I hope Black Panther kills Aid to Africa

I hope Black Panther kills Aid to Africa

Alright I just started this post with what sounds like an incendiary statement.  To some it may sound click baity and you may expect me to back track what I said.  I won't back track it, I mean it.  I have debated about whether I want to post this because I think it will piss some people off but I also think its important.  Its very important.

Black Panther is going to a huge film.  The overall idea of Black Panther has always been awesome and his comics have among some of the best out there.  They have always been under promoted in my eyes.  This film captures some of the best aspects of Black Panther and puts them on steroids.  This film is going to make peoples eyes bleed as awesome is poured in them a tsunami. What is even more cool is that it will be an African story and characters being used for this spectacle.  Africa itself is at an inflection point, and this film could do more than make money.

My hope is that aid to Africa dramatically falls after the film Black Panther comes out and I think it can do more on that front than anything we have seen from mainstream media in my lifetime.  Why? Two reasons.

1) The massive amount of aid going to Africa every year makes Africa a dramatically worse place.
2) The reason why aid is being sent is because of a racist belief that African's are stupid and incapable of helping themselves.
3) Black Panther provides a strong counter message that Africans are smart and capable of not just standing on their own, but also leading the way.  They can be heroes.

That may sound wrong to you.  Most people think of Africa as this dusty, civil war strewn, home of starving and uneducated people.  Due to their poverty you want to go out and help these poor people.   Indeed this is a great part of human nature.  I don't want to discourage caring about people.  In times of disasters in particular its important for people to try to help those affected.   It is also necessary though to realize the full effect of what that giving can do. While that help can create a short term gain that temporarily increases living conditions it also often comes at the cost of long-term prosperity.   When that help dumps as a one time event to help out in a disaster it can still cause damage, but its limited.  In the case of Africa the developed world has created hundreds of charities and government agencies that dump and dump and dump.  These dumps of free stuff make it impossible for small businesses to compete and so local industries are destroyed.  The reality is that in Africa there is so much dumping that many industries are incapable of developing at all.

Let me say it simpler -
The effect of aid dumping is that you get poverty.
Let me say it even simpler -
Endless Aid =  Endless Poverty

You might be saying what about Bono what about Angelina Jolie?  They are the biggest culprits of pushing this stupidity that is keeping an entire continent poor.   I see them as complete and total ass hats.  They may mean well, but they are causing immense harm.  Bono likes to say that he pushes Smart Aid.  There really is almost no such thing.  There is a project here or there that is beneficial but almost overwhelming it is used to prop up crappy dictators, poor legal systems, corruption, and to wipe out local industry.  If you know anything about economics I am basically saying that aid is wiping out the very means of creating an prosperous economy.

I am going to beg you if you care about Africa don't give aid.  I could say educate yourself but that is not so much the problem.   People in the US are educated on Africa, they just are mis-educated.  This mis-education is being pushed by a giant industrial complex that makes money on people in Africa.    Celebrities are easily misguided or bought by the poverty industrial complex.  If you want to learn about Africa, Listen to the Africans themselves!

Also don't listen to African Government officials as they are also part of the problem. They are the elites who are in on the Poverty Industrial Complex.

Instead, I would like to direct you to Andrew Mwenda a true African visionary and an expert on the problems.  During his Ted talk you can hear Bono in the crowd heckle him.  Why?  Because Bono is part of the problem.  Also Andrew keeps going very well here despite the heckling.  Why?  Because Andrew is a bad ass who knows what he is talking about and is not going to be stopped by anybody.  He care about his country, and his continent.

If you want to know why aid is misguided, listen to Andrew.

So how is Black Panther going to help Africa.  Well hopefully it erodes the perception that Africans are stupid and poor.

In Black Panther T'Challa is one of the most intelligent Marvel characters on Earth and his nation of Wakanda is full of highly intelligent people.  Wakanda is leading the way in innovation in almost all fields.  Wakanda is even the first country on Earth to begin actively colonizing other worlds.  They are entirely ahead of the rest of the world.  When the world needs help, Wakanda pitches in.  They are coming to save the world instead of needing to be saved.  Wakanda is a fictional place but the reality is that it could very easily exist.  Africa is full of highly intelligent people who could be blazing ahead of the rest of the world IF,........we didn't dump free crap on them.

Built into the aid that is going to Africa is an inherently racist message that African's are stupid and are incapable of helping themselves.  I was fortunate to go to school with a bunch of Nigerians and Ethiopians and they were all among the smartest kids in my school.  African's are not stupid, they are very smart.

There is also a view that Africa has no resources.  This is also completely a lie.  Africa has more resources than any of the continents on Earth.  It is full of minerals, and fertile cropland that makes the rest of the world envious.  Despite this reality the view among American school kids is that Africa is extremely poor.

There is a horrible song that illustrates the view of developed world people toward Africa.  It is a song that was first song with great fanfare in 1984 as part of Band Aid and then redone again in 2014 it is called, "Do they Know its Christmas".  Here are some of the lyrics of this song.  Keep in mind that that continent being talked about here is one that is full of water and cropland.  Keep in mind during the Roman empire a bulk of Rome's food was imported from Africa.  Africa was the bread basket of the ancient world.  The dynamics of Africa have not changed all that much.  The land there is capable of growing tons of food.

Here are the lyrics to the song:
There's a world outside your window
And it's a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing 
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you
And there won't be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they'll get this year is life
nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it's Christmastime at all?
Here's to you
Raise a glass for everyone

Here are the stupid / racist celebrities singing it.

I am just going to be honest.  That song pisses me off.  I find it ignorant and racist.  Yes, I know all the smiling white people there want to help people.  However, one thing you must keep in mind.  There is not a worse thing you can do to a person then constantly give them free crap.  If your child is a drug addict one of the first pieces of advice you get is to stop helping them.  Tough Love is how you get out of the cycle.  How do you stop homelessness?  The most successful charity in ending homelessness in Denver is called Step or Step13 and advocates "Tough Love" and a "Hand Up, Not a Hand Out".  Step 13 is often villified locally and receives no government funding, they are also extremely successful.
Africa is not an addict but once again dumping freebies does nothing but reinforce the poverty cycle going on there.

This is a weird thing for a comic book fan to be posting.  I may sound a little angry.  I get fired up on this subject.  However, I post this because I am hopeful that Black Panther can be used to really change the embedded dynamics that are literally killing people because of good intentions.

I want to leave everyone with a documentary called Poverty Inc.  If you are thinking about Adopting a Child from Africa or giving Aid to Africa hold off for an hour and watch this documentary first.  Get some other sources of information before making your decision.

POVERTY, INC. | Official Trailer from POVERTY, INC. | The Movie on Vimeo.

My hope is after Black Panther we begin to see more things that show a powerful, Africa with smart and strong heroes.  My hope is we see less of Africa the helpless.  The more people see a strong and capable Africa the more likely it is to become the reality to the benefit of everyone.  Especially those in Africa.

So yes my hope remains...

I hope Black Panther kills Aid to Africa.

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