HolyCoast: What Are We Really Saving in Africa?
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

What Are We Really Saving in Africa?

I haven't really decided yet what I think about this opinion piece by Irish columnist Kevin Myers. I've reported previously on various church projects in Africa, and we've certainly all seen the ads for charities and read the stories about the billions of dollars being funneled to "save the starving children" in Africa. Myers asks some tough questions about the results of this charity:

Africa is giving nothing to anyone -- apart from AIDS

No. It will not do. Even as we see African states refusing to take action to restore something resembling civilisation in Zimbabwe, the begging bowl for Ethiopia is being passed around to us, yet again. It is nearly 25 years since Ethiopia's (and Bob Geldof's) famous Feed The World campaign, and in that time Ethiopia's population has grown from 33.5 million to 78 million today.

So why on earth should I do anything to encourage further catastrophic demographic growth in that country? Where is the logic? There is none. To be sure, there are two things saying that logic doesn't count.

One is my conscience, and the other is the picture, yet again, of another wide-eyed child, yet again, gazing, yet again, at the camera, which yet again, captures the tragedy of . . .

Sorry. My conscience has toured this territory on foot and financially. Unlike most of you, I have been to Ethiopia; like most of you, I have stumped up the loot to charities to stop starvation there. The wide-eyed boy-child we saved, 20 years or so ago, is now a priapic, Kalashnikov-bearing hearty, siring children whenever the whim takes him.

There is, no doubt a good argument why we should prolong this predatory and dysfunctional economic, social and sexual system; but I do not know what it is. ...

Indeed, we now have almost an entire continent of sexually hyperactive indigents, with tens of millions of people who only survive because of help from the outside world.

Tough stuff, and according to this report, a police complaint has already been filed against Myers with the local Irish "National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism", their version of Canada's Human Rights Commission which looks to stomp out politically incorrect speech wherever it can be found.

There are elements of Myers' article I agree with and some I don't. On this day when the Senate has tripled funding to fight AIDS worldwide to $48 billion of your taxpayer dollars, it's something worth thinking about. You should read the whole thing and, as always, your opinions are welcome.

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