Did you see the front page of Rapport yesterday? And pg 4,5 and 16, with pictures too - with his "real men" and patriarchy story? Is that news? Honestly! Is the "Rapport" a newspaper or a church newsletter? It might as well be.
According to this article, between 200,000 and 300,000 males attended Angus Buchan's "mighty men" conference. Granted, this is less than the expected 400,000... but I wonder, can there really be so many weak, spineless, directionless lemmings in South Africa? Apparently so. Look at the accompanying photographs, of grown men - the vaunted "real men" of Buchan's liturgy, crying because they have been such terrible men by "allowing" their women to pursue careers and lives of their own, fallen on their knees and bowing to their god in the leather hat, the prophetic potato-planter and holy hash-brown harvester.
According to him, men who are not "real men" ("real men" being bullies who "wear leather belts" and abuse women, preaching their return to domestic bliss and incarceration in the kitchen - and the restoration of the Patriarchy) are "wimps" and "sissies" - and that includes by implication gay men, bi men and mtf transsexuals. It is insulting and offensive - no matter which way you look at it. In fact, it is beneath enlightened and modern civilization to contemplate. But what is more offensive, is that a national newspaper pays such close positive attention to this demagogue and provides a full front-page spread every time this fruitloop changes his hair style.
According to the article, female journalists were also refused entry into the venue. Very inclusive indeed. If that isn't an indication of the state of fundamentalist institutions and churches these days (if not their mentality), it certainly is a sign of the times.
I wonder if conservative fundamentalist Christians really understand the difference between "praying for" and "preying on"? When I see articles on our friend Angus Buchan, I certainly have reason to wonder... I just wish people like him, who call themselves "Christians" would STFU and start acting a little less like their Devil and a little more like Christ.
Yes, a great many people are upset about this article and the sayings of Mr. Buchan. "Let's set up a petition!" I hear some people say! Why bother with a petition? Why bother to complain? Why?
As a community, we complained about Jon Qwelane 2 years ago - a man who expressed hatred and incited harm against our community - in a far more alarming, hateful and direct manner than what Angus has ever done - and where is Jon now? Sitting in a nice cosy office in Uganda, collecting a fat government salary (paid for by us Pink tax-payers too) as the new SA Ambassador! He has for all intents and purposes got clean away with his crimes. Despite the actions of the Human Rights Commission, he has been appointed by President Jacob Zuma himself - who has completely ignored our objections and the offense caused to us by this action - while Jon's former employer - Media24 - which owns Rapport btw - is currently challenging the hate crimes law (Act no 4 of 2000) in the Constitutional Court to ensure his clean getaway - and also so that Media 24 can continue to vent this kind of sectarian, patriarchal, sexist, homophobic, religionist rubbish in public media without caring a toss about the harm that results from it!
How can a company - a BUSINESS - challenge a hate crime law? How can they hope to dress it up to make sense when their actions make it perfectly clear that this is in order to continue venting hatred against the pink community? Even worse, it has been more than a week since this news broke - and nobody - N O B O D Y - has even said a word about it in the media?
Not even the Opposition political parties have commented on this matter yet, despite the clear threat this presents to the integrity of our human rights in this country.
I hope you all know, that should Act No 4 fall, we will be the ONLY social grouping in this country which will have absolutely no legal protection against hate speech and hate crime based on who and what we are. You think it is bad now, when laws are just not being enforced properly? Wait until these laws are gone and those who hate us have both hands free!
I think back to the children who are even today being deprived of their parents by backward social services because they are percieved as a "threat" to them, I think of the ignorant and prejudiced psychologists banning children from seeing their transgender parents because it is "too traumatic" for them - and our good friend Qwelane of course - and I just KNOW that at this stage, they may as well throw Act No 4 in the bin, along with the Constitution, because even now it is NOT being enforced for us as a community.
You cannot defend human rights without fighting religious fanatics - regardless of one's own religious experience - it is unavoidable. Why? Because they are the ones who take issue with how other people live their lives instead of minding their own business.
Black lesbians and trans people are in increasing peril, and little if anything is being said or done about it by the SAPS or the govt. Black gay males and trans people are being thrown off trains by security guards for being gay - and SAPS stations refuse to assist or open investigations. "Church" groups start homophobic advertising campaigns which mock and ridicule the pink community, and nothing gets done about it. Churches fire gay clergy and discriminate against GLBT people. The blood service discriminates unfairly against us as potential donors who "live an unhealthy or risky lifestyle", spreads lies and false information about us - based entirely on social bias and religious prejudice - not scientific fact - and nothing gets done about it.
Intolerance - and it all comes back to one root - religious intolerance, ignorance and narrow-mindedness. Of course, racism is a serious matter, while nobody really gives a toss about homophobic or transphobic hate crimes.
I cannot help wondering if somehow the government and some fanatical right wing evangelists don't have a finger in the pie with this Media24/Jon Qwelane saga. Perhaps, if you look at all the goings-on lately, you might not blame me. I mean, he disappeared from sight for some time, he managed to avoid appearing in court, this has dragged on for two whole years - despite cases that popped up later having been long settled already (like the Reitz Four). He was also smuggled out of the country and into Uganda along with president Zuma's entourage during the Presidential visit in March 2010. And he was appointed by Zuma himself - who has been supporting Ray McCauley and his "God Squad" to police the "morality" of South African society - with their sights set firmly on gay rights and on changing the SA Constitution. Great choice - a homophobe, an anti-feminist and a racist to boot - acting as SA Ambassador in a country that wants to inflict genocide against gay people and limit the length of women's skirts. Yes, a good choice indeed.
You want to protest? You want to petition your objections to the government? Again? Why?
Because advocacy groups fear calling protests because our own community doesn't care a damn enough to bother to rock up, or even to get off its ass to do something about it. No, everybody sits and waits for "somebody else" to do something. "I'm not interested in politics", remember? Isn't that the "cool" thing to say these days? What a "cool" attitude to have - not so cool when your body temperature drops to morgue levels, I am sure.
Certain people in South Africa riot every other day just because they don't get increases. (I remember driving down Govan Mbeki on Friday night trying to avoid overturned bins and rubble all over the road - a case in point left by the municipal worker's strike earlier that day.) By stark contrast, we as a community face losing hate crimes protection laws and we just sit quietly, meekly - like the proverbial frogs boiling to death in the pot. It just doesn't affect us, we sigh apathetically. Not yet.
How bad do things have to get before we eventually take notice and react? As one who has been shouting warnings, waving my arms and running in circles trying to get community involvement over the past three years, I feel like we are about to find out - one way or another.
Do we write to Media24 to tell them what arrogant cocky S.O.B's they are? Do we still buy their products and give them our money? Where is our pride? Where is our solidarity? Where is our outrage at the way these people treat us like second class citizens and objects of ridicule and derision? Are we so eager to return to the days where it was a crime for us to dare hold hands in public, or to live in fear of being arrested for being different, or for daring to "defy" the "mighty" Christian church? Think I'm exaggerating? Really? Well, so far things are looking pretty scary - and so far still, nothing is being visibly done to oppose the moves these people make against us.
We may still wake one bright sunny morning to find that we have no more hate crimes protection (such as it is today) and that our equality has been removed from the Constitution, all due to lack of interest. And then we will wonder why "nobody" did something to stop it. Perhaps it is because "nobody" cares?
Perhaps "Oom Angus" is right about us after all - perhaps we are "pathetic"?
As long as we stand by watching laws which protect our dignity and equality being flouted and not enforced, and instead allowed to be questioned and challenged - along with our value as human beings and the integrity of our Constitution - then our civil rights remain theoretical, on paper and utterly incorporeal - and the question remains: What are we going to do about it?