Rep. Rangel Deplores Gen. Museveni's Past "Hateful" Statements On Slavery, Hitler, And LGBTs
Gen. Museveni's hateful statements targeting victims of slavery, praising Hitler, and denigrating members of LGBT community, condemned by Rangel
Rep. Charles Rangel, one of America's longest serving members of Congress, has condemned past statements made by Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni saying people captured into slavery were "stupid," praising Adolph Hitler and denigrating members of the LGBT community.
Gen. Museveni is one of the many African presidents attending the U.S.-Africa Leaders' Summit next week in Washington.
In columns published in The Huffingtonpost and in The Amsterdam News, this writer commended President Obama for hosting African presidents for the nation's first ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.
The column noted that the attendance at the summit of some of Africa's most notorious dictators, Rwanda's Gen. Paul Kagame, who has been in office for 20 years and Uganda's Gen. Yoweri Museveni, in power for 28 years, would be distracting.
The column read, "Rather than inviting a man like Museveni and Kagame, it would have been much better for the U.S. to have held a high level summit that included leaders of countries in Africa which are either democratically governed such as South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and others, to reward their achievements."
The column also noted that Gen. Museveni had a long history of demonization and making hateful comments. As the column stated: "In an interview published in The Atlantic Monthly Magazine's September 1994 (Vol. 274 Issue 3 page 22) edition Gen. Museveni pontificated: 'I have never blamed the whites for colonizing Africa: I have never blamed these whites for taking slaves. If you are stupid, you should be taken a slave.'"The column also noted that "a Ugandan weekly newspaper, The Shariat (Vol. II No.15, April 15-21, 1998), quoted Gen. Museveni as having said: 'As Hitler did to bring Germany together, we should also do it here. Hitler was a smart guy, but I think he went a bit too far by wanting to conquer the world.'"
The column also contextualized Gen. Museveni's anti-Gay campaign, stating: "He's decided to demonize the LGBT community, hoping that inciting hatred towards them will translate into votes especially in the country's rural areas where the majority of voters reside and where society is still very traditional and conservative."
The column noted that Gen. Museveni had made the following comments, in reference to Gay males: "'Even now I have not fully understood it....That you can fail to be attracted to all these beautiful women here and elsewhere, and you are attracted to a man,' Museveni said."
Responding to the ugly past comments by Gen. Museveni, Rep. Rangel (D-New York), first elected to Congress in 1971, today released the following statement: “As we welcome African leaders to President Barack Obama's historic U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit aimed at strengthening the diplomatic and economic ties between African nations and the United States, it must be made clear that any form of hatred, based on race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation and religion, is not tolerated in our country.
I regret that Gen. Yoweri Museveni has made some hurtful remarks in the past that have incited great controversy and hope that he has seen the insensitivity behind those statements. Mr. Museveni represents one of Africa's most celebrated nations and his attendance next week at the summit is a monumental step to bring the country its due spotlight. I am, therefore, looking forward to a successful, rewarding summit next week."
Meanwhile, Uganda's constitutional court today ruled that the Anti-Homosexuality law signed by Gen. Museveni on Feb. 24 was illegal because the country's Parliament passed it without a proper quorum.
Note: A petition was launched asking President Obama to dis-invite Gen. Museveni from the U.S.-Africa Summit. An earlier petition opposed Museveni's foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa becoming President of the United Nations General Assembly