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Global Lessons From a Rock Star

By Matt Gray
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, April 18, 2005

When most people drop $100 on a concert ticket, poverty is the last thing on their mind. Bono was probably aware of this, but that wasn't about to stop him from opening his audience's eyes to a great challenge that they might not have known they were facing. Last week's U2 concerts in Glendale Arena featured some great music, but they also had one unrelenting request: Keep your eyes on Africa.

While most people probably didn't feel like an entire continent had slipped their mind, one phrase seemed to catch everyone by surprise: "a tsunami a month." That's about how many people die preventable deaths in Africa day in and day out. Every month, Africa loses 160,000 people to disease and other effects of extreme poverty.

So if more people in Africa have died since the tsunami hit than died in the tsunami itself, why haven't we all put the same kind of effort into poverty relief as we have into tsunami relief? The answer is simple: The tsunami replayed on our televisions every night for a month while the people of Africa have continued to suffer in silence. The crisis in Africa has gone on for years, but it is out of our American sight and out of our American mind.

After Sept. 11, 2001, Americans' generosity was overwhelming. The country came together and gave enough money to provide for all the grieving families. We were not about to let the tragedy defeat us, so we sacrificed and changed our priorities to lift up those in need. History will never forget our response in the late months of 2001, but what will it say about our efforts to help a region that loses more lives than Sept. 11 every day? Can we rally that same spirit of generosity and human understanding for a much greater challenge?

The One Campaign believes that we can and that awareness is the key. This group, which features leaders ranging from rock stars like Bono to movie stars like Brad Pitt to evangelical stars like Pat Robertson, is going to make sure you know about Africa. They don't want your money. In fact, their Web site doesn't take donations. Instead, all they want is for you to read and learn until you understand the African crisis and maybe wear a wristband.

Or at least that's what they want you to believe. The truth is, they know us Americans all too well. They know you dropped that $20 into the Red Cross tub on Sept. 15, and then did the same a few days after the tsunami. The members of the One Campaign know that once you understand the everyday tragedies that occur in Africa, you won't be able to forget. Once you've seen the faces, heard the stories and learned what you can do to help, human nature will take over from there.

Bono's hope is that this will be the hallmark achievement of our generation. He speaks fondly of those before us that defeated communism and ended apartheid, but he hopes that we'll do one better. It won't be easy. Lifting millions of people out of life-extinguishing poverty isn't the sort of thing that you can do in a weekend. Luckily, we happen to be citizens of a superpower. Once this nation dedicates itself to doing something, we find a way to make it happen. Just ask Saddam Hussein.

It's time we put our collective mind on Africa, the worldwide capital of human suffering. Get the facts, become informed, and then help your friends and family do the same. We have food and we have medicine. They desperately need food and desperately need medicine. Once we all put two and two together, there will be no stopping the immense good that flows when the American people are dedicated to a higher purpose.

If right now you saw someone across campus bleeding and broken, you'd run for help. Across the sea, Africa is bleeding and broken. We need to see it and run for help.

Date: 2005-04-20 08:35 pm (UTC)

Date: 2005-04-20 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you.

Date: 2005-04-20 08:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
you're welcome.

nice icon. nice keyword.

Date: 2005-04-20 08:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2005-04-20 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
this is great. and I fully support and applaud the One campaign, and the idea that it's about awareness and knowledge more than money. that said, I can't understand why a portion of U2's ticket proceeds don't go towards some charity or organization... any ideas? I'm asking out of curiosity, not hostility, just genuinely wondering. wouldn't that be the simplest way to garner thousands of dollars for a worthy cause? even if $1 of each ticket went to the One campaign and they handed out wristbands at the show... it would still be something other than directly into the show costs/U2's pockets.

Date: 2005-04-20 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
good question, mate. would love to hear someone's take on that. it's probably all politics, where the money goes...

Date: 2005-04-20 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
maybe you can suggest that to bono the next time we see him...

Date: 2005-04-20 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i would fucking love to.

after i get through the list of everything else i need to say first. :-P

Date: 2005-04-20 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i know what you mean.

Date: 2005-04-20 09:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
brilliant idea ;) but only if I can come! hee

Date: 2005-04-20 09:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Date: 2005-04-20 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was on inteference today and of course, that is always a topic over there. I dunno, in one way it would be great if they did that, but i'm just realizing how much money this tour really costs. they have hundreds of people to pay. I guess the gesture itself would be nice, or they could pass out those one bracelets instead of charging 1.00 for them at the One campaign booth. I mean, I know they're trying to fund the one campaign by selilng those bracelets, but still, U2 has enough money to by one for every concert goer and pass 'em out as you enter the arena when you present your ticket stubb.

but... maybe they don't want to be THAT in your face about it.
i dunno.

Date: 2005-04-20 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I should check out Interference. do you like it better than the Zootopia forums on

as for the costs of the tour, yeah, I was thinking that too. but $190 for 100-level tickets must turn quite the profit when you consider they're selling out venues that seat upwards of 10,000 people.

I mean, don't get me wrong. I'll see U2 as many times as I can this tour. but it would all be a little sweeter if I knew part of my ticket price was going to something worthwhile, y'know? :)

Date: 2005-04-21 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Interference has its moments but can also be very frustrating. I'll stop right there and not say anything else.

zootopia i go there more for information. ALtho I think it's better than it used to me. I like the "live" forum the best.

Date: 2005-04-20 11:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
the Zootopia question was stupid. of course Interference is better but I've never really used it that much.

[ profile] stateless, sorry for spamming your entry :-[

Date: 2005-04-21 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
no worries, spam is good for the soul. :-)

Date: 2005-04-22 06:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*darts in* It's very possible they do. Bono has said often before that it wouldn't be right for them to say where their money goes- the Christian theological idea of charity really only being charity if it's given without 'the right hand knowing what the left is doing'. I'd guess that whatever profits coming from the tour to the band end up at least in part with various organisations that further the campaign's stated goals.

Date: 2005-04-22 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
that is GREAT! thank you for that! it actually makes it so much better :)

Date: 2005-04-22 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know that around the time of Elevation when the crisis in Malawi was at its worst, reports leaked of Bono giving several million to charities there for immediate relief... so... yeah. I always just assume they take care of things like that without making a production of it. :)

Date: 2005-04-20 11:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
isn't it amazing that there even has to be a headline like "Global Lessons from a rock star"? That right there infuriates me to no end. Thank God we have Bono and he is such an amazing person but it angers me so much to think if he wasn't the voice of so many, how much further behind the world would be in helping Africa and other 3rd world nations.

Date: 2005-04-20 11:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
i know, man. *sigh*

Date: 2005-04-21 01:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks for posting that. I'm going to put it into my own journal.

Date: 2005-04-21 03:25 am (UTC)

Date: 2005-04-21 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thank you.

small flightless bird looking for help

Date: 2005-05-05 10:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi, hope you don't mind my intruding... I have a quick question.

You're going to the Twickenham shows before Dublin, correct? If that's the case, I was wondering when you were flying to Dublin.

It's just that, as (I presume) I'm making the same trip, it'd make sense to take it at the same time.

Re: small flightless bird looking for help

Date: 2005-05-05 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hiya! :-)

you mean when am i flying to dublin from london? i'm actually going dublin-london-glasgow-dublin...


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