Ushna Shah: “I have always felt that we Pakistanis love the white saviors”

“Stop glorifying people who never used their privilege to help the country” clarified the actress

Mahnoor Jalal

Mahnoor Jalal

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Ushna Shah took to social media today to point out how white bloggers often end up depicting themselves as “white saviors” of the country, elaborating on why this is problematic for Pakistan and its people.

In her post, Ushna Shah pointed out that white foreigners never hesitate to make themselves the center of any subject, and we Pakistanis often champion them for doing the most basic things like riding a rickshaw or eating daal- chaawal at Liberty Market:

“I have always felt that we Pakistanis love the white saviors; and I am using the word WE PAKISTANIS not You Pakistanis. If a Pakistani vlogger eats daal chaawal in Liberty market, that video will be viewed by 300 people but if the same daal chaawal video is made by a white person, news channels will rush to the site with their cameras.”

The actress then acknowledged that there are some foreigners like George Fulton and Shaneira Akram who utilize their privilege in order to help the country,  like the latter’s “Clean Karachi Campaign”

“Shaneira is the Bhabhi for the whole country and she has used her privilege & status in a very dignified way in her Clean Karachi campaign. Nothing that she posted or said reeked of arrogance or superiority complex. She does not say ‘You guys need to clean your city’, she says ‘Let’s clean our city together’. George Fulton has highlighted the issue of our colonial mindset of aggrandizing English speaking ability in a funny and respectable way.”

Coming to the problem with white bloggers, Ushna pointed out that the problem with glorifying white bloggers is that they pick out pictures that only show poverty and decay in Pakistan, and then refuse to acknowledge their privilege as white people in order to help and clean up the mess:

“They take photos of poverty… trash… lack of hygiene… problems and disasters. They do show the beauty of Pakistan, mind you, but that too is done in a way to make them look like the last hope for a despondent country. (I once again reiterate I am not generalizing all white tourists and vloggers). Their social media posts are about teaching us how to live our lives. They want to show us how they are the best things to happen to our country since Quaid-e-Azam. Now please go back and check the posts and captions of Shaneira and George and compare them with these white saviors, you will feel a stark difference. I have been observing it for a long time, perhaps that is why I am more hurt and riled up.”

You can read her complete post below, and let us know what you think in the comments!