The West And The Rest

The West And The Rest. By Rod Dreher.

I spoke to two Ugandan women at an event I attended this weekend. … The women talked about the West’s LGBT ideology as deeply offensive to Africans.

The first woman said, “We are at the point where you cannot get development aid, water aid, or any kind of aid from NGOs unless you affirm LGBT. What kind of message do you think that sends to us about what the West cares about?”

The second woman said, “China is making lots of inroads in Africa. We can see it all the time. The Chinese come and build things, and give us things, and they never tell us we have to change to suit their ideology. The Americans and the Europeans demand that we do. The Chinese leave us alone.”

I asked the woman to clarify. Is she saying that the West is pushing Africa into China’s arms because Western elites have made LGBT rights into a global crusade?

Yes, absolutely, she said. …

 

 

[In Rome] I had a taxi driver who was an Arab Christian immigrant from Syria. I asked him how he came to Europe. That got him going. …

The Syrian said that he often finds himself among Arabs here who don’t realize that he’s a Christian, and that they talk viciously about the “kafir” (a slur term for non-Muslims), and fantasize about the vengeance they intend to take one day.

He said one of the strangest things he has seen is Arab women who do not wear the hijab back in their home countries putting it on when they get to Europe. Why do they do that? I asked.

“I think it’s because they feel safer in Europe identifying as a member of their own people,” he said. There is no more clear public declaration that one is a Muslim woman than wearing a hijab. …

The Syrian Christian said, emphatically, that everything will be fine in terms of interreligious harmony until Muslims gain numerical majority. Then the mask comes off. “We have seen this many times,” he said.

Woke ruins everything, and most of us — and the rest of the world — cannot abide it.

A reader with experience in PNG comments:

I’ve seen first hand what the Ugandan women were talking about, in Australia’s ‘development assistance’ to Papua New Guinea.

That program is riddled with (mainly) young Australian women who know nothing about basic, traditional development assistance of the kind that can actually lift living standards. They don’t know about it simply because they have no experience of development assistance; they’re too young.

But that doesn’t stop them running around imposing the western woke agenda on the way Australian assistance tax dollars are spent in PNG. They are encouraged to behave like that by their managers because that’s the prevailing orthodoxy; it gets them rewarded and promoted.

Imposing wokeism on a culture that in many respects has only been in contact with modernity for a century, before which much of it was in the Stone Age, is absurd. Yet all the time they tell the rest of us, who’ve spent years in these places, that we must be sensitive to and respectful of the local culture! What a joke. The irony couldn’t be greater.

But let’s be clear: what they’re doing has no connection with improving things in developing countries. It’s one part about showcasing their own looney left credentials back home for personal advancement; one part ignorance and lack of experience; and one part arrogance — because the system empowers them to be like that.

Apart from a few locals who’ve learned how to play off this script to their own advantage, the Papua New Guineans all know it’s total nonsense and, when no-one else is listening, are quite happy to say so. They know damn well, for example, that gender isn’t a ‘social construct’, and forcing that kind of thing on them annoys and alienates them. It wastes money and erodes goodwill. They also know who all the wokery is designed to help, and it isn’t them.

It’s no coincidence that, instead of being lectured to by these people, Papua New Guineans in positions of influence prefer to deal with the Chinese. If that’s not the case, then why is the Chinese presence in PNG growing like bamboo after rain while Australia’s is declining? The Chinese don’t go around lecturing them about how they should behave to each other, or about ‘governance’.

Here’s an anecdote to finish: a couple of years ago, a colleague came back to the office from a meeting in the High Commission in Port Moresby. Wearily, he told me there had been 14 people at the meeting, 13 of whom were women. They had talked, he said, amongst other things — and without a trace of irony — about the need for gender equality.

It’s not — to use their favorite word — sustainable. Reality will reassert itself, perhaps dramatically.

hat-tip Stephen Neil