22 Aug 2012

A thing to change: 

Some of the largest consumer electronic companies are making progress toward conflict-free sourcing from eastern Congo and armed groups are now making 65% less money from conflict minerals.

See how your favorite smart-phone manufacturers and other companies match up. Then take action to show companies there is a consumer demand for conflict-free products.



Watch Me

Michael Harrington, author of The Other America, stated that “Americans do not have peripheral vision when discussing other countries disasters” such as this one. If we do not see it, it must not exist. Instead of helping the Congo, many people would rather toss their hands up and say that the Congo has so many issues that it is hopeless and cannot be saved. But I would like to open your mind to a different perspective. Former dictator Mobutu Sese Seko is one of the main causes of the African War which was the start to this minerals crisis. Obviously this man did not have a good impact on the Congo. So why did he gain support from the West as an ally in the Cold War?

According to GlobalIssues.Org, the United States policy toward Mobutu was rationalized on the grounds of fighting “communism” and Soviet influence in Africa, but the U.S. was clearly more concerned with securing its own interests in the region than helping foster a stable, secure, and peaceful future for the people of Central Africa. Lying at the center of the continent, the Congo could provide the U.S. with access to important resources, transportation routes, and political favors. The U.S. prolonged the rule of Mobutu by providing more than $300 million in weapons and $100 million in military training. Mobutu used his U.S.-supplied arsenal to repress his own people and plunder his nation’s economy for three decades, until his brutal regime was overthrown by Laurent Kabila’s forces in 1997. When Kabila took power, the Clinton administration quickly offered military support by developing a plan for new training operations with the armed forces.

In summary, the United States was well aware of how corrupt Mobutu and Kabila were as leaders, yet they continued to help them destroy the lives of their people and their country. The same reason why you may have never known about this history, is most likely the same reason you may have never heard of this topic before today. Many of the major corporations involved in this crisis such as: Apple, Dell, HP, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola, and many others, are spending millions of dollars to keep this Crisis a secret so that American consumers will continue to buy their products. How many times have you heard about the earthquake in Japan or the uproar in the Egyptian government? Why is this topic rendered incapable of being newsworthy? Because unlike the other topics, this topic would damage the already weakened American economy. Which raises the question, who will help the Congo?

The Answer is Simple: You.

Raise Hope For Congo

Watch on downbytheriverofshadow.tumblr.com

Actor and activist Ryan Gosling recently traveled with the Enough Project to eastern Congo to witness first-hand the effects of war there. From the scenes he captured, Ryan created this video for the Enough Project’s “Raise Hope for Congo” campaign working to create a permanent solution to Congo’s war. To learn more, visit RaiseHopeForCongo.org.

Music by James Blake.