Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Put your Money Where Your Mouth Is: A Dillemma.

Addidas, Starbucks, Toms

Brands. 

Who gets to decide who how we use their land? 

1, 2, 3, 4 

Years pass by and they're still "poor". 

5, 6, 7, 8 

Try to keep your facts straight. 

Countries wide depending on aid 

We set up camp, but to them it's a raid 

We've defined it as "international aid" What is aid? 

Who gets the money? The Benefits, the Fame?  

They don't even have enough stability for recovery. 

9, 10, 11, 12 

Their history, we've shelved. 

Pushed aside and turned, 

Watched their country burned 

With our lies that 'we would send 

Help', but to them 

It's nothing but a sham.
Recently, international affairs have been more important than ever. We’ve been constantly bomboarded with ‘alternative facts’ and stories of individuals from across the nation, and across the globe. People are feeling bold enough to speak out against their oppressions that the government has done to them, gaining publicity in hopes of raising awareness of the atrocity that is american oppression. We’ve been throwing money into charities in hopes of feeling better about who we are, raising money for the “third world countries who need our help.”
But, it’s times like these we cannot feed into our own system of oppression. We need to stay educated.
Countries abroad have been recieving US aid, and recently, Donald Trump is cutting US aid to foreign countries. This will affect multiple parties, but will affect countries as a whole nonetheless.
Here’s a link that goes further into detail about US foreign aid, and how we spend it:
https://www.nationalpriorities.org/blog/2014/08/12/penny-dollar-us-foreign-aid-about-one-percent-spending/
As you can see, we spend billions helping other countries. But, this fact is also true for Americans themselves, as well as the countries they manage. Toms, a shoe company most famous for this, is proud to advertise themselves as helping a child in africa recieve shoes, as you play into American consumerism. But, what if I told you that instead of helping that country, you were doing them more harm?
Picture this.
Let’s say you sell rice. Rice is a staple food, as it’s easy to keep and easy to cook, with it’s various health benefits, it’s veratile and convenient. Let’s say you try farming and selling this rice. You’ve sold some assets to buy a farm; take a risk to make money and bring money back into your local economy. But because of foreign aid, you’ve been bought out, and nobody buys your rice because people would rather get the free rice than buy it from you. So you’re left with nothing. And, once this company decides that aid is no longer needed for you, your town is left with no rice. And now, what’s there to do? You’ve no rice, no food, and the economy is still at a standstill because there’s constant aid being given, and nobody has money to sustain themselves for when the aid has lessened.
There’s a documentary on netflix called “Povery Inc.” that goes further into this topic, if you’re interested. It’s a world that systematically seeks to benefit the people who work there, corporate companies who make money off of keeping a local economy poor and unable. These aren’t animals, these aren’t unable individuals. These are people who can work and will work to prosper, but it’s not fair to assume because they’re “poor” that their way of life/way of living is wrong.
I encourage you to look further into the aid companies you’re so dilligently working towards. Not all aid is bad, but not all of it is good either.
Instead of assuming what these countries need, we should instead ask them. We should buy from fair trade companies. We should advocate for more limitations on how long aid should be recieved in a country that may not even need it. We should start looking at them as individuals, instead of helpless. They’re people.
Don’t advocate for human rights and feed into this atrocity; it’s a type of oppression that they don’t have control over because they’re seen as incapable. Charity work is good, it’s a good thing to have in times of crisis. It’s a good thing to have for the people who need help, especially when they don’t have the resources or skills to help themselves. But instead of sending over a doctor, give them some recources and skills to help themselves in the future. Give them what they ask for, not what we think they need. Charity work isn’t supposed to be a form of control; but when you purposefully send over things knowing you’ve bomboarded that part of their economy with nothing but free items and your logo; it’s control. When you’re purposefully putting a business there, knowing they will work for cents on a dollar, destroying their homeland, abusing their labor, disrespecting their dignity; it’s control.
Put your money where your mouth is and educate yourself further on the matter. But I warn you, you might not like what you find. And that my freinds, is American Consumerism at its finest.

Featured Image: Flickr

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