The Monitor :: Giving out food and clothes is unethical
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Thursday 18 July 2019, 13:44 pm.
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Giving out food and clothes is unethical

It has been argued by the privileged group in the society that giving to the needy is a Christian virtue and as Batswana is a sign of our botho.
By Staff Writer Mon 08 Sep 2014, 12:18 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Giving out food and clothes is unethical








They argue that our Setswana  philosophy of botho compel us to give to the needy. And also our Christian values teaches us to give to those who are less privileged members of the society.

Based on those two concepts those who are privileged members of the society like to be seen handing out food and clothes and other material needs and so doing they feel great knowing that they have fulfilled their duties as “good christians” “true Africans” .

However countrary to these false beliefs that giving out food and clothes is morally good and is a sign of botho, my argument is that it is not so, infact handing out food and clothes is not only unethical but also evil.

It is unethical because it gives false impression that the privileged loves the less privileged and do them a favour by giving the less privileged food and clothes.

It is evil because the privileged give out materials for the solo purpose of taming and owning the under privileged.

Before the privileged offer the gifts and the under privileged accept the gifts, both must answer the simple question: Why the poor are poor? From the Christian point of view, the Bible in Isaiah 3:13-15, Jeremiah 22:13-17, and Amos 8:4-6 provide particularly clear examples of the insight that poor people are the source of the wealth that has been stolen from them by the affluent. This claim is also present in the Jubilee trading or “the acceptable year of the Lord” found in Leviticus 25:1-4. The goals of Jubilee, the same goals Jesus announces for his life and ministry at the beginning of the Gospel of Luke (Luke 14:14-21) are achieved only when what has been stolen from those at the botton of society is returned to them. God’s justice requires economic restoration.

Biblical economic ethic reaffirm communitarian ethics which is the centre of Christian ethics. Early Christians embodied a discipleship of equals that included converts drawn from diverse social classes, genders and racial ethnic groups.

Because the privileged in a society have power they think they can determine what is right and wrong in society, in other words, they think they are morally right always.

They don’t regard their wealth as being stolen from the poor but as a reward for their capabilities! This is not surprising because the privileged and the poor dont read from the same page so they cannot speak the same language. Those with power always speak from the point of power.

Power is good when democratically shared in service of

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the commonwealth. Democratically shared power promotes critical self - awareness, self-management, and responsible interdependence.

Power is unjust when elite groups define economic interests, cultural values, and patterns of social behaviour that are imposed on others to benefit elites. Ethics has to do with the moral evaluation of social relationships as they are mediated in and through systems that produces unshared power.

If the privileged elites want to be seen as good people and good Christians for that matter they must start by dismantling priviledge.

Unearned privileged is immoral and those who want to be more moralists must start with dismantling of privilege, then and only then, they can read from the same page with the under privileged group in the society.

The privileged group for the simple reason that they have stolen from the poor, they have no moral right to question the morality of the under privileged. Contextually speaking, those who pay their employees slave wages cannot claim to be compassionate when they build houses for the grandparents of their employees who they have stolen their money by paying them slave wages instead of living wages. Ka setswana batho ba go nna jalo ga ba na botho! The same people who claim to be the custodians of our cultural values, norms and Christians morals are the same people who treat us like slaves and dogs by giving us food and clothes.

These type of arrangements creates master slave mentality. Batswana should wake up to this reality. We thought Africans were free from slavery and colonialism only to be enslaved by theirown black people under neo-colonialism.

The stooges of neo-colonialism should not turn us into their own stooges by destroying our capacity to think, not to think critically but just mere thinking.

They want to think for us even when we know that they cannot think. Just because they posses unearned privilege, and power, they think they know everything, they know what we want to drink and eat.

Batswana should stand up and reject any form of gift which will make them slaves in their own land. It is better to die with your head above your shoulder than to live with your head between your legs as Patrice Lumumba said. Never sell your soul for a cup of tea and your land for a blanket. History teaches us African land was sold for a bottle of whisky by some African chiefs. Now some are buying and selling our land for one blanket. No no please this is unethical.

 Dr. Cosmos Moenga

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