Most recently I finished reading Little Bee, and while the novel wasn’t the most entertaining (i.e. the worst novel I’ve read in awhile) I appreciated seeing the giving power of the human spirit. The reader learns that Sarah, the lead character, made a large sacrifice for Little Bee, someone in need. As storytelling would have it, the lead character was a White magazine editor and the willing recipient a Nigerian refugee.
This trend of Whites coming to the rescue of the Black/Negro/African disadvantaged group isn’t anything new. With the recent popularity of novels, such as The Help, it’s been shedding more light on this conundrum. Along with that have been some critical, oftentimes harsh, rejections of this model from many Blacks. Why must Whites always be the ones to save the day? Why are Blacks always made to be indebted to them? Why can’t Blacks ever be in the position of saving themselves?
I personally have not been one to subscribe to that mentality. Call me naïve, but I’d like to believe in the power of the human spirit. This power that rests on the golden rule, “treat others as you would like to be treated.” Does it really matter what color the savior’s skin most closely resembles, so long as lives are being positively influenced and brought from darkness? Whether it had been a “Shaniqua” or Sarah helping her, Little Bee had needs that we should be thankful were met.
Yeah, I’m naïve. *shrugs shoulder*
I know people like Shelby don’t support this outlook-she’s known for bringing up the point that while we know the true implication Whites have had on our livelihoods, the rest of the world doesn’t. When novels and movies spread the unfair, inaccurate Whitey-Saves-The-Day propaganda, skewed portraits of the true White influence are presented to the world.
Tonight though, after reflecting on the major sacrifices Sarah made in the name of basic human needs, I found myself more receptive towards the more pessimistic outlook. Whereas before I didn’t see it as a systematic setup to frame Whites as the saviors (because the savior could be any race of people, I just happened to be reading novels featuring Whites ones), I now see it as it is. But instead of being upset and angered by it, I feel a sense of satisfaction. Why you may ask? One word.
Who runs the world? Whites. After all the chaos, dysfunction and havoc they’ve created in the world (not just towards Black people in America), why in the world complain when they do their part to start trying to clean it up?
I promise I’m not racist
otherwise why would I have accepted dates with White…err, I mean Italian, men.
Yeah, they may be doing it to clear their consciences, but so what? Is work getting done? Are more Asian and African babies getting adopted? Is more attention being drawn to AIDS prevention, famine and other worldly catastrophes? Let’s face it-it’s great to have your own fighting for your causes, but it’s even better to have others fighting alongside with you, Whites included.
Moral of the story (because I didn’t do the best job of getting this across when it was originally written. S/O to Nicole): Overall I have always thought it’s people just doing things “out of the kindness of their hears.” But for awhile now there have been many who look at me with that “Yancey, be for real. They ALL have ulterior motives. It’s ‘White’ people.” This post was me exploring the “why” behind White’s (possible) ulterior motives…from a people who seem to “have it all” almost feeling “bad” for their priviledged status and doing what they can to “make amends/peace” about it….that is what was going on in “Little Bee” and “The Help.”
Just go read “Little Bee.” It will have you questioning these ideas of race, power and nationality OUTSIDE of the United States.