Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI) delivered a speech in Uganda to defend the country’s President Yoweri Museveni and the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023, better known as the “Kill the Gays” law.
Walberg traveled to Uganda in October to attend a national prayer breakfast organized by the Fellowship Foundation, also known as The Family, which also covered the cost of his trip, according to TYT. In the speech, transcribed by the blog Take Care Tim, he told the attendees to “stand firm” in the face of criticism.
“Whose side do we want to be on? God’s side. Not the World Bank, not the United States of America necessarily, not the UN. God’s side,” Walberg said. “I think as we go on here, it says, ‘So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.’ – Who’s gonna do that? God is gonna do that. Your esteemed President, his excellency, President Museveni needs a nation that stands with him and says, though the rest of the world is pushing back on you, though there are other major countries that are trying to get into you and ultimately change you, stand firm. Stand firm.”
Walberg made it clear he knew his view would be unpopular in the United States.
“Now, this will probably get back to the national media in the United States, and I expect some pushback, but I’m not gonna give in to them. … I know that your President is a warrior. I like that about him. We’re in a battle, folks. We are in a battle,” he said.
Though Uganda has had homophobia enshrined in its legal code since it was a British protectorate, the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 is a drastic escalation. Previously, homosexuality was punished with life in prison, according to the Advocate. The new law allows the death penalty for those convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” It also bans “promotion of homosexuality,” much like Russia bans queer “propaganda”.
The law is so draconian that Republican Senator Ted Cruz—no ally to the queer community—condemned it. In May, shortly after Museveni signed the law, Cruz called the law “horrific” on X, formerly Twitter.
“This Uganda law is horrific & wrong. Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ is grotesque & an abomination. ALL civilized nations should join together in condemning this human rights abuse. #LGBTQ,” Cruz tweeted.
This Uganda law is horrific & wrong.
Any law criminalizing homosexuality or imposing the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” is grotesque & an abomination.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 29, 2023
Attempts to pass a similar bill to the Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2023 started in 2014, with a bill also called the “Kill the Gays” law. That form of the bill was built by anti-LGBTQ activist Scott Lively, who previously claimed then-President Barack Obama was secretly gay.
While it didn’t go into effect then, the bill and ones like it kept popping up on Uganda’s parliamentary agenda. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden threatened to cut nearly $1 billion in annual aid to Uganda if the bill passed.
A previous version of this story credited Salon with the initial reporting; Salon had republished the article from TYT. The sourcing has been corrected; NCRM regrets the error.
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Anti-Defamation League Calls Kanye West’s Hebrew-Language Antisemitism Apology ‘First Step’
The Anti-Defamation League said that though Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, had caused “untold damage by using his vast influence and platform to poison countless minds with vicious antisemitism and hate,” his Tuesday Hebrew-language apology posted to Instagram was a “first step.”
Ye emptied out his Instagram account, which has 18.3 million followers, except for one post—the apology. The post featured no caption nor a translation into English. Only 22% of American Jews have “minimal to native fluency” in Hebrew, according to the American Jewish Committee, with 42% unable to read or speak the language at all.
“I sincerely apologize to the Jewish community for my unplanned outburst caused by my words or actions, it was not my intention to hurt or disrespect, and I deeply regret any pain I may have caused. I am committed to starting with myself and learning from this experience to ensure greater sensitivity and understanding in the future,” the post read, according to a translation from The Jerusalem Post. “Your forgiveness is important to me and I am committed to making amends and promoting unity.”
Later Tuesday morning, the ADL posted to X, formerly Twitter, with its comment on Ye’s apology.
“After causing untold damage by using his vast influence and platform to poison countless minds with vicious antisemitism and hate, an apology in Hebrew may be the first step on a long journey towards making amends to the Jewish community and all those who he has hurt. Ultimately, actions will speak louder than words but this initial act of contrition is welcome,” the ADL wrote.
After causing untold damage by using his vast influence and platform to poison countless minds with vicious antisemitism and hate, an apology in Hebrew may be the first step on a long journey towards making amends to the Jewish community and all those who he has hurt. Ultimately,… pic.twitter.com/LXuahMkqzn
— ADL (@ADL) December 26, 2023
Ye’s apology follows the release of his latest album, Vultures, which came out on December 15. The album itself has led to controversy over a line from the title track, “How I’m antisemitic? I just f*cked a Jewish b*tch.”
In addition, some people pointed out the album art’s similarity to the cover of an album by Neo-Nazi metal band Burzum, according to Moment. Ye also wore a hood similar to the Ku Klux Klan at a Miami listening party on December 13, according to the Guardian. Ye’s hood was black, compared to the KKK hoods which are typically white.
Ye made a brief apology for his antisemitism in October 2022, when he said that he “likes Jewish people again” after watching Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street in a now-deleted Instagram post, according to Rolling Stone.
Prior to watching the comedy film, Ye had appeared on Alex Jones’ Infowars to praise Adolf Hitler. Ye was also alleged to have wanted to name an album Hitler, according to CNN, which also reported that West had made antisemitic comments that went unaired during his 2018 TMZ interview where he said that slavery “sounds like a choice.”
This February, the ADL compiled a report of antisemitic incidents that directly referenced Ye and his previous comments. There were at least 30 such incidents, many including the phrase “Ye Is Right.” One infamous incident happened in October 2022, when the “Goyim Defense League,” an antisemitic extremist group, hung banners reading “Kanye is right about the Jews” across the United States.
Marjorie Taylor Greene Accuses Biden of Legalizing ‘Human Trafficking of Millions’ in Immigration Row
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) accused the Biden administration of having “legalized human trafficking of millions” in a new post on X (formerly Twitter) Tuesday.
“The Biden admin has created the most dangerous national security crisis in history. They’ve legalized human trafficking of millions, allowed 1.8 million gotaways, and are harboring illegals at the taxpayer’s expense! Treasonous! Impeach Mayorkas!” Greene wrote.
The Biden admin has created the most dangerous national security crisis in history.
They’ve legalized human trafficking of millions, allowed 1.8 million gotaways, and are harboring illegals at the taxpayer’s expense!
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) December 26, 2023
Greene attached a video from NewsNation journalist Ali Bradley depicting a number of migrants walking to a border crossing in Lukeville, Arizona. Bradley’s original tweet said that over 66,000 migrants had entered through the Lukeville crossing.
The phrase “human trafficking” has often popped up in Republicans’ arguments against President Joe Biden’s immigration policies. Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn has made similar claims, accusing the administration of encouraging the practice by “Mexico’s vicious and evil cartels.”
“Biden’s open border policies have not only encouraged human trafficking; they’ve made it into a booming business for these criminal organizations. Among the cartels, Biden’s approval rating is soaring,” Blackburn wrote in April, citing a March 2021 New York Post article. When the Post article had published, Biden had only been in office two months.
Human trafficking, the State Department points out, is often confused with “migrant smuggling.” Human trafficking involves “the exploitation of an individual for the purposes of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion,” according to the State Department. Migrant smuggling, on the other hand, is when a person finds a smuggler who agrees to transport them across the border into another country. While both are illegal, migrant smuggling requires consent.
However, the phrase “human trafficking” may have an added weight to Greene’s supporters. Greene herself has been a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory, which claims, in part, that a cabal of powerful, left-leaning elites have been trafficking and sexually abusing children.
Greene says she no longer believes in QAnon, and blamed “the internet” for her beliefs, according to Rolling Stone. However, she said in 2021 that “she had a lot of constituents that are QAnon,” according to former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson.
Keir Starmer Spox Repeats Debunked Claim That Kids Are Identifying as Cats
A spokesperson for Keir Starmer, the leader of the United Kingdom’s center-left Labour party, has repeated a debunked claim that students are identifying as cats.
A video posted to social media showed a teacher arguing with a student about gender identity. In the clip, a student at Rye College in East Sussex says “If you have a vagina you’re a girl and if you have penis you’re a boy. That’s it,” but the teacher countered, saying “Cisgender is not necessarily the way to be. You are talking about the fact that cisgender is the norm, that you identify with the sexual organ you were born with, that’s basically what you’re saying, which is really despicable,” according to The Argus, a Brighton-based news outlet.
The video went viral, with the framing that the student had objected to another student identifying as a cat, based on a comment one of the students made in the clip: “How can you identify as a cat when you’re a girl?”
With this framing, it was reported on by right-leaning UK newspapers including the Daily Mail and The Telegraph, but without any investigation into the claims, taking the cat comment at face value. The outlet Schools Week, however, reached out to Rye College, which confirmed that “no children at Rye College identifies as a cat or any other animal.”
When asked about this incident by The Telegraph, a spokesperson for Starmer accepted the story as true.
“It’s clearly ridiculous if you’re in a situation where children are not being recognised as children. I think it’s fairly obvious what the right approach should be in this case,” the unnamed spokesman said. “I think children should be told to identify as children.”
The idea of children identifying as cats was common in the United States last year, with the urban legend being cited by at least 20 Republicans, according to NBC News. The urban legend usually involves schools being forced to provide kitty litter for these students. The claim, ridiculous on its face, was credulously accepted and repeated by politicians, despite no evidence. It was amplified by Joe Rogan in an interview with former Representative Tulsi Gabbard, and, again, taken as truth despite Rogan not providing any verifiable details. The claim has been widely debunked by outlets including—but not limited to—the Associated Press, Reuters, and Education Week.
It appears that the claim has now jumped the pond as the United Kingdom faces its own transphobia problem. This January, Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced his government would block a Scottish law that would make it easier for transgender citizens to change their legal gender marker. This week, a leaked video showed Sunak making a transphobic joke, and in April, he wrote an op-ed for the Daily Express supporting a ban of transgender people from single-sex spaces.
“When it comes to women’s spaces, women’s prisons, changing rooms, sports, health, I believe that biological sex really matters,” Sunak wrote. “I know what a woman is – and I’ll protect women’s rights and women’s spaces.”
Sunak and Starmer’s spokesman’s comments follow years of transphobic coverage in the UK media, even from normally left-leaning outlets like The Guardian. Even the country’s state broadcaster was not immune. The BBC published a story originally headlined “We’re being pressured into sex by some trans women.” The piece quoted former porn actress Lily Cade. Cade had a history transphobic remarks, including calling for trans women to be lynched. The same article also used a survey from an anti-trans activist group to bolster its claims, even though the survey was not just self-selecting, but had a laughably small sample size of 80 people.
Featured image by Chris McAndrew, used under the Creative Commons license.
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