Monday, 7 April 2014

Nazis, Genocide, and Uganda

Homosexuals Rounded Up in Nazi Concentration Camps

Today marks 20 years since the genocide in Rwanda, and this excellent article brings home a point that Uganda needs to learn:

One of the worst calamities I know of was in my own family: The Hutu husband of a Tutsi cousin of mine — presumably fearing for his own life — followed an order from armed militiamen to kill her in front of their children. The act was so unspeakable that when Tutsi rebels finally stopped the genocide, another cousin, seeking vengeance, killed the father in front of the same children. I cannot imagine what scars those now-grown children carry... 
You can hear it in our maxims. “Intero nyirurugo ateye, niyo wikiriza” means “the tune the head of the household begins is what everyone in the house sings.” “Umwera uturutse ibukuru bucya wakwiriye hose” means that orders from above spread quickly, in the form of rules. “Order” and “law” translate the same: “itegeko.” A “law-giver,” an “order-giver” and an “authority” are each an “umutegetsi.”

Uganda, and many countries in the world, are singing the tune of dehumanisation.

Gay people are worse than 'pigs and dogs,' they are 'disgusting,' unnatural,' 'sinful.'

Take away a person's humanity and it starts to become a duty to mistreat them.

It is now law in Uganda for parents to turn against their gay children, for teachers to turn against their gay students, for brothers and sisters to turn against their gay siblings.

Uganda - you made this happen. You wilfully deafened your ears to reason and listened only to the ignorance of others.

This is the same language:

  • White people used against black people during slavery and apartheid
  • Nazis used against Jews, gypsies and the disabled during the Second World War
  • Hutus used against Tutsis
  • Christians used against Muslims (and vice versa) to incite holy wars and terror
  • Some men use against women as justification for beating them and denying them education

Uganda - Congratulations!

You have learned nothing from history.

Madiba would weep.


  1. I've wondered if this attack on African gays is an attempt to find an enemy people who hate each other can unite against. This isn't unique to Africa though. Last year in Israel Jewish and Muslims rallied together to protest Israel pride. These are people who have been at war for a millennia, however they were able to unite their hate and direct it onto gays. I've begun to think of it as a lazy way to peace. The decision to not set aside hate and find mutual understanding, but to unite hate to attack someone both sides can agree are a good substitute.

  2. Nazis capitalized on the financial crisis in Germany to justify genocide. Ugandans are doing it to mask the breathtaking corruption of their politicians. Give people a devil to hunt and they won't notice you're robbing them blind.


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