I will be taking a slight turn on my usual topic of interest about violence against women, to speak on the issue of the white savior complex that is eating away at many third world countries. The white savior complex is an ongoing topic that describes the white man coming to “save” those of color from their “tragic” and “hopeless” lives, which we people of color know is not the case. There is no need for the white man to push his nose into every situation that takes place throughout the world, and without any cry for help from any of these countries, they simply happen to waltz on in and “fix” things without asking what these people need help with.
If we are going to interfere in the lives of others, a little due diligence is a minimum requirement.
In the article, The White-Savior Industrial Complex, people of the white complexion feel as though it is their duty to “save” those who do not live a life that is as privileged as theirs. With that thought in mind, these white men feel that it is their soul purpose in life to “fix” the living status of those in third world countries, so they move in and start working. The only problem with this is that is these white people never ask the people that live in these areas what they need. They just move in and adjust things in ways they see fit. Two tweets made within this article state:
2- The white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening.
5- The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.
How can a person move in and place things however they see fit unless they felt privileged enough to do so. There is no development when people within a country do not want what someone else feels they need. The development process for those in third world countries plummets due to the fact that their land and way of life is different from those of the white man, so when the white man comes to “save” them from their “poor” and “underdeveloped” lives, the people within that country are enraged and no longer want them their. The process of trying to “fix” other countries destroys so much land and kills many people as shown in a video called Good Fortune, which is about people from Kenya who had been treated as animals instead of humans when the white man came in and worked to change their lives for the “better” so that they could develop along with all other countries. While white saviors feel as though they are fixing things and making the lives better for those who live in world countries better, that is not the case for those who live there. These people do not want the white man their. Have white people ever thought that people are different and with that difference comes culture? Have white saviors ever thought that these people love their lives and are happy with their way of life? Have white saviors ever thought that not every place is like the United States and does not want to be like the United States? I don’t believe these white saviors are putting much thought in to their actions and if they are, they are thinking the wrong thoughts. Katie Warner, who wrote a report called White Savior Industrial Complex? To Volunteer or Not states:
“In hindsight and with full transparency I am forced to admit that much of the work and the service provided in those weeks would have to be thoroughly rationalized in order for me to justify the “help” that was really provided to those we “served.”…Now I realize that those are all I-statements, Me-focused concepts. What is the point of a “Volunteer” experience if the only person I am truly aiding is myself? Well there in lies the trap of voluntourism, which I will (somewhat begrudgingly) agree is becoming a disturbing trend promoted through the propagation of social media which despairingly for some results in a narcisstic, self-centered form of service in which people with time and money take it upon themselves to “give” simply for the potential of a new profile picture and a pat on the back.” This is clearly a problem that NEEDS to be solved. The white man lives to be the hero of those who do not look like him because he thinks and “feels” it is his duty to make sure that every country is developing in the same manner as their and that is a problem in itself.
In a major western newspaper called Op-Ed: Why Won’t White Savior Complex Go Away?, The issue revolving around the white savior complex explains that these white folks are “helping” those who are of a lower status than them to feel better about themselves and not be seen as horrible people because they are using their privilege for good. (This states makes me laugh because it is just more white people trying to make everything “better”. Come save me white man because that is what you think I need). As stated within this newspaper, ” Most damning is the idea that these activists are driven not by the compulsion to effect change per se, but primarily by a desire to feel good about themselves.”
In a local newspaper called the Huffington Post, the issue of the white savior complex is confronted in a post called White Saviour Complex, when a few people commented on what they think about this whole white people saving those of color process. Two people stated:
Mario Machado“While I applaud the intentions of the voluntourists of the world, I think it is important for them to remain grounded in reality. They need to be constantly cognizant of their privileged positions to be doing development work in the first place and the limitations of both their time commitments and outsider status.”
“My intentions are good and my heart is, as they say, in the right place. All of our hearts are in the right places. All of our intentions are good. But intent isn’t magic, and sometimes the ways that we carry out our intentions cause more harm than they do good.”
The white savior complex is a truly disturbing and degrading concept that white people have developed to cover up all of the horrible things they have done in the past, but it only make them look worse. I am one of those people the white man felt he needed to “save”. I am from an island called Barbados and within that country I have noticed a drastic change in my community and culture as there are places like Burger Kings and Payless shoes store built through my own island and I am not ok with it at all. We were never asked what we wanted. They was just placed there without consent and now things are slowly chancing on my island and it saddens me to see it all. We are not here for you to “save” us white man. We are happy and content with how we live and we don’t need your thoughts and opinions on our way of life. Thank you.