Africans to Bono: ‘For God’s sake please stop!’

Within my mind, several different factions have different reactions to this article.

Libertarian: Of course, simply giving people or nations money breeds dependency and laziness in individuals and governments, not innovation; it turns workers into beggars. Charity is not the solution; the real solution will be found in investment, a truly free market, and people willing to take responsibility for their actions and future. No one knows better how to improve the status of the nations of Africa better than the citizens of those nations.

“If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” –II Thessalonians 3:10

Conservative: The United States should not intervene in other parts of the world unless it serves our best interests. To say that the best hope for Africa is the “the ingenuity and determination of its own people” might be like telling the same thing to women under Taliban rule, girls “circumcised” in Ethiopia, or the Christians of North Korea. If they really want us to stop sending aid, maybe it is time we removed our presence from the African continent and let the Africans deal with the consequences.

“You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. If you do mistreat them, and they cry out to me, I will surely hear their cry, and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you…” –Exodus 22:21

Neoconservative: Every time we try to help another nation, it seems we are rewarded with a firestorm of criticism. In the minds of the rest of the world, can a superpower get anything right? Africa has many problems, as the opening paragraph of the article succinctly states, and we have the ability to help solve them. The corrupt, kleptomaniac governments must be held accountable for their actions. Perhaps taking money away from them and investing it in African businesses would be a good way of making them accountable.

“Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” –Proverbs 14:34

Centrist: While many nations in Africa are advancing more that we in the West realize, the image conveyed by Ms. Brea is slightly too positive. Only five nations are home to active conflicts, but those conflicts have killed millions and left millions more raped, mutilated and homeless. Rwanda was not on the list, and many more similar tribal conflicts might be waiting to erupt into genocide. History seems to show that simply donating money to kleptomaniac governments is not helping Africa. The article claims that investment is a superior alternative, so perhaps the influence of the One Campaign that Bono advertised at InterVarsity’s Twenty-First Student Missions Convention should be used to secure investment in appropriate businesses and infrastructure.

“You shall be careful therefore to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.” –Deuteronomy 5:32

Liberal: Chinese leaders do not see Africa as a continent of business partners; they see it as a source of oil and mineral wealth with few labor unions or human rights laws. Also, Ms. Brea being based in Beijing raises questions about her objectivity regarding China and its activities in Africa. American charities and aid agencies care more about the Africans than the Chinese businesses. America and the West are largely responsible for the current state of Africa; therefore, we have a duty to help undo the damage we have done.

“They sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as upon the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed…Now then, I will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain.” –Amos 2:6-7,13

Socialist: The kleptomaniac governments in Africa are robbing their citizens of aid intended for them. The workers of Africa must organize, arise, unite, take back their nations, and distribute the profits from the continent’s vast mineral and natural wealth into the hands of all rather than a privileged few. As for capitalism and private investment, if you want to know if it can make people rich, ask the former employees of Enron or any coal miner with black lung disease.

“Thus says the LORD, ‘Let my people go, that they may serve me.'” –Exodus 8:20

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One Response to Africans to Bono: ‘For God’s sake please stop!’

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well said, Luke! I like your various thoughts, and you’ve been very clever in how you addressed them!!

    It is really interesting to me the connection to China that Africa has now days, isn’t it? If China continues to take Africa’s resources and use it like they have theirs, we will see Africa as ravaged and wasted as much of Asia (indeed, in many places in Africa, I have heard this is already the case). Of course, other countries are to blame in some of this desolation, too.

    “Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” Phil. 3:19b-21

    Looking forward to talking to you again soon.

    Your friend,
    Jonathan T.

    P.S. Hope your camping trip went well!

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