Uganda Press Crank Up “Predator” Rhetoric
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.”
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.”
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.