I’m writing to ask you all a huge favor. But first, bear with me. I have to first tell you a story.
During my 6-month Africans for Africa project last year, I met Lindiwe (not a real name), a retired, 60-something year old African woman. Lindiwe had been running an orphanage out of her own home for the past 10 years. The government had agreed to offer her some money every month to care for up to two children, but the amount was no where near what she needed to care for the twenty-seven she’d taken in.
You see, most of their parents had passed away from HIV/AIDS, or abandoned them when they moved away to find more work. Lindiwe could barely afford to replace their tattered clothes, let alone their school uniforms. If not for the charity of a wholesale grocery store that donated canned goods each month, Lindiwe wouldn’t have been able to feed the orphans in her care at all.
But, one day, a young white American couple (that had been backpacking through the region) arrived at her doorstep, and offered to help Lindiwe raise money from abroad. The plan was to set up a non-profit in the U.S. to serve as a fiscal sponsor (i.e. serve as an umbrella organization) to the orphanage, which would enable them to collect tax-deductible donations from their network back in the states. Lindiwe couldn’t believe her luck. And, perhaps she shouldn’t have.
There are Very Wrong Ways to Do Good
Elated, Lindiwe gave the young white Americans copies of her non-profit’s official documents, which, as planned, the couple used to validate their US-based non-profit as an umbrella org for the project. Their website went up, along with photos of the orphans they’d met on their backpacking trip, and then the tax-deductible donations began to come in.
Initially, the couple sent Lindiwe money to pay for school uniforms–a mere two hundred dollars–and promised more would follow as they continued to spread the word. Thus, as they announced fundraisers — a few even hosted by celebrities — on their website, Lindiwe expected the relief she’d been promised would arrive soon. But it’s been three years since then, and not much has changed.
This past year alone, the U.S. organization has raised over $30,000. But, since their launch there years ago, only $3000 has made it to Lindiwe’s orphanage, and this is after Lindiwe has had to keep calling, emailing, and begging to receive the funds owed to the local orphanage to cover basic necessities: food, medicine, school uniforms.
the organistaion that this article wants to make you aware of is
It basically allows african led organisations to dictatte and control their own funding, at least visit the website and support if you can. It means that these people won’t be left begging for the crumbs that the large western charities leave them (if they bother at all)
hey guys! remember KONY?
this white girl need to read this
“I’m tired of people asking me to smooth my name out for them. They want me to bury it in English so they can understand. I will not accommodate the word for mouth. I will not break my name so your lazy English can sleep its tongue on top. Fix your lips around them. No you can’t give me a stupid nickname so that you can replace this gift of five letters.” - Hiwot Adilow (linked above, performing the quoted piece)
“Give your daughters difficult names. Give your daughters names that command the full use of tongue. My name makes you want to tell me the truth. My name doesn’t allow me to trust anyone that cannot pronounce it right.” - Warsan Shire
pictured above: Entitled white woman Jenny Johnson in all her ethnocentricity. I grew up with women like her, they were my teachers, classmates. They resent any self-possessed “other” as “arrogant” for attempting to access the same common courtesy and respect they might allow those as vanilla as themselves. These women view it as their birthright to decide what is “weird” and “obscure” from within a niche limited to “white women named Jenny.” They blame their linguistic inadequacy on our parentage while resting on the privileges of their own. These women never amount to anything beyond an ignorant bully forever isolating themselves from incredible people with spectacular names.
our insistence that you pronounce our names correctly = “arrogance”
your insistence that our names are too difficult for you & that we should just deal w/the way you mangle them = ????? (the answer is white supremacy)
Toni Morrison Takes White Supremacy To Task
Few intellectuals have waged a public battle against white supremacy and patriarchy like Toni Morrison. Morrison has both examined and challenged systems of domination throughout her intellectual life. With her novels, essays, and interviews she has taken critical looks at the interlocking systems of race and gender oppression. In this interview she is asked by PBS’s Charlie Rose what it is like for her to encounter racism. In true Morrison fashion she turns the question on its head, and places the onus for explaining racism back into the hands of White people. She asks Rose what he thinks of racism, why do Whites hold onto, and what are they going to do about it ending it. She rejects the notion that racism is simply something that Black people must grapple with, insisting, demanding, that White people also grapple with it. Fearless. Brilliant. Powerful.
will reblog until the end times
“If you can only be tall because someone else is on thier knees, then you have serious problem. And white people have a very, very serious problem.” - Toni Morrison
A White Savior Film (WSF) is a movie that features a white person coming into the lives of a person or people of color (POCs) who are often low-income, troubled, and/or severely oppressed. The troubled times that the people of color are in can be a product of oppression from other white folks, or their own doing. Either way, the White Savior comes in, quickly sympathizes with the problems of the people of color, learning what needs to happen to solve their problems, and in doing so, wins their favor and becomes their hero. Here is a list of some of these films:
- Gran Torino
- Avatar (Jake Sully literally becomes the Messiah of the Na’vi)
- The Blind Side*
- The Ghosts of Mississippi*
- Glory Road*
- Dances With Wolves
- Finding Forrester
- The Principal*
- Music of the Heart*
- To Kill a Mockingbird (slightly on the fence with this one because the savior Atticus Finch does not save Tom Robinson from being convicted)
- Cool Runnings*
- Dangerous Minds* (This film was based on the true story of a Latina teacher, yet Michelle Pfiffer played the teacher, thereby turning this into a WSF)
- The Last Samurai
- Freedom Writers*
- Black Rain
- Sunset Park
- District 9 (Also slightly on the fence with this one since the white protagonist mainly follows the plan of the oppressed alien that stands for a POC, and he is more of an anti-hero)
- Mississippi Burning*
- The Last Airbender (the TV series composed of all Asian characters, but the film’s three main heroes were cast as white people, while everyone else was of color)
- The Ron Clark Story*
- The Help
There are a few different kinds of WSF. The most popular kinds includethe white teacher/administrator that helps the students of color realize their true potential and help them overcome their own prejudices (The Principal, Freedom Writers, Dangerous Minds, etc.), and the white sports coach leading his or her team filled with usually poor and troubled people of color to victory (Glory Road, Cool Runnings, Wildcats, Sunset Park, Hardball, etc).
The more epic, and true “savior” WSF that many sci-fi films also fit into feature a white person who is often an oppressor happening upon a culture of people of color or aliens that are POC stand-ins. The white hero eventually assimilates into their culture, and he even proves to be more skillful than them as learns the culture. He becomes their leader and savior in the battle against their enemies (Avatar, The Last Samurai, Dances With Wolves, Dune, District 9, etc.) Particularly for the “epic” WSF, the saviors are male, heterosexual, and very masculine.
So what are the problems with these films? Well, they portray people of color as too desolate, too hopeless, too overcome by their own prejudices and circumstances to help themselves, so they need someone to help them. But not just anyone, no, this helper must be a White Savior. This Savior inspires the people of color, teaches them how to be a better them, and makes their lives better when the people of color couldn’t do it themselves. These films ignore the stories of people of color helping their own communities and helping themselves.
Hollywood, and many white people, eat these WSF up because white audiences can identify wanting to be the “savior” in POC’s lives, to be the one who rescues the poor POCs from their circumstances, to be the hero in their lives. They help alleviate feelings of white guilt by projecting white people not as the oppressors, but as the heroes who can save people of color from their circumstances, and often, the oppression that whites in the past have caused. Essentially, these films capitalize on the stories of people of color, yet instead of telling the film through their eyes, they are presented as stories of the white people who help them. The people of color in these films function as catalysts for the White Savior to learn his or her lessons and reach the end of his or her own journey.
* You’ve probably noticed that many of these films are inspired by true stories. People who defend WSF often bring up the fact that several of these are “based on a true story,” however, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all WSF are valid as a group. Rather, it shows that Hollywood has a greater interest in the stories of heroic white people saving people of color than stories of people of color helping their own communities or people of color helping white people out of bad situations. WSF stories are being used to support the status quo.
Is it racist to enjoy these films? No, it’s not. You can still watch these films and like them, but they are part of a trend that chooses to ignore the perspective of people of color, and feed into the White Savior Complex that really shows what Hollywood, and unfortunately, many white people have, so choose your films well and watch them carefully.
BLESS THIS POST!
THIS, and I also call bullshit on “their own doing”— that’s definitely what these movies tend to show, but a definite consequence is ignoring the fact that white supremacy causes horrible shit in the first place.
“A lot of times people make excuses for old people’s racism, as if racism is just a product of a bygone era and it will die out when the old people do…I always think that if my old people have to suffer racism, your old people should get called on it.”
I am not about to coddle these folks and “respect my elders” when not but too long ago these folks were calling for MY PEOPLE to fucking get lynched and die and shit. Hell the fuck no. You think you’re immune from my wrath but you’re not.
ALL OF FUCKING THIS
My mother was born in 1957.
She was in grade school when the whole desegregation shit went down.
She told me about how white women would treat her like shit for daring to want to fucking learn.
My grandfather told me of how white men his age would fucking JOKE about how they should have ‘put the niggers in the concentration camps because Germany had the right idea.’ He’s a WWII Vet.
Fuck what you heard.
I WILL NEVER EXCUSE OLD PEOPLES RACISM