Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Nature of Injustice.

The nature of injustice is so elusive that we may not notice it in our time. It is such a powerful and elusive concept that it can becloud any sense of rationality and wisdom especially during the period of its operation, even amongst the wise and the learned.

Take the issue of slavery for instance, people's sense of justice were beclouded by injustice that majority even monotheistic believers thought that it was okay for a group of people to enslave and sell others just as you would enslave and sell animals or even houses, or cars and many other commodities that can be bought and sold in the market. This is also the case with the infamous law that forbade interracial marriage till it was struck down by Loving v Virginia [1967]. But if you think we have learnt our lessons, you must then be living in a fantasy world.

Today, the concept of injustice is once again manifesting itself in our time in the form of imprisonments, killings, lynching, persecutions and other forms of injustices against the LGBT community worldwide. Sadly, due to our very poor and short memory majority think it is okay and acceptable to make life very hard for the LGBT community worldwide. And the saddest part is that religion is at the root of this injustice. Members of the three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam would always cite their various scriptures to justify this act in the ‘name of God’ thereby making fun and belittling the understanding of God as inclusive, all loving God who knows all including our destinies even before we were born.

This phenomenon and lopsided interpretation of the scriptures is a widely accepted not only in Nigeria and Uganda where members of LGBT community have either been imprisoned, lynched or killed lately but sadly in more developed worlds like Russia and even that beacon of modern freedom, egalitarianism, liberty and pursuit of happiness: the United States of America.

This is sad! It is sad for democracy does not mean the victimization of the minority by the majority. It is the other way round: the protection of the minority by the majority! It is for this reason that recent legal developments including HJ and HT v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] in the UK and Obergefell v Hodges [2015] in the United States have both stressed the importance of coming together to protect the LGBT community worldwide as the most persecuted group of our time. The word genocide is the only appropriate word that can aptly describe the plight of the LGBT community worldwide today!

It is for this reason that I am standing up in defence of the LGBT community worldwide by strongly endorsing and recommending this anthology by Unoma Azua to all right thinking people on earth! Yes, we must take sides for neutrality and silence empowers only the oppressor and never the victim. Just like Elie Wiesel said: ‘wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must-at that moment-become the centre of the universe’.

*This piece is written as an afterword for 'Blessed Body' edited by Unoma Azua.

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