Live 8: where racism, guilt and do-gooding collide?

Solari Ekine of the blog Black Looks offers a thought-provoking analysis of the Live 8 concerts’ failure to provoke real, lasting change for Africa.

"We are not whales!" the African female blogger writes. "It is as if people so much want to believe that Geldof's agenda for Africa has and will make a difference that they cannot see the wood for the trees. There is a desperateness about their rush to believe the superficial explanations offered to them. I can only conclude that the truth is just too much for people to bear."

She goes on to decry the ways in which Africa was portrayed at the concerts — by Geldof, the presenters and the musicians themselves — as an infantalized "scar of the world... passive, starving, diseased, dying and helpless."

Live 8's primary agenda, Ekine says, was "to reduce western guilt, fulfill the chronic need to 'feel good' and reinforce western feelings of superiority towards the Other all of which are underpinned by an insidious racism... A prime of this example is the lack of any 'visible participation of Africans' in this whole enterprise, which Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem describes as 'trying to shave someone's head in their absence.'" 

Ekine also scoffs at the notion that some aid is better than none at all -- a sentiment she claims to have encountered frequently in the liberal blogosphere's coverage of the concerts' aftermath.

A sensitive subject, to be sure -- but important to discuss, debate and yell about. So go forth and do it in the Comments section, below.

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