It’s Day 1 of Black History Month and We Whites Are All Going to STFU and Listen.

At least here at Death to Squirrels, we are. Because (1) listening to (and boosting) Black voices is important, and (2) no one learns anything while they’re busy talking. Or blogging. Whatever. You know what I mean.

Today, I share with you a powerful piece from the January+February 2022 Issue of Mother Jones by Lori Teresa Yearwood, titled “I Escaped the Trauma of Homelessness—Only to Face Your White Savior Complex.” [CONTENT NOTE: sexual assault and other egregious violations of autonomy; police, pastors and others behaving cruelly; homelessness: mental health (mis)diagnoses and stigma; trauma.]

photographic image of Lori Teresa Yearwood standing in front of a pond or strem with birds around it. She is wearing a beautifuolly embroidered red sweater and smiling.Lori Teresa Yearwood
(image: Niki Chan Wylie via Mother Jones)

I hope that you will read it, and if it makes you uncomfortable, that you will sit with that discomfort, and learn everything you can from it.


  1. says

    Joseph Zowghi: It’s the good old bootstrap-catch-22. To be deserving of help, you’d need to demonstrate that you’ve pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps, in which case you wouldn’t reeeeally need help at all. And of course you’d refuse to accept “handouts”: by accepting help, you’ve proven yourself unworthy of it! Neat, huh? NEVER MIND THAT IT IS IN FACT PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO PULL ONESELF UP BY ONE’S BOOTSTRAPS. It’s a terrible metaphor, and probably by design.