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Old 07-18-2007, 10:57 PM   #61
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Originally posted by Jamila



Just being from a part of the world does not make you an instant expert of that part of the world - especially when it is the most culturally complex and varied part of our world. (Africa)


People may be an expert on their experiences of Africa but that doesn't qualify them to be an expert on all of Africa. That would impossible.


But experiences are reality, textbook models and simulations are not. I don't really care who is an expert at what. There have been so-called "experts" on "Africa" around for decades and no one is better off because of it. The only true experts, IMO, are the people living in the situation. Spend even 48 hours in their houses and huts and your worldview collapses before you can say Bono. And I don't see anywhere in this thread where people are claiming to be experts on "Africa" collectively, or anyone even claiming to be an expert on anything. As Babydoll has pointed out here and in several other threads, it's borderline offensive to continue to refer to Africa in such collective terms.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:41 PM   #62
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Originally posted by Jamila




While I agree with the general premise of your statement, things are not as simple as you phrase them, maycocksean.



The problem is that the author of this horrendous article about Bono's activities for Africa was a former World Bank employee who traveled to Africa many times yet look at how ignorantly he writes.


Just being from a part of the world does not make you an instant expert of that part of the world - especially when it is the most culturally complex and varied part of our world. (Africa)


People may be an expert on their experiences of Africa but that doesn't qualify them to be an expert on all of Africa. That would impossible.



But I agree that guilt is not the best approach to trying to help Africa out of some of its current challenges. You must spend a lot of time coming to know the people, the history, the cultures, etc of any area of the world before you can really understand the issues facing the people that you wish to "help".



And I also agree that this is one of the better threads in FYM for a long time - mainly because people are discussing with each other and not attacking each other.
I'm not trying to insult you or anything, so I hope you don't get that impression. That said, over the last few years reading your posts, it seems to me that you are willing to defend Bono on basically everything he does. I honestly can't remember one time you've ever critisized him in the slightest. All you ever seem to do is praise every little thing he does, making him sound like a spectacular human being in every aspect and viewing those who have a beef with him or his ideas as horrible bastards.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:42 PM   #63
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Oops, double post.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:07 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila




While I agree with the general premise of your statement, things are not as simple as you phrase them, maycocksean.



The problem is that the author of this horrendous article about Bono's activities for Africa was a former World Bank employee who traveled to Africa many times yet look at how ignorantly he writes.


Just being from a part of the world does not make you an instant expert of that part of the world - especially when it is the most culturally complex and varied part of our world. (Africa)


People may be an expert on their experiences of Africa but that doesn't qualify them to be an expert on all of Africa. That would impossible.



But I agree that guilt is not the best approach to trying to help Africa out of some of its current challenges. You must spend a lot of time coming to know the people, the history, the cultures, etc of any area of the world before you can really understand the issues facing the people that you wish to "help".



And I also agree that this is one of the better threads in FYM for a long time - mainly because people are discussing with each other and not attacking each other.
thanks for your response, Jamila. And you're probably right that things aren't as simple as I stated them. They rarely are.

You've made some thought-provoking points as well, though I would tend to agree with Lies that the people living their unique reality of life in their part of Africa definitely have some useful insights that we would do well to listen to. And there does seem to be a sense that many Africans find the West's do-goodism regarding Africa a bit condescending.

As to Bono, well, I like Bono, and I admire what he's doing. I do think that he is very informed about the issues facing the African continent and I think the accusations that he's "just another pop star with a messiah complex" are unfair. At the same time I didn't find the initial article totally "horrendous" either--there was a lot of food for though there--though his attacks on Bono were really cheap shots.

Bono's a popular whipping boy for those that want to critcize "star power" activism. . .He knows it, but he keeps on doing what he does anyway because he sincerely believes in what he's doing. This is not the vanity project of the moment for him. And I respect that.

Now Madonna. . .that's a different story.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:39 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila




The problem is that the author of this horrendous article about Bono's activities for Africa was a former World Bank employee who traveled to Africa many times yet look at how ignorantly he writes.


Just being from a part of the world does not make you an instant expert of that part of the world - especially when it is the most culturally complex and varied part of our world. (Africa)


People may be an expert on their experiences of Africa but that doesn't qualify them to be an expert on all of Africa. That would impossible.


Yes, having been to Africa does not make you an expert, but some people are more open minded and better listeners and observers and processors than others, and the World Bank author falls in the "others" category. Many people here, myself included, have lived in various parts of Africa and do not purport to be experts on the continent, in fact I believe I posted a ridiculously long response upthread reflecting how pissed off I get when "Africa" is tossed around to represent the same set of problems and becomes one concept.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:47 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


As to Bono, well, I like Bono, and I admire what he's doing. I do think that he is very informed about the issues facing the African continent and I think the accusations that he's "just another pop star with a messiah complex" are unfair. At the same time I didn't find the initial article totally "horrendous" either--there was a lot of food for though there--though his attacks on Bono were really cheap shots.

Bono's a popular whipping boy for those that want to critcize "star power" activism. . .He knows it, but he keeps on doing what he does anyway because he sincerely believes in what he's doing. This is not the vanity project of the moment for him. And I respect that.

Now Madonna. . .that's a different story.
Bono does take a lot of unfair criticism and I think he is unique among celebrities in his complete sincerity in what he is doing and his academic and political approach. I love him and I admire what he's doing, and it enhances my experience as a U2 fan to have him care so much about something I care so much about.

But... I do believe he too is somewhat guilty of the "africa" as a singular concept problem. Not consciously or consistently, but sometimes amidst all that publicizing of the issues it becomes "the issue" "the cause" "Africans." I don't blame him - as I said on the first page, maybe sort of unclearly, it's something that the media, governments and academy in the West have been doing for centuries and has sneaked into our consciences and vocabularies.

Sorry, I have a hard time articulating this problem, especially in type, so this might be unclear.
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:04 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila



Just being from a part of the world does not make you an instant expert of that part of the world - especially when it is the most culturally complex and varied part of our world. (Africa)

So, if LIVING here and having visited here in-depth as some other posters have does not make you more knowledgable and having more first-hand experience, then WHAT does??

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't practical experience better than say, reading books or watching TV??



Perhaps it is not.



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Old 07-19-2007, 02:07 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila

Just being from a part of the world does not make you an instant expert of that part of the world - especially when it is the most culturally complex and varied part of our world. (Africa)
What?!

By all means, go ahead and correct Babydoll - a native African - on her misconceptions about her own part of the world. Clearly the complexities are far too much for her weak, malnourished brain
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:36 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally posted by Varitek


Bono does take a lot of unfair criticism and I think he is unique among celebrities in his complete sincerity in what he is doing and his academic and political approach. I love him and I admire what he's doing, and it enhances my experience as a U2 fan to have him care so much about something I care so much about.

But... I do believe he too is somewhat guilty of the "africa" as a singular concept problem. Not consciously or consistently, but sometimes amidst all that publicizing of the issues it becomes "the issue" "the cause" "Africans." I don't blame him - as I said on the first page, maybe sort of unclearly, it's something that the media, governments and academy in the West have been doing for centuries and has sneaked into our consciences and vocabularies.

Sorry, I have a hard time articulating this problem, especially in type, so this might be unclear.
I hear you.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:40 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


thanks for your response, Jamila. And you're probably right that things aren't as simple as I stated them. They rarely are.

You've made some thought-provoking points as well, though I would tend to agree with Lies that the people living their unique reality of life in their part of Africa definitely have some useful insights that we would do well to listen to. And there does seem to be a sense that many Africans find the West's do-goodism regarding Africa a bit condescending.

As to Bono, well, I like Bono, and I admire what he's doing. I do think that he is very informed about the issues facing the African continent and I think the accusations that he's "just another pop star with a messiah complex" are unfair. At the same time I didn't find the initial article totally "horrendous" either--there was a lot of food for though there--though his attacks on Bono were really cheap shots.

Bono's a popular whipping boy for those that want to critcize "star power" activism. . .He knows it, but he keeps on doing what he does anyway because he sincerely believes in what he's doing. This is not the vanity project of the moment for him. And I respect that.

Now Madonna. . .that's a different story.


Thank you, maycocksean, for very rational post. It's a pleasure to read a response to my post that shows that you actually read the post instead of over reacted emotionally to it.



I never said that people who have visited or live(d) in Africa don't have a point of view to listen. I simply said that all that they can accurately comment on is their experiences in Africa. They could no better be "experts" on the whole of the African experience than anyone else could.



I don't understand what is so hard to understand about that.





I must disagree with you on Easterly's article. I found it full of misstatements and misconstruements about what (RED) is all about.


This is not the first butcher job of an article that Easterly has done on Bono's activism for Africa. Easterly has also tried to do some hatchet job on Prof. Jeffrey Sachs - but Sachs wouldn't let Easterly get too far with this.





Anyway, thanks for trying to inject a discussion into this thread in a friendly and non-attacking manner.


As I really don't see any further enlightening discussion going on in this thread, I'll politely leave.



I wish everybody well.
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Old 07-19-2007, 10:24 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila




Thank you, maycocksean, for very rational post. It's a pleasure to read a response to my post that shows that you actually read the post instead of over reacted emotionally to it.
You're welcome


Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila


I never said that people who have visited or live(d) in Africa don't have a point of view to listen. I simply said that all that they can accurately comment on is their experiences in Africa. They could no better be "experts" on the whole of the African experience than anyone else could.
Yeah, I see your point. Suggesting that just because someone is from Africa makes them expert on all issues regarding Africa (especially when we've already pointed out how vast and and diverse Africa is) is about the same as saying that just because I'm black, I'm an "expert" on the black community.


Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila


I don't understand what is so hard to understand about that.
Sometimes it's just in the way things are phrased. The last time you said it, above, I think I got what you were trying to say.

By the same token, I don't think there's anything "hard to understand" about saying that someone who is from Africa might just possibly have some valuable insights that we could learn from. They may not be "experts" per se, just as I'm not an "expert" on that mythical "Black community" but I do think that that my thoughts for example on issues that affect African Americans would have a certain weight that they might not have if I was white. Likewise with Africans speaking about Africa.








Quote:
Originally posted by Jamila



As I really don't see any further enlightening discussion going on in this thread, I'll politely leave.

Well, I do hope you'll come back to read what I just posted!
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Old 07-20-2007, 04:06 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally posted by maycocksean


Sometimes it's just in the way things are phrased.

................

By the same token, I don't think there's anything "hard to understand" about saying that someone who is from Africa might just possibly have some valuable insights that we could learn from. They may not be "experts" per se, just as I'm not an "expert" on that mythical "Black community" but I do think that that my thoughts for example on issues that affect African Americans would have a certain weight that they might not have if I was white. Likewise with Africans speaking about Africa.
Exactly. No one was ever claiming to be an expert on all of Africa, so I'm not sure where Jamila's comments are even coming from. If you don't like the Easterly article, that's cool, but you don't have to try to bring other people down to make a point. No need to get all defensive about it.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:26 PM   #73
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Exactly. No one was ever claiming to be an expert on all of Africa, so I'm not sure where Jamila's comments are even coming from. If you don't like the Easterly article, that's cool, but you don't have to try to bring other people down to make a point. No need to get all defensive about it.
I feel the same way.. Not sure where expert came into play here. But I do feel that people who are of that culture and live there have a lot better perspective on matters than most other people. I too, don't think it's necessary to bring people down and belittle them either. Which seems to happen a lot here with certain people.
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:28 AM   #74
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Old 07-21-2007, 01:31 AM   #75
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