The Observer’s Barbara Ellen offered a different point of view on the BBC’s ‘Should homosexuals face execution?’ / Uganda talkboard controversy over the weekend, arguing “not only was the BBC absolutely right to highlight this debate, it would have been ethically wrong for it not to”. An extract:
barbara ellen, BBC, Liliane Landor, Uganda
(…) Just as wearying were the well-meaning, liberal hand-twisters, squealing about how the BBC debate was “sick”, “unnecessary” and how upset they were. Liliane Landor, acting head of the Africa region for the World Service, responded that a stark approach was required to reflect the stark reality of the bill and she was right.
However jarring these debates are, they need to happen, in the case of gay Africans, as loudly as possible, for they have no voice.
People seem worried that even airing ugly ideas lends them legitimacy but, happily, the BNP’s Nick Griffin proved otherwise on Question Time. So yes, an unpleasant question, but perhaps we should be on our guard that squeamishness does not become a western luxury that others, less fortunate, end up paying for.