Assistant Professor of Government Laura Seay examines the downfalls of Band Aid’s 2014 version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” which was designed to raise funds for the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Seay says the song “betray[s] an ignorance of Africa and perpetuate[s] negative stereotypes and the ‘White Savior’ narrative.” She also notes that people in Africa do know it’s Christmas, citing that many in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone are Christian and that there is no reason to assume widespread ignorance of the holiday.
Additionally, Seay says it’s difficult to obtain information about where the funds raised from the sale of the song are going. “This is not the most effective way to help,” Seay concludes. “It isn’t worth the ‘othering’ of Africans.” She suggests donating to known reputable organizations such as Doctors Without Borders instead.