By R.O. Chester
For a fellow who wrote a book about his father’s dislike of colonialism, President Obama did not seem to get the message. On his recent trip to Kenya, Obama felt obliged to try cramming a little of the American gay rights agenda down their throats. You know turn all those down low brothers loose. The Atlantic has a good piece on it:
But the trip did include one tense moment. Appearing at a press conference with his counterpart, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Saturday, Obama spoke out about the importance of gay rights in the country.
“As somebody who has family in Kenya and knows the history of how the country so often is held back because women and girls are not treated fairly, I think those same values apply when it comes to different sexual orientations,” he said. He then likened anti-gay discrimination as “the path whereby freedoms begin to erode and bad things happen.”
Kenyatta didn’t take the bait. “For Kenyans today, the issue of gay rights is really a non-issue,” he said. “We want to focus on other issues that really are day-to-day issues for our people.” Kenyans in attendance applauded his remarks.
Gay equality has a long way to go in Africa. Of the continent’s 54 countries, only one, South Africa, has legalized same-sex marriage. In many others, opposition to homosexuality is nearly universal. According to a 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center, 98 percent of the population of Nigeria, the continent’s largest economy, believe homosexuality should not be part of society. The percentages in Senegal and Ghana were scarcely lower. In Uganda, where public opposition reaches 96 percent, rights activists achieved a rare victory in 2014 with the overturning of a law mandating life in prison for many instances of gay sex. But months later, a similar piece of legislation was enacted in Gambia. Attitudes in the continent’s southern countries aren’t much more tolerant. When a Supreme Court decision legalized gay marriage in the United States last month, Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe remarked that he would take the opportunity to propose marriage to Obama himself.
Just like the British before him, Obama seems to know what is best for Kenya. A hundred years plus years ago, Christian missionaries taught Kenyans how to have sex in the missionary position, and now they come back to teach them how to do it doggie style!
Sorry, but who says the West has the monopoly on the right idea about what is sexually normal and healthy? More homosexuality equates to more HIV and AIDS, and a host of other diseases. Our own country, and others have seen an increase in these diseases because of more gay hookups. For example:
The last thing Africa needs is more disease. This is from wiki about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Kenya:
Kenya has severe, generalized HIV epidemic, but in recent years, the country has experienced a notable decline in HIV prevalence, attributed in part to significant behavioral change and increased access to ART (antiretroviral drugs). National adult HIV prevalence is estimated to have fallen from 10 percent in the late 1990s to about 6.1 percent in 2005. Women face considerably higher risk of HIV infection than men, and also experience a shorter life expectancy due to HIV/AIDS. The 7th edition of AIDS in Kenya reports an HIV prevalence rate of eight percent in adult women and four percent in adult men. Populations in Kenya especially at risk include injecting drug users and people in prostitution, whose prevalence rates are estimated at 53 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are also at risk at a prevalence of 18.2%. Other groups also include discordant couples (where one partner is infected and the other is not), prison communities, uniformed forces, and truck drivers.
Key populations contribute a disproportionately high number of new HIV infections annually despite their small population size. According to the MOT 2008, although these populations represent less than 2% of the general population, they contribute a third of all new HIV infections. Key populations in Kenya include sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs. Additionally, there are geographical disparities in the distribution of key populations across the Counties.
By advocating for a freer environment for men who have sex with men, President Obama might as well have gone whole hog and called for an increase in the numbers of prostitutes and drug addicts, too. Same result. More death and disease. Or maybe he should have called for greater “smokers’ rights.” That way he could be sure he missed no bases in killing more Kenyans in the name of upper middle-class White American values.
What is lurking in the background of Obama’s suggestion, is that same paternalism that motivated or excused previous European exercises in colonialism, that is, the idea that a country of mostly white people knows better than poor ignorant Africans what is best for them.
I wish President Kenyatta had a bust of Obama so that he could return it to us.
FootNote: The image is Mantan Moreland from the 1941 film, King Of The Zombies. It’s a classic horror-comedy directed by Jean Yarbrough. In World War II a small plane makes an emergency landing on an island and take refuge in the home of a mad scientist. The scientist uses voodoo to attempt to transfer their personalities into his Zombies.
It is a very watchable film, and Mantan Moreland’s acting is impeccable. He also got equal billing with the white stars. Here is the movie in full: