Biting the Hand

Bob Geldof is not making many friends by warning performers in his Live 8 concerts not to openly criticize President Bush. He has stated both that “he wants to bring Bush in, not run him away” and “They refuse to accept, because of their political ideology, that he has actually done more than any American president for Africa, but it’s empirically so.” As you can imagine, this may be ruffling the feathers of many who are scheduled to perform, as well as leaders of many left-leaning political action groups. However, this isn’t the only issue that those ‘on the left’ have with the Live 8 concerts.

The Live 8 concerts have also been called the event ‘hideously white’, somehow making the assertion that there should be a large black contingent of performers in order for it to be a valid affair for helping Africa. He has said that he is booking acts that will get people into the concert and ‘sell records’, but apparently cultural diversity in the playlist is more important than trying to bring in the white people who may be unaware of the issues but would go to see these acts.

By making sure the list of performers are people that will bring in those uninformed white suburbanite crowd, he is actually making these people aware of the problems that exist. And because of this he is being lambasted by the “critics of all”. Now, because of the rancor, Peter Gabriel is hosting an alternative musical event called ‘Africa Calling’ that will perform on the same day in order to “provide an authentic voice for Africa that was moving and personal.”

But that isn’t the only flack the concert is getting. A coalition of predominantly African-American business, civic and community leaders, working with Philadelphia’s African-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC), likened the economic exclusion of blacks in the City of Brotherly Love to the economic hardship suffered by sub-Saharan African nations and have called on the event organizer, Bob Geldof, and the entertainers scheduled to participate in Philadelphia’s Live 8 Concert, to intervene on their behalf or to cancel Philadelphia as a concert venue.

Apparently, the city has made no public committment to ensure that black vendors and businesses will fairly participate in the anticipated $40 million in expenditures that are expected to result from the concert. If these assurances are not met, they want the concert to be halted.

Again, let me repeat that. If they don’t get assurances that black vendors and businesses will ‘fairly participate’ (above and beyond normal legal aspects) then they want the concert, who’s sole purpose is to raise money and bring awareness about the deplorable living conditions in Africa, to not happen.

You have to wonder what kind of lenses some people are looking through when they can even entertain this type of insanity, trying to force and push their singular agenda into the forefront when ever possible at the cost of larger issues that they are willing to derail.

Is anyone else besides me thinking that this is the height of selfishness?

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