Snootiness vs a Young Musician Trying to Help

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.

— Mel Pine (Urgyen Jigme)

Copyright 2017 © Mel Harkrader Pine

Also posted in Truly Open Minds and Hearts.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Peace Paul says:

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. How great that he was able to raise so much money for charities. I guess this a case where “Imperfect action has trumped the perfect planing” of all those who have yet to take action. Namo Amida Bu!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. melhpine says:

      The starfish. Namo amida bu!

      Liked by 1 person

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