Ann Leckie’s ANCILLARY JUSTICE
Gareth L. Powell’s ACK-ACK MACAQUE
Nina Allen, “Spin.”
Joey HiFi, with the art for DREAM LONDON.
Jeff Vandermeer, WONDERBOOK
I will tidy this up I get home.
Rev. Franklin Graham on Sunday said that he stood by earlier comments agreeing with so-called gay "propaganda" bans in Russia because President Vladimir Putin was doing "what's right" for the country.
During a March interview with the Charlotte Observer, Graham had asserted that LGBT people were trying to "recruit" children by adopting them, and suggested that it was "exploitation."
He also said that he "agreed" with Putin because "protecting his nation's children was a pretty smart thing to do."
Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, Graham doubled down on his praise of the Russian president.
"Putin is going to do what's right for Russia, and not what's right for America, but for Russia," he opined. "We used to have a president in this country that did what's right for this country, but we don't seem to have that right now."
"Putin is going to make these decisions that he thinks is best for the Russian people, and he thinks that taking advantage of children -- exploiting children -- is wrong for any group so they passed a law," Graham added. "So, I do agree with him."
When asked about his father, Rev. Billy Graham, he again brought the discussion back around to the issue of same-sex parents.
And the wanking never dies.
The NY Times' David Brooks is a platinum card-carrying wanker of the highest order as he and other conservatives continue to portray President Obama as Weak and Weaker in matters of foreign policy. If Democratic politicians had attacked George Bush in this way during his presidency, the Beltway and right wing villagers would have attacked and vilified them as traitors for sure.
Even Chuck Todd joins the David Brooks party when he parroted Bill O'Reilly's crazy Doomsday scenario.
Here's Brooks on presidential testicles:
DAVID BROOKS: And, let's face it, Obama, whether deservedly or not, does have a (I'll say it crudely) but a manhood problem in the Middle East: Is he tough enough to stand up to somebody like Assad, somebody like Putin? I think a lot of the rap is unfair. But certainly in the Middle East, there's an assumption he's not tough.
Brooks' crack analysis is that in foreign affairs, if you talk tough and threaten military action at every turn, then you've got balls of steel, but if you try to find solutions without sounding like a nut, you've been castrated.
Chuck Todd then outlined Bill O'Reilly's psycho worldwide doomsday theory which was instigated because Obama just hasn't been "alpha male" enough while going up against the very manly Putin. This is truly mind boggling.
It is one thing to cite (false) accounts of ethnic Russians being abused as a pretext for intervening in a neighbor's sovereign territory. It is another to cite the historical borders of a country that was twice as large not that long ago.
Know who else was Russian "in czarist times?" How about NATO members Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, not to mention much of Poland, as well as non-aligned Finland. Know who else in Europe had larger borders before 1918 (i.e., in czarist times) than they do now? Hungary, Serbia, Germany, Turkey, Austria ... you get the picture. For example, I don't trust Hungary's semi-authoritarian, sharply nationalist government to resist the opportunity to restore its Habsburg-era borders if it got the chance, something that would tear NATO apart.
But let's keep the focus on Russia. Putin's citing of historical borders created by czarist conquest (which, of course, altered even older, more "historical" borders) opens up another justification for him to wreak havoc all over the area of the former Soviet Union.
As a historian, I can tell you that virtually all of today's borders (including our own) resulted in part from conquest and often resettlement. War has long been how disputes over territory are settled. But since the establishment of the United Nations, countries are not supposed to be allowed to take land from one another. More specifically, Russia agreed to respect Ukraine's borders when Kiev gave up its nuclear weapons 20 years ago. Putin has shredded that historical document.
And since we are on the subject of history, please remember that Putin once described the breakup of the USSR as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the previous century. I guess he likes some parts of history better than others. That's what concerns me about the future.
The guy is technology correspondent on The Observer, reviewing a book, The People's Platform, about The Internet. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/a
In this he mentions the 'startling' instances of gender imbalance and asks:
Why there is not more public debate on this?
Okay, maybe it is the particular corners of the Web that I frequent, but yr hedjog notes no lack of debate, comment and protest precisely on this issue. Which suggests to me that Mr N is not looking in the right places, no?
Poor widdle Sharyl Attkisson, victim of that crusading liberal bias in the media. She knew she had no chance to do the kind of journalism she wanted to do when the suits at CBS News started questioning her story pitches.
Why, they didn't want her to report anything bad about the administration, donchaknow?
It had nothing to do with the irresponsibility of her reporting, right? Just because she...
Elizabeth Warren continues to give her best Shermanesque reply that she's not running for President in 2016.
Elizabeth Warren is a freshman Senator from Massachusetts whom some Democrats are talking up as a Presidential candidate -- reason enough for Mark Strassmann to seek her out for some Questions-And Answers:
If you ask many progressives voters from Harlem to Hollywood, they'll say a woman should run for president in two years: Senator Elizabeth Warren.
The Massachusetts Democrat is both revered and reviled; her style is aggressive, and her message is economic populism ("Everyone who works hard and plays by the rule should have a real chance to get ahead."), that Main Street is under siege by Wall Street.
"How can it be," she told Strassmann, "that if you're just big enough and you commit big enough crimes, that there's no one out there who wants to hold you accountable? This is the consequence, again, of too much concentration of money and power."
No Game No Life, Episode 2
Kaori Fujimiya • Isshūkan Friends, Episode 3
Just to pull this out and give it its own post for emphasis.
So, apparently Larry Correia and Vox Day offered on their Web sites a slate of suggested nominees for several Hugo categories, and several of their suggested nominees hit the final ballot. This has made a number of people feel things ranging from annoyance to outrage, with the commensurate suggestion that, if such a thing is not illegal, then it’s at least just not done. So let me offer a couple of thoughts.
1. Does what these two fellows have done contravene the actual Hugo nomination rules? If they answer is “no” (and it does in fact appear to be “no”), then fair play. Game on.
2. As to the “it’s just not done” thing: Well, now it has. And as it’s been done, and it’s by all indications entirely legal, wasting time griping that it’s happened, with regards to this year’s voting, seems like frittering to me. Again: Game on.
3. But it’s also not entirely honest to say that it’s not been done before, either. Lots of people suggest or at least remind people of their own works for consideration (I do the latter); lots of people suggest or at least remind people of the works of others for consideration. Just this year I suggested Abagail Nussbaum for Fan Writer; there she is on the ballot. Was my recommendation causative? Maybe, maybe not (I suspect not — she’s built a reputation over a number of years), but the point is I made the recommendation.
The new wrinkle here would be Correia/Day allegedly exhorting a comprehensive slate of nominees for the purpose of annoying people they would like to annoy, rather than with regard to the quality of the works offered. I’m not sure that’s the whole story (From what I can see, I think the list was composed to highlight works these fellows found worthy, and also, as a bonus, they thought they’d annoy some folks in the bargain). But again, even if the least charitable interpretation holds, see point one and point two. You may see this as a cynical, contemptuous of the awards and the people who vote for them, and just a real dick move. But even if it were, eh. Yet again: this is the hand the Hugos are dealt this year. Let’s go ahead and play it.
4. More to the point for me, even if we were to grant that a slate of nominees was engineered to get on the ballot for the purposes of annoying some voters, and to make some obtuse point about politics and the Hugos, why should anyone be obliged to play along by those assertions? To paraphrase a point I made yesterday on Twitter, how terrible it would be if someone elbowed their way onto the Hugo list to make a political point, and all that happened was that their nominated work was judged solely by its artistic merits.
If work was shunted onto the list to make a political point and without regard to its quality, and it is crap, you’re going to know it when you read that work, and you should judge it accordingly. And if a work was shunted onto the list to make a political point and without regard to the quality, and it’s pretty good, you’re going to know that too — and you should judge it accordingly. If you believe that these fellows pushed their way onto the list to make a political point, nothing will annoy them more than for their work to be considered fairly. It undermines their entire point.
It doesn’t mean you give a work an award, if you find it lacking. But you treat it fairly. And yes, it’s entirely possible that in this formulation, anything less than a win will be seen by them as evidence of politics. But again: Why would you accede to such assertions? If their works win, good for them. If they lose, that’s life. Speaking as a six-time Hugo loser, who once lost a Hugo by a single vote, let me just say that when you’re a grown-up, you learn to accept you don’t get everything you want.
5. Please also keep in mind that even if you believe that the list is a cynical exercise, there are people and work on that list who may be well worth consideration, who may or may not have even known they were part of (or would have consented to) being part of a cynical exercise. Consider that you would be doing them (and the Hugos) a disservice to dismiss them out of hand. I’ve seen rumblings of people suggesting they’ll put everyone on the Correia/Day slate below “no award” no matter what, but if you’re doing that, you’re making these fellows’ alleged point for them. Again: Why do that? It’s nearly as easy to read a work (or at least, read as far as can) and decide it’s just not for you. And if it is for you, well. Surprise!
6. On a strictly personal note, at least one of these fellows apparently wishes to assert that the reason they’re introducing politics into the mix here is because I did it before them, i.e., that this is somehow really my fault. Well, no. One, just because this dude doesn’t like me, it doesn’t make me responsible for his actions. That’s the sort of “he made me do it” logic you give up when you’re twelve. Two, I’ve certainly made people aware of my work, and given space on my site to let others do the same; I’m not aware of ever having said “here’s a slate of people you should nominate for this award, including me.” Totally legal and no reason not to, if you think it’s something you want to do. Not something I would want to do, or have done.
But if the suggestion is that I’ve been strategic about getting onto the Hugo ballot at times, well. It would be disingenuous of me to suggest I haven’t. I have, and certainly I know that’s annoyed people before. But, oh well — and no matter what at the end of the day what I was on the ballot for had to fact the other nominees in the category. Sometimes that work fared well, and I took home a Hugo. But I also have my share of fifth place finishes, too.
I think maybe this is why I’m less annoyed with the Correia/Day slate than others. If they’re on the ballot due to crafty strategy, well, good for them. A nice trick if you can manage it. But now they have to compete. I look who’s on the ballot with them, and this is what I have to say about that: Good luck, guys. You’re gonna need it.
7. Ultimately, here’s what I think about this year’s slate: It’s got some stuff on it I already know I like. It’s got some stuff on it that I already know I don’t like. And it’s got some stuff on it I haven’t read, so I’ll read it and decide what I think.
In other words; it’s a Hugo slate pretty much any Hugo slate in any year. I plan to treat it exactly like I treat any Hugo slate in any year. You might consider it, too.
Why are we sending so many women to prison?
The “evolution” behind Obama’s views on same-sex marriage.
Taking a critical eye to the leadership in LGBT organizations.
WTF of the week: many young girls think that sexual assault is the norm.
Dear political media: please be way less wrong about Hillary Clinton’s future grandchild.
Women are still underrepresented and underappreciated in the media start-up world, but they’re founding their own digital media companies.
New study shows that half of all teens behind bars in NYC have suffered a traumatic brain injury.
Adrianne Wadewitz, one of Wikipedia’s most prolific and influential editors, has died.
The secret anti-abortion law that’s sweeping America.
Navigating the public school system with a disabled child.
Today is the 15th anniversary of the Columbine shootings.
Beyond Benetton ads: what does “diversity” really mean at colleges?
The faces behind America’s food stamp program.
American University frat emails exposes rape culture.
San Francisco’s housing crisis, explained.
In Mongolia, introducing young women into the art of the eagle hunting tradition.
The 10th anniversary of Mean Girls.
Sia: the life behind our favorite pop songs.
A debate on Twitter has led the University of Michigan to increase black enrollment.
“They don’t care if we freeze”: how New York’s billionaires are destroying the affordable housing market.
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At intervals, I become obsessed, or maybe possessed, by a live performance. Usually it's music; the creak and throb and texture of the live voice not smoothed and perfected in the studio, the way sound becomes a tactile experience, the sway or stillness, the silence or shout of the people around you. When you get down to it, being part of an audience is a collective experience we don't most of us get on a regular basis, and it can heighten the immediacy of the performance itself. Then, too, we are seeing the performer unedited and in 3-D. Even if we don't get the close-ups of TV, we see or hear things we wouldn't in the physical effort of performance.
For years my ongoing performance obsessions have been two musicians: Australian country singer-songwriter Kasey Chambers, and "hardcore Americana" musician Tim Eriksen. You may gather, if you listen to them, that I have a thing for intense, stripped-raw vocals. When you see a musician perform over decades of your life, and still more when your relationship with the music and musician become deeper and more complex, music can raise the ghosts of your own past, of where and who and how you were other times you heard a song. I see ghosts, too, as well as rapturous dancing and virtuosic choreography during performances of the Mark Morris Dance Group.
Sometimes, though, a performance comes from nowhere to grab you, enchant you, tear your heart out. The mime show (no, really) I saw a couple years ago that shocked me by delighting me. And, recently, two performances a metaphorical world apart: the recent Broadway production of William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, and figure skater Jeremy Abbott performing in Stars on Ice.
Like I said, different.
Fox News contributor George Will on Sunday argued that the United States Supreme Court had inadvertently made President Barack Obama's health care reform law unconstitutional when the justices ruled that it was not unconstitutional.
In a 5-4 vote the Supreme Court decided in 2012 that the Affordable Care Act's individual insurance mandate fell within Congress' power to levy taxes.
Almost two years later, Will used this decision to bolster the idea that Republicans could run for office in the 2014 midterms on the platform of destroying the health care reform law.
"On May 8, here in the second-most important court in the land -- the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals -- there will be an argument that this is objectively a revenue measure," Will explained. "The Supreme Court said as much, a tax measure."
"It did not originate in the House. And under the standards of origination, the whole thing is unconstitutional," he added. "So this argument, again, is far from over."
The Atlantic's Jack Balkin pointed out in 2012 that past Supreme Court decisions had held up laws with tax amendments that had been added to bills by the Senate.
What none of that clade has ever answered is the question of why nearly all separatist utopian fantasies — e.g. those of Charnas, Tepper, LeGuin etc — begin built upon mountains of corpses. Nearly all of the systems that they have extolled (many of them vastly harsher to males than anything in Glory Season) seem to have derived from apocalyptic downfalls of a previous (presumably unjust and oppressive) civilization.
A rather boring week bracketed by great music. Last Sunday we had Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps at Rainbow's End's first house concert. And this weekend we're at Norwescon, with both concerts and filking (see notes)... and the high point was, definitely, Glenn proposing marriage to Naomi during the intermission. She said yes. Heather had ended her first set with "As I Am".
The second set was all about love and marriage. (Not both together, necessarily -- it included "The Devil and the Farmer's Wife".)
On the flip side, I continue to be arthritic and mildly depressed. The low point of the week was filing for an extension on my taxes. Which was a mistake -- I should have filed and then filed an amended return when I finally get all the deductions and business expenses together. It was, of course, horrendous: I sold a lot of stock to buy and renovate Rainbow's End.
I haven't been enjoying Norwescon all that much. Mostly hiding in a corner reading on my laptop. Grump. Grumpity grump. Oh, and the hotel's wifi is seriously overloaded, and the restaurant service is slow and barely competent. *sigh*
There are links in the notes, as usual. The perceptive reader may also notice an item at the end of the notes that will, hopefully, turn into a post sometime soon.( raw notes, with links )
Swancon being Western Australia’s premier science fiction convention, don’t you know. Yes, next year I will be in Perth, round about Easter-time. It’ll be fun! And if you’re in Australia, you should pop by. I mean, everything in Australia is close to everything else, right?
I made a video for Swancon to show when they announced my IGoHness. Here it is:
I stand by every word, especially the words about the Tim Tams.
Every year since Athena was an infant, this particular Easter bunny has shown up with a basket of treats for her. And look! The bunny’s back! Good to see some things don’t change.
A very happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it. And for those of you who don’t, have a wonderful day anyway.
something big to say about health care.
Actual Obamacare results are in. And in most cases they are exceeding expectations.
When asked if Democrats should campaign on Obamacare, President Obama said:
Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact that millions of people like the woman I just described who I saw in Pennsylvania yesterday we’re helping because of something we did. I don’t think we should apologize for it. I don’t think we should be defensive about it. I think there is a strong good right story to tell. I think what the other side is doing and what the other side is offering would strip away protections from those families and from hundreds of millions of people who had health insurance before the law was passed but never knew if the insurance company would drop them when they actually needed it or women who were getting charged more because they are a woman.Please read more about this strong stand below the fold.
Fox News broke the news Easter morning that the image of Jesus Christ had been found on a pancake, and even had a Catholic priest on hand to evaluate the breakfast food prior to a segment about the "War on Easter."
KABC on Friday reported that employees at a Southern California restaurant were making a "Mickey Mouse" pancake for a child customer when the "face of Jesus" appeared on the pancake.
"A pancake cooked up on Good Friday had an image of Jesus Christ," Fox & Friends host Wendell Goler told Father Jonathan Morris on Sunday.
"It looks like Forest Gump when he was running," co-host Ainsley Earhardt pointed out.
"Or John Lennon," co-host Clayton Morris added.
"Is it Jesus?" Goler laughed.
"Let's ask Father Jonathan Morris to weigh in on it," Morris said, turning to the Fox News contributor.
"I did not make that pancake, and I don't claim that is Jesus," Morris insisted. "For the record."
"Jesus is not a pancake!" Earhardt announced.
From this Friday's PBS Newshour, NYT's columnist and regular, David Brooks did his best to downplay the antigovernment 'Patriots' that gathered near the scene of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's dispute over cattle grazing rights.
It looks like Bobo and Dana Milbank were reading the exact same set of talking points, with both of them claiming that this protest in no way is representative of a rebirth of the militia movement. Brooks wants us to believe these people only engaged in "pseudo-militia activity" and that they're "otherwise politically un-ideological." I would beg to differ.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, David, is this something — I mean, does this man have a legitimate grievance against the federal government?
DAVID BROOKS: Not the way he’s doing it.
I mean, he’s self-discrediting, the way he’s doing it. You know, you go out West and you hear grievous against the BLM constantly. There’s — and I think there’s probably a lot of frustration with working with the BLM. But it comes in waves. And I would not say we’re at a high wave.
Award T F M F/T Legend Award 5 5 0 Morningstar Award 5 5 0 Ravenheart Award 5 5 0 Total 15 15 0
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and young, black Jacob Philadelphia touching Barack Obama's close-cropped black hair said it for me. As Jonathan Capeheart wrote in Photo speaks volumes about Obama and race:
A black man allowing his head to be touched by a stranger. But not just any stranger. A child seeking a familiar link between himself and the black man, who also happens to be the leader of the free world.I'm already worn out from the relentless racial obduracy of Jonathan Chait, last seen defending himself again on the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC after his back-and-forth with Ta-Nehisi Coates—who scored point, game match against Chait.
The rabid racist right-wing in this country already knows that "their" White House has been violated by blackness. The birthers and their ilk still spew venom (see Rand Paul's new pollster). Klan-fueled, white supremacist haters murdered people at a Jewish Center, slayed Sikhs and plot to kill the president. This is familiar news.
That's why the timing of Cillizza's piece is curious.
Could it have anything to do with the recent activities of President Obama and upcoming elections?
Follow me below the fold for more.
Frankly Curious: Those who pay no income tax aren't so "lucky".
Fair and Unbalanced: Monsters seldom realize they're monsters, and often, neither do we.
Sarah Jones: The readers at fringe-right sites aren't quite what they say, but they're what you'd expect.
Earth-Bound Misfit: Remember real history, not worthless thugs.
Blog round-up by Infidel753. Tips to mbru [at] crooksandliars [dot] com.
Last week notorious “witch-hunter” Helen Ukpabio, known as Lady Apostle, arrived in London to hold a 3 day revival meeting called a ”Season for Disconnections From All Spiritual Attack.” Ukpabio’s message is made very clear in a widely circulated poster that asks “Are you under Witchcraft attack? Mermaid Attack? Ancestral Spirit Attack?” It adds: “Come and be disconnected” a service that is “free of charge.”
Ukpabio is the founder of Nigeria’s Liberty Foundation Gospel Ministries which claims to have more than 150 churches in that country alone. Allegedly Ukpabio is looking to open one in the UK to serve its large African-born population. More specifically she is targeting its large Nigerian-born population which has grown over 110% since 2001.
Unfortunately for Ukpabio, the UK did not welcome her with open arms. When the event was announced, there was immediate backlash. The planned venue, Albany World Music Theater, canceled her booking due to its content. In a statement, the Albany said:
We only cancel bookings in very exceptional circumstances. In this instance we were not given full information about the nature of the booking by the booker, which is at odds with our terms and conditions and ethical policies as an organisation. As soon as we became aware of the full details of the booking, it was canceled and the booker was issued with a full refund.
The Witchcraft Human Rights and Information Network (WHRIN), The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales and the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) all reportedly contacted Home Secretary Theresa May and requested that Ukpabio be deported and permanently banned from the UK. Why? Gary Foxcroft, Executive Director of WHRIN explains:
We believe that her presence in the UK is pursuant to section 3(5) of the Immigration Act 1971 on the basis that her presence here is not conducive to the public good and request that she is immediately deported and has her UK visa revoked. There have been numerous cases of children in the UK being tortured and sometimes killed due to the beliefs that Helen Ukpabio espouses … We cannot afford to wait for another such case before the Government takes action to put a stop to such preachers.
For many Ukpabio is the one performing the “spiritual attacks” rather than saving anyone from them. In March, WHRIN released its “2013 Global Report” to the U.N.’s Human Rights Council on faith-based, witchcraft-related violence. During that year Ukpabio’s home country of Nigeria along with South Africa had the highest number of reported acts on the African continent. Unfortunately the statistics are flawed because there is “considerable under reporting, particularly when children are accused.” WHRIN explains:
These figures are inconsistent with the experience of organisations providing support to child victims in these settings. It may be that such accusations have become so common they cease to attract attention. It is also possible that previous unwelcome international media coverage discourages local or national reporting.
This past week’s events in London certainly did stir the international media. Despite all that attention and outrage, Ukpabio successfully held her meeting in an small, undisclosed venue. A group from IHEU discovered that location and managed to stage a small protest. In an interview with Channel 4 London, IHEU’s Bob Churchill called Ukpabio’s work a crime because it “incites people to abuse.” The TV station sponsored a short but comprehensive report on the subject:
Ukpabio has since left the UK. However many are hoping that the government will permanently ban her from the country. Foxcroft says:
The issue of children being abused due witchcraft accusations in the UK has been recognised by the Government who established a National Working group to tackle the problem. However, as yet, there have been no successful convictions of pastors whose preachings are known to lead to child abuse and there is no law in place to stop such harmful practices.
London’s Metro Police operates a special task force called Project Violet to interface with local communities and organizations specifically working to prevent abuse. Additionally the national government has created an “action plan to tackle child abuse linked to faith or belief.” It states:
This action plan is intended to help raise awareness of the issue of child abuse linked to faith or belief and to encourage practical steps to be taken to prevent such abuse … The beliefs which are the focus of this action plan are not confined to one faith, nationality or ethnic community. Examples have been recorded worldwide among Europeans, Africans, Asians and elsewhere as well as in Christian, Muslim, Hindu and pagan faiths among others. Not all those who believe in witchcraft or spirit possession harm children.
Within the UK there are also a number of charitable organizations, like Afruca, who work to raise awareness within African immigrant communities as well as in Nigeria itself. Afruca has offices in both London and Lagos, where it operates the Foundation for the Protection of the Rights of the Vulnerable Children. When Ukpabio left the country, Afruca tweeted:
‘Self confessed witch-hunter Helen Ukpabio has now left the UK. Good step, right direction. @afruca
— AFRUCA (@afruca) April 17, 2014
It is the right direction for the UK and does send a message to the international community. However the problem in Nigeria persists. Within the borders of her home country, Ukpabio is not only a respected minister but also a celebrity, a musician and a filmmaker. Her film production company, Liberty Films, is a household-name and a force in Nigeria’s film community Nollywood. Like her books and broadcast sermons, Ukpabio’s films are a delivery method for the anti-witchcraft message.
In a 2010 New York Times interview she defended her films saying, “It is only because I am African that people who understand that J. K. Rowling writes fiction would take literally Ms. Ukpabio’s filmic depictions of possessed children, gathering by moonlight to devour human flesh.” In another 2012 interview with Nigerian Yes! International Magazine, Ukpabio blames atheists for the continued backlash saying, “I marvel at the way people can easily use their demonic wisdom to kill, murder and slander another person.” When asked why she has so many enemies she says:
I think [they fight me] because I preach the truth. Because I don’t compromise … So, people want to see me fall, people want to see me compromise … and I’ve refused.
Yes! International Magazine and other similar Nigerian pop media give Ukpabio a positive public voice in a country where she has millions of followers. However they do not speak for the entire country. The recent buzz on social media, blogs and in the Nigerian general media demonstrates that Ukpabio faces strong opposition among her own people. Here is a tweet from a mother and business woman residing in Lagos,
You won’t believe the damage Helen Ukpabio has done to so many homes in the name of declaring children as witches. Smh. — Uyai E (@yoowai) April 19, 2014
In addition there is a growing Nigerian child rights movement supported in part by international organizations such as UNICEF and Stepping Stones Nigeria. Ukpabio’s followers were caught on tape disrupting a meeting held by one these organizations.
As the fight for Africa’s children continues, the global community appears to be closely monitoring Ukpabio and other Pentecostal ministers like her. In 2008 Mags Gavan and Joost van der Valk released the documentary Saving Africa’s Witch Children which focuses on the dangers in Ukpabio’s ministry. The film was broadcast internationally over several years. In the U.S. it appeared on HBO in 2010 while Ukpabio happen to be in the States. When she tried to return in 2012 the U.S. refused to grant her a VISA.
UNICEF Nigeria has posted a series called Radio by children accused of being witches which catalogs the experiences of the child victims in their own words. As we reported Wednesday, South Africa Pagan Rights Alliance is now holding its yearly 30 Days of Advocacy campaign to raise awareness in its own country – another hard hit by these witch accusations. The list goes on.
While the world grapples with this wide-spread problem, it raises many questions concerning religious freedom and more. Where does religious practice end and child abuse begin? Who gets to draw that line? Even if Ukpabio and others like her are stopped, there are still millions who have been raised with this very real cultural fear of witchcraft as defined by those teachings. Where and how does the process of effective education start in order to prevent future abuse by new ministers who could easily step into Ukpabio shoes?