Tag Archives: violence

Blog # 17: Wretched of the Earth – Fanon

“The need for this change exists in a raw, repressed, and reckless state in the lives and consciousness of colonized men and women. But the eventuality of such a change is also experienced as a terrifying future in the consciousness of another: “species” of men and women of colons, the colonist.”

I decided to use this quote from Fanon because it shows what the colonize people are under colonial rule. Plus the idea of the colonist understand their subjects are just words of the wealth you want more money through colonization and ruling over people.  Fanon mentioned about decolonization and how it works but he states that the men that comes out of the end the decolonization.  In addition decolonization is the creation of new man and I think that is interesting because the people that were colonize would become their own man with their own rules. In addition within the colonize country the officals are people from the colonizer government trying to keep the colonize people under check in any form possible, and violence is one of those forms. An perfect example of the oppressed colonize people are under the oppressors is “We have seen how the government’s agent uses a language of pure violence. The agent does not alleviate oppression or mask domination. He displays and demonstrates them with the clear conscience of the law enforcer, and bring violence into the home and minds of the colonized subject” (p.4/PDFpg.5).

He mentioned how the ‘native’ people are living in their quarters. These people were living in s “disreputable place inhabited by disreputable people”(Ibid).In addition these sectors are always seeking something to eat  The world between the colonizer and the colonize people are two divided world which one of those group of people are from different species. The difference of skin color comes to after because if you are white you are rich but if you are rich it is because you are white. it something that has been placed since the colonization has occurred.  But what  Fanon was trying to say it is not what you have the in the bank but the ruling class (species) is always the outsider and they are different from the natives (indigenous population/ ‘others’).

Fanon mentioned that thee colonize feel envy because they hope one day they could take the place of the colonizer.  It is something we can see in our modern world that we want to become that rich person and do not have to work as hard anymore and look through the windows. In addition the way he describe colonization is close to a prison that has a 24/7 surveillance and restriction. I believe it is close to a dictator regime even though in the colonization world the colonizer benefits. 

Colonization that he notice is (what I see) more dominating when the other group want more from the other groups. Fanon talks about the colonization of Africa and how colonization effects and the hold of western aspect of life should be is still instill today (education, thoughts of becoming rich and do not have to work anymore).



Fanon, Frantz, The Wretched of the Earth Translated from the French by Richard Philcox. (1963) Grove Press, New York. <http://occupydenver.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/On_Violence.pdf


Brixton 1981

The interview with Darcus Howe brings up the 1981 Brixton riot…well, the BBC host assumes Howe had first-hand experience.   Either way, Howe would probably describe it as the “Brixton uprising.”  At the center, was a confrontation between the Metropolitan Police and protesters in South London, England. Wikipedia describes the “1981 Brixton riot” like this:

The main riot on 11 April, dubbed “Bloody Saturday” by TIME magazine,resulted in almost 280* injuries to police and 45* injuries to members of the public; over a hundred vehicles were burned, including 56 police vehicles; and almost 150 buildings were damaged, with thirty burned. There were 82 arrests. Reports suggested that up to 5,000 people were involved.

The Guns of Brixton” is a song by the English punk rock band The Clash. It was written and sung by bassist Paul Simonon, who grew up in Brixton, south London. The song has a strong reggae influence, reflecting the culture of the area, with a nod to the classic reggae gangster film “The Harder They Come.”  This video features a collage of images shot during the days of civil unrest in 1981.

Santogold covered the song in 2008 for her “Top Ranking” mixtape with Diplo — but changed the lyrics from Brixton to Brooklyn.  This video (the first half of which is “Guns of Brooklyn,” features more documentary footage from 1981 Brixton.

On violence and cultural stereotypes

US media figures such as Bill Maher (HBO) routinely proclaim that Islam, as a religion, as a culture, inherently tends toward violence, including “terrorism,” pointing to the Muslim identities of perpetrators of recent terror attacks.  Glenn Greenwald (Guardian, “Debating Bill Maher on Muslims, Islam and US foreign policy“) challenges that view:

Fanon and decolonization

Fanon describes decolonization in the Wretched of the Earth and the problems with it. For Fanon this can only be reversed with violence. Using biblical words “The last shall be first, and the first shall be last” Fanon describes successful decolonization.  He contends that “decolonisation is quite simply the replacing of a certain “species” of men by another “species” of men.” This of course is not a simple task but he shows a different outlook on decolonization.

For Fanon violence is the answer to the psychological and physical freedom of the native intellect. The colonial world Fanon writes is a “world cut in two” and that in this world a native is forced upon policing and subjected to there morals resulting in unfair treatment and a gun or weapon used to control the native.  He argues that” The intermediary does not lighten the oppression, nor seek to hide the domination; he shows them up and puts them into practice with the clear conscience of an upholder of the peace; yet he is the bringer of violence into the home and into the mind of the native….” This is powerful as Fanon is justifying the need for violence while showing that peace is not achieved without it. The people who put the idea, stereotyped and made the native an enemy not only will want peace but, will not understand why the native is violent.

We see this in America today where racism still exists sadly enough. America once hated black people and segregated race, it is a part of the aftermath of decolonization. Italians, Irish, African americans and presently latin americans have all gone through this racism and change. But as Fanon enlightens us to change our government violence may be needed.

In his essay “On National Culture” Fanon points out that “Colonialism’s insistence that “niggers” have no culture, and Arabs are by nature barbaric, inevitably leads to glorification of cultural phenomena that become continental instead of national, and singularly racialized.” By alienating the native intellect, they become consumed in the past and want to identify with their historical country. The native is not up to date with their current residence because they get lost in the past. This is bad because it negates the effects of being assimilated in the first place. A viscous cycle that must end in violence.

If Fanon is correct and violence is the only way the native and the settler can achieve a new unity and solidarity what can be said about America? Will it too crumble under decolonization? As an American from New York I have seen a vast majority of different cultures and traditions people hold onto. Perhaps the different culture is Americas assimilation and culture. Yet we cannot deny that not everyone believes this. America may be in risk for complete destruction untill racism does not exist but of course time can only tell.