Here's a truly depressing Fresh Air interview with Jeff Sharlet, who's covered the political efforts to "eradicate homosexuality from Uganda." Or simply eradicate homosexuals. What I hadn't realized was the extent to which gays are not simply hated, but--in the wake of HIV--used as a political tool for despots looking to deflect attention.
Also exposed are the radical Christian preachers who've helped fan the flames anti-gay demagoguery. Now confronted with the full results of their machinations, like all demagogues, they are claiming that they had no idea that Ugandans might actually try to eradicate homosexuals, instead of eradicating homosexuality. Because there's a real difference...
It is with much shame that I admit that this isn't the first time I've heard the notion proffered that homosexuality is "Western" and somehow not indigenous to authentic African societies--and I've never been to Africa. We all have to come from somewhere, and nowhere is perfect, and everywhere is flawed.
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is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power