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Kwabena Akurang-Parry email@example.com Shippensburg University I am sure that some of us are cautious in engaging in debates about this topic because of the fear of being tagged homophobic. As much as one supports rights and freedoms for all, irrespective of sexual orientation, etc. I think that scholars like Ibrahim Sundiata, activists, governments, etc. should engage Africans in “conversations” that frame positions from standpoints of generous dissent, not from superior positions typical of the imperious Western conventions and traditions that have always defined Africans as the “Other.” If the West unleashes dosages of tyranny of orthodoxy, rhetorical grenades, political moralizing, hegemonic threats of economic sanctions, etc., African leaders would not take such messages to the masses, and this has become evident. Promoting sexual rights is not about the colonial conquest: the Maxim gun would not carry the day. Promoting sexual rights for all should be about consensus building and negotiations across fissures of difference, be it cultures, religions, etc. All must acknowledge that the West didn't get up one night to accept homosexuality. Generous dissent, consensus building, and holistic education are what have transformed how homosexuality is constructed and perceived today in some parts of the West. I believe that similar approaches are what we need to bring to the African scene. Of course, one may talk about "leap-frogging" the "problem" in Africa because it has been solved elsewhere in the West. But my people, the Akans of Ghana, great philosophers of old, would tell us that when the frog wanted to leap overnight like the monkey, the frog broke its legs because it lacked the practiced and cultivated steps of the monkey. I like John Kerry's approach of consensus buiiding, not bullying from some Western pulpits of we are right and you are wrong gospel. From: H-NET List for African History and Culture [H-AFRICA@H-NET.MSU.EDU] on behalf of Lorna Zukas [llueker@NU.EDU] Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 9:31 PM To: H-AFRICA@H-NET.MSU.EDU Subject: Homophobia in Africa From: Ibrahim Sundiata [firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2014 1:46 PM Subject: Re: Homophobia in Africa Dear Colleagues: We should be pleased that the Secretary of State Kerry says that Uganda is willing to open discussions on the treatment of its LGBT citizens. Hopefully this will be a trend. Ibrahim Sundiata -- -- --