Unfortunately, it is human nature for people to hate and despise what they don't understand, and to torture and kill those whom they don't want to understand. When such groups of people are presented to larger groups as a threat, or a scapegoat, they often seize the opportunity to point out that "there are more of us, so you must be wrong, unnatural and evil". It also needs to be said that such people, when placed in control of a government - certainly don't need to understand. They just need someone to blame.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Dear Mr Ssempe lays it all on the line for SA - send Jon to Uganda - or else face protests and a boycott of SA businesses in Uganda.
"We take this letter to remind you that South Africa has vast strategic economic interests in Uganda in the areas of communications, energy, banking, food and mineral sectors. These include household names such as MTN, Eskom, Stanbic, Nandos, and many others. The de-selection of Mr. Jon Qwelane and sending to Uganda someone who pleases the homosexual groups in South Africa threatens the good social standing of these companies in light of our nations values. You need to carefully weigh what is South Africa’s strategic interest in our nation and region. Is it business or sodomy?" "Cancelling Mr. Jon Qwelane appointment and sending someone else due to the pressure of the homosexuals will trigger a widespread civil society protest which stands to affect the South African businesses in Uganda."
A big, burning question I would like answered is: Why is SA even trading with those fascists in the first place - and why is SA still - after two years - refusing to speak out against Uganda's laws which abuse human rights?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I find the older one gets, the harder it is to find and make true friends. Some time ago I had many real life friends, some with whom I had kept relationships going since junior school, people that I shared and did everything with - even until long after high school. And then one day, about ten years ago - I lost every single one of them, every single one - including a best friend I had known 14 years.
I sincerely hope Mr Shapiro doesn't mind my including his brilliant cartoon of the issue with my article, it is remarkably apt and fitting to the situation, it puts in one picture all the words I could write a hundred articles about this subject! Kudos to him!
Last week, the storm around the appointment of the homophobic News24 columnist Jon Qwelane broke mainstream news. Immediately, there was an outcry by human rights organizations, specifically from the Pink Community, even resulting in some advocacy bodies in other countries lodging objections. Why did they object?
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Assume for a moment that I were to commit a crime of passion - say in true Colombine fashion I were to walk into a shopping mall or a high school carrying a shotgun, and start pumping - or if I were to start playing "Carmageddon" for real. Would I be considered "sane"? What do you think, huh? Would I make a good case for a shrink to make his career with? Would I be justified in making an insanity plea in court?
What do you think my chances are?
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
This morning I lost my virginity... my TV interview virginity, that is.
Those who know me, know me as a fairly quiet person, so the last place they would expect to see me is on a live TV broadcast on ETV morning news, talking about international matters. Come to think of it, that's the last place I would expect to see me. Never the less, I found myself there this morning, a bundle of nerves, like a lamb being led to the slaughter.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Like others in South Africa over the past few years, I have long been asking the South African government for an explanation for not signing the UN Statement to Decriminalize Homosexuality in 2008 and what they meant when they said they did so on the grounds of "having principles". It seems they have been answering my question in increments.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I don't know why some people just seem to get their jollies on hate speech, I really don't - and add to the insult and injury caused to those who are targeted by these people, they seem to lack the courage of their convictions - or at the very least, courage - to post their hatred to Face book groups or newspaper websites under their real names. No, "Witwolf" or "Boerseun" sounds far more impressive. And a lot less likely to carry consequences.
Aside from that, it also tends to taint good, decent Afrikaans people with that horrible shade of bigotry reminiscent of the bad old days in this country. Indeed, when I see posts like that, I have to wonder how far have we come in the last 15 years - and how far we still have to go before we live up to claims of being a "true" democracy.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The issue of same-gender marriage is a hot topic at present around the world. The USA, the "bastion" of liberal society - at least in theory - is watching closely the current legal review of the Constitutional validity of the Proposition 8 vote which rescinded marriage equality for same-gender couples in California in December 2008. Proponents of Proposition 8 also pushed for the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA) to redefine the legal concept of marriage to mean "one man, one woman".
Over the past few months a war of words has been raging over the activities of "ex-gay" groups in the USA and around the world wherever they have set up affiliates or branches of their own - including in my own country, South Africa. The "ex-gay" movement operates on a purely religious basis and claims solely out of a misinterpretation of religious dogma, that gay (or trans) people can and should either deny their nature - or "change". They claim all sorts of "studies" and "proof" exist to support their theories, but the truth is that no such evidence exists - and that every reputable medical, scientific and psychological institute, authority or body asserts that "conversion therapy" - IE attempts to change sexual orientation by "ex-gay" industry, is dangerous, risky and harmful to those it affects.
All this has prompted me to look back - and inwards, to a time when I was struggling for self-acceptance, and to find my own identity.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Later today, Ecclesia de Lange, an ordained minister of the Methodist church, who is a lesbian - goes on trial for being married. If it weren't heartless and inhuman, it would be laughable. A day or two ago I received notification of the drama unfolding in a South African Methodist church. Let me start off by quoting from the Facebook support group:
Sunday, January 10, 2010
The "culture war", now more than 30 years old - today is far from the obscure reference cloaked and made fun of by the little quotation marks which try to create the impression that the culture war is a euphemism and not really a war at all. The truth is very different, because when people's lives are destroyed through the actions of other people - even people on the other side of the planet, even without the use of conventional weapons - and when people die - it is a war in every real sense of the word.
Ok, today is a Sunday, and I don't normally post articles on a Sunday because I post articles from Monday to Thursday and take the rest of the week off to recover! But this past day or so I have seen a few things that really upset me and quite frankly, leave me appalled and utterly disgusted. So I did what I always do about things that have that effect on me - I write about them. And today, for once, it isn't about gay rights, or about religion - it is nevertheless about something else which should by its very nature, touch both of these.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Every year around December the South African National Blood Service starts shouting frantically that blood stocks are low and that they are desperately in need of donors. This past month I have seen the familiar call on lamp post advertising and in newspaper headings, heard their plaintive whining for blood on the radio and on TV - and cursed the SANBS under my breath every single time.
And every year around this time, many people will answer this call - whether out of civic duty or simply out of helpfulness and love for their fellow human beings, they will go to donation centers to answer this call to satiate South Africa's lust for blood.
What I find both sad and hypocritical in this scenario, is the fact that every year this time, many people who do so, will find themselves turned away and indirectly told that neither they, nor their blood - are good enough for the high and mighty standards of the SANBS.
Monday, January 4, 2010
"Never again", the world says - and yet genocide has occurred numerous times since 1945. The most infamous recent example is in Rwanda, but Saddam Hussein also dabbled in genocide against the Kurds in Iraq back in the 1980's. And it still goes on today - with the state-sponsored murders of gay people in Iran, the religious fundamentalist militias in Iraq, the mob violence and murders of gay people in Jamaica and Uganda. The laws being passed in numerous countries which turn ordinary people into criminals and fugitives based solely on their sexuality or gender identity are a precursor to genocide. They put it in people's minds that such people are a threat and are in fact criminals.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Let's focus on hate speech today, shall we?
A petition on the "Petition Spot" website, a service which allows the creation of online petitions caught my attention - it is creatively entitled "Sign to kill all the gays". The subtitle of the petition says "Gays are gross and do not have the right to live. This is a petition to get the government to kill them all. Please sign if you support my cause."
It has been up there since September 14 2009, and so far it has a whole 39 signatures. Stop the press. Perhaps they should have advertised it in Uganda, Jamaica, Iraq and Iran to meet their target of 1 million signatures. Shame, poor deluded little psychotics.
Many fundamentalist Christians today are calling for a return to what they call "biblical values", which in essence ignores the New Testament and even Christ's existence altogether - thus discarding the New Covenant entirely. They focus almost completely on Old Testament ritual laws and cry for the death penalty to be reinstated (apparently this is a "biblical value") as a so-called "deterrent" against crime - crimes which many of them feel should include adultery, divorce, "blasphemy", lying and their personal favorite, homosexuality.