Someone broadcasts something that a White Knight
for some group finds offensive
. The thing is, though, the white knight
in question isn't a part of the group themselves and is getting offended on the group's behalf
. The people who are actually members of the group think that the "offensive" joke is Actually Pretty Funny
, and say such. Or they don't even care that they're supposed to be "offended".
Cue the Periphery Demographic
white knight calling said group members traitors
There are Unfortunate Implications
in this one as well: saying, for instance, that a politically correct
white viewer knows what's racist better than a black viewer does, and will "defend" black people from having their own opinion on the matter if they don't agree with the white person in question.
Happens a lot in Fan Wank
. Related to Category Traitor
. Definitely Truth in Television
. Sometimes this happens because the white knight has a friend
or a family member
who's a member of the group.
Please limit Real Life
examples to someone White Knighting for a single person
and the target not being offended.
- Showing up in several Discworld books, the Campaign for Equal Heights is an advocacy group aiming to reduce discrimination against dwarfs. The Campaign is mostly run by humans who think that the dwarfs are being exploited, looked down on, or otherwise unfairly treated. Dwarfs themselves don't care much about what the Campaign is doing; they only want to work and send more money home. Besides which, as the narration mentions, if they were actually offended by something the humans did, they have their own ways of dealing with it. Typically involving battleaxes.
- In the Harry Potter books, Hermione tries to free the House Elves, though most of them like their duties.
- Word of God stated that S.P.E.W (Society for the Protection of Elvish Welfare) did eventually get off the ground, helping the House Elves who are abused by their masters (like Dobby was when he lived with the Malfoys, or Kreacher under Sirius Black), though now it knew better than to free them.
- Dilbert creator Scott Adams has taken his share of flak over the years for writing comic strips that offended people, and he noted in Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel that one of the most irritating problems he faced was White Knighting by people who weren't part of the group he was taking the piss out of. His example was that if he made a joke about clown stereotypes, he'd get a lot of angry letters from his readers, but none of them would be from actual clowns.
- This is Pat's entire deal in Achewood. He is never happy unless he has something politically correct to complain about, and if he has nothing in his immediate life that's wrong he'll be offended on behalf of entire other groups. He's really an insufferable ass who uses "being offended by something that should be offensive" to make himself feel superior.
- South Park:
- People are up in arms over the band "Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld" because (allegedly) the only reason they're popular is that people like to come to laugh at Timmy, who is in a wheelchair and can only say his name. But people are actually there to support Timmy and enjoy the music, and Timmy himself is having fun. (Phil Collins is also upset and jumps on this bandwagon, but for him it's really because TatLotU are more popular than he is.)
- In another episode, the kids in South Park have taken to using the word "fag" as a such a generic insult that they don't realize it's associated with homosexuality. People become up in arms about it and try to stop it. The homosexual community in South Park actually see it as a good thing that they've been dissociated from the insult and try to encourage it. This is very much not Truth in Television. The Unfortunate Implications of generalizing an insult rooted in homophobia makes it actually a bigger pet peeve for many queers than using it on them directly.
- In another episode, Big Gay Al implores people not to sue the Boy Scouts over their policy of not allowing openly gay scout leaders, reasoning that the scouts are a private club and should be allowed to determine membership according to their own values, even if they are values that he disagrees with. Like the above, this is far from a unanimous (or even widespread) opinion among Real Life gay people regarding the Real Life Boy Scouts.
- The Popeye cartoon "Leave Well Enough Alone" has Popeye feeling sorry for the animals in a pet store so he buys them all and sets them free. The only animal left in the store is a parrot who says he's got a good thing with a roof over his head and three square meals a day. Just as all the animals are caught and about to be impounded, Popeye licenses them all and returns them to the pet shop. Again, the parrot admonishes "leave well enough alone."
- Gary Larson got one of these cases on his hands when he drew a comic about Jane Goodall: A female chimp finds a blond hair in her mate's fur and accuses him of having helped 'that Jane Goodall tramp' with some 'research'. Shortly after publishing it, he got a cease-and-desist from someone claiming to represent Jane Goodall, expressing outrage at the implications of bestiality, the reference to her as a 'tramp', etc. Gary, who states that he has nothing but respect for Goodall's work, dutifully pulled the comic, but a while later, he got a letter from a scientific journal that wanted to use that comic for an article about Jane Goodall, and when he told them that he couldn't due to the C&D, they were mystified. The editor knew Jane, and stated that it didn't sound like her at all. A few phone calls later, it turns out that Jane Goodall herself thought the comic was hilarious, and she didn't know anything about a cease-and-desist. The comic was restored to its rightful place, including being used for the aforementioned article, but nobody ever found out who decided to complain to Gary on Jane's behalf, without bothering to tell her...
- Probably not the only time such a thing has come up, but Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California received a lawsuit regarding the school mascot. For the record, they're known as the Arcadia Apaches. When officials went to the White Mountain Apaches in Arizona (with whom the school has had long-time close ties and whom the mascot is drawn from), the WMA not only didn't care about the school's mascot, but had no idea who had leveled the suit in the first place. In an attempt to avoid Unfortunate Implications, the school has no mascot running around in a suit during football games, but they remain the Apaches.
- The use of the shamisen by European and American bands has drawn ire from non-Japanese people for being a form of malignant cultural appropriation, while Japanese people themselves don't mind. (Oddly enough, no one seems to care about the customs the ethnic Yamato have appropriated from the Ainu - a group that has been oppressed throughout history by the Yamato far more than the Yamato have by whites.)
- Recursive example: Cards Against Humanity, launched with the philosophy that there are no such things as Unacceptable Targets, has softened this stance and removed cards such as "Date Rape" and "Passable Transvestites" from later releases. Interestingly, the 19-year-old trans gentleman who most famously protested the "Passable Transvestites" card has since recanted, saying that it was not okay for him to single out only transgendered people as Unacceptable Targets and he never meant for his post to go viral. He is still offended by the card, but only meant to remove it from his own personal set, not prompt the creators to remove it from all sets. (It's worth noting, however, that the creators had already removed it prior to his post going viral.)