The “Caucasian Overcompensation” is a term that I have created to define the deep, rotten and self-righteous “white guilt” projected by some white liberals when discussing race relations in the United States. I say this not to present myself as understanding everyone’s intentions; however, one’s intentions can be seen through their actions and rhetoric. While I am sure there are well-intentioned white liberals, I can’t help but be sickened by the self-serving white guilt as seen in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent race riots in the United States.
In the current climate of American politics, race relations come at the forefront of many social and economic issues. Although I myself do not subscribe to the notion that identity politics can help to understand socioeconomic issues, race relations cannot be ignored when discussing the state of American politics. Since the United States is composed of majority-white ethnic groups, the general “white” response to political events, whether conservative or liberal, can define the outcome of a nationwide election.
I do not intend to slander all white liberals; rather, I mean to shed a light on the unfortunate self-righteous liberalism that tends to spring up around the topic of race relations, especially on college campuses. Throughout this article, I hope to outline some thoughts I have regarding the “white savior complex” which frustrates me, as well as other non-white individuals.
First, “people of color” are not helpless creatures who need your everlasting allyship. As a “person of color” myself, I have experienced many white people assuming things about my identity that are simply untrue. In an attempt to be “woke”, white people say, “I’m so sorry” when they hear I’m ethnically from the Middle East. Their attempt at sympathy is a clear form of racism when they claim to be allies. People of color do not need your Instagram posts or you sharing all those useless petitions that do nothing to support the causes.
Secondly, the “white savior complex” is alive and well, and any attempt to cover its existence is unacceptable. Certainly, many people may post on Instagram to support Black Lives Matter or to call for Justice for Breonna Taylor—however, there are many who do so just for social acceptance. Using Black Lives Matter or any other political movement to serve your self-righteous motives is simply unethical, and it should be publicly discouraged.
The United States is a diverse nation with people from all ethnicities, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds. When you use people of color as political pawns in a hollow performance to make yourself feel good, you are contributing to a larger cancer in our society, a cancer that must be removed at the earliest possible moment. I plan to present a follow-up article to this one, to go more in-depth into many of the themes I have introduced. Once again, I am not writing this article to slander any white people who post to support BLM or similar causes. I am merely writing to encourage you to reflect on your own intentions and understand why you are posting such content. If you are posting it to increase publicity of the issue and thereby cure it, then, do continue. However, if you post publicly for your own self-gain, and to look good in front of others, reconsider your intentions. It is only through self-reflection that we as humans are able to improve our actions and improve our intentions. Throughout this self-reflection, I encourage people to actually speak with a person of color and ask for their thoughts, and not to just stick themselves in an endless echo chamber of white guilt.