Novelist Teju Cole wrote this on Twitter:
The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.
and elaborated on the idea of “The White Savior Industrial Complex” in a post on the Atlantic website.
It made me think about the relationship between the need for emotional experience and Occupy protestors participating in protests around the shooting of Trayvon Martin and more generally about how the need for emotional experience (and a culture that heavily mediates emotional experience) compels myself and others toward activism or particular gestures within activism. I’m still trying to sort this out.