Poverty and AfricaSaturday, March 4, 2006
I’m going to be brutally honest, today. I’ll begin by saying the situation in Africa sucks. The world has, for the most part, ignored the entire continent. Well, except maybe for South Africa. I hear they have diamonds…
I wish we could do a better job -not just as a nation, but as a world- to help the people in Africa. Sure, there are some great people visiting Africa and helping out. I know people who’ve gone on mission trips. I know people who’ve supported entire businesses through groups like Kiva. There are a bunch of people doing a bunch of good. The problem is, Africa needs more than a bunch.
Sure, events like Live 8 are nice, but essentially useless. People like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are hardly doing anything. All these things do is put celebrities in the spotlight. Awareness slightly increases but, in the end, the media focuses on the celebrity rather than the cause.
I’m not trying to discount the fact that these people are helping and doing what they can. My only problem is that they’re really not enough help to make the necessary change. Searching around a bit shows that the government probably spends a billion dollars a day on our military. It could be a bit more, or even a bit less. It doesn’t matter. When you search for ‘bush africa aid’ online you find contributions from the Bush Administration to be something like $___ million. In total, the programs may add to up a billion or more, but we’re spending that much every day on the military.
Africa has obviously been ‘marketing’ itself the wrong way to the wrong people and the wrong emotional appeals. Africa tries to play the guilt card: don’t ignore us, you’re better than that. Africa appeals to principle: it’s the right thing to do. Obviously we’re not interested in hearing this so we ignore it. We need to turn it around into a values appeal. We need to do it because we want to. But we don’t. So we need to do it because we have to (fix a personal problem).
So, to be frank: a terrorist group needs to emerge from Africa. Please bear with me. Nothing seems to get through to this country unless it attacks our “freedom”. Side note: a recent poll found Americans can name more judges on American Idol than rights given to us by the Constitution. Perhaps I should rephrase: nothing seems to get through to this country unless it attacks our pride. If anything is to be done it needs a lot of attention. In order to draw attention it apparently needs to be something the military can solve.
History supports this notion.
We went to Afghanistan didn’t we? Couldn’t pre-9/11 Afghanistan be compared to Africa? We had no true interests there. Nothing was really a threat. We had no business to be there. We all saw how quickly that changed. What about Iraq? Africa seems like the place that really needs “democracy” and “rebuilding” the most. Hell, there’s nothing really to “rebuild”, it’s just plain “building”. Something as simple as bringing in plows would do them a world of good. On top of that, I bet there’d be little-to-no resistance…
So, is there a way to equate terror with countries lacking food and water? In other words, can we convince the nation-nay, the world-that starving countries want to crash busses into financial districts becuase they have no water? If so, problem solved. People take one look and say “I’ve got an idea, help them grow food so they’ll leave us alone”. Brilliant. I submit the most effective way to get someone like President Bush’s attention is through terror. The world looks to us. If we start, everyone else will follow.
I’m so glad the answer is this simple…
[tags]africa, aid, support, poverty, military, terror[/tags]