AT first glance, there’s little difference between the two photographs.
Stacey Dooley posted a pic showing her holding a little black boy during a Comic Relief trip to Uganda. The other is of NHS surgeon David Nott, taken from the cover of his new book, War Doctor: Surgery On The Front Line.
Refer to Caption Stacey Dooley’s attracted criticism with this photo while on a trip to Uganda for Comic Relief
Dr David Nott helps people around the world with little of the fanfare or ‘look at me’ posturing
Yet it was only Stacey who found herself in the firing line of criticism from, among others, David Lammy MP, who toured various TV studios to accuse her of being a “white saviour”.
He added: “Stacey’s Instagram posts continue a very long-established trope of white female heroine with orphan black child, with little or no agency or parents in sight.”
Stacey, 31, hit back that the child’s family had given consent for the photo and that none of them were upset by it.
But this hasn’t appeased the Ugandan-based community organisation No White Saviours who have issued her an invitation to meet up so they can give “feedback about how you could do better”. On their Instagram page, they add: “We never said, ‘No white people’. We just know you shouldn’t be the hero of the story.”
And therein, perhaps, lies the crux of the problem. Stacey’s post, with the caption “OBSESSSSSSSED” and a broken heart emoji, seemed to be more about her feelings than whatever cause she was there to highlight.
She may be from a social media generation where placing yourself at the centre of any story is now the accepted norm but, in her defence, Stacey has presented hard-hitting documentaries from some of the world’s most dangerous places and is hardly one of those celebrities who just flies in for a virtue-signalling selfie before heading straight back to a life where they give little or no thought to the plight of others.
But the age-old narrative of Africa (a continent of more than 50 nations of varying prosperity) being an economic basket case in dire need of help from “white saviours” does need to be changed.
Unfortunately for Stacey, she just happened to be holding the parcel when the music stopped. So why did her photo attract such opprobrium while that of Welsh-born David Nott, a general and vascular consultant surgeon with the NHS, did not?
‘WHITE SAVIOUR’ ROW
Well, for the past 20 years, he has spent his spare time saving lives in countries such as Bosnia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, often operating with minimal equipment and basic facilities.
And doing it with little of the fanfare or “look at me” posturing (he has yet to post an image on Instagram) that often accompanies the fleeting visits of, say, a privileged white kid spending their “gap yah” building a school with little concept of how it will be sustained long after they’ve gone.
Three years ago, David and his wife Elly set up his eponymous foundation to help provide medical assistance in conflict and natural disaster zones, as well as training local healthcare professionals — “leaving a legacy of education and improved health outcomes”.
And that’s the key — aiding struggling communities in the long term to train the local teachers, nurses, doctors, entrepreneurs etc they need so they can help themselves to prosper in the future.
Poor Stacey was only trying to help (better that, surely, than simply carping from the sidelines while doing nothing) but, as a journalist, perhaps she will use the experience to make a much-needed documentary on the complexities of how to help certain nations in Africa to replace aid with trade and self-sufficiency.
In the meantime, as there are plenty of examples of abject need in our own country, it can only be a matter of time before a black comedian posts an image of themselves clutching a white child.
Refer to Caption Poor Stacey was only trying to help
Instagram Stacey should make a much-needed documentary on the complexities of how to help certain nations in Africa to replace aid with trade and self-sufficiency
Nishi’s a genuine genius
CONGRATULATIONS to 12-year-old Nishi Uggalle from Manchester, who has been crowned this year’s Child Genius.
(Channel 4 images must not be altered or manipulated in any way) CHANNEL 4 PICTURE PUBLIC Nishi is a true – not forced – child genius
Having entered herself into the competition, her dad Neelanga and mum Shiromi watched with an expression of proud bemusement as she effortlessly coasted her way through questions such as:
What is the name of a long cigar-shaped mound of till that has been smoothed in the direction of a glacier’s flow?Nope, me neither. As you ask, it’s drumlin.
Meanwhile, the parents of some of the other competitors were clearly living out their own, unfulfilled dreams of academic excellence through their often weary-looking children.
Nishi, on the other hand, was entirely self-motivated and clearly loved learning about physics etc much as other kids might love gaming or listening to music.
She’s a true – not forced – child genius.
I want you back
AFTER a discussion on yesterday’s GMB about Michael Jackson’s alleged paedophilia and whether his music will ever be played again, they cut to a break where the first ad was for Muller yoghurt with a soundtrack of I Want You Back by the Jackson Five.
That answers that question then.
FREE tampons are to be offered to every NHS hospital patient from this summer.
Getty – Contributor Tampons are still taxed in the UK
Which, considering razors and shaving foam are already given free of charge, makes the move, er, long overdue.
Meanwhile, of course, tampons are still taxed while Jaffa cakes are not. Go figure.
Apparently, it’s because when we joined the European Economic Community in 1973, sanitary products weren’t zero-rated and under EU law we haven’t been allowed to make them so since.
Another good reason to leave.
WORD reaches me that when Tory MP Nadine Dorries took part in a fast food reality show and one of her fellow contestants didn’t know who she was, she explained: “I was in the I’m A Celebrity jungle.”
Sigh. Yet another damning indictment on the state of modern politics.
Rex Features The MP described herself as a former I’m A Celeb contestant
THIS, according to one commentator, is supermodel Irina Shayk looking “miffed” on Instagram the day after her boyfriend Bradley Cooper performed that lovey-dovey duet with Lady Gaga at the Oscars.
Instagram One commentator said that Irina Shayk looked ‘miffed’ in this photohraph
Hmmm. First of all, it looked to me like they were just acting their parts from A Star Is Born.
Secondly, isn’t this the face that all supermodels pull, irrespective of whether they’re miffed, happy, bored, thrilled or borderline ecstatic?
CONVICTED terrorist Yago Riedijk, husband of Brit-born IS bride Shamima Begum, says he wants them to return to his home country of Holland with their newborn son.
Great idea. See ya.
The odd I-Dolls
DOUBLE divorcee and retired mental health nurse Dean Bevan keeps a harem of life-sized female dolls at his home in Ipswich. He buys them underwear, celebrates their birthdays and even shares a bed with one for company.
Louis Wood – The Sun Dean hasn’t been on a date with a real woman in thee years
He says it stops him from feeling lonely, adding: “I’m not going to pretend this is normal. It’s bonkers. But as I see it, it’s innocent fun.”
Dean, 58, hasn’t been on a date with a real woman for three years.
You don’t say.Killing debate with threats
MEMO to those trolling Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davies for saying that transgender women should be banned from taking part in female sporting competitions: How can you preach about tolerance while remaining so curiously intolerant of other people’s rationally expressed opinions?
EPA Martina Navratilova has received death threats for saying transgender women should be banned from taking part in female sporting competition
Let’s have the debate, not try to kill it with threats.
CommentALLY ROSS Conclusion of the century — eating nothing but pizza and fast food is bad for you CommentTREVOR KAVANAGH Flawed Brexit, then dignifed Therexit — price of ‘success’ is PM departure CommentTONY PARSONS Thanks to Rudd, the selfish Ayatollah of Remain, the EU will get their way CommentJULIA LOPEZ MP Jodie Chesney’s murder was so senseless that it defies any understanding CommentKARREN BRADY You’re in for a treat with Celebrity Apprentice — it’s worth the ten-year wait
You have been warned
SCIENTISTS have proposed that smart home systems could include “moral” reasoning engines so police might be notified if it suspects homeowners or their teenagers of indulging in prohibited behaviour such as smoking cannabis.
Don’t forget that while the current systems are activated when users say a trigger word, there’s an Amazon patent request in existence that describes a system that would record everything, all the time.
If, of course, it isn’t already.
You have been warned.
Uganda’s High Commissioner speaks out on Stacey Dooley’s ‘uncomfortable’ Instagram post after Comic Relief row with MP David Lammy