Should we just leave Africa alone?

The moral argument is strong enough.
  • Transcript


John Legend:  No. The thing, is first of all, the moral argument, to me, is strong enough. You’re a human being, and you see a bunch of people suffering, and you have the resources to help – that’s a simple enough answer to me, is help. And if you can think of a reason why not to, then you tell me. But I think that moral reason is plenty. And then once you have that, you’ve established that, then you think of the selfish reasons why you’d want to help.

Think of how terrorism knocked on our door in New York at 9/11, and you realized that what happens on the other side of the world actually has an impact on what happens here. And all the unrest that happens around the world, a lot of it, a major cause is a battle for scarce resources. Poverty, despair, hunger, unemployment – it feeds a lot of the rage, and the strife, and a lot of the political unrest that happens in these other places around the world. And we know now that that political unrest has its way of finding us where we live in the western world.

And so if you don’t believe in the moral logic behind philanthropy, and behind trying to do something about poverty, then at least believe in the security argument and the selfish motives we might have to care about the rest of the world.

Recorded on: Jan 29, 2008