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28 July 2010

Comments

JBK

"demean the legitimate plight of the victims of racism". Wow. It wasn't that long ago he wasn't legitimate in HIS country. I just SMH at these ppl and their foolishness.

john

Hey Rod, are you sure you wanted to link to http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-07-19-black-antiblacks-are-denialists when you say that Matjila's comments are roundly criticised?

Here's the thing. Matjila says that the comparison of homophobia to racism demeans the legitimate plight of victims of racism. There's also another commentator, Eusebius McKaiser who criticises this standpoint. McKaiser asks: "Does Racism trump Homophobia"? McKaiser would say no. Then there is another article, the one you linked to, by Andile Mngxitama who attacks McKaiser for his standpoint. Mngxitama calls McKaiser a Black anti-black denialist. Mngxitama identifies McKaiser's race: Black; and calls McKaiser a denialist of Apartheid as if McKaiser denies Apartheid ever existed, or at least was that bad; hence McKaiser is anti-black for his denialism.

Long paragraph, ne?

And here's the really big point that I make to you.
First off: I really wish that you were more careful about what you put up as evidence to support a statement. Clearly this time you picked up a thread which actually supports the homophobic UN Ambassador.

Secondly, I say that first thing because I look up to your work. Your mere existence online is something to be thankful for. I am South African and I am Black. I am clearly in an environment where some viewpoints are really hard to even voice through all the noise. This McKaiser-Mngxitama debate is a very sad...do I call it a debate even? McKaiser did an adequate job in honestly applying logic to the debate to prove that it is not ok for the SA government to fight racism yet condone or even promote homophobia. What Mngxitama did was simply accuse McKaiser of being anti-black as if it is not possible to be non-racist and non-homophobic at the same time.

So does the world need a gay Apartheid for McKaiser to be safely non-racist and non-homophobic?

Explorer

Joh n, you raise a valid point. Mngxitama's polemic against McKaiser's article was somewhat misdrected. But in one respect, it is worth considering. Mngxitama is saying that whatever your sexuality in South Africa, your life is primarily ordered by the history race oppression. This he is key in country where white gay activists become spokespeople for the gay rights, and to large extent are in fact conservative in their race politics. Hence, what you get are white gay citizens enjoying the privilege of whiteness whilst having a shaky solidarity with their black counterparts who find themselves subjected to the ongoing violence in the townships. Mngxitama and McKaiser are both off the angle in the sense that neither identify patriarchy as the ubiquitous evil that men of all colours and backgrounds share. Hence, even gay men, are some of the most sexist out there. On the issue of gay politics in S.A., even queer activist Zackie Achmat consistently criticises the middle-class gay community in South Africa of being privileged and hiding behind material success instead of being out there advocating for basic rights of citizens oppressed under apartheid. For achmat, i think, the gay community needs to realise that it's 'liberation' is never going to be fully reailsed until all the economic and socil structural damage suffered by people under apartheid is reversed. Hence Mngxitama is not missing McKaiser's point, but bringing McKaiser back into his social reality. In the article he criticises E.M for philosophising. Reality in South Africa says that all oppressions are tied up to the bigger problem of what apartheid did, until that is resolved black lesbians will suffer the violence that hetero black women suffer in the townships, a violence bred in the social chaos we have not resolved since the end of our 50 year repression and civil war since Botha. Mngxitama isn't saying gay rights are insignificant, he is pressing E.M. to look at the reality of S.A. and which gays actually enjoy what and why others dont. This in way of course answers the question of ANC sexism and conservatism generally.

Explorer

Correction: I meant - In NO way does it answer the problem of ANC sexism and homophobia generally.

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