Rachel Maddow Knows Who Killed David Kato

Just like that Sarah Palin lady and the Safeway shootings, Scott Lively and Richard Cohen are totally responsible for the death of David Kato. Didn’t you hear? Because they created the environment where this type of anti-gay violence is encouraged. Are these men absolutely horrible, horrible people? Yes. Did these men put a hammer to Kato’s head? No. Are the creating a climate of hatred? Yes. Did they call for Kato’s head? Not that I know of (though I’m sure they were pleased with the Rolling Stone cover). So while I’m all for us holding men like Lively and Cohen responsible for their hate speech, and their involvement in a bill that calls for gays to be imprisoned and sometimes executed, I caution immediately linking the words of one party with the actions of another.

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  • greenmanTN

    Yeah well, you’re WRONG, in this case at least. The “Rolling Stone” cover with David Kato’s picture and the headline “Hang them!” was directly related to the paranoid anti-gay ravings of people like Scott Lively and Richard Cohen, delivered directly to Ugandan officials. Without the “kill the gays” bill, which Lively and Cohen directly influenced if not inspired, and the homophobic atmosphere it fostered there likely would never have BEEN a tabloid cover with the exhortation to kill those depicted. Without that cover it’s quite possible that David Kato would be alive today. The linkage isn’t hard to see at all unless one is willfully blind to it or trying to be “cleverly” provocative.

    Yes, I’m aware that someone who was staying with David Kato has confessed, but I’m also aware that the Ugandan government definitely did not WANT the murder of David Kato to be a hate-crime because the eyes of the Western world were already on them regarding homophobia and hate speech. Witness accounts that don’t square with the official version of events were dismissed. False confessions have often been obtained by police in the US, “the land of the free and home of the brave,” so somehow I doubt that extracting a politically convenient confession is beyond the capabilities of the Ugandan police who had plenty of motivation to do so. They could probably even get the author of this piece to admit to willfully obtuse linkage blindness, perhaps merely with the intention of being “provocative” rather than honestly skeptical, despite the fact that person would probably never admit it otherwise.

    Unless and until a neutral, non-homophobic, non-Ugandan investigation confirms that Enock Nsubuga murdered David Kato, I’m not buying it. Not when the Ugandan government had so much motivation for the “investigation” to be resolved that way. And IF Kato’s murder was really a hate crime, then YES the poisonous homophobia in Uganda that fostered and inspired it can be traced back to the hateful, paranoid ravings of Christian Right figures like Scott Lively and Richard Cohen who directly influenced Ugandan officials, creating that toxic atmosphere in the first place.

    If you absolved Iago from any culpability for Desdemona’s murder by Othello in an English paper you would fail. Doing it in this situation not only fails but is offensive. Certainly logic doesn’t absolve these psychologically disturbed homophobes of the actions inspired by their rhetoric. That job is apparently left to smug and willfully blind bloggers.

  • Ryan

    “So while I’m all for us holding men like Lively and Cohen responsible for their hate speech, and their involvement in a bill that calls for gays to be imprisoned and sometimes executed, I caution immediately linking the words of one party with the actions of another.”

    Does that mean you’re going to be more cautious about linking a bully’s words and a school’s indifference to a gay kid’s suicide? Or does the hate speech and misinformation spread by American right-wing fear-mongers in Africa cause violence and death of homosexuals? Which is it? Are people responsible when their words lead to actions?

  • Ambrose

    Queerty would make a snarky comment out of the Second Coming, even if–no, especially if–Jesus was gay and gave a reading of all the hypocritical bigots of the world (actually, I kind of think he did that the first time around). I’m about done with y’all.

  • GrrrlRomeo

    For this, I’m removing Queerty from my newsreader.

    It is well known that the anti-homosexual laws in Africa are due to western colonialism. Many people argue that we should not directly intervene in other cultures and impress upon them our values. However, when that culture has essentially imported hate from the US, it is our responsibility to look at who among us is exporting that hate.

    You’re really equating some ambiguous crosshairs on Sarah Palin’s map with the totally unambiguous front page photo of a gay activist under the banner “hang them”?

    How totally naive of you to believe a disagreement would cause a person bludgeon someone to death with a hammer. The case isn’t solved and you have no idea if that confession wasn’t forced because they wanted to cover up a hate crime or if Enock, known for committing robberies, wasn’t hired to do the hit while in prison.

  • jason

    Words do have consequences. If I were to shout “fire” in a crowded theater, there’d be consequences. There’d probably be a stampede for starters. Should I be arrested for shouting “fire” in a theater? If there were no actual fire and people were injured as a result of the stampede, absolutely.

    My point is that I am free to say whatever I like but I am not free from the consequences of my words. We should all bear this in mind in the context of the heinous killing of David Kato.

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