Sunday, January 22, 2006

On blogging

To those of who have too many ideas in our head and who type quickly, the blogging tech that has grown exponentially in the past two to three years can be a curse as much as a blessing. We can all type before we think things through: I'm as guilty as the next person. And sparks can needlessly fly.

I dont write this blog to cause random controversy, nor do I wish to create undue negativity. I do it because I care for my adopted country and want to encourage positive change as much as I can. I'm playing my own tiny drop in the ocean as part of the ongoing debate about what Nigeria is right now and what it can be. Alternative media is the way to go in this regard.

But way more important than my words in all this are the words of young Nigerians who live here, and the supporting words of those privileged to live elsewhere. We need to work out how to get Nigerians in Nigeria blogging in their thousands, as those bursting with ideas of freedom from repression do in Iran (Farsi is one of the top non-English blogging languages on the planet). This way change lies: through the power of words. All actions in the world begin with words that are said, or not said.

In which case, the words of those young Nigerians who are leading the way in blogging here are incredibly important. So it saddens me that someone in the vanguard of in-country blogging shoots from the hip by suggesting that women attracted to women should be "dick-whipped". Dick-whipping is such a violent way of speaking. It ultimately translates itself into rape. How can someone so young have such violence stored in themselves? Where is the love?

I have said all I want to say on this issue. I hope for respect, and love, and the absence of such violent speech from the rare young blogging voices in our midst from now on.

13 comments:

Kemi,  1:51 pm  

Where did you read that, i.e. the Dick-Whipping comment?

Also, you never said if anything came of the saga of your sister-in-law and The Guardian.

Did your blogging make any difference?

Everchange 6:06 am  

10 ways to be a LGBT ally & friend.

I think this may help people to understand why "homophobia" is so disturbing and to learn ways of counteracting it. It's a U.S.-based source (sorry), but I think the main principles are universally relevant and could help people think a little outside the box.

1. Be a listener.
2. Be open-minded.
3. Be willing to talk.
4. Be inclusive and invite LGBT friends to hang out with your friends and family.
5. Don't assume that all your friends and co-workers are straight. Someone close to you could be looking for support in their coming-out process. Not making assumptions will give them the space they need.
6. Homophobic comments and jokes are harmful. Let your friends, family and co-workers know that you find them offensive.
7. Confront your own prejudices and homophobia, even if it is uncomfortable to do so.
8. Defend your LGBT friends against discrimination.
9. Believe that all people, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, should be treated with dignity and respect.
10. If you see LGBT people being misrepresented in the media, contact us at glaad.org.

http://www.glaad.org

Anonymous,  1:44 am  

As sad as it is to read the offensive comment and know that some people think this way, I'm kinda glad that it's out there. The true beauty of blogging is that there's room for open and honest communication. It may be unpleasant or downright ugly but at least it's out in the open. Who knows?, maybe ,by challenging those views, we can change them (or at least know to avoid such narrow minded people in future)

TRAE 9:44 am  

hi J, i got love for you but you got me all wrong. go read the comment i made in the comments section on that post.

i flow straight and precise, like a man killing device/
f*ck with me i'll take your life, cos my heart's as cold as ice/
my mouth's raw as Obie Trice, i love dykes i ain't biased/
wanna battle (me)? come on be wise,i'll f*ck u (up) like a fly ass/

Jeremy 12:57 pm  

Er Trae, your post immediately above reveals the problem. Your head is so full of hip-hop misogynistic babble: ho bitch motherfucker piffle. You end up sounding like an 8 year old

Do you realise that the biggest market for hip-hop in the US is adolescent white boys in the suburbs?

Do you also know that the music industry (including its "urban" niches) are controlled by white people?

Do you also know that there is a huge debate in black intellectual circles in the US about how hip-hop is part of the problem. By perpetuating violent misogynistic stereotypes about black men, hip-hop is as racist as the black and white minstrels (you better look that one up on Google).

So while you have made such a strong identity-investment in American hip-hop as what you think of as the authentic voice of black American experience, you may actually have been suckered into a deliberately manipulated racist paradigm (Kanye West and other "conscious" rappers excluded).

If you have the opportunity (its a shame it will never be widely available in Nigeria) watch Rize. Its a documentary about a dance-cultural phenomenon in South-Central and East Side LA. Interestingly, all those involve distance themselves from hip-hop and pseudo gangsterism.

So your words, "like a man killing device/
f*ck with me i'll take your life, cos my heart's as cold as ice/" blah blah mean I can't really take you seriously. You just end up sounding like some Orange County 14 year old who is wanking too much.

If you want to identify with black American heros, there's a universe of experience out there you can tap into: the Black Panthers, Gil Scott Heron, James Baldwin, John Coltrane, Angela Davis, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, the Harlem Renaissance, Toni Morrison, Ismael Reed, Muhammed Ali, Marvin Gaye... an endless list of powerful black men and women. Compared to these heroes of black American experience, the current stars of hip-hop are a sad reflection of how African American experience has been commodified, manipulated and sold back as "keeping it real" BS.

Anonymous,  2:40 pm  

Hello jeremy,
GLad you enjoyed your london holiday. Anyway the comments above reveal a deep malaise troubling nigeria and it's people. How many are deep? In this day of the internet our emptiness can easily be deduced from our empty rantings and posturing. As for trae maybe he would like to know that there are rumours about the sexuality of more than one member of the NWA. ( the super group including Dr DRE, Easy E and ICE CUBE.
Or has he ever serenaded a girl to music by luther vandross?

Also nigeria needs more education. More conscious education and more conscious education!

Anonymous,  3:45 pm  

its a pity Trae is saying this and he is my friend. Trae is scarrying me shit out.

Trae, my last word to you, bail out my friend. Raise your hands up and accept that you were out of line. Learn from all the wise comments here on your own blog. You are bigger than all of this my bro.

It is mb again.

Segun,  5:11 pm  

All:

Trae states a truth even though his delivery lacks diplomacy.

We won't agree but there is purpose behind creation. You can't always act as you please - the result of such actions is moral relativity and plurality of truths - which is very incaccurate. There is also love behind creation - not hollywood love, but unconditional love.

Perhaps the auto cars should go ask the engineer who designed them how they should function and shouldn't determine for themselves or else we'll have a crazy highway system!!

Be honest with yourselves and let your conscience guide you!!

My 2 kobo

Anonymous,  6:22 pm  

Free speech.
Keep your comments free and from the heart J!!
Being white and British I can't imagine what our black brothers went through and go through just to speak their minds.
Our rapping kiddywink above needs to listen to a whole generation of black funk and soul from 65 to 75 where lyrics were real from their hearts and souls (not to satisfy a white middleclass audience for financial gain). Cut the (c)rap get real....free speech is the truest measure of an equal and respectful society. Love and respect man!

sokari 9:20 pm  

Hi Jeremy - have written a roundup of blog posts on the subject including yours. What fun its been????:)
Black Looks

Grace,  8:08 pm  

On the subject of mainstream hiphop and violence against women, check out writings by black poet & activist Ewuare @ www.osayande.org

On blogging,  10:48 am  

just saw this on blacklooks. thought sick people like you will also like to read it:

I'm a woman so my words go out to all the African Female Losers claiming to be Lesbians. Get yourself a man or beg around for one since you are obviously sick. You are a DISGRACE to Africa. It's big shame. I'm sure most of you are hiding under the cover of "The West". You are not fit to stand in a Nigerian society and say you are lesbians. Shameless Awkward Losers! How can a woman possibly be a lesbian if not that you are mentally deranged. The most amazing thing is that they don't even know they are sick. They think it's natural. Get a psychiatrist quick!

Posted by: Giss | January 29, 2006 at 08:49 PM

Very soon, maybe in 10 years from now, you are going to hear that making love to animals is also natural. Hahahaha! And you’ll hear people saying things like these;
“I’m just naturally attracted to donkeys, and that’s the way I am”
“I wish to be married to a cockroach, that’s my own sexual orientation”
“I’ve always had a thing for squirrels and I hope people accept me this way”
And then the government would legalise Animal marriage and some mentally and psychologically imbalanced people would still say it’s free world!
Odd world full of odd people.

Posted by: Jingo | January 29, 2006 at 09:01 PM

Anonymous,  4:53 am  

Is there gay life in Nigeria?
miseravaorj@hotmail.com

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