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A Bunch Of Celebrities Recorded A Song To Raise Money For Ebola. Meet One Who Said, 'No Thanks.'

In November 2014, singer-songwriter Bob Geldof recorded a revamped version of Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" with a bunch of celebrities like Bono, Seal, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Sinéad O'Connor, and One Direction to raise money to fight the Ebola crisis.

A Bunch Of Celebrities Recorded A Song To Raise Money For Ebola. Meet One Who Said, 'No Thanks.'

Look at all these happy celebrities!

But there's one celeb who turned down the offer. Meet Fuse ODG.


Fuse ODG is an English musician of Ghanaian decent who's had some pretty successful hits over in the U.K. He's also the founding member of TINA, which stands for This Is New Africa, a movement aimed at rebuilding, empowering, and showing the beautiful sides of Africa. When it came time to put together celebrities for the Band Aid video, Geldof reached out to Fuse ODG, thinking it would be a perfect fit.

Fuse ODG almost jumped at the chance to be part of Band Aid, until he heard these lyrics...



Uh. Bono? The people of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea know what Christmas is, but since most of them are Muslim they probably don't care.

But that's a lot better than the original 1984 lyrics...





Ah yes, be thankful someone else is dying tonight and not you! Thank goodness they took that line out. Yikes. The 2014 version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" has been extremely successful since its release, with over a million views in a few days and over a million dollars raised for the Ebola crisis. Fuse penned an op-ed for The Guardian titled "Why I Had to Turn Down Band Aid," and four quotes really stuck out to me.

Here's what Fuse had to say about "Do They Know It's Christmas?":

But it wasn't just the lyrics that made the project so cringeworthy. For some reason, the music video opens with a clip of a half-clothed woman (who appears to be near death or possibly dead) being carried from her home by men in hazmat suits. What a way to start a music video, huh?

Fuse on how we talk about the Ebola crisis and its victims:

I really appreciate that Fuse stressed in his article that the intentions of Band Aid were no doubt good and that we have to be careful about the way we talk about the people of Africa and those who are affected by Ebola. Africa is not a monolith where everyone is starving and living in poverty, and efforts that frame this rich continent as such do more harm than good.

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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Biases, stereotypes, prejudices—these byproducts of the human brain's natural tendency to generalize and categorize have been a root cause of most of humanity's problems for, well, pretty much ever. None of us is immune to those tendencies, and since they can easily slip in unnoticed, we all have to be aware of where, when, and how they impact our own beliefs and actions.

It also helps when someone upends a stereotype by saying or doing something unexpected.

Fair or not, certain parts of the U.S. are associated with certain cultural assumptions, perhaps none more pinholed than the rural south. When we hear Appalachia, a certain stereotype probably pops up in our minds—probably white, probably not well educated, probably racist. Even if there is some basis to a stereotype, we must always remember that human beings can never be painted with such broad strokes.

Enter Tyler Childers, a rising country music star whose old-school country fiddling has endeared him to a broad audience, but his new album may have a different kind of reach. "Long Violent History" was released Friday, along with a video message to his white rural fans explaining the culminating track by the same name. Watch it here:

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Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

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The legality of abortion is one of the most polarized debates in America—but it doesn’t have to be.

People have big feelings about abortion, which is understandable. On one hand, you have people who feel that abortion is a fundamental women’s rights issue, that our bodily autonomy is not something you can legislate, and that those who oppose abortion rights are trying to control women through oppressive legislation. On the other, you have folks who believe that a fetus is a human individual first and foremost, that no one has the right to terminate a human life, and that those who support abortion rights are heartless murderers.

Then there are those of us in the messy middle. Those who believe that life begins at conception, that abortion isn’t something we’d choose—and we’d hope others wouldn’t choose—under most circumstances, yet who choose to vote to keep abortion legal.

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@frajds / Twitter

Father Alek Schrenk is known as one of the "9 Priests You Need to Follow on Twitter." He proved his social media skills Sunday night after finding a creepy note on a parked car and weaving a lurid Twitter tale that kept his followers on the edge of their pews.

Father Schrenk was making his nightly walk of the church grounds to make sure everything was fine before retiring to the rectory, when he found a car parked by itself in front of the school.

Curious, he looked inside the car and saw a note that made his "blood run cold" attached to the steering wheel. "Look in trunk!" the note read. What made it extra creepy was that the two Os in "look" had smiley faces.

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