Kingdom Noise Apprenticeship

MODULE 2 || STAGE 3 by seancooper
October 10, 2008, 1:40 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

How does the history of Africa over the last 200 years affect your idea of international responsibility for its current situation?

Some argue that the crisis in Africa is ignored due to racism. In your opinion, do you perceive racism as a key issue?

Describe whether or not you think it is possible to significantly involve people into the crisis of Africa. How?


4 Comments so far
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I have honestly not felt an international responsibility for the current situation in Africa, and feel bad about it too. Until now, I can’t remember a time in my schooling or elsewhere where there was a sence of urgency to get involved in helping the people in Africa since Middle School. I’m wondering why there is such a gap in helping people understand that African’s do need our help and to see what we can do about it. I think many people in my field are focused on schooling and what their careers are going to look like in the future to be worried about taking care of others in the world around them. I’m wondering how we can change people’s mindset and get them involved into helping others around the world, especially Africa.

I do not believe racism is a key issue at all in the reason why Africa is being ignored. After the reading assignment, I feel like organizations think they are doing something about the problem but really aren’t and people like us have to bring that attention to them so something will actually be done.

It is possible to get people involved in the crisis of Africa and if people our age make it into a movement of some sort, the more interested and involved people will get and be concerned for the current situation and future of Africa.

Comment by laurenmclaughlin0

I agree with Lauren that Africa, both it’s history and current situation, have been largely overlooked when it comes to educating American students and raising general awareness about the issues at hand. Perhaps it is because it is such a vast continent that has had an extremely versatile and complex history. Maybe we simply would not know where to begin or what to do about the information we’d find. The greater awareness one has of situations the more responsibility we feel to make a change. The information we do know has been largely distorted by the media and made to appear like Africa is a hopeless situation. It is a desert continent plagued by disparity, poverty and disease. As we’ve come to understand HIV/AIDS more and as our sensitivity toward the disease has grown, Africa has become the poster child for that pandemic. It is through such key issues and problems that many people have come to judge Africa. Many tend to see it as a hopeless nation, with problems too complicated and a history too ominous and complex for any possible solution.

Although historically racism may have played a role in our inaction and ignorance of the crisis in Africa, but I don’t think that is an issue any longer. I think (and I do hope) that human beings have come to a play where we perceive suffering and injustice as wrong, regardless of skin color or nationality. I think that failure to act at this point is due mainly to ignorance and apathy, but not any racial issues.

I absolutely think that it is possible (and necessary) to significantly involve people into solving the crisis in Africa. While there are issues at hand that can only be solved by those who know the people and know the country, there are plenty of solutions that can come from having an “outsider’s” perspective. Disease control and care, for instance, is an arena where people can be largely involved. Scientists and doctors can come up with better, more efficient ways of stopping the spread of certain diseases in Africa and environmentalists, anthropologists, and pretty much anyone else who has a vision for a solution can figure out ways to distribute vaccines and medicines and to prevent the diseases from being contracted. There are so many ways for individuals to get involved even outside the traditional opportunities of giving money and resources. People like Jeffery Sachs bring the crisis in Africa to a much more approachable level and help to simplify the baby steps that ALL of us can take to be a part of the solution.

Comment by Jenny

1. In a great way! It made me see that the Western World had great influence on Africa. Just think about slavery. They most took away all the strong people. When the European Countries left their colonies in Africa they also took everything good with them. They left Africa in a real bad situation over a long time which in the end effected the economic growth.
2. Well Yes I perceive racism as a key issue. I found myself having some racist ideas in my mind. Like the once about Africa being corrupt. Or thinking that they have more sexual relationships and through this more HIV-Infections. Well and most Germans perceive Africans as lazy. In my opinion are these key signs for racism.
3. Yes I think so!
If I give away 1/1000 of my income, or all of the western culture would help the poor world to invest in health!! Hello, this is not much at all for me. But for Bill Gates:) Let´s imagine start a fund(that is really trustworthy) where all of the rich world put in money. This would have such a huge impact and wouldn´t hurt! I think you can involve people by giving them facts. Let the Kids have a class called “how to save the earth” where you teach them about it. Get the news industry involved. Educate, educate, educate… . People want to know where their money goes and what it is for.

Comment by andibinder

1- Oh yeah, I absolutely think we are partially responsible. Of course it is hard to feel responsible because we don’t immediately see how we are connected, but I think this is true about many poverty issues.

2- That depends on what you mean by racism. I would say yes, but I’m not talking about thinking that someone is less valuable because of the color of their skin, I’m talking about all the stereotypes and a distortions that Jenny mentioned in her response to question 1. It is too easy for us to accepted these distortions for some prejudice to not be involved, and actually this kind of prejudice against black people is not just a problem white people have… it is something that also affects the way black people or Africans might think of themselves and each other as well. This is what makes it as dangerous than the overt racism from the past. It isn’t something we should all sit around feeling guilty about, but we need to be very careful with our assumptions about and assessment of Africans, their situation, and things they do.

3- I don’t know if its possible… It will be incredibly difficult. There are a lot of immediate, local problems that people see a need to address that are always going to get more of their energy and resources. I think we can make progress though.

Comment by Sarah Lynne

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