From Maximilian Forte of Zero Anthropology, A photo and text essay examining the intersection of western hegemony and humanitarianism.
Helpless, pleading, wanting, needing, small, weak, staring at you, black–this is the anti-bogeyman invented by Western humanitarianism, what passes as morality in the ideology of empire (yet again). Past the time of a London Missionary Society, we now have the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the moral dogma of a white, western elite that projects its abusive notion of “protection” everywhere it is not wanted. Hence we have the “smug self-congratulation” marking Obama’s “Atrocity Prevention Board” and empowering the U.S. to undertake global police work. Part of a long history of casting wars as “humanitarian,” the “moral compass” of Western imperialism has an appropriately nautical sound in this commercial that declares the U.S. Navy to be “a force for global good” (nautical or extraterrestrial perhaps: the images are inspired by the opening of Star Wars, and the narration echoes Darth Vader). Well past the time of “emancipation,” we can now help Africans by owning them yet again–as children, in that state of infancy that we have long associated with primitiveness itself. We thus have the perfect therapy for the racial fear of blackness: shopping, that is, shopping for humans. Whole peoples in need of our “protection” (and the military-industrial racket of defense contractors and mercenaries that makes “protection” possible)–finally, our guilt washed away in their gratitude. For just the price of a cup of coffee–and the occasional high-altitude bombing by faceless “heroes” who never confront their victims–you too can buy yourself a piece of Africa, “the new frontier”. Then you can monitor and police its subordination, with AFRICOM.
Read more at Zero Anthropology