Welcome to Monday! Today I’m sending you to Djibouti Jones to read a challenging article called “When Rich Westerners Don’t Know They are Being Rich Westerners”. This is something I’ve wrestled with, sometimes through emails with Rachel of Djibouti Jones. She has articulated well the problem and struggle and will continue the conversation next Monday. I encourage you to take a look and share your thoughts through commenting on her site. Below is a short excerpt.
I am not surprised by, but continue to be disappointed in, the western attitude toward the developing world. It is an attitude I see often, though not exclusively, among Christians. It is an attitude of superiority, a god-complex. An attitude that communicates an underlying assumption, intentionally or not, that the rich westerner is the one with power and authority and agency. As this is communicated, of course the opposite is communicated as well. The local person is weak, a victim, and helpless. The rich westerner must charge in to fix things, build things, challenge the status quo.
This happens in blogs, books, movies, songs…And it isn’t just Christians. It is Hollywood and Random House and MTV.
“These kinds of stories…give a paternalistic picture of urban communities as mere recipients. They do not show the heroic community leaders that are in every urban neighborhood, people working hard with little resources and little recognition… Cure for the White Savior Complex by Shawn Casselberry”
For a horrifying example read this article (or don’t and just be satisfied with the title) in Glamour and then the comment section: Meet Mindy Budgor, the World’s First Female Maasai Warrior. Some people call this the white savior complex and there is most definitely an aspect of race involved, the conversations overlap at many points, but it is more than a skin color issue.
One point that must be made is that I am a rich westerner from a Christian background living in the developing world…..Read the rest here.
Today’s muffins are Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins. They are beautiful! Click on the picture or here to get the recipe. For other great and creative recipes as well as stories from an expat, head to Food Lust, People Love.