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Old 1st March 2019, 03:36 AM   #1
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Being a white celebrity in Africa...

Originally Posted by BBC News
Stacey Dooley hits back at MP Lammy's Comic Relief 'white saviour' criticism

"Stacey Dooley has challenged MP David Lammy after he said "the world does not need any more white saviours" following her Comic Relief posts from Africa.

She tweeted: "David, is the issue with me being white? (Genuine question)... because if that's the case, you could always go over there and try raise awareness?"

She's posted images on Instagram of her holding a young Ugandan child.

Mr Lammy said: "This isn't personal and I don't question your good motives."

The Labour MP for Tottenham added: "My problem with British celebrities being flown out by Comic Relief to make these films is that it sends a distorted image of Africa which perpetuates an old idea from the colonial era."

Dooley, who recently won Strictly Come Dancing and has made documentaries for the BBC on topics including fast fashion and an Isis sex slave, said: "Comic Relief have raised over £1bn since they started. I saw projects that were saving lives with the money. Kids' lives."

Mr Lammy also appeared on BBC Two's Victoria Derbyshire programme, saying: "Charity is a good thing, all of us understand that, but how we do charity is important.

"Comic Relief is a 20-year-old formula that asks comedians to perform and sends celebrities - most often white - out to Africa, and that image evokes for lots of ethnic minorities in Britain, a colonial image of a white beautiful heroine holding a black child, with no agency, no parents in sight.

"The charity is doing very little to educate the public," he added, talking about the "emerging middle class in Africa."
Much of Lammy's criticism seems off-key, not least this last comment. That there is an "emerging middle class in Africa" doesn't seem to be helping those still living in poverty there. It is also the case that half of Comic Relief's work is in the UK, but nobody decries than on the basis that we already have a middle class, and upper class, for that matter.

He complains about sending "most often white" celebrities to Africa to report on CR's work, but that kind of overlooks the fact that the UK is 85% white, and only 3% black. The charity has, though, had black celebrities (e.g. Ade Adepitan, various singers, etc) doing these reports in the past,and of course for much of its 34 years Lenny Henry has been the main frontman on the night.

Quote:
Comic Relief said in a statement: "We are really grateful that Stacey Dooley, an award-winning and internationally acclaimed documentary-maker, agreed to go to Uganda to discover more about projects the British people have funded there and make no apologies for this.

"She has filmed and reported on challenging issues all over the world, helping to put a much-needed spotlight on issues that affect people's lives daily.

"In her film, people working with or supported by Comic Relief projects tell their own stories in their own words. We have previously asked David Lammy if he would like to work with us to make a film in Africa and he has not responded. The offer is still open."
Whoops!
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Old 1st March 2019, 03:50 AM   #2
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At a stretch I can actually get this bit

Quote:
white beautiful heroine holding a black child, with no agency, no parents in sight.
But tough tits, it tends to bring in more money to help.

And frankly, bitching about it isn't going to change how this works
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Old 1st March 2019, 03:59 AM   #3
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I like Stacey Dooley. Balls of an elephant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrCAW6tmKdc

David Lammy is a race baiter and has no balls.
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Old 1st March 2019, 04:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cullennz View Post
At a stretch I can actually get this bit

Quote:
white beautiful heroine holding a black child, with no agency, no parents in sight.
But tough tits, it tends to bring in more money to help.

And frankly, bitching about it isn't going to change how this works
The parents were apparently just out of shot. I would also class Dooley as "supremely ordinary" rather than "beautiful."

It's worth noting that when BBC London did a few street interviews in Peckham yesterday (50% Black, 29% White), the black ones supported Dooley, and the white one supported Lammy. I suspect that, despite Lammy's claims, his views are not as representative as he claims.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 1st March 2019 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 1st March 2019, 03:11 PM   #5
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Lammy should hang on for a few months. African Comic Relief will soon be sending black celebs to the UK to provide antibiotics and help us dig wells.
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Old 1st March 2019, 03:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
Lammy should hang on for a few months. African Comic Relief will soon be sending black celebs to the UK to provide antibiotics and help us dig wells.
Ouch!
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Old 1st March 2019, 03:46 PM   #7
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Seth Meyers has a good take on the white-saviour idea:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 1st March 2019, 05:35 PM   #8
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To try to be as fair to Lammy as possible, if you look at the Instagram photo that set him off, (see here) I can sort of see why he would have that reaction. I had that gut feeling too, and I'm white. Oh look, another white savior preening on Instagram about all she's doing to save those poor, starving Africans. It's probably a shallow thought to have, but it was there. I probably would have held my tongue though, because it's complicated.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that there's an emerging middle class in Africa now. I guess Comic Relief and company can close up shop now and go home.

I wish I had the means to be a philanthropist, but I struggle just to provide a modest middle-class lifestyle for my own dependents.
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Old 1st March 2019, 07:29 PM   #9
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I get kind of torn, because the optics do matter.. But reality matters more.

Although, I would love to see the reaction if a Chinese company created a video looking for funding for America's white poor population, say in Beattyville KY. Have one holding a white kid, pleading with the camera that little Abigail never knows when her next meal will come. Her single mother, an addict, with no job, education or hope stumbles in the background while exiting her trailer. Sad music plays.

If the reaction received after the UN report on homelessness in SF is any indication, it would not be positive.
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Old 2nd March 2019, 01:54 AM   #10
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London Evening Standard: Comic Relief co-founder Lenny Henry weighs into Stacey Dooley ‘white saviour’ row

"Comic Relief co-founder Sir Lenny Henry defended the charity as he waded into the ‘white saviour’ row between Stacey Dooley and MP David Lammy.

The 60-year-old comedian, who has been involved in the charity since its inception in 1985, touched on the controversial topic while appearing at Comic Relief’s Spectacular fundraiser at Wembley Arena on Thursday night.

Making reference to MP David Lammy’s jibe at Stacey Dooley for posting ‘white saviour’ pictures with children in Uganda on Instagram, Sir Lenny quipped the politician might say “screw you white people” in a gag at the fundraiser.

It came after Sir Lenny said how proud he was to be involved with Comic Relief."
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Old 2nd March 2019, 02:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rdwight View Post
I get kind of torn, because the optics do matter.. But reality matters more.

Although, I would love to see the reaction if a Chinese company created a video looking for funding for America's white poor population, say in Beattyville KY. Have one holding a white kid, pleading with the camera that little Abigail never knows when her next meal will come. Her single mother, an addict, with no job, education or hope stumbles in the background while exiting her trailer. Sad music plays.

If the reaction received after the UN report on homelessness in SF is any indication, it would not be positive.
One day.
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Old 2nd March 2019, 03:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
The 60-year-old comedian...
Hmm...

https://youtu.be/y39d1fQqIXo
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Old 2nd March 2019, 03:46 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
The parents were apparently just out of shot. I would also class Dooley as "supremely ordinary" rather than "beautiful."

It's worth noting that when BBC London did a few street interviews in Peckham yesterday (50% Black, 29% White), the black ones supported Dooley, and the white one supported Lammy. I suspect that, despite Lammy's claims, his views are not as representative as he claims.
Well you would hope so, given Lammy is a twat
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Old 2nd March 2019, 05:17 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
To try to be as fair to Lammy as possible, if you look at the Instagram photo that set him off, (see here) I can sort of see why he would have that reaction. I had that gut feeling too, and I'm white. Oh look, another white savior preening on Instagram about all she's doing to save those poor, starving Africans. It's probably a shallow thought to have, but it was there. I probably would have held my tongue though, because it's complicated.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear that there's an emerging middle class in Africa now. I guess Comic Relief and company can close up shop now and go home.

I wish I had the means to be a philanthropist, but I struggle just to provide a modest middle-class lifestyle for my own dependents.
Never understood being so jealous of someone's charity that you try and insult them to get them to stop. Not only do you feel they should lose out on their time and money, but take **** from yourself as well.

Just always seemed really petty and transparently so to me. People who see the height of scum as rich and white , trying to justify why them doing good is actually a bad thing and how being a slacktivist is actually the best option.
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Old 2nd March 2019, 05:21 AM   #15
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I hope doing absolutely nothing becomes the greatest virtue, then most of us can feel really good about ourselves
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Old 2nd March 2019, 05:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
I hope doing absolutely nothing becomes the greatest virtue, then most of us can feel really good about ourselves
Remember the day of visibility that no one noticed?

Maybe the rich, and the white should do it for day. If all they do is **** things up.
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Old 8th March 2019, 06:34 AM   #17
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Can someone from Africa please explain if there is an 'emerging middle class' in the vast, undeveloped areas of sub-saharan Africa?

I see an emerging middle class perhaps in developed areas of South Africa, Namibia, maybe, but I don't know. Please inform us.

I thought the Relief charities mostly helped people in rural communities, where shoes, water, food, antivenom, are not readily available.
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Old 8th March 2019, 06:50 AM   #18
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I get what Lammy's saying. I don't know if I fully agree, but I think it's important to have the conversation that followed his comments. No shade on Dooley. She's doing what she thinks is right, and by accounts, her efforts have been successful.
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Old 8th March 2019, 07:20 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
Can someone from Africa please explain if there is an 'emerging middle class' in the vast, undeveloped areas of sub-saharan Africa?

I see an emerging middle class perhaps in developed areas of South Africa, Namibia, maybe, but I don't know. Please inform us.

I thought the Relief charities mostly helped people in rural communities, where shoes, water, food, antivenom, are not readily available.
Ironically, Lammy's objections just seem to be the other side of the coin that some people use as an excuse not to support charities or government aid to other countries, e.g. "Why are we giving money to a country that has a space programme/nuclear weapons/people with iPhones/etc."
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Old 8th March 2019, 07:23 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Ironically, Lammy's objections just seem to be the other side of the coin that some people use as an excuse not to support charities or government aid to other countries, e.g. "Why are we giving money to a country that has a space programme/nuclear weapons/people with iPhones/etc."
I rather think his point is "colonialism brought this suffering to Africa, but charities that depict Africans as victims without agency don't help".
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Old 8th March 2019, 09:01 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I rather think his point is "colonialism brought this suffering to Africa, but charities that depict Africans as victims without agency don't help".
I love it when someone introduces nonsense buzz phrases. Either people need aid, or they don't. If the charity overdoes these "the people are really capable and not passive victims" angle, potential donors are apt to think, "then they don't actually need my help."

Last edited by Information Analyst; 8th March 2019 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 10th March 2019, 08:45 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I rather think his point is "colonialism brought this suffering to Africa, but charities that depict Africans as victims without agency don't help".
Colonialism ended a long time ago.
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Old 10th March 2019, 10:01 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
Remember the day of visibility that no one noticed?

Maybe the rich, and the white should do it for day. If all they do is **** things up.
Yeah that addresses the critique of Western society’s white power structures. Stick it to them, bro.
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Old 11th March 2019, 12:46 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
Can someone from Africa please explain if there is an 'emerging middle class' in the vast, undeveloped areas of sub-saharan Africa?
I see an emerging middle class perhaps in developed areas of South Africa, Namibia, maybe, but I don't know. Please inform us.

The news photos you see depicting starving poor people in undeveloped areas apparently does give the impression that most of sub-Saharan Africa looks like that. It really does not.
Of course the 'emerging middle class' is not happening in undeveloped areas but in cities. Yes, there are large cities in SSA and they are growing rapidly.

Urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa
Quote:
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is often regarded as the world's fastest urbanizing region. Urban areas currently contain 472 million people, and will double over the next 25 years.
Quote:
In the next 30 years, urban dwellers will outweigh rural residents for the first time in Africa. This is already the case in some African countries; in Gabon, for example, urban residents represent 87 percent of the total population. In 2015, SSA included thousands of urban centers, of which two mega-cities had over 10 million inhabitants; three cities had between 5 and 10 million; and another 41 cities had populations between 1 and 5 million. SSA is experiencing an annual urban population growth rate of 4.1 percent, compared with a global rate of 2.0 percent.
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Old 11th March 2019, 02:32 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Cheetah View Post
The news photos you see depicting starving poor people in undeveloped areas apparently does give the impression that most of sub-Saharan Africa looks like that. It really does not.
Of course the 'emerging middle class' is not happening in undeveloped areas but in cities. Yes, there are large cities in SSA and they are growing rapidly.

Urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa
That may well be, but clearly there are still vast areas that are underdeveloped and impoverished, as well. It's worth noting that Comic Relief, since its very beginning, has addressed areas in the UK where there is - relative to the population as a whole - deprivation and need. The fact that there are billionaires living in the UK doesn't mean that we don't need to bother about kids growing up in poverty on sink estates.

Lammy complaining that, "The charity is doing very little to educate the public [about the] emerging middle class in Africa," is about as stupid an objection as can be made.
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Old 11th March 2019, 02:41 AM   #26
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I absolutely agree.
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