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September 27, 2009
Bono: Africa's best spokesperson?
If you're an African, you're probably not all that comfortable with a Euro-pop celebrity speaking on your continent's behalf. At least that's how Max Bankole Jarret feels.
From Reuters in the Vancouver Sun:
It is perhaps no surprise to some readers that the elite media's favorite pop star, Bono -- the multimillionaire anti-poverty crusader -- is always trying to "fix" the continent with Eurocentric leftwing solutions. Surprising, though, is his lack of self-awareness.
Think. Is Bono Africa's best spokesperson? Outside the offices of the white-majority New York Times, I mean. In addition to unwisely praising Al Gore - who wants to turn Africa into a wildlife sanctuary - the clueless European pop star also worships failure, for some unfathomable reason.
From Peter van Onselen of The Australian:
Like Peter van Onselen, I support empowering Africa (and all continents) through democracies as opposed to sitting by and aiding unaccountable thugs. Besides, what's the alternative? More undemocratic non-representative rulers fuelled by unaccountable dollars, to impose their will on Africa's majority? Yes? No? Maybe?
Some simply say that democracy is a western concept. My typical response: What? Or: Huh? There are many forms of democracy. Besides, what works more effectively is what matters most. Eco-Socialism is also a western concept, but I never hear about that for some suspiciously political reason.
For the record, though, many democracies are built on Judeo-Christian principles, and the Bible, of course, stems from multiracial, multilingual and cross-generational contexts, stretching from Africa to Europe. Heavens, Moses married an African. Pop stars are married to ignorance.
Thomas Lifson adds:
L.E. Ikenga has addressed the question of western leftist ideologies in Africa in her important essay, Obama, the African Colonial, as well as on other AT articles.
There is a growing body of literature on the futility and corruption of western aid in Africa. One of the best, most vivid and compelling books on the subject is Tropical Gangsters, by Robert Klitgaard.
Update from Cliff Thier:
But, it's nothing to do with "helping Africa." Or helping Africans. If it was then programs would be evaluated by measuring results. Programs that were failing to achieve their goals would be redesigned or ended.
What it is about is feeling good about oneself. Assuaging guilt for spending $30 or $40 or $80 dollars a head for dinner. Being one of the "good people."
Going to concerts with like-minded compassionate people. Holding hands. Singing songs. Tut-tutting the lack of American empathy for the poor. Especially the poor with dark skins. What's could make a person feel better than that?
If these good people really gave a malnourished Ethiopian rat's ass about the people in Africa they'd be screaming in President Obama's ear that it's time to tell the Sudanese Arab/Muslim government to stop slaughtering Black Africans by the tens and hundreds of thousands-or else we send cruise missiles flying at Sudanese military bases.
But helping other people isn't at all what this debate and these politics are about. It's about smug, self-centered, ego-driven neurotics and their needs.