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Stuff White People Like n.135 Humanitarian Intervention

How did I miss this great blog for so long? I'm going to quote a lot because it's all so good:

I usually get along with white people. For starters, I grew up in a white country. Some of my best friends are white. In my long history of befriending them, I have learnt one thing: if you want to retain white friends, you must adhere to a number of sacred rules: the stuff white people like. For those who are not familiar with it, there is a helpful website aptly titled by the same name. Although they‘ve managed to exhaust the concept with their 134 entries spanning issues as diverse as TED talks, Ultimate Frisbee or Asian Fusion Food, the site remains lacking in one glaring way, to wit, it failed to include humanitarian intervention. The following attempts to remedy to this bleak state of affairs.

When approaching prospective white friends, tips for solving the third-world crisis du jour can be very efficient icebreakers.

However widespread a white conversational hobby, humanitarian intervention is also a thorny issue fraught with intricate codes matching the complexity of croquet or bridge. During the ensuing conversation, avoid openly belittling the value or intentions of humanitarian intervention, or of its less militarized cousin, humanitarian aid. They are, by nature, noble and typically exclude financial or geostrategic incentives. If these surface at a later point in time, they do not delegitimize the whole enterprise. They simply suggest it could have been done better. Stating otherwise will certainly ensure that your white acquaintances will talk of you as a heartless conspiracy theorist behind your back, or worse, and this will depend on how outrageous they find you, in your presence.

Unbeknownst to yourself, your choice of regions for humanitarian intervention will reveal a great deal about the depth of your character. For instance, a focus on blasting Palestinians suggests a rather traditional, impulsive, frontier-Orientalist personality whereas opting for Syria says you’re a more sensitive Kosovo intervention-type, who dreads a repeat Srebrenica. In contrast, caring for child soldiers in Africa tells the prospective white friend that you’re not only extremely devoted to the well-being of the wretched of the earth, but also that you tend to be knowledgeable about regions that regularly drop from the radar of cutting-edge mainstream infotainment.

In all this confusion, beginners will typically commit the faux pas of supporting all humanitarian interventions. It is of the utmost importance to maintain a semblance of taste in these matters. So while some interventions can be justified, based on geographical terrain—for instance, flatter is more open to intervention, like in Libya—or ethnic uniformity—too much diversity might lead to armed civil strife, like in Iraq—others will strike your friends as completely out of line. For instance, oil-rich countries with regimes that hold white interest close to heart, such as the UAE or Saudi, are a clear no-go, and so are neighborly aspiring white settler colonies, like Israel, that regularly confuse democracy for a weapon of mass destruction.

Good clean fun, eh?

NOTE Hat tip, Julia Williams.

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malagodi's picture
Submitted by malagodi on

Surely this is the best of all possible worlds!

[great stuff, thanks.]

gizzardboy's picture
Submitted by gizzardboy on

Lambert, you find the best links. I clicked on through to StuffWhite PeopleLike.com and went down the list a ways. There was at number 134
http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2010/09/... the TED conference. In my morning email there was one from a (white) friend linking me to a TED presentation. Damn! They know us so well!