Author: Rukhsana Sukhan

White Saviors Need to Leave the Room

She called herself Kalamity, though that’s not her real name. She’s the white woman who called me a racist for noting that Indigenous children who live in communities where parents own their homes tend to have a higher standard of living and care than those who live in reserve communities where property is owned communally. This was the day after she schooled me, a Desi, together with a Kenyan woman—the only two non-white individuals in our class—on the proper use of people-of-colour nomenclature. “I’m not sure I like that phrase,” said the Kenyan woman. I agreed. Of all the ways to describe oneself, why would I self-define as not white. “Women of colour chose it,” Kalamity informed us. By this, I learned, she meant black intersectional feminists. This wasn’t the first or last time that Kalamity treated us like elementary-school children in catechism class. I didn’t like this feeling. Kalamity also called me out as racist for disagreeing with her pronouncement that those Charlie Hebdo cartoons from 2015 were racist. That Kalamity could not read …