So got into an argument a little while ago over a poster.

While I do appreciate the genuine response to help Haiti, I can’t help but look at it and see “white girl saves black baby from terror of earthquake…hooray for white people!”
That being said, I got into an argument with someone over how they never show black people helping black people whenever tragedy hits. They always choose to display some white person.
This echoes an earlier posting here that was about Binyavanga Wainaina’s opinion on Africa.
I’m not saying there isn’t a sincere effort to help the poor, or that the relief workers over there should only be minorities, but to choose to display this as a “white man helping the poor black man” consistently propagates this condescending image of helplessness that only demoralizes minorities in addition the self satisfaction of white power supremacy (not the KKK kind, but the “see? they need us to survive” kind”
Why not show the Haitian relief workers who are helping? Does anyone realize that most of the aid workers in countries are actually native workers, and some white people who were flown in?
I don’t know if my argument is coherent or not, but there just seems to be this underlying overtone of “look we’re helping, hooray for us!” that gets to me, especially since most of the effects of disastrous events could have been tempered, if not prevented entirely, had the world only taken notice.


1 Comment »

  1. amel said


    “But Haiti is all its people. It’s not foreigners, foreign embassies, foreign NGOs, UN programs, USAID’s vision for Haiti, their media spins, self-serving narratives and constant stories of Haitian corruption….Out of 10 million, there are two million shattered sentient beings in Port au Prince, but 8 million Haitian people outside of Port au Prince are very much ALIVE and right at this very moment, rebuilding theri families, re-uniting separated souls and ready to take in whatever humanitarian help comes from compassionate people…Why is everyone rushing to ignore these Haitians? They are competent, alive and more motivated than any international saviors, than the UN, than Paul Farmer, than Bill Clinton, than George Bush, than the Red Cross, World Vision, World Food Aid Program, CARE International, et al. With the little they have, they are already taking care of their own and themselves, as usual.”

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