Veteran readers likely recall Dota’s excellent article on the folly of exporting democracy to the non-white world. I’m going to expand on that sentiment and suggest that the white West is also foolish to export liberalism to countries with entrenched conservatism. I think it’s even more foolish to withhold aid or sabotage economic arrangements with countries simply because of their less than liberal social policies. I’m not a completely heartless prick who seeks to endorse Ayn Rand style psychopathy, so I’ll make exceptions for extremely abusive and genocidal regimes. Sri Lanka’s excessive abuse of the Tamils comes to mind.
The latest nation to draw the ire of Western liberals and human rights activists is the East African country Uganda. What could this relatively stable and prosperous African country have possibly done to incur the moral wrath of our favorite wimpy whites? I’ll give you a hint; it has to do with the liberal West’s newest protected class. The battle over gay rights in Uganda has been brewing for years, as humorously illustrated in this old clip of suspiciously flamboyant pastor Martin Ssempa (a “little research” indeed):
Well, as it turns out, pastor Ssempa’s wish has been granted, with Uganda passing a law that will make eating da poo poo an offense punishable by life imprisonment. While Ugandans celebrate the passage of the law, the morally upright white West is not amused. The Obama administration slashed development aid to Uganda while the European Union has threatened to impose sanctions.
This latest manifestation of the White Man’s Burden illustrates the deficiencies of current Western foreign policy and liberalism. For starters, I find it interesting that many liberals focus on the role of American evangelists in promoting homophobia in Uganda, as if they’re the ones responsible for this latest law. Seeing as how a full 96% of Ugandans find homosexuality unacceptable, and given Uganda’s relative prosperity and stability, I would say that Ugandans have enough agency to resist the unstoppable manipulation of a few white missionaries.
Again, I’m not heartless, nor do I think that gays should be imprisoned or relentlessly persecuted. I believe in tolerance. However, for practical reasons related to global image and economic relations, I do not think that Western countries such as the United States should self-righteously and hypocritically slash aid or strain relations with other countries due to their domestic social policies (again, exceptions notwithstanding).
After all, the United States would not like it if China imposed sanctions over the U.S’s soaring income inequality, obscenely high incarceration rate, and various drone attacks against innocent civilians. Uganda could also rightly point out the hypocrisy of being targeted while the U.S. continues to aid and coddle even more oppressive and bigoted regimes such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. As the saying goes, “he who lives in a glass house should not throw stones.”
Also, from an economic standpoint, such moral posturing is beyond foolish. Speaking of China, one of the main reasons why China has made such significant economic inroads into Africa is because they don’t interfere in the domestic affairs of African nations. Africans have long memories of European imperialism, and lecturing them about human rights will not make them more inclined to do business. Due to the significant natural resources of Africa and its untapped economic potential, losing business to China over issues such as gay rights cannot be defended.
I am not endorsing or excusing any of the oppressive or barbaric policies of 3rd world countries. I just don’t believe that it’s our business to impose liberal Western values on the non-white masses of the world. The nauseating self-righteousness and potential diplomatic complications are just too much. As Dota and I have emphasized many times, one can relate to someone and practice tolerance while maintaining a tactful distance from their distasteful views.
I say it’s time for the West to apply this principle on a global stage and abandon its White Man’s Burden. The right of gays to eat da poo poo should have no impact on our foreign policy.