Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Event Analysis 2 Mike Ray

Event Analysis #2

            On Monday I attended “Bridging the Atlantic: the pitfalls and potential for U.S. – Africa engagement” led by Dr. Emira Woods. Coming in with an open mind was key to understanding the real dangers that the United States cause and realizing that this assumed great country has its flaws. More specifically, The United States contributes to a major part of the growing inequality, militarianism and a term called “land grabbing” in the world. The United States’ growing inequality is evident to anybody who picks up a newspaper. Everyday there are reports of more protests along the lines of the “1%”, meaning there is an increasingly unequal distribution of the wealth in our country. Similar to this, Africa has an even higher percentage. Very few fortunate individuals have wealth while the vast majority of Africans farm just to get by. Fortunate and lucky individuals that escaped Africa and have made some money send it home; this money outweighs the amount of support and aid that Africa receives yearly. Africa also has falling commodity process, which leads to a lesser economy and more poverty than the poverty-stricken country already has. Despite these pitfalls with Africa, it homes oil and an element that our world is growing more and more dependent upon, Coltan. Without Coltan none of our modern technology would work, it is used in televisions, smart phones, computers, and all technology. Mined in the Congo, Africa has its upsides. The situation in Africa is very analogous to Hopkins’s poem “God’s Grandeur”. Hopkins says we need to respect Earth and use it wisely and never take it for granted. In Africa we mine the earths natural resources far faster than it replenished itself and we are slowly ruining our beloved Earth. While there is hope for mankind, until our demand for modern technology slows down, Earth will continue to deteriorate. Dr. Woods stressed that many people died for the right to vote, the right to be heard, and to make the effort to register and go out and vote. Vote for people who will improve the foreign policy between the United States and Africa, to improve out international relations and hopefully make this world a better place. As Jesuits, it’s about the common good and working together to achieve a overall well being. Being the world’s youth I believe, through the help of Emira Woods, it is up to us to make that change. We must make that effort and take those chances to change the world for the better. While Africa was only one example, there are hundreds of countries that need help from power hungry leaders or a failing government. Go out and vote for advanced human rights and a better planet, let your voice be heard. I felt this event was really moving and surely opened my eyes to more than just my surroundings here in Baltimore. 

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