Chronicling community action, revolutionary and revealing thought

Friday, July 01, 2005

Canada Day Primer

Happy Canada Day.

Asad Ismi was talking on CKLN's radio about the G8 summit and the Colossal African Debt Thing.

And offered up some interesting factoids.

Like how the collosal debt started.

The debts started getting obscene around the 1980's. Western countries got a lot of money from the flowing petroleum and forced countries to borrow money at what seemed to be ok rates, then skyrocketed the interest rates to... 20%.

Hence the debt.

They've already paid the original debt multiple times over.

Back to the G8 Live 8 thing (Or as it's also called, "Jive-Aid, Part Deux").

African musicians have come right out and said it's a collossal waste of time. (There's that "Collosal" thing popping up again.)

And, uh... it seems some people are trying to tie the elimination of the debt with the reparations that should be done for current descendants of black slaves in North America, as in:- The Debt Elimination = Reparations paid + done (issue over).

Sorry, what...?!?!

Reparations is not a one-stop, financial issue, solved with throwing money at it. If that's the reasoning behind the absolute resolution of the issue, then you might as well throw about $50,000 at an incest survivor victim, who's had the abuse start at the tender age of two, and is currently on the street, 18 years of age; put a feather in your hat and call it macaroni, declare it done, and simply walk away. Sounds insane? Well, what makes anyone think an endemic issue, hundreds of years in the making, and then in the addressing, as easily resolved?

O.K. Think about it this way. How in the living f*ck did Live8 not manage to snag YOUSS OU N'DOUR? An old high school pal would hoot and cheer whenever she saw him appear on TV, saying he's a friend of the family (or uncle...)

(He and other major African musicians were at a lesser-known event for the same cause, at a place called High Park in London)

And not one of the African radio hosts at CKLN had anything positive nor encouraging to say about the current or past "Live Aid" events/efforts/image upgrade-slash-publicity-stunts for musicians.

I mean, it's nice that Madonna can grin for the public and hold with a death-like grip onto the healthy, adult version of some chick who was caught on television during the original Live-Aid stint, when she was barely conscious from the effects of malnutiriton, trying to cop-off on some of the publicity so it could revive her own career...

But as someone posed to one of the African hosts on CKLN, did the original Live-Aid do anything to get rid of the famine, etc., it was supposed to, back then?

"Uh ..., no, not really," was the reply. "I mean there still is famine and poverty now, isn't there?"

Not to mention the tons of comments on where the bulk of that money actually ended up.

So, now. Go watch the fireworks.

And know that you've kept reality in balance.

And check out this Asad Ismi guy, will you?

As someone who grew up in Trinidad, I found his East Indian accent extremely comforting; it reminds you that there are people out there with their HEADS, not to mention hearts, in the right place who are keen and passionate in the issue... (and you'd better take what I just said the right way, or else...!)

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