Sunday, February 09, 2014

Recent Writings

Supporters of GEHO in Jinja, Uganda

After a long dry spell, I've been doing some more writing, all of it over on the Kasama website. Working with other members of the editorial collective, I've been helping to flag and introduce interesting articles from outside websites, as well as generating original content.

First up, I'm most proud of a long piece I spent a week researching and writing. Entitled "Real Enemies, False Friends: Imperialism and Homophobia in Africa," it covers the causes behind the wave of terrifying anti-gay repression in Africa. I've coined the phrase "weaponization of gay rights" to describe the hypocritical embrace of LGBT rights by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as a neocolonialist cudgel in the arsenal of US imperialism. It's pretty timely in the context of the orgy of hypocrisy during the Sochi Olympics in which anti-gay, repressive Russia is being pilloried by the professedly pro-gay, but still repressive US. I take aim at local demagogues, American evangelicals like Scott Lively, imperialist politicians, and the worst alleged gay rights organization ever, the Human Rights Campaign.

Next up are a bunch of short introductions meant to frame and introduce articles for discussion:

"Sochi Olympics — stop anti-gay violence in Russia" is a Human Rights Watch report  on the disturbing increase in antigay violence following the passage of Russia's gay propaganda law. My introduction just presents some of the issues for those not familiar. I'd like to follow this up with a discussion of the attempted gay boycott of Sochi and its corporate sponsors, addressing some of the same issues of hypocritical imperialism as in my Uganda/Nigeria piece.

"East Baltimore — What the fuck is a selfie?" is an article about life in a world where social media doesn't reign supreme. My introduction is a call to examine the bubbles and presumptions leftists inhabit when thinking about interacting with the real world.

"Atlanta, unfit rulers should get out of the way" is an article about the calamitously unusual snowstorm that swept the south. My introduction talks about the clash of extreme weather and capitalist crisis.

"American Studies Association penalized by NY Senate for Israel boycott" talks about the attempted retaliation against supporters of the BDS movement in New York. My introduction introduces the BDS movement as a way of materially supporting the Palestinian struggle.

Since Kasama front paged my fairly critical piece on Peter Seeger, we chose another article that was more personally laudatory as a counterpoint. I introduced "Music journalist Dave Marsh remembers Pete Seeger" in the hopes of keeping a discussion going.

My personal life is still quite unsettled, but it feels good to be speaking my mind again and keeping up with the writing. I'd love feedback from readers.