Snootiness vs a Young Musician Trying to Help

By Mel Harkrader Pine

I don’t know where to start, so I’ll ask you first to watch this five-minute video from singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran:

The video helped raise almost $110 million for relevant charities, but it brought a tsunami of criticism for the 26-year-old international star, who this year had been appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire for his accomplishments in music and charity.

So what’s all the criticism?

Poverty porn….
Lacking context…
White savior…
Separates “us” from “them”…
A video about Ed Sheeran — literally poverty tourism…
What an irresponsible thing to do…

An organization called the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (I kid you not) named Sheeran’s video “the most offensive fundraising advert of 2017.” One “offensive” part was Sheeran’s decisions to take some buys with him at the end of the film. Was he going to support them forever? What about the other boys and the causes of their homelessness?

As journalist Tariro Mzezewa says in the New York Times, yes, the video could be better, but the reaction “is not only overblown but also harmful to the people who need help and those who may want to offer it.”

I’d add that it’s another example of the liberal elitist snootiness that adds to the resentments from the right that we “more educated and progressive” folks find so hard to understand.

Good intentions count. Good results do, too.  And don’t forget the Parable of the Starfish.

Copyright 2017 © Mel Harkrader Pine

Also posted in Melting Pot Dharma.

One comment

  1. Agree. And by the way, if all the critics want to get out there and do something similar, that would be great. Believe it or not, actually needy people aren’t as picky as you might think about who shows up to help. Indeed, that’s one way you can tell the difference between real need, and mere grabbiness.

    Liked by 1 person

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