Dealing With Homosexuality

Dealing With Homosexuality

By N Oji Mzilikazi

November 24, 2011

(Originally published in Montreal Community Contact Volume 21, Number 24)

The Penn State sex abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky resulted in a number of charges against faculty personnel, and heads rolling. Sandusky has been charged with 40 counts of various sex crimes so far.

Tim Curley, Penn State’s athletic director was charged with perjury and failure to report an alleged incident of child abuse by Sandusky. So was Gary Schultz, Penn State’s senior vice president for finance. Curley and Schultz have since resigned.

University president Graham Spanier was fired for his actions and inactions in the matter. So was head football coach Joe Paterno, the most successful coach in the history of college football.

In America, college football is a religion. Paterno is a hero and a god. In response to his firing, thousands of Penn State students rioted in the downtown area. They weighed his lifetime of accomplishments against his sin of omission and deemed his firing as unconscionable.

Graduate assistant Mike McQueary testified to a grand jury that in March 2002 he saw Sandusky raping; having anal intercourse in the locker room with a young boy estimated to be 10 years old. He didn’t stop it. He later reported the matter to Paterno, Curley, and Schultz. And judging from the timeline, the matter was summarily swept under the school’s artificial football turf.

To see a child being raped and not intervening for fears over one’s career, and not having the gall to contact law enforcement, even anonymously, attest to McQueary’s moral bankruptcy and the power of the football culture.

Evil lives, strives and grows when “good” people refuse to stand up or act, and the dispensers of justice play politics with justice.

Sandusky’s sexual proclivity is one in a long line that informs that the overwhelming perpetrators of predatory sexual behaviours and sex crimes, pedophilia, and sexual rape of males and/or their subsequent murders are straight persons – heterosexuals or those playing the part, and that includes the clergy.

In November 2009 Ireland’s Christian Brothers religious was ordered to give £146 million in cash and property in reparation for its decades of child abuse- homosexual pedophilia in Ireland. A 2,600-page report released in May 2009 by a Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse found that from 1930s to 1990s, rape was endemic in more than 250 Irish Catholic care institutions.

Newfoundland’s Mount Cashel Orphanage was operated by the Christian Brothers of Ireland in Canada. The facility was closed in 1990 after exposure of the largest sex abuse scandal in Canada.

In March 2010 Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna created a firestorm when he suggested that celibacy is partly to blame for clerical sex abuse.

Even if true, how does one explain that the overwhelming gender of the victims is male, rather than female- the God-designated sexual partner for man that the Church so vociferously advocate and defend? Yet, those priests, and I’m not limiting it to Catholics, do not see themselves or think of themselves as homosexuals, and they are never treated as such.

Still, homosexuals: “batty bwoys,” “buller men” and “zami queens”- their female counterpart in West Indian parlance – consenting adults and not child rapists or pedophiles, are looked upon as a threat to the wholesomeness of the society. They are positioned and thought about as always primed to pounce on the virtuous, a corruptible influence, blot on humanity and deserving the wrath of the righteous – condemnation to death by Judeo-Christian religious degree.

I came of age in a society where as a lark; groups of guys will go hunting “buller men” with beer bottles and stones, or if they unexpectedly encounter one, look for stones, hurl insults and blows.

Those “buller men” weren’t the soft effeminate type. They were strong, known as good fighters and not averse to using a razor. Their hunters had to be fast on their feet. If caught, “Peter would definitely pay for Paul.”

In 1994 I was in Trinidad for its Carnival. I hooked up with a group of guys and girls attending the University of the West Indies. I partied and played J’Ouvert with them.

At this massive open air soca event, an obviously gay guy climbed on top of a stack of speakers and started winin’ to the music.  From within the group, a female student from Jamaica let fly her beer bottle at him. All followed save me. There were about ten of us.

Someone had just bought us a round of beer and a Guinness for me. (I don’t drink beer.) No one had taken more than three draughts from their drink. The gay guy didn’t bother anyone. He paid his money to have fun- to be drunk and disorderly. I was dumbfounded that such primitivism still resonated, and shocked even more to see that a female attending university and not an ignoramus was the initiator.

Ironically, the young lady graduated from UWI, moved to New York to continue her post-graduate studies, and the next thing you know she’s in a lesbian relationship, and living with a woman.

It makes one wonder how many homophobic acts or manifestation of the same are by persons who are so conflicted about their sexuality, they fake machismo.

Along with homosexuality, the Biblical Holiness Code prohibits eating pork, blood pudding, and certain seafood like shrimp, consulting astrologers, psychics or an “obeah” man and wearing clothes of different textiles to name a few. Yet, they are positioned as inconsequential or having been repealed in the New Testament, and not a “big” sin like homosexuality.

When it comes to sin, Christians often invoke Biblical lines like, “We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” “We’re only human,” or use the expression, “Love the sinner but hate the sin.” Yet, when it comes to homosexuality, it’s about hating both the “sinner” and the “sin.” They aren’t prepared to live and let live, or leave the “judgement” and “punishment” of homosexuals up to God.

Huge numbers of Canada’s ethnic immigrants came from societies where gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered are more or less legally sanctioned to be abused, beaten, jailed and even killed. The authorities do not care to use their full investigative powers to prosecute anyone, because the belief system of those nations is homosexuality is a sin against God.

In January 2005 Conservative leader Stephen Harper, now Canada’s prime minister decided to use the homophobia of immigrant communities to help defeat the proposed same-sex marriage legislation.

Harper was one of the founding members of the Alberta-based Reform Party. Known for its anti-immigration stance, the Reform Party later morphed into the Canadian Alliance, which in turn then merged with the Progressive Conservatives to become the Conservative Party of Canada. The Conservative Party strategy was to run anti-gay marriage ads in the ethnic media.

The use of the same-sex marriage issue to reach out to minorities showed the Conservative Party perception of immigrant communities as being culturally backwards, and it was okay to invoke prejudices and capitalise on the baggage of sexual intolerance they brought to Canada.

Harper was about denying homosexual immigrants subjected to abuse in their home country, the right to wallow in the freedoms that Canada has to offer, vis à vis the passing of same-sex legislation.

When Harper became prime minister, he tried to revisit the same-sex legislation to have it repealed. Legislators would have none of that.

At the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Australia, earlier this month, a call was made for an immediate repeal of laws banning homosexuality in those countries where such existed. Those laws were seen as a denial of human rights.

British Prime Minister, David Cameron then threatened to cut British aid payments to countries that continue to ban homosexuality.

Homosexuals can be our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews and our grandchildren. Chances are that in every person’s family tree there is a family member who is gay. Could it be that he or she was born that way? Must we love them less and discriminate against them because of their sexual orientation?

Meanwhile, the Black homosexual is triply-screwed. Black skin pretty much predetermines they stand to be discriminated against by the larger white society. In their socialization among fellow homosexuals and even in the celebration of gayness they experience racial discrimination and victimization. Thus, there are cities in America where Black homosexuals host their own Gay Pride Parade. Lastly, they stand to face vilification and abuse from fellow Blacks.

Given the complexity and nature of the Black struggle, does it make sense for the Black community to continue its homophobic ways and ostracise its gay, lesbian and transgendered members?

I am not suggesting the embrace of homosexuality. Only that we see those who are as full brothers and sisters worthy of respect and not a demon seed. And if you are a practicing Christian, worthy of Christian love.

Up you mighty race you can.

Everybody Loves The Sunshine or So I Thought

Everybody Loves The Sunshine or So I Thought

By N Oji Mzilikazi

November 17, 2011

Anyone fed on 70s soul music would immediately start tapping feet or bobbing  heads to singing, the minute the opening synth lines of Roy Ayers – “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” is heard.

Besides being sampled by a number of rappers, Mary J. Blige, the Queen of Hip Hop Soul borrowed and recreated the hook and chorus of “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” as the title track of her certified triple platinum album, “My Life.” It has since become one of her signature songs.

Who wouldn’t love the sunshine? The Biblical telling is that “darkness was upon the face of the deep and God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God called the light Day, and the darkness Night.”

Unfortunately, life unfolding can bend, twist, corrupt and destroy to the point where misery and unhappiness have people unable to recognize the symbolism of the sun’s incessant rise and shine, even after the worst personal or national disasters. So they give in to the darkness of the experienced hurt, pain, loss and betrayal, and become allergic to sunshine.

They hate the world, people, their life and themselves. Negativity, sourness, bitterness and hatred comprise their personality. They have no interesting in letting things go, nor are they willing to have someone in their life that is willing to love all their hurt away.

Their articulation is rooted in pain- both real and imagined. Their concept of light at the end of the tunnel is that of a train coming. They are so comforted by the dark, it is their light.

One can do nothing for such folks other than leave them to God and hope they eventually stumble unto, or feet bring them unto the road to Damascus.

Keep living your life in the sunshine.



Where Did Black Power Go?

Where Did Black Power Go?

By N Oji Mzilikazi

November 10, 2011

(Originally published in Montreal Community Contact Volume 21, Number 23)

This column was prompted by a public notice in the last issue of this newspaper: the dissolution of the Alfie Roberts Institute organization.

I didn’t know Alfie. All we ever shared was a handshake. Awareness of his contribution to the commonwealth of Blackness and to Montreal made the news rather disconcerting. It left me angry and pensive. Angry with myself, that on my watch, on our watch, “another one” had bitten the dust.

I was angry with nameless and faceless “those”- a concept actually: “those” who ought to know better, and were supposed to make better, but refused to apply the biblical advice and cut off their right hand.

I was angry at “those” who among those that were entrusted with leadership, and those who sought positions and title in the name of Blackness and Community allowed themselves to get so caught up in the appurtenances of office and status, and of course the dollars that swung their way, they forgot the “mission statement.”

Now the body politic is infected. Abdication of responsibility, weak and inefficient leadership, nepotism and cronyism supported decay- rot to fester, and cancerous diseases to eat at the community, bringing us to this point where things cannot hold, and making what “they say” about us look as if true.

And so I asked myself, Where Did Black Power Go? The principles of

Umoja – Unity,

Kujichagulia – Self-determination,

Ujima – Collective Work and Responsibility,

Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics,

Nia – Purpose,

Kuumba – Creativity,

Imani- Faith.

Caribbean immigrants to Montreal in the 60s were the ones who introduced radical Marxist and anti-colonial ideas into Black Montreal. Where is the consciousness of self and the Black/Caribbean/West Indian student activism that once dominated Concordia and McGill universities up until the early 90s?

In 1968 McGill University was the venue for the Congress of Black Writers that brought together Black activists and intellectuals of international renown to Montreal- Trinbagonians C.L.R. James, Stokely Carmichael, and Michael X, Guyanese Walter Rodney and American James Forman among others.

West Indian and Black students at Sir George Williams University, now Concordia University were the cause of the biggest student riot in Canadian history, and the impetus for the 1970 Black Power uprising in Trinidad and Tobago that almost toppled the government.

The core collective of AKA-X (Also Known As X) were university students with Caribbean roots from Concordia and McGill. Outside of their educational initiatives, rap sessions and community events, they were in the forefront of addressing police brutality.

In November 1968 Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers came to Montreal for the Hemispheric Conference to End the War in Vietnam.

Sponsored by the McGill University Debating Society, Dawson’s Black Students Union, the University of Montreal and La League des Femmes, Angela Davis came to Montreal for the 1974 Second National Congress of Black Women. She spoke at McGill University and at the NDG Black Cultural Centre.

Where did doing for self, respecting and protecting women and the vulnerable, building alliances with other ethnic communities, bringing in Black academics and activists – where did Black Power Go?

In the article, “Thinking aloud about Quebec and the Black Community” (Focus Umoja, No 18 May 1977) Dr. Clarence S. Bayne posits, “I do not care where the hell I die as long as I am secure in the feeling that I have not denied myself or sold my kind and their votes for a few material possessions and some fleeting moments of power.” How many of us can say that. Where did Black Power go?

Ever since Indentured Labourers from India or the “Gladstone Coolies” left Calcutta January13, 1838, on the Whitby for Guyana, and the Fatel Razack arrived in Trinidad on May 30, 1845, former African slaves and East Indians have an inter-connected narrative.

Blacks and Indians have slept with each other, married each other, have children with one another, attended each other weddings and funerals, party and celebrate together, yet after 160 plus years of sharing the same space, distrust, tribalism and ethnocentrism continue to colour their relationship- with virulent strains in Trinidad and Guyana.

Lawrence Sitahal, an East Indian once headed the Negro Community Centre in Little Burgundy. Given that the relationship between Afro-Caribbean and Indo-Caribbean peoples in Montreal is tenuous at best, where did that Black Power thrust of unity between two victims of colonialism go?

In the 70s and early 80s Afro Festival offered us a film festival, inter-community track and field, theatre, a jazz fest, Black Arts, music in the park, and the Family Day Picnic at Longue Sault Beach. Where did Black Power go?


Ungrateful Whites

Ungrateful Whites

By N Oji Mzilikazi

November 5, 2011

(Updated November 7, 2011)

(Published November 10, 2011, in Montreal Community Contact Volume 21, Number 23)

In the 1950s racism allowed Pat Boone to build name and make a fortune doing cover versions of “race music” – Black songs. In 2006 he returned to the genre that was so good to him and released an album of cover versions of 11 R&B hits.

In spite of Obama producing his long form birth certificate and putting the controversy of his being born outside America to rest, in a September 2011 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Boon insisted that Obama was born in Kenya.

Tiger Woods winning ways made his caddie Steve Williams a multi-millionaire.

An April 2008 Espn Magazine article about Steve Williams mentioned that 50 framed photos of Williams and Woods in every pose imaginable” are in Williams’ trophy room, as well the flags from the 18th green of every tournament he and Tiger have won together. Every flag, dating back to the Deutsche Bank in May ’99, is signed by Tiger.”

Those one of a kind autographed flags are so valuable, they could feed Williams’ future great grandchildren for a number of years.

In nothing but a display of bad mindedness and ungratefulness, Williams publicly dissed Tiger Woods on Sunday, August 6th, 2011.

Tiger had terminated their relationship of twelve years. Williams became Adam Scott’s caddy. Upon their first pairing and the outcome of Adam Scott winning the Bridgestone Invitational, Williams declared Scott’s victory was the best win I’ve ever had” and the tournament “the greatest week of my life.”

Williams was on the bag for 13 of 14 of Woods’ major championship titles. Tiger won the Bridgestone Invitational 7 times with Williams as his caddy. Greg Norman, José María Olazábal and Craig Stadler are the only golfers with multiple wins at the tournament-2 each. Bridgestone Invitational is not a major. Yet bitterness and anger towards Woods had Williams elevating it, and the win by Scott to Olympic Gold.

At the November 4th 2011, HSBC Champions pre-tournament caddie dinner in Shanghai, China, Williams took the podium.  To a crowd estimated at over 200, he explained his rational at Bridgestone : “My aim was to shove it right up that black arsehole.”

The British Telegraph newspaper reported, “The remark by Williams left the audience of players, caddies and sponsors aghast.”

Williams has his defenders. Greg Norman doesn’t believe Williams is racist, only that his comments were stupid. When has a person of African descent ever gotten away with a “stupid” comment? Jesse Jackson called New York “Hymie town” back in the 80s, and that is continually used to paint him as anti-Semitic.

In every sport, players, coaches and the like are fired, traded or don’t have their contract renewed. It’s the nature of the business.  Tiger’s ranking is currently- down to #58. He has been a non-factor in golf this past year, and still Williams couldn’t bring himself to move forward.

That Williams choose to qualify and preface his animosity to Tiger with “black” – attacking the roots of his identity, and by extension the community to which he belongs, demonstrates the ease with which recessive genes of racism manifest when persons thought of as non-racist and Blacks fall out.

A joint statement issued by the US PGA and European Tours on November 6th made it clear that Williams will not be punished. They felt Williams’ apology was sufficient unto itself and the matter closed.

Nonetheless, those good white folks running golf had no problem fining Woods £10,000 for spitting on a green during a tournament in Dubai last year. I guess Woods saliva hitting the grass was more damaging than Williams’ racism.

Though Woods admitted being hurt by the comments of his former caddie, he doesn’t have a single Black revolutionary bone in his body.

Who can forget how easily and quickly he gave Fuzzy Zoeller a pass? Zoeller made racist “jokes” about Tiger upon his winning the 1997 Masters.

In his typical Uncle Tomism style, Woods stated at a press conference prior to the start of the 2011 Australian Open: Williams is no racist.

Here’s hoping pressure is brought to bear to get Williams suspended, if not fired.

Demonization of Palestine Addendum

Demonization of Palestine Addendum

By N Oji Mzilikazi

November 2, 2011,

As if the United States of America is de facto an Israeli outpost, at the end of September, the United States Congress blocked nearly $200m in aid for Palestinians – punishment for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas seeking Palestinian Statehood at the U.N.

In spite of opposition by the United States and Israel, UNESCO, the United Nations cultural body granted full membership to the Palestinians in an October vote. The United States immediately cancelled its funding to UNESCO. Its payment of $60m due in November won’t be made.

In typical, “monkey see, monkey do” style, the Montreal Gazette quoted Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird saying, “Canada has decided to freeze all further voluntary contributions to UNESCO.”

Israel responded by saying it will freeze the transfer of Palestinian tax moneys and build 2,000 settler homes.

It is unrealistic to severely whip a child then turn around and tell that child not to cry. Who have ears, let them hear.

Black Africans Dying for Gaddafi

“Four more bodies lay at the other end of the pipes. All black men, one had his brains blown out, another man had been decapitated, his dreadlocked head lying beside his torso.” Reuters October 20, 2011

After all the celebrations by western governments over the death of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council plans to reintroduce Sharia. And to know they had such high hopes for democracy….