More KONY Controversy

Posted: March 8, 2012 in Current Events

From the perspective of an African aid organization, Project DIaspora, here is one more critical article about Invisible Children.  Frankly, I’ve read it twice and I’m having trouble understanding his point.  It seems to revolve around the fact that he feels that westerners have highjacked issues which should, by rights, remain African.  His argument seems to be that westerners should regard African problems as belonging to Africans, and stop interfering.

I am coherent enough to realize when someone is trying to genuinely do good. At the surface, there’s nothing wrong with that. There is something wrong with assuming that the people who you are trying to help 1) need help, 2) want your help, or 3) can’t help themselves. IC and this video assumes all the above…”

Quoting such statistics as the fact that three times as many children have died in traffic accidents in Uganda has have died in in Kony’s raids does not really impress me, as I’m sure it does not impress you.  To claim that deaths from malaria and living conditions are a major problem and should be a greater priority should not demean the efforts made by an organization to seek justice from a true monster.  Frankly, I find it a bit bizarre.  It’s saying, “we don’t need your help and if you try to help you’re just being self serving.”  Are they suggesting that we end foreign aid and charity donations to Africa?  Should we feel guilty about sponsoring a child?  Perhaps the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation should pack up its Africa projects and invest in America?  The article clearly suggests that celebrities like Bono and Geldoff should mind their own business.  No good deed goes unpunished, especially if you are successful enough to do some real good.

I’m going to assume that the opinion represented in this article is not the predominant one.  If it were it would require a serious re-evaluation of foreign aid.  I guess we in the west are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  Ignore the plight of third world country and we’re self-absorbed.  Try to help and we’re self-absorbed.


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