Jesus stated: “The poor you will always have with you…” and there are those who want to ensure that these words will always ring true.
Last week, from 20-22 September, there was an U.N. summit regarding the progress of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For those unfamiliar with what this is all about, in 2000 the world leaders came together at the United Nations and adopted 8 “measurable” goals, (measurable by 18 targets complemented by 48 technical indicators) to reduce extreme poverty worldwide by 2015 (see here).
While these world leaders, political as well as business leaders, predominately western, white and male, were assessing and refining their plans for the future of the black and brown peoples, who are the majority of the world’s population, there was little or no coverage, nor interest by the AfroSphere. There was some interesting commentary for example by MsAfropolitan, based in London and Lagos that I read, while the African-American blogging community was wholeheartedly and rabidly committed to arguing about the (alleged) Bishop Eddie Long sex scandal. What the “African”-American community fails to realize is that these plans (I mean “Goals”), which appears to be directed at the so-called “third world”… you know those “other black and brown people” across the Atlantic… directly affects their quality of life in America. I remember reading somewhere that black people worldwide are either victims of capitalism or imperialism, which are two sides of the same coin.
On the surface the MDGs, with it’s objective to reduce extreme poverty, seems to be based on good intentions. However as the saying goes: “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Although it has been long concluded, by their own targets and indicators, that the MDGs will never be met, there is enough perceived successes to make the interested parties feel good about themselves, while shifting blame for the failures on the black and brown peoples, their corrupt leaders and their own economic mismanagement. These illusions of success, coupled with blaming the victims of neocolonial exploitation, perpetuates the international status quo and as we can see, for those who care to look, that means it’s business as usual. The rich get richer and the poor… well Jesus did say that they will always be with us… so blame God.
Here is an article and video at Aljazeera discussing the MDGs called: Scoring Goals
Interestingly, the business of poverty is apparently just as profitable in the world of rock and roll. Ironically, at the same time that the MDGs summit was commencing, there was also a news report last week involving the charity ONE, co-founded by U2 frontman Bono, who is an outspoken advocate for the Millennium Development Goals. According to its’ 2008 tax records, ONE took in close to $15 million in public donations, paid over $8 million on executive and employee salaries, while only $184,732 was distributed to three charities! Although ONE doesn’t actually deny the media reports, in the interest of fairness, here is a link to their response.
Now I know Bono doesn’t handle the day to day operation of the charity, as his role appears to be jet-setting around the world fraternizing with these world leaders, lobbying for debt relief and more aid for Africa… but the question I ask is this: how committed is he to his own cause? Well I’ll probably never get an audience with him to ask, so the next best thing is to look at his own actions.
Bono’s fashion company Edun, which according to it’s mission statement, he and his wife founded “to create sustainable trade and promote local economic opportunities in Africa”, is now moving most of it’s production to China. Why? Profits over Poverty of-course! (read here)
He is forever calling for western governments to spend more money on aid, which in reality is taxpayers’ money, but he and U2 decided to move part of their business interests from Ireland to The Netherlands in 2006, because the government put a cap on the amount of tax-free earnings available to artists (read here). Now I am one who does whatever I can to lessen my tax burden (legally of-course), but the fact is that tax revenue, especially from the rich and corporations (Bono is both), is needed to sustain social services for the less fortunate in society. This is why there is a sense of disgust when we see them take advantage of the loopholes and tax havens to avoid their civic, corporate and humane responsibilities to their fellow human beings. Therefore, if Bono doesn’t care about the less fortunate in the country where he resides, Ireland, then why would he really care about a bunch of Africans?
MsAfropolitan cleverly titles her above post about the MDS: “Friends with Benefits”, to accurately describe Africa’s relationship with the West. Speaking from personal experience, the one who becomes dependent and emotionally committed to this type of arrangement, is at a disadvantage and gains no “benefits” whatsoever. However in the short term they may fool themselves into actually believing that they do, mainly because of the “sweet nothings” that are being whispered into their ears… while they’re being fucked.
Why are you being so hard on this “good white man?!”
Bono, channeling Spreewell indicates clearly that: “I’m just trying to feed my family!”
But listen, there is a correlation between the church issue and the Bishop’s trials and tribulations and the story of Africa’s rape: “The problem begins in the mind.”
We have been thoroughly colonized as you well know. To think that the American or any other European government wants to END poverty is ludicrous. Its Orwellian: to end it means to prolong it for millenia.
These bastards talk about ending “extreme poverty.” How about getting rid of “garden variety poverty” BITCHES, since you created it?!
Hell NO! Poverty is profitable, man, so is a depopulated continent. And them helping with Aids?! They created that too; take the needle out of Africa’s arm and get the fuck out.
As Ms. Afropolitan noted, Africa needs to be free. Europe, which is the problem, needs to get out so that African people can settle their problems. But that’s a solution Europe doesn’t want to hear. Too much money and too much black gold and white diamonds to turn that bitch loose.
And you’re right: we’re too brainwashed to even be on top of this story. Thanks for bringing it to the ‘Spear.
The point I wanted to REALLY make is that the common thread between the Bishop Long/MDG stories are that we have a dependency mentality. We depend on the pastor/shepherd to lead us spiritually; we depend on the “black leader” or the white man. We BELIEVE, rather than divining what’s really going on.
We keep it real as Ms. Afropolitan suggests, real delusional, thus we can’t figure out the game being played on us. We just fall for the same wine in a new or different bottle: let’s give Obama a chance, so and so is being persecuted, the EU or the US or NATO or MDG really want to help…
…”Help themselves” to whatever they can carry, drain siphon out of our naive African asses. WAKE UP, black man, black woman!!
I agree that as a people, we have been colonized to be dependent on the “white man”, take his lead, seek his approval, compare ourselves to him and use him and his ways as our standards of success and beauty. But the time for these convenient excuses are over. The time has come for us to take responsibility and accountability, individually and as a people, for our behaviours, knowledge and ignorance.
Fortunately there are many of us who have done this in the past and are doing this today. Whether spiritually, politically and economically, culturally, there are numerous stories and experiences we can learn from, of our people overcoming and moving beyond this “dependency” and other “delusions”, if we care to look and acknowledge them. The fact is that it takes work and how many people do you know who want to put in the work, to not only overcome and survive, but to live triumphantly!
If you put your faith in and depend on any human being, whether mother or father, pastors or political leaders, regardless of race or gender, including yourself, to lead you to the “promise land”, then you are indeed keeping it real delusional! You will then get then the leader you deserve. This is why my faith and dependency is wholly, solely and unapologetically focused on Christ.
When I want to stop my 3 year old son from focusing on or discovering something which I don’t want him to know, I distract him with something shiny or some “white” noise. That is the correlation I see between Eddie Long, the continued rape of Africa and the African-American community. These sex scandals and other antics of people like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, are the “shiny” things and “white” noise utilized to keep our attention from real issues, like the MDGs… and they work. We are so programmed that the AfroSphere intelligentsia, especially the African-American blogosphere, is full of opinions and commentaries on these (non)events of interest, while next to nothing is discussed on events of importance like the expansion of AFRICOM. It has come to the point that if I want to know what are the opinions and perspectives of 90% of the African-American bloggers, I go first to their masters: Huffington Post, MSNBC, CNN, FOXNews, New York Times and TMZ.
I think we’re looong past the time for weak, tired, pseudo-revolutionary slogans like “Wake Up People!” The time has come for us to refocus our attention to what really matters and put in the work… to dig deep!
Anna Renee said:
Wake Up, Black Man, Black Woman Indeed!
When Africans across the diaspora unite, and when they are able to forgive each other for whatever atrocities they have perpetrated on each other in the past, and make amends for all of history–even slavery–
on that day when we unite over all that has happened to us–that will be the day that white hegemony, white power, white control over black people, white control over black minds, white control over OUR RESOURCES–all of that will crumble!!
White power as we know it will end.
Ankhesen Mié said:
I’m not surprised Bono is a great big ball of shit.
And yes…our continent needs to just cut the West loose once and for all.
Asa, we’ve had this conversation for a while now. “Truth as a pathless land” versus, seeking truth while using a hand-me-down philosophical/religious/mental filter.
It seems to me that we should be stripping away blocks/blindspots that ask us to bend what we see in order to make it conform to a doctrine, psalm, verse, constitution or commandment.
How is seeking and finding a faith or focus of one’s dependency not “weak?” If CNN or FOX are the masters of some bloggers, is not Jesus the master of many more?? And why are some of us proudly seeking dependency and reliance on any crutches???
I don’t see how that serves us ultimately, see how that helps us see reality with no cut card, or chaser.
I means, is not the “Good Book the Play Book” through which what is happening now is interpreted – like its a Ouija board or something? Doesn’t seeing what’s going on today through that lens tend to paralyze folks in terms of taking “revolutionary” action?
“Asa, we’ve had this conversation for a while now.”
Lubangakene, God willing, we’ll be still having this conversation for many years to come [;o)
Anywayzzz, my answer to all your questions and points is a simple: “maybe…” Its futile to argue for (or against) faith. My strategy is to put forward my case, be open to listen to others, incorporate what I need and move on. Hopefully at the end of the day, I’m a better person.
I guess the bottom line is: “whatever gets you through the night… or day” lol!
Asa, Please feel free to repost my joint on the “good” Bishop!
Thanks bruh! Your post on the “good” Bishop is the most intelligent and poignant I have read so far. The issue has pretty much been played out but I strongly recommend others to go over to your yawd and take in some real food!
“Bishop Eddie Long: Another Black Church Leader Exposed”
Peace Asa and thanks!
This is a necessary post with equally thought-provoking commentary, and to quote the free slave ‘thanks for bringing it to the ‘Spear’
Thanks also for the mention of my post concerning the MDGs