"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Billionaires, Uganda, and Anti-Gay Legislation

A few days ago, Jim wrote about Billionaire Bill's refusal to address the Uganda "Kill the Gays" bill, a piece of legislation that has most definitely received support from stateside fundamentalists. In a Seattle Times interview, Bill says this:
There's a tendency to think in the U.S. just because a law says something that it's a big deal.
Bill's logic - about as reliable as any version of Windows - simply brushes aside the legislation. "I mean, it just says they'll kill/imprison gays. Doesn't mean they'll do it," is the translation of Bill's verbal meanderings. You're spineless, Bill, spineless.

But there's a different billionaire involved in education with pretty strong ties to the Uganda bill, or, at the very least, with a direct line to the Ugandan government.

Yes, the Imagine Schools CEO, Dennis Bakke, is pretty friendly with Uganda's President Museveni. The picture at the top, which is also printed in Bakke's "Joy at Work," shows Dennis and wife Eileen posting with the African leader, a man that helped Bakke's AES Corp. secure a $500,000,000 project to build a dam in Uganda (according to Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family, AES employee Christian Wright - a man Bakke claims was doing "God's work" - used some good ole' fashion bribery to seal the deal). Museveni is considered The Family's "key man" in Africa - and Mr. Bakke is clearly pretty high up in the Family.

Let's hope Bakke is using his influence (and money) to push Uganda to not pass anti-gay legislation, which, unfortunately, is about as likely as Bill Gates supporting real public schools. So let's be real: Bakke is a wingnut fundamentalist, a "cultural imperialist." His lack of action - at least publicly - to come out against the Uganda bill is just as, if not more, appalling than Billionaire Bill's refusal to stand up for the rights of all human beings.

These are men with money and power. Hell - a simple Twitter posting from Bill would go a long ways, but he doesn't care about laws. Just 'cause they say something - like gay people should be killed - doesn't mean it's a big deal, right Bill?

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