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By Laura Hadden
It sounds innocent enough.
Bono & The (Red) Campaign simply want to "empower" us as consumers to use our dollars to create change. Hand over your credit card and in exchange, they will hand back an overpriced t-shirt/cell phone/iPod and the knowledge that "a portion of the profits" will help buy medicine for AIDS patients in Africa.
But all this feel-good philanthropy simply fails to address the real issues. Rather than question and challenge the price of America's overconsumption and exploitation in those "developing" countries, we embrace our product-obsessed culture, buy a t-shirt, and feel like we've done our part and erase our collective guilty conscience. Instead of talking about community organizing or political action to end AIDS, we're encouraged to take a trip to the mall and celebrate our "power as consumers" in solidarity with our "dying brothers and sisters in Africa".
Like, totally awesome...