It is scary to notice the ignorance and apathy out there, especially in the pink youth. Notice that I said "notice" and not "see"? After all, everybody sees it - but it has to be said that not many actually "notice".
A flamboyant young gay friend of mine - only 18, is a case in point. I try to make him aware of the dangers out there and the effects of apathy and compacency, but always get the response "oh, you're always so serious!" I have had the same experience with others his age whom I have engaged with socially. They seem utterly uninterested in and detached from current events.
Perhaps I am serious a lot of the time, but I have to say that these are serious times we are living in today.
They never watch the news, never read the papers, have no clue what you're talking about when you mention things like "Zuma's God Squad", have no idea who the ACDP is, and nary an inkling of the role of James Dobson and "Focus on the Family" in the attack on global gay rights since 1977. They just tune out, completely uninterested - why, well because politics is boring and so stereotypically "un-gay", possibly because it is full of dull grey suits - and the people in them "don't care about us".
Well, that's not true - they care about us very much - enough to work night and day to take away our civil rights and to turn us back into criminals. While we sit idly by, not keeping up with current events, attending parties, clubbing and having a nice time enjoying our new-found freedom under the SA Constitution, these groups are hard at work undermining everything that gives us a measure of equality. That alone should make people's pink and liberal hair stand on end - enough to want to remove the blinkers and the gag and to do something about it.
They seem to know at least that much - without caring to know more than they can help to by complete accident. Sometimes I wonder if the dismissal and withdrawal head-in-the-sand thing isn't just fear?
That is why its so important for us to reach the public - and especially the GLBTI youth, to spread education of GLBTI nature and awareness of the groups out there trying to take away our rights. These groups are counting on our all too apparent apathy and inaction as a community - a community they have targeted as a scapegoat for all their worldly ills, intending to use us as their stairway to political heaven. Do you think they don't know that less than twenty people turned up at the Qwelane protest last year in November? They know it, they are counting on it for the future! And that protest was to show moral outrage at a clear attack on our human rights - and the dismissal of our grievances, an important protest!
But announce a party, and suddenly everything in pink feathers is there to have a good time, all fluffed out, apathetic and ignorant - and proud of it. Ironic? Maddening? You tell me.
When I see comments like "I don't read" or "not interested in politics" I see red. Honestly, it makes me crazy! After all, I don't like politics either - it has to be one of the most dull and boring things out there - but it's NECESSARY to be interested in it because it effects us all.
It is tragic and sorrowful in a post-holocaust world that considers itself civilized and "advanced", that having to watch the world for signs of an attack has to become a part of our culture as the pink community, but there it is. Tragic it may be, but reality it is.
That is why there are human rights watchdog groups - to safeguard the rights of the community, and to warn the community about current events which directly affect it. The problem comes in where the community doesn't pay attention or show support to these groups. Over a year ago a campaign was mounted to remove Focus on the Family radio snippets from community radio stations. Few responded to the call to send emails to the stations in question. The result? Those who answered the call were labelled "cranks" and "militant homosexual activists attacking Christianity". And today radio stations in South Africa still play the FOTF material, wittingly or unwittingly continuing to fund global terrorism on the pink community.
Terrorism? What would you call "Dr" Dobson leading the Proposition 8 campaign in California last year? According to world press, Dobson funded the campaign to strip Americans of the right to marriage equality with 8 million dollars. Ask yourself where he got that money? "Focus" has the support of community and even some government radio stations in many countries around the world - all of them paying good money after the provision of hatred, intolerance, lies and propaganda in the guise of "Christian moral values". Focus on the Family has offices in KZN too - did you know that? Did you know they also produce local material for Southern Africa in their own recording studio? Did you know they also peddle an "ex-gay" program in South Africa? I would call that terrorism all right.
Despite all this, gay people still listen to Algoa FM and other community radio stations that support Dobson and Focus on the Family, and other anti-gay religious fundamentalist fascists like Angus Buchan and Michael Cassidy. Gay people work for such radio stations and even DJ for them, signing contracts to "de-gay" themselves on air, because they are so-called "family" radio stations - effectively unaware - or unconcerned - that such actions help to exclude the pink community - and themselves - from being part of "the family".
As a note on fundamentalist anti-gay groups, Errol Naidoo of the USA Family Research Council clone in South Africa - the "Family Policy Institute" - has just returned from an FRC meeting in the USA (the Values Voter Summit) recharged and ready to mount fresh attacks on the pink community, democracy and personal liberty. He has announced plans to begin a fundamentalist news service in SA, starting with the addition of a recording studio which will supply anti-gay and so-called "pro-family" radio snippets which he claims will be broadcast on about 20 local radio stations.
Where does the Family Research Council fit in? Do you know? Let's see... The Family Research Council was founded by... none other than James Dobson. It was an integral part of his Focus on the Family franchise group, right up until FOTF and the FRC were forced to separate in 1988, at least administratively, due to corporate tax laws. Since then they have continued to co-operate. Every time Dobson targets a group for a boycott, FRC hastens to make it happen. The recent boycott of Mac Donalds in the US is a prime example - and that only because the "big M" offers equal treatment to gay employees and their marriage partners and refuses to discriminate. Errol also received mentorship from this foreign organization and assistance in setting up the "Family Policy Institute" in Cape Town.
We all know Errol Naidoo and the Family Policy Institute by now - at least we should. He made enough noise trying to get the Pink loerie banned this year, again. At least you will know this, if you were paying any attention. What you should be asking yourself is "what interests does such a group have in co-operating with a "local is lekker" clone group?" Why are locals so interested in furthering the very same agenda of exclusive rights for themselves and anti-human rights practices here? A more pertinent question is why are they gaining so much of a following and making such inroads in the human rights war?
Could it be because so many of the people who could and should voice opposition to their encroachment on our rights to humanity and dignity are immobilized through their own ignorance? The agents for fascist and conservative theonomic oligarchy are slipping laws and "initiatives" past us like thieves in the night, because we fail to recognize them, or fail to join together in action to stop them when we do.
http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/family-research-council: "Family Research Council has dedicated itself to working against reproductive freedom, sex education, equal rights for gays and lesbians and their families" "FRC has also defended the Boy Scout's discriminatory practices against gay men and lesbians and has criticized the Girl Scouts for not having the same practice. FRC has joined many other right-wing conservative groups by attacking and boycotting Disney's "gay-friendly" policies. FRC has lobbied against many "equal rights" measures that extend civil rights protections to gay and lesbian people, and has promoted the "ex-gay" movement as a way to combat civil rights measures for gay men and lesbians." "FRC strives to ban all federal or state support for family planning services and overturn the right to an abortion. FRC is a strong supporter of "abstinence-only" education and opposes sex education that addresses contraception." Surprisingly similar to Errol and his FPI...
Bet you didn't know that, did you? Why not? Have you ever bothered to check? If you didn't know that, you may ask yourself what else you have missed. And as one who has checked, I can confirm it for you - A LOT.