Editorial: The White Savior Industrial Complex

Ally, v. |al.ly|: combine or unite a resource or commodity with (another) mutual benefit.

An ally, particularly in recent months, refers to the white population who supports and take action against racism. However, a growing problem with this population is the White Savior Industrial Complex.

Coined by writer, photographer, and art historian Teju Cole, WSIC refers to the “confluence of practices, processes and institutions that reify historical inequities to ultimately validate white privilege,” or as Cole puts it a “big emotional experience that validates privilege.” This could look like a white person speaking too long at a rally, making the movement about how sad and angry a [white] person is or wanting to be praised over “saving” someone.

Just like in institutionalized racism, white equity stands on a taller podium. When those white people stand up to injustices, the podium they stand on follows them, and at times, overshadows the Black and Brown community. This then turns the movement into about how good of a white person white people can be.

White people are not here to be “saviors.” White people are here to be a resource for Black and Brown people to use. The Black Lives Matter Movement isn’t a 2020 trend, it’s not a phase, and it’s not something to use for likes. It is here to stay and will continue to grow.

Use your voice to have the hard conversations, stand in solidarity but do not overpower a movement that is not yours.