BLM: A new buzzword among white saviours


 #BlackLivesMatteris now the new buzzword in the aid sector.

A couple of months ago – before the murder of George Floyd sparked a BLM uprising – a BIPOC guy (a UK-based Filipino – I don’t personally know him, but I think he’s such a rockstar) shared his talk about decolonising project management in the aid sector. He posted this in a closed/private Facebook group for international aid workers.

#WhiteFragility prevailed after his post and he received angry comments from white aid workers from *that* group and from an alt-FB group, which was also for international aid workers but exclusively for humanitarian-themed memes. It is not the first time that a BIPOC got a scathing response from white people in that group. Last year, a friend and former colleague of mine, a fellow feminist (also a Filipino) posted something about racism in the aid sector and she got attacked by white aid workers: microaggression galore, their white fragility shookt.

Of course I (along with another fellow feminist Filipina) stepped into the comments section. And at that point I just ripped it all out. IDGAF if would lose social costs/become unpopular, I just attacked them back with insults pointing out their implicit bias/racism.

Fast-forward to *after* the recent BLM uprising. Suddenly, BLM became a buzzword among white aid workers, posting stuff about “fighting racism” in that closed group. Of course in my mind I sighed “Finally, you guys get it!” and at the same time I can’t help stop rolling my eyes, thinking “Which of these wypipo are just virtue signalling??” I know I know I should be less cynical – but in the past I’ve had so many stressful and exhausting arguments (online and offline) about racism with white progressives before, and at this point I really DGAF about their “fragile” feelings. They have to learn this shit (white supremacy) on their own.

Going back to the UK-based Filipino rockstar guy I was talking about – I’m calling him a rockstar because aside from his cool Aid Re-imagined thing, he: 1) Gave very diplomatic + good answers/replies to white aid workers who resisted his ‘decolonising project management’ post – I can never be diplomatic in such situations; 2) He organised this “How to Be Anti-Racist” Zoom event, and it was a hit; 3) White aid workers on that secret group had been raving about said event – and I can see that some of them are just starting to realise that it’s the same dude they attacked before for his “Decolonising” talk. Looking forward to him shaking up the white supremacist aid sector and who knows maybe, be more successful than the rest of the humanitarian ecosystem when it comes to localising humanitarian work. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s