Discourse on colonialism



This week I read Aimé Césaire's "Discourse on Colonialism." I had never read Césaire before, and I am not disappointed. The author's pen succeeds in mixing poetic evocation with the incisive force of an uncompromising look at his time. The book dates from 1955 and the author puts on the spot the hypocrisy of a European civilization that prides itself on humanism while having drowned in blood dozens of civilizations and continuing to make the apology of colonization. Outdated arguments? Not at all. During last year's BLM demonstrations, protesters, in a good-natured way, debunked some statues of famous colonizers which, besides being an insult to the most elementary aesthetics, were also monuments to the glory of colonization. And there, oh surprise, the reactionary fringe of the population began to cry out and recall the benefits of the good old colonization: roads, hospitals, local tyrants thrown down, and blah, blah. At the time, I had a lot of trouble with people I thought were close to me but who turned out, to my surprise, to be staunch defenders of white superiority in the most radical and aggressive way possible. Of course, I removed these people from my life, but not without first trying to argue with them (this is obviously a waste of time with extremists). On the other hand, I didn't know that the arguments they evoked were from the 50's, since it is precisely those that Aimé Césaire methodically dismantles in this text. It's no small thing to say that in their heads, some people are 70 years behind!