Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How deeply can prejudice shade my sight?

The simple answer is prejudice can blind. Prejudice can and will blind a person to thinking.

Take Dr Watson. A guy so brilliant that when much younger, he helped unravel the mysteries of DNA. Went ahead to win the Nobel Prize. A living legend in his own lifetime.

Yet a few weeks ago, this icon of human thought came out with his ideas on why Africa will err, never develop. Negroes are inferior; something which the politically correct fail to take into account. The world was horrified, and he lost most of his credibility because of it.

At the moment, racism is politically incorrect.

The same guy had once stated that, if a gay gene was found to be present, a mother would be right to screen her unborn child and abort the baby if it was going to be a homosexual.

What a statement. At the particular time that Dr Watson said this, it was not really politically correct form. He was derided, in some quarters. But it did not diminish his stature. Not like this time when he showed his touch of political incorrectness.

Prejudice has been a heavy shade to my thinking. Oh yes, I imbibed prejudice with my mother’s milk. So does everyone. The world we grow up in always has its own set of prejudices. And we do not escape them.

I did not. And though I think I have worked a lot of them out, I still harbour some glaring logs in my eyes.

What set me on this thought track was an opinion piece in the Monitor Newspaper today. The opinion is written by Owekitiibwa (Honourable) Joash Mayanja Nkangi.

He is a very well respected and elderly politician in Uganda. And he has been talking about homosexuality, and how bad it is.

Mayanja Nkanji. His pedigree is impressive. I think not too long ago, he was cited as one of the most brilliant Ugandans. I know that he was the Kabaka’s Katikiro (Prime Minister) during the 1966 crisis, when the Kabaka was deposed and exiled. He only handed over his instruments of office recently, when the Buganda kingdom was reinstated. After 1986, when the current president took over, he is one of the opposition politicians whose power base was co-opted, after he was ‘duped’ into working with his political opponents. He held various ministerial portfolios, including Minister of Justice and Constitutional affairs.

A grandfather, he still combs his full head of hair in a 1960s type hair style with a ‘road’ parting the grey on one side. That is what I remember most striking about him! Apart from his grandfatherly look, and reputation to brilliancy.

He believes that the Government should tighten the screws on gays and lesbians in the country. It should not dare loosen them.

I was reminded of myself. Here is a man who cannot get past some of his prejudices. And he uses the gifts he has to explain to the world why these prejudices are correct.

He is very sincere. He is very convinced of what he is saying. ‘Govt must tighten screws on gays, lesbians’.

Gays and lesbians in Uganda are deeply stigmatised. They cannot talk in public. They cannot have an HIV prevention programme. They are punished for speaking out, other Ugandans believing that they shame them so much they should just hide their shameful beings out of sight, mind and thought. This is what is politically correct in Uganda at the moment, and an elder statesman has waded into the fight. There are Ugandans who deserve rights to be affirmed as human beings. That does not include homosexuals.

It reminds me of a quip I saw about the People’s Space in the Commonwealth Head of Governments meeting recently held in Uganda. The people’s space was for all people to come out and talk about their grievances. All people.

Except homosexuals.

Who were thrown out of the People’s Space and sat at the gate for 7 hours. The People’s Space? No. ‘The Some People’s Space’. Certainly not homosexuals. Because homosexuals are not human beings.

Guess what? I should ask Mayanja Nkangi how deeply government should tighten screws on homosexuals in Uganda. Maybe an island in the lake will do for us gay Ugandans? Marooned till the day we die, then there will not be any gays in Uganda. Out of sight, sound, even thought.

Poor Uganda. Are the likes of Mayanja Nkangi, Nsaba Buturo, and Martin Ssempa able to follow the logic of their suggestions? At least the Mufti was very clear on what he thought the logical conclusion should be.



Afrobabe said...

People attack what they do not understand...

gayuganda said...

I only ask for a little bit of understanding. I pray for a little bit less venom, I want a little bit less pus spilled on my head.

Yeah, that is too much to ask.

But I have to ask. I have to persevere.

Nicholas Kimbowa said...

sex is determined by society. never ever call it a human right. and since ugandans are against homosexuality, so be it

gayuganda said...

Sex is determined by society?

I had never heard that actually. How does society determine sex? Tried to reason that out and could not.

David Nicholas, how is sex determined by society? What is your definition of sex?


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