the white man's burden


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the white man's burden

offensive The belief of white European colonizers that they had a moral obligation to enforce their culture, religion, and ethics on the indigenous populations they enslaved or conquered. It's clear that the minister, a dinosaur in his belief, still holds onto the notion of the white man's burden when the topic of African and Middle Eastern refugees comes up.
See also: burden, white
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the white man's burden

the task, believed by white colonizers to be incumbent upon them, of imposing Western civilization on the black inhabitants of European colonies. dated
The white man's burden comes from Rudyard Kipling's poem of that title ( 1899 ), originally referring specifically to the United States' role in the Philippines.
See also: burden, white
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
There is no need to put the White Man's Burden on them.
For example, in "The White Man's Burden," Kipling suggests that nonwhites are chosen people, but they are like the ancient Hebrews who have become inured to their enslaved lives in Egypt.
In his important new book, The White Man's Burden, William Easterly estimates that advanced industrialized countries gave one trillion dollars in official development assistance (measured in constant 1985 dollars) to poor countries between 1950 and 1995.
An Islamic version of the White Man's Burden evolved in the 20th century: a "Muslim's burden" that sought both to defend the "House of Islam" from what was perceived as militant secularism and militant Jewish nationalism.
Rudyard Kipling's poem "The White Man's Burden" is cited as the epitome of this attitude, with the acknowledgement that such sentiments were also seen as draining and possibly compromising to essential Britishness.
Thus, in his widely read book, Pax Americana, first published in 1967 during the Vietnam War, Ronald Steel wrote of "the benevolent imperialism of Pax Americana" characterized by "empire-building for noble ends rather than for such base motives as profit and influence." A chapter of Steel's book on foreign aid as an "element of imperialism" was entitled "The White Man's Burden," hearkening back to Rudyard Kipling's celebrated poem calling on the United States to exercise an imperialist role in the Philippines following the Spanish-American War of 1898.
In fact, Harlan's life was a far cry from that of Kipling's despotic Dravot, with his fake Masonic rituals, hollering himself hoarse in his attempt to turn his dim-witted subjects "all English"-not like the "common, black Mohammedans." The real-life Harlan displayed scant interest in taking up the white man's burden. A man given to extravagant prose, Harlan was an ardent admirer of Alexander the Great and fancied himself a military heir to the Macedonian conqueror.
Almost every imperial outpost however arid, contained at least one Stanford student taking up the white man's burden of instructing lesser musical breeds (From 1933 to 1956 the New South Wales Conservatorium's directorship stayed uniniterruptedly in these students' hands.) Much of Stanford's pedagogic charm sprang from his fierce Dublin brogue, which he probably exaggerated for histrionic effect.
The British view of "the White Man's Burden" cites the poems of Rudyard Kipling, the hymns of Isaac Watts and the Wesleyan revival, the sermons of Charles Spurgeon, and the student movement, as depicting the sense of national providence.
Black Americans and the White Man's Burden, 1898-1903 (Urbana, IL, 1975).
Tony Blair and the latest bald Tory don't care about the white man's burden in Burnley or Bradford.
"America's empire is not like empires of times past, built on colonies, conquest, and the white man's burden. We are no longer in the era of the United Fruit Company, when American corporations needed the Marines to secure their investments overseas.
Boot takes his title from Kipling's famous, indeed notorious, February 1899 imperial exhortation to the United States, "The White Man's Burden," Take up the White Man's burden-- The savage wars of peace-- Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease; And when your goal is nearest The end for others sought, Watch sloth and heathen Folly Bring all your hopes to nought.
Institutionally, the white man's burden is still alive and well in the U.S.
The third is Holtrop's essay on the policies and anxieties of Idenburg, who shouldered the white man's burden stoutly during his governorship of Indonesia from 1909 to 1916.