The ‘White Savior’ Complex Got Old.
The first time we knew Issa needed to walk away from her position at We Got Y’all was season 3 episode 1. It was hard to dismiss the only person of color, in an organization focused on people of color, being relegated to desk duty by a white person, the DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER, unwilling to face racial problems with the program and choosing to operate with blind spots anyway.
It’s like those Instagram posts of white people who travel to Africa, bypassing thousands of American white people in shelters, to “empower” Africans to live a better life and be a better person.
I’d like to think Issa Rae knew from Insecure’s very first season that “We Got Y’all” was a racist, white savior, bs job she didn’t belong in. But Issa Rae and the HBO series Insecure are evolving and the stories reflect their enlightenment.
In this episode, season 3 episode 4, we felt the expectation of subservience on Issa from her white coworkers. People who speak softly but firmly, teaching Issa how to behave as a human being. It’s excruciating to watch and you realize it lends to her characters insecurities and her awkwardness at work. And while in the past the choice was dignity or starve – in America’s culturally woke society Issa now has options (thanks to strong civil rights leaders from our past).
What made Issa realize she needed to walk away from WGY was a jaunt down memory lane. Issa blew off her responsibilities, including work, to share her favorite LA locations (which included a sexy skinny dipping dare in her childhood pool) with Nathan (Kendrick Sampson), a mysterious new character introduced this season.
I’m not #teamNathan but even I must admit Nathan is good for Issa right now. He coaxes a long dormant side of Issa that has been buried and waiting to reemerge.
And regardless to how their relationship plays out he helped her realize her passion, and that she needed to quit that shit job.