“Have you ever heard of the Kansas City shuffle?”
That is the question that Mr Goodkat asks the man whose neck he is about to snap in the film, “Lucky number Slevin”.
“A Kansas City shuffle is when everybody looks right, you go left”
Replace Kansas city with Nigeria and suddenly a fictional movie starts to hold some truth. I think the problem in Nigeria is that we’re too easily distracted by shiny, easily digestible things at the expense of the bigger, more relevant issues at hand. We want problems that we can easily tackle just so that we can celebrate the fact that we have tackled something. For example, the passing of the anti-gay bill.
This is not to say that there are not other homophobic countries out there. I mean the Russian government is quite clearly homophobic and they’re considered world leaders. I won’t even argue in favour or against things like gay marriage because, at the end of the day, it really depends on the collective beliefs and religious ideals of said country. I just never really knew that the whole gay thing was ever a problem in Nigeria in the first place.
In my 22 years of living in Lagos, I can honestly say that I have never seen a same-sex couple engage in any public display of affection. I could probably count on one hand the number of Nigerians who would openly admit that they were gay in the first place due to the homophobic stigma that seems to flourish on this side of the equator. As I was growing up, I don’t remember ever asking myself if I was pro or anti gay rights because such things were simply not relevant to me. I’d never met an openly gay person before so they weren’t really on my mind. The reality of it all is that regardless of whether or not our government decided to pass this new anti-gay bill, you would never see two men making out in Abuja or a gay pride parade taking over Lagos.
For me, it’s more a case of a Kansas City Shuffle. We’re letting them drive us into a frenzy about a problem that really isn’t a problem, eagerly looking to the right as a slew of corrupt criminals make a beeline to the left.
If we’re not careful, eventually they’ll snap our necks.