Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Not so Private Conversation

It was private, that is, until I decided to put it here. I am just being cheeky.

Some background. In Uganda, we have two major English dailies. The red rug is a rug, so I will not grace toilet paper with the ‘news’ monica.

The New Vision is the government owned newspaper. Once upon a time it was fairly independent. That was till the end of 2006, when the President decided that it was not fitting that the government paper criticizes the government. So, it lost its independence. Now, it only speaks what the govt wants. And gives editorials like the totally confusing one here and here.

And there is the Monitor. An independent. I think at the moment it is owned by the Aga Khan or something like that. Has a reputation of independence.

So, last year, when we wanted to have our national outing, Monitor was a very good place. Maybe the only place we could go to! And they did us some good things. I mean, they did report very objectively. It riled Ssempa so much that he started a campaign against one of the Monitor Reporters, an intern from America. Her crime, according to Ssempa, was ‘promoting homosexuality’. No, the newspapers editors said, she did not do that. She was just doing her job, reporting what her editor had asked her to.

But Monitor staff are Ugandan. Maybe we lucked on an American intern as a total bit of serendipity! So, even when we had generated that debate, there used to be a quirky kick from some of the Monitor staff.
This past Saturday, the Monitor headlines were searing. ‘SODOMY IN BOARDING SCHOOLS’. I cringed. Did not read the article till the next day. Oh yes, I posted it here. Doesn’t mean I read it! Just the fact that, a straight person would also not like to be accused of all the 'straight' rapes that occur... And I knew that something like that was going to happen. In fact, as a letter from a reader puts it in today's Monitor, 'Research has shown a close relation between homosexuality, drug abuse and spread of AIDS!'

[Let the witch-hunt begin. Lynch the homosexuals!]

The next day, I came across another article in that Monitor. The one from the experts. I was riled. So riled that I found little relief in the post. Experts do need to be experts.

And I thought I should send it to the letters to the editor.

I was surprised to get an answer. Usually, letters to the editor are either trashed (majority) and a very few answered. I know that!
Now, I will let the correspondence do the talking…


gug has sent you a link to a blog: Blog: GayUganda Post: Demonised? Are these 'truths' true? Link:

Man [or woman?],
Just leave us alone. We are clean and ramrod straight.

Leave me alone. And just do not sell your papers on innuendos and untruths about me.
You just have to learn that we are human beings, and we do suffer from your irrational hate. If you were to ignore us it would be ok. But you go ahead and write lies from 'experts'. Then what the hell will the red pepper do?
Leave us homosexuals alone. It should be us saying that, not you.



Who sent me the link in the first place?

And secondly, it does not matter to me what this or that western ‘scientific’ agency says or does to whitewash sodomy, it is very easy to see where they would be coming from, if you read my meaning. Why else are you clowns fighting tooth and nail to get yourselves accepted if sodomy was acceptable to nature in the first place?



Hi H,

thanks for the information.

I did not send you the link. I sent the link to the Letters Editor at Monitor. I thought that is what we are supposed to do, write letters to the Editor? Forgive me if I got it wrong.

Thanks for your raging hate. Thanks for accusing me of things which you have no idea that I do or not.

All that you know of me is that I am gay and Ugandan. And of course that I was riled at the monitor article, citing 'experts' which a cursory search of the web would have shown to be ill informed.

No, I expected better of the Monitor. Of the Red Pepper, I did not expect anything better. Sorry, I thought I bought a copy of the Monitor, not the Red Pepper.

Be well H,

and god bless your hate with love.



Ok, and there ended the correspondence! Yeah, I was not my cool suave self. A bit over the top and all that. A bad day, I admit!


spiralx said...

Good post. Good set of replies. I know it's like bashing your head against a brick wall sometimes, but at least you kept up the fight!

"Pre-judice" - pre-judge. Judging something before you know anything about it. Something we don't condone in civilised society because it shows a lack of thought and lack of awareness. A lack of maturity if you like!

Put your Monitor link in your next blog, and invite all and sundry to email them!

DeTamble said...

Good God Guggy! I don't know what to say. Or whether to be amused or impressed.

On the other hand we have a government tv station over here, ABC (note the capitals, it's not that bullshit American excuse for a tv station 'abc') anyway, ABC spends most of its time criticising the government on a whole range of things. :-) I LOVE ABC!!

gayuganda said...

Spends time criticising the govt?

Hmmmm! the New Vision was pretty independent. Dared to present the view from us. Until they were told they had to toe the line, meaning, homophobia only.

DeTamble said...

Oh yeah, in fact there are several shows that criticise the government. I could name them all but pfft that'd take too long! Sometimes they say some really hardcore stuff that even shocks me. HAHA! Can't believe they get away with it sometimes, I mean it's the government's own TV station you'd think it would be censored at least a little, but no.
I guess Australian's like to say it how it is, mostly.

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