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Old 05-02-2004, 06:07 PM   #1
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Bono:Our pathetic excuses

http://www.worldpressfreedomday.org/
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WAN: Youíve never been afraid to take a stand on what some consider sensitive issues. Can you describe what sparked your devotion to take up Africaís cause?
Bono: I first went to Africa, to Ethiopia to work in a feeding station following Live Aid in 1985. One summer that stayed with me for a lifetime. But I donít see Africa as a cause. To me, this whole thing is about justice. The fact that 6,300 people die in Africa everyday of AIDS, a preventable treatable disease, for lack of drugs that we take for granted in Europe and America - thatís about justice, not charity. That we hold children to ransom for the debts of their great great grandparents is not a charity issue, itís a justice issue. That we wonít let the poorest of the poor put their products on our shelves yet we flood their markets with ours? This is about justice. DATA (Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa), the organization I work with, takes that as the starting point.
Itís an amazing thing to think that ours is the first generation in history that really can end extreme poverty, the kind that means a child dies for lack of food in its belly. This should be seen as the most incredible, historic opportunity but instead itís become a millstone around our necks. We let our own pathetic excuses about how itís Ďdifficultí justify our own inaction. Letís be honest. We have the science, the technology, and the wealth. What we donít have is the will, and thatís not a reason that history will accept.
What I have always liked about Bono is that he doesnt get up there and try to make this a pretty celebrity cause.. he brings it down to the root and to the uglyness thats underneath it . he's not afraid to do that. This is a guy who I think right know might just be very angry about the way things are going or the lack of action. my question though is that.. why is there inaction in so many other people.. I know what I think .. but why are more people not enagaged.. After all we supposedly learned from Rwanda for the Holocaust etc.. Where do you think we are failing on this emergency and if it's that we are failing to engage ordinary citizens how do we engage them and get them out of that nice comfy spot
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:46 AM   #2
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That's just it, Katey, alot people don't like being brought out of their confort zones. If I hear one more time "we need to solve our own issues of poverty and hunger (in the USA) I will just scream. Because the very people who dare to say this, can't even tell me what exactly they are doing or have done to solve the issue here.
It's an excuse they use to do nothing, and that's just lame. but I don't know what the answer is. As far as learning from past mistakes, well that hasn't exactly happened either.
I hate to sound so cynical but that's just how I see it. But no matter what, I haven't given up hope that more people can and will become more engaged in this emergency. There is alot of attention being brought to the forefront thanks to people like Bono and even President Bush. Bush at least made the emergency a part of an address to the nation, that at least got the attention of some. Whether or not he can live up to his own convictions and make it happen still remains to be seen.

Edited to say: forums like this make an impact also. I would never have discovered the African Well Fund had it not been for this site. And others I have discussed the fund with wouldn't have known either. Interference.com is making a difference and it all helps in some way.
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Old 05-03-2004, 11:39 AM   #3
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Yeah it's really great to see what Bono has opened our eyes up to and to realize how the world is outside ours.
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Old 05-03-2004, 02:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Edited to say: forums like this make an impact also. I would never have discovered the African Well Fund had it not been for this site. And others I have discussed the fund with wouldn't have known either. Interference.com is making a difference and it all helps in some way.
thats very nice to hear, we try to do what we can and I know all the team prolly feels the same way in raising awareness however we can.. weither that be through article and interviews or through the forum..It comes back to we can all do something.. it might not be the same thing but it can be something
Quote:
I haven't given up hope that more people can and will become more engaged in this emergency. There is alot of attention being brought to the forefront thanks to people like Bono and even President Bush. Bush at least made the emergency a part of an address to the nation, that at least got the attention of some. Whether or not he can live up to his own convictions and make it happen still remains to be seen
I havent given up either .. I believe in the human spirit and that given the knowledge people will make difference.. I think maybe what happens is that the policy people are doing their job but where we still fail is in engaging citizens.. we are failing to bring that drama out.. There is alot of attention but promises without action mean nothing.. All the good intentions in the world will get you nowhere if they do not come with action.. And I still see organizations working against each other on this and I cant get my head aorund that either..it's like until we all come together and realise that this is bigger then any one person or organization or country we wont win .. right now we are not winning.. it's still getting worse .. time does not stop for us to figure this out ..where is the urgency in this.. because we can do something we should do something.. right now we have to use what we have to make a difference and we have to balance that with making things better in the long run.

this emergency is about so many things, debt relief, fair trade, HIV AIDS, but most of all it is about how we treat each other in the world .. it's human rights issue , it's a justice issue , its a moral issue ...
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:23 PM   #5
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I agree, Sue, I hate this stuff about "let's take care of things here, to heck with them". We're intertwined with them. We're not safe with the situation in Africa, what with the millions of AIDS orphans, and so on. It's a global world. I'm glad we have someone as articulate and knowledgeable about this stuff as Bono to explain this stuff. But some people still don't get the big picture. I hope we don't screw up with this stuff, it's too dangerous for both them and us. Oops, there's no them, there's only us.
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:54 PM   #6
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I'll tell you the most pathetic thing I've ever heard, something to the effect of: "why should we spend time and money on Africans when they're just going to die of AIDS eventually anyway?" Is that not the sickest, most disturbing thing ever? I mean, I've heard more than one person say something like that and my answer always is "OK [you cruel heartless bitch!] can you honestly walk up to a person dying of AIDS and tell him to his face that we're sorry, but your life just isn't worth it?" Yeah, I'd like to see them try.....

People with that de-humanizing, defeatist attitude make me want to ram their faces into a cement wall
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Old 05-07-2004, 02:17 AM   #7
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The human tendency called selfishness is at the core. Politicians looking for short term gains (economic) while ignoring the problems that will result in the long term. The developing world has been opressed since colonization, and it continues to be opressed today. Humanitarians are few and far between. I am thankful Bono is out there though, and he is being recognized for this real and important problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. Slowly we can begin to see some changes. Ie. Canada's generic drug law (bill c9) finally got passed after some revisions.
I just hope it doesnt have to come down to an even bigger tragedy in order to mobilize others to do their part
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Old 05-07-2004, 08:48 AM   #8
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Hi ladies, great thread!

UV299, haven't seen you on these threads before! Welcome! LMK if you'd like to (or if you have already) sent a letter or made a phone call or something similar to ask for debt cancellation and I'll add you to the Angels!
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