Simon Fuller and the founder of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, have gotten permission from the Marley family to use a song Bob Marley wrote in the 70s to help famine relief in East Africa. According to Fuller, all proceeds from the sale of the song and now music video will go to support the “ImGonnaBeYourFriend.org for Save The Children. The song definitely tells the tale of today’s conditions in Somalia – while the video works to make the rivers flow from one’s eyes. It’s just too bad that those rivers cannot flow onto the territory where more than 375,000 children are now dying of starvation. And, by the way, if you do not get choked up at the sight of this video, seriously question your heart. Contrary to popular belief, people are more sympathetic to commercials showing battered – abused animals than the poor and dying children of East Africa. Just why is that?
Constantly reported is how relief efforts have been attempted only to have them thwarted by the military of East Africa. Subsequently, when what little rations are grounded, there is looting and animal behavior from the inhabitants of the refugee camp. Really? To even report that there is that type of behavior displayed by a starving group of people is really unfair. They are starving! On a drought-stricken land, what can these people do? What happened? How did this get so far out of hand when the powers-that-be of the United States of America have and steady support countries that interest us with money and military assistance. So, by allowing a nation of people to starve to death is just another way we show our support for them? Apparently so. The United States never did show any support to end apartheid in South Africa. But, when apartheid ended in the 90s, it did not end for East Africa. Maybe, had there been white inhabitants of East Africa more would have been done to wipe out famine there.
As mothers walk for miles of days and nights to reach the refugee camp in East Africa from as far as Kenya, they endure a Hell that no human being should ever have to. In an effort to protect their child or children, many women are raped by the military. Some are even maimed to keep them quiet. All this is done right in front of the helpless children struggling to make it to safety. What a mother won’t do for the safety of her child. In the midst of all the pain and suffering, never has there been a report of a weeping mother asking God, “Why?” The turmoil in Africa is man-made. They know it. They live it. We know it. We allow it. We contribute to it.
Much to often, there is the occasional celebrity who wants to get their name in print or their face shown in the midst of anything of a deprived nature. All this is supposed to do is show that these “stars” are doing their part to help the needy. But exactly what do they do? Accept for famed dames like: Angelina Jolie, Shakira, and Madonna, most other celebrities will lend their name or do a quick 15 to 30 second public service announcement (because of their busy schedules) for the cause of the time. Jill Biden actually arrived at the refugee camp as if she was an “Angel in White.” Mrs. Biden did not arrive at the refugee camp with the appearance of ever doing anything…why would she get her hands dirty? Then again, all that dust and dirt flying only added the illusion of stress to her white blouse. I think an appropriate campaign for the celebrities would be, “Come As You Are To Help!” Stop with the commercials. Go straight to Washington, DC or the United Nations. If you’re going to make an appearance at the refugee camp, knowing full well that the media will be there, don’t get dolled up. And for gosh sakes, leave the fancy sunglasses at home. One other thing, try sleeping with the people. Don’t just make an appearance and be jetted back to your hotel room. That’s just posing.
There are quite a few celebrities who loaned their names to the famine relief cause just for attention:
Eminem Carrie Underwood The Rolling Stones Justin Bieber Cristiano Ronaldo Beyoncé David Beckham Victoria Beckham Jennifer Lopez Bruno Mars Scotty McCreery Conan O’Brien AT&T Lauren Alaina Enrique Iglesias Britney Spears Ryan Seacrest Gwen Stefani U2 Coldplay Robert Plant
Do more than just give money. Don’t just do something because you “…have children…” As a role model, a celebrity should be able to roll up his or her sleeves and get dirty. Now can anybody really see these people getting dirty – even for their own kids?
What’s really sad is that celebrities will remain celebrities and possibly even increase their fan-base while the starving children and adults will eventually perish to death. Where are the morals, Whores? Another true patron-saint of Africa is the illuminating Charlize Theron. Miss Theron is very diligent in whatever cause she takes on. If she has really taken on this cause, rest assured it’s not done for vanity.
Like with many other charitable organizations, other than the American Red Cross, many of the donations do not reach their recipients. Fuller and Blackwell have started a donation site for their campaign: ImGonnaBeYourFriend.org. Remember Bob Geldof and his “Feed The World” effort? How well did that fare? At least he was granted an honorary knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, and became the recipient of the Man of Peace title which recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to international social justice and peace. Yet, people are fleeing Kenya for the refugee camp in Somalia.
Katrina. Somalia. I have heard quite a few people compare the two. For Katrina, water flushed out the impoverished. In Somalia, the lack of water and nutrition is wiping out the impoverished. I recall the oil spill off the Louisiana Coast. Could Somalia be just another nutrient-rich area requiring the removal of all its temporary residents? Do many celebrities jump on the popular bandwagon without really knowing its true nature? Sure they do. And, when all else fails, they easily point the blame at something or someone else. In my opinion, I think all celebrities should educate themselves on every charity event or cause their manager engages them in. Then again, for many, ratings and popularity mean dollars. Deal with the ramifications later. Just ask Oprah how she felt when she was duped by James Frey. Yeah, she had shows where she later made peace with everyone she possibly slighted during her show’s airing. But with James Frey, one wondered if she really did read all those books she promoted for her Book Club. If she had, maybe she would have been skeptical from the start. Everything celebrities do is supposed to be fantastic. How fantastic is it to watch somebody die knowing that you could have done something real to prevent it?
I don’t think Bob Marley would be too pleased with the efforts made today to try and end the famine in East Africa. There are just too many hands in the pot stirring with no intention of really making anything.