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March 2013
01

The pedagogy of the oppressed, animated by authentic, humanist (not humanitarian) generosity, presents itself as a pedagogy of humankind. Pedagogy which begins with egoistic interests of the oppressors (an egoism cloaked in the false generosity of paternalism) and makes of the oppressed the objects of its humanitarianism, itself maintains and embodies oppression.

 

Paulo Freire

Welp. Um…White Savior Industrial Complex and similar “humanitarian” institutions that ultimately benefit oppressor classes, not the oppressed, your card has been pulled. Whether it is through education (which Freire REJECTS as being “neutral” in the first place) or implementing ideas in a paternalistic way, the “I know what is best for you, so shut up and take it” approach to education, business…anything—it doesn’t work. Oppressed people have to be actively engaged in their own liberation, as subjects, not objects. As Freire writes "No pedagogy which is truly liberating can remain distant from the oppressed by treating them as unfortunates and by presenting for their emulation models from among the oppressors. The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption."

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