A White Gays Guide on How to Deal with the Black Community for Dummies: Chapter 13- Before You Come to Me About Uganda…Homie Pump Your Brakes

Damn, here we go again.
everybody sayin’ what’s not for him
everything I’m not, made me everything I am
damn, here we go again.
people talk shit, but when shit hits the fan
everything I’m not, made me everything I am

—Kanye West, Everything I Am

It never fails that someone somewhere will come on my blog and leave a comment about what THEY think I should be writing about. Obviously failing to note that they arrived on JasmyneCannick.com and not EverybodyAndTheyMomma.com.

Case in point, Uganda and a comment that instead of Tiger Woods, I should be focused on the persecution of gays in Uganda.

In case you aren’t up to speed on what’s going on in Uganda, Idi Amin is dead and has been since 2003. Forest Whitaker just looks a lot like him.

Today, Uganda is debating proposed legislation would impose the death penalty for some gay Ugandans, and their family and friends could face up to seven years in jail if they fail to report them to authorities. Even landlords could be imprisoned for renting to gays.

The good news, at least there’s a DEBATE about it. I mean truth be told, they could have just passed the legislation.

Do I care about what’s going on in the Motherland? Of course I do, especially because I am still debating on what country I plan to retire in. Note to self: cross Uganda off the list.

America is notorious for getting involved in other country’s issues, and when it comes to Africa—oh don’t get me started. It’s the reason that I am here today and the majority of the countries in Africa continue to be underdeveloped.

Furthermore, when it comes to issues relating to gay people, WE don’t need to say anything about what goes on in Africa when we can’t even get our own country to accept gay people. What makes our homophobia and bigotry so different from Uganda’s—the fact that we don’t execute gays on the spot?

That’s not to say that we can’t care, but there’s a big difference between caring and continuing to impose our belief system (which ain’t that great to begin with) on other countries.

I know it’s hard to believe for some, but American or shall I say, Western values aren’t celebrated by the entire world. And just because we think something is wrong doesn’t give us the right to go butting into how other countries choose to govern. Had we learned that lesson a long time ago, perhaps I wouldn’t be subjected to a strip search every time I travel through LAX.

I also take issue with American’s trying to influence Africa when America doesn’t even come close to providing the aide and resources needed to the same African countries that we, along with Europe, single handedly underdeveloped. It sends a very mixed message. Starve and die of malaria and AIDS, but let the gays live—until they too starve or die from malaria or AIDS. I don’t think so. And while we’re on the subject of the mistreatment of Blacks, for America to make Uganda the focus of their efforts when the Blacks in America are still fighting for justice…you know where I’m going with this. Say it with me—REPARATIONS.

If American’s want to help save gay Ugandans, they can start by making it that much easier for them to come to America. That’s right. Let the gay Ugandans come to America. I mean they’re still not going to have equal rights and have the burden of being Black in America, but on the brighter side of things—at least we don’t kill our gay people for being gay as a matter of law. And while we’re opening the doors for gays to flee the Motherland to come to America, we must include Nigerians, who are punished by imprisonment or death, Kenyans, and Burundians. I mean, that is if we really want to help gay Africans.

Don’t get it twisted. Every country in Africa is not South Africa and we know why South Africa is more lax when it comes to gays and it ain’t got nothing to do with the Black South Africans living there.

And for the record, because I know this is coming, I am completely sympathetic to the gays in Uganda. I am as sympathetic for them as I am for all of the people of Uganda and in Africa period. We have so much more in common than we know aside from our skin color and being from Africa.

But I don’t believe that American’s have the right to try and influence Ugandan law. Again—if we REALLY want to help the plight of gay Ugandan’s, we should and could just open up our doors and allow them to come here. And even though that’s a much easier solution to this situation, and one that doesn’t continue in our tradition of meddling in the affairs of other countries, it’s one that we are less likely to do since America is still trippin’ over its “borders” and alleged “illegals.” We’re so busy trying to get rid of the people who are already here we can’t even fathom inviting more people to come—let alone Africans of all people.

We’re a trip. We want to get all up in arms over the persecution of gays in Uganda but look the other way when we’re asked to donate to charities that provide food for children and families in Africa who are starving largely due to America’s role in their economy. Hell—for that matter, we look the other way when asked to help starving children and families in AMERICA.

See sometimes it’s just better to just leave well enough alone when it comes to me because I am not going to take the opinion that others THINK I should have. I am not one of those gay African-Americans. I am and will always be Black first and with that comes the brutal honesty of looking at a situation for what it really is, something that is very hard for a lot of people to do. So hard that they just give up when it comes to me and label me as racist, even though I am Black, and homophobic, even though I am lesbian. Go figure. Everything I’m not, made me everything I am. Now run and go tell that.

Enjoy this? Read Chapters 1-12.

A White Gay's Guide

The Court of Public Opinion

  • This is such a great idea! But somehow I doubt the US is going to jump to change its foreign policy to welcome LGBT Ugandans when it has yet to accept starving heterosexual Haitians and hardworking poor Mexicans. US immigration policy has long been rooted in racism and xenophobia, so it would take a dramatic shift in the core vision guiding American immigration laws.

    Oh, and a white gay male questioned me about this yesterday too. He wanted to know which representative in US Congress would be willing to pass a bill to stop Uganda from killing gays and I replied that since America has no sovereignty over Uganda, any bills we pass here would not apply over there. It would be wiser to look to an international body like the United Nations or the African Union to take action on this issue. And if the US were to impose economic sanctions on Uganda, it would be akin to starving gays before they even get to the death chamber.

  • LynnHB

    Jasmyne:
    I’m so with you on the part about the US has no right to influence Ugandan law (or anybody else’s)
    And completely agree that sanctions just hurt and starve ordinary folks – without hurting the privileged greedy leaders of the country (who already have swiss bank accounts at the expense of the country they govern, sad to say)
    BUT you’re missing a big piece of this story – this does have a whole big US responsibility stamped all over it. US crackpot Senators like Inhofe, and US evangelicals & ex-gay ministries are the ones who stoked the fires in Uganda. And then walked away and left the “fire” burning! These are our “representatives”, and our “prayer breakfasts” that set the stage for this. Whether we like it or not – they’re out there in the world saying that they represent the USA.
    So… we should at least be protesting & pressuring these so-called Christian folks until they clean up this mess they made & take a stand against these laws (and even if the death penalty has been taken out, the rest of the laws are still disgusting) And target & loudly tell these racist US senators that we’ll be getting them out of office, asap.

    PS are you gonna share with us why you think S. Africa is more lax on gays? (tho that’s just the law not the reality)

  • LynnHB: You’re so right that US Senator Inhofe was present at the prayer breakfast in Uganda when the kill gays bill was first announced and now he refuses to say anything about it. He’s also a member of the Family, a US-based Christian fundamentalist group that seeks to ban abortion, stop condom distribution in AIDS stricken countries, quell the labor movement and kill gays. And unfortunately, he’s not the only US elected official in this group. Reps. Stupak and Pitts, who proposed the anti-choice Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the health care bill in the House of Representatives, are also members of the Family.

    But in the end, no matter how much pressure the Family may have placed on Ugandan lawmakers, it was ultimately up to them to decide to introduce the bill in their country. The Ugandan legislator who introduced the bill and the ethics minister who endorsed it, did so on their own free will. Just because some loco American extremists tell you to kill your own people, doesn’t mean you have to do it.

  • Chitown Kev

    I’m glad you commented on this Jasmyne, though like Lynn, I am disappointed that (considering that you posted this in your book) that you did not go after the WHITE Christian colonialists who stoked the homohatred to this extent.

    Massa’s religion is still so wonderful, I see.

  • cruelcruelcruel

    “But I don’t believe that American’s have the right to try and influence Ugandan law”

    by that same argument, shouldn’t US activists not participated in the south african divestiture campaign? Because that’s what we need for Uganda. If your heart isn’t big enough to take action for my oppressed brothers and sisters in uganda, i’ll do it without you thanks!

  • Herneith

    Yes, you’ll do it without Jasmine so thousands of black gays do not come to the States. This blog is about America for the most part. Yet many of these responses veer off into what is happening in other countries. If you read her article, and this site in general, you would understand this. America has its’ own problems with gays and needs to clean up its’ own back yard before pronouncing on some other country’s problems with gays. When this is accomplished then feel free to pontificate on what other countries do to their gay populace. This is a typical derailment tactic. As for Jasmin, I hope she keeps commenting and writing the way she does as I enjoy her site. I particularly enjoy how she shows some of these white gays for what they are, mirror images of white people in general when it comes to race issues. Both are cut from the same cloth despite the differences in orientation.

  • chandra

    wow. my simple question warranted an entire post fueled with anger and animosity. Look, you really don’t have to come at ppl, especially your readers. I’ve been a reader for years. I ask a question not to be confrontational, but to put it to your attention if you or other readers were or were not aware of it. I read this blog, honestly, mostly for news about the black lgbt community. I have disagreed and agreed with you about a variety of things, but really, you don’t have to come at me with the attitude “herneith” and J. I can deal with disagreement and dialog, but coming at loyal readers who’ve help contribute money to this site is not cool. Yes, you can write whatever you want to, but again, you don’t need to come at me or other ppl that disagree, but aren’t against you, like that.

    peace,
    -c

  • andrew

    I love how racist you are while crusading against racism. Almost all of your comments insinuate some racial stereotype or generalization about “whites” or “white america.”

    And you’re missing the point all-together. America already is influencing Ugandan policies through Christian Evangelical organizations. It seems like your primary complaint is that gays are upset about the proposed law in Uganda and not upset about your laundry list of complaints about injustices in “white america.” By that logic, lots ignore all the atrocities in Africa and everywhere shall we? Lets disband the UN too and all foreign aid organizations and just focus on our problems in “white america” because we shouldn’t be meddling while things still aren’t great here. Its myopic and absurd. Just because you’re angry about racism doesn’t prevent others from being angry about homophobia or anything else.

    It sound to me like you are Angry, Racist and Black first, American and gay second. All your posts are tinged with “outrage,” anger, and vitriol. Let me tell you, that’s not going to change a damn thing and simply leave you bitter and more enraged as you get older.

  • Geez! What’s with all the haters? I think some people, like Andrew, use the anonymity of the internet to show their asses. I wonder if these people who call Jasmyne racist and homophobic would be willing to do so to her face? I hope not.

    If you don’t like her writing style, you don’t have to read her website. Jasmyne communicates in a tone that speaks to her community. Her voice is down to earth, direct and witty.

    I agree with Ms. Cannick in that Western nations like the United States are quick to criticize poorer countries without evaluating what’s happening inside their own borders or acknowledging their role in the underdevelopment of these countries. I really don’t see how saying this makes her racist because in my eyes it shows that she’s anti-racist.

    The gay community in America is a microcosm of society and overly privileged white men are trying to silence women and people of color. Luckily, there are people out there like Jasmyne that aren’t afraid to speak up for the underrepresented. Keep up the good work, Ms. Cannick.

  • Mike

    Uganda and its ties to the GOP are vile with this homophobic hate for money, and, then in trots this Andrew white gay guy who is as vile as they are with his racism. Funny how the white privileged gay men don’t get it, and, really should just stick to their issues in Chelsea, the Castro and West Hollywood, as its obvious they have no clue about anything outside those areas, and, certainly have no clue as to how to deal with anyone black, be they straight, gay or anything else. And, its laughbale when they trot onto black sites to decry what’s going on in Uganda, as if they care about anyone who isn’t white and gay, but, then again, they have to try and show they are, whem, progressive on issues, when they are no better than the Inhofes of the world or Rick Warren’s.

  • RTF

    As a black SGL man, I can care less about Uganda. That piss poor country, man please it is time for people here wake up and see what the hell is going on in OUR own backyard! Second, I fell that if you want to play captain save a people, you go right ahead.

    Last, I can care less about the plight of black straight people after getting harassed, called ass fucker and fudge packer for must my life, and have to kick a ass every now and then to defend myself from some bat shit crazy bible thumping Christians. YOU CAN’T change nothing you have no control over!!!!

    To end, before you call you call white people on their racism, CHECK YOURS FIRST BY LOOKING IN THE MIRROR! Wake up people, the elitist(s) who want us all as a people no matter what race, gender, age, and etc. to fight among ourselves instead of uniting and fight to end their evil, hateful agendas!

  • Thank you RTF

    As a white gay guy, thank you. I know Jasmyne can’t conceive it, but I am a fulltime lifelong social justice crusader with a multiracial family, and the race hatred thrown at me here certainly reminds me of the gay hatred that the white side of my family has thrown at me for years after kicking me out of their house when i was 16. (yeah that’s a long story.)

    I feel like friggin St. Sebastian already, but Jasmyne if it makes you feel better, sure, grab an arrow and shoot, whatever.

  • i like white gays am in uganda i go 2 lockgarden bar avery day but i dont know how 2
    contact them i fear them am creen and h i v free plz send mail. colebsako at yahoo.com