On Profiting Off the Exploitation of our Own People

This is a post specifically for Black followers to discuss and engage with. What we do not need? White people weighing in on what needs to be an inter-communal conversation around accountability & complicity. If you are a follower who is a non-Black POC and you want to discuss examples of how internalized oppression plays out within your own country, culture or community, we welcome that as well.

If we work to understand the white savior industrial complex from a business perspective, we have to talk about supply and demand. While white and western people create the demand, we are often selling out our own people to create the supply. There is a certain narrative that white people are interested in hearing about Africa – one in which many of our own have catered to for very many reasons and for far too long.

Internalized oppression and the illusion of power that comes with a certain alignment to whiteness has made way for Black and African people to be some of the most detrimental in any real form of liberation. Do not mistake this for victim blaming, because we DO understand the very real risk in standing up against white supremacy. With that said, we have to understand that for white supremacy to be what it is, it requires fuel. White supremacy feeds off internalized oppression & needs it to survive.

Let’s talk examples of how this manifests. In the comments, we want you to expand on what we’ve shared here. Talk examples, discuss what inter-communal education, healing and accountability looks like.

One prime example? Poverty porn: There is a special kind of “African” that people in the development-aid, missionary world CRAVE for. It’s not your average, well-adjusted, educated & properly dressed African. No, you want to see the poorest and the most “uncivilized” aspects of us and our Continent [So much so, you might just come with your own jar of flies and bag of dirty, tattered clothing].

For some, feeding into this narrative is justified as they convince themselves this is the only way to raise money. They have found a way to capitalize off of the exploitation of our poorest communities by way of slum tours, photography, film, fake NGOs & white-savior friendly social media accounts. None of this would be possible, none of it would exist if the white and western people were not demanding it.

We share this because the unlearning, the deconstructing, the decolonizing, the confronting of whiteness that we have internalized – it is ESSENTIAL for us to make progress toward any true freedom independent of the global system of white supremacy.