Post-Colonial Theory Applied to Tweets by Teju Cole

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 3
Words: 612
Reading time:
2 min

The majority of problems that exist in the modern world can be vised as a result of the colonial system that had been used by giant empires for the bigger part of the world’s history. For instance, Tweets by Teju Cole can be analysed by applying the post-colonial theory. In his first message, he speaks about the emergence of the so-called White Savior Industrial complex. It can be viewed as a bitter irony, as the Western world still tries to act from the positions of imperialism and uses the idea of helping African nations as a hypocritical excuse to generate income and benefit from the increased attention to the issue. In the second Tweet, Teju Cole develops the idea of the hypocrisy of white people who support brutal interventions and policies on the one hand; however, hide these attempts through the creation of some charity projects that shift attention from problematic issues to them and moreover, manage to benefit from it. It can be viewed as a reflection of old imperialist motifs, as different nations are still considered inferior ones, and the Western world uses them for their purposes.

The next Tweet revolves around the ideas of sentimentality and banality. In other words, society uses some banal but topical and problematic issues to transform them and present them from different angles, to make people sentimental and decrease the level of aggravation. Teju Cole also touches upon the modern pop culture, stating, “This world exists simply to satisfy the needs-including, importantly, the sentimental needs-of white people and Oprah”. He assumes that famous projects such as KONY 2012 or Oprah’s show exist only to meet the needs of white people. In other words, regardless of the focus on helping minorities, celebrities such as Oprah uses the sentimentality of people to increase their popularity and generate income, which supports the ideas of hypocrisy and the need for change.

The fifth Tweet emphasises the fact that the White Savior Industry is focused on generating privileges, not seeking justice. In accordance with the imperialist values and post-colonial ideas, the Western communities still consider other nations as a way to generate additional income and remain inferior to them, which is evidenced by the existence of multiple programs which, in fact, do not improve the situation. Cole also admits the fact that the world is worried about an “awful African warlord” who kills people in his state and tries to help people there. However, they all closed yes on American troops in Iraq, which killed about 1,5 million citizens there. The western world prefers to remain blind and address issues that can be used only to justify its position, which is another proof of intolerant and unfair attitudes. Finally, Cole explains the interest in African nations because of the need to control them to avoid significant losses and their danger to Western countries who might lose their influence there.

Altogether, it is possible to agree with Cole’s ideas and his vision of the current situation expressed in these Tweets. The Western world still remains imperialistic and does not have a fair attitude to nations that used to be colonies. All funds, charities, and projects aimed to help people living there are neutralised by the real motifs of governments. They try to preserve their impact on these lands and disregard the real problems and needs of people there, using populist slogans and exploiting sentimental moods to hide fundamental aspects that should be discussed and solved. In such a way, the idea of the White Savior Industrial complex offered by Cole becomes true and affects the modern world.