Saturday, August 30, 2014

#AfricaIsNotYourSynonym


1. Africa is not a country.


2. Africa is 55 countries and 1 billion people. But if Africa *were* one country, the GDP per capita would be higher than that for India or China. See Vijay Mahajan's Africa Rising.

3. This poster grossly misrepresents the experiences of 1 billion people in 55 countries. See the world's leading multi-disciplinary, statistical survey of Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development of Africa's 55 countries as prepared annually by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

4. This poster continues the standard White liberal positioning of a mythic, monolithic "Africa" as the ultimate contrast for the White techno-civilisation: as a sprawl of unrelenting misery and deprivation, and therefore a place to focus White liberal pity (which is to say, a racist illusion of superiority masquerading as compassion), rather than addressing realities of, say, water desalination, business and technology, leadership, secondary education, post-secondary education, fashion, animation, video games, the construction of the “Silicon Savannah,” Kenya’s Konza City, or any number of other stories that would be standard reporting about modern Western countries or Japan.

5. Canada and United States contain plenty of misery and deprivation specifically related to water scarcity—some of it caused by colonial racism, capitalism and racism, or climate change and capitalism. There is no need to create and distribute a racially, economically, and politically misleading image to discuss the ALS challenge or water scarcity.

Stop reposting content embodying the standard White liberal vision (i.e., racist misunderstanding) of the realities of 55 African countries and 1 billion people, and replace such material with accurate, broadly representative stories, demonstrating actual problems, yes, but also, actual everyday life which includes excellence in every sphere of human activity.

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