Monday, September 9, 2013

Kiva, Strathmore, Opus Dei: Mr. Ndehi, Kenyan Opus Dei High School Grad, Keeps on Keeping On with the Homophobic Slurs

As you all can see from the preceding screenshot, the exchange with the Kenyan Opus Dei high school graduate, Njonjo Ndehi, about Kiva's decision to partner with the Opus Dei university, Strathmore, has continued on Bilgrimage over the weekend. Ndehi posted the following at Bilgrimage on Friday:

You homos and abortionists are rapidly becoming extinct, e.g. google for 43% of Kenyan gays have HIV vs 0.8% of Kenyan Somalis. Very few homos see 40. Liberals have never outnumbered conservatives over the long term. That's why France will be an Islamic state by 2030. You think you're clever but you're rapidly becoming extinct. Unlike you liberals who promote perversion 24/7, I'd rather spend my time nagging my government to guarantee a low-paying job to whoever wants one.

My response above is a response to the preceding posting (which he's making to a homo who happens to be 63 years old, though "very few homos see 40" in Ndehi fantasyland). And as you can see, he replied to my warning that he refrain from using this blog site to sling around hate speech by stating, 

Ok faggot.

At one level, why bother with such embarrassing (for Mr. Ndehi, not for me) juvenile tripe, which would be more understandable coming from the mouth of a pre-adolescent, instead of a married man with a child? By highlighting his adolescent taunts, I'm only giving him publicity.

But I'm also giving publicity to what seriously deserves attention in the Kiva-Strathmore-Opus Dei story: this is Kiva's choice to get into bed with an abysmally homophobic and misogynistic Catholic organization, Opus Dei. So every new adolescent slur out of Mr. Ndehi's mouth about faggots and homos and submissive chics and t and a and how to train your woman serves only further to document the claim those of us calling on Kiva to reconsider its partnership with Opus Dei via Strathmore have been making all along: look at what you've gotten yourself into bed with, Kiva!

Is Njonjo Ndehi, a graduate of an Opus Dei high school, "by far the best high school in the world," really the brand you want to give to your charitable non-profit? In his open letter to the Kiva community about Kiva's choice to partner with Opus Dei via Strathmore, Kiva CEO Matt Flannery notes that homophobia is commonplace in Africa.

And that's true. So it follows that, by partnering with Opus Dei and the likes of Mr. Ndehi, Kiva is effectively dealing with that commonplace homophobia and its root, misogyny, in Africa?!

I somehow don't think so. Not when Kiva might have chosen to partner with organizations connected to, say, Rev. Kapya Kaoma or Bishop Desmond Tutu. Instead, they went with Opus Dei, where the money and power lie, and with Njonjo Ndehi, whose adolescent mouth just can't stop running on about faggots and women who need to be trained to serve their men.

This is lamentable for Kiva's sake, isn't? Friends of mine who still follow the conversation at Kiva's GLBT discussion board tell me the board continues to become a shell of its former vibrant self, and that loans by the GLBT team to Kiva are not merely down, but far down now, following Kiva's choice to partner with Opus Dei through Strathmore. I now hear by email on an ongoing basis from folks who tell me they know people who formerly supported Kiva and who will now not ever consider making another Kiva loan, after Kiva made its Strathmore choice.

Just this weekend, an esteemed reader of Bilgrimage, Bronxirishcatholic, left the following comment here: 

Susan G. Komen foundation has not recovered from its dance with the American right wing. Kiva may well follow that trend. My wife's organization, with gay people prominent in leadership, has funded a number of Kiva projects. I can't see them continuing.

Kiva's leaders clearly don't intend to admit it, but Kiva is in serious trouble due to its choice to get into bed with Opus Dei. It appears the strategy of Kiva's leaders right now is to do the usual dysfunctional (and dishonest) song and dance of any integrity-challenged corporate leaders, when challenged to be transparent in a situation in which their behavior is clearly stinky: this is to pretend that there's nothing to talk about, just a bunch of lunatics flapping their gums, who will soon dissipate and let us get back to business as usual.

But business as usual now means, for Kiva, a brand that has become tainted by the Opus Dei partnership, an image that is being tarnished by that partnership. And the longer the graduate of the Opus Dei high school in Kenya that is "by far the best high school in the world" continues to open his mouth here and elsewhere, the more serious the tainting and tarnishing of Kiva's brand become.

Please note, too, the good new resource that Tony Adams has created recently for this discussion: a blog called Kiva/Strathmore/Opus Dei.

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