One of the greatest examples of people power in my lifetime.
The ultimate shock jock – Howard Stern – has shocked me with a prolonged expression of his views on homophobia and the rights of LGBT people.
And once you have been wowed by the very wise words of Mr. Stern you can get a good laugh by clicking the link below.
Via African Activist ( rapidly becoming my favorite site) ,
“Eighty-five nations endorsed the UN Joint Statement on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identitypresented by Colombia to the UN Human Rights Council, an inter-governmental body within the United Nations made up of 47 states. The statement was signed by the Central African Republic, Rwanda, and South Africa.”
As usual, in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic was progressive. Surprisingly, Cuba also voted in support. The English Caribbean ( including T&T which continues to betray its alleged commitment to human rights) was notably absent except for Dominica. I can only surmise that the normally homophobic Dominica either had a coup or someone pushed the wrong button.
Apropos to nothing, just got a blog hit from Montenegro. Seriously, this has to be the best looking national flag of all time. Absolutely gorgeous.
Read more on Montenegro here.
Very cool 2009 tourism commercial too.
Today the people of Egypt and the rest of the world were subjected to the greatest letdown in recent history as Hosni Mubarak defiantly ignored the voices of his people in Tahrir Square and refused to step down. What did he do? He handed over some of his powers to VP Sulieman – a man described as his vice-torturer by an interview subject on TV today.
How a leader can be so disconnected from the voice of his people when he can see millions of them protesting on TV ( admittedly not on state TV – but I am sure even Mubarak has access to Al Jazeera or CNN) and then give them the finger is beyond me. How he can have his state information agencies say that eleven people have died when he must know that it is over three hundred – because his secret police killed them – is equally beyond me.
What Mubarak doesn’t understand is that ordinary Egyptians are calling for him to leave. That ordinary Egyptians are leaving their families ( or even taking them with them), the comfort of their homes, their jobs and their safety to lie in the cold in Tahrir Square. The world can learn a lesson from the people of Egypt – that the best interest of your fellow citizens and your country is more important than yourself. The same can be seen for other groups fighting for rights.
When Mubarak refers in his speech to those trying to create a bad image of Egypt and suggesting that foreign satellite stations are doing it, he is being a fool. All the world sees is the people of Egypt demanding their rights and for him to get the hell out of their country.
A guest on BBC World Service radio today said that Mubarak is “old, senile and stupid”. I honestly can’t disagree.
And while I was serial tweeting the happenings in Egypt today I noted that some were suggesting that people should be concentrating on things in their own homelands if they were not Egyptian.. I think not. We are all part of humanity, and thanks to social networking we can be part of events around the world. There is something called solidarity and it means a lot to the people who are struggling – whether to reclaim their country or to be given basic human rights like the LGBT community or the elderly or the dispossessed. We are all part of humanity and thus, thanks to the internet, part of a human struggle for rights. If my library card price goes up it isn’t more important than people sleeping in the streets of Cairo or Alexandria to be given a real representative government.
And on a side note, on Facebook a friend with Egyptian connections asked me what I thought about the events today. I am not saying I am politically correct or diplomatic but I answered “As a journalist, I would say he is a desperate Despot. As a person I would say he is a fucktard.”
Right now we are all Egyptian.
Here’s some food for thought. The ILGA has a map of the world showing the current state of the world as regards LGBT rights ( or complete lack thereof) which I find very telling and more than a little depressing. A quick glance should illustrate that the scope of the ‘civilized world’ can now be redefined based on those countries in green. Most puzzling is South Africa which , while being excellent in terms of legislation, voted for the removal of sexual orientation as a cause for protection from extrajudicial killing in that recent UN 3rd committee vote.
See the full map as a PDF on the ILGA website here. ( warning – it is 1.9 megabytes)