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Ellen DeGeneres is the Latest White Celebrity to Take a Picture With Smiling 'African' Children

This is getting old, no?

It's a familiar narrative at this point, you know the one: a bright-eyed, maybe even well-meaning, white person travels to "Africa"—no need to name the specific country, of course—for a trip. While there, they make sure to snap pictures with the poor "African" children—remember, no country specificity necessary—to show the great work that they're doing, how life-changing the trip was, and how empathetic they've now become to the suffering of others.

Ellen DeGeneres is simply the latest white celebrity to take part in this tired practice. The talk show host travelled to Kenya and Rwanda last week, in support of her foundation, the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund. While there she met with Rwanda's president Paul Kagame, took part in a mountain gorilla excursion with the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund, and posted several images of herself enjoying nature and other types of wildlife.


However, one photo in particular is receiving tons of backlash. In the image, which DeGeneres posted on Tuesday, she is surrounded by several children in a rural setting. She didn't specify which country she was in, of course, but wrote "Thank you to all of the amazing people I met on my trip, who helped make it so special," as a caption for the photo.

People, aren't feeling it, to say the least, and are calling her out for posting what many consider overt "poverty porn" and a poster image for "voluntourism."

Folks have been responding to the image on social media, with many arguing that despite whatever Ellen's intentions might have been, the image only reinforces hackneyed tropes about the continent, which are in no way beneficial.

Really though, when will white folks learn?








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