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Web Letter

Although I admire Mr. Zirin's stand on homphobia in sports, he is severly deluded and ignorant of South African gender politics in the extreme. Yes, we have a lovely constitution, but it means very little when your president is proud of his gay-bashing younger days and where you have an epidemic of hate-rapes not seen anywhere else in the world. More lesbians are murdered in hate crimes in South Africa than anywhere in the world, and raping a gay man is considered just deserts in townships throughout our fine, tolerant nation.

I am a gay man and a former anti-apartheid activist and am so very tired of the racist and blinkered articles written about my country. South Africa is not a nation of smiley noble savages who are all inherently tolerant in a way nasty Westerners can only aspire to. It is largely run by hypocritical, self-serving autocrats with no agenda other than their own aggrandizement. Witness Jacob Zuma, avowed homophobe, and Winnie Mandela, murderess and vitriolic racist and hate-monger, welcoming Semenya. What opportunistic twaddle.

That journalists for an esteemed publication such as The Nation have so little background knowledge that they see this repulsive display as a positive counterpoint is sad, sad, sad. Everyday black gay South Africans battle to survive, live in fear and witness their lives becoming more and more difficult, as the Jacobs and the Winnies disseminate more of their hateful, reactionary "Africanist" dogma. The Semenya incident is doubly disgusting in its inconsistency, but telling too because anything that can make the West look bad is good, regardless of how contradictory it may be. Well done for playing into their blood-stained hands, Mister Zirin. You have become part of the problem.

Brett Syndercombe

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Aug 27 2009 - 11:50am

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