No pinkwashing to see here. Just the solidarity of the left.
Mariela Castro, the daughter of a certain Communist dictator named Raul, will arrive in Philly pick up an award from a gay anti-bullying group. Raul Castro’s daughter has been the public face of his recent attempt to realign with the left on the gay rights issue. It’s more than enough for most lefties who chose to ignore the Castro’s regime persecutions of homosexuals.
Despite Mariela’s outward show of gay rights solidarity , Cuba still has plenty of gay prisoners and is still persecuting homosexuals.
An outfit (Equality Forum) headed by Malcolm Lazin and dedicated to criminalizing “anti-gay bullying” (in the U.S.) and ferociously dedicated to prosecuting such “bullyers” to the fullest extent of (U.S.) law and sending them to jails cells (in the U.S.)–this SAME outfit is honoring an active and high-ranking apparatchik of the only regime in the history of the Western Hemisphere to herd thousands of men and boys at Soviet gun-point into forced labor camps surrounded by barbed wire and machine gun posts for the crime of fluttering their eyelashes, flapping their hands and talking with a lisp. Any attempted escape and these gays–and suspected gays–were thrown into KGB-designed torture-chambers.
You can see a lot of overlap here. I bet Lazin would love to put a lot of people into forced labor camps surrounded by barbed wire. Last year James Kirchik took down Cuba’s phony pinkwashing…
The Castro brothers are wise enough to read international political currents; revolutionary machismo isn’t in vogue like it was in the 1960s. They know that a sure way to warm the hearts of progressives is to pledge support for some nebulous concept of “gay rights.” Never mind Cuban gays — like all citizens of Cuba save high-ranking members of the Communist Party — do not enjoy basic liberties like freedom of speech or religion. They cannot join an independent labor union or vote. When it comes to gay life in Cuba, “Not much has changed since Reinaldo Arenas’ time.”
That assessment doesn’t come from “terrorist groups based in Miami” or the “mediocre yellow press,” as Castro recently described her critics in a radio interview. It comes from In These Times, a left-wing American magazine that publishes the likes of Noam Chomsky. Three years ago, it ran a special feature on Cuba, including an in-depth report about homosexuality.
Government harassment of gays is routine, the magazine reported, and while gays may no longer be herded into concentration camps and worked to death, they are still arrested by police simply for their sexual orientation. “Gays are routinely picked up en masse on the streets, beaten, jailed indefinitely,” Herb Sosa of the Miami-based, Hispanic LGBT organization Unity Coalition told In These Times.
In a November 2010 vote at the United Nations, Cuba was the only Latin American country to support the removal of “sexual orientation” from a list, alongside religion, ethnicity and race, of prejudicial motives for murder. When the clause was reinserted after an international outcry and the measure returned for a vote, Cuba abstained.
Here we have a genuine case of “pinkwashing,” a term that some gay activists have applied to Israel, alleging, as one of them did recently in The New York Times, that the Jewish state employs a “deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life.”
Mouthing a few nice things to say about gay people — while the regime she represents and defends continues to oppress them — Castro whitewashes the reality of Cuba.
But the left never cared much about human rights in Cuba, either for Afro-Cubans, homosexuals or any other group, or for all Cubans in general. Likewise they did not care about human rights in the USSR or Communist China. When those regimes embarrassed them too much, they put on a show of reform.
That is all this is.
The entire charade is another reminder that organized gay rights groups only exist as part of the political infrastructure of the left. Just as NOW makes feminism secondary to liberal causes and the ADL makes Jewish issues secondary to liberal causes, gay rights groups do the same thing. The real pinkwashing is the secret truth that they are front groups whose purpose is a left wing agenda first and their specific front issue last.