The White Savior Complex

Everyone knows what “The White Savior Complex” is whether they’ve heard it in those terms or not.

The White Savior Complex happens when white people “help” others, usually POC, and act like they’ve saved these people from “terrible, miserable lives.” Without the white savior these people would be nothing in the “savior’s” eyes, and would have sad lives. A prime example is seeing a picture of a white teenage girl on Facebook surrounded by children usually in South America or Africa with a caption talking about how sad their lives are. Because without her five days of white guidance these people couldn’t possibly survive.

There’s a difference between actually helping people because you want them to have a better life, and “helping” because you want to feel good about yourself. Religious groups that do mission trips that last a few days to a few weeks are often are filled with these kinds of people. They’re so narcissistic that they think others would be lost without them. The White Savior also rarely listens to the people they think they’re helping, doing things like trying to “liberate” muslim women who wear hijab who are perfectly happy and don’t need or want any “help.”

The White Savior is always about having an emotional experience for themselves. Talking about how life changing speaking to a homeless person is, and using the one time they went to a soup kitchen on their college resume. Their volunteering is based in personal gain, rather than how they can be of service to others.

While mission trips and volunteering can be and often are good things, we need to examine our motives and attitude towards helping others. Getting involved somewhere that you can volunteer long term is always best! I also think we should call out the White Savior complex and call it was it is: racism.

 

What are your experiences with the white savior complex? What do you think about it?

 

 

P.S. Sorry to the guy in my header, I’m sure you’re a nice dude, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I laughed for far too long looking at the photo in this context

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Where is the love?

I’m tired of seeing hate and bigotry all over the news.

I’m tired of seeing hate crimes, and racial targeting.

I’m tired of seeing innocent lives being taken, and then justice not being served.

This morning I saw a video of an altercation between a white cop and a black woman in Fort Worth, Texas. The woman had called the police after her white neighbor choked her seven year old son, because the boy didn’t pick up his trash when the neighbor told him to. The situation escalated quickly after the cop questioned why it was wrong for the man to choke her son, then he put the woman and her daughter in hand cuffs, and threw the mom on the ground. Let that sink in. This cop looked a mother in her eyes and asked why is was wrong for her child to be choked, and then put her in handcuffs. While in the end (as far as I’ve seen) the cop didn’t shoot or injure anyone, unlike many cases of police brutality that have taken place this year, he still sent a clear message to not only this family, but all of America, that black lives don’t matter, and white people are allowed to terrorize and abuse minorities.

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Now these incidents of police brutality aren’t new; the news is only now beginning  to cover these stories. Every week, if not everyday, there is a new hate crime being committed by officers and every day people towards minorities in America. I don’t think all law enforcement is bad, but this past year I have seen more harm than good.  Police officers are power hungry, and their go to emotions are often hatred and hostility. Every experience I’ve ever had with a cop as a white woman in America has been negative. We aren’t adequately training our officers, and they are becoming “trigger happy,” and killing innocent black people left and right, and then not being indicted. How are police officers supposed to “keep us safe” if they are a huge part of the problem?

I will never know what it is like to be black in America, but I do know I am terrified every time I see a cop car, and I can’t imagine the kind of anxiety minorities must feel. Police officers are afraid of black people, due to their own racism and bigotry, and in return black people are often afraid of police officers because cops are killing their friends, family members, and neighbors unjustly. Black lives matter. I will never understand how someone can respond to that statement with, “no, all lives matter!” Saying black lives matter does not negate the fact that everyone’s life has value. It simply states that black lives do matter, are important (especially right now), and it is a movement for racial equality.

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Where is the love? And why are we letting our fellow Americans get murdered? We are all human, and race, sex, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, class, or age shouldn’t change how we treat one another. The amount of racism in America shakes me to my core, and I will never understand the hatred in some peoples hearts. Everyone deserves love, respect, and equality.  As cheesy as it may be, I really love the Black Eyed Peas song, “Where is the love?”

“But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you’re bound to get irate, yeah”

Why has it been okay to discriminate against one another? Since our new President is being inaugurated soon, I believe the American people need to band together for the greater good, instead of continuing this great divide. Fighting one another will only cause more harm, and so far it’s getting us no where. Every life has value, and black people deserve to be treated justly and have the same rights as every white man. I want to live in a world where we are all equal, and bigotry isn’t tolerated

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Love your neighbor as yourself, and treat everyone with respect. Do no harm, and fight for others rights. I want to see more white people calling out injustices, and less innocent people being killed.  We may say “liberty and justice for all,” but I have yet to see a society in which that is true.

Lots of Love to Everyone,

Alyssa

 

P.S. This somehow got deleted and I had to write it again. It was better the first time, but I hope you still enjoy it.