Archive - December 10, 2022

 “Memoirs of a White Savior” by Jonathan Zimmerman (Nepal)

 “Memoirs of a White Savior” by Jonathan Zimmerman (Nepal)

Thanks for the ‘head’s up’ from Alana DeJoseph’s (Mali 1992–94)   by Jonathan Zimmerman (Nepal 1983-85) Published in Liberties Fall 2022 • Last year, a student came to my office hours to discuss  her post-graduation plans. She said she wanted to travel, teach, and write. “How about joining the Peace Corps?” I suggested. She grimaced. “The Peace Corps is problematic,” she said. I replied the way I always do when a student uses that all-purpose put-down. “What’s the problem?” I asked. “I don’t want to be a white savior,” she explained. “That’s pretty much the worst thing you can be.” Indeed it is. The term “white savior” became commonplace in 2012, when the Nigerian-American writer and photographer Teju Cole issued a series of tweets — later expanded into an article in The Atlantic — denouncing American do-gooder campaigns overseas, especially in Africa. His immediate target was the “KONY 2012” video . . .

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