Heart of Africa

Heart of Africa

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May 3, 2012

Indigenous peoples in Africa face many obstacles to living a free and independent life: Chinese, European and American corporations, AFRICOM, Christian evangelicals and Islamic fundamentalists to name a few. Awash with weapons from the Pentagon and corrupted by the corporations, states like Uganda are a nightmare for environmental and human rights activists, Indigenous or otherwise. Attempting to protect Indigenous peoples property like traditional knowledge, sacred sites, medicines and forest foods means confronting all the above.

An example of how American meddling by Christian evangelicals alone poses a problem for the inhabitants of America’s heavily-armed ally, Uganda, serves to illustrate the complexity of politics there. While this example concerns gays, it isn’t difficult to imagine a similar threat to Indigenous peoples. Throw in some Blackwater mercenaries, and you have a Made in the USA humanitarian tragedy ready to happen.

When President-elect Barack Obama selected Rick Warren to read the invocation at his swearing-in ceremony, American liberals wondered why human rights activists were in an uproar. As Pastor Warren’s fervent bigotry came to light, though, even ill-informed liberals came to understand that maybe promoting an avowed anti-gay Christian evangelical might not be a good idea for the newly-elected president.

Now that the proteges of Warren in Uganda have passed legislation denying gays civil rights, and nearly succeeded in making homosexuality punishable by death, one has to ask why even a neoliberal like Obama would reach out to right-wing Christian hatemongers. While we wait for the answer to such questions, Political Research Associates takes a closer look at the US Christian right and the attack on gays in Africa.

In Globalizing the Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches, and Homophobia, PRA examines the projection of American bigotry into the heart of Africa.

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