Brother’s Keeper

By on August 8, 2016

When you have a younger brother, it can be quite a challenge growing up in the same vicinity without once ever wanting to slit their throat, end their lives or just cause some bodily harm to them that they may or may not heal from. It gets even worse if the younger brother seems to have opinions and views that are totally varying from yours. The little rascal might turn out to be an opinionated and pompous little prick; different from you so much that you imagine one of you must have been adopted.

There are instances when the two of you will definitely go up in arms against each other. There are even times when you might swear to never breathe the same air let alone be in the same room with him. Moments later however, the both of you will be eating vegetables from the same plate because your parents will not entertain your childish beef. (Ignore the pun)

The concept of brotherhood does not simply cover one’s siblings back at home but cuts across the human race – or at least it should. The idea of being a brother’s keeper is one that has somewhat helped the human race get to where it is.

Human beings are a special species for so many reasons ranging from being able to speak, being able to make 10 Billion Shillings from selling goats, the ability to master upright posture, having extra ordinary brains, the ability to blush, the ability to organise Olympics and the ability to hear out each other. Other creatures usually sort their matters out with as little amicability as possible.

It is quite disappointing, depressing, disenchanting and disheartening to learn that over the years the human race seems to have deliberately taken a few steps back with regard to evolution. Our ability to tolerate one another and generally be cordial seems to be waning.

The other day, a group of Ugandans from the LGBT community gathered for an LGBT pride event at one of the nightclubs in Kampala. I am not too sure what the order of receiving invites was but from what I gather, the Police crushed the event and basically turned it upside down. I have not yet confirmed whether it was before, during or after happy hour but my hope is that it was after happy hour. You see, during happy hour, everything else around the world must come to a standstill so that folks can make the most of this crucial time.

Anyway, the Police, even without party invites, decided to rain in on the party goers and disrupt the event. Their excuse was that the event was some kind of breach of a law that requires organizers to obtain express permission to hold public meetings.

While the organizers of this event insist they actually obtained permission from the Police to go ahead with their gathering, the cops insisted they had no notice. And so a scuffle ensued at the scene. Some people were dragged away and locked up, only to to be released a few hours later – with no charge whatsoever. I am not too sure how the bar owners reconciled the bills that had accrued up until the time the scuffle ensued but there is little hope that the Police paid the bill – seeing as they had raided the place.

Some people enjoyed free drinks perhaps?

Anyhow, after this little break-up, a lawyer/activist Nicholas Opiyo together with a few others decided it was wise to call off whatever other event the LGBT community had planned. Seeing as the Minister for Ethics Mr. Lokodo had taken it upon himself to persecute these guys and basically make their lives hard, it came as no surprise.

The conversations online after this escapade got me wondering what sort of Ugandans we have become.

True, the majority of us have not warmed up to the issue of Gay rights and it is unlikely we will warm up anytime soon. However, Ugandans are not known to be hostile or unfriendly except of course to the gay community. Why this still happens is beyond me especially since as a country Uganda grapples with so many other issues which call for or even demand hostility.

Among the issues that demand hostility from Ugandans, sexual orientation and choice of sexual partners shouldn’t even feature. The same Ugandans who have decided to be violent and brutal to the gay community are the same Ugandans who are constantly mouthing the words of the National Anthem, oblivious to the last line of the second stanza;

‘In peace and friendship we’ll live’

It may be so that few people actually know (and understand) the National Anthem but surely it does not take a rocket scientist to figure that failing to live in peace and friendship with your fellow countryman would tantamount to betrayal of one’s own country.

No matter how much disagreement there might be between two parties, respect, civility and courtesy should always be the pillars of any relationship. And so when the police swoops in to break up a gathering of the LGBT community, opposition supporters or a wedding meeting, there should be civility.

And if they survive the nasty and inhumane Police ordeal, surely the general public should think twice about crucifying the LGBT community. These people are the same people we have grown up with, built this country together with and championed the cause of the Pearl of Africa. Now that we learn that they are not attracted to the sort of people / things we are attracted to, does that suddenly mean our brotherhood comes to an end? Does it mean that suddenly they are bound for hell and therefore when the Police unleash all forms of unfair and inhumane treatment on them we turn a deaf ear and cover our eyes?

As Ugandans we have this inherent belief that we are the friendliest people in the world. Why then are we working so hard to make the world believe otherwise? Can we not disagree but still eat vegetables from the same plate? Do we have to sacrifice our brotherhood because of our beliefs, sexual orientation or political affiliation?

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” – Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
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Beewol – The Talkative Rocker

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Baldie. Ailurophile. Social Media Junkie. Blogger. Pluviophile. Fixer. Sober Drunkard.
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