Letter to the Editor: Response to ‘White saviors never save the day’

Steve Hardesty

As I read Bobbie Szabo’s article, “White saviors never save the day,” it made me sad.  

First of all, I am sad that someone so young is so cynical. Secondly, I don’t appreciate the negative spin and false beliefs about other people’s motives.  She writes, “Voluntourism is often a symptom of the white-savior complex — when a white person helps the ‘poor, impoverished, oppressed’ people of color in another country or in the U.S. itself.”

Is it white-savior complex that causes groups to collect glasses and doctors to give of their time, talents and treasure to fit peoples in South America with glasses and provide cataract surgery? Is it white-savior complex that causes people to fill their trucks with equipment and tools to rebuild homes from Appalachia to New Orleans at their own expense? Is it white-savior complex that causes service organizations to hold events and give 100 percent of the proceeds to help the less fortunate or do eye screenings in our schools and ask nothing in return?

I know too many good people who give unselfishly and with no motive other than to help their fellow man to let your article go unchallenged. I do, by the way, have a Savior myself, but that’s for another article.

Steve Hardesty is a manager of the Kent water treatment plant, a board member of the Kent Lions, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a long-time Kent community member. Contact him at [email protected].