There is still a long way to go when it comes to the march for LGBT equality. There are a number of battles that need to be fought around the world from the embryonic struggle to end the criminalisation of homosexual activity to more complex areas like systemic homophobia in public institutions. In the case of the latter the ultimate symbol of progress is the choice of an LGBT person to become the leader of a country. However it is important to stress that this symbolism has a different significance in different political cultures.
Language is a powerful tool. It can be used to impress, to inspire, and to insult, however language also can have a symbolic and political purposes. The approach of a group of people toward language is an interesting area of enquiry because the language used by a group of people about another group of people is revealing. There is now a growing trend among LGBT people of reclaiming typically homophobic language in order to remove its venom, which clearly puts the LGBT rights movement in a long tradition of marginalised groups acting in this way.
On Saturday night 50 people were gunned down in a terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida. As a result of the death toll, this incident is the most devastating mass shooting in US history as well as the largest ever terrorist attack carried out by one person. The suspected shooter, Omar Mateen, carried out the attack armed with an AR-15, which is the civilian version of an M-16 military assault rifle, and a handgun. There needs to be a series of conversations that take place in the aftermath of this attack, but one is undeniable. According to reports Mateen’s father said that his son had seen two men kissing and this angered him. Let’s be clear this attack was not coincidentally in a gay club. It was targeted by a homophobic bigot who thought that same-sex attraction should be punished with execution. Continue reading →
Political terms, when people are unaware of what they mean, can be a topic of significant dispute. The rise of Donald Trump in the United States is a prime example of this. When the term ‘fascist’ is correctly applied, his supporters complain about liberals saying that everything they disagree with is called fascist. Unfortunately Trump supporters have a point as idiotic liberals do often describe things that aren’t fascistic with this label in order to shut people up in debates. Another such term is ‘apartheid’, an Afrikaans word which was used to describe the state-endorsed racial segregation in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. Rather than write a provocative piece about the West’s approach to Israel which could often be seen as anything from irrational to endorsing violations of international law, I shall seek to answer one simple question: is Israel an Apartheid state?