When I saw this Image it shook me as an African to the core of my bones not because of any shock value effect but because I was once again hit with the reality of Africa in my Africaness of what was, is and will be the future narrative of Africa and Africans if we continue the cycle of recycling these types of images in reality or fictional narrative.
I wasn’t sure if this was an official image since it’s a social media campaign and they can say they didn’t realize it can have any negative connotations outside of the reality of describing exactly what you see in the image in a sort of United Colors of Betton kumbaya moment… you know the post racial…Tanning Epidemic…who lives it knows it not error that looks like a repeat of errors gone by, or was someone trying to stir up the pot in delegitimizing the efforts of Kony 2012 by inferring some type of white supremacy thru spreading an image and knowing the reality of its open connotations will taint the organization or just make its foundation known.
I started seeing the Kony 2012 postings for this campaign going viral just as fast as I started seeing the postings against it. At first I ignored it as another internet viral “put the poor helpless Africans killing each other on global blast again for a good cause…” you know- another let’s utilize our foreign goodness, beauty, privilege and celebrity to paint the beautiful picture of death knowing that your soul can never live the reality type of marketing levels that we have become accustomed to, like when a bunch of celebrities dying on social media with a global moment of silence in not hearing their everyday genius words that make us care so much about them that we can’t go a day, let alone days without hearing their words, seeing their pictures and knowing their every move as we walk vicariously with them thru their lives believing that it is partly a reflection of our own lives in the making – so we donate money to show how much we love and adore them and feel good about ourselves at the same time type of life’s addictions in New Crack City. We’ve become crackheads telling ourselves that buying the crack even though it’s bad for our health that at least we’re helping the dealers take care of the children so that has to count for something in the bigger picture of giving back…Right?
One can’t help but to hate Kony and to see this marketing genius in academy award winning moment in the height of social media branding and technology. As everyone posted on Kony 2012 whether for or skeptically against it for the foundation of its charity- just as many of those same people were in a flux on social media talking about the new iPad. I mean damn with Apple having what someone wrote as having its Nike moment in finally admitting their human rights violations of their workers in China, social media was a buzz from Africa to USA, to Europe and Asia talking about the newest iPad and how disappointed they were in its upgrade, but they’ll buy it anyway…how much do we really care about hunamity when at the end of the day we don’t really have to live the reality. How can you post on Kony being the worst ever and sending your money to serve the cause of bringing him to justice, while throwing even more money at Apple- a company that has just admitted human rights violations against those very workers who are making the products that you can not live without even while complaining that there’s minimal change to the one you just threw just as much money at a few months ago, while these same workers were being abused to get these products out to you to the point of many suicides with a solution of putting a net over the bottom of the building to catch their fall instead of actually giving them freedom to have a living wage to allow them to live? Whether be it in Africa, America, Haiti or China the exploitation of the soul of poverty is the same.
“I don’t know that the person who introduced cholera in Haiti, the U.N. peacekeeper, or soldier from South Asia, was aware that he was carrying the virus,” Clinton told reporters at a hospital. “It was the proximate cause of cholera. That is, he was carrying the cholera strain. It came from his waste stream into the waterways of Haiti, into the bodies of Haitians.”…But Clinton added that what “really caused” the cholera outbreak was the country’s lack of proper sanitation“….Read More
From China to the Congo, We, myself include are all part of this dangerous cycle of exploitation capitalism thru poverty. The story from the heads of these corporations whom we aid in their exploitation capitalism often say that they are not any worse than anyone else, or at least they are there trying, or like I heard a Red Cross representative being challenged about the millions to billions collected in aid to Haiti and the lack of progress say in a PBS documentary “who do you think supplied those tarps that they use for shelter and that they have to start from somewhere” . All I could think was wow really with millions to billions in aid the first place to start is giving away tarps for outdoor makeshift shelters? How about creating some construction jobs and having people get a decent living wage while building affordable homes for themselves and their fellow Haitians- but I am just a dreamer who doesn’t seem to understand how money works because I have never had millions to billions to work with.
None of us want to deal with the bigger issues because it means having to take full stock and self evaluation to really stand in giving up some of our own freedoms to allow freedom for many more throughout the world. It takes human beings to kill other human beings, so it will only take human beings to find their humanity to no longer live for the kill, unless the kill is the foundation of the cycle of humanity that we wish to continue. No matter how we try to define and redefine it, death is death and it is final the world over. When a bomb is dropped in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East or anywhere in the world it produces the same destruction without accountability to casualties- innocent or not- in serving its purpose to deliver on its target. In our need to help others by imposing our self righteous will, we often end up creating nothing but continual chaos.
Let’s employ people in giving them a hand up toward independence and self sufficiency which is the dream and basic human right of us all, but too often not the main purpose of many NGO’s particularly in exploited nations with exploited people who do not realize their on voices in determining their own future. Today technology has paved the way to allow unprecedented global access in the fight against poverty and to find the much needed yet eluded balance in equality. Fair Trade in the era of technology should mean that just as a Kenyans and other African nations have set up technology that is far more advanced than the western world, allowing them to use their mobile phones to buy products on the streets of Nairobi, then if fair trade were truly fair and free – they can sell their locally home grown and made products to major retailers all over the world without an NGO or well meaning middle person from abroad having to get their cut in making their journey out of poverty to self sufficiency that much harder and longer to be able to keep all parties in business.
“My frustration with the group has largely reflected the concerns expressed so eloquently by those individuals who have been willing to bring the fury of Invisible Children’s true believers down upon themselves in order to point out what is wrong with this group’s approach: the warmongering, the self-indulgence, the commercialization, the reductive and one-sided story they tell, their portrayal of Africans as helpless children in need of rescue by white Americans, and the fact that civilians in Uganda and central Africa may have to pay a steep price in their own lives so that a lot of young Americans can feel good about themselves, and a few can make good money. This, of course, is sickening, and I think that Kony 2012 is a case of Invisible Children having finally gone too far. They are now facing a backlash from people of conscience who refuse to abandon their capacity to think for themselves…” READ MORE
If at the end of the day from celebrity endorsements in limitless publicity and global branding and the usual made for Hollywood movie narrative with White people saving global Africans is all a part of the business of saving lives, then we need to altruistically teach those who are part of the business the business, but once again unfortunately that is not how the cycle works because there always has to be someone at the bottom to set the foundation for the workings of the top. We ned to ask ourselves the real questions like can and does Democracy as it is sold from the West work all over the world or are Africans and others who try to adapt to foreign ways of life instead of building on their own way of life just merely running out of luck to be eventually left with none of the perks and dreams that freedom and democracy was to bring.We need to take the messages of the problems of the world that these charities, individuals and institutions educate us about and really ask ourselves how committed we are to solving these problems for the long term instead of just having our philanthropic pat ourselves on the back moments for doing something or being involved in a cause for good- as far as we know it, just for it to be forgotten until the next viral video hits the internets and our big and small screens.
“Any leadership that teaches you to depend on another race, is a leadership that will enslave you” Marcus Garvey
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own..” Benjamin Disraeli
As human beings we all have a responsibility to other human beings and that responsibility should involve sharing with them the tools of self sufficiency because there has never been any freedom in dependency and having to beg someone else for your daily bread. As Digital Underground rightfully said “all around the world same song” because as Dr. King said “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere“. I am tired of global Africans constantly waiting for saviors outside of themselves, then saying that Whites setting up charities in global African nations is about White guilt and exploitation, as they sit down and watch their own people suffer and do nothing but blame others for those very same conditions which they have lived in or watched from afar as the sum of who they are with apathy and a dangerous mixture of escapism and defeatism. I am just as tired of White people going into global African nations and societies with so called good intentions laced with a sense of entitlement in trying to fix the problems of global Africans with no consideration of embracing an African solution to African problems in having those they help aspire to be forever indebted and grateful to them for saving them from themselves and those who look like them in order to give themselves relevancy in the equation of problem to solution. We all need one another and as the African proverb says “two heads are better than one“, but as Chimamanda Adichie explained in the danger of a single story…“Show a people as 1 thing, as only 1 thing over & over again & that is what they become. Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story”
“Media Terminology is Extremely Important. It Sets the Tone for How The Story Is Perceived by the Audience. Many media outlets have various style guides about how they go about reporting such stories. Fundamentally the basic rule when you look at the western media’s coverage of terrorism is- terrorism is what other people do to us, it is not what we do to them…Truth is already a casualty of a war that hasn’t even started yet”
Today I watched as former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan became the man of the hour serving as a UN special envoy to Syria declaring “The Killing Must Stop” . Well, the killing must stop all over the world. The killing of life through bullets, bombs, images and language must stop all over the world in order to stop the decline in our humanity. We need to deal with the language and imgery we use in our causes for humanity. As an African child watching global UNICEF Ad. Campaigns employing the world to “help Africans by donating a dollar or a few quarters a day”, you know the one that generations have joked about poking fun at the pathetic Africans with babies happily living in dirt because those that gave birth to them don’t know any better.
I often wondered if they knew, cared or thought about how that language and imagery spread world wide affected the psyche of African children like myself on the continent and in America navigating our way thru schools in America that only educated its people on Africans being made into slaves in America, as we try to explain to young impressionable minds that our Africa was more than children with bloated bellies needing the cost of a basic soft drink to survive and that we have and will always be more than just the summary of our enslavement and colonization narrative. Today thanks to the game changer of technology in Africa, Africans have found their voice in debunking stereotypes and directly answering in their own viral videos, posts and tweets to those who continue to exploit inaccurate portrayals of Africa and Africans.
If we are going to be real let’s ask why we choose these types of images and verbiage in selling Africa to appeal to people for aid and who exactly are we appealing to. How often do we see UNICEF, the Red Cross and the plethora of charitable organizations utilize the images of celebrities and those global Africans from the same nations which they serve to speak for their nations and to be the face of a -yes we can attitude in Africans doing for Africans even if it’s through the assistance of those not of their culture? Does Africa not have our own Angelina Jolies, Madonnas, Bonos etc. in the world who would make much more of an impact in changing the story of global Africa to global Africans by seeing the possibilities of what can be instead of the same imagery from slavery, to colonization, to civil rights to modern day so called post racial world that still puts out mostly or only the images of White people saving global Africans from themselves and those whom look like them? Humanity is full of flaws and even the best of us with the greatest of intentions sometimes falter to repeat the cycle of the condition of our conditioning. When and how will we be committed enough to not repeat the cycle or is the cycle put in place so we can all play our usual parts to keep the same story going with no one really willing to rock the boat to change course?
“Perhaps when charities are looking for spokespeople and ambassadors they should look to Africans as well. They should look at our “celebrities” and prominent figures, people who understand Africa far better than any celebrity visiting for charity projects who’s rushing from 5-star hotel to disease-ridden village and back again to the 5-star hotel. Our celebrities, in my opinion, have a responsibility to their countries, whether they live in them or not. That way communication doesn’t just stop at a TV ad or a glitzy campaign. People from beyond the continent can help with a fresh perspective but, truly, nobody knows the problems we face as well as an African does. We don’t only know about the corruption, we know who the main culprits are. We know who will waste the money; we know where the real thieves live. An African celebrity doesn’t need to look at a picture of a starving child to feel empathetic; they probably don’t have to look much further than their own village. Youssou N’dour as a UNICEF ambassador makes sense. He may not prove as popular on twitter as Lady Gaga, but I believe his interests in improving Africa are more genuine…Author of Dead Aid, Dambisa Moyo, has been highly critical of celebrity campaigns: “[I] was at a party to raise money for Africans, and there were no Africans in the room, except for me… I’ll make a general comment about this whole dependence on celebrities. I object to this situation as it is right now where they have inadvertently or manipulatively become the spokespeople for the African continent.” READ MORE
It just so happens that before I got side tracked with hype of Kony 2012, I was on a Ugandan high elated to tell the readers of this blog about two great Ugandans that I was introduced to this week in order to add a different image of the Idi Amin Hollywood movie narrative where the focus is the Last King of Scotland saving Ugandans from yet another African dictator directed by the same Kevin McDonalad now telling the story of Bob Marley and according to his own words finding the most new and interesting facts about Bob Marley being that ”he was a vegetarian & that his father was a White man from England” -SMH! The connectivity to soul can never be manufactured…it’s planted from root to fruit, so it is difficult to have certain expectations of those who are not of its roots to bare its ripe fruits.
As I once said in my own blog “I am not implying that non-global Africans shouldn’t be allowed to write books about Africa; however I am questioning the expert title given to these writers who are telling stories of people & places that they are often no more than passerby’s & visitors of, while those who actually have been immersed in & live the culture are often passed over for equal opportunities to tell their own stories….” READ MORE
I came across a great new global African from Uganda by the name of Michael Kiwanuka who has been named BBC’s sound of 2012 – an accolade that in the past had been given to globally acclaimed artists like Adele and Corrine Bailey Rae. When I first heard Michael’s voice, it brought amazing solace and satiation to my heart like the taste of fresh cold water from an African spring after walking miles in harmattan heat.
I was also able to meet a great woman who represents so much for the trials and tribulations as well as achievements in fashion and philanthropy for global African women and Ugandan young women in particular named Erlin Ibreck. Erlin is amongst ourAfrican super sheroes and global African daughters of Yaa Asantewaa who are often overlooked because their work goes beyond seeking the spotlight. Erlin is amongst our many global African women who have followed their dreams in blazing the trail thru careers that maybe unconventional to the idea of the security of financial freedom that their elders seek for them, so they can have an easier road to life than they did. As I sat with Erlin, she informed me that she was from Uganda just in case I didn’t know, there was a certain joy and bond to hear those words as an African woman and to hear her stories of working with the greatest photographer that my homeland Ghana has ever had, James Barnor. Erlin was one of his models for one of the greatest magazines, DRUM, which celebrated its 60th year anniversary in December and in the 50’s and 60’s represented the greatness of the global African image often never seen by the global world and best of all it was produced in Africa. Just knowing of her existence, hearing her story and seeing her as the Program Director for the Strategic Opportunities Fund at the prestigious Soros Organization known all over the world gave me instant elation of the possibilities of the future for young global Africans like myself just by having her example. I thought wow- Africans and in particular young Ugandans need to hear these voices and to know these stories, and after seeing the Kony 2012 video, I thought to myself why do these charities and istitutions never utilize or colloborate with those who are immersed in and living the culture on a daily basis and whom as Bob Marley says “can’t run away from themselves” because even privilege does not allow it when the foundation in the roots has been set from birth, something which those that are not of the culture can never truly say or own.
If Kony 2012 in re-sparking up the old debates brought on by global Africans like Dambisa Moyo, Wangari Maathi , Kimmie Weeks and so many others in challenging us all to follow the money and the usefulness of NGO’s fighting the same causes for centuries and decades with little change in Africa and other parts of the world, and if it opens the eyes of global Africans to really look in the mirror to face their truths in asking themselves the real questions on why the image above of “White people saving Africans” is always the global image of fighting the African cause and how Africans are complicit in letting that continue in order to truly seek out and act toward the necessary changes needed in our collective global dialogue and fight for human rights and true freedom in self empowerment- then it has done something great; whether we agree with the delivery, premise or the charity that it supports. Unfortunately it often takes harsh reality in many forms to wake us all up to our own reality , fears and our true purpose in this world. Life is hard as it is, so when we start to want to save the world it begins to be overwhelming in the fine balance of altruism and self serving profiteering.
So many AfriCan generations leave Africa to make a difference and to be that change just to repeat the cycle, the same way that the generations of NGO’s come to Africa to make a difference and to be that change also repeat the same cycle. Many of us taking a stand as change makers for Africa and her Diaspora today are the generation of the great leaders of the wind of change that came through Africa in the 60’s as well as her Diapora; and subsequently the White children of that same era and the Obama generation are also taking their place in the legacy of activism and being change makers. This so called Obama generation, in the subgrouping of those labeled as the educated White college students from middle class and privileged generations who are often credited for catapulting then Senator Obama’s presidential campaign from obscurity to viability with their own viral blasts in being part of hope and change are the same generation of Kony 2012 who had access enough to walk thru the annals of American government to demand the signature of President Obama to send troops to Uganda to aid in bringing 1 Ugandan man to justice, while Black Americans who overwhelmingly voted to put President Obama in office can not seem to even get a seat at the table to get the assitance needed in the killing of young Black boys and girls on a daily basis in Chicago, Detroit and many of those urban areas that have streets named after the civil rights legacy of Dr. King, Malcolm X, W.E.B Dubois, Harriet Tubman and so many others who built the foundation for this nation to ever even consider having a Black President after over 200 years.
We are continuously consumed by the power we don’t have and what others are doing or not doing for us instead of building on the power and foundation that we do have to also have a seat at the table in order to also do for ourselves in demanding the same changes that Kony 2012 and other White led charities wield all over the world in coming to the rescue of global Africans. Somehow we have accepted being the consummate minority without a voice in a constant state of emergency that needs a voice that is not our own to get to the mountain top. These charitable organizations wouldn’t be there if there wasn’t a need for them to be there; whether it’s in good or bad, in saving or preying. There has been a global uproar against presidents like Mugabe who is labeled a tyrant and a dictator for having the audacity to strip Whites in Zimbabwe of their land to give it back to the indigenous people of Zimbabwe, but where is the uproar of thousands to millions of displaced Africans who have been stripped of their lands to make room for NGO’s and multinational companies coming to Africa under the auspices of aiding to build a new Africa, that seems to have no need for African input?
An African can’t just go to Europe, Asia and America and just acquire land no matter how hard they work even though that is the American dream sold to the world, but American and European NGO’s can more often than not go to Africa, acquire land and often weild more power to have a seat at the table of our presidents much more often than our own elected officials. Who do we fault for that- the nation who has put the laws, infrastructure and foundation in place to protect its culture from foreign invasion in taking power from everyday people of that nation. or the ones who have remained lawless with an open door- free for all atmosphere- to exploit anything and everything as needed, as long as the select few maintain their wealth and positions.
“Imagine if every young person on the continent of Africa stood up against corruption, it would end and our lives would be better even without international aid or intervention. We can do it ourselves.”Liberian Activist,Kimmie Weeks
“From now on – today – we must change our attitudes, our minds, we must realise that from now on, we are no more a colonial but a free and independent people. But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work.That new African is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all, the black man is capable of managing his own affairs. We are going to demonstrate to the world, to the other nations, that we are prepared to lay our own foundation. Our own African identity…. Freedom is not something that one people can bestow on another as a gift. Thy claim it as their own and none can keep it from them. We face neither East nor West: We Face Forward..THE SECRET OF LIFE IS 2 HAVE NO FEAR” Osageyfo Kwame Nkrumah
Those who are suffering and dying can’t afford to wait to think it thru on where they receive assistance from. We are conditioned by our conditioning and I’m just trying to figure out how we get past that cycle because either we learn from history or we don’t, but either way the show must go on. Either way everyone feels they are where they should be and are entitled to be there to take their positions. I want to know the source of this “Kony 2012 White people Saving Africans” image above for the full story, but either way we must handle the truth. It all comes from an idea and a cause…where are our ideas and causes…And why are our dreams usually deferred…or are they?
“The photograph was immediately criticized.A widely-cited student blog “Visible Children” called it an indication of Invisible Children’s emphasis on direct military intervention in Uganda. The Racialicious, a race and pop culture blog, said the photo helped paint a “picture of neo-colonialism.” Others quoted Chris Blattman, a political scientist at Yale, who wrote that Invisible Children’s program “hints uncomfortably of the White Man’s Burden… the savior attitude.”
To get the story behind the photograph, I turned to Glenna Gordon. who captured the moment at the Sudan-Congo border during the 2008 peace talks while she was on assignment for the Associated Press. Hear her take on the Kony 2012 campaign after the jump.
Q. How did you happen to be there to take this photo?
Gordon: I was on assignment for the AP covering the 2008 peace talks between the Ugandan government and the LRA, and we were all sort of stuck at this small camp, in the same space, to wait for the talks to resume. There was nothing to do. I saw that the Invisible Children guys were [posing with guns], and I thought I should take some pictures.
Q. What were the reactions of the SPLA members standing with them?
Gordon: The SPLA were into it, because they were bored too. People were having a lot of fun videotaping it, taking Polaroids and posing with all of these guys. Everyone was into it.
I think I felt a lot of discomfort, but I didn’t say to stop it, which maybe I should have because if we were attacked by LRA then, the SPLA should have had guns in their hands.
Q. Invisible Children has received some criticism that their efforts and this photo seem “colonialist,” or hint at the “white man’s burden.” What do you say to that?
Gordon: I think all of those things are true. The photo plays into the myth that Invisible Children are very much actively trying to create. They even used the photo on their official response page. I don’t think they think there is a problem with the idea that they are colonial. This photo is the epitome of it, like, we are even going to hold your guns for you.
Q. What did you think of the Kony 2012 video?
Gordon: I can’t bring myself to watch the video. I found all of their previous efforts to be emotionally manipulative, and all the things I try as a journalist not to be. After the peace talks in 2008, they put out another video, and I saw the footage used in these videos blending archival footage with LRA and SPLA and videos of them goofing off. It was the most irresponsible act of image-making that I’d seen in a long time. They conflated the SPLA with the LRA. The SPLA is a government army, holding weapons given by the government, and yet they did not create any division between them and LRA. That’s terrible.
Q. How did you see other aid groups and Ugandans respond to Invisible Children while in Uganda?
Gordon: People who have lived there for years, bona fide aid workers who have studied foreign policy and other relevant fields like public health, who are really there because they are trying to solve problems — they see Invisible Children as trying to promote themselves and a version of the narrative.
Most Ugandans also think they are ridiculous. They say “Invisible Children! They seem pretty visible to me.” Even the name is so loaded.
In Uganda, Invisible Children has programs operating but I don’t want to speak to those because I don’t know them.
Q. The Kony 2012 campaign has made a lot of people aware of Joseph Kony. Do you think there will be a tangible impact of Kony 2012?
Gordon: The LRA isn’t even active in Uganda anymore, so we’re getting the issue to the spotlight with so much misinformation. I applaud efforts to bring humanitarian crises to the limelight, but if we do so with misinformation, we are sure to make mistakes. We need to do so with an eye toward accuracy and responsibility.
Q. The filmmaker of Kony 2012 featured his son in the video to help people understand the situation in Uganda. Do you think that contributed to the film’s success?
Yes, and I think that it is a legitimate comparison to make in the film between Ugandan and American kids. It’s a mistake to think that we shouldn’t have the same expectations for livelihood, education, etc. for children in both countries. And that idea may create more political will….“ READ MORE
“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed…“Being black is not a matter of pigmentation – being black is a reflection of a mental attitude. Black Consciousness is an attitude of the mind and a way of life, the most positive call to emanate from the black world for a long time. The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed. Black man, you are on your own…” Stephen Bantu Biko
We need more thinkers in the world not just intellectuals and politicians self righteously telling us all what is best for us. We need those thinkers who are not afraid to face our truths in fears of failure. This little story I received from a friend sums it all up to me. Today I choose life in knowing that I am exactly where I need to be with much more life to come for me and for Africa.
A boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village. A tourist complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.
“Not very long.” they answered in unison.
“Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?”
The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to meet their needs and those of their families.
“But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
“We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children,
and take siestas with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our friends, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We have a full life.”
The tourist interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard (a consultant?) and I can help you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.”
“And after that?”
“With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.
Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.
You can then leave this little village and move to
Mexico City, Los Angeles , or even New York City !
From there you can direct your huge new enterprise.”
“How long would that take?”
“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years.” replied the tourist.
“And after that?”
“Afterwards? Well my friend, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the tourist, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!”
“Millions? Really? And after that?” asked the fishermen.
“After that you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a siesta with your wife and spend your evenings enjoying your friends.”
“With all due respect sir, but that’s exactly what we are doing now. So what’s the point wasting twenty-five years?” asked the Mexicans.
And the moral of this story is: Know where you’re going in life….you may already be there.
There’s nothing wrong with money but we must not give our souls to it in worship because that is when it becomes the root of all evil. Money has many forms abstract and concrete. It’s the overzealousness in giving our souls to it in worship that corrupts us and keeps the endless cycle going in the condition of our conditioning with very little in embracing our true humanity in being our brother and sister’s keeper, allowing and providing the basic necessities of life and the pursuit and enjoyment of happiness at any and all levels. We can’t love money more than we love ourselves. I employ us all to take Kony 2012 and the global dialogue it has catalyzed in seeking our own truths in knowing where we are all going in our lives in order to find out if we are already there in being the change that we want to see. As Helen Keller put it “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
The Uncomfortable Truth… “You guys are as stagnant as the water in the lake. We come in with our large boats and fish your minerals and your wildlife and leave morsels—crumbs. That’s your staple food, crumbs. That corn-meal you eat, that’s crumbs, the small Tilapia fish you call Kapenta is crumbs. We the Bwanas (whites) take the cat fish. I am the Bwana and you are the Muntu. I get what I want and you get what you deserve, crumbs. That’s what lazy people get—Zambians, Africans, the entire Third World.” “I see you are getting pissed off,” Walter said and lowered his voice. “You are thinking this Bwana is a racist. That’s how most Zambians respond when I tell them the truth. They go ballistic. Okay. Let’s for a moment put our skin pigmentation, this black and white crap, aside. Tell me, my friend, what is the difference between you and me?” “Absolutely none,” he exclaimed. “Scientists in the Human Genome Project have proved that. It took them thirteen years to determine the complete sequence of the three billion DNA subunits. After they were all done it was clear that 99.9% nucleotide bases were exactly the same in you and me. We are the same people. All white, Asian, Latino, and black people on this aircraft are the same.” “And yet I feel superior,” he smiled fatalistically. “Every white person on this plane feels superior to a black person. The white guy who picks up garbage, the homeless white trash on drugs, feels superior to you no matter his status or education. I can pick up a nincompoop from the New York streets, clean him up, and take him to Lusaka and you all be crowding around him chanting muzungu, muzungu and yet he’s a riffraff. Tell me why my angry friend.” “Please don’t blame it on slavery like the African Americans do, or colonialism, or some psychological impact or some kind of stigmatization. And don’t give me the brainwash poppycock. Give me a better answer.” He continued. “Excuse what I am about to say. Please do not take offense.” “You my friend flying with me and all your kind are lazy,” he said. “When you rest your head on the pillow you don’t dream big. You and other so-called African intellectuals are damn lazy, each one of you. It is you, and not those poor starving people, who is the reason Africa is in such a deplorable state.” He was implacable. “Oh yes it is and I will say it again, you are lazy. Poor and uneducated Africans are the most hardworking people on earth. I saw them in the Lusaka markets and on the street selling merchandise. I saw them in villages toiling away. I saw women on Kafue Road crushing stones for sell and I wept. I said to myself where are the Zambian intellectuals? Are the Zambian engineers so imperceptive they cannot invent a simple stone crusher, or a simple water filter to purify well water for those poor villagers? Are you telling me that after thirty-seven years of independence your university school of engineering has not produced a scientist or an engineer who can make simple small machines for mass use? What is the school there for?” “Do you know where I found your intellectuals? They were in bars quaffing. They were at the Lusaka Golf Club, Lusaka Central Club, Lusaka Playhouse, and Lusaka Flying Club. I saw with my own eyes a bunch of alcoholic graduates. Zambian intellectuals work from eight to five and spend the evening drinking. We don’t. We reserve the evening for brainstorming.” READ MORE
“There’s a difference between the one who rents a house & the one who owns a house. The one who rents a house doesn’t care if the walls crack & crumble, they can always move to another house. The one who owns a house knows that no one else will take care of it thus they paint the walls & mend the cracks. It is not President Obama’s job to save Africa…it is not Madonna’s job & OUR governments have shown that it is not their job either. Responsibility is not shared it is earned, freedom is not given it is taken! When we decide we want freedom we will have to get it ourselves because if this country/continent burns we burn with it!”