Aside from America’s liking to political trends that a month later are completely forgotten, do you believe a better way of bringing to light the atrocities that happen daily in Africa, let alone those by the hand & direction of Joseph Kony? Despite the proponents & naysayers of the IC movement bad press is still press which leads to interest which leads to education (hopefully) & then to change. Awareness alone is not enough; what do you propose as the next step? I’d like to know what you think
I wish I had a solid answer for you, I really wish I did but I don’t. I just lack knowledge in this area and although I’m doing research and trying to find out more, there’s still soooo much more that I don’t know.
The awareness is good. People are not upset about the awareness itself but rather the source of the awareness and why the situation is just now receiving attention. I’m sure you’re familiar with the concerns of Invisible Children Inc.’s “white savior” approach. That’s just one of the many problems. Apparently they’re a scam too.
I don’t even know where to begin but I’ll use an analogy that might make sense of this all. Think of it this way: If I cut someone and leave them to bleed then they’re going to suffer in their bleeding right? If I then decide to suddenly feel bad and return to the person, offering them a band-aid to help, that solution is only temporary and it’s ironic since I am the one who caused them harm in the first place. I also have the privilege to leave when I want to. If I get sick of their depressing disposition or overwhelmed by the guilt of what I’ve done, I can simply leave. Abandon them and return to my comfortable existence. I am not the one bleeding, I am in totally good health. So it only affects me as far as I’ll allow it to affect me. By providing a band-aid, I’m making the situation worse because I’m not actually trying to heal the wound but I’m simply covering it up to appease my guilt. This analogy can be applied to all foreign aid in reference to Africa.
The problems that exist in Africa are rooted in colonialism. Outside influences came upon our land, cut us apart, created these problems and bounced. Now years later, the ancestors of these people who cut us are trying to hand out band-aids that do nothing. They can leave when they want to. The people suffering are not their families. Africa is not their home. Their mission trips and “movements” are of convenience to them. They try to go into our nations and dictate how things work. They’re trying to solve problems that they’re ironically enabling.
It’s not about the awareness, it’s much more than that. Joseph Kony is only the tip of the iceberg but no one wants to address the real issues… shouting “Stop Kony” is easier than calling the United States or European nations out on their bullshit. Africans need to help Africans. We have to find a way to unite and solve our own issues. Only we can relate to the pain, only we know the full extent of these atrocities that are being committed in our backyards. We need to stop relying on the help of other nations who are only looking to exploit and steal from us. We need to learn that our dependency can only be on eachother. But there’s a mentality that’s difficult to break. A mentality that’s been around for centuries that has African people thinking they need white people in order to succeed. “Handicapped Africa needs our assistance once again.” It’s going to be hard to break this.
I wish I had an answer about what could be done. I wish I knew how to solve all of Africa’s problems but I don’t. What I do know is what needs to stop, and what needs to stop are campaigns like Kony 2012 that are here today, and gone tomorrow. Because the plight of my people isn’t some trend. It’s a reality that many cannot escape or log out of. I feel bad because I’m sitting in my air-conditioned room answering your question about this in my comfortable state, but then again at the same time I’m not acting like I’m some social activist because I’m not. I’m aware of my good fortune, I am not convinced that posting a picture will do anything. In order for a solution of substance to take place, it needs to come from African people. We don’t need anymore band-aids. We need to band together and heal ourselves from the wounds that others have inflicted upon us. I rambled but I hope this answered your question.
Angela Davis, speaking at Appalachian State University, January 24, 2012. (via douglass-forgot-the-chitterlings)
Holy SHIT! THIIIISSSS WOMAN!