A coworker and I got into an argument today, during which I was called “blind” to the real issues in Africa. After she continued to call me blind preventing me finishing my thoughts, I decided to walk away and write down the rest of my thoughts:
The reason for America’s lack of involvement in Africa isn’t race based. Of course race plays a part. They’re black and we’re white – but the basis for general disinterest in Africa is a matter of political and economic strategy.
1994 – Clinton chose not to go into Rwanda. Why? Of all people, Clinton (one of the biggest advocates of Nelson Mandela) is the last person to be racist in such a decision; the unfortunate truth is that he couldn’t authorize any action in a gridlocked congress. Clinton could make no argument for political or economic advantage to Gingrich or to a Republican Senate. It had little to do with race – rather it was a matter of using our military, economic, and political forces in more productive manner (one where we would see returns, rather than just do a favor for an impoverished nation).
The same conditions exist today. Except now it’s a Republican president who simply chooses to ignore Africa’s problems. Sure, Bush is a racist bigot, but since his presidency foreign aid has never surpassed .1% of GDP. This includes aid to hundreds of other impoverished nations; not just those 53 in Africa. That means we don’t care about poor nations; not that we don’t care about black ones.
I acknowledge race as a factor in the aid crisis today, but I feel it is insignificant to the more pressing issue that we are simply not doing enough about across the board. We give all nations roughly the same meager amount of aid, except for China and India – where we see tons of political and economic potential. Until a significantly lower amount of aid is given to black countries than to white ones, there is no foundation for calling our pathetic foreign aid policy a problem of race.
In the past decade 6 of the top 10 recipients of Foreign Aid from the US were black nations.
It’s not a matter of race – it’s a matter of Greed. Open your eyes.
Part of what Corporate Donkey is advocating is for the US to see that Africa holds a plethora of political and economic opportunities. Once the Government realizes this, you’ll see aid skyrocket in favor of these nations. It’s all a matter of what decisions will give the US the best returns – disgusting, I know, but that’s the game and every nation plays it. Never in the history of the world has a nation spent billions, jeopardized troops, expended time, all out of the kindness of their heart. They want something in return.
Sorry for the overly zealous response, but I didn’t appreciate being called blind to the sole issue I care the most about.
African Enterprise can spur this realization onward. Aside from the abundance of resources available in Africa, entrepreneurship and Green Venture opportunities are growing exponentially. We must work hard to give the US a reason to care about Africa because unfortunately, showing need isn’t enough.