Dictator Museveni receives Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Photo–Facebook.
[Speaking Truth To Power]
Kanye West, the mega-rapper and Donald Trump friend who is now in Uganda to record an album and who was hosted by dictator Gen. Yoweri Museveni, earlier this year landed in very hot water when he referred to slavery as a “choice.”
West, in May, said: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years…For 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all y’all…?”
His host, Gen. Museveni, once referred to Africans who ended up being enslaved as “stupid,” in an interview in the Atlantic Monthly Magazine. The ruthless Ugandan dictator of 32 years now in the interview published in the magazine’s issue of September 1994, Vol. 274 Issue 3 page 22, said: “I have never blamed the whites for colonizing Africa: I have never blamed these whites for taking slaves. If you are stupid, you should be taken a slave.”
At least Kanye West, who is some new hot water following his bizarre comments during the White House meeting with President Trump, apologized for his noxious comments about slavery in August. Gen. Museveni has refused to back down from his own ugly comments, even after I launched a Change.org campaign four years ago demanding an apology.
At the time of my campaign, President Obama was hosting African leaders in Washington for a U.S.-Africa Summit. Museveni had also signed a law that called for the death penalty by hanging for the LGBT community in Uganda. The law was annulled by a Ugandan court. In an interview on CNN also Museveni called Gay people “disgusting.” Museveni also said scientists should draw blood and conduct experiments to determine what was wrong with Gay people.
Gen. Museveni also praised Hitler in comments reported in a Ugandan weekly newspaper, The Shariat, Vol. II No. 15, April 15-21, 1998 edition, saying, “As Hitler did to bring Germany together, we should also dot it here. Hitler was a smart guy, but I think he went a bit too far by wanting to conquer the world.”
When I brought up dictator Museveni’s ugly comments to the attention of then Rep. Charles Rangel on the eve of the 2014 conference hosted by Obama, Rangel in a statement said: As we welcome African leaders to President Barack Obama’s historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit aimed at strengthening the diplomatic and economic ties between African nations and the United States, it must be made clear that any form of hatred, based on race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and religion, is not tolerated in our country. I regret that Gen. Yoweri Museveni has made some hurtful remarks in the past that have incited great controversy and hope that he has seen the insensitivity behind those statements.”
I’m not sure if Kanye West is aware of any of all this. He’s probably also not aware that Gen. Museveni is implicated in an ongoing federal case in U.S. District Court in New York; a Chinese businessman named Patrick Ho is on trial for using an American bank to wire bribe money to Museveni and his foreign minister who is also his inlaw, Sam Kutesa.
It’s always good to know who your new friends are.
Gen. Museveni is a militarist who in recent week’s has been condemned by the Western countries that have supported him the most, the U.S. and the U.K., after he unleashed violence against opposition leaders. The attacks were carried out by his security forces beginning August 13 in the city of Arua during Parliamentary by-elections his party lost. The Special Forces Command (SFC) which was previously trained and equipped by the U.S. nearly killed Uganda’s rising political star and entertainment artist, Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi, a.k.a. Bobi Wine.
Bobi Wine later traveled to the U.S. for treatment of injuries sustained after being beaten and tortured by the SFC, which reports to Museveni’s son Gen. Muhoozi Kaenerugaba. Several other MPs, including Francis Zaake, a former MP and scores of their supporters were also arrested, beaten and tortured. All of them, including Bobi Wine, now are on trial on trumped up charges of treason. Maybe while he’s in Uganda Kanye West can also meet with Bobi Wine so he can see the scars to prove how Gen. Museveni treats popular entertainment artists and political leaders who don’t toe the Museveni line as recently reported in The New York Times. He should also ask the dictator why he’s trying to block Bobi Wine from holding a concert on October 20 in Uganda. His signature song is appropriately called Freedom.
Gen. Museveni’s militarism has resulted in the deaths of millions of Africans: in Uganda; Rwanda; Congo; and, South Sudan, as detailed in a petition calling for his resignation.
Kanye West apologized for his comments about slavery. At the very least, while he’s still in Uganda, maybe he can ask his new friend dictator Museveni to also apologize for his ugly comments about slavery, Hitler, and the LGBT community.
Knowing Museveni, the rear-end kissing opportunist, he’s probably trying to persuade Kanye to get him a White House invite with Trump. After Trump called Africa a collection of S-hole countries, he was the only African ruler who praised the comments, saying “I love Donald Trump.”