Stoplisted Speaker: Special Interests “Conspired”

September 30, 2015

screencapture-ayo kimathi [Updated] A video which appears to have been posted online by Ayo Kimathi claims that “special interest groups, particularly the promosexuals and homosexuals have conspired” resulting in him being “banned from a black country.”

Following his speech in Bermuda, Minister of Home Affairs Michael Fahy said the comments by Mr. Kimathi about homosexuality and interracial partnerships were “entirely offensive and propagate hatred,” and he has been added to the Bermuda stop list effective immediately.

Minister Fahy also said that Mr Kimathi “undertook the selling of promotional materials at the event which was outside of the scope of the permission relating to his visit to Bermuda.”

The video was posted with a description that said, “Apparently speaking on behalf of preserving traditional Black families and protecting Black children from sexual abuse is enough to get a Black man banned from a Black country nowadays.

“Recently, Irritated Genie, in conjunction with Professor James Small, spoke to hundreds of people at the Liberty Theatre in Bermuda. The audience loved both lectures. The audience response was overwhelming and the Bermudian Brothers and Sisters adopted Baba Small and Irritated Genie as family.

He claimed the “special interest groups, particularly the promosexuals and homosexuals, have conspired” and ”have put so much pressure on the politicians on the island, that Irritated Genie has been banned from the country…”

The video contains part of the lecture Mr Kimathi gave in Bermuda, in which he gives his view on various matters including homosexuality, interracial dating, and feminism, which he said is a “code word for lesbianism.”

At one point an audience member shouts out saying “everything you just said is happening right now in Bermuda. They have a meeting for homosexuals…for same sex marriages,” and Mr Kimathi replied, “It’s why I am here.”

The video also contains snippets of footage of an anti-gay rally in the Caribbean; comments from Gambian President Yahya Jammeh in which he is questioned about the death penalty, says he has “never seen gay frogs” and he will “never accept homosexuality in the Gambia”; as well as footage of Monday’s speech by Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe to the UN Assembly in which he said “we are not gays.”

The footage of President Jammeh appears to have been played at the lecture, while other footage has clearly been edited into the video afterwards, as President Mugabe’s speech to the UN occurred after the lecture in Bermuda.

The speaker previously made headlines in the U.S. for the views expressed on his website — which BET described as “bashed President Obama, gay people, whites and people of mixed race” – with reports noting he worked for the U.S. Government’s Department of Homeland Security.  In 2013, it was reported that he was no longer on the federal payroll.

The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda responded to the speech, saying they “strongly condemn the hate speech promoted by Ayo Kimathi.”

The group said, “Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been cited as a human rights abuser by Amnesty International, amongst other human rights organisations. Allegedly playing a video of this man suggesting that members of the LGBTQ community should be subject to the death penalty is equivalent to inciting violence within Bermuda’s community. President Jammeh is not an example of the kind of leadership Bermuda needs, and his model of violent homophobia does not deserve applause.

“Mr. Kimathi’s suggestions that homosexuality is a ‘white sex’ crime introduced to Africa by European colonizers is historically inaccurate. There is documentation of normalized homosexuality in Congo, Madagasgar, Ethiopia, Pangwe [present-day Cameroon and Gabon], Ghana, Sudan, South Africa, Egypt, Benin, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, amongst other countries. What the European colonizers did import to Africa is homophobia and hateful attitudes towards natural sexual orientations.

“The Rainbow Alliance of Bermuda has gathered a variety of information on the topic of homosexuality in pre-colonial Africa and will list articles and books for further reading for anyone interested on their website.”

Minister of Community, Culture and Sport Patricia Gordon Pamplin also addressed it, saying: “Freedom of speech is the engine of our democratic society.

“The freedom to express one’s views without fear of retribution helps to broaden our understanding of each other and to decide issues in terms of achieving the greatest good for the greatest number.

“But freedom of speech comes with responsibilities. It does not give people license to incite violence toward others, nor does it make the spreading of hatred and intolerance acceptable.”

Update 4.32pm: An online petition has been started asking for Mr Kimathi to be removed from the “Bermuda Blacklist.”

The petition states, “Bermuda as a whole can decide whether Mr Kimathi is welcome again in Bermuda. His opinions no matter how they are said, should not be used as a political foothold to silence the voices of people in Bermuda.”

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