A Little Respect for Human Rights
Growing up in Sweden, in a small town called Sandviken, which ironically also was called “bögviken”, which in English translates into “gayviken”. Known for having a lot of these homosexuals. One could sense a similar rhetoric then, as the one we’re seeing in today’s Uganda. With a raging HIV epidemic threatening the swedes, we turned into animals who had little respect for human rights. With our media helping us to stereotype the threats even more.
To say that we care more about human rights is just hypocrisy, we take our money and we go to these places to do business. If anyone gets hurt we put the blame on the country that we helped put in the economic situation it’s in. Sweden, US, UK, China and many more, all have financial interest in a country like Uganda. Having recently discovered oil, China offered the Ugandans a new railway for free. Running through the country, up to the oil region. What the negotiations were like behind closed doors we can only imagine. But this makes it much more complicated than to just tell the Ugandans to go F themselves.
The hypocrisy got even worse as activists from Uganda have continually been denied visas to attend conferences or pride festivals around the world. Yet I can go to Uganda as I please, I don’t even need to issue a visa before I leave.
So even though we should stand up for these rights as we believe in, I think we should stop to think about how long the road was for us to accept people who doesn’t qualify into society’s norm. We’re obvioussly not here yet as trans people still struggle with going to public bathrooms, dressing for work or telling their loved ones about their sexuality.
If Uganda has been portrayed in a overly negative way, Sweden has had the luxury of being portrayed in an overly postive way. People around the world think Sweden is this magical place where everybody is protected by our famous welfare system. We’re rich, and our last ministry of finance is known for creating a growing economy like few other European countries during one of the biggest financial crises.
But living in Sweden one could instead argue that racism is growing as strong as it was in the nineties. When we had people running around with their Dr Martens and army jackets fighting anyone who was missing the famous blonde hair. Or that we, like many other places in the world, are struggling to progress from an industrial society. With unemployment threatening many smaller cities with extinction. There’s a growing uncertainty in Sweden, making a lot of people angry. Like the recent events in Ferguson, we too had a similar event in Husby not so long ago. Our society is segregated, much because our media isn’t portraying enough stories of people in the outskirts of society. Causing people to stereotype what they don’t know. We need to have stories about Husby or Ferguson before there is a burning conflict. We need to have stories of Uganda, before David Bahati introduces the next “gay-bill”.
In the latest episode, Cleo talks about her family’s reaction when she came out. What LGBTIQ-parents in Uganda fear and what it her childhood was like. If you’ve missed the first two episodes of Cleo’s life watch them here.