The Pain of Equality

"Here's the bad news. From charity to justice, the good news is yet to come. There is much more to do. There is a gigantic chasm between the scale of the emergency and the scale of the response. And finally, it's not about charity after all, is it? It's about justice.

Let me repeat that: It's not about charity, it's about justice.

And that's too bad.

Because we're good at charity. (North)Americans are good at it. We like to give and we give a lot, even those who can't afford it. But justice is a higher standard. Africa makes a fool of our idea of justice; it makes a farce of our idea of equality. It mocks our pieties, it doubts our concern, it questions our commitment.

Sixty-five hundred Africans are still dying every day of preventable, treatable disease, for lack of drugs we can buy at any drug store. This is not about charity. This is about justice and equality.

Because there's no way we can look at whats happening in Africa and, if we're totally honest, conclude that deep down, we really accept that Africans are equal to us. Anywhere else in the world, we wouldn't accept it. Look at what happened in South East Asia with the tsunami. 150,000 lives lost to that misnomer of all misnomers, "mother nature". In Africa, 150,000 lives are lost every month. A tsunami every month. And it's a completely avoidable catastrophe.

It's annoying, but justice and equality are mates, aren't they? Justice always wants to hang out with equality. And equality is a real pain."

Bono's speech to the National Prayer Breakfast February 2nd, 2006