The events and discussions of the last few days both here in Uganda and in the US, can be termed as ones that clearly demonstrate and expose the shameful hypocrisy of the West.
We are told that only a day after the Parliament of Uganda passed overwhelmingly to criminalise homosexuality in Uganda as a deterrent measure to protect the children of Uganda, the United States of America Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken penned a warning message to the Ugandan authorities and the Ugandan people at large reminding them of the eminent possibility of losing American support in all the various humanitarian interventions that the US has been extending to Uganda should Uganda’s President Museveni dare sign the said passed bill into law.
Although it was Mr. Blinken’s warning that was broadly splashed all over the international media, we are told that actually there are many such warnings that have flooded in from various Western capitals including that of Belgium where the incumbent Prime Minister is a publicly known gay.
Not to be left behind, the UN Amnesty International and the head of Oxfam, Eng. Winnie Byanyima have also sent in their pleas and warning shots.
What makes the indignation of the Western governments towards the Uganda’s bill hypocritical is when you consider the fact that yesterday the US Congress spent over six hours so provocatively grilling Mr. Shou Chew, the CEO of Tik Tok, a video online app company over concerns of not only privacy and national security but also of protection of children and values of the Americans.
Tik Tok is being accused of among other things, encouraging online violation of children’s rights, promoting and tolerating pedophiles that molest and lure vulnerable children into undesirable acts such as even luring them into committing suicide. Tik Tok is accused of working for the Chinese government in passing on critical individual users personal data and not protecting the privacy of its users.
What was interesting is that during this hearing, although it was the concern about compromising national security by breach of privacy that was formally laid out by the Congress Committee hearing Chair, as the grilling progressed, each member on the committee read out staring accusations against Tik Tok and these centered around abuse of children’s rights.
The Congressmen and Congresswomen expressed profound displeasure and concern on how the Tik Tok platform is being used to promote an affront on the safety, behaviour and values of the American people. So, they vowed to bring to Congress a comprehensive law that will seek to curtail much of the space that online companies like Tik Tok and Facebook have been enjoying in a bid to protect the American children from the predatory practices that are peddled on these online platforms. This resolution was resounding and bi-partisan.
Now, what we the onlookers from across the Atlantic who watched this hearing, have to ask is how come the Congress of America feel so strongly that the American children must be protected against unpleasant predatory vices promoted by the online apps and that in order to achieve that they have to enact a stringent law to reign in on the culprits, but the same Americans find it difficult to understand that even the African children of Uganda do too need to be protected in equal measure from the predatory foreign practices such as homosexuality!?
How come that when the Ugandan legislators enact a law aimed at protecting their children, that law is condemned, the legislators are condemned and Uganda as a sovereign country is called names!?
Americans as purpoters of being promoters of children’s rights shouldn’t be the ones again wishing to see that our children in Uganda or Africa for that matter are subjected to unending torrent of promotion and recruitment in what we in our African culture and long standing traditions regard as abominable perverted behaviors of deviations from the creational norms.
The double tongue talk that was exhibited yesterday in the Congressional hearing juxtaposed with the so called warning missive from Mr. Anthony Blinken clearly bares the hypocrisy of “moralists” in the Americans. They just ought to have known that what is good for the goose must also be good for the gander.
As they are so determined to fight the likes of Tik Tok in their zeal to supposedly protect the American children so do they need to be appreciative of Uganda’s cardinal interest in protecting her children from the potential aggressors even if they may be emanating from America itself.
Thought the entire six hours hearing, you would hear no kind words or any sympathy for the CEO of Tik Tok coming from any Congressional hearing Committee member. They were rabid, intolerant and harsh. They were determined to let the CEO know how incensed they were with the practices, policies and actions of Tik Tok as a company.
Although the guy incessantly tried to plead to be given latitude to give explanation on most of the open ended questions that he was being asked, those pleas were either smacked or fell on deaf ears. In most cases, the answers that the Congress Committee members wanted were for the CEO to answer “yes” or “no”, short of that, they assumed their own responses that affirmed their accusations. This is what happened in hearing by these so called moralists of the world who want to stand on the high moral pedestal to chastise the Ugandan legislators for passing the Anti Homosexuality bill aimed at protecting the Ugandan children.
But it also suffices to note that the law passed in America works to safe guide the interests of the Americans within their American jurisdiction and legal dispensation. They may ban Tik Tok in America, but Tik Tok won’t be banned in Uganda by mere inference.
Similarly, the law that Uganda has enacted won’t be extended to the American or Belgium soils. The sanctions in the law will only apply or catch up with the American or Belgian who comes to Uganda to practice, promote or defend what the law has prohibited. That is indeed the beauty of the notion of sovereignty.
Therefore, our good friends in the West, should be acting calmly from wherever they are. No one based on our Uganda enacted law will seek to disturb their melody in enjoying what they treasure. Let them do it in America but don’t export it to Uganda.
That is a simple and polite message which the Ugandan law sounds out to whoever will care to listen.