There’s a bit of a post-colonial scuffle happening over in merry old England. British activist group Outrage! made headlines last month when they called on world powers to raise their voices against some proposed homophobic Nigerian laws.
In a statement, the even outspoken Peter Tatchell railed:
We appeal to gay and human rights groups worldwide to take urgent action to press the Nigerian government to uphold international human rights law and to drop this draconian legislation.
In response to Tatchell’s battle cry, LGBT activists from ten African nations have issued a cry of their own: shut the fuck up.
The concerned citizens – including South Africa’s Thuli Madi (pictured) – insist Tatchell and his friends of playing a little neo-colonial politics by stoking the coals of a dying controversy through misquotes and false information:
Stay out of African LGBTI issues. You have proven that you have no respect for conveying the truth with regards to Africa or consulting African LGBTI leaders before carrying out campaigns that have severe consequences in our countries. You have betrayed our trust over and over again.
The leaders insist they want nothing to do with Outrage! or Tatchell.
Tatchell responded to their criticism thus:
They know little or nothing about our campaigns. Since we have never campaigned with them or in their countries, how can they judge us? OutRage! acted in good faith, with the sole intention of supporting our African brothers and sisters.
Yeah, we’re sure the do-gooders going to take kindly to that.
Regardless, Outrage! has shelved their Nigeria campaign. They did, of course, take time for a little swipe of their own:
Some gay organizations resent the fact that we work with groups they see as rivals. They want an exclusive franchise on the right to represent lesbians and gay men. We are willing to cooperate with everyone. This seems to have caused resentment among some activists. We are trying to build bridges. There is no place for pettiness and jealousy in the human rights movement. We should be working together.
Something tells us that won’t be happening anytime soon. Shame…