Sunday, June 24, 2007

Justice Not Charity

*We can all produce facts that can be taken out of context.
*Statistics can be twisted to suit an argument.
*Spin doctors can put a slant on things to create a story.

Having said all that, and allowing for inevitable cynicism about such things, I say it is simply not acceptable in 2007 to just accept the following statement;

‘The amount of money we spend on ice cream in Europe is enough to immunize every child in the world’

Worldwatch Institute

In a world where 20,000 people die every day – mainly children – due to poverty, I have to agree with Bono who says ‘This is not a charity issue – it is a justice issue.’


Richard said...


I understand that you and Bono are using your "celebrity status" to put the spotlight on an issue.

But many people put their lives on the line everyday "in the field" doing something about the issues of hunger, famine, cultural wars, excess population pressures, disease, epidemics, etc. What does this type of discussion do to help us to acknowledge their efforts.

What you are raising here brings into play deep-seated issues around injustice, dictatorships, culture clashes, mindless brutality, and inequality. These are all very complex issues....

So what are you really on about here?

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Richard

I have nothing but respect for all the people who are giving their time to do something positive and I should have made that clear in my posting – sorry about that.

What I was really trying to say is that we need global action from the world’s leaders - not just words and ‘agreements in principle.’ We need to see a real shift in resources and more investment in the infrastructure of poorer communities – for instance in the education systems of those parts of this ONE world where 20,000 people are dying daily.

I guess I was trying to illustrate how our wonderful planet is visited by such tragic inequalities.

All of us in our comfortable western life – me included - are spoiled. It is really interesting how we still find things to moan about.

Yesterday I ate an ice cream and I never gave it a thought!

By the way Richard you can certainly apply the word ‘celebrity’ to Bono but not to me :- )

amelia-albertine said...

Trevor, I absolutely completely agree with Bono and you, "this is not about charity, this is about justice". If we sponsor a child or something, thats 'nice' and it might relieve our guilt - but it will not make us a good person. I think each of us in the West has blood on our hands when we do not challenge ourselves to do whatever we can to fight poverty and injustice. It is not something 'noble' for saintly, self-giving people to do. It is the responsibility of every single person to fight injustice and poverty("love your neighbour as yourself"). Thank you for your blog!

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Amelia - thank you for your words - please keep fighting with the passion you have for injustice.

We all have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we are doing practically to help. I may write and proclaim about this issue and I must do more. We all must do more.

I was discussing world poverty last evening with some Christian friends and we agreed that our children’s children will look back on this period in our history and say ... ‘In such a supposedly advanced civilisation how could they condone such terrible poverty on the same planet that has such obscene wealth?’

Mahatma Ghandi when asked what he thought of democracy in the western world replied ‘I think it would be a very good idea’

I have great faith in young people so keep rattling the cage for justice.