Maybe their hearts were in the right place. Maybe not. Either way, these are solid contenders for the title of “worst attempts at helping others since colonialism.”
1. One million t-shirts for Africa
2. TOMS Buy-One-Give-One
…dumping shoes in places where people might otherwise be employed to make them.
3. Machine gun preacher
Problems with Sam Childers, the machine gun preacher, are so much more straightforward.
It’s dangerous and insane.
4. 50 Cent ransoming children in Somalia
So let’s break that down.
A. If you Like Fifty’s Facebook page — without even buying the drink — a child, presumably in Somalia, gets fed.
B. We can infer that there is a pot of dollars somewhere earmarked for feeding needy children. Two million meals worth of feeding if you count the million Like-meals plus the potential million bonus.
C. Those meals, while they could be donated, and have presumably been budgeted for, willnot be, except to the extent that you give Street King props online.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is called extortion.
5. Donor fund restrictions
6. Making food aid the same colour as cluster munitions.
Left is delicious. Right will kill you. You try tell the difference if you can’t read English and live out in the steppes.
7. Making USAID a foreign policy tool
In 1990, on the eve of the first Gulf War, Yemeni Ambassador Abdullah Saleh al-Ashtal voted no to using force against Iraq in a security council session. US Ambassador Thomas Pickering walked to the Yemeni Ambassador’s seat and retorted, “That was the most expensive No vote you ever cast.” Immediately afterwards, USAID ceased operations and funding in Yemen.