Home > Uncategorized > Co-depending Benefits and Intentions

Co-depending Benefits and Intentions

Thinking about a discussion we had in class on Tuesday, I would like to express my thoughts as to who is seeking what in the efforts to save Love Cemetery.  I propose that while the community surrounding Love Cemetery is seeking to restore a near and dear place where their ancestors and previous community members lie to rest, Galland is also inheriting a spiritual journey in the acts of civil rights activism which takes a direction towards unifying Black and White people and dissolving racial issues.  This is why the relationship between China Galland and Doris, RD, and the other members of the community can be considered codependent.  I do not want to suggest, however, that the community members could not save Love Cemetery without Galland or that Galland would not be spiritually enlightened without her experience with Love Cemetery.  What I am trying to suggest is this: those whose goal is to restore and maintain a beautiful cemetery seem to have already been kick-started before Galland’s involvement but have not been put into turbo drive until Galland who comes along and becomes fueled with the idea of helping a community in need induces her rights seeking efforts that get the ball rolling very fast for the community.  So, Galland’s goal is to help this community (that she is perhaps not organically a member of but seems as though she has been all along) by any means necessary.  The community’s goal is the cemetery and its historical significance to the community currently and for the future.  Galland achieves her goal by continuing to build relationships with these people and going out of her way to help them.  They achieve their goal also by sharing relationships with Galland and including her powerhouse volunteer personality in on their intentions.

On another similar note, I think that the moment in which Doris tells China Galland “We didn’t need you” is a glimpse into Galland’s wake up call to something that has been going on around her that she has failed to realize until this moment: perhaps she started out just wanting to help this community with their cemetery but soon found herself (unintentionally) imposing her help; for instance, when she is circulating release forms.  Her intentions are good, she just seems to have gotten herself carried away.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. January 27, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I fully agree and understand. We studied a bit of this phenomenon in my Native Americans and Media class — the way white people behind the cameras filming movies or singing songs can be intending to help or bring attention to tragedies suffered by some other group but end up only acting paternalistic. I think this is a very common problem. I think — at least for me — where this problem may crop up is simply in the belief that I or Galland could ever truly understand the experiences and feelings of another person. Sympathy is, of course, important, but can become dangerous when/if it transforms into cultural or social assumptions; these assumptions of understanding often lead people (however unwittingly) into paternalism and actions that may not actually aid or respect those who inspired the action.

    Does that make any sense at all?

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