Celebrated “Queer Theorist” and “Asajew”, Judith Butler turned down the Civil Courage Award (Zivilcouragepreis) of the Christopher Street Day Parade in Berlin:
We all have noticed that gay, bisexual, lesbian, trans and queer people can be instrumentalized by those who want to wage wars, i.e. cultural wars against migrants by means of forced islamophobia and military wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. In these times and by these means, we are recruited for nationalism and militarism. Currently, many European governments claim that our gay, lesbian, queer rights must be protected and we are made to believe that the new hatred of immigrants is necessary to protect us. Therefore we must say no to such a deal. To be able to say no under these circumstances is what I call courage. But who says no? And who experiences this racism? Who are the queers who really fight against such politics?
South Africa, the “Rainbow Nation”, will not support efforts at the United Nations to protect gays against discrimination:
South Africa’s representative at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Jerry Matjila, said that to protect gays,”demeans the legitimate plight of the victims of racism”.
The council was discussing a report of the Special Rapporteur on Racism, Githu Muigai, of Kenya, which said that “the identity of each individual is made up of a multitude of components, such as gender, age, nationality, profession, sexual orientation, political opinion, religious affiliation and social origin”.
Replying later in the debate, Matjila said the rapporteur’s inclusion of sexual orientation “demeans the legitimate plight of the victims of racism”.
Matjila said the World Conference against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in Durban in 2001 had shown that “the victims of scourges were clearly identified after difficult and prolonged negotiations”.
These victims were clearly listed in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) at the summit, and victims of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation were not among them.
He said: “South Africa disagrees with the inclusion of victims implicitly or explicitly, other than those listed in the DDPA.”
John Fisher, co-director of ARC International, an NGO which advocates the protection of gay rights, said: “South Africa hit a new low on Tuesday during discussions at the UN Human Rights Council.”
These people are the enemies of progressive politics. They should be treated with the same disdain and met with the same opposition that is meted out to other loonies, bigots and hatemongers.