As a Kenyan living in Pittsburgh, I found President Obama's statements regarding Uganda's anti-gay bill a classic case of the rich bullying the poor. By vowing consequences from his government should Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni sign the bill (which he has since done), Obama was making it clear that poor people have no rights — no right to their own decision-making, no right to preserve their own unique cultural identity.
Obama needs to understand that Africa is very different from the West in its norms and culture, and trying to acquire a global uniform culture is to lose our own identity as Africans. For Obama to threaten relations with Uganda because he disapproves of its decision is hitting below the belt and appalling. But he can, because the U.S. gives foreign aid to poor countries in Africa.
It is my hope that Americans will be moved to defend the rights of nations (even poor ones) to retain their sovereignty in decision-making. If powerful nations need to approve of every decision made by poorer nations, we are in effect saying that poor people have no rights.
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