Africa, Africans, and homophobia
The HIV/AIDs rate in Africa has been at a pandemic level for years now. In the U.S. and throughout the Western Hemisphere, Africans continue to maintain the highest levels of HIV/AIDs infection. At least one of the reasons for this is our inability to get into the 21st century around the question of being gay. Within African social circles, it is still quite fashionable in 2011 to refer to gay people as the F word and a complete rejection of gay people will more often meet with agreement than condemnation within African communities wherever they are on the planet. White America is shocked at the words uttered by comedian Tracy Morgan, but we know better. Why is this? I'm not sure exactly. Some of it is cultural. Some religious, but the reason I'm concerned about it is because I think it's disgraceful that a people who have suffered so much discrimination can be so heartless to the suffering of another people, especially when you consider a significant portion of the gay community is African. The other reason I'm concerned is we are so unwilling to deal with this question that I'm afraid there are a sizable population of brothers who are gay who refuse to acknowledge this fact for fear of rejection within the community. Thus the "down low" movement. I read the book. When I read the portion where the brother claims that every man has fantasized about being with another man I knew then he was tripping. Sorry dude, but I've never fantasized about being with another man. YOU ARE GAY! ACCEPT IT!! Until people like him can accept it, and more importantly, until our social institutions and culture, particularly the religious community, and evolve to a level of acceptance and tolerance, we will continue to be the only people in the U.S. and other areas where HIV/AIDs continues to raise. We will also gradually devalue the morality of our struggle for justice since we can only hear the cry for justice apparently when it comes from our lips.
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