might dislike being called victimizers, because they are also victims of that same abuse. But if you don't call it what it is, you can't do anything about it. If you call it something else instead, however related that might be, you are missing the point. And so missing the chance to do something about the actual problem.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:13:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I am having a good day with ethical clarity... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gustynpip

              but its a passing phenomena so I will enjoy your compliment while I can. Thank you.

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:44:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Racism Isn't Simple (0+ / 0-)

            Just because racism is clearly at work, as clearly is here, doesn't mean only racism is at work. Racism comes from something else, like in the US usually to hide classism, but it is still racism when it's practiced.

            FWIW, Europeans didn't invent racism for their slave trade. Racism is ancient. It's a form of tribalism, extending the family relationship of the tribe to less closely related people in one's race. The word "racism" might be recent, because identifying it with its boundaries is part of the enlightenment necessary to transcend it, but without forgetting it.

            I've been agreeing with you, but the idea that we cannot call African racism "racism" because African racists have ancestors who were the victims of racism is a pernicious one. It's the same as saying (as is too often said) that African Americans can't be racists, because racism is how others persecute them. It excludes from discussion (and therefore from remedy) the real racism that exists among most everyone, regardless of race (while race itself is less real than is racism). I cannot agree that when Black Africans make decisions because of someone's race that it is not racism, any more than I can agree that racism is a recent European invention.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 02:09:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Its not logically wrong. Its Extremely Unseemly. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Certifiable Genius

              It is not a logic problem you have. You are reasoning correctly. However, as a matter of ethics, it is extremely unseemly to call the descendents of racial genocide from those of us who descend from the perpetrators of racial genocide, racist.  It is the wrong person using the wrong word at the wrong time. It is unethical also because it tends to perpetuate the racism against the  original victims. White people in America know very little about how it feels to be on the other end of racism and not to be able to escape it. We do not have the moral right to use that word, even though, technically, you are correct, morally, you are wrong. We dont teach moral reasoning any more.. that is the problem. No one understands me.. hahahaha. Sorry. I had to say that.

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Thu Aug 22, 2013 at 03:50:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Unseemly (0+ / 0-)

                It is far more unseemly to ignore racism than to call racists racist, even if their ancestors (or themselves) were victims of racism.

                I totally reject your argument that White people cannot accuse non-White racists of racism. You go and cede your right to call it out. Do not delude yourself into thinking you can force me to give up my rights.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 01:59:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Put another way... Proportion. (0+ / 0-)

                  Responses must be proportionate to the stimuli in ethical debate. It is disproportionately vicious to call these people racist for doing the right thing for a reason which we THINK is racist, but in actuality, merely refers to the history of Africa vis a vis Europe. They understand it that way. We should not level racism when they still suffer deeply from racist colonialiam. Proportion. Proportion is ethical. Or as the Chinese say, "One does not remove a fly from a friend's face with a hatchet."

                  Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

                  by OregonOak on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 09:27:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's Racist (0+ / 0-)

                    It is simple and undeniable that this is racism, not "a reason which we think is racist". One does not remove a fly from a friend's face with a Lithuanian sonnet, either.

                    It's racism. Failing to call it racism protects and perpetuates racism. Africans, like most people, have suffered enough from racism already.

                    I'm repeating myself, as are you. Goodbye.

                    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                    by DocGonzo on Sat Aug 24, 2013 at 04:38:50 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Your Possible Solution? (0+ / 0-)
              I cannot agree that when Black Africans make decisions because of someone's race that it is not racism, any more than I can agree that racism is a recent European invention.
              So what, since this means a lot to you, do you propose that anyone here could possibly do in terms of changing the attitudes of the black Africans in Uganda that we are discussing?

              I agree with your contentions about racism, overall, but you seem to be waxing interventionist...

              If you call it something else instead, however related that might be, you are missing the point. And so missing the chance to do something about the actual problem.

              People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. - George Orwell

              by paz3 on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 07:52:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Part of the Solution (0+ / 0-)

                One part of the solution is to call racists racist and demonstrate zero tolerance for it. Especially in our own backyards where we see it more, but not only there. Wherever we see it.

                Another part is to support the conviction of Scott Lively and his cohorts for Crimes Against Humanity. To support people directly involved in Uganda and elsewhere who aren't racists, and who work to undo and move beyond racism. To at least stop giving racists help. And so people in Uganda can move themselves past any racism.

                I'm not really "interventionist". Ugandans are like anyone else: inherently able to move beyond racism on their own, in their own way. Their country is their business, unless they ask for help in doing something whose value we share.

                But I also am not cowed by these guilt trips into keeping silent about obvious racism when it comes to my attention.

                "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                by DocGonzo on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 02:05:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site