Nov. 14th, 2011

arkster: Excited dragon is excited. (Behold my artistic genius)
" In expanding use across much of Web 2.0, there has come a relatively new slang term for an extremely old practice of behavior. The white knight, on online fora and blog comment pages, is a commenter who leaps to the defense of someone who has been attacked, whether or not they need defending. The antithesis of the troll, who antagonizes for no reason, the white knight swoops in on any given argument with an impassioned plea for a halt to all ad hominem attacks, all hyperbole, and often all strong language whatsoever. The term has found particularly specialized use in discussion spaces for identity politic, such as feminist (in which case knight is gendered male) and race-related spaces (in which case white refers to more than the color of the knight’s horse.) To white-knight, the verb, is often used to call out the behavior of a commenter defending another person unnecessarily; however, even if the assailant is vicious and the issue at hand is crucial, an obnoxious commenter may be white-knighting if he or she gallops in and takes the reins of the discussion. The term white knight challenges the inherent assumption on the part of the knight, that the assailed person cannot speak for hirself, as paternalistic and co-opting of the “victim’s” place in the discourse. "

and then I go on to expand this term and talk about NGOs

but I just really wanted to introduce this shorthand into class discourse. Because our class actually really needs a shorthand for "Western middle-class educated peoples who travel overseas to extend preconcieved 'help' to periphery nation-state peoples, which is problematic in a number of ways"

it comes up a lot

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Arkster

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