We Need to Talk: Playing for Keeps

We Need to Talk: Playing for Keeps
by O’X
Written in great fear that my calling a spade a spade (tears) will interfere with our… great collective potential.

“It is urgent that we persuade progressive US legislators to stop the militarization of aid to Africa and to help ensure Africa’s rise to responsible self- determination.” — Danny Glover’s conclusion to his (and Nicole C. Lee’s) “Say No to Africom”, posted in 2007.

Immediately, yes, we should stop the militarization of aid to Africa. We should also stop the (U.S. corporate) mining in/of Africa. And — while we’re at it — stop about a dozen other abominations we back to the hilt. Danny and Nicole are spot-on, of course, with the thrust of their article, BUT… we need to talk. Immediately.

First, forgive my presumption. [Pause.] Okay, let’s move on. For there IS an urgency surrounding these issues.

Which brings me to the biz of the piece having been written in 2007. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s going to be 2010 in a few days, AND we’re no longer with a Bush at the helm. AND… AND… AND… the unconscionable ravaging of Africa is proceeding at a horrific pace, above and beyond the wildest dreams of any pre-Obama president, all of whom — for at least the last 100 years or so — have had rapacious designs on the continent.

Yes, we need to talk.

For there’s a serious disconnect somewhere if we witness the lack of criticism being leveled at present… along the lines touched upon above. [I'm purposely -- for very good reason -- tactfully walking on eggshells here.]

We all need to talk, but I think I’ll wait to get invited to a rendezvous with Keb’ Mo’. He’s tight with the Playing for Change people, and Danny. AND… a whole host of people who I want to blah blah with. About stuff that’s not on their table, that is not slated to be on their table, and which is destined to doom virtually all of Africa (and beyond, of course)… unless we come up with a game plan which follows a new paradigm for change.

For instance, Danny and Nicole appeal to their readers to put pressure on legislators to do the right thing. Yeah, we need to talk ’cause, among other things, following that model for making progress won’t produce the desired results (to put it VERY mildly). The scorecard’s in on that. For which I can easily provide definitive documentation… all part of the public record by the way.

But let’s not try to do here what I want to do in person, in confidence… so that I can offer up my proposal for going about things in a different way… without giving anything away prematurely. Rather, let’s take the heartbeats to glance at a beautiful group of people — beautiful like Danny — trying to make a difference too. Let’s review just one aspect of what they’re doing with the best of intentions… so that I can bolster the importance of arranging a meeting with me post haste.

Just make sure that you understand at the outset that I deeply respect the efforts and accomplishments of Danny, Nicole, ZNet (who posted the Africom-centered article) and the Playing for Change Foundation.

If you’re down with that, you can jump to one of the reasons the Playing for Change Foundation gives for people joining their community:

“Provide a safe learning environment as an alternative to the violence and despair these children face in their daily lives.”

To cut to the chase, whereas there is no question that Playing for Change immensely improves the lives of the children they embrace, the Big Picture begs for one and all to take another good hard look at the source of the “violence and despair” (on the ground and in the air and groundwater below) which can be traced directly to ongoing U.S. policies abroad.

Of course, I know very well that non-profit groups cannot (legally) get “involved” with political issues, just as I know the downsides of any celebrity tackling such issues unconditionally. The latter can be quite complicated. The former is a quite clear matter of the powers that be making sure that they eliminate a legion of (potential) opposition outright. Outta sight how they get away with such blatantly undemocratic policies. [Pause.] But quite common. [Long pause.] There’s a legal way to circumvent those pathetic parameters.

HEY, CAN ANYONE HEAR ME!?! I’m knock, knock, knockin’ on Danny’s door with this cri de coeur. And on my knees — in all humility — gladly… to call attention to a realm which can be addressed by one and all, which MUST be addressed by one and all. YESTERDAY.

YES, I’m fully prepared to leave my comfortable home and go feed the world’s immiserated children one-on-one, play backup to whatever sounds Playing for Change makes possible, and even write a useless letter or two to a disingenuous congressman (if it will bring a smile to Danny’s lovely face).

But God of Grace, enable me to move in solidarity with the people above, with Keb’ Mo’… now… right away… so that we address what must be addressed… following a new paradigm.

For I want to do more. I want to get at the sore source. With y’all.

Thankful for everything,
Richard
P.S. Again, I do have a propoosal which will not drain energy or resources from present priorities. See http://oxtogrind.org/archive/447for another angle.