Main White Mans Burden Discussion

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08:27:12 AM Feb 20th 2015
Films that could be added as examples: Avatar?
09:00:37 AM Feb 20th 2015
Avatar? Honestly, I don't remember any instance of that trope there.
12:10:53 PM Feb 20th 2015
Closest I can think of is the Corrupt Corporate Executive saying that the Na'vi rejected anything the Earthlings had to trade (food, technology, medicine) and not really understanding it. Which isn't really the same thing.
06:04:54 PM Apr 29th 2012
edited by Nanuq
Is it just me, or do there only seem to be Unfortunate Implications when the helper is white, but hardly ever when the helpee is? Double Standard much?
06:09:53 AM Apr 16th 2014
I agree, a lot of these examples just seem like a retelling of My Fair Lady, but with the poor person being from a minority.
02:10:44 PM Dec 6th 2010
Would Doctors Without Borders and similar organizations fit the bill? I'm not saying that all members of said organizations are white, obviously, but it's still people from a more privileged background going to places with altogether different cultures and helping out.
02:27:42 PM Dec 6th 2010
I doubt we should include real life examples other than one's applying to "fiction" (Biblical, the Toussaint movie, etc.). Why? Because this trope is about a stock plot where we're supposed to sympathize with the white hero for saving the black man. It's based on the position within a story. Not to mention that the trope's name pretty much means that we'll get tons of natter.

One thing's for sure, the Hancock example does not belong; he's the main character!
04:47:58 AM Oct 13th 2013
Two of the big parts of this trope is that the white character gets development but the minority character doesn't, and how the white character brings the minority character out of their culture into white culture. So a story about Doctors Without Borders wouldn't need to be this - it could quite easily have development about wherever they're going to, and they aren't pulling people out of their culture as they are helping them to live in their own culture.

Similarly, a white record producer that helps a hip-hop group get started and gives them a free pass on their first album because he likes their music wouldn't need to be this - he could just be a white fan of hip-hop who liked what he heard.

It also certainly wouldn't apply to a white character who helps a black character for a few moments because the black character asked, they'd just be a Nice Guy and have an honest wish to help.
11:25:20 PM Apr 6th 2010
07:47:36 AM Jun 14th 2010
I'm not really sure if this is a Broken Aesop. It's a Warped Aesop for sure, but the message is intact. It would only break the main message by having the white character's efforts prove pointless or harmful.
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