What You Advocate For Is Both Personal And Public

What You Advocate For Is Both Personal And Public

Ever since Bisi Alimi posted his “response” to all the outrage caused by his Facebook post, I’ve been getting stormed by people who want to know what I have to say. I hadn’t read this response, and I said as much, telling those inquisitors that I was done with the whole matter.

But someone, a friend, was on my case yesterday morning, and I decided to get it out of the way. He supplied the link and I read, and here’s what I have to say.

Everybody believes what they believe from a personal place: whether it’s about how what you believe affects you or those who you care about. Everybody’s politics is rooted in his/her personal relationship with the issue and how it impacts his life or his environment. For anyone to really be consistent and passionate about advocating for social change, you must first have an intimate, personal understanding of the issue.

I don’t dispute that.

But …

When one lifts his politics from that personal space to a public arena, it ceases to be just about him. Turning your politics into a voice that loudly and publicly advocates for change brings with it a responsibility for one to be more sensitive of those whose struggles he’s highlighting. You don’t have to tailor your advocacy according to the expectations of these people. You don’t have to do things the way you perceive them wanting you to do it. You don’t have to answer to anyone: you can only let your heart guide you.

But you do have to be considerate of the community your voice represents. Because when you start speaking out, when you start challenging the system, the world doesn’t just look at you; it looks at the people affected by the status quo you’re trying to shake loose.

It’s the same thing with a privately-owned company and a public industry: the similarity is that one man started them, the difference is who the man answers to.

The post I made reacted to the entirety of Bisi Alimi’s update. The entire thing was unpleasant, insensitive, inconsiderate, callous and not at all the words of a man who wants people to understand that “to be able to give Bisi Alimi, I have to make sure Bisi Alimi understands that to be an effective advocate, his politics have to be personal.”

Perhaps next time, when this antagonist Bisi Alimi speaks of riles him, he shouldn’t come to such a public space as his timeline to say that “I am not doing what I am doing for you. I am doing it for me. If you benefit from it, then good luck to you.” (How he can say that about a people whose situation he makes a living off of is still beyond my comprehension.)

Perhaps next time an average LGBT individual comes on such a post to ask for clarification on what he is saying, he shouldn’t condescend so callously to such a person and dismiss him as someone who is not worthy of his attention.

Perhaps next time, he should think carefully about what he has to say and give voice to it in a way that addresses a specific wrong instead of dismissing an entire community of people.

Your politics is both personal and public. Telling yourself otherwise is just you looking for a rationalization for bad behaviour.

Written by Pink Panther

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4 Comments

  1. Mandy
    September 22, 06:52 Reply

    Bisi Alimi, just like Bobrisky, really needs to employ a media team, whose job it’ll be to advise him on packaging. He can say whatever he wants to say about his activism being personal. But that post he made is simply damning and unexplainable. He was a jackass, period! And if he had any sense, he would stop with this ego trip and just apologize for what he said. This piece he wrote was in fact supposed to lead with an apology. If not to the community, then to that Seun guy.
    That is the way things are done in civilized societies. And considering that he lives in one, it just goes to show that you can take the Nigerian out of Mushin, but you can’t take the Nigerian out of him, wherever you put him in the abroad.

  2. Ekun
    September 22, 07:38 Reply

    “perhaps next time he should think carefully about what he has to say and give voice to it in a way that addresses a specific wrong instead of dismissing an entire community of people.” says it all for me.
    The guy on his case self, was a jackass, but instead of making a video, he should have told the person off, he should expect that when he is in the public view, everyone has an opinion of everything one does, but how 1 choose to respond to it is important, because it’s your own own statement that would be remembered not the nuisance bugging you.

  3. Rex
    September 22, 22:57 Reply

    Thanks KD, respect ✊.

  4. Sleek Creamy
    September 24, 16:29 Reply

    Have u guys ever noticed that the Bisi of a guy is a retarded fool,now if u have never noticed it, let me bring it to ur notice, sometimes listen to the way he talks….
    So please my pretty and beautiful people, please let just ignore him and vest our time to a new and refreshing gist coming our way…… 💅💄👗👛👓👠👙.

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