If you search “Ferguson” in Google news, you’ll see journalists taking back the negative things they said about the FPD, numerous comparisons of Ferguson to Benghazi, and now an officer who says the stress of Ferguson protests caused him to drive drunk. What you won’t see much of is discussion of the DOJ report on the Ferguson Police Department. To be fair, I found that the CIA torture report was an easier to get through (though much longer)read. The 105 page PDF took me an unusually long time to get through, but now that I have read it…well, I wish I could say it was shocking. It’s definitely some fucked up shit.
The FPD created an environment in which the sole purpose of the police force was to make money for the city. If that sounds reasonable to you, please recall the purpose of the police is to protect and serve the citizens, not to rob your of your rights via your wallet. How does a $571 fine for tall grass or a $302 fine for manner of walking sound? To me, it sounds fucking absurd. To the FPD? Reasonable! Of course, I guess absurd crimes deserve absurd fines — after all, what is manner of walking? Since 95% of the people arrested for it were black, one can assume it’s for being black while walking.
In a city with a per capita income of $21,000, it doesn’t take a Mensa scholar to realize that forcing citizens to pay $571 for having weeds in the yard might be an impossible task. Fortunately, the city found a way to fix that: you can be arrested for not paying your fine in full and on time — many times people are given court dates within a week, so hopefully everyone in Ferguson just stockpiles all their extra pennies in case the police decide to fuck with them. Of course, police often incorrectly write the court dates or times on the citations, so even if you do have the money to pay…you might still get a warrant! Pretty messed up, huh?
But wait! There’s more! Let’s imagine you’ve been given a ridiculously high fine and you want to pay it, but you can’t afford to pay it all at once. So you send the court $20 or $50, with a letter explaining why. Joke’s on you! Ferguson wants its money, and it wants its money NOW! The court has repeatedly rejected partial payments from citizens, claiming it can’t process them. Nothing says “we care about protecting the people we serve” like locking away old ladies for not mowing their lawns!
Oh, hold on! I’m wrong. I know what makes it clear you care about the citizens you serve: fuckin tasing them for no reason!
The report repeatedly drives home the fact that the FPD uses their ECWs (Electronic Control Weapons) as the only option. While other police are trained to diffuse situations, the FPD fires their ECWs first and worries about consequences later — oh, wait. Just kidding. They don’t worry about the consequences, because there is no accountability. Almost no one bothers to fill out the reports when an ECW is used, and if they do it’s so poorly done they might as well not. Keep in mind there’s an easy way to track whether or not you fired your ECW: you have to replace the cartridge.
But it’s okay. I’m sure if the DOJ investigated other police departments, they’d be golden. I’m sure this is a one off situation that isn’t deserving of national attention. Those crazy race and class baiters should be ashamed of themselves!
Hi friends! I think I’ve been doing something terribly wrong, and I wanted to reach out and see if you could help me. Here is how my days usually go: when I decide I’m done with pajamas, I either lazily put on leggings (because it’s a day of working out or not giving a fuck how I look) or I shave my legs, blow dry my hair, do my make up, and put on something cute (like a body con dress or a short flare skirt, because I like to look as trampy as possible and I hate all “real” pants).
But apparently, my lazy as fuck, figure skating, crossfitting, errand running outfit is about the sluttiest outfit I could wear (except my birthday suit. Ew. Women’s bodies are icky). I actually have everything backwards — I need to rock a nice Herve Leger to the gym and grocery store, and save the leggings for when I’m trying to seduce men at the bar or on a date.
I mean, what else would be the reason for Montana wanting to make leggings illegal?! Not because the Representative Moore is a crazy asshole who wants to boss everyone around like tyrannical dictator!
So is everyone else using leggings as a way to seduce men and ruin children? Why am I always the last to know what’s going on? Can I run a black market legging shop if this goes through? And more importantly, can someone make a Butte, Montana pun out of this?
Hello, ladies. Do you drive? Well, you better trade that Buick in for a camel!! According to Saudi historian Saleh al-Saadoon, while women used to ride camels, women can’t drive cars because the cars break down and then the women are raped. If you live outside of Saudi Arabia, you don’t care about being raped — the only thing that getting raped does to you is bring down your morale a bit. You know, like when you expect it to be sunny and it rains? Or when you want that special edition Red Bull in the yellow can, but 7-11 only has the regular kind? And your day just kind of sucks for a little bit.
Are you confused? Don’t worry, he goes on to tell us to listen to him “and get used to what society thinks, if [you] are really so out of touch with it.”
“But Manda,” you say, “what if the women are raped by the men who drive them around?!”Maybe you haven’t been paying attention, but obviously there is a solution for this: importing women drivers. “But wouldn’t this be a rapist’s dream?! Two women stuck in a broken down car, AKA a rape machine on useless wheels?!” Look, shut up — their rapists probably don’t do that. Also, sign me up. Sounds like a dream job.
Do you want to save yourself from being beaten by your boyfriend? Do you want to increase your chances of being beaten by your girlfriend? Just get married! At least, that’s what I learned today from the Town Hall article, The Ring Makes All the Difference by one Mike Adams.
Obviously, there is a lot of wrong going on here, but I’d like to start with the very last paragraph: “God is the author of the rules of the game of life. He is also the creator of science. When properly applied, His methods always reveal the truth.” I don’t really know what that has to do with anything, other than maybe saying if bitches get beat by their live in man sinner sluts, it’s because they didn’t listen to God’s rules of the game of life. But maybe we should talk about these rules for the game of life (henceforth abbreviated as GRGOL, because typing it out one more time might make me throw up. How does this guy have a regular column somewhere and I don’t?).
The Bible is full of contradictory information when it comes to marriage. In the book of GRGOL, Paul tells us in Corinthians to not bother getting married, and to only get married if we can’t stop ourselves from having sex (which we also shouldn’t do). On the other hand, plenty of people had multiple wives and that was considered awesome. Something GRGOL doesn’t address? What marriage actually is. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that marriage is a trip to the county courthouse, sharing your bank accounts, and dragging down your SO’s chances for credit approval with your shitty score and student debt.
But let’s say that the American idea of marriage is what GRGOL had in mind. What other evidence do we have to support the idea that marriage is the best?
– In marriages, male-female ratios of violence are roughly equal – with women and men just as likely to initiate violence against their spouses. However, in cohabiting relationships, men are far more likely to initiate violence.
Looks like the safest thing you can do is get married and not have kids, since bearing kids is obviously what makes women become victims of violence.
– Married people typically earn more and save more than their unmarried counterparts – whether cohabiting or single.
– The poverty rate for children living in married households is 6%. It is 31% for children living with a cohabiting father and mother.
Lots of studies have been done to figure out why unmarried people make more than married people. Some theorize that those who are married are looked at by their employer as more responsible, and given raises or promotions that are influenced by that (think: you’re a prick boss that only believes in your version of GRGOL. John is married with kids, Greg lives with his whore girlfriend in sin. Who do you layoff first?). Another idea is that just like more attractive people are better off in the work place, they are also more likely to find a partner. Or, if you come from money and are set up to be in a higher income bracket yourself, your family might be more traditional. Or…tax deductions (because if getting married to end abuse isn’t enough, tax deductions should be). But in the vein of the second point up there, if you’re in a lower income bracket…it often makes sense to not get married as your combined income may cause you to lose benefits. That doesn’t mean that you’re poor because you’re unmarried; it means you’re unmarried because you’re poor. I’m presumably in the minority of people who are looking to permanently cohabit without getting married, but this guy is pretending there is some magic going on. Living together in sin? $12k a year for you! Signed that legal document? Bam!! $65k!
– A married man will spend about eight more hours a week doing household chores than his shacking-up peer.
Assuming that is even true outside of the one study he referenced/that I could find, you’d think it’d be true all of the time. Because marriage = man cleaning, nothing else should matter. Except this study, covering 5 European countries, which found “that cohabiting couples have a more egalitarian division of labour but that there are important country differences.” Maybe there are other things at play here than marriage?
I hate to write about a guy writing about a book I haven’t read, but over and over it’s clearly the same mistakes: thinking marriage is the problem solver. Do you want the real solution to save family life? Find your person, move in together, get married if you want. Make sure they’re the right person, that you’re compatible in your goals and way of life (kids, no kids, city, country, whatever). Enjoy your time together, work hard to make it work, don’t cheat, don’t hit each other, and don’t give a shit who has what jewel on what finger.
I haven’t been writing much, and that’s mostly because I’ve been busy working on the online dating book I’m trying to write.
What kind of online dating book, you ask?
The kind that talks about how terrible it can be! As an example of how creepy people can be in text messages, here are some texts from someone I met on Craigslist as a potential roommate situation. Notice the years on the time stamps. I often forget we didn’t meet online dating — and that we never met offline at all (thank god). This (and too many dick pics — thanks OKCupid!) is why I use Google Voice.
Are you waiting until marriage to have sex? Good for you! Unless we’re close enough for you to tell me about you having sex, please don’t tell me about how you aren’t getting laid (I’m an equal opportunist kill joy). But for the love of God, do not tell me that you won’t be teaching your children about safe sex.
Shout out to one of my very astute readers for sending me this gem: I Will Not Teach My Kids About Safe Sex Because There is No Such Thing (also, you kind of suck because I have since wasted hours of my life reading this guy’s blog). The blog author, Matt Walsh, makes two key points: if you are having casual sex, you aren’t having good sex (indeed, only those who have been married for many years have good sex), and teaching your kids about condoms is like telling them to drink and drive, as long as they buckle their seatbelts. Oh. Okay. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess Matt can’t be on Facebook during bikini season.
The ‘safe sex’ model, however, tells a sterilized and paranoid story. It says, “this is something so frivolous and so joyless that you can do it with whoever, for whatever reason, even if just to alleviate boredom. By the way, though it is just a recreational activity, like Parcheesi or air hockey, it can also lead to broken hearts, chlamydia, pregnancy, and AIDS. So, in that sense, it’s a little different from a board game. Hey, let’s look at some super-magnified images of genital warts!”
Does it really, though? What shitty fucking parents have you met, Matt? I don’t know anyone who was raised this way. Do you guys?
Imagine the college students who have to chug 6 rum cocktails and 8 Natty Lights between them before they can anonymously copulate in someone’s dorm room. Why do we say that these people enjoy sex? The man who makes love to his wife of 20 years enjoys sex; these people only enjoy certain physical sensations.
Oh. I forgot how often I hear about people being together for 20 years and still humping like rabbits. Isn’t that kind of not the norm? Also, what’s with the extremes here? 20 years of marriage vs. a drunken one night stand? Quite frankly, Matt, just as I’m in no position to comment on what it’s like to be married for 20 years, you clearly aren’t qualified to comment on what it’s like for people to have sex outside of marriage.
We tell young people to wear condoms to protect against ailments like hepatitis and AIDS. The obvious insinuation here is that there is a ‘safe’ way to fornicate with a diseased stranger.
I don’t have much to say here other than how awesome is it to refer to sex this way? Men can carry HPV even if they are virgins so I feel like this invalidates the entire argument.
Sex itself isn’t safe. On the other hand, committed relationships, fortified by the vows of marriage and reaffirmed daily by both spouses, are safe — and it is only in this context that the inherent vulnerability of sex can be made secure and comfortable.
I don’t plan on ever getting married, because I don’t believe in bringing the government into my relationship. WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?! Does this mean I’ll never really love someone or be loved the way Matt think it’s supposed to happen? Government contract? Good to go. Loving and committed relationship? DISEASED STRANGER SLUT.
Throughout the first part of the article, I was clinging to the hope that this guy meant he was going to teach his children abstinence as a moral goal, but would still teach them how to use birth control. Nope – hope those little rugrats don’t end up like me, never wanting to have children, even when they are married to someone.
Now, I know you’ll tell me that we have to be realistic. Kids will have sex, so shouldn’t we at least make sure they’re prepared for it? To answer that question I have a few of my own: You don’t want your kid to drink and drive, but if he did, you’d prefer he wear a seatbelt, right? Well, would you ever say to him: “junior, I know you’re going to drink and drive. You shouldn’t, but everyone does. So just wear your seatbelt”?
Say what? I’d say it’s actually more like telling your child you don’t want them to drink, but a lot of kids do drink. So if they decide to have alcohol in high school (despite you teaching them about the dangers of alcoholism and binge drinking, legal consequences, etc.), under no circumstances should they drink and drive. It’s dangerous, it’s unforgivable. It can result in loss of life for multiple people, it can result in severe property damage, etc. If you have sex – despite the physical and emotional dangers I have taught you, children – you need to wear a condom. I don’t know what the sexual equivalent of drinking and driving is for parents talking to teenagers. Maybe bukaki?
Oh wait! A direct contradiction!
And abstinence before marriage has a better way to deal with the bad things — it tells you about gonorrhea and herpes and out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but it assures you that you don’t need to live in fear of these things if you simply wait for the right time.
Oh. So you will tell them these things can happen, but you won’t tell them how to prevent them? And any unwanted fetus that I find inside me (ring or not), has gotta go. I guess these kids will have to get married and procreate IMMEDIATELY. Shit like this is how kids develop the idea that putting Sprite in your vagina works as birth control.
I’m not a psychologist, but if you spend so much time telling your children to define their self worth and identity on the state of sticking things up their hoohah, what do you tell you tell them if they’re date raped or when lose their identity when they’re married or if they just “mess up” and have sex? If I was from a family that felt so strongly about abstinence that my dad was writing blog posts about my chastity, I’d probably run away if I had sex and got knocked up.
And odds are pretty fucking good these kids are gonna be having some babies (what’s up, Bristol Palin). Abstinence only education consistently fails. And coming from a religious stand point, the Bible says we shouldn’t have sex AT ALL but if we do we ought to be married. And do you know why, Matt? Paul says that we should be married because we’re gonna bang anyway, so we might as well be married.
I leave you all with 1 Corinthians 7:1-9. Kinda cheapens the “don’t say they’re gonna do it anyway!” argument.
Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time,so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satanwill not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
Ever read something that just made you want to punch yourself in the face so you wouldn’t have to look at it anymore? Because I have. Today (and many, many times before). My friend pointed me in the direction of an xoJane article by one Jessica Slizewski that I couldn’t even comment on because the comments were disabled. Instead, here’s my frustration for you to enjoy.
Jessica Slizewski is clearly a miserable and insufferable person to be around. She starts off the article telling us how she isn’t privileged or part of the 1%, but she managed to graduate without debt — and she’s here to be the condescending voice of reason about why we could have been just like her! Thank God.
Yet somehow, by what most of my friends think was the wave of some fairy godmother’s wand, I graduated college without student loans.
Oh, really? I wonder how. Please tell us!
And while some people say these 18-year-old kids don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, let’s not pretend we don’t know better.
Well actually, Jessica, didn’t your fancy college education teach you that your frontal lobe isn’t fully developed until you’re 25? So if you have a lot of outside pressure from respected adults telling you what to do, aren’t you more likely to do what they suggest? You know instead of using your not yet completely formed frontal lobe to draw an understanding of massive debt?
My wonderful parents and grandmother helped me pay for my education
SHUT THE FUCK UP. You poor, poor baby!! You had to have family that could help you pay for your education? That sounds so difficult. Life must be so fucking rough.
Unlike the majority of my friends who went to schools less than an hour from their parents’ homes and chose to live on campus rather than commute, my college roommates were named Mom and Dad.
Well, I was fucked. My parents wouldn’t let me live with them (for the better) and my dad didn’t have a job. And my grandparents are dead. WHERE DID I GO WRONG?! Did I not have enough seances asking for money?! If only I could work as hard as you did, Jessica, so that my parents and grandparents could have had more money and/or not be dead. Do you have any advice on that??
Imagine the stereotypical American college experience. You pick some private university in the middle of a cornfield with a tuition price of about $36,000 a year, plus room and board, party it up every night since you’ve finally escaped the teenage hellhole known as your family’s home, and stumble into your Symbolism in Harry Potter seminar at 11 a.m. still half-drunk and probably reeking of Icehouse.
Is that what’s going on in college these days?! Harry Potter classes?? What’s Icehouse?? I DON’T EVEN KNOW I DID COLLEGE WRONG STUDYING ARABIC RUINS ALL THE FUN. I think the problem here is less about student loans and more about stupid choices in classes. Like, Sallie Mae doesn’t audit your course schedule.
You join a sorority, get vomit in your hair more times than you’re willing to admit publicly, and spend half the day on whatever flavor-of-the-week social media site the guy you currently like is active on.
Okay. I don’t understand what loans have to do with anything here other than sorority dues. Also, what the fuck is “whatever flavor-of-the-week social media site”? Do you not understand that most forms of SM have been around for a long time? Did your parents ban Facebook and Twitter so you think they’re new? Idiot.
You might have even been able to — gasp — live with your parents.
But I wasn’t. Sooo…now what?
You thought your college roommates were weird? Try living with a mother who has a disturbing penchant for singing Chris Brown and LMFAO songs and accidentally throws a Sharpie in the dryer with your load of freshly washed (and now ruined) clothes.
Tehe! Your family gets along it’s so cute omg hehe!
Um, guess fucking what. My family is like a nightmare disaster when we all live together. If only it was fun and games (disclaimer: I get along fabulously with my entire family when I don’t live with them). Try being 21 and grounded from your own laptop. That’d be more accurate.
Remember that friend you had who went through a different boyfriend each week? This habit of constantly picking up something new applies to my father, but in the form of hobbies, not college-aged jocks
OMG. I’m having a realization. You’re such a condescending bitch that you don’t actually have friends other than your parents. What, did not taking out loans keep you from having friends? No, your shitty personality did that.
You may find it’s uncomfortable to invite friends over when they’re home on college breaks as your brother, in an effort to show off his muscles, is in a near-constant state of undress, prompting your father to create a rule that forbids shirtlessness in the kitchen.
More proof you don’t actually have friends. They were all home and in the same situation as you. They just didn’t like you enough to invite you over.
And for the ladies with loans: Do you wish you’d done anything differently during your college years to limit your debt?
Yeah. I’m not an elitist cunt like you are, so I just wish I hadn’t gone to college at all.
I spent the four years of my life designed for partying essentially reliving my high school years. And yes, it was awful.
I’m sorry you’re so bitter. Maybe now you can start throwing up in your hair and getting on social media flavor of the week sites or what the fuck ever.
“Once upon a time there was a girl named Wendy who was very beautiful and very happy and had lots of friends but then one day she did some heroin and got addicted and lost everything and then she died.
– A very, um, beautiful poem on an ad in the DEA Museum
Who the hell knew the DEA had a museum? Not me, and not my friend Ed — otherwise we would have gone years ago. Honestly, it’s everything you would expect it to be…terrible and hilarious, all at once. I highly recommend that you go if you’re ever in Pentagon City.
I already talked about the museum in my first ever YouTube video (woohoo!), but it’s even worse than the comical portrayal of marijuana. Obviously the DEA is stuck in the mindset that drug use should be criminalized instead of treated as addiction (or, in moderation, left alone) and that the police need to be armed and treated as a militia in order to “combat” the problem.
In reality, the War on Drugs is a dated and terrible concept, a waste of resources that could be better used on almost anything else. For anyone who is interested in understanding the link between racism and the War on Drugs, check out The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. It’s a fantastic book, and honestly should be on high school required reading lists. Her argument is that the drug laws in America recreate the Jim Crow laws; because it’s okay to discriminate against felons, making laws and enforcing them in a way that make a disproportionate amount of black people criminals allows for continued racial discrimination.
As we walked around the museum, Ed pointed out all of the cocaine exhibits kind of implied that it looked like they didn’t want to criminalize blow for a while. I agreed — white people were doing coke, so there wasn’t the drive to punish them for it. I think we’re all aware of the disgusting differences in the laws between cocaine and crack, but it was startling to see the history.
As we make the transition to decriminalization of marijuana, let’s not forget that FAFSA requires students have no drug convictions on their record. Can we even imagine the number of students that couldn’t afford to go to college because they got caught with small amount of marijuana or cocaine? Underage drinking citations don’t come with a loss of federal funds for school.
How many decades have been spent teaching our children that marijuana is a schedule one drug because it’s extremely dangerous — that it’s on par with heroin and less dangerous than cocaine (a schedule two drug)? How many teenagers have disregarded everything they’ve heard the FDA or their teachers or parents say about drugs after they smoked pot for the first time or hung out with people who smoke? I mean, if weed is more dangerous than coke…bring it on!
I think American society is slowly becoming disgusted with the loss of freedom (and lives) that is a direct result of the drug war. We’re constantly hearing about “isolated incidents” — they clearly aren’t isolated. We’re no Portugal, but I’m hopeful that people will get tired of hearing about our legal system and police doing things like….
Fatally shooting a senior citizen after going to the wrong house for a drug raid.
Mostly it’s parking tickets and speed cameras, unless you’re Marion Barry. Then it’s all driving your car the wrong way down a road and smashing into other people, and a couple grand in unpaid tickets.
I recently saw your blog post about “voluntourism” and it irritated me enough to want to respond. I promise to talk about myself and my experiences as much as you did, and maybe together we can make some kind of conclusion – a part of writing that you kind of skipped out on.
In high school, I travelled to Tanzania as part of a school trip. There were 14 white girls, 1 black girl who, to her frustration, was called white by almost everyone we met in Tanzania, and a few teachers/chaperones.
Ah, okay. This is the obligatory sentence about the evils of whitey that justifies the headline. Well, in high school I worked almost full time at Alexandria Buick Pontiac GMC. I was one of the only white people in the dealership, FWIW.
$3000 bought us a week at an orphanage, a half built library, and a few pickup soccer games, followed by a week long safari.
$3000 would probably have bought my friends and me a shit ton of Grey Goose and maybe a weeklong beach trip. However, my public high school definitely taught me I shouldn’t start sentences with dollar signs. This isn’t a Ke$ha song.
Our mission while at the orphanage was to build a library.
My mission at Buick was to build a better car buying experience.
Turns out that we, a group of highly educated private boarding school students were so bad at the most basic construction work that each night the men had to take down the structurally unsound bricks we had laid and rebuild the structure so that, when we woke up in the morning, we would be unaware of our failure. It is likely that this was a daily ritual. Us mixing cement and laying bricks for 6+ hours, them undoing our work after the sun set, re-laying the bricks, and then acting as if nothing had happened so that the cycle could continue.
Turns out that I, as a high school student who skipped math and psych class regularly, was not qualified to save GM from going bankrupt.
Look, Pippa, I don’t even know where to start here – likely because your sentence was so fucking long I got confused.
Turns out that you, as a group of presumably rich high school students with no background in manual labor, weren’t qualified TO FUCKING BUILD HOUSES???? No. Freaking. Way.
What “men” were doing this?? The men that organized your trip? Local men that worked alongside you? I don’t know, because you never tell us.
And how do you know that this was happening? Your only evidence is that you were unaware and “it [was] likely.” That isn’t exactly the strongest argument I’ve ever heard.
Basically, we failed at the sole purpose of our being there. It would have been more cost effective, stimulative of the local economy, and efficient for the orphanage to take our money and hire locals to do the work, but there we were trying to build straight walls without a level.
Basically, if your sole purpose of volunteer work is to build a structure and not to have a lasting impact on people’s lives, you’re doing it wrong.
Basically, if your sole purpose was to do something you had no experience doing, you’re ridiculously naïve.
Basically, if your budget was such shit that no one bought a level, you should really take this up with the organization that sent you.
That same summer, I started working in the Dominican Republic at a summer camp I helped organize for HIV+ children. Within days, it was obvious that my rudimentary Spanish set me so far apart from the local Dominican staff that I might as well have been an alien.
So you went to Tanzania to build a library, and then you went to the Dominican Republic to help HIV+ children? You don’t speak Spanish, and I assume you don’t speak Swahili (what the hell did your fancy education even get you?). Where is the consistency or your passion? You’ve made it clear that helping people wasn’t your priority in Tanzania…just building a library. You don’t bring skilled work to the table, you don’t have a medical background, you don’t speak another language…why aren’t you picking a region you care about or a task you care about and focusing on that?
My background is in Arabic. I majored in it in college (along with Middle East Studies), and I minored in French. I continue my education now with conferences and independent research on the region. I have many friends from the region, and I’ve traveled extensively. I have an understanding of certain countries and their cultures (Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan) from my studies, my travels, and my friends. If I had the ability, I would go to Lebanon and help out with Syrian refugees, even if just for a week…but I likely wouldn’t do any volunteer work in Tanzania or the Dominican Republic.
However, I have stopped attending having finally accepting that my presence is not the godsend I was coached by non-profits, documentaries, and service programs to believe it would be.
This is the only sentence in your entire post that you place blame in the correct place.
It turns out that I, a little white girl, am good at a lot of things. I am good at raising money, training volunteers, collecting items, coordinating programs, and telling stories. I am flexible, creative, and able to think on my feet. On paper I am, by most people’s standards, highly qualified to do international aid. But I shouldn’t be.
It turns out that you, as a little white girl, aren’t actually listing any qualities that would make you good at volunteering in developing nations. The Peace Corps has its fair share of problems, but I would wager it’s considered the standard for international volunteer work…and what you just named has nothing to do with what they’re looking for. Instead, they list things like “those with specialized skills” and “Spanish or French” speaking abilities. Last I checked honkies can speak French and have specialized skills. Even the little folk. Even the ones with vaginas.
Before you sign up for a volunteer trip anywhere in the world this summer, consider whether you possess the skill set necessary for that trip to be successful. If yes, awesome. If not, it might be a good idea to reconsider your trip. Sadly, taking part in international aid where you aren’t particularly helpful is not benign. It’s detrimental. It slows down positive growth and perpetuates the “white savior” complex that, for hundreds of years, has haunted both the countries we are trying to ‘save’ and our (more recently) own psyches.
Pippa, why is your only blame on the people who just want to help? Why is your knee jerk reaction to talk about white savior complexes, instead of focusing on the crappy organizations that accept these kids into their programs? The organizations that don’t make an effort to match people up with something that they could actually connect to? At NO POINT here have you backed up your claims of white people being the problem. I suppose on your little high school trip the black girl rocked it and was totally effective? If not, how can you call this white savior complex? How do you explain her? What the fuck issues do you have?
I’m sorry you didn’t find whatever you were looking for on your trips, and I’m sorry that your private boarding school didn’t produce a better writer.
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