http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-white-savior-industrial-complex/254843/

Excerpt from Teju Cole’s article published in The Atlantic: “The White Savior Complex”

Cole: It’s only in the context of this neutered language that my rather tame tweets can be seen as extreme. The interviewer on the radio show I listened to asked Kristof if he had heard of me. “Of course,” he said. She asked him what he made of my criticisms. His answer was considered and genial, but what he said worried me more than an angry outburst would have:

A Response to Cole: There has been a real discomfort and backlash among middle-class educated Africans, Ugandans in particular in this case, but people more broadly, about having Africa as they see it defined by a warlord who does particularly brutal things, and about the perception that Americans are going to ride in on a white horse and resolve it. To me though, it seems even more uncomfortable to think that we as white Americans should not intervene in a humanitarian disaster because the victims are of a different skin color.

Ultimately, I do recognize the “White Savior Complex”. This blog post coming from a more personal note, I really do know a lot of individuals who yearn to be missionaries of their god’s word and spread the ‘good news’ or help build houses or share the wealth (all without really ‘sharing’ the wealth) or hug little starving kids in third world countries and then post photos of themselves doing ‘good’ on whatever social networking site will create the most buzz for them.

Now, I can’t tell if these opinions spewing out of me are only because I am slightly (and subconsciously) somewhat bitter because I have not yet traveled in the name of any humanitarian efforts. But I do know that there is a fine line that I am walking on with the  strong words I’m saying about all of the people who do what they see fit in order to “help”….but by placing themselves in a position to “help” the other, they are adhering to a power relationship between one in a position of dominance and the ‘other’, one who must be given aid or help. I do think that it’s good to help where you can or donate time or money to what you see fit as a ‘good cause’ to invest time or money into, but there comes a point when all of the aid and attention to one group of people or culture only further oppresses them.

I think that this is where Haiti may still lie. 

After the earthquake in Haiti, I personally know of multiple individuals who flew into Haiti and brought medical supplies or food and donated their time and money to aid those who they saw struggling. While I do appreciate this effort and I do think that global support is especially important to a struggling nation, I must point out and can NOT ignore that in situations like this is where the image of the “White Savior” comes to play. This “White Savior Complex” only perpetuates tension and awards power to those White indivuals and inadvertantly lessens the power that those ‘in need’ hold.

Maybe the White people just truly do want to help, but the fact that they must fly in and impose upon a preexisting culture and then highly publicize their efforts (see KONY2012 effort or the multitude of Facebook albums of people who have gone on mission trips to the Caribbean), but regardless of what their intentions are, they must recognize the power displacement they cause.

I know that this post may sound very jumbled and be offensive, but at the moment my eloquence has slipped away.

-SNS

The results of typing “Do Haitian Women” into the Google search box. 
Interesting that the first topic revolves around appearance while the second hints at the stereotype of Haitian women, and women of color, being aggressive towards their men. 

The results of typing “Do Haitian Women” into the Google search box. 

Interesting that the first topic revolves around appearance while the second hints at the stereotype of Haitian women, and women of color, being aggressive towards their men. 

This political cartoon, which was published in a Jamaican paper, reminds me of some of the stories from Ayiti where Gay wrote about Haitians in America. 

This political cartoon, which was published in a Jamaican paper, reminds me of some of the stories from Ayiti where Gay wrote about Haitians in America. 

(via Where is the Relief Money for Haiti? - COLORLINES)
Commentary
Where did this money go? It really makes you wonder - do relief organizations help as much as we’d like to think? Who handles the money? Why is Haiti still hurting when so much has been donated?
In “Ayiti,” Roxane Gay uses her writing to illustrate some of the more painful scenes in Haiti in regard to Haiti’s incredible poverty. And yet, Haiti is not depicted as a statistic in her collection - it is a country of life, history, revolution, and of people who have been assaulted with natural disasters and the repercussions as such, but they are not broken.
While it is important to understand that Haiti is still not receiving the funds that have been donated, it is also important to understand that Haiti is NOT just an impoverished country in the Caribbean. Haiti shouldn’t be seen as a charity case (which, I would also like to point out, isn’t what this chart is trying to do, but there are plenty of others that do). It is a very difficult task to represent what is and has happened in Haiti without doing so, and I’m still not sure how one could do so effectively.
For more reading, look into this article  from January 2010.

(via Where is the Relief Money for Haiti? - COLORLINES)

Commentary

Where did this money go? It really makes you wonder - do relief organizations help as much as we’d like to think? Who handles the money? Why is Haiti still hurting when so much has been donated?

In “Ayiti,” Roxane Gay uses her writing to illustrate some of the more painful scenes in Haiti in regard to Haiti’s incredible poverty. And yet, Haiti is not depicted as a statistic in her collection - it is a country of life, history, revolution, and of people who have been assaulted with natural disasters and the repercussions as such, but they are not broken.

While it is important to understand that Haiti is still not receiving the funds that have been donated, it is also important to understand that Haiti is NOT just an impoverished country in the Caribbean. Haiti shouldn’t be seen as a charity case (which, I would also like to point out, isn’t what this chart is trying to do, but there are plenty of others that do). It is a very difficult task to represent what is and has happened in Haiti without doing so, and I’m still not sure how one could do so effectively.

For more reading, look into this article  from January 2010.

Who is the Haitian Woman?

     We talked a lot in class about stereotypes surrounding women, black women in particular, and in our group we focused our discussion even more to Haitian women stereotypes. Roxane Gay presented such a varied group of characters in Ayiti, which struck my interest.

     What does our culture think of the Haitian woman? I decided to take this question to YouTube. The results? Quite a lot less varied than Roxane Gay might agree with. In my quick search “Haitian Women” I found the majority of videos to present only about two different identities.

1. Beautiful, sexual beings

    Sizzling Hot and Spicy Haitian Women

2. Aggressive and loud women 

    Haitian Woman Yelling at RadioShack

     Any videos not presenting a Haitian woman stereotype seemed to be focused on violence against them. 

   Violence Against Women in Haiti

    While YouTube is only one outlet, it disappointed me to find such negative media regarding Haitian women on the site. For many Americans, websites like YouTube are the standard for getting information, it shocks me to think that this is they only way Haitian Women are presented to them. 

-E

shortformblog:

Guess who’s the face of Haiti again? That’s right, Sean Penn: Say what you will about the guy, but he stuck with the crisis in Haiti long after everyone else. “As clichéd as it sounds, I think he really gives a damn about the Haitian people,” said one doctor. source
Follow ShortFormBlog

I am always interested in the idea of a celebrity, or anyone for that matter, leaving their plush life behind for a cause. I always secretly wonder just how much of their usual pleasantries these celebrities actually leaves behind. Do they really stay in huts? What do they eat? How long are they even there for? I found this article (http://goo.gl/yt0e6) really supplemental in aiding my opinion of Sean’s stay in Haiti, which actually seems to be quite lengthly and dedicated. 
-E 

shortformblog:

Guess who’s the face of Haiti again? That’s right, Sean Penn: Say what you will about the guy, but he stuck with the crisis in Haiti long after everyone else. “As clichéd as it sounds, I think he really gives a damn about the Haitian people,” said one doctor. source

Follow ShortFormBlog

I am always interested in the idea of a celebrity, or anyone for that matter, leaving their plush life behind for a cause. I always secretly wonder just how much of their usual pleasantries these celebrities actually leaves behind. Do they really stay in huts? What do they eat? How long are they even there for? I found this article (http://goo.gl/yt0e6) really supplemental in aiding my opinion of Sean’s stay in Haiti, which actually seems to be quite lengthly and dedicated. 

-E 

30 gourdes. 
Gourdes = Haitian money.
30 gourdes = $0.73
The image of Haitian currency reminds me of Roxane Gay’s story “You Never Knew How the Waters Ran So Cruel So Deep” in her collection Ayiti. 
In the story, the main character identifies himself in logistical manner and attaches himself to a monetary value. The format of the story is in a chart form and has a very straightforward and informative quality to it, as the narrator pens in the steps included in his journey to the United States. The narrator includes the cost, oftentimes in Haitian Gourdes, of his boat passages or secret truck rides which reduces his life to a monetary value that denotes his worth as a man found between two cultures: Haiti and America.
The narrator includes measurements of money in the form of Haitian Gourdes as well as in American dollars; this only perpetuates the notion that he is caught between cultures and therefore his identity lies upon the material goods and the money held to his name.
I think that this story is an interesting commentary on the struggles that an immigrant from Haiti, or anywhere for that matter, might face as they battle to find where their identity lies.
-SNS

30 gourdes. 


Gourdes = Haitian money.

30 gourdes = $0.73

The image of Haitian currency reminds me of Roxane Gay’s story “You Never Knew How the Waters Ran So Cruel So Deep” in her collection Ayiti. 


In the story, the main character identifies himself in logistical manner and attaches himself to a monetary value. The format of the story is in a chart form and has a very straightforward and informative quality to it, as the narrator pens in the steps included in his journey to the United States. The narrator includes the cost, oftentimes in Haitian Gourdes, of his boat passages or secret truck rides which reduces his life to a monetary value that denotes his worth as a man found between two cultures: Haiti and America.

The narrator includes measurements of money in the form of Haitian Gourdes as well as in American dollars; this only perpetuates the notion that he is caught between cultures and therefore his identity lies upon the material goods and the money held to his name.

I think that this story is an interesting commentary on the struggles that an immigrant from Haiti, or anywhere for that matter, might face as they battle to find where their identity lies.

-SNS


When you tell a man like Chris Brown, at least the man he has shown himself to be, to stop, he won’t. With abuse there is no stopping. There is no consent. There is only suffering that will begin and end as he sees fit. You will never have any control. You will never know how good it feels to endure by your choice because that choice does not belong to you and never will. Do you understand? Do you see that distinction?

Dear Young Ladies Who Love Chris Brown So Much They Would Let Him Beat Them - The Rumpus.net

Texto NECESSÁRIO da sempre incrível Roxane Gay.

(via tomefirst)

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What implications does it have on young women when Chris Brown is celebrated in American pop culture? Is his abuse of Rihanna merely a “blight” on his record? Does minimizing the issue have serious repercussions for other women like Rihanna?

(via to--me---f-i-r-s-t)