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Uganda Press Crank Up “Predator” Rhetoric

Jim Burroway

April 6th, 2009

The recent flare-up of anti-gay activity in Uganda has taken on a very dangerous turn lately, with two tabloids providing “tips” on how to spot gays and lesbians. These “tips” are based on common misinformed stereotypes, some of which were promulgated from the recent series of anti-gay gatherings taking place in the aftermath of a conference earlier this month featuring three American anti-gay activists.

Uganda’s Weekly Observer’s “tips” is in the form of person-on-the-street interviews, in which random Ugandans offer their suggestions on how to spot gays and lesbians, like this one:

Sarah Nakiwolo, 22, Student
What I know is that men who are gay tend to like all the fancy things that are normally appreciated by women. For example they will want to always treat their hair, apply make-up and act like women by pulling at their blouses (shirts) and jeans, which are normally tight. They also tend to gesture around like women by folding their hands, you know. Then for women, they will behave like men. They wear men’s clothes a lot and would rather cut their hair to appear like men and do not fuss about make up. God made sex for man and woman, period. It will be hard to stop gay acts unless government comes out with a strict law.

Of the nine interviews, only one cautioned that “it would not be wise to stereotype.” There were no counterbalancing interviews of gay people or experts, legitimate or otherwise.

The second, more disturbing element is that the Red Pepper is beginning to get involved. The latest issue featured this story:

Researchers told us last night that over three million Ugandans have engaged in homosexual activities knowingly or unknowingly…. Last week Sunday Pepper talked in confidence to some people who had ever been cornered into homosexual acts and below we give you their chilling confessions.

Those researchers are unnamed. What follows is two “confessions.” One was subtitled, “I survived being bum-drilled by a senior journalist,” and the other, “I became a lesbo unknowingly.”

Ugandan newspaper headlines in 2007. Click to enlarge.

Ugandan newspaper headlines in 2007. Click to enlarge.

The Red Pepper’s entry into the latest round of anti-gay grandstanding was expected, but it’s disturbing nonetheless. In previous anti-gay campaigns, the Red Pepper became notorious for printing first names and identifying details of those it alleged were gay.

The Red Pepper’s “confessions” article isn’t the only recent story the tabloid has run recently. The Red Pepper also ran this story, which carried lurid allegations against named individuals who are members of an opposition political party. Stories like these are common means of discrediting legitimate opposition in Uganda, and the Red Pepper’s accounts are typically the most intentionally outrageous:

Monster whopper wielding homosexual activists last year reportedly grabbed and attempted to drill the tiny bums of Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) members, Red Pepper exclusively reveals.  UYD is a vibrant youth wing of the opposition Democratic Party.

The chilling story is that late last year, UYD boss, Fred Mukasa Mbidde ferried 40 UYD members by bus to attend a conference on African Democracy at Victoria Hotel, Nakuru in Kenya. Sources that attended the workshop say it was organized and financed by AUF, a Norwegian based political party well known for bankrolling bum shafting and gay activities worldwide.

The organization which was represented by a bummy lady identified as Anja Riiser, has been secretly securing visas for bum-bonking experts and gay stars to countries like Spain, Norway, Italy and Canada.

The article goes on to names of several “UYD boys whose bums survived being cracked by bazungu’s [sic] monster whoppers.”

Exodus board member Don Schmierer (left) and Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively (right)

Exodus board member Don Schmierer (left) and Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively (right)

The recent anti-gay conferences led by Stephen Langa featuring Exodus board member Don Schmierer, Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively, and Richard Cohen Protegé Caleb Lee Brundidge gave a legitimizing gloss on the image of “predatory homosexuals,” an image which has been the main component of past anti-gay vigilante and extrajudicial campaigns. Both Schmierer and Lively, cited as American “experts” on homosexuality, pointed to child sexual abuse as a means for “recruiting” youth into homosexuality.

Schmierer, in particular, used his credentials as an ex-gay “expert” to push the “molestation” theme as a pathway to homosexuality.  In his book, An Ounce of Prevention: Preventing the Homosexual Condition in Today’s Youth, Schmierer writes, “Sexual abuse, including molestation and/or rape is a key factor in homosexuality. We will return to this repeatedly because it is so significant.” And indeed he does, repeatedly. As do the extremists who are whipping up dangerous levels of vitriol in Ugandan newspapers, radio and television — backed by the “expertise” of Exodus and Lively.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Comments

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David C.
April 6th, 2009 | LINK

Sorry to say, but now might be a good time to leave Uganda if you are gay.

A person who is being persecuted – i.e., at severe danger to life/freedom/political rights/etc. – for being gay, and whose country will not provide protection against persecution, probably has a good claim for refugee protection in another country. What happens next depends largely on the law & practice of that other country – so all such individuals need to do their homework. If possible, contact a national refugee assisting organisation in that other country (nearly all of them have one), or UNHCR, for information.

A forward-looking refugee would probably:

1) if possible, procure a passport, or even a visa to gain access to the would-be asylum country (recognising of course that both of these will often be a fantasy – but at least in Europe, many states are using lack of proper identification as a way to put people in fast-track asylum evaluation procedures, with much less real chance of success;

2) do their homework – start with statistics on UNHCR’s web site. Find out which countries grant asylum to higher/lower % of applicants. If you have family abroad, go where the family is located;

3) gather evidence as to your plight;

4) go as directly as possible to where you’re aiming (many countries use the legally dubious rule of “claim asylum in the first safe country you can get to,” which is a big problem in Europe – e.g. disproportionate numbers of refugees just happen to hit Greece first, and Greece grants protection to nearly none of them; but transit Greece to any other EU country, and they’ll say “you should have asked for asylum in Greece,” and usually ship them back there, whence at best it’s a life on the streets; at worst, a ‘trampoline’ back to where you just escaped from);

5) apply for asylum with the first competent authority you can locate: you are afraid for your life because they want to kill you because you are gay;

6) Get a lawyer.

Then, get out of Uganda while you still can. Live to fight another day. Regimes and political climates change.

homer
April 6th, 2009 | LINK

Somebody is going to end up being killed because of Lively and his buddies. I wonder if they have ever thought about what the results of their actions could be and whether they even care.

Elise
April 6th, 2009 | LINK

This is pretty scary.

But I can’t help but ask– how does one unknowingly engage in homosexual activity? Accidently go home to the wrong house and crawl into the wrong bed?

Lynn David
April 7th, 2009 | LINK

This is getting to be sadder and sadder. I’m less worried about someone being killed than I am of several people having lives and livelyhoods destroyed either through innuendo or the very real possibility of imprisonment.

But on a upbeat note if the Red Pepper believes those researchers who would say that “three million Ugandans have engaged in homosexual activities” then they must be quoting Kinsey’s 10% (of 32 million Ugandans – nevermind the knowingly or unknowingly part).

SharonB
April 7th, 2009 | LINK

“The Red Pepper also ran this story, which carried lurid allegations against named individuals who are members of an opposition political party.” [Emphasis, mine]

The plot thins.

Anti-gay activists having a bad day : Equality Loudoun
April 7th, 2009 | LINK

[…] front is now spending so much of its energy facilitating pogroms in other parts of the world. The savagery to which anti-gay extremist groups like Exodus are enthusiastically contributing will not be […]

Duncan
April 7th, 2009 | LINK

When I lived in Uganda in 2004 I got the impression that the Red Pepper was treated as lowbrow entertainment rather than something that was taken very seriously. It was more National Inquirer than the Sun. Even then they were interested in lesbians, but the stories were more like a seven year old that just discovered, ommigod, that they exist. It has obvioulsy been a while since I was there, but I would at least caution against over-imagining what impact that particular rag has.

I’d hazard that much of what Ugandans, at least in Kampala, know about homosexuality comes from the massive amount of pornography they look at in internet cafes (as demonstrated by cheking the history on the webrowser)!

The Story So Far… » Blog Archive » Seeing Hate For What It Is
April 12th, 2009 | LINK

[…] interesting for the controversy that’s been actively reported on over at Box Turtle Bulletin, concerning Exodus participation in a Ugandian conference on homosexuality where Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively once again ginned up anti-gay passions in a land torn by […]

Strange, True & Religious : Conference in Uganda by 3 American professional anti-gays sets off strange feeding frenzy with pastors accusing rivals of gayness, miracle faking and human sacrifices
May 14th, 2009 | LINK

[…] Apr 6: Uganda Press Crank Up “Predator” Rhetoric […]

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