Ben Affleck reports on the Congo

Ben Affleck has made 3 trips to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the past year; footage and commentary from his trips aired last night on Nightline. Affleck was pretty careful in framing his report–called it fact finding, educating himself before acting, claimed no particular expertise. He provided some nice commentary about the people he met in a refugee camp: teachers, business owners, everyday people who were forced to flee their homes because of instability and violence. This point can’t be stressed enough. Africa obviously has a lower standard of living than the rest of the world based on a variety of measures, but where there is peace, there are schools and clinics and food; people are generally happy. Where there is war, there is chaos, instability, starvation, disease.

Reasonably interesting posts in response. Not a lot of celebrity hating, a few “take care of America first,” comments, lots of good rebuttals to those comments, a few insightful comments from Congolese.

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