Open Letter To People Of Color: It Is I, The White Savior Trope, And I Am Here To Accept Your Thanks

bearded man wearing black leather jacket
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Dear Movie Goers,

I am your White savior trope and I am here to say, “you’re welcome”.

Hollywood has shown us time and time again, people of color NEED White people to save them. Movies depicting inequality and racial injustice make those in power uncomfortable. That is why, I, the White Savior trope, exist. Movie after movie we have seen people of color struggle and it is clear, without the help of me, your White savior, you would never overcome your terrible strife.

Had 12 Years A Slave not dropped its Brad Pitt-ex-machina at the end of the movie, Black people would not fully understand the depths of how terrible slavery was and how the White man can save people of color from themselves.

You’re welcome, Black people! I, your White savior, freed you from slavery.

It is the “White Man’s Burden” (shout out to Rudyard Kipling for paving the way for me) to be your savior. My savior complex helps me feel less guilty and absolve myself of the sins of my country. I gladly and with honor work tirelessly on being your savior.

You’re welcome, people who have been marginalized I, your White savior, am feeling less guilty.

It isn’t just White men who are saviors. Lest not forget to give thanks to the White women who help others know it is okay to believe in Black men or even Black women.

Without these White women saviors, people of color would never have been granted permission to find success and happiness. All you have to do is ask Sandra Bullock!

Adopting a Black child really helped all of us feel less icky about the perils of racism and injustice! We were referring to the movie The Blind Side but turns out Sandra Bullock also adopted a Black child, in real life!

You’re welcome, Black children! Your White savior taught you to dream big!

The Civil Rights movement didn’t have enough inspirational Black folks to encourage the need for self-determination. It is why I am happy to work tirelessly and continue to save you.

Narrative after narrative and as long as Hollywood continues to not care about representation through hiring trans and nonbinary writers, Black and Brown writers, queer and disabled writers; I continue to be your White savior.

You’re welcome, list of people that is too long to write out! I, your White savior will remain here indefinitely!

Nothing says good narrative like someone learning a lesson. That is where I come in. How would I have the opportunity to learn about myself if I didn’t have the opportunity to save you from some terrible injustice?

You’re welcome, human race! I, your White savior, made a story feel fleshed out!

Right now you are asking yourself, other than being White, what purpose do I serve? Answer: I help your neighbors feel better about you, a person of color.

I am giving them a way to feel better about the fact they have done nothing but help perpetuate a system of racial injustice but gosh darn it they just want to raise a family and go to work without all this pesky race talk. I, your White savior, help alleviate their grievances.

You’re welcome White people! I, your White savior, help you avoid substantive conversations about race and racism.

To show you that I am not just about accepting your gratitude, I would like to take a moment and thank the following films that helped shape who I am. Thank you:

The Air Up There

Amistad

Avatar

The Blind Side

Blood Diamond

Cloud Atlas

Cool Runnings

Dances with Wolves

Dangerous Minds

District 9

Django Unchained

Elysium

Finding Forrester

Freedom Writers

Glory

Glory Road

Gran Torino

The Great Wall

The Greatest Showman

The Help

Hidden Figures

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The Jackie Robinson Story

La La Land

The Last Samurai

Lawrence of Arabia

The Legend of Tarzan

Lincoln

Lion

The Matrix

Mississippi Burning

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Our Brand is Crisis

Remember the Titans

Snow Falling on Cedars

Stargate

A Time to Kill

To Kill a Mockingbird

Wildcats

You’re welcome, marginalized, underrepresented, victims of injustice and inequality people. It is MY privilege to be YOUR White savior!

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