Why The Starving Kids In Africa Excuse Is Bullshit
Start writing a post

“There are starving kids in Africa that would love to eat those vegetables.”

“Oh boohoo, you lost your phone charger, you know starving kids in Africa don’t even have phones.”

You’ve heard it a million times before from your parents, grandparents, even your friends, and do you know how much good it does? Zip. Zilch. Nothing. I’m pretty convinced that people my age only utter the idiotic phrase because they grew up hearing it from their parents.

It’s intended to make children, and adults for that matter, grateful for what they have in life. While that is an admirable intention, the execution is where things get messed up.

“Starving kids in Africa” perpetuates the idea that all Africans are the same – malnourished, starving, hungry, emaciated. “Starving kids in Africa” groups a whole continent together, not allowing for individuality to be expressed from person-to-person or even nation-to-nation. “Starving kids in Africa” creates an all-consuming identity of “needy,” not allowing the positive qualities of African nations and people to shine through, like invention, progression, hard work, and ingenuity.

This is not Africa, this is a part of Africa.

This is a marketplace in Cote d'Ivoire.

This is Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

These are students at the University of Zambia

These pictures and more make up parts of the continent and the nations within. Singling out one image is to discredit the existence of the rest.

“Starving kids in Africa” doesn’t fix the problem. Whatever that problem might be, pointing out that there are less fortunate people out there doesn’t resolve the immediate issue. Your kid doesn’t want to eat their vegetables? Your roommate is complaining about never meeting One Direction before their yearlong break? The presence of hungry kids in a place doesn’t make asparagus taste better or disappointments hurt less. Try being a sympathetic human being or, as Thumper said, shut the fuck up.

Africa deals with major issues like gender inequality, hunger and thirst, slavery, violence, and unstable governments. Just like the rest of the world. Pointing out the hungry children in a distant continent isn't going to solve any of those problems either.


Visit this charity to give clean, fresh drinking water for those in need.

Change the conversation. Find another way to get your little ones to eat their veggies. Do research on what really is going on in Africa, maybe taking some time to actually learn about individual countries while you're at it. Figure out how you can be a part of the solution to these issues so you can stop spouting bullshit about a continent you know very little about.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color: Rec Room's Dre Taylor On What Blackness Can Look Like And Not Working For Free

"It mattered to me that when we were depicting racial diversity for Rec Room, we showed the broad spectrum of what Blackness can look like."

Rec Room

The world of sustainable fashion is inundated with marketing gimmicks, false advertising, and large corporations cutting corners — Rec Room is the pure antithesis of that.

Keep Reading... Show less

Dunkin' just announced that they'll be releasing their fall menu earlier than ever — set to debut on August 19 — and that it'll include new menu options this season, including a new signature pumpkin spice latte. Let me just say, Starbucks has some fall-menu competition now.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

CBD Lip Balm Is The Calming Presence You Need In Your Life, Trust Me

I tried lip balm, sleep gummies, and an oil dropper from CBDistillery. Here's the final verdict.

@lilyjmoe

CBD has been on making waves within the wellness space for the last few years. Generally related to the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain, it's growing easier to find small CBD companies who are making products specifically designed to fit your needs. As FDA rules for CBD production can be a little hazy, it's true that not all CBD products are created equally. That's why it's important to look into the manufacturing of whatever you're deciding to try, especially if you're new to taking CBD.

As someone who has tried a variety of CBD products — some victories, some failures — I was thrilled when CBDistillery sent me a package of their favorites. They included a Broad Spectrum CBD Oil Tincture, their Nighttime Gummies, and a CBD Lip Balm.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Went To Disney For The First Time Since COVID-19 And It's Officially The Cleanest Place On Earth

I stopped focusing on the pandemic simply because, for the first time in months, I felt safe.

After a few months of self-quarantining, becoming suspicious of every cough, and blowing through masks like a medical school student, restrictions due to the pandemic are easing up a bit and businesses are warily reopening. While these public spaces may look the same on the outside, the way they function and operate is vastly different than a few months ago.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 At-Home Therapy Tips You Need, No Matter What Your Therapy Routine Is

Whether you're in a Zoom session or live-chatting, make sure your home therapy space is good to go.

No matter what stigmas you held about therapy before this year, I'm sure 2020 has affirmed that we could ALL use a nice long therapy session. Between wildfires that took over an entire continent, a global health crisis, and what's sure to be one giant circus of an election in the United States, we need help and we need it now.

The fact of the matter is, therapy has been a helpful, valid resource long before the world decided to become one giant dumpster fire. Having a safe space to discuss what's going on in your life, worries you have, and struggles you're facing has become a very normal thing for individuals' mental health.

Keep Reading... Show less

When it comes to wedding planning, each and every detail is customized to the style of the couple. From venue and decorations to food and beverages, nothing gets overlooked — whether your wedding is big, small, or virtual.

The same thing goes for invites, which are getting more and more beautiful every wedding season. If you're looking to customize your wedding invitations, the options are endless... you can add pictures if you wish, opt for fancy artwork, or keep it simple with just text).

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

23 Burning Questions We Have For The Taureans In Our Lives, Answered By A Taurus

The remaining 11 signs took the bull by the horns, and it was a fun and insightful experience!

Jordyn Leach

Lately, I've been digging deeper into astrology and studying my sign. Throughout the journey, it's come to my attention that Taurus are probably one of the most complicated signs - that is, if you're not a Taurus.

To gain a little more perspective on how my sign is viewed by the others, I requested that the participants submit a question in response to the following:

Keep Reading... Show less
Universal Pictures

A music enthusiast like myself has a playlist for every mood. Life's a movie and you're the main character. In no specific order, listen to these songs to feel on top of the world!

Pro Tip: turn your crossfade up to 3 seconds for a seamless transition between each song!

Keep Reading... Show less

It's the most wonderful time of the year again — it's sorority recruitment season! While recruitment can be a fun and memorable experience, it can also take a toll on your mental health, especially this year, considering the special circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few reminders to keep in your mental health toolkit during recruitment week to help keep your mental health at bay during this unique experience.

Keep Reading... Show less

We've all been there. You see that super cute guy on your dating app of choice, his bio is funny, and then, the gut-wrenching feeling hits when you see their political views don't exactly line up with yours. He loves Trump, you can't stand him, or vice versa.

A lot of people will say you can get over politics, but I know from personal experience, as well as this survey, that politics play a huge role in whether a relationship will work or if we're even willing to swipe right on that profile.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments