African Leaders Engage in ‘State-Sanctioned Gay Bashing,’ Editorial Says
Leaders across Africa are engaging in a new practice, "state-sanctioned gay bashing," a Wall Street Journal editorial states. Recently, Namibian President Sam Nujoma ordered police to "arrest, deport and imprison" homosexuals. In addition, Kenya's President Daniel arap Moi recently called homosexuals a "scourge" and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe said that they are "lower than pigs and dogs." The editorial states that "[f]or Africa's failed leaders, blaming a national catastrophe [like AIDS] on a minority is certainly convenient" but also "totally misleading." Unlike in the West, AIDS in Africa has never been a "gay disease," the editorial states. "[T]argeting homosexuals for attack ... only distracts from the real sources of the problem" -- "frightful" poverty and "decades of corruption and incompetence," the editorial continues, adding that these same leaders are waging war on other nations and ethnic minorities, while the AIDS epidemic continues. "One would wish that some day African leaders will eschew the politics of scapegoating, be it against their former colonizers, multinational corporations, nonblack minorities and so on. Alas, this latest attack on homosexuals -- along with the current demonization of pharmaceutical corporations -- gives little reason to hope," the editorial states. "Meanwhile, perhaps this latest episode of African gay bashing will serve as notice to ... fashionable purveyors of anti-Western cliches that the enemy, after all is not us," the editorial concludes (Wall Street Journal, 3/26).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.