Is the NAACP Just Going to Say Nothing About Malawi’s Imprisoned Queer Couple?

I am dumbfounded (not to mention annoyed) that the NAACP has not issued a statement in support of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza who were victimized in the gay Malawi case. .. I believe if Dr. King were alive today, he would not only speak out against the injustice in Malawi against Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, but he would denounce homophobia everywhere. His wife, Coretta Scott King got it right. She understood that hatred, in all forms, can not be tolerated. “I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.” she said. The preservation, social influence, and cultural relevance of the NAACP is now reliant upon change. The times have changed and so they must. Otherwise, the legend of their past, like a great myth, is all we will have left.

—Robert L. Danforth, the blogger and commentator, on the NAACP’s silence on the queer Malawian couple sentenced to 14 years in prison [via]

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  • AndrewW

    Can the NAACP inspire donations by “speaking up?”

    That’s the answer to your question.

  • Disgusted American

    I think the NAACP will treat “lightly” with this – beings that ALOT, (not all) Blacks are Very Homophobic/Uber-religious ..they’re probably having meetings as to whether or not to release a statement of not…..hmmmm,we shall see, we shall see

  • Cam

    I’m wondering if it is more about the fact that this is a black govt. doing this. I could have it wrong, but my guess is that they go more to issues where it is a non black govt. or organization doing the discriminating. I could be wrong, does anybody know if they have spoken out forcefully against other regimes there?

  • Chitown Kev

    Other than apartheid South Africa, I’ve never known the NAACP (as an organization) to speak out on foriegn issues.

    (Maybe they spoke out about AIDS in Africa but I don’t recall it.)

    Now individual members have on many occasions (WEB Dubois and…Albert Einstein, believe or not) but never with the imprimatur of the organization

  • whatever

    Hmm. This post seems like racist bait. It’s attracted the usual peanut gallery.

    Curious. Did gay rights groups speak out against apartheid in the 70s, 80s and 90s? I wouldn’t fault them if they didn’t and maybe focused on gay rights issues.

  • Bill Perdue

    @whatever: I suspect you’re right about Queerty’s racist baiting but the question is still valid.

    The ANC, heavily influenced by the stalinist SACP and the homohating christian cults imported with colonialism was anti-GLBT for a long time. Then they changed partly because of the work of activists like Tatchell and Desmond Tutu and partly because the ANC was gearing up to lead all South Africans. http://www.petertatchell.net/history/anc.htm

    The point is not to use a question like this to attack this or that group or movement or to defend their backwardness’s but to examine ways to change those groups for the better and improve relations between the movements. There’s been precious little support given by GLBT groups for the struggles of minorities, although big changes are occurring because of the racist campaign in Arizona. (HRCs surprising intervention on the side of the anti-racist youth in Jena. LA was an exception that proves the rule.)

    In LA the LGBT and leftist groups I worked with had amiable relations with the NAACP and MALDEF, mutually supporting each other on several occasions. EQCA and HRC wrecked much of that earlier work by running eurocentric campaigns in 2000 and 2008, ignoring the fact that the ‘majority’ in California is composed of minorities and unnecessarily losing both times. Obama played a major role in the 2008 defeat by galvanizing the bigot votes of southern baptists, catholics and morons.

    We have to repair the damage done by HRC, EQCA and Obama.


    Things do change…


    Chapter 2 – Bill of Rights Equality 9.

    (1) Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.

    (2) Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.

    (3) The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.

  • hephaestion

    I agree with “Whatever.” This post looks like racist bait.

    The NAACP has had some great pro-gay leaders like Julian Bond and Kwame Nhume, but their mission has nothing to do with gay rights as such, or with affairs outside of the US, I don’t think, so it seems odd that anyone would expect them to issue a position on this. Does our HRC issue statements when Frenchmen are destroying Jewish gravesites? No. Nor would I expect them to, though we would all deplore such acts.

  • jason

    The NAACP is basically a heterosexual boys’ club. Note the lack of women in its ranks – it’s a good clue as to its philosophy.

    Blacks tend to be institutionally homophobic. Their admired institutions (the church, the NAACP, the black music industry) are socially conservative.

  • Chitown Kev

    @Bill Perdue:

    Thanks but still, my understanding is that this is a relatively recent thing for the NAACP as an organization.

    I have to double check this and see if the persona who wrote this is black or white although, undoubtedly, this is classic queerty race baiting.

  • Chitown Kev

    Niiiiice statement.

    Although I do think that here at queerty the influence of the NAACP in the black community (much less worldwide) is vastly overrated.

  • WiseUp

    The U.S. has an African-American President, which IS a good thing (whether you like the job he’s doing or not), so isn’t that another indication that the NAACP’s time has passed. Last I heard they were defending Michael Vick, for goodness’ sake.

  • ewe

    There is no top of the mountain unless we hold hands. The sooner people of all colors get that, the sooner LGBTQ people are not victimized.

  • whatever

    @WiseUp: You’re not very bright. Higher drop out rates, incarceration rates, unemployment rates sentencing disparity, income inequality, lower life expectancy, etc. and a host of other problems still exist and persist despite a black president.

  • cantstandthisbs

    They are not obligated to speak up or help us

  • ewe

    @cantstandthisbs: Neither are gay americans obligated to speak up but we do because we are their brothers and sisters and they are of the human family. Snap snap. How very easy for you to go to back to your cake and coffee. Don’t forget to flush after your dump.

  • Cam

    No. 15 · cantstandthisbs
    They are not obligated to speak up or help us

    And the multitude of non-black activists in the 50’s and 60’s as well as further back were not allowed to speak up for African Americans.

  • jeffree

    It’s the “NATIONAL” not the INTERNATIONAL association so the sickening issue of Malawi’s treatment of the couple probably falls outside the NAACP’s charter/ governing documents and thus their focus.

    Running this story singling out NAACP really does seem like baiting: it makes as much sense as wondering for example what actions the AARP, AFL CIO has taken, the NEA, NRA, or NOM, etc. Etc.
    ……….[ok that one I really suspect could have their radar tuned in to Malawi even before turning into the Int’l Org. For Marriage !!]……

    Yep, it would be great if any org. fighting 4 civil rights would give a shout out on the Malawi case, but I don’t think it’s fair to fault them for focusing on their core issues.

Comments are closed.