Uzodinma Iweala is a child of African and American privilege. His mother (Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala) is a former finance minister and foreign minister for the government of Nigeria. He is himself a graduate of Harvard University. In his novel "Beasts of No Nation" he imagines a world far from his own, however, writing in the voice of a child soldier from an unnamed African country. And now he has scored another counter-intuitive feat -- an op ed for the Washington Post that skewers Angelina Jolie and Bono, not to mention tens of thousands of young Americans wearing "Save Darfur" bracelets.
"It seems that these days, wracked by guilt at the humanitarian crisis it has created in the Middle East, the West has turned to Africa for redemption," Iweala writes. "Idealistic college students, celebrities such as Bob Geldof and politicians such as Tony Blair have all made bringing light to the dark continent their mission. They fly in for internships and fact-finding missions or to pick out children to adopt in much the same way my friends and I in New York take the subway to the pound to adopt stray dogs..."