“If there was any condition to force the Western world to stop giving us money,” David Bahati told Josh Kron of the New York Times. “I would like that.”
Newsflash to Bahati: The United States does not need Uganda and 99-percent of our citizens would not notice if every last nickel was withdrawn from the dictatorship. Indeed, in a time of economic distress at home, many people are questioning whether we should be sending our hard earned tax dollars to places like Uganda — that may not represent our interests and values.
If Uganda passes this hideous violation of human rights the US should take six actions:
1) Cut off all aid to Uganda.
2) Work to ensure LGBT Ugandans can escape their country’s tyrants and resettle to more friendly nations.
3) Offer legal immunity for LGBT Ugandans who defend themselves and their families in the face of state terror. Everyone is entitled to a vigorous self-defense and is not required to sheepishly walk into the hands of security forces that would violate international human rights standards and lock them in prison for life and throw away the key — or worse.
4) Congressional hearings about the involvement of American evangelicals in egging on Uganda’s anti-gay hysteria — that has already led to fear, violence, and death of gay activists.
5) Evidence should be compiled to eventually take to the International Criminal Court to prosecute Bahati, Martin Ssempa, and the Americans involved with this anti-gay bill.
6) A travel ban to the United States for all Ugandan officials
The most cynical part of violent tyrants like the oddly gay-obsessed Bahati is that he claims attempts by the West to stop the human rights violations are “neocolonialism.” In fact, Bahati had no problem when American Christian colonialists like The Family (aka The Fellowship), Rick Warren, and Lou Engle embraced him and made Uganda their right wing experiment. As Bahati pointed out, Uganda became their virulently anti-gay laboratory because the Americans admitted that it was “too late” to pass such heinous laws in the U.S.
Furthermore, I would still like to know why a Ugandan General was at a party at the same hotel where the Values Voter Summit was taking place last year in Washington. What unsavory plotting and planning may have been taking place? Who were the evangelicals who may have been involved with undermining US foreign policy and promoting violent homophobia overseas?
Finally, the Obama administration should not forget Bahati’s insult today against the President. He told the Times: “The good thing with the West is that we know that Obama can influence the world only up to 2016. That’s definite.”
The Obama Administration should recognize exactly what the Republican-embracing Bahati does — that as long as Obama occupies the White House, America can reduce our financial obligations abroad by cutting off Uganda like a midnight drunk at the bar.
If the hate bill is passed, the rabidly euphoric anti-gay celebrations would eventually die down. Ugandans would soon realize that the money from Uncle Sam has dried up. In short order, the public would turn on Bahati and others of his ilk who put their prejudices before the best interests of their nation.
And if I’m wrong and they still support Bahati in the face of poverty, economic and diplomatic isolation? Well, then it is rather clear that our money would be better spent elsewhere — like in more tolerant nations or fixing the aging infrastructure back home.
It is simply unacceptable that American citizens would be asked to continue subsidizing anti-LGBT violence and discrimination.