When Can We Help Ourselves? (livefrommemphis.com)
I have been hesitant to write this on this topic for some time, but I have to get this off my chest. As an African-American man, I have a problem with the whole “White Savior” image that is all over American cinema. I am sure that my readers out there know the plots I speak of all too well. Some kind-hearted European American shows up at just the right time and rescues the poor minority youth from their cruel existence. Almost as long as I have been watching films, I have been subjected to this, and it’s usually “based on a true story”. Whether it was Michelle Pfeiffer in Dangerous Minds giving hope and opening the minds of poor inner-city minority youth, or Hillary Swank doing the same in Freedom Writers, the White Savior is there to show us poor, misguided minorities that we can read and dream and reach for the stars because, darn it, poor minorities are people too! All we need is some nice white person who’s a rebel or an unorthodox thinker or a grumpy old man, such as Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. Well, if cinema is any indication, the poor minorities would perish were it not for the White Savior. And on behalf of all minorities everywhere, all I can say is “We showl’ is appreciative of y'all White folks helping us out, boss!” As a matter of fact, if I’m “saved” again, I might just be ill.
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