I love humanity but I wonder at myself. The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular. In my dreams, I often make plans for the service of humanity, and perhaps I might actually face crucifixion if it were suddenly necessary. Yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone for two days together. I know from experience. As soon as anyone is near me, his personality disturbs me and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I begin to hate the best of men: one because he’s too long over his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps on blowing his nose. I become hostile to people the moment they come close to me. But it has always happened that the more I hate men individually the more I love humanity.
By The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
Who what am I? My answer: I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each ‘I’, every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you’ll have to swallow the world.
By Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
Some things my friends and I wrote in Up The Bracket Alley. The things I wrote are the less-artistic looking ones (obviously). It was an emotional time to say the least and took a lot of energy out of me.
I was there just about a week ago and it’s funny to see on my dashboard how much this wall has already changed since then
'First tragedy: a common education, obligatory and wrong, that pushes us all into the same arena of having to have everything at all costs. In this arena we are pushed along like some strange and dark army in which some carry cannons and others carry crowbars. Therefore, the first classical division is to “stay with the weak.” But what I say is that, in a certain sense, everyone is weak, because everyone is a victim. And everyone is guilty, because everyone is ready to play the murderous game of possession. We have learned to have, possess and destroy.'
Pier Paolo Pasolini
We Are All In Danger The last interview with Pier Paolo Pasolini full
Homophobia in Africa represents a set of complex and intersecting issues – deeply routed in the continent’s colonial past. Violent inscriptions of race, sexuality, ethnicity and gender took place under colonialism and are linked to present-day norms around sexuality. These historical continuities, and how sexuality is racialised, are mostly entirely absent in discussions on homophobia.
Drawing on the ‘savages-victims-saviours’ construct of law professor Makau Mutua (pdf), the west has a keen interest in homophobia that is often framed within these sets of relations. Lurking within much of the public discourse on homophobia in Africa is the notion of the civilising mission of Eurocentric culture (and its human rights frameworks) that will save African culture, and the victims thereof, from its barbarism and its savagery.
One example of this is a recently launched online fundraising effort initiated in the US.
It is a “Rescue fund to help LGBT people escape Africa” and is aimed at “Gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender people persecuted and trapped in African countries that criminalise their sexuality”. The campaign states that “by contributing to this Rescue Fund you will help me [the initiator of the fund] to save more gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people from Africa escape terrifying persecution.” An online counter shows the money is flowing in. If one donates to “save” an LGBTI person in Africa one is granted a status recognition originally titled as “ultimate saviour”. There are also prizes for donors such as “Nelson Mandela coins” for “passport providers”.
The forced flight of LGBTI from persecutory regimes will require interventions to provide places of refuge and safety. However, promoting an “escape” from Africa to “greener” US pastures, without simultaneously addressing the underlying conditions that force this migration, is dangerous and opportunistic. Dislocated from Africa-based struggles for social justice these feel-good interventions offer no long-term solution to the systemic issues that drive homophobia. At best they are palliative and patronising, at worst they reinforce the victimhood of Africans and the saviour status of westerners.