The danger in following Bono and Bob Geldof
Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2005
This is a classic case of what happens when people who lack direct experiences of the negative effects of white domination and white privileges try to lead movements for change. Very often they overshadow ones in the struggle who are more informed and sensitive to the negative effects of white domination/privileges. Their limited sensitivities make it difficult for them to stay the course for change. They accept tokens, and in the long run do more harm than good. Their arrogance blocks them from understanding how to support and not lead.
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In this case the situation is worse because Bono and Bob Geldof are white celebrities with the ability to command widespread media attention for their pet projects. This leaves little room for informed Black Africans to make their own case for change on the world stage. The abuses and impoverishment of Black Africans remain because of white domination, white privileges and white arrogance, together with the ignorance and naivety of many Black Africans. Whites who try to help but have not addressed their racism and privileges are generally paternalistic when dealing with Black Africans. Bono and Bob Geldof remain part of the problem.
Bards of the powerful
by George Monbiot
Far from challenging the G8's role in Africa's poverty, Geldof and Bono are giving legitimacy to those responsible
"The danger is that we will follow the agenda set by Bono and Bob Geldof. Take their response to the debt-relief package for the world's poorest countries that the G7 finance ministers announced 10 days ago. Anyone with a grasp of development politics who had read and understood the ministers' statement could see that the conditions it contains - enforced liberalisation and privatisation - are as onerous as the debts it relieves. But Bob Geldof praised it as "a victory for the millions of people in the campaigns around the world" and Bono pronounced it "a little piece of history". Like many of those who have been trying to highlight the harm done by such conditions - especially the African campaigners I know - I feel betrayed by these statements. Bono and Geldof have made our job more difficult."
Full Article : guardian.co.uk
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