This is John Oliver.
He’s a British comedian who’s emigrated to the United States in the last decade or so and was on Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show where he did so well, especially when he hosted the show last year, that HBO offered him his own TV show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver starting April this year.
He’s breaking barriers there as well, but because we don’t get it on TV here you probably don’t know that unless you find snippets on the internet or download your own torrents.
Like Jon Stewart, Oliver is funny, liberal, witty and hard-hitting when it comes to stupid politicians and daft ideas, which is why both are pretty popular amongst people like me, and unpopular with the Tea Party Movement, the Republican Party and FoxTV, among others.
He is not yet unpopular with me, personally (I also follow his Bugle podcast with mirthful loyalty), but his stance on Uganda does not excite me at all. On his homosexuality show at the end of June he went straight for Uganda as most of these commentators do, without recognising that his own country (the US, in this case) is not yet as liberated as they wish to make themselves out to be, and in general is much worse than we are.
“Since it passed the Ugandan legislature, the number of recorded acts of persecution (in Uganda) has increased between 750% and 1900% from previous years,” he said on the show.
Where is this statistic from?
Searching for where he could have possibly got it, I found a few others such as:
Frank Mugisha’s post on ‘HuffPost Gay Voices’ – presumably the Gay section of the Huffington Post – which quoted his organisation’s findings that stated that “162 cases of persecution” had been reported since the passing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
Mugisha’s post went on: “Nineteen cases were reported in 2012, and only eight in 2013. The 162 cases reported since Dec. 20, 2013, therefore represent an increase in persecution of up to 19 times compared with previous years, an increase that can only be laid at the door of the Anti-Homosexuality Act and the virulently homophobic atmosphere it has engendered in Uganda.”
THIS is where the 1900% comes from.
And, John Oliver continued in his report, “…people from the dark ages could build a time machine, travel to 2014 Uganda, step outside and go, ‘Ah shit! It didn’t work!'”
This guy is a comedian and very good at satire, so there will be no wasting time on his position except that it is odd that he went on to downplay the selection of Uganda’s Sam Kutesa to the United Nations General Assembly Presidency because of this anti-Homosexuality stand, and then said:
“The fact that in the 21st Century, 81 countries have laws outlawing homosexuality is incredibly depressing, although in a way it shows how lucky we are to live here (in the United States) because when it comes to advances in marriage equality: America did it!.”
Why is that odd?
Because earlier in the very same damn show he had told us that only 19 states (and the District of Columbia) had legalised same-sex marriage – 19 out of 51 states in the United States of America! Each of those states is considered to be a country, when it suits the person in charge of the argument.
But let’s also not go into the mathematics of whether the 31 states of the United States should be added to the 81 countries, or the percentage of the United States of America that is actually against Homosexuality or same-sex marriage.
(If you’re thinking “Aha!”, the pun is excused).
Judging from those statistics, the United States is basically as much in the dark ages as John Oliver claims Uganda is – worse if you count that they can be justifiably accused of engaging in more acts of persecution for reasons of race alone than we do in Uganda. It is likely that more people have been killed in the US for being black than the number killed in Uganda for being gay, if any…
I have a problem with the double standards people like John apply when talking about these issues in the US and then turning to countries like Uganda. The US has “just” woken up to this gay movement over the last ten or so years but expects us to roll along with them wholesale even before THEY are fully convinced.
But besides that, they are continually engaged in much more serious cases of discrimination and persecution, as evidenced in the reasons for the Ferguson riots and so many other cases besides that always end up in the silence that is created when the media agenda is under management.
And I have a bigger problem with all of us Ugandans who are simply sitting around ignoring the falsehoods being told about YOU and how much YOU hate or persecute gays. We have bigger issues to deal with in our day to day lives and we go about doing so; this anti-homosexuality thing was just thrown onto our plates by the gay lobby even though we have constantly been clear about where we stood on the matter.
We MUST NOT allow a new stereotype to be created about us by a group of selfish people who believe the world should be defined by their cause and nothing else.
The John Oliver’s of this world can go on talking about Uganda the way they do but after they have done so we need to quickly get over there and clear the air. Make comments at the end of their stories and their columns, and clarify the nonsense where it exists; and our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Information people should quickly get about ensuring that the world knows about Uganda for what we are, not for what the gay lobby wants the world to think we are like.
As some other bloggers have pointed out before, there is a section of the gay lobby that is using deceit and disinformation to rally negative energy against Uganda, but those ones will have their tactics bite them in the A** soon enough (not pleasurably). Still, they should not be ignored either but I will not be sharing their links here.
On the other hand, I was happy with one Pepe Julius Onziema (@Opimva on Twitter), a prominent Ugandan gay lobbyist who made me proud by appearing on John’s show that night and staying level-headed and to-the-point rather than hyping up the belief that gays are being killed in Uganda or that this is hell on earth.
And he side-stepped John’s question about living in Uganda by saying he would rather live here than anywhere else on earth even though he doesn’t feel totally safe because of his sexuality.
I am sure if we turned that question round and asked various people “of alternative race” they would say exactly the same about the United States of America that John Oliver and millions of others over the years have moved to over the years.