I don’t even have words for it.
Safe to say that even 30 years later the story of Africa as a continent of hunger, death, senseless wars, famine, and despair, is still being perpetuated around the world.
This Ebola themed song is portraying Africa as a helpless little child that needs to be fed, needs to be helped, needs to be healed.
You are feeding into people’s beliefs that Africa needs the great white people come to them and help them out of a crisis again (as it’s mentioned in the song).
Do they know it’s Christmas time in Africa? Well gee, I don’t know? How about you ask the 6.000 million Christians in Africa?
Ebola is real, and the affected countries, (who by the way, don’t include every country in West Africa – just look at Ghana, Benin, Togo etc.) do need support, they do not need, however, your patronizing and uneducated pity.
You think your time qualifies as tax, Bob Geldof? Well how about you record a new fucking song that’s free of all these stereotypes?
I can kind of understand how this song came to be in the 80s. The view on development aid has since shifted. And then shifted again. And again.
Theories and practices have changed, through the media the entire world has come closer together – and yet, this song is still out there. And not just that, it gets newly recorded, and re-written with lyrics that are even worse than the ones in the 80s. And for what? Celebrity publicity?
The original song has always been played at my house. It is catchy and, to me, belongs on my Christmas playlist. But since I understood English well enough to understand what the lyrics mean, and since I acquired enough knowledge on developing countries and development aid, I’ve taken it with a grain of salt. I’ve seen it as a piece of history.
So let it stay there. Let it be played a couple of times a year during Christmas, but please don’t continue to shove it down our throats every 10 years.
It’s time we move on. Move on from this song. Move on from the stereotypes. Move on from senseless pity.
And for those of you who will say “but look at all the money it raised!”: I don’t stand against charity. I stand against those lyrics. I stand against those questionable motives. I stand against people who hear this song and don’t instantly cringe.
Go and donate – it shouldn’t have needed this song for you to do this anyways.
The worst part is that I like how parts of this song is sung. I wish it was horribly done. I wish I wouldn’t have just lost respect for some of my favourite singers.
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Bob Geldof dismissing criticism