White Savior Movies, Ranked

The White Savior trope is one of my peeves, right along with male savior.

Flavorwire

Today, McFarland, USA is released in theaters. Based on a true story, the movie stars Kevin Costner — who, between this role and Black or White, must be working out some white guilt — as Jim White (his actual name), a white coach who leads a track team of inner-city (see: Latino) students to victory. This is just the latest entry in a long list of white savior narratives: stories in which a white person heroically “saves” people of color, generally by using his white expertise (privilege) to teach them that, hey, you can still play music/read a book/catch a baseball even if you’re brown! These movies are never about the people of color succeeding as much as the white savior patting himself on the back. But they are labeled inspiring (for white people) and groundbreaking (for white people) and are often voted on at the Oscars (by white…

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What can we learn from how animals cope?

I’ve worked with animals long enough to believe that they do have emotions.

ideas.ted.com

Author of the book Animal Madness, TED Fellow Laurel Braitman shares 5 ways in which animals and humans suffer from similar mental illnesses. Anthropomorphism run amok? You decide.

A golden retriever chases his tail every morning for hours on end. In the evening he compulsively licks his paws till they’re bare and oozy. When he’s given Prozac, he calms down and stops injuring himself … After the death of her mate, a scarlet macaw plucks out every last one of her feathers and doesn’t stop until she’s befriended by a cockatoo … A tabby cat who grew listless and stopped eating after his favorite human went off to college is cheered by the arrival of the family’s new pet rabbit, whom he likes to follow around the house.

Is the dog obsessive-compulsive? The parrot struggling with trichotillomania? The cat, once depressed, now recovered?

Making sense of animal emotional states…

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