Monday, August 21, 2006

"Rhetorical Neocolonialism"

Has AIDs activism hurt the people who need help most? James Pinkerton thinks so and this is just one reason why when he quotes the righteous Melinda Gates (wife of you know who):

In fact, the face of AIDS has changed, from a white gay man to a black or brown female. Sixty percent of all HIV cases worldwide now are female; gay men are just five percent of the global total. And in Africa and Asia, AIDS is still a merciless mass killer, with victims potentially numbering in the hundreds of millions. So if, as we have seen, the political impact of AIDS on the West was significant, it only stands to reason that the political impact of AIDS will be vastly more significant on "The South." And so we might explore the further question: If AIDS drove the politics of the First World to the right, what will be the political impact of AIDS on the Third World?

One thing is for sure: The sexual-political message beaming out of Toronto, aimed at the Third World, is an unrelenting assault on social conservatism. I heard a torrent of sex-drenched verbiage from white people, all aimed at browbeating mostly non-white people into changing their traditional ways. Melinda Gates, for example, attacked politicians who insist on attaching "stigma" to "sex workers" -- that being the politically correct term for prostitutes. Such stigma is "irrational," said the wife of the computer-software mogul, because "people who are involved in sex work are crucial allies in the fight to end AIDS." My guess is that it would be hard to get elected governor of the state of Washington on such a platform, let alone governor of Waziristan or Wake Island.

Then, still bathing in audience approbation, she continued, "Stigma makes it easier for political leaders to stand in the way of saving lives." Now let's stop right there for a second. Ms. Gates just said that political leaders in various countries are willing to see their own people die rather than wave away the stigma of the sex trade. So let's ask ourselves: Even if that accusation is true -- and it might be -- how will such words be received in Third World countries? Will a rich white woman be an effective voice for social transformation in, say, India? Or in Nigeria? Or Indonesia? Will leaders in these countries slap their foreheads, and say, "I'm wrong! Mrs. Gates is right! I'll change my hoary attitudes on whoredom!" Is that the way human nature works? Is that the way politicians think? [Emphasis added.-ed]

Aren't these the same people who decry the war in Iraq as neocolonialism? Would that it was so. Colonialism brought with it the values and morals of the Judeo-Christian Western mind-set. In fact, African countries that have embraced a more stringent social standard, the Chrisitan countries, have better AIDs outcomes.

Perhaps the activists need to stop introducting secular colonialism. In fact, Ann Coulter took a lot of heat (not that she cared, of course) for saying essentially that we need to kill a lot of people in Iraq and then convert them to Christianity.

At the least, AIDs workers need to work within the context of the society they "treat". Wait, aren't these the multiculturalists? Isn't every society as good as any other? Oh, right. I remember. Only if the message is their message. The "good" message.

The cult of "I know better than you" or your dumb traditional ways.

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