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Should we brush Kenyan media gay bashing behaviour under the carpet?


A number of people have said ‘enough said’, and ‘it’s an old story’, ‘move on’, and “Caroline  didn’t really mean it”  as well as “don’t trust the media”, “don’t try to change the media” with regard to media attacks on Kenyan gays in my last 3 blog posts.

I know that Caroline can’t really think it’s ok for radio to be gay bashing but what I don’t understand is her defense of fellow gay bashing presenters, and her failure to step in and show some leadership. She is after all the most popular and loved of all Kenyan presenters.

How temptingly delicious – wouldn’t it be great if we could just pretend that it didn’t happen and maybe the furore and bad feelings will magically go away.

Great for who I wonder? The media, Kenyans or Kenyan gays?

I’ve been seriously thinking about brushing this gay bashing issue under the carpet, after all its eating into me and affecting my sleep patterns….Hmm….I’m juggling ideas here…

Brush it under the carpet

or

Get  a conversation going.

hmmmm….I’m having a light bulb moment. Isn’t that what we said should not happen in Kenya after the post election violence? Maybe we don’t need a truth commission after all.  Yes, let’s just forget the post election violence (and ignore the little problem of victims and the remaining IDP’s after all they are minorities right?).

Friends I wonder if it’s our collective failure to speak out, to discuss, to analyse, and to understand issues that makes our community unable to comprehend how something as ‘small and insignificant” as gay bashing on radio. Is it a reflection of our collective psyche  that we are unable to admit when we make mistakes, to apologise and seek forgiveness? Perhaps that’s why the aggression and violence keeps escalating.

I don’t know about you but if the response from Caroline Mutoko at Kiss FM and Marcus at Classic FM is anything to go by, then we are in for a disastrous time during elections come 2012. If we accept gay bashing then what about tribe bashing, religion bashing…yes lets hit out at whatever and whomever we have an issue with.

Brushing the ethical issue of allowing gay bashing on radio under the carpet is a crisis behavior – just peek underneath and you’ll find that the hatred is breeding and it will eventually pop out again, this time with teeth.

I think that we need to deal with these issues that affect Kenyan Society up front and I still maintain that radio is the best and most powerful medium to bring about this change in Kenyan society. But first the radio personalities have a big responsibility and to be credible, they must have moral authority.

Moral authority it seems is in short supply right now on our radio waves. But that need not be a long term problem. It can be fixed with a simple apology.

Thanks to all of you who have made your opinions known on this blog and your own, as well as through twitter. Keep the conversation alive and remember, its not about your opinions on gays, its about how the media are stirring up hatred. We need a thoughtful examination of what we expect of the Media – perhaps then they will understand and change…just maybe.

Speak out or you will be responsible for letting horrible people do horrible things.

Have a great day.

October 29, 2009 - Posted by | Podcast | , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Well Caroline Mutoko is interviewing the spokesperson for the Gay coalition in Kenya today on Kiss FM. This is wonderful news. I hope she has it in her to admit that the radio and other media have been unfair with gay bashing – and turns this issue on its head. Afterall, she has gay friends and they will be listening.

    Comment by paulakahumbu | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. If somebody as much as suggested her radio show be shut down for promoting delinquency and stupidity she would be jumping out of her trousers in rage. Why would we want to carry about her radio show being shut down ? the country has very many problems hunger, corruption, poverty … why should we care about her show ? Her very argument applies to her own inflated ego.

    Comment by goohoo | October 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. From a gay guys’ point of view, give it a rest, it is clear she is ready to advocate for fun over hate, and she’ll practically brag about it. You will just be arguing with a wall flower. I’ve been thinking of writing a post to/of/over her, just wondering if it will be worth it.

    Comment by Haute Haiku | October 31, 2009 | Reply

  4. I remain very sceptical. Leopards and spots? It saddens me that our media has such a superficial understanding of what constitutes human rights.

    Comment by Tamaku | November 1, 2009 | Reply


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