Cry Freedom?

South Africa today…

-This nation of 43 million has more than 5.3 million known AIDS sufferers.

-Statistics indicate that 50% of today’s youth under the age of 15 in South Africa will die within the next 10 years.

-The AIDS pandemic in South Africa is producing approximately 150,000 orphaned children per year, for which there is not an adequate infrastructure to provide care. It is projected that there will be 5 million AIDS orphans by 2008.

From Bridges of Hope, a social-action organization dedicated to helping in the fight against AIDS in Africa.

1 comment

  1. I can’t help but think of two movies. The first, Hotel Rwanda, where the American journalist and camera man have just finished filming the genocide and Paul, the central character, mentions how great that is. Now ‘the world’ will see what is happening and come to help. But the camera man replies saying, “If people see this footage, they will go, ‘Oh, God! That’s horrible,’ and then go back to eating their dinner.”

    The second, The Constant Gardner, a movie about the rape and pilage of Africa and murder of Africans by large western companies spending African lives in exchange for dollars in their pockets. “After all, they are going to die anyway,” they comment. They have the power to do what is right and help heal the land but instead choose to do what is profitiable – not fix the drugs or offer them at a reasonable price but rather fix the testing and force the African community to be test cases for new drugs in order to receive treatment. It is fiction, but their is a reality mirrored in the screenplay. At a funeral at the end when one of the euglogists is speaking to the gathered mourners, he says this condemning the deaths of not only the man represented in the funeral but all those who have died in Africa:

    “No, there are no murders in Africa. Only regrettable deaths. And from those deaths we derive the benefits of civilization, benefits we can afford so easily…because those lives were bought so cheaply.”

    And then I turn off the TV and wonder how many people after watching these movies say “Oh, God!, that’s horrible” and go to bed, having just watched the movie on their home theater system. We are truly rich and unaware.

    Lord help us.

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